Leadership Exchange - Spring 2017 - 6

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE: ASPIRE TO INSPIRE

"IF YOUR ACTIONS INSPIRE OTHERS TO
DREAM MORE, LEARN MORE, DO MORE
AND BECOME MORE, YOU ARE A LEADER."
- JOHN QUINCY ADAMS
It's my honor to serve as President of GLA ALA for its
45th anniversary year themed "45 Years of Leadership."
I aspire to inspire as others have inspired me over more
than 25 years in ALA, both in the Orange County and
Greater Los Angeles chapters. I owe a debt of gratitude
to ALA and its members from who I've learned
everything I know about managing the business of
law, serving on a non-profit's board of directors and
volunteering for community service projects.
In the very early days of my ALA membership, I feared
I couldn't afford to take time away from the office to
attend chapter meetings let alone serve on the board
and volunteer my time at night or on weekends. I
was consumed by the responsibility of being a single
parent, care-taking my terminally ill twin brother and
working the most difficult jobs to earn the highest
possible wages just to make ends meet in the best
school district in the county.
It wasn't my idea to join ALA, it was my Managing
Partner at the time who referred me to an Administrator
of a colleague's firm who he knew-without-knowing
could solve whatever problem our small firm was
having. Even though I had come from a management
role in a very large branch office of a top 10
International law firm, he knew I needed to know how
to transition those skills to a smaller environment and
learn some new skills too, pronto. I of course didn't
know what I didn't know, but picked up the telephone
and called Judy Finnegan, CLM anyway.
"The first thing you have to do is join ALA, then join OCALA" Judy said, so I did. Looking back to those fateful
days in 1991, I hope Judy and her colleagues in the
OC ALA could tell I was like a sponge when it comes
to absorbing information and learning from peers (my
domain "knowitalls.org" started off as just an ironic joke
of a blank website). At the OC chapter's annual holiday

6

GLA ALA Leadership Exchange I Spring 2017

Chapter President 2017-2018
Carolyn Smallwood, CLM

Virtual CFO
knowitalls.org
carolyn.smallwood.clm@gmail.com
(424) 645-9117

lunch a couple of years later, I remember Sharon Owen
saying that she hadn't seen me at a meeting in a while
and when I rattled off my standard excuse about not
being able to afford to take time away from the office,
etc., ad nauseum. Sharon reminded me how important
networking with peers and continuing education really
is in order to stay competent, relevant and employed:
"you can't afford NOT to go to chapter meetings!"
Sharon was right, but it took over 15 years before I
actually acted on that sage advice, invested in my
own professional development and "paid forward" by
becoming an engaged, participating GLA ALA member
and volunteer. My sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU's
go out to my homies in the Orange County chapter
for their patience and for inspiring me with their
outstanding educational programs, business partner
relationships and service to the community; especially
to Marilyn Hodges for being the first to teach me
"they're not vendors, they're BUSINESS PARTNERS;"
and to Beverly Stevenson for teaching me to better
deal with angry resentment ("sometimes people just
need to be heard").
The times we live in now are stressful enough; GLA
ALA can be relied on year-after-year as the local legal
leaders' connection to education, resources and
networking. That won't change this year even with
an unconventional innovator like me at the helm. The
success of our chapter is due to the feedback from
our members, the hard work of our volunteer board of
directors and the generosity of our Business Partners.
I'm happy to serve and help our President Elect, Ken
Sweet, prepare to take over next year. As I told our
board during its crossover meeting in March, "your job
is to hire your replacement." My job is already done! n
Carolyn Smallwood, CLM, is President of GLA ALA and
a virtual CFO via www.knowitalls.org


http://www.knowitalls.org http://www.knowitalls.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Leadership Exchange - Spring 2017

Table of Contents
Leadership Exchange - Spring 2017 - Cover1
Leadership Exchange - Spring 2017 - Cover2
Leadership Exchange - Spring 2017 - 3
Leadership Exchange - Spring 2017 - 4
Leadership Exchange - Spring 2017 - Table of Contents
Leadership Exchange - Spring 2017 - 6
Leadership Exchange - Spring 2017 - 7
Leadership Exchange - Spring 2017 - 8
Leadership Exchange - Spring 2017 - 9
Leadership Exchange - Spring 2017 - 10
Leadership Exchange - Spring 2017 - 11
Leadership Exchange - Spring 2017 - 12
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Leadership Exchange - Spring 2017 - 18
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Leadership Exchange - Spring 2017 - 21
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Leadership Exchange - Spring 2017 - 64
Leadership Exchange - Spring 2017 - Cover4
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