The President's Message
Dear ACC Houston Members:
As we prepare to enter the holiday season and reflect on the many challenges we have faced in our personal and professional lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is hard to believe what we have been able to achieve together despite many of us not convening since our last in-person chapter meeting back in March of this year.
Thanks to the sustained and innovative efforts of the Association of Corporate Counsel - Houston Chapter Board of Directors and its Executive Director, our members, and our incredible sponsors we have continued fulfilling our mission of offering quality education, networking, and community outreach opportunities to our 1,100 members across Greater Houston. While we certainly miss seeing each other and connecting in person, our Chapter successfully transitioned to holding virtual events without missing a beat. Notwithstanding navigating a new environment, ACC Houston has held 44 CLE webinars, 16 virtual socials, a three-part Counsel Career Development series, its Annual Symposium offering 7 hours CLE credits, awarded scholarships to twelve outstanding diverse legal scholars from three Houston-area law schools and hosted a virtual awards reception and networking session for the winners with local legal professionals, and held our signature event of the year - the 21st Annual Golf/(virtual) Spa and Ethics seminar.
As the old saying goes “every cloud has a silver lining,” and we have found many benefits to hosting CLEs in a virtual environment. Many of these sessions utilized virtual breakout rooms, chat, and Q&A functions leading to enhanced audience interaction with each other and our sponsors. Unlike in-person events, where scheduling conflicts may leave members out of luck, live webinars are now recorded and available for viewing by accessing the ACC Houston Webinar Library and eligible for Texas CLE credit for up to one year after the initial broadcast date. Based on your positive feedback from the August membership survey and surveys completed after CLEs, which are greatly appreciated to ensure that ACC Houston provides relevant programming, we have committed for the ’20-21 year to continue broadcasting and recording many of ACC Houston’s events as an added benefit of your membership.
In addition to maintaining a full calendar, your generosity enabled our chapter to make timely donations to the Houston Food Bank, to support low-income students by providing school supplies, and with the help of ACC Houston sponsors, we provided $6,000 in stipends to local law school students suffering additional hardships as a result of the pandemic. We are proud to announce that your support and engagement coupled with the Board of Directors’ leadership resulted in ACC Houston being recognized and awarded a Chapter of Distinction Gold Award, being one of only twelve at this level, among more than 60 chapters during the 2020 ACC Annual Meeting held virtually in October.
In the early days of this pandemic, ACC Houston leadership (comprised of twenty dynamic and hardworking attorneys who represent the in-house legal departments of prestigious companies and reflect the diversity of our community) unanimously made the early call to prioritize the safety of members and sponsors, and we are all grateful for the ACC Houston Past President’s (Kimberly Pilcher - Executive Counsel at Exxon Mobil) steadfast leadership during those uncertain times. As we look forward, ACC Houston leadership will continue monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and adhering to the guidance of local health officials as we evaluate returning to in-person events – keeping safety as the top priority.
Meanwhile, please continue to check the ACC Houston website for upcoming events including the 2020 Corporate Counsel Awards in which many of our esteemed colleagues will be honored and the ACC Houston virtual holiday party. For those of you who were able to attend socials like “Let’s Uncork Some Fun,” where wine glasses with the ACC Houston logo and your choice of red or white was delivered to your home in advance, “Networking with a Texas Twist,” play virtual bingo, or attend a virtual cooking class, you know that we can have just as much fun in a virtual environment!
On behalf of the ACC Houston Board of Directors, we thank you for your tremendous support in making our chapter the premiere organization where in-house counsel go to “meet, mix, and mingle” while staying abreast of the latest developments in the law, and we look forward to continuing to connect with you all – be it virtually or in person. On a personal note, I am humbled and honored to have this amazing opportunity to serve as Chapter President of ACC Houston, and I am eternally grateful to my predecessor, Kim Pilcher, for her leadership and for working so closely with me over the course of last year to ensure a seamless transition.
Chantel R. Jordan
ACC Houston Chapter President
Assistant General Counsel & Assistant Corporate Secretary, American Bureau of Shipping