President's Message (The Finance Issue)
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
October...Halloween...Fall…The ubiquitous pumpkin spice…....It’s also time for year-end projections and putting together next year’s budget. This issue of The Administrator’s Advantage is focused on finance – perfect timing!
We are already halfway through another ALA year. We have accomplished so much: elevated educational programs, a revamped website, our first Small/Mid-Sized Office Business Partner Fair, our annual Real Estate Tour, a Suburban Chapter Member Education and Networking event, the Biennial Conference at the Kimpton Gray, our CLM Study Group program, and opportunities for connections at our networking events. We have more opportunities to take advantage of the rest of the year as well – stay tuned to the ALA Chicago website and our weekly News You Can Use email so you can plan ahead to participate!
Speaking of budgeting, our chapter's robust budget enables us to offer tremendous value for our $100 membership dues. We collaborate with our Business Partners to provide the best-valued event offerings to our members throughout the year. This partnership is how we are able to host the caliber and quantity of free educational and social events we do. Over two-thirds of our Chapter’s operations are directly attributable to our Business Partners. Without their support, our dues would have to be substantially increased - to over $300 - to maintain the same level of benefits that our members have come to expect.
While we appreciate everything that our Business Partners do in terms of supporting our Chapter financially, we need to remember that our partnership means so much more.
In return for their sponsorship, our Business Partners seek to gain connections with us to introduce and highlight their products or services to us and our firms. They are not trying or expecting to make a sale every time they connect with us. Rather, their interest lies in developing that connection so they are top of mind when the time comes when we need their product or service.
ALA members recognize that positive business partner relationships are vital to developing our careers in legal management and to our firms’ success. We must make informed, prudent decisions on products and services. A valuable benefit of building connections with our Business Partners is that they give us insight into new trends, products and services, and a perspective on the legal landscape – information we need to make better decisions. ALA members understand the importance of knowing the products and services that are available. Take the time to build relationships with our Business Partners even if you do not or cannot utilize their products or services. You never know when you will be in a situation where you will need them and having these valuable resources available at a moment’s notice can make a huge difference.
ALA Chicago is in an enviable position. We have a strong program with Business Partners who go above and beyond by partnering with us on education, networking, and charitable events. Many know our members personally and true friendships have developed. Let’s continue to make connections with these highly valued partners and thank them for their support of our Chapter.
Laura T. Sears, CLM
Chief Administrative Officer
Gould & Ratner