CALL Meetings Committee 2019-2020 Annual Report

The committee consisted of Carrie Port and Eugene Giudice (co-chairs), Mandy Lee, Mike McMillan, and Jill Meyer.

This year, the Meetings Committee arranged the following meeting

Date Venue Attendees Count Speaker / Topic
9-19-2019 Wildfire 71 Jayne Reardon – Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism
11-7-2019 Ditka’s 61 Joe Scally – Lawyers’ Assistance Program
2-6-2020 Maggiano’s 87 Brandon Moseberry – GDPR

A meeting in may had been planned but was cancelled due to COVID-19 global pandemic.

Mr. Brandon Moseberry, Esq., a partner at Baker & McKenize was scheduled for the February meeting but due to a family emergency was unable to keep this commitment.  He did extend his apologies and hoped that he would be able to return to speak on GDPR at a future CALL meeting.  Since there was no speaker at the February meeting, it was used as an informal networking opportunity.  Results of the survey from that meeting appear to show the CALL membership appreciating the opportunity for a less formal meeting.  The committee encourages the board to explore more networking and informal gathering opportunities within the format of one of the regular quarterly meetings.  Special thanks are given to Jill Meyer, Mandy Lee and Mike McMillan for consistently, effectively and efficiently staffing the registration table at the quarterly meetings.


CALL switched software from Wild Apricot to NEON. Meetings statistics were transferred over from the old software and registration for meetings for the 2019-2020 cycle were entered in NEON. Carrie Port has written instructions for how to create meeting registration in NEON including how to extract check in lists and the data for the nametags.

Non-Meeting Networking

The committee acknowledged the need and desire of members to gather informally. To that end, the committee organized seasonal happy hours. The summer happy hour held at Vapianos on 15 August 2019 and was very well attended. The Autumn happy hour held at Taste 222 on 17 October 2019 was combined with a quiz and was also well attended.  The winter happy hour was karaoke night was held on 27 February 2020.  Attendance at this event was small but the committee was not discouraged by it.  It is requested that the board authorize planning of future events like this on a regular basis to supplement the quarterly meeting schedule.  Special thanks are given to Carrie Port and Mike McMillan for discovering the karaoke venue planning the event and Carrie Port for planning the other happy hours.

Stakeholder Participation

In an effort to raise the profile of CALL in the community, the board chartered the committee to implement a stakeholder program wherein leaders in the legal and civic community are invited to attend a CALL meeting to meet the membership and to hear a little of that particular stakeholder’s work in the community.  The September meeting hosted Mike Bologna, a reporter who works the state and local tax beat for Bloomberg and the February meeting hosted the Honorable Thomas Sianis, Cook County Circuit Court judge.  The committee encourages the board to continue this program for future meetings.  CALL members have been polled in each post meeting survey for suggestions for future stakeholders.  Special thanks are given to Eugene Giudice for using his personal network to help make this program a reality.

Meetings Survey

Due to the low attendance for the Fall 2019 meeting, the meetings committee decided to create a survey to determine why members were no longer attending all the meetings. Forty-seven members replied to the survey. The September and May were found to be the most popular meetings. Also, members seem open to other times for meetings and only 30% object to changing the format of CALL meetings so they are not all structured in the same way. Also, there do seem to be members that live out of state or work out of the city that would be open to online meetings.

Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic have impacted the CALL membership greatly.  There have been staff furloughs and layoffs and the vast majority of CALL members have been sheltering in place and working from home.  In an effort to break down the isolation caused by such prolonged sheltering in place, the meetings committee has sponsored and will continue to sponsor throughout the summer of 2020 happy hour gathers held via ZOOM video conferencing.  Due to fluid situation of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty of the timing of returning to offices in large scale, the September 2020 and November 2020 CALL meetings may have to be held virtually.  The meetings committee stands ready respond to these new realities.