On June 13th, Julie Armstrong celebrated her 20-year anniversary with the IndyBar. It has been a remarkable 20 years with huge growth and an enhanced professionalism. In this column, I was going to write about all of the great things Julie has done, but that job was handled for me.
On June 10, the Past Presidents of the IBA and IBF gathered to help Julie celebrate. In honor of the occasion, Nancy Gargula solicited input from all, and then crafted a wonderful tribute (right) to Julie and presented it to her that evening. I would like to share it with you. Whoever said that lawyers are not creative individuals never met Nancy. I hope you enjoy it, and the next time you see Julie, please tell her thanks for making our Bar one of the best in the country!
“Ode to Our Jewel’’
It’s hard to believe that two decades have passed
Since our “jewel” of a Director joined the IBA/IBF cast,
And you, Julie, joined our team,
Your insights, energy and enthusiasm were a dream!
The incredible 20 years since have certainly gone by fast.
So on this occasion of your landmark tenure,
As our beloved IBA/IBF Executive Director,
We wanted to share with you,
Our fond memories of all you do,
As our leader, friend and IBA/IBF pillar.
You’ve been known for your information ways,
“Can I just tell you?” was an often heard phrase,
And “Ask A Lawyer” was revived,
The Monthly Meetings came alive.
And the IBA course helped future lawyers through the Bar Review maze.
The IBF also entered a new era during this time.
With non-past Presidents of the IBA who were in their prime.
In leadership positions and at the helm,
And “Under the Stars” in the fund-raising realm,
With IBF visibility continuing its annual upward climb.
We fondly remember your patience and organizational skills,
Especially with the budget and competing funding bills.
Some of us (Gary) tried to break the bank,
And others of us muddled through the numbers, to be perfectly frank.
The “Butler Snow” account discussions always brought lots of laughs and thrills!
You got to know many of us well along the way,
Especially during our IBA President “charm school” stays,
Many evenings were spent playing “lounge games,”
Like Euchre, Balderdash, and trying to remember everyone’s names,
Not to mention midget-dancing, piano bars and murder-mystery plays.
And speaking of charm school immediately brings to mind,
The many “charming” events you’ve hosted, you’re one of a kind!
Strategic Planning sessions and the annual Board retreats,
The Bar Leader Series and various fund-raising feats,
And the Past Presidents Dinner - of course, our favorite time to dine!
We’d be remiss if we also didn’t mention,
The Bench Bar Conferences to which you’ve given your attention!
And those whose legacies we’ve praised,
With awards and scholarships raised,
Like the honorable Judge Buchanan and Neil Shook intentions.
There’s also been a personal change or two,
From Soccer Mom to Baseball Mom as Brady joined your crew.
But your juggling skills never waned,
The Association and home fronts were always sustained,
For your dedication and tireless efforts we say Thank You!
You’re always professional, strategic and quite frank,
“At the end of the day, where does it get us?” we could take to the bank.
Despite comments, “It’s like herding cats,”
You always made sure we were on the right path,
And you excelled, Julie, at picking the brains of our think tank!
We’ve been blessed to have your leadership all these years,
To our “Persuasively Gentle Nudger” we all say “Cheers!”
You’re the “Donald Davidson” of the IBA,
IBF’s historian and trivia master of the day,
As our IBA/IBF ambassador you stand out among your bar association peers.
We all cherish the years we got to work closely with you,
And your approach of “working for all of you,”
You are fun and innovative,
Diplomatic, kind and creative.
A one-of-a-kind Executive Director through and through.
So as we celebrate your 20 years of dedicated service,
We wanted to say “Congratulations” and don’t be nervous!
Tonight is all about you,
And your incredible leadership and view,
With inspiration, passion and vision you have expertly served us.
CONGRATULATIONS! GREAT JOB! WE’RE INDEBTED TO YOU!
MANY, MANY THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO.
The IBA/IBF Past Presidents
(With the assistance of your favorite Past President named Nancy)