ASECA ANNUAL DINNER HELD ON MARCH 3, 2006
The 14th Annual William O. Douglas Awards Dinner was held on Friday, March 3, 2006 at The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. More than 500 legal and securities industry professionals attended, including past winners of the William O. Douglas Award, and recipients of ASECA's 2005-2006 scholarships and legal writing competition awards.
Robert Friese, ASECA's current President, opened the evening summarizing the organization's recent achievements, noting Board and membership expansion, the creation of regional ASECA chapters in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Seattle and Texas, and plans for broader scholarship programs. Martha Cochran and Kathy Gallagher presented scholarship and legal writing competition awards for the past year.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the William O. Douglas award to Paul Gonson. Mr. Gonson, who was introduced by his law partner and long-time friend, Richard Phillips, is the 14th recipient of the award. He gave a wonderful account of the history of the SEC during and around the Douglas years, and noted highlights of his experience in his many years with the SEC staff, including those as its Solicitor. The golden years seem to have transcended many decades of the Commission's history.
With the Board and its Officers in place for the coming year, President Friese gave mercifully brief closing remarks, noting his favorite definition of "nostalgia" -- history with the pain removed. Remarks overheard as the crowd departed seemed to confirm that a fine time was had by all -- even those who had difficulty finding their tables.