From the Board – Twila Reid

Twila Reid, a partner with Stewart McKelvey in St. John’s, is the Board member from Newfoundland and Labrador.

Q: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done as a Board member?

A. There are so many interesting things. The dinner with the Supreme Court of Canada in their dining room as part of the leadership forum was definitely a highlight. Being from NL, we have our first ever SCC judge on the court.

I was part of both the Funding Formulae Task Force in 2017 as well as the Sections Administration Task Force in 2018. It was great to work on the most challenging issues facing the CBA together with dedicated CBA staff and volunteers from across the country. So many wonderful people with such good ideas.

Q: What has surprised you about being a board member?

A: I am surprised about how much I’ve benefited. When I put my name forward to the CBA I was doing so to contribute – to share my knowledge, skills and experience. Ultimately I wanted to provide value to the Board. I was surprised about how much value I’ve received, including what I’ve learned about leadership, consensus-building and innovative problem-solving. These are skills which are transferrable to every aspect of my life.

The complexity and depth of the organization is also surprising. When you consider the national office, provincial and territorial branches, the CCCA and Sections there is quite a lot of work being done all the time. The CBA has an excellent reputation both nationally and internationally. It really is of fundamental importance to basic democratic concepts like the rule of law which, in Canada, we sometimes take for granted.

Q: How are you able to balance your board responsibilities with your practice and your personal life?

A: I’ve always felt the word “balance” was a bit of a myth. It’s simply a matter of prioritizing different things on different days – and being organized of course. As the saying goes “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.” I’ve just gotten better at getting things done.

I have two children who are currently 10 and 7. We do a lot of Board work through an online platform, so the amount of travel is not too bad. When I do travel I am certain to explain to my family of all the important work the CBA does, and how I’m proud to be a leader in the organization.

Q: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about running for the board?

A: My advice is “Just do it.” It’s a great organization to be a part of. Just get involved in the CBA generally, whether that be through a branch, section, the CCCA or the national board. Be part of the voice that is relentlessly advocating for lawyers.