The Big Leagues of Fiscal Responsibility
By Chip Mellor
When IJ’s Brian Montgomery was 12, he struck out all 18 batters he faced in a Little League game, an event captured on home video and replayed with much merriment in our conference room. Although he’s lost the fastball that served him so well in his youth, Brian still exerts a commanding presence on the softball diamond where he can be found on most summer evenings.
Keeping his eye on the ball also serves Brian well in his capacity as IJ’s director of finance and administration. The Institute for Justice is a dynamic and complex organization composed of our headquarters, three state chapters and our IJ Clinic on Entrepreneur-ship at the University of Chicago Law School. The need for accurate accounting, smoothly integrated systems and harmonious personnel policies has never been greater. Brian, with his keen attention to detail, steps up to the plate every day to ensure that all of this and more work seamlessly. Indeed, amidst all of his regular duties, Brian (along with Matt Corbett, IJ’s accounting and net-work administrator) found time to negotiate the leases, supervise the office build-outs, install the computers and oversee all the myriad details necessary to get each state chapter up and running.
When things are running smoothly (which they usually are) it’s easy for folks to take for granted all that is necessary to keep IJ operating at peak efficiency. But of course, in an organization our size, problems inevitably arise. When that happens, e.g. a computer malfunctions in the midst of a major brief, it is essential that the problem be resolved immediately and without additional stress. That’s when Brian’s unflappable demeanor and even-handed approach really pay off.
Of course, as a non-profit organization, we have a fiduciary obligation to our donors to spend their money as promised and to account accurately for every penny. Brian’s close watch on our expenditures and oversight of our annual audit ensures that our donors always have an accurate account of how we manage their investment in IJ.
Brian may not have pitched another perfect game since that childhood game, but every day he’s a winner at IJ.
Chip Mellor is IJ’s president and general counsel.