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  • WisBar News
    February 10, 2017

    State Bar Board Approves Larry Martin as Next Executive Director

    Feb. 10, 2017 – Larry Martin, currently Associate Executive Director of the State Bar of Wisconsin, will be the organization’s next Executive Director.

    The State Bar’s Board of Governors today approved Martin on the recommendation of a 12-person committee formed last year to find a successor to current Executive Director George Brown, who previously announced that he would retire effective June 30, 2017.

    Martin, also the current Director of the Wisconsin Law Foundation, has served in two staff leadership roles since joining the State Bar in 2011, first as the State Bar’s Member Services Director, then advancing to Associate Executive Director in 2014.

    State Bar President Fran Deisinger, a member of the Search and Transition Committee, said Martin rose to the top of a very qualified pool of candidates from the around the country.

    “Larry’s presentation and our process of vetting the candidates led us to the unanimous conclusion that he is exactly the right person to lead this organization into the future and to make the positive change to help the organization thrive,” Deisinger said.

    After Brown made his retirement announcement, the board approved the appointment of a committee to find and vet qualified candidates interested in leading the organization, with nearly 25,000 attorney members. The board received more than 80 applications and narrowed the field to 19 candidates. Of those, seven received formal interviews.

    Martin was the only candidate to receive a unanimous vote. “I am confident he will be a great leader and change agent for our organization,” Deisinger said.

    In June, Martin will take the reins from Brown, who will retire after almost 30 years in various roles within the State Bar organization, including 17 years as the State Bar's chief executive officer.

    Martin’s Path Includes Nonprofit and Government Roles

    Prior to joining the State Bar, Martin served in a variety of executive leadership positions running non-profit and professional associations, as well as in state government.

    He is the former Executive Director of the Wisconsin Library Association, as well as the first Executive Director of the Dane Fund, now known as Forward Community Investments, a community development loan fund fighting poverty and promoting long-term economic self-sufficiency.

    Martin also served in state government as Chief of Staff to the Lieutenant Governor, Executive Assistant in the Department of Regulation and Licensing and as a Senior Advisor to the Governor.

    Martin received his B.A. in political science and history at U.W. Madison and did graduate work at U.W.-Madison’s Robert M. LaFollette Institute of Public Affairs.

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