Michael Greene, 2001-02
My year is when Mona Buckley resigned and we hired Judy Edwards. Our staff stayed through the transition period and I met with them weekly. Ruth Beyer (immediate past president) was chair of the hiring committee, which included current and past officers. We reviewed quite a number of resumes and interviewed four or five candidates in the process. Judy was selected by a unanimous vote.
Board members included Bob Newell, Robert Neuberger, Sylvia Stevens, Tom Christ, John Connors, Kelly Hagan, Kristin Hamilton, Jeff Matthews, Noreen McGraw, Hollis McMilan, Julie Vacura, Kathryn Villa-Smith and Ruth Beyer.
During my administration, there were three significant happenings:
- The hiring of a new executive director
- The decision of the MBA to request the Governor for a moratorium on the death penalty
- This decision was controversial, because it was the first time the MBA had taken a public position on such an issue. After approval by the board, we arranged meetings with the Governor's office. The ABA president came to our annual meeting to celebrate our moratorium decision. Although the MBA went on record as urging a moratorium, the Governor did not act;
- CourtCare was developed.
- During my administration, the CourtCare campaign was organized and CourtCare was supported by the MBA Board both financially and structurally. This was the first time that the MBA had undertaken to be a sponsor and engage in active fundraising to help support a community program. Previously, our involvement in matters such as schools and the classroom law project were less direct - by endorsement only and somewhat ad hoc. The campaign became a signature event. This, of course, had many positive ramifications for the MBA and the legal community in Portland.
Community serviceThe CourtCare campaign made the the MBA a recognized community resource beyond merely membership activities. Also, the MBA is now willing to do fundraising for community resource purposes and to finally support a variety of community activities. The MBA is more significantly outward-focused than its historic inward focus on members only.
The outward focus of the organization has, from my perspective, resulted in substantial additional visibility and prestige for the MBA.