Bob Kanapka and DLA Piper LLP (US) Honored as Pro Bono Partnership Volunteers of the Year



Parsippany, NJ, May 10, 2024 — Bob Kanapka, Assistant General Counsel at Dun & Bradstreet, and DLA Piper LLP (US) were selected by Pro Bono Partnership as their New Jersey program Volunteers of the Year. They were honored at an awards ceremony on April 23, during National Volunteer Week, at the DLA Piper offices in Short Hills, NJ. Pro Bono Partnership is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides free legal help to other charitable organizations, helping them increase their capacity to fulfill important social and community services needs in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut.

“We can accomplish big things because, along with our small and mighty team, each year we have the privilege of working with volunteer lawyers like Bob and those at DLA Piper who, along with more than 1,500 of their peers, dedicate their time and talent to help strengthen nonprofits,” said Nancy Eberhardt, executive director of Pro Bono Partnership. “As you can imagine, this is an impressive group of some of the best people in their field, and they are doing truly amazing things for organizations that are providing life-saving and life-affirming services in our neighborhoods,” she continued.

DLA Piper has collaborated with the Partnership since 2007, and has assisted the Partnership’s nonprofit clients with legal matters ranging from contract reviews and bylaws to board governance and certificates of incorporation. One of the nonprofit clients that benefitted from the firm’s pro bono work, The Family Resource Network, spoke at the event about the legal help they received. Peter Donnelly, Board President of The Family Resource Network commented that the legal services the Partnership and DLA attorneys provided established the foundation of the organization, and allow it to provide much-needed resources to individuals and families with disabilities in the community.

Each year more than 240 in-house corporate legal teams and law firms in the tristate area respond to the Partnership’s call to service. Their volunteerism, along with the Partnership’s staff and supporters, makes it possible for the Partnership to assist about 1,000 nonprofits annually. Free legal help means that nonprofits can focus on their missions without the burden of legal worries and fees taking away from their programming.

Bob Kanapka has been a dedicated Pro Bono Partnership volunteer since 2016, having assisted on dozens of legal matters for the Partnership’s nonprofit clients while serving in a leadership position at Dun & Bradstreet. Nancy Eberhardt described Bob as a “go-to resource for contracts, intellectual property, and technology matters,” when introducing Dr. Denise Wunderler, Founder and Executive Director/President of Team Vienna 4 SUDC Awareness, Inc, to share a first-hand account of Bob’s pro bono work.

Bob assisted Team Vienna (www.VIENNA.team) with incorporation and applying for 501(c)(3) status, which is a critical and time-consuming step that nonprofits must take in order to become tax exempt. Bob also assisted the organization in applying for trademark registration for their logos, and other matters to manage the organization’s risk.

In presenting Bob with the Volunteer of the Year award, Denise noted, “Bob is so generous with his time and very thoughtful in his work. When he helped us achieve incorporation and 501(c)(3) status, he knew that my daughter Vienna (for whom our family’s nonprofit is named, after no explanation for her death in 2017) has her birthday on January 19. He made it possible so her birthday would be the date of incorporation. This is extremely special. Bob is so generous with his time, that he volunteered to help us with several important legal matters since 2018. This allowed us to increase SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood) awareness and education around the world on all 7 continents, safeguard our name and logo, raise over $30,000 for SUDC research for Robert’s Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, and create an educational, inspiring documentary film, that will eventually, hopefully, go global. With Bob on our team, we can move closer to uncovering causes of why my Vienna and many other kids 1-18 years old have died, to prevent this in the future.”

In accepting the award, Bob remarked, “The people who start and manage nonprofits are heroes, and I admire what they do and the sacrifice they make – they should be spending their time accomplishing their mission, not on IRS filings, corporate requirements, and contract drafting. Those are skills that I have and it’s a small way to help the greater cause.”

Pro Bono Partnership Volunteers of the Year display a dedication that rises well above the ordinary, distinguished by the complexity or transformative nature of a pro bono project, the extraordinary responsiveness of a volunteer or volunteers, or the sheer volume of matters or time committed to pro bono service through the Partnership.

About Pro Bono Partnership:

For 27 years, Pro Bono Partnership has provided free business and transactional legal services to nonprofit organizations serving disadvantaged communities or enhancing the quality of life in neighborhoods throughout Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. Substantially leveraging the impact of its in-house legal staff, the Partnership annually recruits and mobilizes hundreds of attorneys from major corporations and law firms to donate their time and expertise on behalf of its nonprofit clients, enhancing their ability to improve conditions in their communities. Since its founding in 1997, the Partnership has assisted thousands of nonprofits in the tristate, enabling organizations to more effectively feed the hungry, house the homeless, promote the arts, protect the environment, and provide essential programs to children, the elderly, immigrants, individuals with disabilities, and the unemployed.

 

For more information, contact:
Mindi Lund
Pro Bono Partnership, Director of Marketing & Communications
Mlund@Probonopartner.org | Phone: 914-328-0674 ext. 339