The VBA owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Immediate Past President Thomas R. Bagby of the law firm of Woods Rogers PLC in Roanoke. Tom just completed an outstanding year at the helm of the VBA, and the VBA Board of Governors passed a resolution honoring Tom for his exemplary leadership and tremendous work on behalf of the Association. The highlights from Tom's year as VBA president are too numerous to enumerate in their entirety, but I will touch on some of his major accomplishments.
Tom was instrumental in putting the VBA at the forefront of leadership in advocating for the General Assembly to fill the numerous judicial vacancies in Virginia. Among other things, he drafted the resolution that the VBA and eight other statewide bar organizations endorsed in 2013 to demonstrate widespread support for filling the vacancies and to garner additional support. As the result of Tom's efforts, The Supreme Court of Virginia views the VBA as a key ally and a key advocate for supporting the needs of the Judiciary in Virginia.
One of Tom's goals in 2013 was to elevate the VBA's communications. He accomplished this goal in a variety of ways, the most visible of which was his launching of the weekly "In A VBA Minute" emails to the membership. Tom wrote all fifty-two of these emails in 2013, and he did a terrific job educating the VBA membership about the remarkable depth and breadth of the VBA's activities and demonstrating how those activities have such a positive, powerful impact on the administration of justice, the legal profession, and the general public in the Commonwealth. As a result, Tom developed a chronicle of the VBA's annual activities that highlights why the VBA matters in a big way and why it is so important to our profession.
Another highlight of Tom's year culminated with the historic Annual Meeting held in Williamsburg just two weeks ago. Tom worked diligently to make the VBA more inclusive in 2013. To accomplish this goal, he invited the Old Dominion Bar Association to attend the Annual Meeting, and he led the charge to include blue ribbon programming at the meeting that focused on the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education in commemoration of its 60th anniversary. The joint meeting was a huge success.
Tom accomplished much more during his presidential year, and, all along the way, he represented the VBA with the character, integrity, and thoughtfulness for which he is well-known and widely respected throughout the Commonwealth. Perhaps Tom's greatest trait is his humility. He always deflects credit towards others in his easy-going way. At every step, Tom's wife Kathleen was at his side, and she too was a tremendous ambassador for the VBA throughout the year. Tom and Kathleen, thank you so much for your extraordinary service on behalf of The Virginia Bar Association.