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PERSONAL STATEMENT OF
MICHAEL D. YIM
FOR NAPABA VICE PRESIDENT FOR PROGRAMS & OPERATIONS

I consider myself a truly "homegrown" member of NAPABA. Having attended my first NAPABA convention 10 years ago as a law student, I have since been able to grow as an attorney and community leader due largely to the mentorship and guidance of many NAPABA members. I truly love NAPABA as an organization and the many friends I have met through my involvement. It would be an honor to serve NAPABA as an officer and further contribute to its success.

For the past three years, I have served as a chair of the Solo & Small Firm Committee. In this role, I have been able to raise the profile of the APA small firm community within NAPABA by conceiving and implementing good ideas, such as the successful lobbying for more panel and event programming at the national conventions. In addition, the first ever APA Owned Law Firm of the Year Award was an idea that I originated and was implemented through my efforts. It will continue to be an annual award, which recognizes a significant population and group within NAPABA. The successful execution of these initiatives was driven by my efforts to reach out to different constituency group leaders in order to build new working relationships.

I believe that my experience and track record as a committee chair would make me an ideal candidate for the position of Vice President of Program and Operations. Through my role as a committee chair, I have gained an intimate understanding of NAPABA's programming and operations activities through my involvement on the ground in developing programming.  This experience and perspective have equipped me not only to capitalize on the strength of NAPABA's existing programs, but also to launch innovative new initiatives for the benefit of its membership.

My main goal for NAPABA is to address and bridge the gaps between the rapidly growing and professionally diverse segments of NAPABA's community. NAPABA's main challenge is a product of its success. More attorneys from broader professional and geographic backgrounds are becoming active members of NAPABA. Despite this, I believe that NAPABA can still maintain connectivity and intimacy between members by focusing on two major sections of NAPABA's strategic plan: strengthening engagement and elevating emerging leaders.

First, I would work to strengthen committee involvement and activities by developing more resources and programs to assist the committee chairs. I would develop a single manual to be a guide for committee chairs, memorialize protocol and set expectations. I would also organize short workshop retreats for all committee chairs, the Board and staff to meet each other and coordinate program planning. These meetings would initially be held at the annual convention. Once established, I intend to hold separate mid-year meetings to facilitate greater engagement and commitment.

Second, I would encourage and place more emphasis on grooming, marketing and identifying emerging leaders through current programs. I plan on maintaining a running database of attorneys that demonstrate leadership qualities and a potential to contribute to NAPABA. In addition to making a personal effort to contact and develop a personal relationship with each rising star, I will also promote them to other NAPABA leaders. In particular, I will institute the acknowledgement of the contributions of our new emerging leaders as a routine item at every board meeting.

In addition to the strategic plan, I would seek to expand NAPABA's geographic reach into Asia.  Through my participation in international bar associations, I have come across a great deal of eagerness from attorneys based in Asia to meet with North American attorneys in order to exchange ideas, explore opportunities and experience different cultures.  I believe NAPABA members would be the ideal ambassadors in the fastest growing legal communities abroad.

Finally, I believe that I can contribute NAPABA's overall mission because of my experience serving the nonprofit community at a management/big-picture level. Presently, I am a board member of the Korean American Family Service Center ("KAFSC") in New York City. KAFSC serves victims of domestic violence, at-risk youth and families, and other in-need constituents. I help oversee an operating budget of over one million dollars, nearly 20 employees on staff, and service to thousands of constituents served over a year.  I recently served as the Benefit Committee Chair for our fundraising gala that raised nearly half a million dollars with over 800 attendees.

I would be honored for your support for my campaign for election as the VP of Programs and Operations.  I hope that I can count on you to support my candidacy.


 

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