This year, we celebrate Essex Richards’ 40th anniversary, as well as the retirement of Ken Essex, one of our founding partners. We miss Ken, but deeply appreciate his personifying and nurturing our culture of service. Ken’s legacy continues through the community engagement of others at Essex Richards:
- Our receptionist, Cathy Padgett, has been honored for her many years of service to Cabarrus Cooperative Christian Ministries. She and others on our team also have helped raise funds for Easter Seals UCP each year for almost a decade.
- Heather Culp, as president-elect of the Mecklenburg County Bar, will assume the president’s role in July.
- Lauren Lewis has served as president of Charlotte Women Attorneys this year, and oversaw its rebranding as Women Lawyers of Charlotte.
- Jon Buchan is completing his two-year term as chair of the WFAE board of directors while continuing to serve on the North Carolina Humanities Council.
- All of our partners have leadership roles with various civic, nonprofit, bar and religious organizations.
We also draw inspiration from our clients. The small- and middle-market businesses we represent amaze us with their vision and the opportunities they create in the most turbulent of times. They bring sparkle to our community. Our individual clients face unspeakable challenges with courage and grace, and we watch them emerge stronger and wiser. We are honored to share those many journeys with them. In our litigation, we learn from worthy adversaries, the attorneys in other firms whom we come to value as colleagues.
Outside our windows, 2016 has been a challenge to people of good will. Globally, tens of millions have fled tyranny and desperation, enduring treacherous voyages to find new homes, often in places that do not welcome them. We worry about the geopolitical landscape, the rising tide of war, and the unimaginable human cost. At home, we have been sapped by bruising political campaigns at the local, state, and national levels. Charlotte found itself again wrestling with questions of race, gender, class, and income inequality–questions that must be addressed, but are not easily answered. We worry about the many people who have been left behind by the economic recovery that so many of us have enjoyed. Indeed, the future appears as volatile and uncertain as ever.
In these times, we remain committed to the principles that have served our firm so well in its first forty years: to serve our community, profession, and clients with the utmost clarity, integrity, professionalism, and skill. We honor our clients, helping them create opportunities and solve problems. And we support each other–assuring that Essex Richards remains a great place to work with engaging colleagues who inspire and challenge one another, continuously raising the bar in our service to you.
2017–like most new years–will bring challenges and opportunities, and we are well-equipped to help our clients navigate them soundly. For that, we are grateful.
We wish you and your loved ones the very best in the new year to come.