When planning for my year as FAWL President, my main goal was to be present. I wanted to visit each of your chapters, so it was clear that State FAWL is here for you. Then, I got pregnant. Just as I could get back out there after pre-baby travel restrictions and post-baby mommy restrictions – BAM – pandemic! Best laid plans, right? 

Despite some setbacks, we have had a wonderful, successful year.  I did manage to make several chapter visits, and I enjoyed meeting members that do not typically participate in the statewide events. The Parental Leave Rule that FAWL advocated for over a year passed. We opened several lactation rooms in court houses around the state, and we are currently working on legislation to support that effort. We created an amazing video celebrating the 19th Amendment and continued challenges to the right to vote up through the civil rights era. Importantly, as FAWL President, it was my honor to be a voice for FAWL on the Florida Bar Board of Governors to advocate for issues that impact our mission. We also had several successful events: Leadership Retreat, Lobby Days and the first ever Virtual Summit. 

My planned thoughts recapping the year at FAWL’s Annual Installation & Awards Gala fall a little flat in the written form. This year has certainly had some twists and turns. For me, it has been a fulfilling year with several learning experiences. We have had some moments with high emotions – good and bad. I have personally had to get comfortable with the uncomfortable, because as we all know, anything in life that is meaningful has elements of difficulty and can be challenging. Lucky for me, the good times have far outnumbered the challenges this year and historically as I have served on the FAWL board. I will forever cherish the experiences, friendships and knowledge gained through my voluntary bar service. Thank you to each of you for your support and encouragement this year and all years. As I pass the gavel to Kimberly, I know you are all in good hands. I may be out of the spotlight, but I will continue to work towards closing the gender gap and increasing diversity in our profession.

Hugs (hopefully not the virtual kind one day soon),

Kyleen