A Chapter of the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY)
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Member News


Congratulations to Lucia Chiocchio and Cindy Kanusher who were honored with the 2023 Women Innovators Award from Westfair Communications on October 26, 2023 at the VIP Country Club in New Rochelle. The award is given to women who have been innovators in various fields, advocate for innovation in their organizations and break barriers by making significant contributions to science, technology, arts and other areas. 

Westchester County Executive George Latimer has appointed Lisa M. Denig, Esq.WWBA Board member and Past President, as Commissioner of Human Resources at the Westchester County Department of Human Resources. Lisa has previously served in senior positions within the Office of Court Administration and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, and as the Chief of Staff to the Putnam County Executive.

On March 2, 2023, the Society of Irish-American Lawyers (SOCIAL) honored Kathleen Donelli, Esq., WWBA Past President and Partner at Goldschmidt & Genovese, LLP, with a Distinguished Achievement Award at its annual GALA. The Hon. Sondra M. Miller gave eloquent and meaningful introductory remarks about her mentoring relationship and bond with Kathleen, and the Hon. Colleen D. Duffy, Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department, presented her with the award. Kathleen gave a rich speech, both educating the audience about Ireland’s history and sharing a personal history of her family and profession.

WWBA President Elizabeth Z. Marcus, and longtime WWBA members Mary F. Kelly, Esq., Past President of both WBASNY and the WWBA, and a founding member of Kelly & Knaplund, and Carla D. Glassman, Esq., a founding member and Of Counsel to Glassman & Brown, LLP, were among those present in support. The WWBA extends heartfelt congratulations to Kathleen on this honor.

 Prolific author and WWBA Archive & Historian Chair, Susan L. Pollet, has published a collection of poems in 2023, entitled “Susiku, And More.” Susan has been writing poems daily for the last three years, and her poems have appeared in various publications, but this is her first book of poetry. Its title is a play on words between haiku and her first name. The first part, “SEEKING CONNECTION, HOWEVER TENUOUS,” contains poems which examine struggles within relationships and in communications between people, as well as poems which explore internal dialogues. The second part, “REDEMPTION AND RENEWAL, ON OCCASION,” probes universal questions about existence, history, survival, violence, beauty, love and more. Looking forward to a warm coffee and inspiration in Susan’s poetry on a spring day. Please visit SusanPollet.com for more information. “Susiku, And More” is available on Amazon.com; Barnesandnoble.com; and other online and local retailers.

The Women in Professional Development group meets on the first Friday of each month, at 1:00pm, at the 445 Café in White Plains. Its goal is to provide WWBA members with informal support to effectively deal with the inevitability of change in our lives and careers. The group aims to provide peer-to-peer networking and conversation, and to leverage the experience and expertise of fellow WWBA members. The next meeting is scheduled for April 1, 2023, with a new discussion topic to be circulated closer to then. Please contact Sakeena B. Naqvi at sakeenan26@gmail.com, or Juliet Gobler, at juliet@goblerlaw.com, with any questions or to join the email list. 

We are happy to share that Immediate Past President Amanda Fried’s daughter, Indie Frances Fried, was born on December 28, 2022. Congratulations to Amanda, and we welcome Indie to the WWBA family!

On December 2, 2022, longtime WWBA member, Gladys G. Ullmann, Esq., was inducted into the Westchester County Senior Citizens Hall of Fame. The awards ceremony, now in its 40th year, was conducted as a multi-platform virtual event and led by Westchester County Executive George Latimer.

The Senior Hall of Fame is a tribute to older adults who have generously given their time and energy to improve the quality of life in their communities or Westchester County at large. This distinction is awarded to those whose contributions have made a positive difference through their professional lives, volunteer work, or both.

Gladys, who is currently 91 years old and practicing law, began her career as a high school teacher in Mount Vernon and Ardsley schools, where she taught French. After retiring for 20 years, she returned to school herself and obtained a law degree at Pace University. Gladys excelled in both careers and raised a family. Gladys continues to be a vibrant participant of the WWBA – she is a valuable contributor to book club discussions and attends many social events. Gladys is also an active member of the Scarsdale Women’s Club and the New Rochelle Bar Association. The WWBA extends congratulations to Gladys for this recognition of her outstanding professional life, and gratitude for her contributions to our community!

Collaboration between the WWBA and the Westchester County Bar Association continued this year with overwhelming support from our members, amounting to a successful second Winter Coat Drive. More than 300 coats, plus scarves, hats, and gloves, were delivered on January 10, 2023 to Lifting Up Westchester, Grasslands Homeless Shelter, and Midnight Run. Thank you, donors!


Giving Back to Hillside Food Outreach – Thanks to the generosity of WWBA members, Lisa Denig and Jim Carpiniello were able to deliver 150 pounds worth of turkeys to Hillside Food Outreach. These turkeys will be distributed to Hillside’s clients who are elderly, sick or homebound. Thank you, WWBA!

WWBA Member Awarded for Community Contribution – In the July 31, 2021 issue of “The Record Review,” the local paper for Bedford, Pound Ridge, and Lewisboro, the author of Bedford’s Talk of the Town led his column with kudos for Katonah resident, and WWBA member, Rebecka J. Levitt, along with her son Michael. Rebecka and Michael worked together to plant a small garden between the sidewalk and the road in front of their house. Rebecka got permission from the town to plant the area, which technically is part of the town’s curtilage. The plot attracted birds, bees, and even rabbits, as well as approving words from neighbors. This year, Rebecka and Michael’s contribution to the beauty of their community earned them awards from Senator Shelley B. Mayer. Congratulations, Rebecka and Michael!

A Pre-Thanksgiving Walk Around Rockland Lake – Cold weather couldn’t stop a fun and determined group of WWBA members from an invigorating walk in Rockland Lake State Park on Sunday, November 19, 2022. The 3-mile paved loop around the lake provided a scenic spot for air and exercise before the holiday. Thanks to those who joined the WWBA Wellness Committee for this event!

Abrams Fensterman, LLP is pleased to announce that Amanda K. Rieben has joined their firm as an Associate in the Family/Matrimonial division. Through her legal work in the non-profit and private sectors, Amanda has concentrated her practice in all facets of family/matrimonial law. Prior to joining the firm, Amanda served as Director of the Pace Women’s Justice Center’s Walk-In Legal Clinic. She helped develop and launch the Clinic, which provides pro bono legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse, primarily in the areas of family and matrimonial law. Amanda is also a former associate of one of the largest family law firms in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Earlier on in her career, she worked as a Staff Attorney at Legal Services of the Hudson Valley in the organization’s domestic violence unit. Additionally, she was a Staff Attorney at the Center for Family Representation, Inc., where she represented parents in child protective proceedings in New York County Family Court. Amanda brings to the firm a compassionate and deep understanding of the difficulties that the court process can pose. She recognizes the impact that a court order can have on a litigant’s emotional state and wellbeing, and on the litigant’s family. Amanda is empathetic toward each of her client’s needs and dedicated to providing each client with high-quality legal services and counsel.

Amanda currently serves as a co-chair of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association Families, Children and the Courts Committee and the Annual Dinner Committee, and she is the Westchester Women’s Bar Association representative of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (“WBASNY”) 2023 Convention Committee. She is also the President Elect of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association. In her legal profession, she carries with her an acute appreciation and understanding of the importance of family as she is a proud and devoted mother to her three young daughters.

In her newest collection of adult short stories, “Disappearing From View,” prolific author and Westchester Women’s Bar Association Archive & Historian Chair, Susan L. Pollet, explores the following: “No matter when you live your life, you will experience, amidst ephemeral periods of joy and harmony, that the world is constantly changing, and what you once thought was solid and stable, disappeared from view, sometimes for the better, and other times not. This collection of short stories describes that phenomenon in different contexts, whether it is in the form of a person who purposely

Leason Ellis LLP is proud to announce that Elizabeth Barnhard, Esq. was selected for inclusion in the IAM Patent 1000 2022. Patents are essential business commodities and knowing how to obtain, enforce and monetize them has become mission critical. The IAM Patent 1000 has firmly established itself as the definitive ’go-to’ resource for those seeking to identify world-class, private practice patent expertise and leading expert witnesses in the U.S. The IAM Patent 1000 recommends Elizabeth as a ’go-to’ resource for those seeking world-class, private practice patent counsel for prosecution and transactions, and it has shared this client testimonial about her work. “Elizabeth is an excellent project manager and a great strategist when it comes to securing patent protection internationally and expanding portfolios.”

Cuddy & Feder LLP is pleased to announce that Kristen Motel, Esq., Partner in the firm’s Land Use, Environmental, and Telecommunications practice groups, was recently appointed to serve as Chair of the Cannabis Law group. Kristen frequently appears before municipal land use boards and permitting agencies to secure approvals for clients in numerous controversial projects. She is uniquely suited to guide applicants through the state cannabis application process and represent clients in municipal forums to obtain land use approvals. In addition to being a WWBA member, Kristen is an active member of the Hudson Valley Cannabis Industry Association and the Westchester County Bar Association’s Cannabis Law Committee. She has presented as a panelist on local land use and municipal considerations related to New York’s adult-use cannabis legislation.

In trying times, as so many try to contribute in their own ways, prolific author and WWBA Archive & Historian Chair, Susan L. Pollet, has contributed a new collection of adult short stories entitled “Watching And Letting It All Go,” available on Amazon. These fictional stories explore what the process of watching and “letting go” opened up for its characters as they struggled with what they could and could not control in their lives. “Letting go” is looked at in terms of people’s thoughts about their pasts and futures, their relationships, their work, their neighbors and neighborhoods, and their life plans and personal identities. By reading these stories, perhaps the readers will take comfort in knowing that we all get to the other side one way or another, but it is our attitude during the journey that counts.

❑ Congratulations to past president Kim BergThe Board of Judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) has selected Kim Berg to serve as Magistrate Judge, part time, for a term of four years. As part time Magistrate Judge, Ms. Berg will assist District Judges with criminal matters pertaining to several federal enclaves. She will assume the seat occupied by Magistrate Judge Martin R. Goldberg, who will retire in September 2022, after 30 years of service.

On May 5, 2022, Dolores Gebhardt, Esq., a Partner at Goldschmidt & Genovese, LLP, was inducted as President of the Westchester County Bar Association at its 122nd Annual Banquet. Dolores is the first person ever to have served as President of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association, President of the White Plains Bar Association, and now President of the Westchester County Bar Association. Dolores gave a vibrant speech outlining her motivation for the year ahead, centered around a theme of unification among attorneys, who are no doubt “stronger together.” She also took time to recognize her family and three mentors, all of whom were present, and one of whom, our revered WWBA founding member, the Honorable Sondra M. Miller, administered the oath of office. The WWBA extends our heartfelt congratulations to Dolores, as well as our confidence in her leadership, as she takes the helm of the WCBA.

At the same event, the WCBA recognized Mary F. Kelly, Esq., with a certificate for her 50 years in the practice of law. Mary is a former President of both WBASNY and WWBA. She continues to practice matrimonial law and trusts and estates law at her firm of Kelly & Knaplund in White Plains.

Kurzman, Eisenberg, Corbin & Lever LLP is pleased to announce that Robbin E. Sweeney has joined their firm as Senior Attorney in the Real Estate division. Robbin has concentrated on real estate law since the beginning of her career as a real estate agent, then working for Merrill Lynch Mortgage Corporation while attending law school, before transitioning into in private practice. She brings to our firm a distinct style combining her law degree with a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling, creating calm, organized, solution-focused transactions. Her certification as a Professional Coach prepared her to develop and provide engaging and informative trainings, seminars and webinars, for the NYSBA, WBASNY, NYS Office of the Governor, private entities and the public on a variety of topics including Preparing Your Home for Sale, Strategies for Reducing Stress in Your Law Practice, The Importance of Estate Planning, Families in Transition, and Caring for Aging Loved Ones. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association’s Real Estate Committee. Robbin has recently been selected to develop the curriculum for the real estate module of the new Pace University Paralegal Certification Program. Her passion is carrying a message of well-being to family, friends and colleagues and she is a proud and dedicated mother of three successful adults (and 3 grandchildren!).

WWBA Past President Lisa Denig is participating in Hillside Food Outreach’s Dancing With Our Stars fundraiser. This event raises funds for Hillside, a local food pantry that specializes in delivering healthy food to homebound clients. The WWBA has volunteered on several occasions at Hillside’s warehouse, stocking shelves and packing bags. If you would like to support Lisa’s efforts, please visit her fundraising page at Fundraising for Hillside Food Outreach (https://www.classy.org/fundraiser/3678588)

 The Westchester Community Foundation welcomes WWBA member Moira S. Laidlaw, partner at Hollis Laidlaw & Simon, P.C., to the Foundation’s Advisory Board. Ms. Laidlaw’s private practice includes a broad range of trust and estate services. She is experienced in elder law, special needs planning, small business planning, and high net worth estate tax planning.

Lisa M. Denig, Esq., has been appointed as Counsel to New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore. Denig, a past president of the WWBA, was formerly the Special Counsel for ADR Initiatives for the Courts Inside NYC and also served 8 years in the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.

Patricia L. Angley, Esq., Senior Staff Attorney at the Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, was recently appointed as Adjunct Professor for the Equal Justice America Disability Rights Clinic, under the auspices of John Jay Legal Services, Inc., at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University for the spring 2022 semester. Patricia is looking forward to working collaboratively with WWBA membership for the benefit of the law students participating in this clinic.

❑ The law firm of Cuddy & Feder LLP is pleased to announce that WWBA member Kristen M. Motel Esq. – an associate in the firm’s Land Use, Zoning & Development, Energy & Environmental, and Telecommunications and Cannabis Law groups – was honored with the 2021 Millennial & Gen Z Award, presented by Westfair Communications on November 18, 2021. Millennials represent half of the workforce, and it is predicted that by 2025, Gen Z will make up about 27 percent of the workforce in the world. The Millennial & Gen Z Award celebrates this new era in the workforce and recognizes those who are leaving their footprints in the technology and business communities of Westchester and Fairfield counties.

Kristen will be a featured speaker at the upcoming January 27, 2022 CLE program on Cannabis Law. She has previously served as a WWBA Vice President and State Director. Currently she is a member of the Environmental & Land Use and New Lawyers Committees, and she mentors Pace Law School students to positively impact the development of the legal profession. To read more about Kristen’s practice, experience, and deep involvement in leadership initiatives, please refer to: https://www.cuddyfeder.com/newsevent/ kristen-motel-to-receive-westfair-communications-millennial-gen-z-award/.

                                                        Member Moves, Awards & Milestones
Changing firms or in-house positions? Made partner? Receiving an award?
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