The Reorganization of AJS

By Sobel, Allan D. | Judicature, July/August 2005 | Go to article overview

The Reorganization of AJS


Sobel, Allan D., Judicature


The reorganization of AJS governance is now complete. My title changed in the process and therefore this column is now called the President's Report. The Board of Directors has been downsized to 25 members, and AJS has established a National Advisory Council. The NAC has almost 60 founding members and is looking for more. What has remained constant is the outstanding leadership so many people in this organization regularly provide.

AJS reaped great benefits from the service of Larry Hammond and Dawn Clark Netsch as President and Board Chair, respectively. Larry's commitment to the position is unsurpassed in AJS history. He frequently traveled for days at a time to meet with constituents, give talks, participate in conferences, and explore opportunities. By allowing Larry the freedom to devote so much time and energy, Larry's firm, Osborn Maledon in Phoenix, also made a mighty contribution to this organization. Donna Toland, Larry's secretary, supported Larry and AJS throughout Larry's presidency and provided terrific benefits to AJS in her own right. As anyone familiar with Larry knows, he is the perfect gentleman and he brings a tremendous fund of knowledge to any conversation about the administration of justice. His presence always enhanced the credibility of AJS and reinforced the notion that this is one fine organization.

The Board Chair in the former governance structure had responsibilities different from those of the President. Dawn filled those responsibilities in elegant fashion. She personally took charge of planning AJS substantive programs at Board meetings, and engaged in countless phone conferences to make sure that nothing was overlooked. Despite many personal challenges, Dawn attended every meeting of the Board; served on the Substantive Programming Committee, as chair, and the Finance Committee; and attended many AJS special events. Dawn and Cindy Gray represented AJS at the United States Supreme Court last November when AJS received from the State Justice Institute the Howell Heflin Award for our "exemplary judicial ethics projects." Nine Heflin Awards have been presented since 1996 and AJS has received two of them. Her great sense of humor and flair for public speaking added a special touch whenever Dawn presided over a board meeting or spoke at an event.

The tradition of excellence in AJS governance will certainly build with the current board. …

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