In transition: Bar association searching for new executive director


By Tom Kirvan

Legal News
Some 3-1/2 years after she began her duties as executive director of the Oakland County Bar Association, Terri Ticknor Gilbert will leave the OCBA later this month for a research job at the University of Michigan.
The decision to depart was “very difficult,” Gilbert said, and came about after she was offered an opportunity to “contribute back to the state’s juvenile justice system in a meaningful way.”

Before joining the OCBA in January 2014, Gilbert had served in an executive role with the Michigan Department of Human Services, heading the Child Welfare Funding and Juvenile Programs. She also had served as the agency’s director of Strategic Planning and as director of the Child Welfare Bureau.

Prior to her time with the state agency, Gilbert held various leadership roles with Spectrum Human Services, a nonprofit organization in Southeast Michigan that delivers services in child welfare, mental health, juvenile justice, behavioral health, and substance abuse treatment. It was during her time with Spectrum that Gilbert crossed paths with her predecessor at the OCBA, Lisa Stadig Elliot, who would leave the human services agency in 2000 to become executive director of the Oakland Bar for the next 13 years.

“I have truly enjoyed my time at the OCBA,” said Gilbert, an alumna of Oakland University who earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan.  “I had no intention of leaving until I was approached about a job at the U-M, where I could be involved in big data analysis to help the state with its juvenile justice system and child welfare issues. In that sense, it was really a dream job for me.”

Gilbert will serve as a research scientist at the U-M School of Social Work, and also will have the opportunity to teach graduate level classes next winter or spring, she indicated. An Ann Arbor resident, Gilbert is scheduled to begin her new duties July 24 on a part-time basis as she transitions from her responsibilities with the OCBA.

“I am helping the search committee find my replacement and will do my best to ensure a smooth transition in leadership,” Gilbert said.

Gerald Gleeson, the new president of the OCBA Board of Directors, is chairing the search committee, which also includes Tom Howlett, Jim Parks, Dan Quick, and Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Victoria King.

“Needless to say, we are very sorry to see Terri leave the OCBA, but we wish her well in her new job,” said Gleeson, an attorney with Miller Canfield. “She certainly will be missed.”

More than 60 candidates already have applied for the opening, Gilbert said last week, and the job is scheduled to be posted through Friday, July 7. The OCBA has more than 3,000 members and is the largest voluntary bar association in the state.