BLI Graduation Year: 2013
Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP
Tell us briefly about yourself and please update your classmates on your personal/professional experiences since graduating from BLI:
I grew up in a very small town in the Adirondacks. After college and law school, I moved to this area in 2011 when I started as a new associate attorney at Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP. I completed BLI in 2013 and since then a lot has changed. I got married, bought a house and now have 2 little girls. Professionally, I am now a partner at Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP and the practice group leader for our Business & Banking group.
Favorite books/movies (feel free to provide short explanation/commentary):
If I’m able to get control of the remote in my house, which is rare, then I like to watch action, sci-fi and fantasy movies. But my all time favorite movie is still probably The Sandlot. I watched it over and over again as a kid and even now when I notice it playing on TV, I can’t help but watch! Sadly, I don’t do much reading for pleasure anymore. Last summer, I forced myself to start reading again and read “Astrophysics for Peoplein a Hurry” by Neil deGrasse Tyson. It’s a great read for anyone who has a little science nerd in them.
Current and Past Notable Civic Activities (boards, organizations, [member/officer]):
I am the United Way of Broome County’s Campaign Coordinator for the Legal Community and co-chair of the Emerging Leaders Society. I am also a former board member for the Waterman Education Conservationg Center and The Magic Paintbrush Project. I’ve always been an active participant in our Broome County Bar Association. I currently chair the Awards Committee which annually honors the accomplishments of attorneys in our area.
Interests/Hobbies (sports, music, travel, etc):
I enjoy watching and playing all kinds of sports. I play golf, basketball, and softball as much as I can. I also play in a few fantasy football and baseball leagues, which is a nice way to stay in touch with friends who aren’t local. In the winter, I love to ski. I don’t get out as much as I’d like, but this winter I’ve started teaching my oldest daughter with the goal of eventually making it a family activity.
How did your BLI experience change your perception of the community, and motivate you to become more involved in the community?
I did not grow up in this area, so for me it was exciting to learn more about our history and discover all of the different local businesses and non-profits. It also highlighted needs and challenges that were not previously visible to me. Once a community starts feeling like your home, it makes the decision to get involved and give back easy. Completing BLI helped make this area feel like home to me.
What was your most memorable BLI activity/moment?
The most memorable moment in BLI was probably the very first day at the ropes course. Aside from being a fun, outdoor activity, it was where I first made some connections that still exist today.
What was the most valuable benefit to you from your BLI experience?
The benefit I took from BLI was a sense of belonging. I felt more like a part of the community, rather than just a visitor or an outsider.
What “nugget of wisdom” do you have for your fellow BLI alum?
Please be an advocate for this area! Despite what some may say, we are very fortunate to live in a community that is beautiful, safe and full of opportunity. If you see something that could be better, then get involved and help do something about it.