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01/29/2015 - President's Message

Dear SWFPA Members:


As many of you know, I have been on the board in various positions over the years, most recently as Treasurer.  Being elected President brings many exciting possibilities and responsibilities.  I am excited to begin and I have a wonderful group on the board this year with Malora, as our Treasurer, Geri, as our Vice President, Ellen, as our Secretary, and Val, some new blood joining us as NALA Liaison.  Mary Lou DiMaggio, as the Dinner Committee Chair, is hard at work lining up our speakers for this year that will hopefully pique your interest in the dinner meetings.  Karin Turner, as our Website Committee Chair, is working on updating our website, managing the job bank, and distributing communications to our membership. Our annual seminar was a great success last year.  Many thanks to all that made that happen, particularly Malora who was the seminar chair.  Let’s see if we can top our success in 2015.


In 2015, we hope to accomplish some goals that will benefit our local paralegals, but we will need member support to move forward. Part of the reason we join an association, at least for me, was not just for CLEs, but to network with others in the legal field.  Working in the same area, it is good to stay connected. One of our goals this year is to improve networking with our sister associations, Sarasota Manatee Association of Legal Support Specialists (SMALSS) and Suncoast Chapter of Paralegal Association of Florida (PAF – Suncoast), and we are starting the year by hosting a joint dinner meeting with SMALSS on February 18, 2015!  We have also been in contact with PAF – Suncoast regarding a possible joint meeting on April 15, 2015, and I will keep you updated on the details.  Our ultimate goal would be to coordinate joint CLE meetings between the three associations and utilize the resources of all to make continuing legal education easier and more beneficial for our local paralegals; however, we will start by hosting with both associations and hope to make this a regular occurrence every six months, alternating who hosts.


Another way to move forward in our profession is to network with our local Bar Associations.  We plan to contact the local bar presidents for Manatee County Bar Association and Sarasota County Bar Association for ideas on how we can become more involved .  I will keep you updated.


The best way to help benefit our profession is to get involved in issues that concern local paralegals.  I encourage you to join us and help paralegals stay informed, educated, and moving forward in the legal profession.  If you are interesting in helping with networking, seminar, or other events, have suggestions, comments, or even complaints, even if you don’t have time to work an event or chair a committee, please contact me or one of the Board members.  We are open to suggestions, and we want to hear from you!


This year let’s help our profession by improving our networking!


Thank you for entrusting us with the association.  We hope to make this another banner year.


Tammy Skonie

2015 SWFPA President