The Future Is Now
 
The boards of directors of well-governed not for profit organizations spend more of their time acting strategically than they do tactically or reactively. To do so, they need to adopt and follow a strategic plan, which is a long term blueprint, subject to regular review, that keeps them moving forward and prevents the zigzagging in setting priorities that may otherwise naturally occur in organizations that change administrations on an annual basis, as does ours.
Our bar association has been fortunate this year to have had a hard-working, highly professional Strategic Planning Committee, chair - ed by Past President Susan Katz Richman, for whose efforts I am extremely grateful. They focused on certain areas of our operations and have produced a thoughtful, detailed report, which in cludes the following recommendations:

General

Upgrade means of electronic/technological communications to current and prospective NCBA members.
Increase NCBA board members' substantive knowledge of all four (4) NCBA corporations, by improved use of monthly board meeting segments to impart information requisite to fulfillment of their fiduciary duties.
Increase utilization of NCBA committees and their expertise in decision-making processes of the Executive Commit - tee and Board of Directors.
Investigate possibility of Domus "going green" and potential for landmark or other protected status.
 
Membership

annually with NCBA members' works, should be considered.
An updated website and social media should be utilized extensively to inform NCBA members of their benefits, of which many are unaware.
Consideration should also be given to changing the name of the Young Lawyers Committee to "New and Young Lawyers Committee."
New members should be recruited from large law firms as well as the District Attorney's Office, the Legal Aid Society, the Courts and Municipalities, by establishing specialized committees for them.
The NCBA should explore possible dual "membership" with the State or American Bar Association(s).
 
Domus

A formal evacuation plan for NCBA staff, members and others present at Domus in case of fire or other emergency should be immediately implemented, with planned periodic drills conducted on a regular basis.
The roof should be replaced as soon as possible, as should any windows that are not able to be immediately repaired.
A legally-compliant storage shed should be obtained. The building reserve fund should be maintained in a separate account.
A backup generator should be investigated, obtained and maintained.
Renewable energy sources (solar panels) should be explored and installed where possible if appropriate.
 
Technology

The NCBA should have a technology plan focusing only on a 2-5 year period that is frequently reviewed and adjusted.
Opportunities for "virtual" attendance at NCBA Committee meetings, seminars and events should proliferate, while "inperson" participation at Domus continues to be encouraged.
The NCBA should hire an IT job-specific employee, whose sole responsibility would be the technological needs of the Association and its members.
The NCBA website should be reconfigured to make it "user-friendly" and better able to serve the needs of the Association's members and the public.
Blogs should be considered for interactive discussions among NCBA members concerning technology and other topics.
The Association's technological re - sources should be liberated from Domus, via off-premises data storage and remote operation.
The NCBA "Tech Center" should be converted into a "smart" meeting or a "smart" board room.
The Nassau Academy of Law should make greater utilization of technology in all of its programs, particularly a DVD "check-out" system similar to "Net Flix," to generate greater use by members and to increase revenue.
 
Assigned Counsel Defender Plan

The NCBA should examine, document and seek reimbursement for any use of NCBA-compensated employees by the ACDP.
Clarify contractual provision to clearly indicate that 18B panelists are neither officers, directors, employees, servants, agents or independent contractors of the ACDP.
Lag time between submission of vouchers to County by the ACDP and when panelists are paid should be addressed with the County, possibly by streamlining the process.
Modify the certification form currently signed by ACDP panelists to clearly state that neither the ACDP nor the NCBA are responsible for paying and/or reimbursing panelists, who must look solely to the County for such payment.
Modify the certification form for 18B panelists to include an attestation the they remain an attorney in good standing, licensed by and registered in, the State of New York and have completed all CLE courses requisite thereto.
Require that said certification forms be filed annually by panelists, and that the 18B Administrator monitor and retain such filings.
 
Revenue Base

The Financial Oversight Committee should be and remain active, reporting to the NCBA Board of Directors three (3) times a year (September, January and May).
The recently-established Sponsorship Committee should coordinate the "fundraising" efforts of the various NCBA entities, to avoid confusion and organize solicitation in order to generate more revenue.
Permanent funding must be obtained for LAP.
The NCBA should at least consider raising its dues or establishing a "schedule" of membership rates, which includes a discounted, "limited rights" membership for government employees and small/solo practitioners, and an "associate" membership with "limited" benefits for paralegal and/or non-attorney tax assessment reduction workers.

The committee's recommendations will be considered for adoption as a Strategic Plan by our board of directors at our April meeting. If approved, the plan will then be referred to Executive Director Keith Soressi, with direction that he propose to the board the process, stages and timetable for its implementation.
 


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