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Maryland State Bar Association names new executive director

Anna Sholl has been named the new executive director of the Maryland State Bar Association (Contributed photo)

The Maryland State Bar Association has named Anna S. Sholl its new executive director ahead of the departure of Victor L. Velazquez, who held the role for the past five years.

Sholl, a lawyer, most recently served as the MSBA’s chief operating officer. She will take over as the organization’s executive director on Nov. 1.

Sholl has been part of the MSBA’s leadership team since 2018. The MSBA’s board of governors voted to name her executive director following a months-long search process headed by a group of former MSBA presidents.

“When we brought Anna on board in 2018, she came to us with a wealth of knowledge, tactical strategy, and legal experience,” Velazquez said in a statement. “Over these past four years, Anna has proven to be a critical component of the organization and her leadership and forward-minded thinking are essential to the continued success of the MSBA.”

Velazquez is leaving at the end of this month for a job in the for-profit sector. He came to the MSBA in 2016 after longtime executive director Paul Carlin retired.

Velazquez oversaw an effort to modernize the MSBA’s internal systems and adopt newer technologies, including virtual offerings that became crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sholl will manage the MSBA’s day-to-day operations and continue to implement the organization’s strategic plan. The MSBA faces unique challenges as a voluntary bar association in a state that does not require continuing legal education for lawyers.

David Shapiro, the MSBA’s current president, said he is pleased Sholl will be taking over the organization.

“The MSBA has made tremendous progress over the past five years, much of that under Anna’s watchful eye, and Anna’s selection as executive director positions the MSBA to continue to build our value for our members, adapt and respond to a rapidly-evolving legal profession, and deliver on our mission on behalf of the legal profession and the public we serve,” Shapiro said.

Before she practiced law, Sholl held a managerial position at a Fortune 500 company. The job gave her insight into the legal issues facing the business community and informed her legal work.

She graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law and has previous experience in both small and large firms practicing general and commercial litigation and family law, the MSBA said in a news release.

“I’m honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead the Maryland State Bar Association,” Sholl said. “The association is poised to further develop its strategic road map and build on the tremendous momentum of the past five years. I look forward to working with our talented team and exceptional volunteer leaders to bring the MSBA to the next level as we represent our noble legal profession across the state of Maryland.”