A Message from the President
A New Year is here and it’s time once again to make those New Year’s resolutions.
Like so many of you, I make resolutions every January; actually love doing so as it challenges me to meet the goals I set for myself. The secret I’ve learned is to set goals (resolutions) I feel I can actually keep or meet. My personal resolutions usually center on my health, well-being, and staying in touch better with friends and family.
This year I decided to set New Year’s resolutions for NCBC that centers on you – our most important and number one asset. There’s been enough talk about doing more with less, cost containment, and downsizing. Let’s change the conversation to how best to serve you as an organization and how best to engage you in the work of the organization. So, what are NCBC’s resolutions? Let’s take a look:
1) Renew our focus on providing the best educational opportunities during our annual conferences. This can be accomplished by developing new training sessions, tweaking existing training sessions, and focusing on networking opportunities during the conference. As you know, the conference this year is scheduled for July 15 – 18 in St. Louis, Missouri and work is already underway to offer an amazing educational program. As an organization, we will reach out to Clerks and ask that they invest in your professional development by spending funds to send you to the conference. We also want to expand on our educational offerings by creating more opportunities throughout the year to meet your training needs. An Outreach Committee has been formed to look at ways to grow your professional skills as a member of this organization and better position you for promotional potential within the court.
2) Seek your input by listening to your needs and getting your involvement in committees. This year we hope to find opportunities to tap into your skills and abilities. New committees are being considered by the Board and existing committees need additional membership.
3) Continue with our commitment to advocate on your behalf on issues that are important to you and to the bankruptcy system. In the past, we wrote reports and letters on the IBM shared service study, provided CACM with a positional paper on the matter of shared service, and participated in the GAO interview on consolidation and shared service (in addition to providing them with a written response). NCBC was also instrumental in getting sick leave to count towards your total creditable service for annuity computation.
4) Continue our partnership with Michigan State University (MSU) which offers two certificate programs (credit bearing and non-credit bearing) in judicial administration, as well as a master’s degree in judicial administration. This is another terrific opportunity to better position you for a future with the court. This year NCBC will celebrate the 10 year anniversary of our partnership with MSU at the annual conference. I hope many of you will plan to attend and participate.
5) Find ways to celebrate what we’ve done. By “we”, I mean the organization and its individual members. We should celebrate and promote the innovations and improvements developed by bankruptcy staff, many of whom are members of this organization. Our Awards Committee has done an outstanding job of recognizing innovations but we need your help in not leaving anyone out. Also, the Board is planning a Members Appreciation Week during this fiscal year.
6) Continue to expand our insurance offerings in order to meet your needs. Recently, you received information concerning an improvement to the Disability Insurance offering and information concerning a new product, Accident Insurance. We are blessed to have a true advocate in Federal First whose goal is to bring you insurance offerings that meet your needs. They are in the beginning stages of investigating critical care insurance – something you let us know you were interested in.
7) Improve our website. A few years ago we improved the look of our website but now it’s time to update the information on the website, keep it current, and expand the information provided. We are forming a Website Committee and hope many of you will be interested in serving.
I hope these resolutions will entice you to continue your membership in this outstanding organization and that you will encourage your co-workers to join. It truly is an organization focused on your professional needs and development. NCBC is the only independent voice of the Bankruptcy Courts and it needs your membership and input. I believe working together we can achieve great things and better serve our membership and each other. I look forward to seeing you at this year’s conference, receiving your input, and getting you involved. Please feel free to email me or any member of the Board with your ideas. Happy New Year to all!