The Journal of The DuPage County Bar Association

President's Page

The DCBA Team
By Gerald Cassioppi

To kick off this year, at the Officers Installation dinner in June, I spoke of the need to view the members of the DCBA as a team. When I say team, I don’t necessarily mean a collection of softball players, but rather a group of people working together for a common, worthwhile purpose.

Bob Feller, a hall of fame baseball pitcher, who honorably served his country during World War II, best described the importance of teamwork beyond sports when he said “You can talk about teamwork on a baseball team, but I’ll tell you it takes real teamwork when you have 2900 men stationed on the U.S.S. Alabama.”

As Bob Feller undoubtedly experienced, each team is a collection of diverse individuals. However, it is important to work together to achieve something truly special. Successful teamwork is one of the most exhilarating and productive human activities possible. Getting there is not a well-guarded secret, as a Google search of “successful teamwork” provides 36,000,000 results.

I will highlight just 3 keys for an effective and successful DCBA team – collective goals, communication and trust.

First, a team must understand and be committed to attaining its goals. Our goal is our stated mission:

The DCBA serves the attorneys, judiciary and citizens of DuPage County in providing legal education, business development and networking opportunities, designed to enhance and benefit our membership and community, while upholding the highest degree of civility and professionalism.

This means as a team we will work to better our membership, support their practices and engage the public. No matter our personal strengths or weaknesses, we will work together for our individual good and the good of the DCBA community. It is that selflessness that has allowed the DCBA to flourish for 138 years.

Further, there should be open, respectful and balanced communications among all team members. No one person should dominate the conversation, all should be included and free to express their opinions and potential solutions. Being a good communicator also means thoughtfully listening and understanding what others are saying.

Finally, teams work better when each member trusts, supports and respects their teammates – each having your back and you having theirs. Established goals, communication and trust leads to better team solutions and success. We must also work together in ways we may never have done before – recognizing that others will see different ways to approach a problem. It has been shown that millennials embrace open communication, mutual support and tolerance – in other words, millennials might decide to be part of an organization, just to be part of a strong team.

Further, every team member has the opportunity to be a “leader” by embodying those traits which promote working together – staying goal focused and not needing to be in the spotlight.

And don’t forget, teamwork makes the task more enjoyable and the job easier, because we should not and do not have to do everything ourselves.

Finally, execute. Members must make high quality decisions together and effectively carry out the decisions made. A real team gets real results through commitment and effort, not by accident or with speeches and slogans.

Thanks again to Ted Donner for the job he has done as President during the past and personally challenging year. I look forward to working with incoming President and Vice Presidents, Matt Pfeiffer, Stacey McCullough and Wendy Musielak, our Board of Directors, Executive Director Robert Rupp and the DCBA office team.

As a member of the DCBA Team and as a volunteer, please find your passion within the DCBA and be an important part of our successful DCBA Team.

Gerald Cassioppi is the current DCBA President and is a Partner with Momkus McCluskey Roberts LLC, in Lisle. He counsels businesses, not-for-profits and government entities. He received his law and undergraduate degrees from the University of Illinois, is also a CPA and is active in community leadership, including the Naperville District 203 School Board and as DuPage County Ethics Commission Chairman. Gerry was recognized as DCBA Lawyer of the Year for 2012 and also served as DCBA General Counsel and on its Board of Directors.


DuPage County Bar Association

OFFICERS

Gerald A. Cassioppi

President
J. Matthew Pfeiffer
President-Elect
Stacey A. McCullough
2nd Vice President
Wendy M. Musielak
3rd Vice President
Ted A. Donner
Immediate Past President
Richard J. Veenstra
General Counsel
Charles G. Wentworth
Assoc. Gen’ l Counsel
Tricia Buhrfiend
Secretary/Treasurer
Jeffrey M. Jacobson
Assist. Treasurer


DIRECTORS

Terrence Benshoof
Mark S. Bishop
Ashley M. Bump
Patrick L. Edgerton
David S. Friedland
James S. Harkness
John J. Pcolinski, Jr.
Amalia M. Romano
Arthur W. Rummler
James L. Ryan
Kiley M. Whitty

Executive Director
Robert T. Rupp

 
ISBA Liaison
Kent A. Gaertner


Legislative Liaison

A. John Pankau, Jr.


Brief Editor

Azam Nizamuddin
 
 
DCBA Brief