President’s Message, Summer 2023


WLIB has proven to be a wonderful source of information and activism on the issue of diversity. On June 7th, WLIB sponsored a stimulating CLE organized and moderated by WLIB Treasurer Sheila O’Shea. The CLE was held at Fresh and Fancy Farms (our favorite place) and the topic was Diversity in the Profession. The panelists were Jennifer Blum, Kelly Castor, Faudia Clemenza and Jhanice Domingo with Sheila O’Shea as moderator. The issues were the Equal Rights Amendment, cultural competence, allyship and related issues. This led to a group discussion on all issues related to diversity. WLIB was itself considered a diverse group (being female) until recently. Special guests were introduced specifically: Gayle Hargrove who received the WLIB Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bergen County Bar Association/WLIB Diversity Dinner, Faudia Clemenza who emceed the Diversity dinner and Jhanice Domingo who received the Diversity in The Profession Award from the Bergen County Bar Association/WLIB.

The Diversity dinner on June 20th stared three of our members: Jhanice, Gayle and Faudia. We are so proud of them and of the achievement of our organization in having them as an integral part of this event.

We are introducing a new series as a follow up to the Health and Wellness Series and it started with Armenian Night hosted by Kohar Boyadjian. It is a chance for us to get together at someone’s home and learn about their ethnic background, get cooking lessons, and of course eat and drink wine. We hope to continue this into the fall and winter. Erica Fields has volunteered to run “Curry Night” and which will feature Indian food cooked by her English husband Simon and Erica in her Upper Saddle River home. That is something we all look forward to. I would like to host “Fire Pit Night” which I would hold at the end of the summer and would be a time to sit around my fire pit and listen to music and talk about what we hope to do the following year with WLIB. It would be somewhat similar to my organizational meeting last July at General Poor’s Tavern. I can teach everyone how to make a good campfire (many years as a girl scout/girl scout leader).

Tamra Katcher would like to continue her Wellness Series and has a CPR instructor ready to instruct us and in fact, enable us to earn our CPR license. The CPR will be scheduled in the Fall, based on interest. Helene Herbert will be organizing a bicycle tour which will take place on a Friday afternoon or Saturday. Ride with her through Saddle River Park’s biking trails. This will also be a Fall event. We are not having our Whale Watching Trip this summer because we have to plan for our Annual Dinner. Our Annual Dinner is September 13th at Season’s and we are thrilled to have Justice Rachel Wainer Apter as our speaker and we will spotlight the new female judges in the county. Of course, this is a work in progress. I would also like to implement a Courageous Woman Award and make that an annual award to a deserving woman who needs to be recognized.

I thank all the people that have helped me with these events and who have run them such as Tamra, Sheila, Helene, Erica, Lynn, Kohar. I also thank Eileen Mulroy, a past president who gives me very insightful and helpful advice in running this organization, (often as I’m midsentence speaking to the group).

I am proud that Judge Mizdol has been honored by WLIB. We presented her with an award at her June 13th retirement dinner. She has been a superb supporter of our organization for many years. It is important we involve the Bergen County judges in supporting and recognizing our organization. Due to the retirement of Frank O’Marra and Judge Mizdol and COVID related changes, we are forced to remind the Bench and the Bar that we are an important part of the Bergen County Courthouse landscape. We will be organizing “Take your child to work day” for the courthouse. I intend to have a meeting with Judge Catuogno to discuss with her what we want to do for the bench and bar. I am hoping to add new events that I think people will like and which are not the same old thing. We are implementing changes in the Law Clerk’s Reception for the Fall and will probably implement changes in the Meet and Mingle next May.

In the meantime, please attend our SWAG event over the summer. SWAG will be meeting in person on August 14 for lunch and schmoozing. Look for the email for the location of the restaurant.

Wishing everyone a wonderful summer and we will see you at the Annual Dinner on September 13 th at Season’s.

Diane M. Lucianna

Book Review: A Column of FireBook Review: Beach Road by James Patterson and Peter De Jonge