When eating a fruit, think of the person who planted the tree.
It is with both thankfulness and fear that I pen our message of thanks to Mary-Margaret Zindren,our
intrepid executive director for the past 4 years who left us at the end
of June to serve as the executive vice president of the American
Institute of Architects Minnesota (AIA Minnesota). While she leaves our
association healthy, tightly focused on member value, and well
positioned for the future, she is still gone and I will miss her as I
take on the presidency of the Hennepin County Bar Association.
The past-president of the association, Eric Cooperstein, expressed high
praise for Mary-Margaret and her work with us: "Mary-Margaret has had a
transformative effect on our bar association. She met every challenge
with energy, creativity, and insight. She personally modeled the
connections and community that are vital to an association.
Mary-Margaret has been the best executive director with whom I have had
the privilege of working.”
When Mary-Margaret joined us as executive director she brought to our
association a fresh perspective and an infectious spirit of innovation. Mary-Margaret came to us not as a lawyer but as a nonprofit management
professional with deep and important association management knowledge
and experience. Never daunted by the "specialness” of our profession and
the lawyers who populate it, Mary-Margaret rolled up her sleeves and
guided both our association and the volunteer leadership of the Hennepin
County Bar Foundation’s (the executive director of the association is
also the executive directors of the foundation) volunteer leadership
through what Cooperstein aptly describes as a transformative process.
And I speak for all of us when I say this metamorphosis, while
necessary, was at times difficult as well as personally and
More than just being a force for change, however, Mary-Margaret led our
association with a remarkable level of professionalism, kindness and
grace. She demonstrated for all us how to manage and lead an
organization through changing times; she took on the tough tasks and
carried them out masterfully. Probably most importantly for our
association and the foundation, Mary-Margaret served us ably as
executive director while instituting in all volunteer leaders a renewed
respect for nonprofit governance. This level of governance excellence
now permeates our organization.
Marcel Proust said: "Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” While
Mary-Margaret leaves an important legacy at the HCBA, she also
transitions to a new position with all us happier to have worked with
her. Mary-Margaret has planted and tended a pliant yet sturdy tree that
will bear fruit for our members for many years to come. She leaves us
better than she found us, and for that I am thankful. On behalf of all
of the members of the HCBA, I thank Mary-Margaret for her service to the
HCBA and wish her well on her future endeavors.
I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks...
—William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Act III, Scene 3
At the end of June, Joy Hamilton, long-time membership
director of the Hennepin County Bar Association, retired. On behalf of
all of the HCBA members, I would like to express appreciation to Joy for
over 20 years of service.
Joy served as more than just the association’s membership director.
Over the years she has raised over one and a half million dollars for
the Hennepin County Bar Foundation, the association’s charitable arm.
These contributions have allowed the foundation to fund at a substantial
level the amazing work of the association’s pro bono arm, Volunteer
Lawyers Network, as well as newer organizations like Call for Justice.
Joy’s contributions to our association have been both personal and
professional. It goes without saying that Joy has given of her time and
talent ably. Much of what we do as an association reflects Joy’s
gracious smile and exacting attention to detail. But most importantly,
throughout her years of service, Joy has engaged all of us with warmth
and gentleness. While these attributes may sound "fuzzy,” for me and for
many of us in the legal profession, Joy’s embodiment of civility and
calm has served to temper the edges of an adversarial business.
The power and impact of Joy’s contributions to our association are best expressed in the words of others.
Vince Louwagie, newly elected treasurer of the board of directors of the
foundation, commented that Joy "was always respectful of my time, but
relentless about getting the job done. She seems to know almost every
lawyer in town, and each of them gives her the time and attention she
needs to convince them to make a contribution.”
Roshan Rajkumar, long time chair of the planning committee for the
foundation’s Charity Golf Classic commented that "Joy always found ways
to get members involved. When I mentioned to her that I loved golf, she
recruited me to "help out” with the Charity Golf Classic, and before you
know it—eight years and counting—I have been the committee chair. But
really, behind the scenes, Joy made that event shine. She twisted arms
to get sponsors, donors, and attendees, and in the end, every time, the
Charity Golf Classic raises money for the HCBF, and helps build
connections for all who attend. I will miss Joy, as she has been my
HCBA mother since I joined in 2001. She has always cared about the HCBA,
its members, and me. I think we are all better for having had Joy
touch our lives.”
Thank you, Joy, for all that you have done to make our association a
wonderful place to connect and engage all of our members. You gifted us
with your talent and dedication for 20+ years and we are better for
that gift. Enjoy retirement and know that you have touched many of us
personally and professionally.
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