In the Spotlight: Tracey DeMeara

Tracey DeMeara

Johnson County Bar Association

Note: Tracey just transitioned from her position at the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (KCMBA) to become the Executive Director of the Johnson County Bar Association.

How long have you been a member of NABE Comm:
4-years, since I started with KCMBA.

When you were a kid, did you dream of being a Bar Association Executive?
As a European, I probably just dreamt  of bars……..!

If not, describe how you got to where you are today:
When I first moved to the US 8-years ago, I took up volunteer work until my work permit was granted, and was just fortune to support a charity that had some amazing attorneys on their board, and 4-years later one of them approached me about this position at KCMBA.  Actually, a sprinkling of luck, bloody hard work, never burning bridges and picking the right people to surround myself with has pretty much got me wherever I want to be!

What is the most rewarding part of your job:
Tough….. now that’s a tough question. I actually love everything about my work and the people I work for and with, so across the board I have a very rewarding job.

What is the most challenging part of your job:
Flying planes!!  Along with membership and communications, I manage the large events for KCMBA, and I visualize all the many aspects of putting on a kick-arse event as flying planes; booking venues, caterers, starting work on branding etc (planes taking off), reviewing progress, proofing etc. (refueling the aircrafts whilst still in the air) and then going to print, finalizing contracts and bringing everything together and delivering an amazing experience for the attendees (landing those babies!), and for anyone who plans event, they will tell you to do it properly, its challenging! (But incredibly rewarding).

If you weren’t a bar executive, what would you want to be?:
I came from a wonderfully rewarding job in HR in a large mental health hospital in England, and actually at the time that was my very favorite job/career I’d ever had, so I think I would return to that.

What is your greatest accomplishment:
I’ll tell you what, winning two Luminary awards this year is definitely up there!  I think securing my new job with the JOCO Bar is probably my greatest accomplishment so far. 

What is the best piece of advice that you ever received through NABE?:
Oh without a doubt the speaker this year at the Comms Conference; Roy Reid, ‘The Value of Trust’.  Completely inspiring and brilliant.  I scribbled more notes during that session than Tolstoy did when producing first draft of ‘War and Peace’!!

What would you tell someone new to the crazy world of Bar-Executive-dom?:
Join NABE, and specifically the Comms Section!  I know, I know, you’re thinking I was paid to write this, but for someone so new to this country, let alone new to the Bar World, you will get nothing but support, guidance and probably most importantly great friendship from NABE and the Comms Section.

Note: during my interview for the Exec Director position, I did say that I absolutely had to have continued membership of NABE Comms, and that that would be a deal breaker for accepting the position!!

What makes you successful in your position? 
I work bloody hard.  I work tirelessly, passionately and fearlessly, and am comfortable to have found I make enemies of those who don’t have this approach.

What does your bar do better than most?  Where do you shine?
You know I’m not sure we do anything better; I’ve had the privilege of seeing the work of so many other bars, that I think as long as KCMBA is up there with them, I think we’ll shine.

What’s your favorite website or app?:
For work: Personally: Facebook (it keeps me in contact with England).

Favorite quote:
I believe this is fiction, but I continue to hope that he actually said it….

Bessie Braddock, MP: “Winston, you are drunk, and what’s more you are disgustingly drunk”

WSC: “Bessie, my dear, you are ugly, and what’s more, you are disgustingly ugly.  But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly”….

Favorite sports team:

Run-ins or celebrity sightings:
Rather tipsy and getting into an elevator in England with my HR Director college (more tipsy than I for the record!!  He had been on the dancefloor that night, performing the ‘Thriller’ moves, to ‘Beat It’!!!), we ran into the England Cricket Captain (big deal in Britain!!), and I asked him if he’d like to come for a drink with us.  He said he has concerned about people recognizing him, and I said ‘in you whites, with a cricket bat, you could be right, but dressed casually like that darling, you need to get over yourself’!!!  And God love him he came to the bar with us!

Favorite Book:
Ok brace yourselves….. Reader's Digest!!  I know!!  I could have told you some ground breaking novel, stated a religious book which had deeply influenced me, but no, Reader's Digest! Since I was very little, my Daddy always had Reader's Digest delivered in the mail, and he would share it with me and I would love the ‘Life’s Like That’ section.  And I now read it on my iPad every month and still love it….. and think of my Dad!

Person you would most like to have dinner with (alive or dead):
Tim Eigo (is he still alive?)