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ALANYC | Newsletter | Message from ALA NYC President Nellie Lefteratos Message from ALA NYC President Nellie Lefteratos

Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar.” Orrin Woodward

Fall happens to be one of my favorite seasons – leaves changing color, apple picking, fresh air and Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving – a time to reflect, a time to be thankful, a time to gather with loved ones. I’m grateful and thankful for so many reasons – too many to list. One thing for sure, I’m grateful for the many friends I have made since being a member of the ALANYC Chapter.

The Chapter’s fall programs are off to a great start.

On September 12, 2016 we held an educational session entitled “Should I consider a Professional Employer Organization (“PEO”)? How the ACA Changed Our Landscape (and Way of Thinking). Mark Shore, President of Atlas Consulting Services, LLC presented the session. The annual health insurance evaluation often begs the question, “How do I lower premiums while maintaining benefits?” What is left to do after changing carriers, introducing health savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements, reducing benefits and raising employee contributions? The program explained the concept of PEOs as well as how to evaluate prospective PEOs and determine if they are a viable option.

On September 21, 2016 we held an educational session entitled “ACA?? Pay or Play?? Your Guide to Offering a Quality, Compliant Benefits Program at an Affordable Price.” Kristine K. Blanco, Esq. of Alliant Benefits presented the session. Are firms’ medical insurance offerings compliant under the Affordable Care Act? Do your benefit costs go up every year? Are you raising co-pays and deductibles to manage increases in costs? The U.S. Healthcare System is more expensive than ever for employers and employees and every year it becomes more difficult to stay compliant. Alliant discussed simplifying the legal aspect of healthcare and offered some strategies to help control costs. Some topics that were discussed:

ACA Reporting: Basics; Penalties Pay or Play Cadillac Tax Increased Audit Activity

A more comprehensive handout was distributed. If you would like a copy, please send an email to [email protected].

September 28, 2016 we held our Annual Business Partner and Member Celebration Dinner entitled “ALA Hollywood Night” at Upper Story. As you entered Upper Story, you were escorted by a business partner or board member on the “Red Carpet” and paparazzi were there to take your photo. Then off you went to mingle with business partners and members. The food, ambience and night were spectacular. I felt like a Queen for the night! Congratulations to Jenniffer Brown and Cinthia LeGrand, Co-Chairs of the Business Partner Committee and the committee members who helped organize this successful event.

On October 2, 2016, a group of us participated in the “Autism Speaks Walk” event at Jones Beach State Park. This was an event close to my heart since so many people I know are on the autistic spectrum. Thank you Lucy Shyti, Chair of the Community Services Committee for your time and effort in putting this event together!

On October 5, 2016 we held another educational session entitled “New York Employee Handbooks: Considerations and Best Practices”. Jessica Shpall Rosen, Esq. of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP presented the session. In this session, we discussed:

At-Will Employment Policy Equal Employment Opportunity and Non-Discrimination/Harassment Policies Workplace Ground Rules Leave Policy NYC Sick Leave Compliance Acknowledgment of Receipt

If you are interested in receiving a copy of the presentation, please email your request to [email protected].

On October 21, 2016 we held our 11th ALANYC Annual Educational Symposium and Exposition: “Power, the Connection: Plugging into your Network” at the AMA Executive Conference Center. Education sessions covered: Human Resources, Information Technology, Finance and General Management as well as opportunities to network with Business Partners and ALA colleagues – to “Plug In” to your network. Our keynote speaker was Todd Henry, author of “The Accidental Creative”, “Die Empty”, and “Louder than Words”. Todd has been a keynote speaker at ALA functions, as well as for many other professional associations and corporations around the country. On November 14, 2016, we had our educational luncheon at the 21 Club. The session was entitled “Managing Through Change”. Jas Basra, JD, New York division director for Robert Half Legal presented the session. Jas spoke about when change occurs, whether it’s getting promoted, managing a recent merger or dealing with a turbulent economy, it’s up to the manager to support and guide employees through the transition process. The ability to lead and manage through challenging times is critical to a firm’s long-term success. This presentation looked at how change affects employees and steps managers need to take to help staff adjust.

As you can see, the Board is working tirelessly to provide these educational sessions and events to you!

Mark your calendars for the following upcoming educational sessions:

December 6, 2016, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Leadership and You, FSO Headquarters, 19 West 44th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10036.

January 18, 2017, 12:00 p.m. -2:00 p.m. – What No One Tells You About Preparing Budgets in a Law Firm, Cohn Reznick, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036.
Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nellie Lefteratos is the New York Office Administrator for Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP and the President of ALANYC. She can be reached at [email protected]