The Maryland State Bar Association has announced that Executive Director Victor L. Velazquez will depart the organization at the end of October 2022.
Over the past five years, Velazquez successfully led a transformation campaign that has benefitted members, the legal profession, and the public interest at large. Powered by ‘Foundational Recommendations’ presented to, and unanimously approved by, the MSBA Board of Governors in 2017, and subsequently guided by long term Strategic Priorities & Objectives established in 2018, the MSBA has been a leader amongst peer entities in the United States.
Velazquez is departing the MSBA having achieved significant increases in the association’s Net Promoter Scores (NPS) in all member segments, more than a five fold increase in member’s perceived value of the association, the successful rollout of numerous digital products and a new, digital-centric experience, and garnering national accolades for advocacy on behalf of the legal profession. Velazquez is leaving the MSBA to join a large publicly traded company unrelated to the legal sector. In his new role he will serve as a senior executive leading a variety of strategic transformation initiatives building on his 20-plus year track record of doing so in a variety of industries.
“When Vic was brought on board he was tasked with modernizing our then 120-year old organization, to enhance its relevance to the profession, and to make it more resilient in responding to the challenges and opportunities of the future,” shared the Honorable Harry Storm, Associate Judge, Montgomery County Circuit Court, and MSBA President in 2017 when Velazquez was brought on board. Judge Storm added that “Vic achieved the goals set out for him and delivered on both relevancy and resilience. Members were able to consume thousands of hours of content during the pandemic, and the MSBA’s member retention rates over the last several challenging years have been industry-leading, outpacing other voluntary state bar associations. Notwithstanding daunting challenges, Vic’s tenure was incredibly successful. He should be proud of a job well done.”
Current MSBA President David P. Shapiro states, “We owe a debt of gratitude to Vic, not only for the results he has helped this association to achieve, often with significant headwinds, but also for the manner in how he has helped the MSBA to interpret and realized upon the Strategic Priorities & Objectives dictated by our members. Vic has demonstrated true leadership, not only in how he has helped to navigate the MSBA over the past five years, but also by building an extraordinary MSBA staff comprised of smart, dedicated, hard-working, mission focused teammates. It’s not surprising that the MSBA now also is certified as a Great Place to Work Ⓡ. As we move ahead, we look forward to continuing upon our defined strategic path and to building upon the fundamentals that have helped us reach this sound footing over the past several years.”
“Vic understood that, in addition to being a zealous advocate on behalf of the noble legal profession, the MSBA had an opportunity to serve tens of thousands of Marylanders who are most vulnerable, ” said Ward Coe, Chair of the Maryland Access to Justice Commission. “When he, along with then MSBA President, Mark Scurti, architected bringing the Maryland Access to Justice Commission into the MSBA, he enabled a fruitful partnership whose trajectory of achievements has included raising tens of millions of dollars to ensure access to justice in Maryland. We at the Commission will be ever grateful for Vic’s support of our mission and efforts.”
Per President Shapiro, the MSBA will constitute an Executive Director Transition Committee focused on identifying the guiding principles and core competencies to be upheld as the MSBA transitions beyond Velazquez’s tenure at the association. MSBA Chief Operating Officer, Anna Sholl, Esq., will serve as Acting Executive Director following Velazquez’s departure and until a permanent replacement is named by the MSBA Board of Governors.