The Advantage of Experience

  • December 01, 2018
  • Caroline Nevin

A revitalized CBA for the times

When we are young, everything catches our eye and we dive deeply in to many different ideas, projects, goals and dreams. We accomplish some terrific things, and see no limit to what is possible. Confidence propels us, and we really don’t know what we don’t know. Nothing stops us from forging ahead with what we imagine to be unlimited energy and resources.

As time goes by, we start to realize that some things in life are more important to us, and that there is wisdom in investing in those things that really do deserve our time and are most likely to serve our goals. We recognize that time and energy both have limits, and that to be truly effective we have to ration and prioritize how we use them.

CBA has evolved dramatically over the 11 years I’ve served as Executive Director. Today’s CBA is wiser by far, and has learned to prioritize the ideas, projects, services and fees that members say best meet their goals. Bureaucracy and governance costs have been cut, more funds are directed to local branches, PD opportunities have been opened-up to members nation-wide, and the cost of membership has been significantly reduced (by $100 in BC). Here at home, we removed BC Section enrollment fees and include access to all 75 Sections and Forums with CBA membership.

What is perhaps less visible is the shift in culture: decisions are made more quickly, member input in those decisions is more direct, and the membership is surveyed quarterly to ensure that your views and needs are front and center in everything we do. Many staff across the country now work in functional virtual teams to develop the best products and services for all members, regardless of where you live.

I am very proud to have had the opportunity to serve BC members through this exciting time of change. It has been a privilege to have met, emailed and talked with so many of you. This is one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs in the world, and I have gained so much from being here. But now it is time for someone else to take the helm, and lead the organization into an even brighter future. With both the CBA and me entering a whole new phase of life, it seems the exact right time to leave.

As of January 7th, I will become the CEO of Courthouse Libraries BC (“CLBC”). I will bring all of the experience and wisdom I have gained from my years with the CBA to my new role. The terrific staff team at CLBC work every day to improve access to justice by connecting lawyers and the public with the legal information and knowledge they need. It is a broad scope and an inspiring mandate that really “speaks” to me. I am delighted to have this opportunity to contribute.

As I leave, I am overwhelmed with how many people I have to thank. 1997’s ED, Barry Cavanaugh, who first hired me to his team. Frank Kraemer, QC, who mentored me and bolstered my confidence that an MBA and communications expertise was what the organization needed in a 2007 leader, not a lawyer. The 21 presidents and executive committees I served, all of which gave me their trust and allowed me to innovate and take risks. The justice system partners who were great collaborators and supports throughout my time here. The amazing, ever-resilient National Management Team. And, of course, our own extraordinary Branch staff who always made me believe that anything we did together was going to succeed – and it did! I feel very blessed to have known you all. Thank you.

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Caroline Nevin
cnevin@cbabc.org