Litera Microsystems vice president of client development Joy Heath Rush has been selected as interim CEO by The International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) after a formal search to replace former CEO Dan Liutikas saw the board review over 100 applications.
After more than three decades serving in a variety of technology roles at global 20 firm Sidley Austin, Rush joined Litera Microsystems in 2014. However, it is her ILTA experience dating back to 1996 – including serving on the board of directors and as board president from 2007 to 2009 – that will please volunteers, who called out loudly for a CEO who is part of the ILTA community and understands its core values.
“Joy’s combination of legal technology know-how and first-hand experience as an ILTA member, leader and business partner make her an excellent choice to take on this critical leadership role,” said Angela Dowd, ILTA board president. “I had the pleasure of working with Joy early in my ILTA career and am thrilled to have an opportunity to work with her again in this capacity.”
Poignantly, Rush credits her ILTA experience for much of her professional success. “My career would not be where it is today without ILTA. I would not be the leader I am without my ILTA volunteer experiences, and I would not be the person I am without my ILTA relationships,” said Rush. “Although I am saddened to leave the dynamic team at Litera Microsystems, I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to serve ILTA in this leadership role.”
This echoes a number of volunteers who spoke passionately at a Town Hall meeting at ILTA’s flagship annual conference on 22 August, which was convened for volunteers to express their concerns about, among many other things, who ILTA would select as CEO.
Kelley Drye & Warren’s CIO Judith Flournoy, who was among those who stood up and addressed the board at the Town Hall, told Legal IT Insider: “I am very pleased with the ILTA Board’s choice for the interim CEO and even more pleased that in Kate Cain’s comments that there is a hope that Joy will move from interim to permanent CEO.
“I think Joy has the business acumen, emotional intelligence, understanding of ILTA’s core values and culture and, a deep understanding of the importance of the vendor community. That’s a winning combination in my book.”
The CEO search was launched in early August with a position description that emphasised collaboration, communication and relationship building. “We met a number of candidates from within the legal technology community, as well as those with extensive professional association leadership experience,” said Dowd. “They were fantastic, but Joy’s leadership and communication styles, her collaborative approach and her personal commitment to ILTA’s mission and values set her apart from the rest.”
Over the past several months, ILTA’s board, professional staff and volunteer leaders have pulled together to minimise disruptions to day-to-day operations and it was widely acknowledged by the ILTA community that, despite a lack of CEO, the organisers pulled off a sterling event, with a record 4,100 in attendance.
The momentum will continue with INSIGHT 2018 which will be held on November 14 in London.
“We are grateful to our professional staff and volunteers for their hard work during the recent months. Their tireless efforts and willingness to go above and beyond reasonable expectations are evidence of their passion for ILTA,” said Dowd.
“And we are excited to start the next chapter in ILTA’s story with Joy as our CEO.”
“We the 97”: The ILTA Ultimatum – at page 6 of the latest free Orange Rag newsletter