California Lawyers Association

Important Messages from Ona Dosunmu, Betty Williams and Emilio Varanini

Dear CLA Members,

It has been a privilege and an honor to play a role in launching our bar association and I’m incredibly proud of everything we’ve accomplished together.

The pandemic caused many of us to re-evaluate our lives and to consider whether we want to continue on the same trajectory. For me and my family, the answer was no. While there’s so much I love about CLA and California, ultimately, I want to be closer to my family. Beginning September 20, I will become the President and C.E.O. of NACUA, the National Association of College and University Attorneys. My last day as C.E.O. and Executive Director of CLA will be August 16, 2021. Over the next ten weeks, I will be working with the CLA officers, the Board, and the professional team to ensure a smooth transition.

By the time I leave, we will have all of the pieces in place to catapult CLA to even greater success! I don’t have to tell you about the excellent work being undertaken in all of our Sections and Committees—none of which would be possible without the extraordinary contributions from our members. Getting to know and work with CLA members has been one of the highlights of my career. I am confident that many of our stellar volunteer leaders will be friends for life.

Warm Regards,

Dear CLA Members,

Ona’s departure will be a great loss to CLA and she will be sorely missed. We want to express our thanks to Ona for her many contributions to getting CLA launched. Thanks to Ona’s leadership, CLA has a phenomenal senior executive team, a clean, modern website, and a strong social media presence. Our initiatives are literally award-winning and our advocacy and technical expertise are not only welcomed but invited by power-brokers in Sacramento. Our first all-CLA digital publication will be landing in your inboxes in the coming weeks. By August, we’ll have our association management system in place and will “soft launch” an exciting new membership and dues structure, which will give prospective members additional ways to engage with CLA. In addition, CLA will be poised to adopt its first ever strategic plan at our September Board meeting.

We are working with Ona, CLA officers, and the Board, to ensure a smooth transition and we will begin the search for her successor in short order. For now, however, we wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

Betty Williams and Emilio Varanini
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