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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    July 16, 2021

    Your State Bar: Of Love and Labor

    Together, staff members Joyce Hastings and Jan Marks represent more than 87 years of experience and institutional memory. But, as Joyce heads into retirement, it is not their longevity that deserves celebration. Rather it is their never wavering passion for what they do to serve others.

    Larry J. Martin

    Joyce Hastings and Jan Marks represent more than 87 years of experience and institutional memory

    The fingerprints of “Bar buddies” Joyce Hastings (left) and Jan Marks are on just about everything the State Bar has done over their 87 years of combined experience. Hastings’ last day was Sept. 3, 2021, after 44 years at the State Bar​. Photo: Shannon Green

    When I was a kid, almost every adult I knew worked at the same place for most if not all of their working careers. I remember when my Uncle Louie retired after 34 years as a millwright, my family rented a hall for the celebration. Everyone got dressed up. There was a formal dinner and speeches, along with a gold watch to mark the occasion.

    The world works differently today. For most of us, our careers will span multiple positions working for a variety of employers. It is not unusual for a younger colleague to stay just a few years until the next opportunity comes along.

    All the more amazing as the State Bar of Wisconsin prepares to say goodbye to our longest-serving colleague – Joyce Hastings. After 44 years of dedicated service, Joyce, our communications director, is retiring in September and heading off to a world of travel and new adventure. If you don’t know her, then you are the rare individual, for Joyce and her team’s work touch so many lives.

    Larry J. Martin Larry J. Martin is the executive director for the State Bar of Wisconsin.

    It has been said that other than love, the most sacred thing a person can give is their labor. Joyce is the rare and remarkable individual who has been able to combine both her love and her labor, expressing it in all she has done.

    The very magazine you are reading is but one tangible expression of her vision, commitment, connections, and dedication to serving you.

    As other colleagues come and go looking for the next opportunity, Joyce found hers at the State Bar. She looked for challenges from within, and found them. She kept current on how members consumed information, nurtured a smart team, and always stayed on top of her game. She has never stopped in her desire to learn, make connections, and serve others.

    Not far behind her is my friend and colleague Jan Marks. Jan, our executive coordinator, first came to work for the State Bar 43 years ago. In fact, Joyce became Jan’s “Bar buddy” in those early days and took her under her wing, showing her the ropes and helping Jan get acclimated. They’ve been friends ever since.

    Luckily Jan’s not ready for retirement. I simply could not personally function without her. Anyone who has ever served in leadership or the Board of Governors knows exactly what I mean.

    Together, Joyce and Jan represent more than 87 years of experience. But it is not their longevity that deserves celebration. Rather it is their never-wavering passion for what they do to serve others. Over the years, as the State Bar grew, so did these two remarkable individuals. It is hard to separate the State Bar from their work.

    Your State Bar is not a faceless institution, but one made up of people – elected and volunteer leaders, staff, and most importantly you, our members.

    Joyce and Jan are among 10 colleagues who represent more than 304 years of experience and dedication to serving you. Over the next few years, many will retire. With them will go not only experience, but wisdom, perspective, and history. The hole created will be enormous.

    Rest assured that your State Bar will keep moving forward. Our challenge will be doing it without some very dear friends.

    » Cite this article: 94 Wis. Law. 4 (July/Aug 2021).

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