The event is not scheduled until March 8, 2008, but we already want to start bragging that our own Partner, Jim Jaworski, will be honored at the Distinguished Citizens Dinner of his alma mater, Ramapo College. Jim graduated from Ramapo in 1981 after a tour in the Air Force, and later went on to attend New York Law School. Jim is being honored not as an alumnus, but for his service to the community which includes active membership in the Bergen Highlands Rotary Club (President in 1999 to 2000), service on the Ridgewood YWCA Board of Directors from 2002 to 2004, and service on the West Bergen Mental Health Board of Directors since 2004. Jim is an active land use and real estate attorney in our firm, specializing in development applications in the upper end of the county, particularly, Ramsey and Mahwah. Jim divides his time between his home in Ramsey and vacation home in Sunapee, New Hampshire. Jim and his wife, Michele, are the proud parents of 8 year old Michael. Congratulations Jim!
Congratulations also to our Partner, Darrell Felsenstein, on his election as a Trustee of the Bergen County Bar Association. Darrell, who will now serve a three year term, enjoys his connection with the Bar Association and looks forward to even greater involvement. Lest you think that Bar Association activities just proves that Darrell is indeed a “stuffy lawyer”, please know that Darrell is actively coaching and now is also on the Board of the Glen Rock Baseball Association. Darrell takes baseball as seriously as the Bar Association and recently spent a week in sunny Florida at the New York Yankees fantasy camp. You should see the pictures….he looks like the real thing!
Darrell is not our only coach, Partner, Ken Porro, can also be found on the field coaching. He coaches his sons, Kyle and Connor, on their Wyckoff Recreational Basketball teams. Ken’s been busy off the field as well. Ken, who is Chair of our Litigation Department, was pleased to recently receive a $15 Million Dollar municipal property tax assessment reduction for a major Paramus property owner. This area of Ken’s practice continues to take a significant amount of his time, as does his continued work in the environmental litigation area, in particular with respect to defense of actions by dune owners along the New Jersey shore. He is scheduled to present oral argument before the New Jersey Appellate Division on December 18, 2007 on behalf of 67 Long Beach Island ocean property owners seeking to protect their constitutional right against governmental takings without just compensation.
Associate, Jill Rosenfeld, just completed a stint on the Dinner Committee for the Paramus Chamber of Commerce Foundation Twelfth Annual Dreams Award Gala. This benefit, which helps raise funds for the Paramus Public School System, this year honored among others former Mayor and former School Board President and old friend, Charlie Reid, who these days lives in Kennybunkport, Maine and has been under the weather. It was good to see Charlie, an old and good friend, in town again.
Our new partner, AnnMarie Smits, who is the head of our Tax, Trusts and Estates Department, was one of the seminar presenters at a recent National Business Institute Continuing Legal Education presentation for other lawyers on estate administration.
Partner, Stuart Liebman, at long last stepped down after five years as President of Temple Beth Sholom in Fair Lawn. We were starting to think he was going to take on the position permanently. He is still in the thick of things as Vice President of Law, and the Co-Vice President of Fund-Raising. In another one of those semi-permanant Presidencies, Stuart remains the President of the Board of Directors of ARTSPOWER, one of our favorite non-profits, and recently attended the Lillian Pitkin Foundation Awards Program in that capacity, happily receiving a Foundation Grant on behalf of ARTSPOWER. Stuart has also served his third straight year as Chairperson of the Bergen County Bar Association Land Use Committee.
Partner, Tom Wells, continues to be a moving target. After a summer of sailing on Lake Champlain with his wife, Carol (not all summer!), they are headed off to sail a bareboat charter in New Zealand this January. Tom continues to bounce backand-forth between our Bristol, Vermont and Paramus, New Jersey offices, with frequent trips to Bend, Oregon, where he serves on the Bank of the Cascades Board of Directors. Through his connection with this Board, Tom has become active in the National Association of Corporate Directors and recently received his Certificate in Director Education. Tom continues to demonstrate a high degree of interest in “international” community service serving as the Chairman of the World Service Committee of the Ridgewood YMCA, and President of Wells Mountain Foundation. The latter has now expanded to support education programs in Haiti, Ghana and Senegal, and literacy programs here in the United States. Tom recently represented the Ridgewood YMCA World Service Committee at a meeting held in Mexico City of World Service participants from the Canadian, US and Mexican YMCAs.
Partner, Jim Delia, is also on the Ridgewood YMCA World Service Committee and has just signed on to coach soccer for a week this summer in Haiti at a “camp” for some very needy kids.