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Leadership Academy gathers for a reunion

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Leadership Academy event
WILLIAM REECE SMITH, JR., LEADERSHIP ACADEMY fellows and Leadership Academy Committee members gathered at the Bar’s Winter Meeting in Orlando to celebrate the program.

The Bar’s William Reece Smith, Jr., Leadership Academy celebrated the program’s success at the First Annual Leadership Academy Family Reunion during The Florida Bar Winter Meeting.

The reunion brought together Leadership Academy alumni with current fellows in Leadership Academy Class IV for the type of fellowship seen at many family reunions — dinner, memories, witty repartee, and karaoke.

The reunion provided the 211 members of the Leadership Academy an opportunity to maintain relationships built during their time in the program, exchange ideas and future plans, as well as expand their network of leadership-caliber attorneys.

“I traveled to Orlando from Port St. Lucie just for this reunion,” said Anthony J. Visone of Steinger, Iscoe & Greene, a Class II graduate and member of the Leadership Academy Committee.

“I would not have missed an opportunity to see my fellow alumni as well as current fellows and committee members. The event was hopefully the first of many successful Leadership Academy alumni events to come.”

Frederick Longmire, a Class II alumnus and a First Circuit assistant state attorney, added, “Participating in the Bar’s Leadership Academy was a momentous part of my life and legal career. Traveling the seven hours from Pensacola to Orlando for our Leadership Reunion was a must for me, because it is through these functions that I am able to maintain, foster, and grow personal and professional relationships that will last a lifetime.”

Jason A. Fogg, president of Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company, which has maintained a relationship with the Leadership Academy since its inception, attended the reunion and expressed continued support for the academy.

“Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company is proud to support the Leadership Academy, and I was honored to be allowed to address the many graduates at the recent Leadership Academy alumni reception in Orlando,” said Fogg.

Through the Leadership Academy, the Bar provides leadership training to enhance lawyers’ abilities and expand their sphere of influence. Any Florida attorney in good standing may apply to be a part of the Leadership Academy. Leadership Academy graduates are members of The Florida Bar Board of Governors, members of the Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors, and presidents or chairs of minority bar associations. They hold leadership positions in Bar sections and committees. Academy graduates are directors and officers in local voluntary bar associations and local community organizations.

Jay Kim of Kim Vaughan Lerner in Ft. Lauderdale is a member of the Board of Governors and a graduate of the first Leadership Academy class.

“Not only was it wonderful to reconnect with my fellow alumni at this celebration, but I was also very proud to hear about their significant bar involvement and achievements in their practices since graduation,” Kim said.

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