In January, 2018, Dan Gramc stepped down as Managing Shareholder after 25 years of guiding this century-old law firm through the best and worst of times. During his tenure, GRB successfully navigated numerous economic downturns, the retirement and passing of some of our most iconic attorneys, a significant expansion in the size of our firm and the transition of our practice into the internet age. Dan met these challenges, all while becoming one of the most recognized practitioners in his field. He has rightly earned the respect and admiration of his colleagues, peers and clients, and our firm has been so fortunate to have him as a leader and mentor. He also left some awfully big shoes to fill.
If you would have asked me to itemize the challenges that I would face as Managing Shareholder, global pandemic would not have made the list. When we received the Governor's order in late-March directing us to shut down all of our offices, we were faced, like most other businesses, with the prospect of moving our entire enterprise to remote operation effectively within forty-eight hours. It was a daunting task, but our team surpassed all expectations. Therefore, I wanted to say a word of thanks.
To our attorneys, I have never been more proud to be part of this group of professionals. Throughout the shutdown, the shareholders' highest priorities were to serve our clients and maintain full employment of our staff for as long as possible. Never once did the "bottom line" interfere with those goals. Our CFO championed our crisis management/continuity plan (a plan that I never expected to implement). Our HR Director worked tirelessly to manage numerous employees, making certain that all of our attorneys had the support necessary to keep their practices running. Our IT Specialists, without a word of complaint, established and maintained a home-based business while solving every aggravating problem that technology inevitably presents. Last, but certainly not least, our staff — who without hesitation or fear, volunteered to do jobs they had never done, learned to operate in ways never thought possible, and lifted each other up at every turn. And of course, none of this would have been possible had it not been for the foresight of our former Managing Shareholder, who relentlessly invested in technology, always looking toward the unknown future.
I have been at GRB my entire legal career. It is always nice to think that you are part of a great organization, but it is really satisfying to be proven right. We may be using our offices again, but things are certainly not back to normal. Like my predecessor, however, I remain ever-optimistic about the future. I have reason to be. I witnessed first-hand our talented team's commitment to one another and to providing the highest quality of legal services under some very trying circumstances. I am grateful to them all, as well as to our loyal clients, and I look forward to what are certain to be very bright days ahead.