PERSONAL STATEMENT OF
ALEXANDER M. LEE
FOR NAPABA VICE PRESIDENT FOR FINANCE & DEVELOPMENT
My fellow NAPABA Members:
I respectfully submit this statement in seeking your support of my candidacy for NAPABA Vice President for Finance & Development for 2013 – 2014.
For the past two years, I have had the honor and the privilege of serving as your Vice President for Communications. I've immensely enjoyed working on the NAPABA Lawyer Newsletter with our Executive Director, Tina Matsuoka, and our invaluable Senior Programs Associate, Azizah Ahmad, as well as assisting in the lead of the design and transition to a new NAPABA website, to be launched this autumn in ramping up for our National Convention in Kansas City. The website project has been in the making for the last couple of years and as it wraps up, I'm looking forward to new challenges and further contributing to the leadership of the NAPABA Board.
Professionally, I am a solo practitioner in my hometown of Caldwell, New Jersey, primarily handling business and transactional matters, commercial and civil litigation, as well as wills, trusts and estates. I have also been involved with two startup companies, serving as General Counsel. From 2004 – 2009, I was the Public Defender for the Borough of Caldwell, and have served on various state and county commissions and committees. I am a proud member of two local NAPABA affiliates: the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey (APALANJ), having served as its President in 1999-2000, and on its various committees, including the Judicial/Political Appointments Committee the past two years; and the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY). On the national level, prior to my tenure as VP for Communications, I was a co-chair/chair of the NAPABA Solo/Small Firm Committee from 2000 – 2005. I am also the current President of the Taiwanese Association of America, New Jersey Chapter (TAA-NJ).
With respect to Finance & Development, I hereby pledge to follow in the footsteps of my predecessors. Individuals such as past NAPABA President Joseph Centeno, Marty Lorenzo, Linda Lu, and of course, our current VP for Finance & Development, Ekwan Rhow, have done an amazing job of stewardship of NAPABA's finances, often navigating uncertain economic times. My objectives are twofold:
First, I will work to continue NAPABA's steady, financial growth so as to help ensure its economic stability for the future. To that end, I promise to:
- Strengthen NAPABA's relationship with our current sponsors so that their decision to continue the relationship is an easy one – we must constantly strive to improve the "return" on their "investment" in our organization;
- Persuade past sponsors to return by reviewing and addressing why a sponsor has opted not to extend its relationship with NAPABA;
- Develop fresh sponsorship avenues, not only with traditional firms and companies, but by building relationships with sister professional associations so as to cross-promote the NAPABA brand and membership and thereby reach a larger target sponsorship audience;
- Creating a "sponsorship" committee by soliciting past NAPABA Presidents and VP's of Finance & Development to serve and thereby fully utilizing all of our fundraising experience; and
- Re-examining and being creative about our sponsorship levels and packages so as to appeal to a greater number of law firms and businesses.
Second, I will strive to assist with business development for our membership by helping the 66 affiliates and over 40,000 members NAPABA represents leverage and market their experience and skills. Recently, I've been exploring the idea of organizing trade shows and missions to Asia, meeting with local government agencies and holding legal seminars for overseas businesses and companies so as to create new platforms for our members and greater opportunities to showcase their talents and develop new client relationships. Our Vice President for Membership, Brad Yamauchi, and I have also begun looking into the development of a referral app for iPhone and Android smartphones so as to make it easier for one to find a fellow NAPABA member attorney that best suits one's need.
In May, I attended Lobby Day in Washington, D.C., and came away proud and amazed at how much NAPABA has grown, along with meeting new friends and colleagues from across the United States and Canada. A generation ago, older, more experienced NAPABA attorneys took the time to give me advice and help me with my career. I can think of no better way to "pay it forward" and continue the momentum of my prior service, experience, and belief in NAPABA, than to serve as your next Vice-President for Finance & Development. Thank you for your support.