This year has been challenging in so many ways, but I want to thank all of our members, who through difficult times, continued to focus on serving the most vulnerable in our communities. Whether combatting local wildfires, navigating community political unrest, or struggling through a growing national pandemic, you persevered and kept your focus on doing what you do best – helping others. Thank you for being amazing public servants!
Throughout 2020, we could not have done our work without the support of our wonderful board members, industry partners, and Association member volunteers. Thank you. Your support and guidance helped us move forward on several key issues including:
- Creation of a comprehensive letter to the CA Department of Aging with suggestions for the Master Plan on Aging that represented the best interest of our members and the clients they serve.
- Working with legislative champion, Senator Wieckowski, to introduce SB 919 which would have increased the minimum compensation for PA fees from $1,000 to $1,600 per case and require the Judicial Council to increase that minimum compensation based on the California Consumer Price Index every 3 years. Although the bill did not succeed due to the pandemic, we made great strides in raising our legislative profile, which will serve us well in future legislative efforts.
- Summarizing key findings from the state’s LPS audit report released in July which our team will continue to monitor as new legislation is introduced in the coming year
- Working with the VA to provide a template for all of our members to use when a County is self-insured and is required to submit proof of a Surety Bond (insurance) to cover any loss to the client’s estate due to the actions of the fiduciary and
- Putting together a meeting for our members to brainstorm ideas on how PA|PG|PC programs can manage program and service demands in light of proposed state budget cuts to realignment of other funding sources for county programs
- Weekly COVID Best Practices zoom meetings which helped members share what COVID challenges they faced and solutions developed
- The creation of three legislative platforms for our PA, LPS, and Probate programs
- Recruitment of a Legislative Analyst and a Training Manager to implement our robust 2021 training program
- Presentation of four training classes which are part of our Basics Series: PG/PC Basics, Ethics, Documentation, and Inventories and Appraisals
As for the Executive office, 2020 saw many changes as both Paige and Marissa, long-time team members, left us to pursue other opportunities outside of the Association. We also had two new team members, Janelle Quick and Hannah Peskin, join us and they continue to provide exceptional service to our members and the broader community. On a sadder note, we lost a dear friend and longtime Association champion, Chris Koper, in April from lymphoma. Her relentless energy and kind heart will be missed.
And finally, if you are looking for a new year’s resolution, what could be better than volunteering to participate in one of our many committees that help shape the work we do. It is a great way to get involved and to see if a board position could eventually be right for you. Please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Again, we thank you for exemplifying all that is great about the work we do as we wrap up the year. Our Executive team is looking ahead to new challenges and ways in which we can continue to serve our members. With new trainings coming soon and more options to access our resources, we are hoping for a brighter 2021.
I and the Executive team wish you and your families a safe and healthy holiday season and a joyous new year.
Scarlet Hughes, Executive Director