ALA Extends Agreement with GLJ Benefit Consultants
Please note that as of December 15, 2013, Hanover Professionals no longer offers the VIP LPL Program to ALA Membership as originally negotiated. In light of this development, Hanover Professionals is no longer a participant in ALA's Value in Partnership program. Contact GLJ Benefit Consultants at 1-800-892-8826 with any questions or concerns.
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Turning the Page
"Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one."
Happy New Year! It is my hope that 2014 will bring all of us an abundance of wonderful things and new beginnings. For my family, we will certainly "turn several pages" as we begin new chapters in our lives. We will be blessed with the birth of our first grandchild in May, Steve will be leaving the ALA Board of Directors, I will join the Board in May, and we will walk another daughter down the aisle to begin her life in marriage in November.
Additionally, as the 2014 Conference Chair, the Conference Committee and I are thrilled that we will be part of a new chapter in ALA's history, as we put the finishing touches on ALA's premier educational event the ALA Annual Conference & Exposition, An Education and Networking Mosaic, to be held May 19-22 in Toronto.
Why will we be "turning the page" to a new chapter? To capitalize on ALA's new strategic plan, this year's conference will be fresh and invigorating, and like no other member experience you've had before at an educational conference. We have designed more than 90 educational sessions that will have something for each and every ALA membership demographic, including government, corporate, independent, international, large firm and functional specialty.
You probably have already visited the new and improved conference website and explored the easy-to-use interface. Check it out often, as content continues to be added. We have created some unique educational programs, including:
"For last year's words belong to last year's language. And next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning."
We have already announced our special keynote address (new and on Tuesday morning this year), Endeavour to Succeed, presented by former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle "Gabby" Giffords and her husband, Captain Mark Kelly, a retired combat pilot and astronaut. Their message will undoubtedly inspire all of us to lead our firms and businesses to success, as well as have a powerful and personal impact on how believing in ourselves can take us to new heights in our lives and profession.
In an effort to reinvigorate the fun we have in ALA, we have written some very new and exciting networking scripts. There will be a variety of networking opportunities, such as the captivating Welcome Reception and the Leadership/Newcomer's Connection (formerly the Newcomers' Reception) on the conference program. In addition, we hope you will join in the fun at ALA's inaugural IDEA Awards, which replace the Chapter Awards and will honor not only chapters, but also individuals, law firms, business partners and others who have been innovators in the past year. And, again this year, our Grand Finale event will start with dinner, followed by a full concert by a famous 70s-80s pop-rock band we will be announcing very soon, ending the evening with a DJ, dancing, chocolate and champagne at the Fairmont Royal York, ALA's headquarters hotel.
The page also is turning for the former Exhibit Hall, which will be transformed into the new Legal Marketplace at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This chapter will allow you to venture with us and visit with all of our valued ALA business partners, as well as to explore "The Legal Office of the Future: Innovation Lab," presented by ALA in partnership with Gensler, a global design and architecture firm. This special event and exhibition will feature a panel of technology and management visionaries and a fully built-out display to showcase how the legal office of the future could look. You will able to take tours of this spectacular 2,500-square-foot exhibit on the floor of The Legal Marketplace in Toronto!
We will also have several unique "lounges" in the Legal Marketplace, including the HIVE, in which you will learn how to use social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more) most effectively, as well as how social media can benefit you and your firm/business. We will also have the The Hub, in which you will learn about new products, have the opportunity to attend educational sessions and, of course, be able to "Ask the Experts" about the latest and greatest in legal and business products and services. Finally, we'll offer space to "Recharge," where you can connect with your office back home, recharge your devices and yourself, before launching into more of the dynamic education.
What will remain part of our story is that all of you attending the 2014 Annual Conference & Exposition will be making a wise investment, not only for your firm or business, but also for yourself. We know that you will, without a doubt, be "turning your own pages" and creating several new chapters in your conference story bringing back ideas and concepts to improve your firm/business processes, motivate your staff and attorneys, and increase productivity (yours and your staff's).
While I trust that your new year will already be off to a very good start by the time of our conference in May, I hope this article has been a page turner for you one that will encourage you to open the book and explore and discover what's in store for you in Toronto. Learn more on our website and register now to attend at special early bird rates. Be a part of your own story of new inspiration, as you reconnect with your colleagues, connect with new and old friends, and explore the opportunities to lead your organizations into the future.
"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."