April 28, 2016: Committee for Bar Leaders of New York State Created to Foster Communication Among 200 Bar Associations

The New York State Bar Association, seeking to enhance its working relationship with more than 200 local, diversity and specialty bars within the state, has created the Committee for Bar Leaders of New York State.

The new committee replaces the New York State Conference of Bar Leaders, created in 1979 to address the common needs of bar association leaders and executive directors of bar groups.

“I am pleased the New York State Bar Association, through this new committee, will continue to develop active, working relationships with the more than 200 bar associations across the state,” said President David P. Miranda of Albany (Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti). “These bars and their leaders work hard on behalf of their members. The State Bar will do what it can to assist in these efforts.”

The committee will provide opportunities for expanded communication and dialogue among local (county and city), diversity (minority/ethnic), special purpose and specialty bar associations across the state.

“This is a great opportunity to work more closely with leadership of the New York State Bar Association, keep everyone more informed of the committee’s mission and to partner with NYSBA members on outreach and communication to bars across the state,” said Deborah Martin Owens of the Metropolitan Black Bar, who was named chair of the new committee. 

Opportunities include information-sharing among bar leaders and executive directors on topics relating to the operation and management of bar associations through on-site workshops, online webinars, teleconference programs and information available on the committee’s website, www.nysba.org/nybarleaders.

The committee also will facilitate discussion and partnership among bars on policy issues that impact the legal profession and the public.

Committee members, recently appointed by Miranda and President-elect Claire P. Gutekunst, have had extensive leadership experience in various bar associations, as well as within the State Bar. They will serve as liaisons to constituent bars. 

Members of the committee are:

• Deborah Martin Owens, chair, of New York (Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan), Metropolitan Black Bar;
• Vincent Ted Chang of New York (Wollmuth Maher & Deutsch), Asian American Bar Association of New York;
• Andrea Composto of Brooklyn (Composto & Composto), Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York;
• Mariette Geldenhuys of Ithaca (Mariette Geldenhuys, Attorney & Mediator), Finger Lakes Women’s Bar Association;
• Diane M. Herrmann of Albany (NYS Office of Temporary & Disability Assistance), Schenectady County Bar Association;
• Dawn Joyce Lanouette of Binghamton (Hinman Howard & Kattell), Broome County Bar Association;
• Steven Leventhal of Roslyn (Leventhal, Cursio, Mullaney & Blinkoff), Nassau County Bar Association;
• Domenick Napoletano of Brooklyn (Law Office of Domenick Napoletano), Brooklyn Bar Association;
• Steven Leventhal of Roslyn (Leventhal, Cursio, Mullaney & Blinkoff), Nassau County Bar Association;
• Domenick Napoletano of Brooklyn (Law Office of Domenick Napoletano), Brooklyn Bar Association;  
• Marne L. Onderdonk of Albany (Albany County Family Court), Saratoga County Bar Association;  
• Neil Anthony Pawlowski of Buffalo (Duggan & Pawlowski),Bar Association of Erie County;
• Luis Rivera of White Plains, executive director, Westchester County Bar Association;
• Patricia L. R. Rodriguez of Schenectady (Law Office of Patricia L. R. Rodriguez), Capital District Black and Hispanic Bar Association;
• Barton L. Slavin of Rockville Centre, Brooklyn Bar Association;
• Jeffery A. Unaitis of Syracuse, executive director, Onondaga County Bar Association; 
• Feikje Van Rein of New York, executive director, New York Intellectual Property Law Association;
• Connie O. Walker of Rochester, Monroe County Bar Association; 
• Jean Marie Westlake of Syracuse (DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Law Firm), Onondaga County Bar Association; and
• Karla Damico Wilsey of Canandaigua (Underberg & Kessler), Monroe County Bar Association.      
             
The 74,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.

Contact: Lise Bang-Jensen
Director, Media Services and Public Affairs
Lbang-jensen@nysba.org