The President's Message April 2019


                                                President Maggie Robb


Spring is in the air; baseball’s opening day has taken place; and, like baseball, CCJSCA is a team sport. But the teams (committees) in our league (MLJ—Major League Judges) did not wait until opening day. Everyone has been hard at work, and the teams are forging ahead because every team has the winning spirit, and every player has a job to do to make our successes even greater.

  Team Annual Conference is planning another spectacular program. Captain Gratton and his team have put together an amazing lineup, as we “Learn from the Past: Plan for the Future.” Just to whet your appetite: Marijuana and the psychology of retiring are just a few of the highlights. And next year’s team has already laid the groundwork for 2020 in Amelia Island, Florida.

  If MLJ were to have divisions like baseball, member messaging would be one big division. Several of the teams have joined forces to share knowledge, thoughts, and expertise.

  The Website Committee under team captain Raye has been hard at work making amazing progress on our new website. The designer they selected has been great to work with, and the ideas for making it an easier site to navigate have been both challenging and rewarding. Watch for it—it is coming, and I know you will enjoy using it.

  We added to our league this year with two expansion teams: Technology under the leadership of Gary Lynch and Communications captained by Karen Arnold-Burger. Both teams, while working on their own goals, have joined forces with the website team and newsletter team to help make our communications more efficient, friendlier, and more productive. Having dipped our toes in the technology waters with our conference app (thanks to Florida), Team Technology is thinking of our next foray into the world of apps and things. Team Communications has been hard at work coming up with a plan to make membership in MLJ even more important because of all the valuable resources. And if that isn’t enough, Captain Arnold-Burger is leading a second team, with the help of John Doerner of the National Center for State Courts, to produce a white paper on communications and collegiality.

  Team Newsletter, led by Frankie Moore, has also been integral to shaping the direction of the website and integrating what the newsletter shares and the best way to get the information to our members.

  Captain Kem Frost has been expanding the information available to members in enlarging the speech bank into a resource bank and adding valuable information to the emerging-issues column. Now you spectators out there, please feel free to join the team and add to the information we share. Not to mix metaphors, but I can attest that Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is alive and well, and I know the resource bank has been in use to share speech ideas. Don’t fret about a mental block when it comes to speech ideas—look at ideas our members have provided and, better yet, add your own.

  Team Strategic Planning and Team Finance joined forces, guided by leader Morris Silberman who has been keeping us moving forward toward ever-evolving, short- and long-term goals in a financially responsible manner.

  And Team Membership, led by Sherry Radack, has been hard at work making sure no state or new chief is left behind. Her efforts have produced interest in some states we thought we had lost, and she has welcomed several new chiefs we look forward to placing on one or more of our league’s teams.

  As is the case with any league, we couldn’t do it without wonderful assistance. We are fortunate to have just that. Our activities and work could not be as successful without the support we receive from the National Center. So, a big shout out to Lynn, who keeps all the balls in play and her assistant Sydney; Toni, who keeps the annual conference in focus; and Jennifer and John, who are always ready to be a sub at a moment’s notice.

  It has been my pleasure being the MLJ “Commissioner” this year, and I know that nothing would be possible without every team leader, player, and supportive friends. Thank you for the honor you have given me.