A Message From the Executive Committee

By Thomas A. Brophy, Esquire - President & CEO

Marshall Dennehey is blessed to have so many men and women who have given of themselves; providing their time, money and effort in support of others in need. Over the history of our firm, countless individuals have selflessly helped family, friends, their colleagues and total strangers through their schools, communities, houses of worship, and charitable and nonprofit organizations.

Because of our employees' generosity, as a firm, we've contributed $1,143,732 over ten years in support of United Way-funded charities. Additionally, as a firm, we provide legal, financial and other types of support and talent to local bar foundations, clients' charitable efforts and in serving on nonprofit boards.

Throughout these past years, I have had the privilege to recognize many of my colleagues for literally providing their blood, sweat and tears to worthy causes. Some of the people who immediately come to mind are Philadelphia supervisor, Althea Banks, and those of us who show up at every Red Cross blood drive, and "Team Marshall Dennehey," led by Steve Ryan and Jeff Bates, who, along with our colleagues, pound out the miles for the American Cancer Society Bike-A-Thon. Of course, we cannot forget Karen Rudderow’s good work as the Susan G. Komen Global Breast Cancer Survivor of the Year in 2011, or Brad Remick’s contributions as a volunteer firefighter for Penn Wynne Fire Department.

In my New Year's message to our firm, I stated, “[we] never expected Hurricane Sandy and the damage it would cause to offices and our employees in four of our six states. Many employees sustained real hardships when their homes and property were damaged. While our firm has almost completely recovered from the wake of Sandy's destruction; nevertheless, firm members rallied to help the firm and those personally affected by the storm. This response was impressive and inspiring and demonstrated the fact that those with whom we work are much more than just 'co-workers.'”

In addition to the examples I’ve provided above, there are so many other individuals at the firm who regularly give of themselves. Therefore, I would like to use this forum to cite some further examples of our employees' kindness. Although I have limited space in this message, I look forward to reporting on this going forward. Here, I’m proud to report the following:

Stacy Gorin, a paralegal in our Cherry Hill office, is actively involved in writing grant proposals and fundraising with the Moyer Foundation, whose mission is to empower children in distress by providing education and support—helping them to live healthy and inspired lives. The Moyer Foundation created and funds Camp Erin, the largest network of free bereavement camps in the country for children and teens who are grieving a significant loss, and Camp Mariposa, for children affected by addiction in their families.

Kevin Connors, Nichole Whetham, Loren Holland and Jessica Julian, all in our Wilmington office, have provided volunteer services at the Sunday Breakfast Mission in Wilmington. There, they sort and pack food boxes for 1,000 needy families in Wilmington through the Defense Counsel of Delaware organization, of which we are members.

Howard Mankoff, managing shareholder of our Roseland office, serves on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Community Center of Scotch Plains. He also serves on the Personnel and Fitness Committees for the Center.

Pittsburgh paralegal, Sandy Fisher, provides a considerable amount of help to others in need. As she points out, “[i]f we all could do something small for someone, it would make us all better people.” Among the many activities Sandy is involved with is working with and mentoring teen mothers who decide to keep their babies through Young Lives. She also volunteers her time fixing up homes for people who cannot do the work, and she recently helped refurbish a home with former Steeler, Jeff Hartings. She also helps out with Urban Impact, an inner-city ministry providing educational assistance, sports activities and spiritual guidance for children.

Michael Nagy, also in our Pittsburgh office, volunteers his time to serve on the board of directors of a local nonprofit organization. He is also currently serving as president of the board of directors of Pittsburgh Young Professionals (PYP). He previously served on the board of directors as treasurer.

I might also mention that Justin Conrad in our Pittsburgh office gives significant time to the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. The Society is a worthwhile cause that is near and dear to his heart. 

Our firm also gives back to youth in sports through volunteerism and coaching. Ralph Bocchino (Philadelphia) and Frank Wickersham (King of Prussia) have spent many years in community soccer leagues, and Adam Sorce of our King of Prussia office has been working as a volunteer with youth basketball.

For over 20 years, Ed McGinn in King of Prussia has been involved with the Support Center for Child Advocates. He has been honored by them for all his work for the organization and the kids it serves.

Wendy Bracaglia in King of Prussia served as chair of the Radnor High School Drug and Alcohol Task Force. The Task Force is a group of students, parents, teachers and administrators who develop programs that are designed to educate both students and parents about the consequences (legal, physical, emotional, etc.) of the abuse of alcohol and drugs.

In our Cherry Hill office, Walt Klekotka and his family spend every Thanksgiving at the Atlantic City Rescue Mission. Lisa Giafaglione, a paralegal, is a board member and volunteer for Cathedral Kitchen, a soup kitchen in Camden that feeds the homeless and has a culinary arts school for the unemployed. Also Walter, Lisa, Vicki Gureghian and Kevin McGoldrick organize and run the annual Holiday Adopt-A-Family Program in Camden County. Carolyn Bogart headed up a group of 750 volunteers who built an all-needs and disability-accessible playground from the ground up in five days.

Tashia Small of our Jacksonville office is involved in several community organizations. Her activities include participation in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

Jeannie Liebegott of our Fort Lauderdale office volunteers her time to the Starlight Children’s Foundation and is involved in their Young Professional Division. Starlight brings together experts from pediatric health care, technology and entertainment to create programs that help brighten the lives of seriously ill children and their families. Jeannie is also active with the Mayersohn-Hyman Scholarship Fund that provides art scholarships to children within the Broward County area. 

Also in our Fort Lauderdale office, secretary Lisa Mananzan is the Sandwich Making Coordinator at LifeNet for Families, one of the largest homeless shelters in Broward County. Kerri O’Brien volunteers on Saturday mornings for events at the Chapman Center, a homeless assistance center in downtown Miami. She is a volunteer through the Dade County Bar Association – YLS Homeless Outreach Committee. Over the past few years, Jessie Harris and her family have held many fundraisers to raise awareness and funds to fight lung cancer. Finally, A.C. Nash mentors law students at Nova Law School, through the student affairs office, by holding mock interviews, on campus programs, etc. Additionally, since 2006 he has been mentoring an inner city student who is now in his last year of law school at FAMU. Craig Hudson, the office's managing shareholder, is the head coach of his son's basketball team in the local recreational league, and he is the assistant coach and lead fundraiser for their travel team. Once a month, he also volunteers at an organization called Boca Helping Hands, working either in the kitchen or in the warehouse.

Cleveland's Sam Casolari serves on the Board of Trustees for Grove City College. Robbyn Moore, also in our Cleveland office, volunteers every Wednesday at her church's community center/food bank/clothing center; annually, at a community event called We Care Expo; every Saturday, in a pot luck community meal following church services; and every Thanksgiving, in a home cooked family style community dinner. Robbyn's church currently averages 25-30 homeless/community members for lunch every week and 40-45 families at the food bank every Wednesday. This year's We Care Expo had a turn-out of well over 800 people.

Roseland attorney Pauline Tutelo should be recognized for her efforts in extending herself to help others in their time of need, both here and abroad. She is an active volunteer in her church and traveled with her church to Africa last year to help the less fortunate.

For a number of years, Michelle Punturi and her family have been working with the Northern Home for Children. Last winter, they collected and donated winter clothing for these children.

As I stated previously, there are so many men and women in our firm who give of themselves for the betterment of others. This forum cannot possibly capture everyone’s kind deeds. Therefore, it is my New Year's resolution to continue to bring to your attention the many examples of altruism exhibited by the men and women at Marshall Dennehey. We are truly blessed.

Defense Digest, Vol. 19, No. 1, March 2013