Chair Anna MillsBy Anna Mills

I am excited to be writing my initial column as chair of the Business Law Section, having succeeded Ken Carroll on July 1. I look forward to serving as chair of the section and invite you to contact me at any time with any questions, ideas, concerns or advice. We have an outstanding section and an active, engaged leadership team.

On behalf of the section, I would like to thank Ken Carroll for his service as chair during the past two years. Ken has done an excellent job and will continue to provide advice and guidance as a member of the section’s executive committee.

Thanks to the leadership of Ken and the Business Law Section Council as well as the tireless efforts of many others, including our committee chairs and members, we continue to have a strong section with qualities such as a well-developed committee structure, timely and practical CLE, meaningful projects, and an excellent newsletter. As long as we continue to dedicate ourselves to demonstrating these qualities, our section will continue to thrive and provide value to our members.

I would like to welcome to the Business Law Section Council, Deborah Bryant Andrews, John Babcock, Thomas Malony and Jennifer Weaver. Stephen Later is our new vice chair, Nicholas Bakatsias is our new secretary, and Mark Allebach is our new treasurer. We have three new committees: (1) Private Equity and Venture Capital chaired by George Brady, (2) Mergers and Acquisitions chaired by Gene Jones, and (3) Financial Institutions chaired by Lisa Sheppard. In addition, we have two new committee chairs for existing committees: David Clement is our new Business Corporations chair and Charles Marshall is our new Legislative chair. Please join me in welcoming these new members of the section leadership team and thanking those rotating off.

We are in the process of planning our Annual Meeting and related CLE, scheduled for Feb. 18-19, 2015 in Pinehurst. We will again be partnering with the NCBA’s International Law & Practice Section. As we have historically done, we will have the Business Law Institute CLE on Thursday afternoon, Feb. 18, and our Annual Meeting CLE on Friday, Feb. 19. In addition, each of the sections will hold its 2015 Annual Meeting during the lunch period on Friday. Abbie Baynes and David Broughton are co-chairs of our section’s Planning Committee for the Business Law Institute and Annual Meeting CLE.

Please continue to support our section’s flagship pro bono project – NC LEAP (North Carolina Lawyers Entrepreneurial Assistance Program) providing pro bono legal advice to low-wealth entrepreneurs – both financially and as volunteers. This program continues to grow in stature and is becoming a model for other state bar associations.

Finally, I encourage each of you to become actively involved in the section’s activities. There are many activities available, from suggesting new projects or additional CLE topics to serving on a committee.

Thank you again for your membership in, and support of, the Business Law Section. I look forward to working with you.