Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts
27 School Street, Suite 500, Boston, MA 02108
Ph: 617.973.6666 Fax: 617.973.6663 www.womensbar.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts
Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts
WBA HOLDS ANNUAL MEETING AND NEWLY ADMITTED LAWYERS RECEPTION
Women’s Bar Association Transitions to New Leadership, Welcomes New Lawyers and Honors Leaders in the Community
BOSTON, MA – March 29, 2016 – The Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts (WBA) held its 2016 annual meeting and reception for newly admitted lawyers on March 24, 2016 at the Omni Parker House Hotel. At this event the WBA ushered in new leadership, welcomed new women attorneys to the Massachusetts legal community, and recognized both WBA and civic leaders for their contributions to promoting the advancement of women in the legal profession.
The WBA is delighted to welcome Kristin Shirahama as the organization’s incoming President. Kristin is a partner at Bowditch & Dewey, LLP where she concentrates on estate planning with a focus on special needs planning and elder law. Kristin has demonstrated her dedication to the WBA mission and shown herself to be a strong leader for the organization over her many years as a member. Her work with the WBA began in 2004 when she joined the Legislative Policy Committee, which she co-chaired from 2008 through 2013. She has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2009 and the Executive Board since 2013. Kristin also serves as a trainer for the Women’s Bar Foundation’s Elder Law Project and previously served as a trustee of the Women’s Bar Foundation.
At the annual meeting, the WBA voted on a slate of officers and elected members of the Board of Directors. The organization welcomes the following new and returning officers and directors for 2016-17.
WBA Officers: Kristin W. Shirahama, Bowditch & Dewey LLP, President; Michele Liu Baillie, North Shore Patents, P.C., President-Elect; Bronwyn Roberts, Duane Morris LLP, Vice President of Membership & Statewide Outreach; Marie Chafe, Cornell & Gollub, Vice President of Operations; Jennifer Saubermann, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, Treasurer; Nicole Forbes, Gesmer Updegrove LLP, Secretary.
WBA Immediate Past President: Kimberly Dougherty, of Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLP
WBA Board of Directors:
At-Large Directors - Meredith Ainbinder, Osram Sylvania, Inc.; Stefanie Balandis, Northeast Legal Aid;
Margaret Caulfield, PartnersHealthcare; Nancy Cremins, Gesmer Updegrove LLP; Kara DelTufo, Dana Farber Cancer Institute; Stesha Emmanuel, Todd & Weld, LLP; Heather Engman, Massachusetts Department of Public Health[ Kristy Lavigne, Office of the Attorney General; Sandra Lundy, Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, P.C.; Krina Patel, athenahealth; Michelle Peirce, Donoghue, Barrett & Singal, P.C.; Rebecca Pontikes, Pontikes Law, LLC; Jamie Ann Sabino, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Raquel Webster, National Grid
Regional Directors - Victoria Spetter, Law Firm of Victoria C. Spetter (Middlesex); Camala Richardson, Law Office of Camala A. Richardson (Cape & Islands); Julie Lynch, Law Office of Julie A. Lynch (New Bedford/Fall River); Brianna Sullivan, On Point Legal Solutions (North Shore); Donna Truex, Bowditch & Dewey (Central Massachusetts).
Each promises to bring dedication to the WBA’s mission, demonstrated leadership and many years of WBA experience to the Board.
At the Newly Admitted Lawyers Reception, the WBA welcomed its keynote speaker, the Honorable Fernande R.V. Duffly, Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), who provided welcoming remarks. Born in Indonesia, Justice Duffly later received her B.A. from the University of Connecticut in 1973 and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1978. She began her career as an attorney in 1978 and served as a probate and family court judge from 1992 to 2000. Prior to her 2011 appointment to the SJC by former Governor Deval Patrick, she served as a judge for the Massachusetts Appeals Court. In addition to her national leadership roles, including past President of the National Association of Women Judges, she has been a frequent author, lecturer and mentor. Having served on the SJC for five years, Justice Duffly recently announced that she will retire from the court in July. The WBA thanks Justice Duffly for bringing a broad and diverse perspective to the bench and for serving as a role model to women lawyers throughout her career.
The WBA then recognized Massachusetts state Senator Daniel Wolf (D-Harwich) with the WBA Legislator of the Year Award for his demonstrated commitment to improving the lives of women in the Commonwealth. Senator Wolf, who represents the Cape and Islands District, currently serves as the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. In the previous 2013-2014 Legislative Session, he actively worked on the state’s historic minimum wage and unemployment insurance reforms, one of the nation’s first Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, and legislation to strengthen the enforcement of Massachusetts wage laws. In the current Session, Senator Wolf has shown great leadership on bills important to the WBA including the Pay Equity bill (S.2119), the Pregnancy Workers Fairness Act (H.1769), and the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (S.1008/H.1718). Senator Wolf is also the Founder and Chief Executive Officer for Cape Air, one of the most philanthropic companies in the region. After serving three terms in the Senate, he will not be seeking re-election in the fall. The WBA thanks Senator Wolf for championing many issues important to women during his tenure.
Outgoing WBA President Kim Dougherty expressed parting remarks, “It has been an honor to be the voice of the Women’s Bar Association this past year. I was continuously inspired and motivated by the dedication of our Board and all of our members to our mission. Thank you to our members for all of the hard work everyone puts into the WBA by supporting important legislation, promoting women in our profession, planning and attending events, and serving on our committees, our Board and Executive Board. Together we have done amazing things and I am proud of our accomplishments over this past year. I look forward to the passionate leadership that President Kristin Shirahama will bring to the WBA as she embarks on her new role. It has been a pleasure to serve with her and the other distinguished members of the WBA’s Board of Directors.”
WBA President Kristin Shirahama stated, “The WBA had an outstanding year with Kim Dougherty at the helm and I extend a heartfelt thanks to her for her leadership and dedication. Justice Duffly provided us with inspiring remarks, reminding us that although women have made great strides in the profession, we still lag behind men in positions of power and influence in the law. I’m also so pleased we were able to honor Senator Dan Wolf, a tireless champion for the issues we all care so deeply about. He has been our unwavering partner on important legislation affecting women and families in the Commonwealth. As we start this new year, I am proud to lead this great organization as we help every woman achieve success, however she defines it.”
About the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts
Founded in 1978 by a group of activist women lawyers, the Women’s Bar Association boasts a large membership of women lawyers, judges, policy makers, and law students across Massachusetts. The WBA is committed to the full and equal participation of women in the legal profession and in a just society. The WBA works to achieve this mission through committees and task forces and by developing and promoting a legislative agenda to address society’s most critical social and legal issues. Other WBA activities include drafting amicus briefs, studying employment issues affecting women, encouraging women to enter the judiciary, recognizing the achievement of women in the law, and providing pro bono services to women in need through its sister organization, the Women’s Bar Foundation. For more information, visit www.womensbar.org.
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