Jessica Engel leaving position before the end of the year
The Lycoming Law Association is losing the only Executive Director it has ever had. After a decade of serving the Association, Jessica Engel is looking for a change of scenery, and perhaps a full time position in another location, and will be leaving her job, at a yet undetermined time this fall. She has offered to stay on to help with the search for and training of her successor.
"I have been so happy working for the LLA and the Foundation," Jessica noted. "I feel like this opportunity came to me at the perfect time in my life 10 years ago, and has been the absolute perfect fit for me. It’s allowed me to combine all of my strengths and to grow professionally in ways I had always hoped."
In January 2004, the LLA membership approved the new Executive Director position at the annual meeting. At the time the management of the Association was somewhat haphazard. LLA initiatives changed from year to year with the new president. One of the goals of membership, was to professionalize the LLA office and to provide more, regular education, social, and professional opportunities to members.
Jessica Engel was hired in April 2004. And the LLA of today looks nothing like the Association of 10 years ago.
There were few local continuing legal education opportunities in 2004. "I’ve worked with fabulous people over the years to develop an educational program Lycoming County had not seen before," Jessica pointed out. Now, programs occur monthly, in the recently expanded LLA education facility. Lycoming County attorneys are now able to obtain most of their CLE credits locally, inexpensively.
Jessica has given the LLA a public face through her work with the LLA Foundation. "I’ve been involved with the Foundation and its grant process to better our community, I’ve watched and assisted as the LLA has grown tremendously in terms of its office space and its services to members." Certainly the most visual evidence of this expansion is the new LLA office and education and conference facility. In 2004, the LLA office was housed in a small, cluttered room, which few members had seen, and which resembled more a closet than a functional facility.
The operation of the business of the Association has settled into a routine that will be sorely missed on Jessica's leaving. From assuring the timely publication of Lycoming Reporter ads, to planning picnics, dinners and meetings, to keeping up with yearly dues statements and payment, to managing the increasingly more complex finances of the Association and LLA Foundation, to answering the phone (and handling misdirected court house calls), there is no operation of the LLA that didn't have Jessica's hand on it.
And she has enjoyed the work.
"Being able to manage and be intimately involved in all facets of a small non-profit business, from the very development of the position to handling the budgeting process and working with the bankers on the investment processes and policies, not to mention becoming friendly with more than 200 lawyers and judges (of whom I can say I can identify almost every single one by face and name!!) and helping nearly each and every one of them manage their CLE requirements somewhere along the way, has given me such a well-rounded experience that I don’t think I could have possibly gotten anywhere else."
And now the work begins . . . For Jessica the work of moving onto another community and new opportunities; for us, the work of finding a new Executive director with the same talent and dedication that Jessica has given to this organization for the past decade.
The last word belongs to Jessica: "I’ve been incredibly supported by our Executive Committees and Boards and lawyers and judges in the community to keep things moving along, and I couldn’t be more grateful. You have all given me such a gift. Your kindnesses are too many to mention – I only hope you feel I’ve served you as well."