President's Column

President's Column

New CABA Team in Place & Committees Forming as New Year Begins

Collins Wohner

Article by Collins Wohner 2013 - 2014 CABA President


Welcome to a new fiscal year for CABA — our 81st. The board has a new team in place. Congratulations and thanks go to David Maron on the completion of his term as president. David went consistently beyond the call of duty in his service to the association during his term. Fortunately, he has already demonstrated the same dedication and generosity in his continuing service as past president. With David’s hard work and good help, his successor may do little harm.

Congratulations and thanks go also to retiring board members Scott Jones and Rob Mink on the completion of their terms. Scott has been invaluable to the association for many years as our guide to website development and all things technical. Scott’s efforts earned him CABA’s Outstanding Service Award, bestowed at the Evening Honoring the Judiciary in May, and a lifetime appointment (if he should decide to accept it) as CABA’s technology czar (or whatever title he prefers). It is not clear how we would function without him. Rob did good service to the board as well, particularly in representing the interests of the criminal defense bar. We hope he won’t be a stranger.

The very talented and delightful Amanda Green Alexander has completed her term as secretary-treasurer and assumed the office of vice president and president-elect. Amanda rendered exceptional service as treasurer, spearheading efforts to modernize our bookkeeping and reporting systems. Her considerable experience and insight, her energy, and her generosity with her time and talents are a great asset for the association. CABA will be in good hands next year.

Mike Malouf, Jr., has joined the board as secretary-treasurer, placing him in line to be president in two years. Mike also brings a wealth of experience with bar and other non-profit associations. He and Amanda will make a great team.

Tiffany Graves and Troy Odom were elected to take the open board posts to succeed Scott and Rob. Tiffany is hardly a new face. She has served on the board for the last two years in ex-officio seats as president-elect and then president of Jackson Young Lawyers. With her election to director post 2, she traded one board hat for another. Troy joins the board after a number of years of dedicated work as co-chair of the pro bono committee. And finally, Lindsay Thomas has joined us this year in the ex officio post of president-elect of Jackson Young Lawyers. She’s a great addition.

Continuing their terms in posts 3 and 4 are Meade Mitchel and Kate Margolis. Meade has been exceptionally dedicated to the association for years, most recently in his excellent work as program chairman. He is now turning his attention to building membership. Kate remains an invaluable asset with her diligent work on the newsletter committee. And fortunately, Michael Bentley’s good sense and wry wit will be available to us again from his ex-officio seat as president of Jackson Young Lawyers. Finally, all of us are grateful for the continuing guidance of our esteemed executive director, Pat Evans.

So there’s the board team for this year. Let us know your ideas for ways CABA can better fulfill its mission of service to the profession and the community. Better yet, join a committee and help out. A list of committees is available on our website. Call or email a committee chair, an officer, a board member, or Pat Evans to volunteer.

Those who were unable to attend the Evening Honoring the Judiciary in May missed a fine and well-attended event. We are grateful to the 113th Military Police Company of Mississippi Army National Guard, Brandon, for presenting the colors, and to Reverend George Woodliff, Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Yazoo City, and Reverend David Hederman, Pastor of Grace City Church in Jackson, for offering the opening and closing prayers. Boy Scout Barry Wayne Howard, II, demonstrated poise beyond his years leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance and in his presence throughout the evening. It was a pleasure meeting him. Judge Kent McDaniel delighted and instructed us with his magnificent voice presenting the fourth verse of the National Anthem. Why the fourth verse? Because, Judge McDaniel taught us, the fourth verse answers the questions posed in the first. It’s worth a read.

Judge Leslie Southwick presented the JYL/CABA Judicial Excellence Award to Judge Grady Jolly with a combination of wit and wisdom worthy of Judge Jolly — no small feat. And Judge James Graves topped the evening off as the keynote speaker with comparable style and grace, sharing his drolly self-effacing and insightful reflections on his experience at the Fifth Circuit. We greatly appreciate Judge Graves’s willingness to serve as keynote speaker for this year’s dinner.

Congratulations go to all the award winners not yet mentioned: Warren Martin (JYL Pro Bono Award); Nakimuli Davis and Roslyn Griffin (JYL Outstanding Service Award); Patti Gandy and Tiffany Graves (CABA Pro Bono Award); Robert Gibbs and David Kaufman (CABA Professionalism Award). And finally kudos go to David Maron, Gretchen Kimble, and Pat Evans for planning and organizing the evening. Many thanks are due to Gretchen for agreeing to chair the planning committee again next year. Please let your interest be known if you would like to join the committee, or if you have ideas for a keynote speaker for next year’s event.

We have a date and place for the 22nd Annual CABA Golf Tournament: Monday, April 28, 2014, at the Jackson Country Club. That’s after tax day and Easter and with some weather luck, should be an opportune time to escape the office. Brad Moody has volunteered to chair the committee this year, following up on the good work by former committee co-chairs Mary Margaret and Kevin Gay over the last two years. The tournament is a chance for fun and fellowship for those of you blessed with a competent golf swing. For the rest of us, it is a chance to support a good cause — the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project. All tournament proceeds go to support the MVLP. Please consider supporting the cause by signing up to help the committee sell sponsorships to likely suspects. You might even consider springing for one yourself (hole sponsorships are a bargain at $150).