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October 31, 2017

Pullman & Comley prides itself on the depth and breadth of its attorneys commitment to diversity in the legal community and beyond. In the third quarter of 2017 we proudly continued to put that commitment on display by participating in the following efforts:

Leading the Way

Women’s Leadership Initiative -- On October 23rd, Pullman & Comley’s “Women’s Leadership Initiative” and Diversity Committee jointly sponsored and hosted the “Agent for Change: The Power of Diversity in Leadership” event at the Yard Goats Clubhouse at Dunkin Donuts Park in Hartford.  Over 100 people gathered at the event in order to network and listen to our special guest speaker, Kelli Masters, who is a trailblazing sports agent. Masters gave an inspirational speech on how she has been able to break into (and succeed in) a traditionally male dominated profession. 

Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity –  Pullman & Comley and the Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity (“LCD”) have had a strong partnership for many years.  P&C Diversity Committee Chair Jessica Grossarth Kennedy serves on LCD’s Board of Directors. Jess played the pivotal role in the launch of LCD newsletter at the end of July.  We look forward to participating in LCD activities during 2017-2018.  To wit, several Pullman & Comley attorneys (including Mark Sommaruga and Bob Hinton) are serving as law school mentors through the LCD’s mentorship program and attended the program’s kick off dinner on October 24th

Celebrating Diversity in the Greater Bridgeport Business Community - We are planning the details for the 5th annual “Celebrating Diversity in the Greater Bridgeport Business Community” event, which will be taking place on November 8th  (6:00 PM– 8:00 PM) in the Bridgeport People’s Bank lobby.  We are co-hosting/co-sponsoring  this event with People’s Bank.  

Continued Engagement

CBA Diversity and Inclusion Committee – Pullman & Comley attorneys Jessica Grossarth Kennedy, Erick Russell and Bob Hinton are active members of the CBA’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which had been led by P & C attorney Monte Frank.  This Committee’s focus is assisting with the implementation of the CBA’s Inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Summit “pledge” and creating other diversity based seminars for the CBA membership.  On September 12, 2017, Pullman & Comley Chairman James “Tim” Shearin attended a meeting at the CBA headquarters of pledge signatories to discuss compliance with the pledge.  A major focus of the Committee has been the Second Annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit, which took place on October 25, 2017 at Quinnipiac School of Law.  Monte Frank presented at the Summit.  Monte was also member of the subcommittee formed to plan the Summit  Among other things, firms and organizations learned about how to better execute reaching their diversity goals, and examined their progress in meeting the “Pledge” from last year’s Summit.  Besides Monte, Pullman & Comley attendees at the Summit included Tim. Shearin, Marty Hochstadt,  Michael Kurs, Bob Hinton and Judge Anne Dranginis (Retired).

South Asian Bar Association of Connecticut (“SABAC”)- Our firm was a proud sponsor of SABAC’s Eleventh Annual Awards Dinner, which took place on September 13, 2017 at the Hartford Marriott.  A table of attendees from our firm (Mark Sommaruga, Bob Hinton, Zach Schurin, Jean Perry Phillips, Diane Whitney, Judge Holzberg, Kelly O’Donnell, and Monte Frank) heard from several powerful speakers, including Khizr Khan. 

Connecticut Italian-American Bar Association – The Connecticut Italian-American Bar Association (“CIABA”) will be holding its Awards Dinner at Anthony’s  Ocean View in New Haven on November 2nd  (6:00 PM-9:00 PM).  Connecticut Supreme Court Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers is the keynote speaker.  Pullman & Comley attorney Mike  Ceccorulli is on CIABA Board of Directors.          

Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council (“GNEMSDC”)- We have presented seminars to GNEMSDC on topics of interest.  The seminar series continued, with Pullman & Comley attorneys Rob Morris and Keinan Meginniss speaking on September 14th on succession planning issues. 

Showcasing Our Pride

Lambda Legal-Pullman & Comley is a sponsor for the annual “Connecticut Cares” event in support of Lambda Legal, which is taking place on November 5th  (12:00 PM – 3:00 PM)  at Mitchell’s of Westport.  Pullman & Comley attorneys Erick Russell and John Stafstrom are two of the Co-Chairs of the event.   

CBA LBGT Section – Our own Erick Russell assumed the role of Chair of the LGBT Section of the CBA for 2017-2018.  P&C attorney Jessica Grossarth Kennedy remains an Executive Committee member. The LGBT Section had its first event of the year on September 27th.  CBA President Karen DeMeola attended and spoke about her vision for the CBA and the role of diversity in the legal profession.

Doing Our Part

Diversity 1L Program – The firm’s Diversity and Recruiting Committees recruited the firm’s second annual 1L diversity summer associate, Andres Jimenez-Franck. Andres spent 5 weeks with P&C, performed very ably and will be returning next summer as a 2L summer associate.  

Diversity Committee-We are very pleased to have Liliana Meza and Joanna Piscitello aboard the Diversity Committee.  Welcome to Liliana and Joanna!

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