Interviews with NABL Members from NABL News
Dee P. Wisor, Butler Snow LLP, Denver, CO
On Wednesday, September 26, Dee became NABL's 40th President. You can read his full inaugural speech here.
Tell us a little about yourself - your family, your hobbies, etc.
Jan and I started dating in 1972 and were married in 1974. She calls me her first husband! We have two sons (a lawyer and a college professor). Thanks to our sons and their wives we have four grandchildren (two boys and two girls) ranging in age from 4 years to 6 months). Jan and I are pretty active and spend our free time riding bicycles, skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, and going to the gym. Jan is a former ski instructor and is looking forward to teaching the grandkids to ski.
How (and when) you were first introduced to NABL?
Linda Schakel said to me recently that at our age our memory is becoming increasingly reliant on electronic data. Unfortunately, for this question I have to rely on my own memory, I believe I went to my first BAW in 1979 or 1980. Of course, NABL was founded in 1979.
Describe your involvement with NABL during the time you’ve been a member and what led you to the NABL Presidency.
In the early years of my professional career, I was not particularly involved with NABL other than attending seminars due to the time constraints of building a practice, raising a young family, and being active in several civic ventures including serving 6 years on our school board. But eventually, I began volunteering for NABL activities. I have served on faculty for BAW, TSLI, and Fundamentals as well as a couple of teleconferences. I was also fortunate to have been selected to serve as vice chair and chair of Fundamentals. I also headed the group which worked on the NABL paper on General Obligation Bonds. I was pleasantly surprised to be nominated to the Board of Directors in 2011 and even more so to be selected to join the Executive Committee in 2015. My involvement in NABL, and in particular my Board service, has been such a rewarding experience and has made me a better lawyer. Hearing from bond lawyers from around the country and those with different practice areas than mine exposes me to issues which I might not have had to consider in my own practice.
You are just beginning your term as NABL’s 40th President; what are your top priorities for the association this year?
In two words my priority is member engagement. NABL is blessed to have so many members who contribute to the organization’s success. I certainly want to see those members continue their contributions, but I also want to make sure that those who have not had the opportunity to serve on a faculty or a committee or to participate in a comment project get that opportunity. I hope that younger members and members who are diverse (by way of gender, race, and ethnicity) feel that they can be involved in NABL in meaningful ways. I know from my own experience that more experienced NABLR members will welcome other members to participate. In my case, I was paired with Rick Ballard to teach a panel at a Fundamentals Program. I confess to being intimidated to be on a panel with one of the best of the public finance bar. But Rick went out of us way to make me feel welcome and an equal. Another way in which members can help NABL is by becoming involved in our newly formed Governmental Affairs Committee. I feel that it is important for NABL to up its game in educating and advocating with members of Congress and their staff about the importance of tax advantaged bonds in meeting the infrastructure needs of our country. The Governmental Affairs Committee will be contacting members to them to engage in this effort. Also, NABL will be creating some online communities on our website in 2019. This will create a forum for subsets of our members, such as issuer’s counsel, to be able exchange of ideas and seek the input of others on issues which are arising in their practice.
What, in your opinion, is the most important service that NABL provides to its members?
Of course our educational programming remains our core mission and a top priority. The Board has restructured and expanded the role of the Education and Members Services Committee in order to assure the continuing quality of our educational programming and to examine virtual delivery formats, including webinars, live-streaming, and podcasts.