I recently attended the Academy’s 20th Anniversary Summit in our home base of Philadelphia.
First-off, it was wonderful to finally have the Academy in our own backyard. This is the first time in 20 years that a Summit has been held here, and I’ve been waiting for this for almost that long! And judging from the reaction of the attendees, I think it’s fair to say “what took you so long?” In a shameless plug for my City of Brotherly Love, I’m happy to report that Academy members found Philly to be (surprisingly to them) clean, exciting, and obviously full of interesting history to explore. (If you are planning a professional or personal trip to Philadelphia, feel free to email me for the list of sites and attractions that we put together for the Academy’s visit.)
It was also great to be local because we were able, for the first time, to have Academy members visit our office (and feed them local fare). It was gratifying to us, and rewarding for them, to see firsthand how we protect their clients’ advance directives and emergency medical information (and eat Philly pretzels), observe the client registration process (Tastycakes), and witness the outstanding customer service we provide after that (cheese steaks).
Regardless of venue, it was terrific, as well, to be celebrating with the Academy on the occasion of its 20th anniversary. As an affiliate of 17 years, we have seen the impact this organization has made on the lives of its Members and their clients. I have watched the Academy mentor new and transitioning attorneys into successful practitioners. I have seen established firms hire associate attorneys, who then develop into full-fledged partners. I have watched these Members retire, executing their succession plan just as they had intended, with their junior partner(s) taking over the firm.
In a culture that so often focuses on the negative and on failures, it’s nice to step back every once in a while to celebrate positives and successes.
Randi J. Siegel, MBA, is the President of DocuBank (docubank.com), the largest advance directives registry in the U.S., which ensures that the emergency information and healthcare directives of its 200,000 enrollees are immediately available 24/7/365. Working with estate planning professionals since 1997, Randi frequently speaks at national estate planning conferences and has appeared on radio and television as an authority on registries. A member of the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly, the International Society of Advance Care Planning, and the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care, she is active in health education and public engagement related to advance care planning and advance directives and serves as Pennsylvania liaison to the National Healthcare Decisions Day initiative. Randi is an ongoing contributor to the Academy blog.
Academy Guest Blogger
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
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Phone: (800) 846-1555