April 30, 2016
President's Message
Current Board of Directors
SFBA Member Spotlight: Mike Haven
Chapter Leader Spotlight: Jeremy Livianu
Preventing Workplace Violence by Examining Trauma and the NFL
Calendar of Events

President's Message

By Darcy Manning, COO & General Counsel, DHC USA Incorporated

Better late than never! The dust has settled on a jam-packed end to 2015 for our Chapter and a busy Q1 of 2016.  During the last two months of 2015, our Chapter calendar was filled with programs.  It seems like new legal challenges and issues develop quicker than the newest hipster trend. And, it has not slowed down for 2016. I was recently asked for a profile in the Daily Journal about our Chapter’s largest obstacle in reaching our goals for 2015.  My answer was time.  Our Chapter goals focus on three major areas:  (1) education; (2) networking and (3) pro bono opportunities.  With over 2900 members spread out over a large geographic region, finding enough days during the work week to hold events in all three focus areas is definitely a challenge.  We had close to 100 events in 2015.  Considering there are roughly only 240 workdays in a year, that is a pretty high ratio of events.  Our goal for 2016, keep it up in all three areas!   

On the educational front, I was also asked about how we were helping our members meet the challenges with cybersecurity, data breaches and compliance, and the answer was, you guessed it, programming.  On April 26 and 27, our Corporate & Securities Committee sponsored by Greenberg Traurig is hosting a special presentation on “Cybersecurity in the Boardroom.”  And, on June 17, we are holding our first ever all day event focused on Compliance. Before we get to that, we will help you get current on a variety of legal issues at our 10th Annual Spring Training:  Welcome to the Jungle on April 20, 2016, which also features a session on cybersecurity sponsored by Jordan Lawrence, “Lawyers Leading the Race to Cybersecurity:  How to Help Your Leadership Defend Attacks in 2016". 

With all of that programming, we can’t forget about the value of getting out, meeting our colleagues and having fun along the way.   For me, the first few of months of the year have been heavy on the networking side, which would have a shocked a younger me.  I remember being a “baby” attorney and the partner I worked with impressing upon me the importance of networking.  I also remember my dread of the entire concept.  While I am generally extroverted, the thought of going places where I knew virtually no one and making conversation all evening put a pit in my stomach.  I spent more time mapping out exit strategies than actually networking at the events. Fortunately, I had mentors and friends who pushed me to get out of my comfort zone.  They were connectors.  And, I am happy to say that, while begrudgingly, they turned me into a connector too!  I learned to enjoy the fun of it all and appreciate that many of the people in the room felt the same way as me, making them receptive to conversations and welcoming.  I recently read an article with tips and tricks for successful and fun networking.  The one tip that really stuck with me was to always arrive early to events.  Why?  Because starting a conversation is easier than breaking into one.  I only wish I had read that article years ago.  It would have saved me from the mistaken strategy of arriving late and awkwardly joining circles of people already chatting. It also reminded me to welcome a late comer and open up the circle when the roles are reversed.  We will have plenty of opportunities for you to practice your networking skills this year, so come early and enjoy! 

Lastly, we strive to make giving back easy with ample pro bono opportunities that work well with our busy schedules.  Fortunately, we have two fearless leaders of our Pro Bono Committee, Kevin Chung from Sony Playstation and Suk Lee from Electronic Arts.  It is not just our Chapter that recognizes the value they add to our Chapter and the community at large.  Kevin and Suk were just honored as Outstanding Volunteers by the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Justice & Diversity Center for the third year in a row!  And, One Justice named Suk a 2016 “Opening Doors to Justice” Honoree.  In addition to his work for our Chapter, Suk spearheaded EA’s pro bono efforts by engaging EA’s in-house legal department to participate in OneJustice’s Justice Bus Project, which brings vital legal help to Californians in need.  Congratulations to Suk and Kevin for all of their accomplishments and good works!