Leading through Engagement
A Message from the Greater Colorado Task Force
May 2021Download This Article (.pdf)
The Greater Colorado Task Force has created a Report and Recommendations (Report), which it will present during the CBA Board of Governors’ upcoming June meeting. The Report urges the CBA to improve the value and relevance of CBA membership to lawyers who practice outside the Denver metropolitan area. It identifies four key areas of focus:
- CBA structure
- CBA programs and benefits
- local bar resources and local bar impacts
- role of technology.
The Report recommends changes in CBA policy and practices within each of these key focus areas. The Task Force believes each recommendation will benefit the CBA and its membership. Recommendations include:
- structural revisions through amendments to the CBA Bylaws
- contributions of content to Colorado Lawyer from Greater Colorado
- program enhancements targeted at Greater Colorado
- enhanced staff, administration, and leadership outreach to Greater Colorado
- continued investment in remote meeting culture, technology, and training.
These recommendations, whether standing alone or in aggregate, encourage the CBA to change how it engages collaboratively with its membership and serves its statewide citizenry. The Task Force urges all CBA members, from all corners of the state, to contribute to the organization, which we believe will strengthen rural communities and attract legal talent to increase citizen access to justice.
The Task Force also believes that over time the recommendations will boost member engagement, collaboration, and leadership for CBA members from Greater Colorado.
This infusion of talent will add vitality, diversity, and inclusivity to the organization, complementing ongoing racial justice, equity, diversity, and inclusivity (REDI) efforts within the bar. The CBA is better and stronger when its leaders are cultivated broadly throughout our great state.
Overarching Goal: Improve Our Communities
The Task Force members are lawyers who have built successful practices in Greater Colorado and who value CBA membership. We are keenly aware of the benefits to their communities when lawyers step forward. Our profession brings a unique toolkit to solving community challenges: respect for the rule of law, analysis and problem-solving, diplomacy, and empathy. While the Task Force’s recommendations will improve engagement within the CBA, the real beneficiaries of these ideas will be our improved communities across all of Colorado.
Anyone interested in an advanced copy of the Task Force Report and Recommendations may contact any of the following Task Force members:
- Danita Alderton, Pueblo, email@example.com
- Melissa Decker, Minturn-Vail, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Courtney Holm, Edwards, email@example.com
- Paul W. Hurcomb, Colorado Springs, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ian D. McCargar, Windsor, email@example.com
- Daniel St. John, Fort Collins, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tamara M. Sullivan, Alamosa, email@example.com
- Charles H. Willman, Glenwood Springs, firstname.lastname@example.org.
As chair, I also want to thank Kathleen Hearn Croshal, Jessica Brown, Joi Kush, Amy Larson, Dan Sweetser, Kath Schoen, and Emy López. The support of these able contributors anchors the work of the CBA Greater Colorado Task Force.
In December 2020, I shared my President’s Message with two past presidents of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, Christine Hernández and Annie Martínez, to promote the proposed CLE requirement relating to equity, diversity, and inclusivity. This month, I am delighted to share my column with Windsor Town Attorney and CBA Executive Council member Ian McCargar, to highlight what the CBA is doing to assess and address the needs of CBA members statewide.
This work arises from the CBA’s REFOCUS 2020 Strategic Plan, introduced in spring 2016, which includes statewide outreach and inclusion as a significant priority. Specifically, the “E” in “REFOCUS” stands for our objective to “Engage Under-Represented Populations,” including statewide populations, by “improving and ensuring their inclusion at all levels of the CBA” through means such as “using technology to better reach members statewide” and “strengthening local bar associations.”
In light of this strategic priority, CBA Immediate Past President Kathleen Hearn Croshal constituted the Greater Colorado Task Force—a geographically diverse group of eight CBA members from around the state—and appointed Ian McCargar as chair. Since January 2020, the Task Force has met over a dozen times.
Conversations with invited guests guided the Task Force toward a better understanding of issues practitioners and Colorado citizens face outside the metro area. Through these conversations, a consistent theme emerged: the CBA can and should do more to promote greater participation in CBA programs, communication, and leadership opportunities for its members in Greater Colorado.
—Jessica Brown, CBA president