All good things must come to an end. And so it does for me. This June, in White Plains, New York, NIABA will elect its new President and Board of Directors for the 2015-17 term. And in the process, I will pass the baton to our new leader, knowing that he or she will work to advance the best interests of our beloved organization.
I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of my NIABA brothers and sisters who, over these last two years, gave me their unconditional support and enthusiasm as we networked and travelled throughout Canada and the United States. From my installation in Montréal and then on to Cleveland, Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, Washington, DC and New Orleans, I absolutely loved the experience more than I can properly put into words. NIABA is more than a grouping of men and women involved in the legal profession. It is first and foremost an organization that is rooted in our common ancestral heritage as Italians and it is, at all times, about family. NIABA is very much my second family. It has been since 1999. I find comfort in the familiar faces, rejoice in the successes of my Italian brethren, and mourn the passing of those whose journey and lives left an indelible mark on me. In short, NIABA is not and has never been about me. It is and has always been about you. For in the every success of one of our own, we all succeed. We all shine.
And in keeping with this farewell message, pictured with me here is Judge Joseph Giamboi of New York City. Joe is part of our Board of Directors, a past President of our organization, and a founding member of NIABA’s national law journal, The Digest. I can spend several pages identifying to you the many important accomplishments of this great man, but that would not tell you what you really need to know about Joe. Having just celebrated his 90th birthday, Joe regularly travels to all Board meetings and has the energy and soul of a twenty year old. But, above all, Joe is kind. And one day, when people reminisce about Joe many moons from now, being kind and a brother to all will have been Joe’s greatest legacy. Judge Giamboi has been like a father to me and I think the world of him. I thank my lucky stars that I have been privileged to enjoy time with Judge Giamboi, learn from him and share part of his life. Thank you, Joe.
Finally, allow me to quote from The Beatles’ "There Are Places I Remember" to express to you the sentiments that I feel but for which better words have been written. Grazie mille and God Bless NIABA and our brethren and God Bless the United States of America.
“And I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I loved you more."
My very best regards,