Region 6 Conference Recap


I debated about running the Region 6 Conference recaps.  Why the hesitation?  Because the conference was held last month in Las Vegas and I did not want to be disrespectful after the unimaginable horror that just occurred in that city.  I didn’t want to talk about the fun and laughs shared by several of our members just a few short weeks ago when people are now suffering.

Then it occurred to me that the horror in Las Vegas on October 1 does not define that city.  Las Vegas will remain a premiere conference center, a coveted vacation destination and will continue to offer exquisite food, amazing entertainment and even a few casinos.

Las Vegas will not be defined by the evil carried out by a gunman for reasons we may never know.


Las Vegas will continue to be a world-renowned city but now it will also be known as a city with people who showed incredible strength and heroism during the most difficult of circumstances.  It will be a city known for generosity toward the victims of this tragedy.  It will be known as a city with incredible first responders and police and hospital personnel.

It might also be the back-drop of Hangover, Part 12 but we’ll let that slide.

Continue reading “Region 6 Conference Recap”


Regional Conference Recap: Laugh to the Top

The ALA Regional Conferences are so good they deserve more than one recap! (If you missed the Rockin’ and Winning recap by Paula Lee you can read it here.)

SVALA members enjoying some networking time
SVALA members enjoying some networking time

Susan Nielsen, the SVALA Salary Survey Chair, attended the Region 5 & 6 Legal Management Conference in Phoenix and, from the looks of it, went to some terrific classes.

Sue shares her experience about one stand-out speaker and his inspirational session:

My favorite speaker was Mack Dryden and his class was “Laugh to the Top: A Hilarious Guide to Achieving Your Goals.”

Mack teaches through his own very interesting experiences in life, his ability to laugh in the face of adversity and keep moving forward. Like Mack said, “Falling on your face is still moving.”

SVALA member lunch at Region 6 Conference 2016
SVALA member lunch at Region 6 Conference 2016

Once you decide to “get moving,” the first step is to put your life in a couple of simple categories. Things you can do something about and things you can do nothing about. Now you’ll know what to start working on and what to let go. Don’t waste your time and energy on the things you cannot control.

Mack explained the seven steps to achieving your goal:

  • Control your fears and stresses;
  • Maintain a positive mental attitude;
  • Identify a specific target;
  • Write a plan;
  • Take action;
  • Observe the outcome objectively;
  • When needed, adjust your approach (learn from it and adjust);

Not every plan will work. Make adjustments and stick to it . . . chunk away at it each day . . .  it will happen!

Overall, this class allowed us to gain a little perspective in our personal and business lives, learn to laugh at ourselves during adversity, rise above it and reach for our goals.

For more on Mack Dryden search for him on YouTube. You won’t be disappointed. The video he played during his presentation was hilarious (“Ode to Forgetfulness” – I can relate!)

SVALA members at Region 6 Conference
SVALA members at Region 6 Conference

Many thanks to Sue for introducing the rest of us to Mack! Everyone can use a good laugh and if it works to get us to our goals then all the better.

Wishing everyone a good laugh today! And, remember: “Falling on your face is still moving.”



Regional Conference Recap: Rockin’ and Winning!

There is something special about ALA Regional Conferences. They are more intimate, they are held in fun locations and you can always count on a good time at the First Legal party.

I wasn’t able to attend this year but several SVALA members went and came back raving about the event. Paula Lee is one who not only had a fantastic time but also came back with some great takeaways.

Let’s hear it from Paula directly:

Let's Dance!
Let’s Dance!

ALA Regional Conferences rock! This was my second time attending a regional conference. The first was the regional conference SVALA hosted in Reno. In my humble opinion, regional conferences provide the best opportunity for networking.

I loved that Arizona had the same time zone which allowed for a more restful experience. Four session choices for each session block allowed for a variety of educational learning. Some sessions were more crowded than others but I always felt the sessions were small enough to gain more insight and allow for more audience participation.

We go to share and learn about new ideas. I heard that one of our chapter members and current Past-President, Penny Stauffer, was the star of a session as she explained how her firm creates a DAR (Departing Attorney Report) which is a report that helps identify important data to management to transition attorneys that are retiring. It struck me how Penny stated that she thought it was something that every firm did and she learned that she was actually on the cutting edge.

You share you learn.

A quote that I heard at least three times was “Sitting is the new smoking.” Just a reminder for us to get up from our desks, take breaks and keep moving! And two quotes that I thought were insightful in regards to productivity is “Good is the enemy of great” and “Done is better than perfect.”

Joelle Stone and Jessica Miller networking, learning and having some fun
Joelle Stone and Jessica Miller networking, learning and having some fun

Our Sacramento chapter always seems to draw others into our group whether it’s someone from another chapter walking with us to a vendor event or sharing our spot near the band or pulling in civilians to get the party started. We are lucky to have such a fun and social chapter. As someone that needs to be pulled out of her shell, the conferences are the perfect opportunities to connect.

Thanks SVALA for providing opportunities like this one. I was one of those blessed individuals that won the SVALA scholarship to attend. So grateful! And my lucky streak continued as I entered the raffle where you get 15 vendor signatures when visiting the vendor booths and I won registration fees for the ALA Annual Conference & Expo in Denver next April 2-5. Woohoo!!

Congratulations, Paula! Having served on the Board of Directors with Paula and spent time with her at various events, I am thrilled she won the scholarship and the registration fees prize. Sounds like someone needs a quick trip to Vegas to see if the lucky streak continues!