MBA presidents reflect changing bar leadership

Issue January 2011

The 78 presidents of the Massachusetts Bar Association, over the last 100 years, have come to reflect the diversity that was part of the association's original mission -- to represent all lawyers of the commonwealth.

Leadership has hailed from many of the commonwealth's cities, including Fall River, New Bedford, Brockton, Lowell, Springfield, Worcester and Boston, among others. Likewise, Bay State towns have been well represented -- Pittsfield, Clinton, Greenfield, Lancaster, Northampton and Walpole, to name a few. In concert with being geographically diverse, the presidency has represented a wide variation of practice expertise.  

In addition, milestones have been set over the years with the association's top position. Wayne A. Budd served as the MBA's first African-American president, as well as its youngest at age 38. In 1986, Alice Richmond served as the first woman president, and in 2006, Mark Mason became the MBA's first openly gay president. And, earlier this association year, members witnessed the first passing of the gavel from one woman to another, from Valerie A. Yarashus to Denise Squillante.

Collectively, the past presidents of the MBA represent the diversity and strength of the Massachusetts bar. Each has worked hard to advance the mission of the organization and the progress of those who served before him or her. Of the 78 past presidents of the organization, nearly 40 are still able to provide collective wisdom to each of the presidents as he or she begins his or her term.