Thursday, July 2, 2015

YLD President's Message: A Special Thanks

By Anthony “Nino” Martino

     As I complete my term as president of the and reflect on my last eight years on the board of directors, I recognize ― now more than ever ― that it truly takes a collective effort to make an association like ours viable. I think it is only appropriate that special thanks go out to all the volunteer members whom I relied so heavily upon this year, including our board: Jason Whittemore, Jacqueline Simms-Petredis, Web Melton, Ashley Johnson, Maja Lacevic, Stephanie Caldwell, Traci Koster, Dara Cooley, Laura Tanner, Jeffrey Wilcox, Melissa Mora, Alexandra Haddad, Amy Nath, Tammy Briant, and our Judicial Liaison: The Honorable Samantha Ward. I also wanted to thank all of our committee chairs and committee members for their hard work. The success of the YLD was/is because of these members of our association, and I have been honored and privileged to hold the title of president of this incredible group of young lawyers. It was certainly a busy year, which is probably why it passed in the blink of an eye.

     As I move on, I am confident that our membership is in good hands with the group returning to serve on the board. We have one of the largest and strongest young lawyers divisions in the state. Our success is rooted in our membership and the support each of our dedicated young lawyers provides to all facets of the YLD. In order to keep that tradition going, I encourage more young lawyers to get involved ― early and often ― in our association. The Young Lawyers Division is the largest section of the HCBA and promotes fellowship and professional growth of young lawyers. This community of 1,000 professionals serves the needs of young lawyers and the public by offering a wide selection of social, educational, and philanthropic programs. These programs thrive and exist only due to the efforts of our members. It is never “too early” to get involved. 

     The YLD plays a vital role in our profession and our association. I hope that in the coming Bar year, each member will find a way to serve the organization that serves us and the people of Hillsborough County. Preference forms will be emailed this summer, which will provide all young lawyers the opportunity to get involved in varying capacities with many noteworthy projects such as: the Professionalism and Ethics Committee (State Court Trial Seminar and Bar examination proctors), Law-Related Education and Law Week Committee, Mock Trial Committee, Member Services Committee (Judicial Shadowing, Mentoring, Coffee at the Courthouse), Events Committee (Golf Tournament, happy hours, luncheons, Cornhole for a Cause Tournament), Youth Projects Committee (Steak & Sports Day, Holidays in January, luncheon for Rampello School), Pro Bono Committee (Wills for Heroes, Family Forms Clinics, Attorney Ad Litem), or the Long-Range Planning Committee, to name a few. Do not miss this opportunity.

     I also owe a special thanks to our HCBA office staff for making this a very successful year. John Kynes has proven to be an outstanding executive director for our organization, and with the continued support of Laurie Rideout, Michele Revels, Corrie Benfield, and the rest of the HCBA staff, we will only get better.

     Lastly, thank you all ― the members of the YLD ― for allowing me to serve you as president over the past year. It has been an honor, a joy, and an experience that I will always remember. I look forward to seeing you at upcoming HCBA events in the fall.

           Recent & Upcoming YLD Events:

Mark your calendars for the 2015 YLD Golf Tournament to be held October 16. For more information on the YLD’s activities, check out our Facebook page at