Moore & Van Allen PLLC (MVA) honored select firm attorneys and staff at its 16th annual Sally & Bill Van Allen Public Service Luncheon in June. Litigation Member Mindy Vervais received the hallmark 2017 Sally & Bill Van Allen Public Service Award for her commitment to public service. Additionally, the Outstanding Volunteer Staff Member Award was presented to Paralegals JoAnn Lett and Darnise Starr and the Outstanding Pro Bono Team Project Award was given to MVA’s Domestic Violence Pro Bono Team.
The annual Sally & Bill Van Allen Public Service Luncheon celebrates the many public service and pro bono hours that MVA attorneys, staff and community partners have donated over the course of the previous year. In 2016, MVA attorneys and staff collectively donated 9,760 pro bono and public service hours. The Sally & Bill Van Allen Public Service Award, which bears the name of two revered members of the Moore & Van Allen family, is presented internally to recognize one individual’s superior commitment to public service. The Van Allen’s trail-blazing commitment to the good of the community continues to inspire firm pro bono and public service efforts today.
“My life is more rich and colorful since I started giving back. I thought it would take away from my work…little did I know it would make me a better mom, friend, partner and lawyer,” Vervais stated upon accepting the award, which was presented by Litigation Member Brian Heslin.
Vervais, who practices in the firm’s Litigation group, has made pro bono matters an important part of her legal practice. Most of her volunteer work focuses on managing and participating in Moore & Van Allen’s Domestic Violence Pro Bono Project, a program that assists victims of domestic violence with obtaining year-long protective orders in partnership with Safe Alliance Legal Representation Project (LRP). As leader of the Domestic Violence Project, Mindy serves as the primary liaison between MVA and the Safe Alliance LRP, oversees the recruitment and development of Project’s pro bono volunteers and manages the case placement process. Mindy also volunteers at Mecklenburg County’s Self-Serve Center, Council for Children’s Rights, and most recently, Make-A-Wish. She stays engaged in the broader legal field by serving as a member of the American Bar Association, North Carolina Bar Association, Energy Bar Association, Young Professionals in Energy and Charlotte Women's Attorneys.
Lett and Starr received the Outstanding Volunteer Staff Member Award for their after-school arts program aptly named Recyclicious: Crafting with RePurpose in partnership with Urban Promise. The goal of the 8-week curriculum is to inspire hope within Charlotte youth. The program uses recycled products to make innovative art pieces with participating elementary-school students and plans to host its third installation in the fall of 2017.
The Outstanding Pro Bono Team Project Award was presented to MVA’s Domestic Violence Pro Bono Team by Laura Lawrence, Chief Legal Officer at Safe Alliance. The team was recognized for its continued support of Safe Alliance’s Legal Representation Project (LRP). Over the past several years, MVA has received the LRP’s Commitment to Justice Award for its dedication and commitment to the program and clients served.
Firm Chairman Ernie Reigel gave the opening remarks at the luncheon. David G. Leitch, global general counsel for Bank of America, served as the keynote speaker. The event was held at Charlotte City Club.
Mindy Vervais’ Involvement & Accolades at a Glance:
- Named the Sally & Bill Van Allen Public Service Award Winner, 2017
- Named among the "50 Most Influential Women" presented by the Mecklenburg Times, 2017
- Charlotte Business Journal “40 Under 40” winner for 2015
- Charlotte ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award Nominee, 2013
- Selected for the North Carolina Rising Stars list, which is included in the North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine, for Energy & Natural Resources in 2013 and Business Litigation in 2014-2016
- Volunteer, Safe Alliance Domestic Violence Pro Bono Attorney
- Safe Alliance Commitment to Justice Award Recipient, 2012-2016
- Volunteer, Mecklenburg County Self-Serve Center
- Charlotte Chamber: Emerging Business Leaders, Class 2 (2013-14)
About Moore & Van Allen PLLC
As one of the largest law firms in the Southeast, Moore & Van Allen is committed to giving back to the communities in which it serves. The firm’s nearly 300 attorneys, along with staff, endeavor and encourage others to advance this commitment by volunteering both time and talents to beneficial projects and organizations of their choosing. Individuals from the firm’s Charlotte and Research Triangle, North Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina offices are collectively involved in more than 300 civic, arts and charitable organizations. To formalize efforts, MVA established its internal Public Service Committee in 2001. A more complete list of the firm’s public service and pro bono projects can be seen at www.mvalaw.com/f-40.html.