College Columns December 2018 - Page 4

ask you for money to support the great work of the Foundation. Well, that’s Paul Harner’s job now, so I’ll get out of his way and address three other topics on the College part of my perennially challenged mind.

San Antonio – I really enjoyed greeting so many of you at our Board and Committee meetings and All Fellows Luncheon leading up to the NCBJ meeting in San Antonio. We had a great turnout of over 150 Fellows for the Luncheon, and a most entertaining program themed to our presence in the Great State of Texas. I tried after the Luncheon to drop by as many Committee meetings as I could but wound up spending most of my afternoon with the Education Committee. Drawing on the experience of their own outstanding Seventh Circuit Program in September, Committee Chair Rick Mason joined with Dan Zazove, the Chair of that Program, to offer guidance to new members from the Third and Tenth Circuits seeking ambitiously to organize their own rejuvenated programs for 2019. As these Circuit programs are valuable for their educational content and as an important touch-point for our Fellows, I am greatly enthused by the level of renewed interest and commitment from two more of our Circuits. And remember -- all of our Fellows are invited to attend all of our Circuit Educational Programs; in 2018 I traveled to the Fifth and Seventh Circuit Programs in Dallas and Chicago, and came away enriched and energized by the educational content and opportunity to spend quality time with our Fellows and their local colleagues.

Patrons & Sponsors – One of the challenges we reported in San Antonio was the 2018 falloff in participation in our Patrons & Sponsors Program. While 95 firms contributed a total of $272,500 to the Program, for various reasons we lost 38 other firms that had contributed in prior years. Several of them have stepped up early for 2019, and while we appear to be well on our way toward meeting our reduced 2019 goal I take it as a personal challenge to reach out to all 38 of those firms to blow past the $294,000 budgeted amount.

As most of you have heard before, the Patrons & Sponsors Program is the financial lifeblood of the College, funding almost half of our annual operating budget – including the educational programs, international law course and National Bankruptcy Archives projects that distinguish the College in the bankruptcy and insolvency community. The Program also permits the College to provide funding to the Foundation for grants to pro bono legal services organizations around the country. Including the contribution from the College, $448,500 was distributed in 2018, again a record year in a time of ever-increasing need.

The College has established a new level of support open to smaller firms beginning in 2019. We invite and encourage your firm to support the Patrons & Sponsors Program at one of four levels:

• Sustaining Patron ($5000) –30 Sustaining

Patrons in 2018;

• Patron ($2500) – 25 Patrons in 2018;

• Sponsor ($1500) –40 Sponsors in 2018;

• Supporter ($750) – new in 2019, and open to

firms with 5 or fewer professionals.

We ask you to pledge your firm’s support by December 31, 2018, payable through March 31, 2019. If your firm has not already pledged, our team of volunteers will be reaching out to you before year-end to seek your support and participation.

From the President

Mark D. Bloom, Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Hard to believe we find ourselves coming to the end of yet another year. Seems like only yesterday I was sitting down to write my 2017 year-end column as Chair of the Foundation, trying to think of clever and inventive ways to

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