Comments from the Chair

AuthorBy Kristine A. Kubes
Published in The Construction Lawyer, Volume 40, Number 3 Summer2020. © 2020 American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion
thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.
Provisions for the Journey
By Kristine A. Kubes
Kristine A. Kubes is a principal and mediator with Kubes
Law Ofce in Minneapolis and chair of the Forum. Connect
with her on LinkedIn, Twitter,, and Facebook.
My dear colleagues: This col-
umn is my last as your Forum
Chair. Who would have
thought in April 2018 (when I
was elected) that a pandemic in
2020 would up-end most of life
as we knew it? This has been
an unprecedented, unexpected
journey. COVID-19 has com-
pelled us to reconceive how
we do business as a Forum,
how our clients perform as an
industry, and how we work as
a legal profession. In the midst
of that challenge, we witnessed the tragic death of George
Floyd. We will remember this season of our lives forever.
This level of adversity presents opportunities for growth
and personal fortitude. I offer these observations and lessons
from my leadership experience through challenging times.
Re-evaluate Core Competencies
Our core competencies for thriving in 2020 are resilience, cour-
age, humility, exibility, a sense of humor, and a spirit of
charity. I will share though, that despite my resilient nature,
this year has challenged me. I had to dig deep into my cour-
age and faith to nd a way forward for the Forum and provide
calm leadership as we traveled in stormy seas.
My teams and I had to humbly let go of the Annual Meet-
ing as we had planned it for two years. We will honor the
team’s work by moving the program content to the 2021 Fall
Meeting. Special thanks to incoming Chair Cary Wright for
his willingness to share his year with my team.
We needed exibility to nd new ways of doing business
and meeting goals. I welcomed all ideas as we brainstormed
solutions for canceled meetings, member engagement, and
maintaining “regular” Forum business during irregular times.
Every day I found the value of a sense of humor and a
spirit of charity—toward both others and myself. I never con-
sidered myself a juggler until this year—juggling home, work,
and Forum—all under the same roof, 24/7. I commend the
core competencies to you, as they are key to surviving indi-
vidually, in business, and as a Forum in the coming years.
The Power of People
The Forum is about “Programs, Publications, and People.”
Our people are our greatest resource. Where would we be with-
out our members, leaders, writers, co-chairs, and volunteers?
This last year I invited the leadership and membership
to focus on the people in the Forum, the profession, and the
industry we serve—from the perspective of inclusion, respect,
and professionalism. We have looked inward and forward. We
listened to members and instituted a plan for diversity and
inclusion. We advanced the culture of inclusion in law and
in construction/design at our 2019 Fall Meeting.
My sincere thanks to all program teams for their leadership
and support these last two years. Many thanks to the Forum
ofcers and Governing Committee, Committee and Division
chairs, and all editors; Forum Manager Tamara Harrington;
Meeting Planner Patricia Harris; and all Forum staff, whose
professionalism and care are invaluable. As we look ahead,
we know the Forum is in good hands with its leadership and
staff. Please continue to give them your support.
Readiness for the Future
One might rightly ask, “Who could ever have been ‘ready’
for a year like we are experiencing?” While we cannot foresee
every event, we do our best when we are resilient, evaluative,
and exible enough to adapt. The Forum has taken these steps
to meet the challenges of this year and prepare for the future:
Rescheduled live meetings to protect people’s health;
Conducted its rst online election;
Developed the “Leadership Roundtable” with strategic
partner HKA Global, bringing together leaders and
lawyers from construction and design to share resources
on the impacts of COVID-19 on the industry;
Adopted and implemented a Diversity & Inclusion
Became more transparent with new introductory mate-
rials and a mentor program;
Re-engaged the Forum’s Leadership Circle;
Increased distance learning CLE throughout 2020;
Produced excellent periodicals and two new books; and
Switched to Zoom to facilitate meetings and discussions.
This year also taught us, however, that we do not necessar-
ily know where the road is leading or what the next challenge
might be. I have taken courage in the ancient Roman word
“viaticum,” which means “provisions for the journey.” May the
lessons we are learning this year be our “provisions” for the
journey ahead, both personally and professionally.
I will always be grateful for this time that we have had to
work together for the good of the Forum and industry we
serve. Thank you.
Kristine A. Kubes

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT