Welcome to our first newsletter of the beginning of my term as President of FACP.

The theme of our amazing 7th Annual statewide conference was: Make Cases, Make a Living, Have a Life.  This theme will guide our FACP year.

Kudos to our conference Co-Chairs, David Harper, CPA, Carina Leeson, Esq., Kim Nutter, Esq., and Dr. Teresa Parnell, for our innovative and inspiring 7th annual event. Thanks to our sponsor title, Brinkley Morgan, and Kim Nutter for your continued support of the FACP!

Our keynote speaker Louise Phipps Senft taught us how “Being Relational” can inform and transform our personal and professional lives. If you haven’t yet read her book, I recommend it.
The inaugural Access to Collaborative Poster Session shared access initiatives from around the state.  One of my favorite parts of the annual conference is the generosity with which all of our members share their hard work and innovative ideas.

Our colleagues from Florida and the international collaborative community shared their wisdom to enhance our delivery of collaborative divorce to our communities. We were fortunate that our IACP colleagues extended their stays from their International Board meeting earlier in the week to teach and learn with us.

The 18 Fellows of the Leadership Academy from 13 of our member Practice Groups met for the first time in a full day session just prior to the conference. Led by Adam Cordover and Dr. Deborah Day, the fellows are our next generation of leaders. Brian Galbraith, all the way from Canada, was generous enough to join Adam in leading the day long exploration of how to build leadership skills.

Speaking of leaders, we would not have the robust FACP we have today were it not for the wisdom and vision of Rosemarie Roth who first conceived of a conglomeration of practice groups in Florida and gathered together a founding team to make the vision a reality. Dr. Deborah Day continued to build on that foundation.

Edward Sachs has just completed his two-year tenure as president of FACP.  I am humbled that you have entrusted me with continuing to build on the work of making collaborative divorce known, available and accessible to all divorcing families in Florida.

While so many people have contributed to building FACP, Dr. Sheila Furr deserves special mention. She has nurtured the creation and growth of practice groups in South Florida and personally mentored dozens of collaborative professionals. As chair of the FACP Outreach Committee and Vice President of FACP she has, among many other things, has been the face of FACP at the Florida Bar meetings. Sheila has stepped down from Executive Committee responsibilities but will continue to be a tireless champion of Collaborative practice.

Chris Farish, President of IACP shared with me his formula for successful leadership: build an awesome team and trust them. That is the cornerstone of our collaborative work in each of our cases; it is the strength of our local practice groups and the backbone of FACP.

Our leadership team for the next two years is: Ed Sachs, Immediate Past President, Robert Merlin, President-Elect; Joshua Jones, Vice President; Craig Fabrikant, Secretary, and Marta Alfonso, Treasurer. I have an awesome team in the Executive Committee, the Committee chairs and all of the members of our board of directors. I trust all of you to keep us moving in the direction of a peaceful path for Florida’s divorcing families.

Our Leadership Academy fellows began their first day together by sharing their paths to Collaborative practice. Each one had a story to tell about a conversation that inspired them. Many of those conversations were with the leaders I’ve named already in this article. Those conversations with colleagues led them to appreciate the transformational power of collaborative practice for our clients and for ourselves.

I charge each of us to be that inspiration for someone you know—or someone you haven’t yet met. Maybe someone who doesn’t look like you or who is not in your regular circle.  Imagine if each of us brought a new friend and collaborative colleague to next year’s conference. Our 2020 conference  chairs, who are already starting their hard work, will be delighted to plan for 400! See you May 22, 2020 in Orlando with at least one new collaborative friend!

The Talmud (my tradition) says: “That one cannot complete the work of repairing the world does not excuse one from taking first steps in that direction.”

Thank you for being part of our collaborative community.

Elaine Silver
FACP President