Second to None

By Kenya Bodden, 2022-2023 RCBA President

“The achievements of an organization are the results of combined effort of each individual.”

—Vince Lombardi

Thank you to Ramsey County Bar Association membership and annual partners for your generous and continued support during the 2022-2023 bar year. Your offering of time and financial support serves as the foundation for programs and RCBA events. Things could not get done without you. Since July of 2022, I have enjoyed my time as president of the RCBA. We have a great organization that is devoted to the legal and wider community in Ramsey County. RCBA has a proud and distinguished history.

This has been quite a year. Nearing the end of my term, “Ramsey County, second to none,” echoes in my head. It has been an honor to serve as president of the Ramsey County Bar Association. RCBA offers a wide variety of programming and events, including: the RCBF golf tournament; to the judicial investitures; CLEs; legal placement and referral services; the Bench and Bar Benefit; the RCBA Judges’ Dinner; the New Lawyers Section’s happy hours; the RCBA Memorials; social and networking events; volunteer events like Second Harvest food sorting and packing; and awarding grants to community organizations. We have a great bar association because we have quality people involved in the process. Quality people who understand and value civics and the law.

We were fortunate to be back in-person again after a couple years of remote participation only. We had an excellent turnout at the first event of this bar year, the RCBF Golf Tournament. It was great to see everyone and it was truly an enjoyable time for all who participated. Our legal placement service brought employers and employees together. We raised a lot of money at this year’s RCBF Bench and Bar Benefit, and those funds were put to good use by way of grants to community organizations that directly impact Ramsey County and legal issues. The Judge’s Dinner, wow, wow. We have a great bench in Ramsey County. This year’s video deserved an Oscar. For those who were able to see the video, we are lucky Hollywood has not come along to take our judges and attorneys. 

We had a great year of CLEs. So many great programs were presented this year as a value for our members. The New Lawyers Happy Hours did a wonderful job of bringing seasoned and newly-minted attorneys and judges together for socializing and networking without so much pressure. 

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to people who have had a major impact on my career. First, I would like to say thank you to William Walker, Jr. Will. You helped me to become confident and resilient in my practice. I would like to say thank you to Terry Votel. Your vote of confidence gave me the opportunity to transition my practice. Your continued support, words of encouragement, and praise are greatly appreciated. Paul Godfrey, thank you for your lessons in attention to detail and the need to provide “reality therapy.” Most of all thank you Paul for your recommendation that I join and get involved in bar activities.  Justin Fox and Kirsten Pranschke thank you for creating an office of attorneys that were bright, driven, and fun to be around. I would like to say thank you to Caryn Boisen for your support, advice, and wisdom. I truly would not be in any leadership position within the bar without you. Thank you to Thompson Coe-Saint Paul office, specifically Kevin Mosher, Patrick Kelly, Kristine Warnke, Chris Goodman, Jamie Sonsteby, Wynne Reece, and Morgan Azbill.

Thank you to Justice Anderson, Judge Castro, Judge Gilligan and Judge Sheu for taking time to speak to our board of directors. A special thanks also to the RCBA board of directors: the Honorable Victoria Elsmore, Andy Rorvig, Racey Rodne, Mónica Dooner Lindgren, Alex Bajwa, Dea Courtney, Greg Egan, Jacob Glass, Kobie Hudson, Amy Krupinski, Mike Mather, Joe Meyer, Maya Missaghi, Abdifatah Mohamed, the Honorable Jessica Palmer-Denig, the Honorable Amee Pham, Charlie Shafer, and Evan Tsai. Thank you all for your dedication, hard work, and positive vibes. Finally, a special thank you to Cheryl Dalby and Andrew Olson. You are truly invaluable components of RCBA. Our bar could not run so smoothly without your efforts and expertise. 

Thanks again to the RCBA membership, board of directors, staff, financial partners, and supporters. Our organization thrives because of you.

“It’s been an incredible ride. Mission accomplished. With that, I have to bid farewell. I’m the happiest person in the world right now. It’s been better than I ever thought it would be.”

—Jerome Bettis (The Bus)

Kenya Bodden, 2022-2023 Ramsey County Bar Association President, is a partner at Thompson Coe LLP, a 70-plus-year-old national complex litigation law firm with more than 200 attorneys. Kenya focuses his litigation practice in the areas of casualty, transportation, insurance defense, and products liability. He also serves as a board member of Children’s Hospital Association (CHA), a dedicated group of volunteers who raise funds to invest in innovative and integral health care programs at Children’s Minnesota.