At the Law Day Luncheon three weeks ago, Jim Bailey announced that the 2017 Financial News & Daily Record Lawyer of the Year was my law school classmate and good friend, Alan Pickert.
We all knew Alan deserved the award, but his acceptance speech demonstrated the type of leadership and commitment to which all of us should aspire.
Alan accepted the award and then proceeded to first recognize the great support that Jim Bailey has provided the Bar; and then encouraged participation in his newest charitable event, Evan’s Hope, the ALS research project named in honor of our respected colleague, Evan Yegelwel. Alan showed true class and demonstrated why he deserves the award.
Alan has been a quiet leader.
He served as president of The Jacksonville Bar Association 10 years ago and did a very good job. He has continued to serve in numerous community and charitable roles. His style of quiet leadership matches and reflects what we have come to expect from Jacksonville’s legal community.
Indeed, over the past year, we have witnessed the quiet leadership of our immediate past president, Geddes Anderson. Geddes doesn’t toot his own horn much, but he has been instrumental in helping to restructure and revamp the JBA.
He led us in hiring new Executive Director Angie Coker, who also is not someone who seeks the spotlight, but already is doing some amazing things.
The Jacksonville Bar has many other quiet leaders.
For years, Tony Zebouni has coordinated our effort to reach out to elected officials and the community.
Ray Reid also is the epitome of a quiet leader. He is someone who regularly provides advice and support to various organizational leaders (including myself).
Board member Blane McCarthy has provided years of amazing service in supporting our CLE programming, and Cyndy Trimmer has performed the thankless job of editing this publication (and chasing down those of us who are routinely late in submitting our articles).
In listing these few, I am omitting hundreds of other leaders who serve this community not only in the Bar, but also in our charitable and civic efforts.
Over the next year, The JBA is planning some new and exciting events and programs, and determining ways to reinvigorate our existing events. We are working with the section and committee leadership to enhance our already vibrant committees.
We are instituting a presidential slush fund for the benefit of the incoming president (and any objections to said fund must be made in writing to Geddes Anderson before June 15).
In addition to these ideas, programs and events, however, we need to spend some time and effort recognizing the scores of quiet leaders of our Bar. They are the real strength of our organization, and I hope to be able to provide some needed recognition as your president.
P.S. The slush fund reference was included just so we could see if anyone reads this article, but feel free to complain to Geddes if you wish.