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Virtual Board Retreat: Leadership Training for the 2020-21 CWBA Board of Directors

Updated: Jan 9, 2021

On Saturday, May 16, 2020, the 2019-20 Board of Directors for the Colorado Women’s Bar Association (CWBA) passed the gavel to the 2020-21 Board of Directors. The 2020-21 Board of Directors, led by President Miranda Hawkins, will be faced with the unprecedented challenge of adjusting to the “new normal” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This challenge came early for the CWBA. With the swift and dedicated effort of its Board of Directors, the CWBA pivoted from its long standing tradition of an in-person and well attended Convention in the Colorado mountains to a virtual Convention. As the Convention Committee of the Board of Directors feverously worked to bring its tradition to a virtual platform, then President-Elect, Miranda Hawkins, quickly redesigned the customary Board Retreat as a Virtual Board Retreat to continue to provide invaluable training to the CWBA’s leadership.

On Saturday, April 18, 2020, the CWBA held its first ever Virtual Board Retreat. Miranda led the retreat with opening remarks to the Board of Directors. As has been the case for almost everyone worldwide, Miranda reminded us that new challenges are not always pleasant: “It can be hard, uncomfortable, and a little bit scary,” she added. The next year, more than ever, the CWBA and its Board of Directors will be challenged by changes beyond their control while continuing to bring value, events, networking opportunities and connectivity to its members. Miranda and the Board of Directors accepted the challenge.

As the only bar association in Colorado solely dedicated to the advancement of women as leaders in the law, the CWBA and its Board have the great responsibility to continue to promote women in the legal profession and the interests of women generally even in these challenging times. To meet these goals, Miranda announced that the CWBA’s theme for the year is “LEAD BEYOND.” As Miranda explained, this means that we will “LEAD BEYOND today with a vision that ensures the CWBA remains strong and that our membership stays informed, inspired, connected, and engaged.” As part of the effort to LEAD BEYOND, Board members will receive leadership training and tools to better support themselves and their community.

The Virtual Board Retreat welcomed Julia Holunga, a professional executive coach, and Master Trainer with Emergenetics. Emergenetics is a measurable, proven way to recognize and apply thinking and behavior patterns people use regularly. It simplifies human interaction. Before the Virtual Board Retreat each Board member took an assessment and training to determine each member’s Emergenetics Profile. An Emergenetics Profile reflects seven easily recognizable and useful attributes that apply to work, communication, and interpersonal relationships. These attributes include four ways of thinking: analytical , structural, social, and conceptual; and three ways of behaving: expressiveness, flexibility, and assertiveness. On an individual level, the Emergenetics Profile reveals practical results that are easily applied within any context to help individuals gain a better understanding of themselves in all facets of life, including work, home, community, family, and education. From the organizational perspective, Emergenetics thinking and behavioral factors provide a framework to maximize human performance. Julie, who provides similar training through the Colorado Bar Leadership Training Committee, navigated through the profiles to help each member better understand the member’s preferences and how those preferences impact our thought process, actions and our daily lives.

The Emergenetics training included team exercises that challenged each group to approach a task through their profile’s lens. One of the exercises included designing a driving navigation tool to give directions appealing to each specific Emergenetics preference. One navigation assistant might be more soft-spoken and provide minimal options for detour or rerouting, while another assistant might be gregarious and social, and certainly wouldn’t mind stopping to see the World’s Biggest Ball of Yarn while on the way to the final destination. These exercises helped the Board reflect on their differences, but also brought us together in our similarities. As each individual preference was explored, a broader view of the Board’s combined profile revealed balance. As noted in the above, each thinking preference is represented on a colored pie chart. While most profiles contain a preference for at least two of the thinking preferences, it is rare for an individual to have a preference in all four. Nonetheless, as a combined organization the CWBA 2020-21 Board of Directors has a strong preference for social thinking but is otherwise balanced in its thinking preferences. The CWBA Board of Directors’ group profile also uncovers a slightly more expressive, moderately competitive, yet accommodating group of women. Who better to LEAD us BEYOND the challenges facing us this year, than a well balanced Board of Directors who are willing, ready, and up to the challenge.

As the new year marches on, Miranda has promised to give back to her Board by providing Board members with monthly leadership training or informational opportunities specifically designed to add value to their lives and work. In line with Miranda’s vision to LEAD BEYOND in order to keep the CWBA’s members “informed, inspired, connected, and engaged,” The 1891 will bring this information and training to you in a series of posts throughout the upcoming year. As is always the case with the CWBA, encouraging its membership to get involved in its committees and in the Board of Directors is a goal at the forefront of its leadership. Through this blog series, we hope to add value to your lives and work as well.

If you have any questions regarding how to get involved in a committee, visit: To learn more about the Board of Directors nomination and selection process, visit:


Carime Lee is a co-chair of the CWBA Publications Committee. Carime is an associate attorney with West Huntley Gregory PC out of Breckenridge where she enjoys helping clients with real estate and business transactional matters.

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