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The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the world's largest organization serving the professional and business interests of attorneys who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations, nonprofits and other private-sector organizations around the globe.

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January 2021


Happy New Year to our ACC Mountain West Chapter!

Even though 2020 is thankfully in the rear view, I continue to be amazed by how our members and sponsors respond to all the challenges thrown at us over the last year, from the COVID-19 pandemic, to protests related to racial justice and beyond. Our Chapter community proved to be resilient, both personally and professionally, and I am proud at how we have come together to learn, grow and support each other during these difficult times. 

As we look ahead to 2021, the ACC Mountain West Board is hard at work implementing our strategic plan. The main focus areas for 2021 include:

Strengthen Our In-House Community – We will continue to provide opportunities to strengthen relationships and expand networks across our in-house community. We are reaching out to Chapter members to identify interest in serving on Board Committees, introducing quarterly Roundtables focused on issues unique to corporate counsel and led by our in-house members, and identifying new networking opportunities both virtually and in-person (once it is safe again).

Leverage Innovative Approaches to Respond to Challenges – We will continue to leverage innovative approaches to quickly respond to challenges and crises impacting our in-house members to help you manage through these events. For example, we are repurposing an existing Board Committee to also serve as an Action Committee. This Committee will work with members and sponsors to identify what is coming down the pike and act nimbly to provide relevant programming and resources in response to the current climate and needs of our in-house community. We are also identifying innovative and creative ways to offer virtual programming to keep our members interested and engaged.

Focus on Providing Value to Members – We will continue to listen and learn to ensure we anticipate the needs of our members and consistently deliver on membership value. To start, we are kicking off a Big Brothers Big Sisters Fundraising Campaign to provide a meaningful opportunity for our members to continue to give back to the community during a time of great need and support a fantastic organization. We will also be reaching out to members and Large Law Liaisons after events for more targeted feedback on ways to improve.  And be on the lookout for a Membership Survey in early Spring.

These initiatives build on the great foundation established under the leadership of Abby Barraclough, our immediate Past-President. I am humbled to serve as your next President and very fortunate to follow such strong predecessors.

The Board is committed to serving our membership and we always seek your ideas, feedback, and involvement. Please feel free to reach out to me at or Laurie Larson, our Chapter Executive Director at We look forward to seeing you at upcoming events and hope you take full advantage of the many benefits offered through the ACC Mountain West Chapter.

Wishing you and your families a safe, healthy and happy 2021!

Warm Regards,

Michelle Gustavson

ACC Mountain West Chapter President