With the 91st Annual FCCA Conference quickly approaching, I would like to extend my thanks to the many Clerks who have showed an interest in attending this year’s conference and encouraging their staff members to attend. It is through the support of the local courts, along with the staff at the Federal Judicial Center and the AO, that the FCCA is able to accomplish its mission of providing excellent educational opportunities for all members.
Over the last decade, Michigan State University has partnered with FCCA to offer both a certificate program and a Master of Science in Judicial Administration to our membership. We are disappointed to see the program come to an end this summer but want to acknowledge the 90 FCCA members who have been able to complete the Judicial Administration program since the program’s inception in 2004. On the last day of this year’s annual conference, we will hold a graduation ceremony for the final group of graduating members. We wish to extend our thanks to Dr. Maureen Conner and Catharine White of MSU, and FCCA members Joe Haas, Terry Nafisi, Mike Palus, and Libby Smith, who have been instrumental in supporting this program.
I am happy to announce that we will have the support of the Administrative Office at this year’s conference again, with Deputy Director LeeAnn Bennett and other key AO staff members in attendance. We also have the full support of both the District and Bankruptcy Courts of the Middle District of Florida. In addition to the educational breakout sessions, we have scheduled a keynote speaker each morning of the conference. We are confident that you will find these sessions and speakers to be pertinent, informative, and entertaining.
In an effort to embrace technology, I am happy to report that this year we will be utilizing a conference App that is accessible via your mobile device. We encourage members to use this new and improved tool to view the agenda, presenters, and materials, as well as to register for their classes. Attendees will be able to network with colleagues from other courts via the Community Board, which allows individuals to create and participate in conversations and schedule social activities. Attendees who have the app downloaded on their mobile device will receive instant notifications of any agenda changes or important announcements.
My time as President will come to an end at the conclusion of this year’s conference. It has been my pleasure to serve in this capacity for the last two years. During my tenure, our country has experienced several natural disasters that have directly impacted our Court family. I am so proud to have witnessed our membership rise to the occasion each time to assist those in need. As I pass the reigns to our next President, Karen Mitchell, I am confident that the leadership of our organization is in very capable hands. I have enjoyed my time serving the organization and look forward to meeting many more of you in Florida this summer!