2022-2023 President's Outgoing Message
Amy P. De Shong
As I finish out my year as Chapter President, I am very pleased to report that the Chapter launched and then maintained all the initiatives that we planned when I took office last July. How did we do that? By building upon the wisdom and hard work of the leaders who came before us.
The Chapter website is fully established, built out, and active. ECG, our Chapter Administrator, is fully integrated with our operations, enabling the Chapter to produce four innovative and sophisticated educational webinars and two in-person seminars. Our Fellows continued to make personal and business development connections with one another and with our sponsors, as we held our in-person business meetings in January and July. A smaller group of Fellows met in May for the annual retreat.
We welcomed two new Fellows to the Chapter roster, one of whom is already co-teaching a national AAML training program in family law arbitration. We added four new sponsors to our Chapter’s corporate network, increasing sponsor revenue four-fold and bringing additional business development and learning opportunities to our Fellows. We continued to partner with the Family Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, where our Fellows serve as Section Chair and in other leadership positions.
Perhaps most important, however, is that the Chapter continued to lead in the drafting and development of the law, specifically family laws that more fully serve the ever-evolving needs of the children and families in our Commonwealth. We did so in the judicial forum and in the legislative arena. Through the efforts of two of our Chapter Fellows, who worked relentlessly for passage over the course of several years, the Family Law Arbitration Act was recently signed into law. The Chapter provided targeted guidance to the General Assembly on its pending legislation to prevent child abuse, a cutting-edge set of standards for judges to apply when hearing child custody cases. In the influential role of Friend of the Court, our Amicus Committee has submitted a brief and plans to argue to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court a case involving the legal rights of families who conceive their child through assisted reproductive technology (“ART”).
As I turn the controls of this rocket ship over to incoming President Kerri Capella and her crew of officers, I see an even brighter future for the Pennsylvania Chapter. I return to the ranks of the enlisted.