Aug. 8, 2014 – George Brown, State Bar of Wisconsin executive director, was sworn in as president of the National Association of Bar Executives (NABE) at its Annual Meeting in Boston, yesterday. Founded in 1941, NABE is dedicated to serving professionals who work for bar associations and law-related organizations and is an affiliate of the American Bar Association. Brown officially began his duties on July 1.
“It is quite an honor for George Brown to be elected NABE president and State Bar leadership and staff are very proud of him for this major accomplishment,” said State Bar President Robert R. Gagan. “The State Bar is a leader among its peers nationwide, and is consistently recognized for its efforts in member service, advocacy, professional development, and practice resources. Bar executives throughout the country will benefit from George’s visionary leadership and knowledge of association management.”
“The life of an executive director is not easy,” said former State Bar of Wisconsin President Michelle Behnke. ”Each year, a new volunteer leader begins his/her term with high hopes, many ideas, a passion for the profession, and only two hands. Only with the able assistance, leadership, advice, and good humor of a good executive director will that leader accomplish half of what he/she has in mind.
“Now, as George takes on the mantle of leadership for NABE, he will learn what this aspect of leadership is like, and not only will he use his considerable talents for the good of NABE, I know he will take this experience and add it to his store of knowledge so that he can continue his partnership with volunteer leaders in Wisconsin for the good of the legal profession and the citizens of Wisconsin.”
Brown has been an active member of NABE since 1987. A board of directors member since 2009, he was sworn in as president after serving terms as president-elect and vice president. He has also served as secretary, Budget Committee chair, and as a Strategic Planning Committee member. Since 1992, Brown has served terms as chair, vice chair, and member of the Program and Surveys committees; and as a member of the Chief Staff Executives, Long-Range Planning, and Nominating committees.
He also has presented more than 60 plenary and workshop presentations at NABE, National Conference of Bar Presidents, and American Bar Association conferences on a wide variety of association management and communications issues.
State Bar of Wisconsin
As the State Bar of Wisconsin’s executive director since 2000, Brown leads the 24,000-member organization’s program and policy direction, including its strategic plan and annual budget. Brown led the development of the first staff-based strategic plan and the first association-wide strategic plan adopted by the Board of Governors. Among his other accomplishments, Brown has improved issues management for volunteer leaders and moved the decision making process from one based on politics and political pressure to one based on information and knowledge.
As State Bar of Wisconsin Public Affairs Director from 1986 to 1997, Brown served as the bar’s chief lobbyist and public relations director, lobbying the Wisconsin State legislature and the U.S. Congress on hundreds of pieces of legislation.
Prior to joining the State Bar staff in November 1986, Brown served as the chief aide to the assembly co-chairman of the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance, which oversees all revenues and expenditures for the state of Wisconsin. He also served as the lobbyist for Quarles & Brady LLC for several years in the late 1990s.
Visit the State Bar of Wisconsin’s on Facebook page for photos from the event, or click here.