By Lisa S. Fine, Esq.
As we finally say goodbye to record breaking freezing temperatures, coupled with more snow, ice and what I can only call icy slush than I have ever experienced in Long Island, I can honestly say Welcome Spring!
The winter months were certainly a challenge, but the SCWBA events kept marching along. Our holiday party in December at the lovely Trio at Holbrook Country Club, was a great success despite the snow and icy roads causing a less than anticipated turnout. Apparently snow on the eve of our holiday party is becoming a tradition.
We raffled off gift baskets that were generously donated by sponsors and donated the proceeds to the Rollstone Foundation. We also collected grocery store gift cards which we donated to Hero Hunger Help to assist veterans in feeding their families. Of course, as is also our tradition, we collected stuffed bears for the Family Court Foster Care Program. It was a warm and lovely evening inside, even though it was a cold, snowy night outside. I would like to thank our holiday party committee, consisting of Barbara Neiroda, Jennifer Maloney and Leora Ardizzone.
2015 brought more ice, snow, slush and freezing temperatures but we still managed to learn how to Achieve Work-Life balance in 2015 in January at Blend Restaurant at Paces with Heidi Krantz, Professional Life Coach. We had a delicious dinner and learned how to successfully plan our goals, keeping them attainable. It was an excellent and enjoyable evening.
In January, the Suffolk County Women’s Bar Association met a goal that I, as President, had made a priority for our chapter – membership. I am so proud to report that we have increased our membership and, in so doing, we have earned our chapter a third delegate to WBASNY. Why is this important? Delegates or directors from our chapter vote on important state-wide issues. The more delegates we have as a chapter, the more votes. Thus, more delegates for Suffolk means more of a voice for our chapter on the state level. We are so excited and I hope this trend continues upward.
In February, our own board member Leora F. Ardizzone, who serves of Counsel to Ruskin Moscou, Faltischek as a member of the firm’s Health Law Regulatory and Transactional Department, presented an informative CLE on Health Law at the Suffolk County Bar Association. It was well received by all who attended.
March’s CLE program was presented by Joseph Campolo of Campolo Middleton & McCormick LLP at the Suffolk County Bar Association. A great overview of managing time and marketing a law practice, the program provided us all with great techniques and information crucial for any size practice.
April’s program turned out to be an amazing evening of mingling with the Judges. We booked a room at a favorite of ours, the Irish Coffee Pub where we offered a tasty buffet and open bar to attendees as they had the opportunity to cohort and mingle with some of Suffolk County’s prominent members of the bench. Thank you to Judge Czygier, Judge Hudson, Judge Theresa Whelan, Judge Thomas Whelan, Judge Kevins and Judge Tinari created quite a stir amount our membership, and we had more than enough members there to vote in the WBASNY and chapter slate of new officers. A good time was had by all.
On the State level, I just want to say that is has been such a pleasure working with Irene Villacci. In fact, I recently had the opportunity to mentor some students from Hofstra Law School with Irene, and my Nassau counterpart, NCWBA president Cheryl Bartow. As all three of us are Hofstra Law School Alumni, we were asked by the Dean of the Law School, Eric Lane, to appear on a panel run by the professor of legal writing for Hofstra. Our discussions involved the unique challenges facing young female attorneys, as well as suggestions for getting the ideal job or career. It was such an amazing opportunity for us to share our knowledge and experiences with these students and recent graduates.
WBASNY recently announced that, on the state level, we have over 4,100 members! Again, we hold steady as the second largest statewide bar association in New York. And we have been working closely with the first (New York State Bar Association) in refining our practices as they attempt to go more grass roots (our specialty). The synergy between the two bar associations continue to develop.
Thank you to our amazing WBASNY leadership for all you have done this year, and to my loyal and hardworking board who continue to make this year a positive one for the Suffolk Chapter.
Congratulations to the incoming officers of WBASNY, and to our own incoming officers. We look forward to another successful year on the state and chapter level.
As for me, well I am looking forward to taking on that most coveted chapter position of all! Immediate Past President!