“Making Leadership a Lifestyle & Preserving our Power”
It is my distinct pleasure to serve as the President of the George Edgecomb Bar Association for the 2019-2020 bar year. My hope is that I can continue to work hard to provide the best support for our members and continue to expand our legacy. I am especially grateful that I will be able to rely on the wisdom of past presidents to provide counsel during my term. GEBA has held a special place in my heart since I was a student at Stetson Law and leading this outstanding organization is both an honor and a privilege. I am excited for what is in store for this year.
Our theme of “Making Leadership a Lifestyle & Preserving our Power” embodies my vision for GEBA. We will continue to lead in every way possible while at the same time sustaining our power by continuously being visionaries and enhancing the image of our bar. Over the past 35 years, GEBA has accomplished an overabundance of achievements and contributed to the development of well-known leaders in this community. We have the unique opportunity to continue to shape the future, not only for GEBA, but the Tampa Bay community and beyond.
My desire is to encourage young lawyers to join GEBA, serve in our leadership, and contribute their talents to continue the enduring legacy of our bar. I want them to develop leadership skills that both embolden and inspire the next generation of leadership. Joining this acclaimed association has been of one of the greatest decisions I have made during my legal career. As I begin my tenure as President, serving my fifth-year on our executive board, my desire is to develop a spirit of commitment, dedication, and determination into the heart of our members.
I further aspire to recruit new attorneys to join GEBA. While we rely heavily on seasoned members for their experience in sustaining our success, attracting new members will reaffirm the mission of GEBA by rejuvenating our membership, encouraging new ideas, and harnessing energy our bar needs for continued success. Through our endeavors, our bar will have the opportunity of fostering a lifestyle of leadership in our members designed to be a cornerstone on which they can rely for the rest of their careers.
A critical objective for GEBA to achieve is becoming more proactive in addressing social justice issues. Great power and influence comes with being an attorney and we can continue to maintain the integrity of this profession by assisting others in need and by addressing issues that impact not only our profession, but also our communities. I hope for us to engage in thoughtful discussions as we seek resolutions of these issues.
We will further continue to enhance our annual programs; find innovative ways to increase membership; collaborate with other organizations to enhance our image; provide engaging CLE courses including ones that address health and wellness; heighten our social media presence; and much more. I hope that my passion for GEBA spreads and that you decide to take part in all the exciting things that are to come.
Cheers to an exciting year!
Valeria Obi, Esq.
The George Edgecomb Bar Association
Welcome to the George Edgecomb Bar Association
Senator Arthenia Joyner
Senator Joyner was a founder of GEBA and the first black lawyer in Polk County and first black female lawyer in Hillsborough County. She served as a member of the Florida Senate for ten years and also served in the Florida House of Representatives between the years of 2000 to 2006. She currently practices at Vanguard Attorneys and recently celebrated 50 years of dedication to the practice of law.