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Brooklyn Bar Association adds a pair of new employees to staff

July 26, 2017 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Avery Eli Okin (center) and the Brooklyn Bar Association have welcomed a pair of new staff members into the association — Jen Bryan (left), who will serve as the member services director; and Charles Van Order (right), the new financial controller. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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The Brooklyn Bar Association (BBA) recently hired a pair of new employees whom it hopes can help to grow the association and keep it relevant for its members and their needs.

Jen Bryan started last week as the new member services director, and Charles Van Order started as the financial controller in June.

“We’ve put together a new team of experienced professionals who bring the know how to grow the bar association,” said Avery Eli Okin, executive director of the BBA. “They’re here to make this bar association relevant to our members and their specific needs.

“They bring a certain level of maturity to the job,” Okin continued. “Sometimes it takes a while to get it right, but at this point, I think we’ve gotten it right. I’m very optimistic, as is Aimee Richter, our president, by the new team that she has helped to build.”

Bryan, a Texas native and graduate of the University of Houston, where she earned creative writing and communications degrees, most recently worked at the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers prior to joining the BBA.

“Jen worked for another bar association, she worked with another individual membership association,” Okin said. “She brings a wealth of experience in how to run an association on a day-to-day basis — interacting with the membership, serving the members’ needs, growing the association, building programs and reaching out to new and prospective members.”

Van Order graduated from Tompkins Cortland Community College with a degree in computer information systems. He lived in Germany for a few years prior to moving to New York City. He’ll be handling the day-to-day finances for the BBA.

“He gets the unique opportunity to interact with our engaging officers, trustees, members and judges when they have issues involving building,” Okin said. “Charles will be the person who, if there are issues involving dues or payments, or online payments, will be the person to turn to.”

Despite the relatively short time each has been with the BBA, both have already hit the ground running and have served as a de facto face of the association to the public.

“Although the BBA hasn’t seen clients on site in the past 13 years, we still frequently communicate with the public who walk in off the street or are misdirected from the courts or some other organization,” Bryan said.

“You have to have a great rapport,” she continued. “We deal with a lot of different people and it’s very interesting because you have to help people going through hard times.”


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