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The 2014 Annual Conference Committee - Our Journey to Becoming a Team
"Only by binding together as a single force will we remain strong and unconquerable." - Chris Bradford
As you've been able to read in previous articles from ALA and posted on our blog, the 2014 Annual Conference Committee has been hard at work since January 2013, planning for what will undoubtedly be a very dynamic and well-engineered ALA Annual Conference & Exposition. The great teamwork and sharing ALL of our collective ideas and our vision continues as we build the education conference, to be held May 19-22, 2014, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Because the dynamics of teamwork are essential to putting this one-of-a-kind member experience together, I believe it's important to introduce to our ALA members and business partners: the phenomenal team of ALA members who are putting together the 2014 Annual Conference & Exposition in Toronto. And now, the team introductions:
Toni Burnside - Administrator, Woodruff, Spradlin & Smart, Orange County, Calif. - Toni works for a mid-size law firm, and she and I are past presidents from the same chapter. She's very dynamic and always has a voice. She volunteered to help with the important Toronto planning meeting minutes, and she has had some great conference planning ideas.
Larry Butler, COO, Field LLP, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada - Larry works for a large law firm in Canada, and he enjoys teamwork! He's been instrumental in providing guidance and insight for the committee on all matters related to planning a premier education conference in Canada.
Randy Headley, CLM, Firm Administrator, Bailey Cavalieri LLC, Columbus, Ohio - Randy works for a mid-size law firm and is a former Region 3 Officer. Randy is clever and witty and has provided some dynamic and inclusive ideas for all segments of ALA membership.
Julie Hill, SPHR - Associate Director of Human Resources, Husch Blackwell, St. Louis, Mo. - Julie works for a large law firm and is a former ALA Region 3 Officer. Julie is the HR Education Sub-Group leader. She has also volunteered to help with the important Toronto planning meeting minutes and she is very organized and has a very creative spirit, providing some dynamic conference planning ideas.
Lori Hughes, Information Governance Officer, Miller Nash LLP, Portland, Ore. - Lori works for a large law firm, and she is not afraid to say "yes." She is our Social Media Chair and "guru" for the committee. I consider her one of the committee's secret marketing weapons. She can be counted on for always having great suggestions, is very organized and the consummate planner.
Shirley Kee, Director of Human Resources, Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice, LLC, Kansas City, Mo. - Shirley works for a mid-size to large firm and served six years on ALA's Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. She has also volunteered to help with the important Toronto planning meeting minutes. Shirley is an asset to the committee, a dynamo and has provided some great conference planning ideas.
George LeLoudis, Executive Director, Woods Rogers, Roanoke, Va. - George works for a mid-size law firm and was the 2012 ALA Finance Conference Chair. George is the Finance Education Sub-Group Leader for the committee. He can be counted on to provide us with some great ideas, injecting fun and a whole lot of laughter when we least expect it.
DeAnna Lopez, CLM, SPHR, Office Administrator, Thompson Coe Cousins & Irons, LLP, Houston, Texas - Deanna, who works for a large law firm, eagerly volunteered to help with the important Toronto planning meeting minutes. She is very dynamic and the one of the most spirited members of the committee. She can be counted on for sharing great ideas, many of which proved fruitful for the committee's hospitality booth in National Harbor, Md., during ALA's 2013 Annual Conference & Exposition.
Maria Mason, CLM, Firm Administrator, Rudman & Winchell, Bangor, Maine - Maria works for a small law firm and is the LI Education Sub-Group Leader. She is one of the most creative people I've ever met. She was responsible for choreographing and splicing the music for the committee's surprise conference video performance that many of you have seen. She, too, is a very spirited member of the committee.
Pamela Molnar, Marketing Coordinator, Udall Shumway, Mesa, Ariz. - Pamela works for a mid-size law firm, and she has worked diligently with the team on this conference. She's forward-thinking, genuine, smart, funny, and an all-around terrific person to have on the team.
Clara Onderdonk, Office Manager, Erstrom & Dreste, LLP, Rochester, N.Y. - Clara works for a small law firm and is the OM Education Sub-Group Lead. I find her strategically focused, and she has a big voice on the committee. She previously served on the 2012 and 2013 conference committees as well. She is can always be found raising her hand to take on special committee projects.
Linda Ryan, MBA, Director of Administration, Kronis, Rotztain, Margles, Cappel LLP, Toronto - Linda works for a mid-size Toronto law firm and is our Toronto Hospitality Liaison. She is also a member of The Law Office Management Association (TLOMA). She has served on several of its annual conference planning committees, including leading the event. She is very strategically focused on all levels. She has great ideas, which proved instrumental for the committee's hospitality booth in National Harbor, Md. She is gracious and fun-spirited and an all-around team player.
Lorri Salyards, CLM, Executive Director, Doerner, Saunders, Daniel & Anderson, Tulsa, Okla. - Certainly not meant to be last or least in the ALA member lineup, Lorri works for a mid-size law firm. Lorri is a strong and stoic leader, but has many dynamic conference planning ideas. Lorri has business partner relationships and connections throughout ALA, which proved to be instrumental for our National Harbor hospitality booth. Another secret weapon for the committee, Lorri is very strategic minded in all aspects of conference planning. She always steps up to the plate for ALA, and I'm grateful to have her on my team.
I also want to acknowledge the amazing ALA headquarters personnel, who continue to be an integral part of our conference planning team. They include the dynamic education team of Jeanne Schehl and Peggy Siems, both of whom keep the committee focused and provide guidance for developing only the best forward-thinking educational programs. The superb conference logistics team of Patty Olejnik and Laurie Krook helps keep us organized, with the venue, event planning and budget in mind. Our awesome marketing team of Gwen Biasi and Mary Miller keeps us focused on current and innovative ways to market the conference, as well as helps manage the social media outlets for conference messaging. The dynamic business partner team duo of Jane Mundell and Jackie Stasch are always several steps ahead of us and can be found behind the scenes working their magic to engage business partner support, from being part of the exhibit hall to sponsoring various conference events. John Delavan, ALA's new Senior Director, Member Experience, provides a reality check for the team and I from time to time, keeps the momentum moving forward at ALA and ensures that the work the committee does is shared with ALA Executive Director Oliver Yandle.
And now a little about yours truly, the 2014 Conference Chair. I am the Federal Records and Information Management Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, Chicago, Ill. - We have 250+ lawyers. I believe in the team concept because teamwork divides the tasks and doubles the success. When I began my leadership journey as an Orange County ALA Board member years ago, one of our conference committee team members, Toni Burnside, was the Chapter President. Her Board year theme was "T.E.A.M. = Together Everyone Achieves More!" Your 2014 Annual Conference Committee agrees that these are words to live by.
We look forward to seeing you at the 2014 Annual Conference & Expo. Watch for online registration to open in November.