Interviews with NABL Members from NABL News
Teri M. Guarnaccia, Ballard Spahr LLP, Baltimore, MD
1. Tell us a little about yourself - your family, your hobbies, etc.
I have been married for 18 years to a great guy who is a lighting designer, and we have one daughter who is currently seven years old and in second grade (and going to school in person – for which we are grateful!) Like many people during the pandemic, I found a new hobby in gardening, and this year I grew peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, spaghetti squash, okra, eggplant, zucchini, and watermelon! I learned many lessons, not the least of which came after I had let the weeds get a little out of control during a particularly busy couple of work weeks. When I finally got out there and cleaned everything out, my plants nearly doubled in size over the next couple of days!
2. How (and when) were you first introduced to NABL?
Of course I went to (what was then) Fundamentals (I still have my much loved, marked up Blue Book!), followed by many other NABL conferences where I learned SO much from the various sessions I attended. I was impressed not only by the knowledge of the panelists, but the camaraderie of the attendees
3. Describe your involvement as a NABL member and what led you to the NABL Presidency.
My first real involvement was on the Securities Law Deskbook Editorial Board (thank you Doug Rollow for getting me involved with that!), after which I moved on to projects with the Securities Law Committee (where I served as vice chair and then chair). I also served on the Steering Committee for The Workshop (when it was still BAW) and as vice chair and chair of The Essentials when it was still Fundamentals) before joining the Board in 2014. I can easily say I have benefitted in a myriad of ways from each of these roles!
4. As you begin your term as the 42nd president, what are your top priorities for the association?
That one is easy – INVOLVEMENT! NABL’s involvement with other industry organizations and with the IRS, SEC and MSRB, as we all work together in making the industry better through commentary and recommendations at the federal, state and local levels with respect to legislation, regulations and rulings affecting bonds. Also, involvement by all members of NABL through committees (Securities, Tax, Diversity, Issuer’s and In-House Counsel, General Law and Practice, and Publications!), educational opportunities (whether teaching or attending!), advocacy (get in touch with our Governmental Affairs committee!) or each other!
5. What, in your opinion, is the most important service that NABL provides to its members?
Education of course! We are, at our core, an organization that was established to promote the integrity of the municipal market through the education of its members in the laws affecting state and municipal bonds. We do this in so many ways through our conferences, podcasts, NABL U Now, committee projects publications, and advocacy efforts which educates regulators and legislators and hopefully shapes regulations and laws in a way that serves the industry better!
6. The COVID-19 pandemic made a significant impact on the public finance industry. How will this affect the industry moving forward?
It’s hard to say long term what the effects on our economy and our industry will be, but it is clear that we all adapted quickly to the changing landscape, and I believe we will continue to do so. One thing is clear to me though – NABL members and NABL as an organization will be instrumental in assisting with continuing legislative efforts and helping the industry as a whole meet the various ongoing challenges!