A Message from the President
NCBC is very pleased with the favorable treatment of the Judiciary by Congress in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, signed by the President in January. It provided an overall 5.1 percent increase in funding for the Judiciary. After years of flat funding and suffering the effects of sequestration, it was a blessing to receive some positive budget news. Hopefully, the additional funding will allow courts to meet needs that might have otherwise been delayed.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who provided me with names of your contacts in Congress. The Legislative Committee of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, along with Ken Hirz and I, met with members of Congress on March 25 & 26 to thank them for their support of the Judiciary and to strengthen the relationships that have been established. The contacts that you provided, resulted in 6 of the 17 meetings.
It also appears that the increase in funding received by courts has allowed them to invest in staff training. Registration for the NCBC Conference in St. Louis opened on April 2 and already we have 340 attendees registered! Thanks to the Education Committee, chaired by Eddy Emmons (newly named Clerk of Court for CANB) on developing an agenda that provides training that is needed as we prepare for our future. The training for this year’s conference covers a wide variety of topics including technology and innovation, enhancing leadership, personal and court finance, retirement, customer service, communication, time management, human resources, safety and wellness, improving work environment, and personal enrichment. The agenda truly was a Committee effort and I want to recognize the members: Eddy Emmons (chair), Dana McWay and Donna Beyersdorfer (host courts’ clerks), Diana Durkee, Eileen Garrity, Kirsten Mahoney, Kris Botts, Rhonda Patterson, Richard Marshall, Yvonne Cheroke, Gary Streeting, Beth Pfister, Barry Lander, Donna Bard, Ann Iannarelli, Sandi Brask, and Joshua Wiker.
In addition to a great educational agenda, we will celebrate the 10-year partnership between NCBC and Michigan State University (MSU). With the 2014 Conference, we start a new five-year cycle of classes. MSU provides a great opportunity for you to continue your professional development through a non-credit bearing certificate, a graduate certificate, or a Master of Science Degree in Judicial Administration. If you haven’t signed up for this year’s Conference, there’s still time. Come join us in St. Louis!
Lee Ann Bennett