Since June 1987, Janet Stidman Eveleth has been the MSBA’s Director of Communications and a mainstay of our executive management team. After 24 very productive and successful years with our professional membership organization, Janet made the decision to retire, effective August 31, 2011. The MSBA has been very fortunate to have had the benefits of Janet’s talent, diligence and competence during her tenure with us.
Over those 24 years, Janet has earned a stellar reputation as a prolific author of hundreds of articles for the Maryland Bar Journal as well as our monthly newspaper, the Bar Bulletin. As a matter of fact, Janet, as Editor of the Maryland Bar Journal, has authored an article in every issue of the magazine during her tenure at the MSBA as well as hundreds of news articles for the Bar Bulletin. As members, you will remember seeing her byline two or three times in every edition of the Bar Bulletin. Although the Bar Bulletin began in 1986, to deliver Bar news and events in a more timely, current manner, Janet produced consistent, outstanding reporting to supply the Bulletin with copy and demonstrated an extraordinary effort to report on all the activities and events of our Association, our Board of Governors, our Sections, our Committees and our staff. In addition to her well-recognized journalistic talents, Janet also oversaw the preparation and production of our highly popular Maryland Lawyers’ Manual and the MSBA Annual Report, which has been published since 1992. Like clockwork, Janet completed all of the production details of these print materials, usually well ahead of schedule.
As Director of Communications, Janet was responsible for not only all of our internal communication publications, such as the magazine, the newspaper, directory and annual report, but also for all of our external communication efforts. She drafted all of our constant press releases and fielded initially all of the press inquiries on matters of current interest, as well as newsworthy actions taken by our Board of Governors. As the electronic delivery of news has evolved, Janet has provided the current news for our website and the Bar Brief as well as maintaining one of our Twitter accounts. She has supervised our Communications Department, and that department has made great efforts and strides in producing our own in-house videos, thanks to the competent efforts of Patrick Tandy, Bryan Nichols and Jason Zeisloft. As our membership audience gradually shifts away from print media over to the electronic media and utilizes such online resources as YouTube, our communications staff has been producing more video to fit that format.
Janet is a graduate of Northern High School in Baltimore, and she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Washington College in Chestertown. She then earned a Masters Degree in Communications from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to arriving at the MSBA, Janet worked in the communications departments of Med-Chi, the Mid-Atlantic Food Dealers and the Maryland Home Builders Association.
“I found a home when I arrived at MSBA in 1987,” says Janet. “I have been blessed with a career I thoroughly enjoyed, doing work I really loved. It can’t get any better than that!”
Janet has provided great assistance with media, speeches and interviews to the 25 MSBA Presidents who served during her tenure.
“She is one of the most creative, hard-working, productive and practical journalists I have encountered during my bar career,” says MSBA Past President Herbert S. Garten (1989-1990). “We have been fortunate to have her as our spokeswoman and head of publications.”
“I cannot believe it has been 24 years,” says MSBA Past President Paul D. Bekman (1997-1998). “Janet has been a dedicated, highly competent and loyal member of the Bar staff since she joined the MSBA. She ‘is’ the Bar Bulletin! We will miss her dearly.”
Janet also shared her organizational talents with other associations during her time with the MSBA. She served as President of the Maryland Society of Association Executives in 1992 and then as Chair of the Public Relations and Communications Section of the National Association of Bar Executives (NABE) in 1994.
Through her efforts, both she and the MSBA have won numerous awards recognizing the excellence of our publications, including winning NABE’s Luminary Award for the top state bar association publication in 1996, 1999, 2001 and 2010. Janet also won the E.A.Wally Richter Communications Achievement and Leadership Award in 1997 from NABE’s Communication Section.
“It is the people I will miss the most – our staff and the many volunteer lawyers I have worked with, many of whom have become good friends,” says Janet. “It has been a good run, but I am looking forward to joining my husband, Don, in retirement. I plan to do some freelance writing, some volunteer work, and I am really excited about raising my new sheepdog puppy, Oliver.”
The entire MSBA – its officers, Board of Governors, members and staff – wish Janet all the best in her retirement. She has contributed greatly to the progress and reputation of the MSBA. She excelled wonderfully in all her roles such as professional writer, editor, media and public relations manager, press spokesperson and terrific colleague. We will miss her talents and professional demeanor greatly.
Thank you, Janet, for all your hard work and diligent, conscientious efforts!