Class of 2024

Among those on hand for the January 22 event at the Townsend Hotel were (seated, left to right) Aleanna Siacon, Brooke Archie, Ponce Clay, Marcy Hahn, and Mary Ann Seibold; along with (standing, left to right) Jeffrey Raphelson, Robert Goldman, Nicholas Nahat, Richard Lynch, Yasmeen Yaddouh, Dora Brantley, Victoria King, Zachary Anderson, Tanya Cripps-Serra, Joshua Miller, Elyse Germack, Judge Andrew Kowalkowski, Katharine Smith, Patrick McCarthy, Lynn Sirich, Andrew Harris, Matt Allen, Judge Jeremy Bowie, and Eric Pelton.

Bar Foundation welcomes
new Fellows into the fold

By Tom Kirvan
Legal News

A group of 23 individuals became part of a select circle January 22 when they joined the ranks of Fellows of the Oakland County Bar Foundation.

Their induction took place at the Annual Fellows Reception in the Townsend Hotel, the traditional site of the OCBF winter gathering that brings together fellows, life fellows, charter fellows, and life charter fellows, according to Mike Turco, president of the Bar Foundation.

A fellow is designated by a pledge of $1,000 to the OCBF, Turco indicated, while a charter fellow has made a pledge of $5,000. A pledge may be paid in full at the time of nomination or at the rate of $100 a year or $500 a year for 10 years in the case of charter fellows.

Funds from the fellows’ program help support various legal aid projects and educational causes in the Oakland County community, Turco explained.

The fellows’ program is an opportunity for individuals to get involved and support the Bar Foundation monetarily throughout their career. Membership is not only viewed as a significant honor, but also demonstrates an investment in the Foundation and all of the various legal services providers and community groups that benefit from its grants, according to Turco.

“We had another robust turnout, a good predictor for a strong year for the Foundation and its programs,” Turco wrote in February issue of Laches, the monthly magazine published by the Oakland County Bar Association. “The reception gave us a chance to spend a few minutes together, celebrate a healthy start to the year, and realize we are not alone in the challenge of firing off the blocks for another year of practice. This is a rewarding but challenging job, and the Fellows Reception gave us a chance to celebrate our good fortune to practice law together.”

It also served as a reminder of the OCBF’s mission, said Turco.

“This is our Foundation, and we collectively work hard to generate funds to promote access to justice and an understanding of the law in our community,” Turco declared.

Among the new OCBF Fellows for 2024: Zachary Anderson, Ronald Applebaum, Brooke Archie, Judge Jeremy Bowie, Ponce Clay, Erin Cobane, Howard Collens, Salam Elia, Kaitlyn Elias, Elyse Germack, Robert Goldman, Marcy Hahn, Jacob Kahn, Judge Andrew Kowalkowski, Daniel Lemisch, Benjamin Low, Paul Mersino, Nicholas Nahat, Lauren Penrod, Josh Reder, Aleanna Siacon, Stephanie Smart Tovar, and Katharine Smith.

Relatedly, the OCBF already is gearing up for its chief fund-raising event of the year, the 25th Annual Signature Event, which will be held on Thursday, May 9, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Orchard Lake Country Club.

Patrick McCarthy and David Plunkett, both past presidents of the OCBF, are serving as co-chairs of the fund-raising effort for this year’s Signature Event. In a letter to potential sponsors, McCarthy and Plunkett noted that “the need for legal aid services and education has grown, and grant requests to the Oakland County Bar Foundation have increased,” making the 2024 Signature Event particularly important.

“In 2023, we raised over $189,000, which will fund nonprofits throughout the area as they work hard to deliver services to those in need,” McCarthy and Plunkett wrote. “Our sponsors and donors continue to make a difference in the county by supporting programs funded by the OCBF. Grant recipients send us powerful stories of families reunited, mothers and fathers now able to provide for their children, children receiving the proper help during a difficult time, and elderly individuals able to access assistance. All of this is possible because of sponsors.”

For those interested in supporting the OCBF, contact Katie Tillinger at or call 248-334-3400.

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