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Building Foundations (Tampa edition)

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  • | 6:00 p.m. July 2, 2004
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Building Foundations (Tampa edition)

Hillsborough Bar honors Marian McCulloch for her work as association president.

By David R. Corder

Associate Editor

Marian McCulloch spoke with pride about her accomplishments on June 28 as she transferred leadership of the Hillsborough County Bar Association to William J. Schifino Jr.

In a sense, McCulloch built a foundation and guided the association through a transitional year as its 2003-04 president. Under the leadership of the Allen Dell PA attorney, the association, through the Hillsborough County Bar Foundation, acquired the land and began fundraising to build its future home adjacent to the Tampa campus of the Stetson University College of Law.

"We hope in the next few months to make some announcements about major contributions," she told about 250 attorneys, judges and guests who attended the annual installation ceremony at Tampa's University Club.

McCulloch shared the limelight for the work accomplished this year. In particular, she cited the efforts of GrayRobinson attorney William Gillen, Akerman Senterfitt attorney Joe Rugg and Sessum Mason & Black partner Stephen Sessums for their work with the capital campaign fundraising efforts.

The proof is in the dollars raised so far, McCulloch said. This year the foundation raised $75,000, compared with the $15,000 in contributions collected the previous year. To start construction, however, the association and foundation must raise about $3.3 million.

"We only have two more years to break ground so you will be called upon at some point in time to show your support for the foundation," she added.

Then McCulloch handed the presidency to Schifino, managing partner of Williams Schifino Mangione & Steady PA. Thirteenth Circuit Chief Judge Manuel Menendez administered the oath of office.

Schifino quickly refocused attention to honor McCulloch for the time she has sacrificed for her fellow lawyers. "You all don't see a lot of the work that she does," he said. "But I will tell you she is passionate about her commitment to our profession in this association. ... We sincerely owe her a debt of gratitude."

Also, Holland & Knight attorney Dennis M. McClelland transferred presidency of the association's Young Lawyers Division to Lara Tibbals of Hill Ward & Henderson PA.

And the association and the young lawyers announced their choices for 2004 Lawyer of the Year. The young lawyers group honored Akerman Senterfitt attorney Benjamin H Hill IV, a former local young lawyers president who know serves as the Florida Bar Young Lawyers' representative to the American Bar Association. The association honored retired Holland & Knight LLP partner John F. Germany.

Steve Yerrid, the 2003-04 Hillsborough Lawyer of the Year, presented the award to Germany.

"I have not met too many people that there is just not enough time to say nice things about," he said. "John Germany is the epitome of that."

Yerrid spoke about Germany's growth as the son of a poor farming family, his service to the nation in World War II, the law degree he earned from Harvard Law School and his work in Tampa as a judge and lawyer.

"Have you ever heard anything bad said about John Germany?" Yerrid asked the audience.

"For the profession, the guy has done more than, well, let's just say a lot of people."


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