And the Nominees are…

I was walking into the Telesca Center for Justice the other morning, and along came the wonderful Loren Kroll (looking dapper as usual). Loren and I chatted briefly about how it was nice to feel spring in the air, and then he said, “Oh Mary, I sent my ballot in, but I have to tell you, I only knew one person!” He then went on to infer either that he is aging or disconnected — I don’t want to put words in Loren’s mouth, but that was the gist of the message.

I started thinking about how we could make this better. Not sure if you noticed, but this year with the ballot, we enclosed a short bio paragraph on each of the candidates hoping to provide useful information on each of the candidates. But taking it one step further, I decided that for this week’s blog we would re-send their bios’ and include their picture so you can place a face to a name.

I understand that with the new non-profit law, by next year, we will be able to do our nomination ballots electronically, therefore, we will be able to include their portraits, along with their bio. This will be so much better and obviously, more efficient.

Perhaps you already sent your ballot in, if not, please let this serve as a gentle reminder to send your ballot today, while also giving you a glimpse at the new MCBA leadership.

It is hard to believe that we are in the final quarter of the 2013-14 bar year, and as one of the many activities this time of year, we are getting ready to welcome a new set of officers and trustees for the Monroe County Bar Association Board. President Diane Cecero has had a very busy year; always busier than anticipated. Like the many presidents that came before her, Diane is beginning to count the days till the end of her term. When you take on another job, on top of your full-time job, the demands are immense. I appreciate all that she has done as President of the MCBA.

I am so fortunate to work with great bar leaders every year, and next year will be no exception as Steve Modica prepares to assume the role of President on July 1, 2014. Following Steve’s term, Neil Rowe, will assume the role of President-Elect.

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So please take a moment and meet your new MCBA leadership.

Here are the 2014-15 MCBA Officer and Trustee Nominees:

Neil Rowe LinkedIn Headshot

Neil J. Rowe, Esq.  (President-Elect)

Neil Rowe, a graduate of Washington & Lee University School of Law, is a Solo Practitioner and Lecturer in Organizational Management at Keuka College.  Previously, Neil was an attorney for the NYS Mental Hygiene Service, Fourth Judicial Department, for 32 years, 25 of which were as Deputy Director.  He has been a member of the MCBA since 1999 and currently serves as Secretary of the MCBA Board of Trustees.  He is a member of the Executive Committee, past chair of the Public Education Committee and past member of the Center for Education Board of Directors, Memorial and Strategic Plan, Awards, Communications, Disability, Labor & Employment Law, Elder Law, Membership & Events, and Bankruptcy Committees.

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Amy Varel, Esq.  (Treasurer)

Amy Varel, a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, is a Partner with McConville Considine Cooman & Morin, PC., practicing in the areas of business, health care and employment.  She has been a member of the MCBA since 2000 and currently is serving her first term as MCBA Treasurer.  Amy is Chair of the House Finance Committee and a member of the Executive Committee, Business Law Section and Council, Membership & Events and Solo & Small Practice Committees.  She is past Chair of the Young Lawyers Section, Business Law Council and Membership & Events Committee and past member of the Academy of Law.  Amy is also a member of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys (GRAWA) and Business Law Section of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA).

Mark Funk

Mark D. Funk, Esq.  (Secretary)

Mark Funk, a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law, is a Solo Practitioner practicing in the areas of criminal and family law.  He has been a member of the MCBA since 1996 and is currently serving on the MCBA Board of Trustees, a member of the Criminal Justice and Family Law Sections, Family Law Council and Solo and Small Practice Committee.  Mark is a past member of the Business Law and Young Lawyers Section, Environmental Law, Lawyers for Learning and Mentoring Committees.

 Davis, Michael (2)

Michael E. Davis, Esq.  (Trustee – Three Year Term)

Michael Davis, a graduate of the SUNY Buffalo Law School, is an attorney with the Rochester City School District.  His main areas of practice are civil litigation and education law.  He has been a member of the MCBA since 1982 and is a past member of the Lawyers for Learning Committee and Municipal Lawyers Committees.

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Wende J. Knapp, Esq.  (Trustee – Three Year Term)

Wende Knapp, a graduate of the SUNY Buffalo Law School, is an Associate in the Labor and Employment practice group at Harter Secrest & Emery LLP.  She has been a member of the MCBA since 2009 and is currently Chair of the Young Lawyers Section and member of the Disability, Labor & Employment Committee.  She is a past member of the Diversity and Nominating Committees and Litigation Section.  Wende also is a member of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys (GRAWA), and is Co-Chair of the SUNY Buffalo Law School Alumni Rochester Steering Committee.

 McDonald, Elizabeth (2)

Elizabeth J. McDonald, Esq.  (Trustee – Three Year Term)

Elizabeth McDonald, a graduate of Albany Law School, is Principal Law Clerk to the Hon. Teresa D. Johnson, Supervising Judge, City Courts, 7th Judicial District.  She has been a member of the MCBA since 1979 and is currently Chair of the MCBA Awards Committee.  She is a past Dean of the Academy of Law and past member of the Fee Arbitration, Professional Performance and Unlawful Practice of Law Committees.  She is a member of the House of Delegates of the New York State Bar Association and is Chair-Elect of the NYSBA Senior Lawyers Section.  She serves on the Board of the New York Bar Foundation and Volunteer Legal Services Project.

 Amy Schwartz Headshot

Amy E. Schwartz, Esq.  (Trustee – Three Year Term)

Amy Schwartz, a graduate of the SUNY Buffalo Law School, is a senior staff attorney with the Empire Justice Center, a legal service provider located at the Telesca Center for Justice.  She has been a member of the MCBA since 2000 and is a member of the Family Law Section.  She is a past member of the Ethics Committee.  Amy served as President of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys (GRAWA) in 2009-10 and is currently Chair of GRAWA’s Domestic Violence Committee and Co-Chair of the Women’s Bar Association of New York State (WBASNY) Domestic Violence Committee.

 Sheppard, Josie_2in

Josie M. Sheppard, Esq.  (Trustee – Three Year Term)

Josie Sheppard, a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, is an Associate with Harris Beach PLLC in the Business and Commercial Litigation Practice Group.  Since 2011, she has been a member of the MCBA and is a mentor at School 29 under MCBA’s Lawyers for Learning Program.  She is currently a member of MCBA’s Litigation and Young Lawyers Sections, and Diversity Committee.  Josie serves as Co-Chair of the Program Committee of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys (GRAWA), and is a member of the Rochester Black Bar Association (RBBA) and New York State Bar Association.

I hope you enjoyed reading and meeting all the new leaders. Please join me in congratulating them as they take on this new leadership role. They are your representatives, so know who they are, and next time you run into one of them on Main Street or at a bar event, introduce yourself. I know they will appreciate it.

Thanks for checking in,

Mary

 

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