Palm Beach County Bar Association holds parking lot installation
It’s a sign of the times in the midst of a pandemic, traditions taking a back seat to safety. For the first time in the 98-year history of the Palm Beach County Bar Association, the installation of its board of directors did not take place at its traditional banquet. Instead, the board was installed in a unique and nontraditional ceremony that also benefitted the Palm Beach County Food Bank.
On June 24, 13 attorneys lined up in the parking lot of the Palm Beach County Bar and took their oath of office, which was administered by Judge Caroline Shepherd. Soon after the ceremony, the attorneys delivered donated food, cash, gift cards, and inspirational messages to the Palm Beach County Food Bank, donations which were collected from lawyers and firms across Palm Beach County.
“Due to the worldwide pandemic, we were forced to cancel our annual Installation Banquet, which was to be held this month at the Breakers Hotel,” said Dean Xenick, incoming president, adding the event traditionally draws a crowd of nearly 500, which is not exactly the model for social distancing. “So we needed to come up with a way to install our board while keeping them safe. We still wanted to keep the feel of an in-person swearing in, as has traditionally been done for almost 100 years, as opposed to an online ceremony. So, the decision was made to do a parking lot installation.”
Since one of the missions of the PBCBA is giving back to the community, Xenick said it made sense to turn othe event into a donation drive to help those who have been affected by the pandemic.
“During this unprecedented time of COVID-19, the number of hungry residents continues to grow at an alarming rate,” said Karen Erren, executive director for the Palm Beach County Food Bank. “We already had a significant unmet need and now more than ever, the Palm Beach County Food Bank needs donations. Through the generosity of these Palm Beach County attorneys, the food bank is able to reach more of our hungry neighbors in need. We are extremely grateful for their support.”
Xenick will lead the nearly 2,500 member organization as its 98th president. He is a trial attorney with Reid, Burman, Lebedeker, Xenick in West Palm Beach. Joining Xenick on the board for 2020-2021 include president-elect Julia Wyda; immediate past President Jessica Callow; and directors Lindsay Demmery; Andrea Lewis; Jean Marie Middleton; Scott Perry; Jack Rice; Nichole Segal; Grasford Smith; Scott Smith; Misty Chaves, president of the North County Section; and Robert Wight, president of the Young Lawyers Section.