President’s Message



BCLMA President’s Report, by Leslie Green
Presented by Lorraine Burchynsky @ AGM March 1st, 2018

It is hard to believe another year has passed since Lorraine presented the last President’s report. It has been another productive year for the Board.

We would like to thank our 2017 Board members for their dedication and volunteer time over the past twelve months:

Cindy Hildebrandt
Elizabeth Jackson
Leslie Green
Leslie Morgan
Lorraine Burchynsky
Rob Walls
Yvette Whitson

As you know, three Board positions came vacant this year: Elizabeth Jackson ended her three-year term and ran for a second term. Both Cindy Hildebrandt and Leslie Morgan retired from the Board after each concluding two 3-year terms. On behalf of the Board and the members, we thank them both for their time, expertise and dedication to BCLMA.

A special thank you to Angela Zarowny for continuing to volunteer her time as our Treasurer. A special note of appreciation to Jane Kennedy, our Administrator, who is so wonderful to work with, does a great job organizing our events, is the go-to person for our subsection chairs, and acts as the Board’s right hand

We have four very active Committees:

  1. The Social Media Committee, led by Margaret Cividino of Miller Thomson, is continuing to do great work, keeping our members and business partners informed of Association goings-on through Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. They are currently busy promoting the 2018 Conference.
  2. The 2018 Conference Committee, chaired by Leslie Green, is only weeks away. The theme is Law Firms in Transition – Plan, Engage, Communicate. The venue has changed to the Convention Centre East in downtown Vancouver and we made a slight change to the date to April 19 – 20th to hopefully attract more of our finance members. I am happy to report we currently have 114 attendees registered. At the 2016 Conference, we had 102 delegates.
  3. The Topics Committee, headed by Sunita March, is doing an excellent job bringing us interesting articles and very informative issues. In the future, we are looking to change to a digital format.
  4. Nancy Sartene takes care of our Surveys Committee, which provides eight separate surveys to our firm members. It is clear this service adds value for our member firms as we continue to see an increase in participation in the surveys. In 2017, we added the small and medium-size firm Administrator Salary Survey in electronic format.


As you know, we have nine Subsections, each with a Chair and a Co-Chair. All subsections are working hard to coordinate interesting, informative and educational events for their members. The Learning & Development subsection (formerly Trainers) has become active again and the Technology subsection changed its name to the “IT Subsection” to better reflect the broad scope of its members’ work and interests.

We hosted two Association members’ events again this past year: the Summer Social in June at Bridges and our Winter Social at the Terminal City Club. Both gatherings were successful and provided a wonderful opportunity to network with fellow members and BCLMA business partners.

In May 2017, the BCLMA hosted a business partners’ appreciation bowling event at Commodore Lanes. It had been three years since we last hosted such an event and our business partners showed up in force to take advantage of this additional opportunity to interact with us.

Every two years, the Board participates in a “tri-meeting” with TLOMA and ALA. In 2017, Jane and Lorraine attended this meeting in Chicago. Our three organizations learn a great deal from each other regarding membership processes, professional development, business partners’ experiences, and many other aspects of our operations.

The Fall educational event was held on October 4th with Ellie Krug speaking on “Gray Thinking”. This event was lively and stimulating and helped those present to think in different terms about how to understand and celebrate the infinite variety of our own and others’ uniqueness, and to break down barriers so we can truly know the individual behind the label.

We were pleased to have Eric Seeger as our speaker at the Managing Partners’ luncheon in November. Eric spoke on “Law Firms in Transition, 2017 / Trends in the Profession,” based on Altman Weil’s 2017 Law Firms in Transition Survey. It was packed full of interesting insights and was well received by the attendees.

We continue to be financially healthy, which is a good place to be. This has enabled us to:

  • Maintain our membership fees at existing levels;
  • Eliminate the fee for affiliate members who sign-up for multiple subsections;
  • Attract high calibre speakers for our events;
  • Host a business partners’ event;
  • Sponsor a speaker event on Communication Styles at MJB Law in Kamloops for our interior members;
  • Utilize audio/visual aids for some of our educational events; and
  • Hire a facilitator to jump start us with our strategic plan.The extra financial reserves will also help us to bring our strategic plan to fruition.

This brings us to our Strategic Plan (refer to infographic handout)

Shortly after last year’s AGM, BCLMA embarked on a strategic planning process as a means of establishing our organizational direction for the future. The Board of Directors engaged a strategic planning facilitator to help navigate this process. She assisted us to both envision and articulate what the future could look like, and then helped us to develop a sound strategy for BCLMA’s continued success.

The process was both fulsome and collaborative. It included an environmental review: analyzing our Member Value Survey, and interviewing our subsection chairs and business partners. Following which, we identified our strengths and areas of opportunities. The Board then spent a day and a half developing a three-year plan for BCLMA. The process has been demanding, and exhilarating, all at the same time. We are proud of the results and we hope you are, too. It is important to us that our members feel the strategic plan reflects the direction you want for BCLMA.

We now have a vision and a mission statement that more accurately reflect our future goals.

Our Vision:                Elevating leaders in the business of law.
Our Mission:             An educational networking community providing thought leadership and                    opportunities for information exchange.

We have identified four strategic themes, each with specific goals.  These goals will enhance what we are already doing and will help the board focus on future priorities.

1.              Embracing Technology

Introduce a new online platform that will offer our membership a range of online services and educational opportunities. This platform will be membership-focused and offer a province‑wide community of knowledge-sharing, including both live streaming and archived video of select presentations.

2.              Offering Quality Education

            Develop, implement and evaluate curriculum-based educational programming.
Provide a set schedule of educational programming designed for subsections, which would assist our Chairs, especially new Chairs.

3.              Marketing for Growth

Increase awareness of BCLMA’s value to current and new members. Target and engage new regions around the province. 

4.              Enhancing the Organizational Foundation

Strengthen our leadership and governance team to advance the organization.
Our strategic plan is both ambitious and achievable. We are excited about the possibilities and opportunities that it presents. It is a living document, and one that we will use to guide our efforts and evaluate our success.

Your Board is committed to helping our members achieve the highest level of professionalism in law firm administration. We believe that this aim can be fulfilled by focusing on our strategic objectives over the next 3 years.
As a final note, we would like to thank all members who put their name forward for the three vacant director positions for 2018. We are truly fortunate to have so many members ready, willing and able to step forward and participate in the operations of the BCLMA. The results of the election are:

  • Elizabeth Jackson is elected to a second term
  • Margaret Cividino and Lisa Rennie are each elected for three-year terms

The Board of Directors for 2018 will consist of:

Leslie Green, President
Lorraine Burchynsky, Past President
Rob Walls, Business Partner Liaison
Yvette Whitson, Secretary
Elizabeth Jackson
Margaret Cividino
Lisa Rennie

There are many ways you can contribute to the success of the BCLMA. We encourage you to volunteer for one of our four Committees, put your name forward for a chair or co-chair position in a subsection, or run for a seat on the Board of Directors in the 2019 election. The BCLMA is made stronger by the active participation of its members.

We look forward to seeing you all at our many other functions over the coming year.

Leslie Green
BCLMA President
DuMoulin Black LLP