Video: Conference veteran Robin Helburn

We spoke to conference veteran, Robin Helburn, manager of project administration for Strook & Strook & Lavan LLC, about her experience at conference so far.


Video: ILTA President Joy Heath Rush comments on ILTA ’08

We stopped Joy in the hall to ask for her assessment of the conference on the last day of sessions.

Video: From an ILTA first-timer

Just before the vendor event on Monday, we spoke to Martin Rivera, a first-time ILTA conference attendee. Martin is the network administrator for a small firm in Houston, Boyar & Miller. Here’s what he had to say about his first day of conference.

Standing room only

Standing room only for Monday's keynote address

Standing room only for Monday's keynote address

Tim Sanders got rave reviews from attendees yesterday, with folks saying they left with lots of useful information and ideas. We hope you left with a little inspiration, too.

Despite the fact that we were in one of the largest rooms in the hotel,  it was standing room only for this morning event. In fact, quite a few of the session rooms were standing room only. We’re always happy to squeeze in more session participants! Please make sure to be courteous and discrete when entering and leaving the room.

Dave’s drive to the ILTA conference

Our own Four Corners Regional Vice President, Dave Clark, let me know at lunch today that he started a blog. Check out one of his first entries here.

In it, he tells us in photos all about his drive from Salt Lake City to Grapevine, Texas. He posts lots from the actual Four Corners area (see his foot on four states!).

The good news is, he left Salt Lake City at 1 pm and arrived at the Texas border by 9 am the next day. The bad news is, he was only about halfway done. (Texas is big. Okay, maybe not that big.)

Any other folks driving from this far away?

Remembering Sharon Swartworth

Sharon Swartworth

Sharon Swartworth

Since 2004, ILTA has offered a leadership seminar in memory of a colleague, Sharon Swartworth. Some of our new members might not know of Sharon or her contribution to her profession and her country. Here’s an excerpt from a story that first appeared in the Washington Post about Sharon’s funeral:

Tuesday, November 18, 2003
Washington Post

Chief Warrant Officer Sharon T. Swartworth, a high-ranking official from the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, also was laid to rest, becoming the 38th casualty of the Iraq war to be buried at Arlington. The Black Hawk helicopter in which she had been a passenger was shot down November 7, 2003, near Tikrit.

At Swartworth’s funeral, a sea of dark green Army uniforms surrounded the graveside and flowed down the cemetery’s long road. Men and women in dark dress Navy uniforms peppered the crowd as well; Swartworth’s husband, William, is a Navy Captain stationed in Hawaii. Near him stood the couple’s 8-year-old son, William III. Swartworth was posthumously given the Distinguished Service Medal during the ceremony.

A 26-year veteran of the Army, Swartworth rose steadily through its ranks. She enlisted after high school and later was chosen to become a warrant officer, which put her in a special class of soldiers between enlisted personnel and commissioned officers.

In 1999, she became the corps’ top warrant officer, overseeing the efforts of dozens of legal administrators in offices around the world. Romig said her long career was an inspiration to soldiers, especially young women.

“She was an example of a person who had pulled herself up by her bootstraps and made herself a success,” he said.

Colleagues stressed Swartworth’s professionalism in modernizing JAG offices around the world. She brought computer automation to far-flung legal offices and helped the corps’ warrant officers join civilian associations for legal administrators.

She pulled JAG administration into the computer age with the same dogged determination that she applied to long-distance running, a favorite hobby, said Jose Robertson, who served with Swartworth for more than a dozen years and now works with the JAG Corps as a civilian.

“She was a soldier. That’s the most important thing,” he said. “This was a skilled administrator, a skilled people person, but most importantly, she was a soldier.”

As an aside, the AP reported …

On Sept. 11, 2001, Swartworth avoided likely death in the terrorist attack at the Pentagon. She had moved out of her office in the military headquarters building while it was being renovated and was working out of temporary quarters, her father said.

While she was still in the temporary office, the hijacked plane made a direct hit on the area where Swartworth’s Pentagon office had been located. A general who had occupied the office at the time was killed.


Get more information about the leadership development seminar, including speakers and times, here.

Tues. 8/26: Make plans for leadership development seminar

Are you about to enter a management role? Do you want to brush up on your leadership skills? Or are you looking for inspriation for becoming a better leader?

Consider attending the Sharon T. Swartworth Leadership Development Seminar. Two sessions, both on Tuesday.

SESSION 1: Mastering the Fundamentals of Good Leadership
Brigadier General Butch Tate of the US Army Office of The Judge Advocate General.
Tuesday, 1:30 to 2:30
Grapevine D

Good leadership is about mastering the fundamentals, that is, putting into play in an organization those things leaders know they need to do and assume they are doing but can easily overlook when driven by the end state, the mission.  This seminar will discuss the fundamentals including: the importance of an organizational vision supported by objectives and initiatives; ensuring a clear and consistent statement of a leader’s expectations of employees; providing opportunities for a team to grow through, among other ideas, challenging work assignments (empowerment), training, education and underwriting mistakes; the leader’s role as coach/mentor/teacher; ensuring your own leader values are conducive to team values; emplacing a network where meaningful institutional information flows up and down; and dealing with those circumstances where expectations are not met.

SESSION 2: Leadership – Discover the Impact of One
Dale Trexler and Rick Johnson of the US Army Office of The Judge Advocate General
Tuesday, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Grapevine D

The best preparation for the future is the reflection of our past.  Developing and mastering your leadership style is often a collection of experiences, good and bad, with leaders before you.  We look back at the leadership style, grace and even imperfections of one great leader and her profound impact on the largest law firm in the world.  The speakers draw upon their personal exposure to this leader and how that contact molded their style and effectiveness.  They discuss the value of flexibility, the realization that even great leaders are not perfect and, most important, the positive impact a single person can make on an organization, its mission and its people.

You can add these to your calendar now! Just use our Agenda Grid and click “MISC3” in the 1:30 timeslot for Grapevine D or MISC in the 3:30 timeslot for Grapevive D. 

(Sharon Swartworth was a colleague, a soldier and a mother who was killed in 2004 when her Blackhawk helicopter was shot down. Learn more about her life here.)