In early January, 2024, a special NAPCO Ad Hoc Leadership Transition Committee met for two days in Arizona to plan and develop a changeover in executive-level operations of the Association pursuant to the retirement of the organization’s executive director, Gordon Griller. Mr. Griller, a long-term NAPCO member, former Minnesota and Arizona trial court executive oﬃcer and consultant at the National Center for State Courts, served pro bono in the position for the last four years. The new executive director will be John Bello, former court executive for the Massachusetts Trial Court and currently a consultant with the National Center.
The change in top-level leadership was negotiated, at the request of the board, by NAPCO Board Chair, Judge John J. Russo, and Michael Buenger, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Oﬃcer at the National Center. The proposed changes were reviewed and authorized in concept by NAPCO’s board of directors at a meeting August 20, 2023, in Boston concurrent with the Association’s Annual Leadership Academy Day and Conference.
Members of the Transition Committee, assembled by Judge Russo and Mr. Griller, were charged with hammering out the speciﬁcs involving the shift in leadership. The committee included judges Maria Hernandez, Roxanne Song Ong, and John Russo; court executive oﬃcers Ray Billotte, Linda Ridge, and Bob Wessels; executive director Gordy Griller; and National Center staﬀ Kristen Trebil-Halbersma, John Bello (also a NAPCO board member), and Nikiesha Cosby.
The group met at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center, a small, nonproﬁt conference and education facility in Carefree, Arizona, 25 miles north of Phoenix. Discussions focused on the sustainability and viability of the Association as undergirded by the NAPCO’s 2022-25 Strategic Plan. A report on the ideas and conclusions of the Ad Hoc Committee will be presented to NAPCO’s executive committee and board of directors in the near future.