MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Dear fellow ABOTA members,
It's hard to believe another year has gone by and we still face unprecedented obstacles to getting back to normal and trying cases like the good old days. Maybe the good old days are gone forever and we need to face the harsh reality of masks, social distancing and vaccinations for the foreseeable future. Being the optimist that I am, I refuse to believe this. Rather than dwell on the negative, I'd like to start 2022 off by simply being thankful. You might rightfully ask, "Thankful for what?"
Here are some of the things for which I am thankful:
- Being a small part of the best ABOTA Chapter in the nation with a rich history of past National ABOTA presidents in Gil Jones, Mark Robinson and Mike Maguire;
- Our 2021 National Foundation President Doug DeGrave (our Chapter's third such President following former National Foundation Presidents Wylie Aiken and Mike Maguire) and hard-working 2022 National Foundation Member Deborah Tropp and Executive Board Foundation member Pamela Liosi-Traut; as well as our Chapter becoming the first chapter in the nation to donate $100,000 to the Foundation and to achieve Signer Level;
- Chris Wesierski, our 2020 CAL-ABOTA President and CAL-ABOTA Trial Lawyer of the Year; following in the footsteps of former CAL-ABOTA Presidents Marjorie Day (1989); Peggy Holm (1997); Chris Day (2007); and Doug DeGrave (2013). Also, following CAL-ABOTA Trial Lawyers of the Year Don Ruston (1987); Marjorie Day (2002); Mark Robinson (2008); and Doug DeGrave (2016).
- Executive Board member Kim Valentine who was voted Orange County ABOTA and CAL-ABOTA Volunteer of the Year in 2021 for her tireless efforts on behalf of the homeless;
- A strong legacy of women ABOTA members who have served as President of our Chapter, starting with Marjorie Day in 1988; Peggy Holm (1997); Carol Salmacia (2001); Judge Linda Marks (2017); and Judge Nancy Zeltzer (2020). Our current Executive Board has four more future ABOTA Presidents in Pamela Liosi-Traut, Deborah Tropp, Kim Valentine and Jennifer Russell.
- The tremendous efforts of Judge Linda Marks in spearheading our ABOTA Teachers Law School Program and Mendez School Program with the Orange County Department of Education;
- Deborah Tropp for her excellent work with our Chapter's Civility Matters Program and Literacy Program;
- Our two immediate Past Presidents Jeff Braun and Judge Nancy Zeltzer for leading us through the COVID pandemic and keeping our chapter vital and moving forward despite all the obstacles;
- Executive Board Members Yoshi Kubota, Deborah Tropp, Pamela Liosi-Traut, Juan Delgado and newly added member Jennifer Russell for doing all the work necessary to keep our Chapter thriving;
- Gary Gregor and Tom Dillard for organizing and promoting the Annual Golf Tournament which helps keep our Chapter financially afloat.
- Jennifer Blevins, our Executive Director, and her team at California Advocates Management Services, who keep our Chapter organized and running smoothly;
- Rick Kraemer of Executive Presentations who shows up at every ABOTA event and serves as our official photographer.
More than anything, I am proud to be a Member of this organization of trial lawyers who are much more skilled and renowned than I will ever be.
Thank you for the opportunity to be president for this coming year. Let's all make it one to remember!
Orange County ABOTA