After an unusual couple of years, it was refreshing to start 2023 with an event well attended by both our honorable judicial officers and members of the bar. Particularly well represented were KCBA’s past presidents who gathered for a photo to celebrate many years of service to our legal community.
Xochitl Garcia, our 2022 President, presided over the 2023 Annual Meeting following the social hour. During the meeting, the bylaws were amended to, among other things, add the officer position of Membership Chair. Ms. Garcia also had the honor of bestowing the Honorable T. Mark Smith with the title of Honorary KCBA President following his service as KCBA Vice President and subsequent election.
With the formalities of the Annual Meeting concluded, the Honorable Thomas Clark led the swearing-in and installation of the Section Officers and the KCBA Officers and Directors, most notably 2023 KCBA President Thomas Feher. Mr. Feher will be joined on the Executive Committee by Paul Harman (Vice President), Anthony Azemika (Treasurer), James Harvey (Secretary), Xochitl Garcia (Immediate Past President), and a Membership Chair officer to be appointed following the creation of the position during the Annual Meeting. Serving as 2023 Directors are Carol Bracy, Devin Brown, Vanessa Chavez, Diane Christian, Alex Dominguez, Danielle Humphrey, Andrea Kohler, Amanda Lucas, and Micah Nilsson.
Following dinner, Stacy Garner was presented with the 2023 Ivy Person Award after being introduced by 2022 recipient Dr. Jeanine Kraybill. The Ivy Person Award is given each year to a non-attorney who demonstrates the highest standards of excellence in the legal profession. The presentation of the award happened to coincide with her 10-year anniversary as a Confidential Judicial Administrative Assistant with the Kern County Superior Court. Congratulations, Ms. Garner and thank you for your service!
Barry Goldner, President of the KCBA Charitable Foundation, provided an update of the Foundation’s activities in its efforts to make a positive impact on Kern County’s youth, legal system, and the law. The Honorable Susan Gill, KCBA Charitable Foundation Secretary, also directed everyone’s attention to a booklet that had been circulated to each table honoring the members of our legal community that we lost over the past few years. It was a touching moment of reflection on their friendship and legacy.
Newly installed President Thomas Feher concluded the evening with remarks after being introduced by Dennis Thelen, his friend and partner at LeBeau Thelen LLP. Mr. Feher enthusiastically conveyed his optimism for the year ahead by drawing the membership’s attention to valuable programs and events on the horizon.
The KCBA is in good hands with Mr. Feher at the helm. He will effectively lead the Executive Committee and Board of Directors to accomplish the KCBA’s mission to provide leadership in advancing the professional interests of the members and serving the legal interests of the community. With a delightful January evening behind us, he’s off to a good start.