Vol. 27, No. 6
CBA President's Message to Members
Some Well-Deserved Thanks and a Few Random Thoughts
by Rebecca Koppes Conway
Rebecca A. Koppes Conway and daughters Kathrine and Kelley.
To state the obvious -- loved ones make a great deal of difference in how one's term as Bar Association president (and life) proceeds. This must be a thank you to my daughters Kelley, 16, Kathrine, 12;1 and to my husband, Sean Conway. So to them, my appreciation.
Sean felt he was returning a courtesy extended by me toward him during times his work required my appearance. Monday through Friday, he works in Washington, D.C. as the press secretary for Sen. Wayne Allard.2 He would literally get off a plane and join me at events. I did not expect him to do so, but I never heard one complaint. I can't thank him enough. It truly helped make this experience even more enjoyable.
Of course, the true answer to questions voiced as to my practice is an absolutely marvelous staff. I just hope I can be as gracious when called upon to do most of the work and get none of the credit. My thanks most of all to Brenda Roth and the others: Pat Veltri, Cheryl Gallegos, Katie Veltri, Bill Garcia and Richard Martinez. Thanks to them (and modern technology), I still made a living this past year.
Thanks to a bar association staff that keeps presidents and assorted other volunteers "between the lines." Those of us who have been presidents know that we can be a challenge.
More important, Chuck Turner, Greg Martin, Diane Hartman, Mike Valdez, and Dana Vocate always have my gratitude for making me look good or, at least, a little less silly.
The whole staff makes our bar association look good. I sat in many meetings with members of other bar associations and said to myself as suggestions for activities came up-"We've done that. We are doing that. We are way ahead of the curve." Hats off to a great group of people who serve on our staff.
And I would be remiss here if I did not make a point to mention all of the accommodations granted by opposing counsel when my scheduling conflicts created havoc with their needs.
Of course, I am sure that Tom deMarino, the DBA president and sometimes opposing counsel, and a great defense lawyer, will have to brag about this. Just ask Tom to brag about getting off a stage,too.
I have travelled around the state of Colorado and across the nation for CBA-related events. This sometimes required me to fly-indeed, over 20,000 miles.3 I am terrified when I fly.
I trusted numerous unknown people to keep the plane out of harm's way. I wonder if this is the way our clients feel when they come to the legal system. And I wonder if, when those clients come, they are like I am when I fly-terrified, praying, hoping, and trusting unknown people to do it right.
I found a lot of heroes in the justice system. Attorneys who do their work day-to-day in a professional, courteous manner, without any requests for recognition. Others go to foreign countries to teach how to set up a system like ours that still works after 200+ years. My personal thanks to each and every one of you who make all of us look good.
The San Luis Bar Association wanted a lot of time to visit with me. No "drive by visits" for them. Now I know why. They served punchbowl after punchbowl of margaritas. No one could drive after that. It was one of the many visits where I got a chance to see old friends and make new ones.
After visits to all the bar associations, I must report that I did not eat chicken much. Meals were consumable, dessert followed, and I gained a few pounds. I know that I did not do much cooking myself in the last two years (or much housework) and so I have no complaints. After not using my kitchen for two years, we are remodeling it. Go figure!
My predecessors, Phil Figa and Miles Cortez, were great teachers for the position as Bar president. Both are gentlemen and extremely fine lawyers. I hope I can get as smart and wise as they are.
My successor, Ben Aisenberg, is of this same great quality, as is his successor, Bart Mendenhall. We have great resources in all of these lawyers. My best wishes for success.
The opportunity to serve as your president of the Colorado Bar Association has been one in which your trust was extended. I hope that I have kept that trust. Thanks to all of you.
1. Kelley and Kathrine hated the last picture of them published in The Colorado Lawyer in July 1997. I promised something better this time.
2. I have my suspicions that he is reciprocating, not for the political/work events, but rather for the fact that we have season tickets to the Broncos, Rockies, and Air Force Academy football.
3. This does not include other miles for family vacations and business trips.
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