Consumer Bankruptcy Journal Winter 2018 - Page 6

President’s REPORT John C. Colwell Debt Relief Legal Clinic San Diego, California Dear Members of NACBA: It is with a sense of humbleness, yet great pride, that I address you as the President of this amazing organization. During my tenure as a member, board member, Secretary, Vice President, and now President, I have been constantly encouraged and rewarded by the dedication, hard work, and perseverance undertaken by YOU, our valued members, our excellent staff, and our tenacious board of directors. I wish to personally thank you, as my practice and my life have been so positively enriched by each and every one. 2017 is now behind us - it was a challenging year - for those of us in the consumer and small business bankruptcy practice - and for our organization. NACBA has weathered staff changes, board changes, and membership changes, yet we continue moving forward for the betterment of our clients, our practices and NACBA as a whole. Dan LaBert, our immediate past Executive Director has taken a new 6 CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY JOURNAL position with a larger organization in a different field. He remains with us in a transitional role. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to Dan, and we certainly wish him the best in his new position. Dan leaves us in a greatly strengthened position looking forward. Our ‘front’ and ‘back’ technologies have been more tightly integrated, and we have a stronger online presence. Dan introduced ‘NACBA Now’ and the Consumer Bankruptcy Journal, both of which have been favorably received in the online legal community. Speaking of communities, our “ancient” listserv finally reached its “End of Life,” as the techies call it, and, in its place, the new Higher Logic-branded Communities were transitioned in. That platform provides identical use as the old listserv and contains enhanced features as well as actual modern security. Jim Haller, our immediate past President, has taken a new position within NACBA as the Education Director. Jim is reveling in his new post, aggregating a vast amount of NACBA institutional knowledge, coupled with Winter 2018 his own expertise, to design and roll out many and varied sources of bankruptcy-related education programs for our members, including Webinars, Workshops, Blogs and Video Blogs. Jim’s experience and proficiency in our field make him uniquely qualified to fill this new NACBA position and help NACBA fulfill its role of providing top- notch education for our members. Our Legislative Committee, co-chaired by Ike Shulman and Ed Boltz, has been meeting regularly to monitor any legislation that would impact our membership, as well as continuing our efforts to educate our Congressional leaders and other policy-makers regarding the need to restore discharge rights for our clients struggling with student loan debt. Our long-term focus on making law changes for the betterment of our clients remains steadfast. A core group of NACBA’s finest will travel to Washington, DC in February for in person-meetings to lobby on our behalf issues. Thanks to Krista D’Amelio, our Director of Government Affairs & Communications, for “herding” the legislative “cats” and National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys