Volunteers of the Year

Pro Bono Partnership celebrates volunteers who have gone above and beyond to help the Partnership move its mission forward each year at Volunteers of the Year events.  Please join us in acknowledging the Volunteers of the Year.

2023

Nichole M. Berklas, Bocarsly Emden Cowan Esmail & Arndt LLP
DLA Piper LLP (US)
Richard A. Glickstein, Esq.
Bob Kanapka, Dun & Bradstreet
Pullman & Comley LLC
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

See below to learn more about previous Volunteers of the Year events.


2022

Marvin Campbell, Synchrony Financial

Marvin Campbell, Senior Vice President & Chief Business Development Counsel at Synchrony Financial, has been volunteering with the Partnership for over 20 years! Marvin has provided expertise and counsel on a wide variety of contract matters ranging from drafting nondisclosure agreements to reviewing fundraising event contracts and loan documents.

Marvin has assisted the Westchester Children’s Museum, a nonprofit near and dear to his family’s heart, with three unique legal matters. The Westchester Children’s Museum, whose mission is to be a vibrant, interactive learning space providing children, families, and school groups the opportunity to nurture curiosity and ignite imagination, has been a Partnership client since 2017. The organization has credited the Partnership, and Marvin in particular, with helping them become an thriving nonprofit that is an integral part of the community.

Program Director Maurice Segall noted that Marvin has “worked on numerous projects for so many of our nonprofit clients and he is always responsive, always timely, and also very clear and communicative, providing invaluable help to the nonprofit community.” The Partnership is proud to name Marvin as a 2023 Volunteer of the Year, and we can’t thank him enough for his contributions!

Day Pitney LLP

A founding member of our Hartford-based program and a dedicated supporter of Pro Bono Partnership for more than two decades, Day Pitney has been instrumental in assisting clients throughout our service area. Having worked on 376 matters, Day Pitney volunteers have empowered numerous local nonprofits and strengthened our community.

“We are proud of our longstanding relationship with Pro Bono Partnership and our pro bono work with many impactful Connecticut organizations,” said Theresa Kelly, Chair of Day Pitney’s Pro Bono Committee. “Our attorneys understand the meaning of giving back to our communities and how they can contribute their time and talents to be change agents,” she continued.

In 2019, Day Pitney attorneys Paty Jimenez Durelli and David Swerdloff assisted Girl Scouts of Connecticut with reviewing and amending their bylaws and Certificate of Incorporation. The Day Pitney team dedicated over 120 hours to completing this complicated project. Priya Morganstern, PBP Program Director, noted that Paty, David, and all the attorneys at Day Pitney are “incredibly thoughtful, responsive, and willing to dive in to help our clients with their pressing legal issues. Clients consistently comment on the patience, professionalism, and expertise of Day Pitney volunteers.”

Not only did Day Pitney’s work help the Girl Scouts continue to “build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place,” their dedication to the Partnership and to the nonprofit community has benefitted us all.

Terri Freeman, BASF Corporation

Terri Freeman, Assistant General Counsel for Compliance, Employment & Privacy at BASF, has been one of the New Jersey program’s go-to volunteers for employment matters since she began volunteering with the Partnership in 2011. Terri’s expertise has helped many Partnership nonprofit clients, with projects ranging from reviewing employee handbooks to presenting training on effective job interviewing and performance evaluations, and navigating reasonable accommodation for children with disabilities in daycare settings. Earlier this year, Terri presented a webinar with the Partnership on the Americans with Disabilities Act, which provided nonprofits a better understanding of the law and best practices for compliance.

These projects can be time intensive, but Terri is always willing to step in and share her expertise. According to Christine Michelle Duffy, the Partnership’s New Jersey Program Director, “Terri is the ideal volunteer who never says ‘no’ when we seek help, is willing to tackle client questions that simply don’t have clear answers, and our clients find Terri so easy to work with.” Terri said that working with Partnership nonprofits “provides a really meaningful way to use the skills and knowledge I have gained over the years” and allows nonprofits to “focus their time and money on those who really need them.”

We couldn’t agree more. We appreciate Terri’s dedication, and look forward to continuing to strengthen our communities together!

Michael McNamee, Bank of America

Michael F. McNamee, Director & EAC Compliance & Operational Risk Manager at Bank of America, has been volunteering with Pro Bono Partnership since 2016. Michael has assisted 14 of the Partnership’s nonprofit clients on 17 matters, providing critical legal advice on general corporate and contract issues as well as expert guidance on complex questions surrounding nonprofit lobbying activities.

In 2019, Michael assisted Earthkeeper Health Resources, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the health of people nationwide from environmental contaminants and reducing harmful emissions, by providing advice on lobbying and assistance with its 501(c)(3) tax exemption application. Executive Director Amy Rosmarin was so grateful for Michael’s expert guidance, noting “as new questions presented themselves, [Michael] graciously clarified the nuances and made me feel welcome to ask more. Moreover, [he] reached past my questions and shared information that I wouldn’t have known to address.” Michael’s assistance enables nonprofits like Earthkeeper Health Resources to maintain focus on their mission, which is so important to keeping our communities healthy.

Michael enjoys volunteering with the Partnership because it allows him to “engage in the practice of law with real life clients” and offers “an opportunity to stretch my legal legs while providing needed services to many amazing clients who serve our communities.” The Partnership and our nonprofit clients are thrilled to honor Michael for his long-standing dedication to pro bono work.

Michele Vaillant, McCarter & English, LLP

Michele Vaillant, a Partner at McCarter & English, LLP, is one of the Partnership’s longstanding corporate governance experts. In fact, Michele has dedicated nearly 200 hours of pro bono work to Partnership nonprofit clients since she began volunteering 13 years ago! Michele’s extensive knowledge of corporate governance — one of the most-requested topics by the nonprofit community — makes her an invaluable advisor. Michele’s expertise drafting and reviewing corporate governance policies allows nonprofits to focus on what they do best, improving our communities. ​

Michele assisted PBP client The Anxiety & Depression Initiative (ADI), a nonprofit that promotes the mental health benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle across New Jersey, with a review of its Certificate of Incorporation, bylaws, and eight policies relating to the proper operation of a nonprofit board of trustees. Matt Miller, Founding Board Member of ADI, was thrilled with Michele’s work, which truly set the organization up for success. Other Partnership clients that have worked with Michele routinely comment that her work is “thorough” and “terrific,” and that she is “tremendous at digging into a large project,” which then enables those clients to make significant progress toward their goals.

We are grateful for Michele’s dedication, and honored to recognize her work with the Partnership to help nonprofits build capacity.

Ann Zucker, Carmody Torrance

Ann Zucker, Partner at Carmody, Torrance, Sandak, & Hennessey LLP, has assisted the Partnership’s Connecticut nonprofit clients since 2019. Ann quickly became one of our most reliable attorneys for corporate governance projects, which are a critical piece of the foundational guidance the Partnership provides nonprofit clients.

The Open Hearth Association, a Partnership client since 2019, is the oldest continuously operating housing program for adult men on the East Coast, and also a thankful recipient of Ann’s pro bono work. In a complex, year-long project, Ann secured nonprofit status for Open Hearth Works, an affiliated revenue-generating social enterprise that has been a game-changer for the organization and a model for other nonprofits. Marilyn Rossetti, President & CEO of the organizations, noted that “what we were doing could have been overwhelming, but Ann was patient and answered all of my questions. We started this process pre-pandemic and successfully completed the project at the height of lockdown. Despite all the external challenges, Ann was always available and her persistence and calm and steady hand made it seem possible, and almost easy.”

Ann stated, “Pro Bono Partnership clients always have interesting problems to solve. That’s my favorite part of being a lawyer. These clients are extra special!” We are honored to recognize Ann for her work in making a difference for so many of our neighbors.

2021

Mark Benevenia, Esq. and Vance G. Camisa, Esq., Merck & Co., Inc.; Susan M. Corcoran, Esq., Jackson Lewis P.C.; George N. Nichols, Esq., The Ferguson Library (Retired)

2020

John C. Corbett, Esq., IngenioRx, Inc.; Melvina Flaherty, Esq., Pratt & Whitney (Retired); Manali Joglekar, Esq., Lowenstein Sandler LLP; Alexandra Lapes, Esq., Levy Employment Law, LLC; Tracey I. Levy, Esq., Levy Employment Law, LLC; and F. Scott Wilson, Esq., Pratt & Whitney (Retired)

Pandemic Response Awards: Lowenstein Sandler LLP; Dechert LLP; and Matthew T. Miklave, Esq., The Law Office of Matthew T. Miklave, PLLC

2019

Daniel R. Cooper, Esq., Cooper & Kurz; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP; Robert A. Farber, Esq., Sea Box, Inc.; Gary A. Laurie, Esq., The Law Office of Gary A. Laurie, Esq., LLC; John G. Webb III, Esq., JGW INcounsel; Audible Legal; James P. Greifzu, Esq., Wiggin and Dana LLP; Elissa D. Hecker, Esq., The Law Office of Elissa D. Hecker; Joel Wolfson, Esq., Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Winston & Strawn LLP

Click to watch Connecticut video
Click to watch New Jersey video
Click to watch New York/Fairfield County video

2018

Lisa Ulrich, Esq., IBM Corporation; Kurt Odell, Esq., Moran Towing Corporation; Dawn Rudenko, Esq., Holland & Knight LLP; Hogan Lovells US LLP; Barbara A. Casey, Esquire, Ballard Spahr LLP; Denise M. Keyser, Esq., Ballard Spahr LLP; Shannon Hennessy Pulaski, Esq., The Law Office of Shannon Hennessy Pulaski, LLC; Bristol-Myers Squibb; Stephen W. Aronson, Esq., Robinson+Cole; The Hartford Law Department; Robinson+Cole

Browse the Events Photo Album

2017

Charles Biener, Esq., PepsiCo Inc.; Glen Kutler, Esq., IBM Corporation; Michael L. Webb, Esq., Nixon Peabody LLP; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; Carol A. Gershon, Esq., Blank Rome LLP; Laurence S. Rickles, Esq., Teva Pharmaceuticals; Verizon’s Public Policy, Law and Security Department; Jackson Lewis P.C.; Michael Soltis, Esq.; Pratt & Whitney

Browse the New York/Fairfield County Event Photo Album
Browse the New Jersey Event Photo Album
Browse the Connecticut Event Photo Album

2016

Stephen E. Cooper, Esq., Robinson & Cole LLP; Marc Gold, Esq., Thomson Reuters; Verity Rees, Esq., Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP; Brian Ginsburg, Esq., Sanofi US; Dun & Bradstreet Legal Department; Krystyna M. Blakeslee, Esq., Dechert LLP; Jessica Seger Bula, Esq., Dechert LLP; Samantha Gardner, Esq., Dechert LLP

2016 Honor Roll & Founding Volunteers

2015

United Technologies Corporation; Dechert LLP; Christophe Durrer, Colgate-Palmolive Company; William Malpica, RBS; Terrence J. McAllister, Ohlandt, Greeley, Ruggiero & Perle, L.L.P.; Chris A. Johnson, FTI Consulting; Susan L. Crane, Wyndham Worldwide Corporation; Peter A. Dagostine, Robinson + Cole LLP; Susan N. Masters, Robinson + Cole LLP; Tiffany R. Hubbard, McCarter & English, LLP

2014

IBM Corporation; Day Pitney LLP; Vanessa K. Watson, ‎MasterCard Worldwide; Tara Daub, Nixon Peabody; Mark Benevenia, Merck & Co., Inc.; Michael J. Hughes, The Prudential Insurance Company of America; Thomas Calvocoressi; Dean F. Radke, Law Offices of Dean F. Radke; Anne Marie Segal, Segal Coaching

2013

Pratt & Whitney; Lowenstein Sandler LLP; Dale C. Fredston, Sterling Bancorp and Sterling National Bank; Joseph C. Galardi; Steven Weinberger

2012

BASF Corporation; McCarter & English, LLP; Eric I Cohen, Terex Corporation; Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson, Robinson & Cole; Brian DuPerre, UnitedHealthcare; Gary Ekman, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.; Patricia Melick, Wiggin and Dana LLP

2011

Merck & Co., Inc.; Jackson Lewis LLP; Patricia Bowen, UnitedHealthcare; Melanie L. Brown, BASF; Greg Conroy, Mayer Brown LLP; Sally Lake

Click Here for Our 1999-2010 Volunteers of the Year