Zoe Linza, Executive Director for the past 13 years of The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (BAMSL), was presented with the National Association of Bar Executives (NABE) Bolton Award. The award is NABE's highest honor recognizing Outstanding Bar Leadership. Linza received the award on Aug. 9, 2019, at the NCBP/NABE/NCBF Joint Luncheon in San Francisco, Calif.
The Bolton Award is presented annually to a bar executive who epitomizes the highest standard of professional excellence. It is named in honor of Fred Bolton, executive director and secretary of the Pennsylvania Bar Association from 1966 to 1977.
As the NABE announcement stated, "At BAMSL, Zoe has raised the level of the association through service and innovation. Zoe also has been a great influence on her professional colleagues and fellow NABE members."
In addition to serving as NABE president in 2016-17, Linza previously served as a member of the board of directors and as treasurer.
Springfield (Mo.) Bar Association Executive Director Crista Hogan nominated Linza.
"In looking at the criteria for this award, Zoe hits every single mark," Hogan wrote in her nomination. "For 13 years she has served the profession and NABE with a level of managerial skill, professionalism and integrity to which we should all aspire. … She has a gift for identifying the gifts of others. Zoe draws out the best in others and creates camaraderie and participation like no one else I have ever known. … She is a truly great leader, and incredible role model."
Numerous other colleagues wrote glowing remarks in support of Linza's nomination, including the following:
Chairman of the ABA House of Delegates and former BAMSL President Bill Bay:
"I see Zoe's influence in how our association is viewed in our bar world but also in the greater metropolitan community. I see her hand in forging improved relationships with the other bar executives, leaders and courts of our state. And we have all seen her leadership skills on display as president of the National Association of Bar Executives and in her work on ABA Day. Her influence is widely felt and respected."
Former BAMSL treasurer Hon. Willie Epps:
"I have witnessed first-hand how Zoe Linza constantly searches for new opportunities for membership expansion through the development of robust recruitment strategies, effective marketing campaigns, and beneficial partnerships."
Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association Executive Director Vickie Mauck:
"As a new Executive Director 8 years ago, Zoe was among the first to reach out to me and truly welcome me to the fold. In true NABE fashion she quickly became a friend and mentor looking out for me, and the good of my bar (and therefore, really the good of all bars). Zoe's sincere warmth, friendliness, and charm are equal to the high caliber of her professionalism, character, and integrity. She approaches her vast responsibilities (in NABE, COMBA and BAMSL) with a positive, 'can do' attitude, efficiency and political savvy that cause her projects to be highly successful."
In her acceptance speech, Linza talked about the successes of BAMSL, with more than 300 events a year; the St. Louis Attorneys Against Hunger project, with more than $190,000 put back into the community; and the pro bono work that exceeds 82,000 hours donated so far under the BAMSL program.
She also shared her life motto: "Good, Right and True always wins," and how she uses that for bar leadership.
"I check my decisions based on, is it good for the bar and good for the community?" Linza said. "I live by the motto of always do what is right and remain true to your values and those of your bar."