President’s Message

I am so privileged and honored to serve as your 102nd President of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, and to be given the oath of office by the Honorable Debra B. Walker. I was humbled to celebrate the start of the new bar year with over 800 of our closest friends and supporters at The Hilton. It is with a grateful heart that I write this first letter as President, and thank all of you who made the 104th Annual Installation Dinner so special. I especially want to thank my tireless Co-chairs, Margaret Battersby Black, Lauren Tuckey Murray, Melanie VanOverloop, Lauren Waninski, Executive Director Monique Austin, the Annual Dinner Committee women and men, and all of our generous sponsors.

I would like to congratulate the Officers and Directors that were sworn in this year. The WBAI is so fortunate to have this incredibly talented and extremely dedicated team of amazing women leaders to continue promoting our mission day in and day out through our vast array of initiatives, both in the legal community and the community at-large. Since it was founded in 1914, the WBAI has been a strong voice for all women, and in taking the oath of office we assure you that we remain committed to working together to make a difference every day. We know from the extraordinary female leaders who paved the way before us that we have the opportunity to make history every day, and we will strive to do exactly that.

At the Installation Dinner we also gathered to honor an exceptional female leader, Tina M. Tchen, with the WBAI’s Myra Bradwell Award. Ms. Tchen is a Partner at Buckley Sandler and prior to joining the firm, she served as an Assistant to President Obama, Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, and Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama.  Since joining the firm, Ms. Tchen has been instrumental in spearheading the Time’s Up movement’s Legal Defense Fund, which provides legal support to women and men who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.  Ms. Tchen is a true role model for all women in our profession, and we were so fortunate to recognize her, and have her as our keynote speaker.

Thank you to all the WBAI members for your confidence and support!

-Karie J. Valentino, WBAI President

“The WBAI is so fortunate to have this incredibly talented and extremely dedicated team of amazing women leaders to continue promoting our mission day in and day out through our vast array of initiatives, both in the legal community and the community at-large. “