Community & Industry Involvement
Ever since our founding in 1977, our firm has made community and industry involvement one of our top priorities. We have supported a significant number of causes over the years, and many of our attorneys and professionals play active roles in a variety of important local and national organizations. Here are some examples of our efforts:
For decades the University of Miami’s Ralph E. Boyer Institute Condominium and Cluster Development seminar has served as one of Florida’s most prestigious and respected annual forums for community association and real estate development attorneys and other industry professionals. At the 43rd edition of the event, which took place Nov. 1-2, 2018 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, Michael Hyman was a featured speaker for a presentation titled “Practical Issues of Association Fiduciary Duty-Reliance on Counsel; Limits of the Business Judgment Rule; Failure to Act or Enforce-Ethical Considerations.”
Together with another speaker, Michael delivered the presentation and answered questions from the attendees. He has been a featured speaker on more than a dozen occasions at the annual seminar.
Our firm’s attorneys and professionals become involved and lend their support to a number of different causes and organizations every year. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month in October of 2018, we launched a fund drive and awareness effort benefiting the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which is largest breast cancer organization in the United States.
Our firm’s attorneys and professionals, many of whom are pictured wearing pink in the attached photo, raised funds and distributed information to their personal and professional contacts. All of the funds went to the foundation, which has more than 100,000 volunteers working in a network of 124 affiliates worldwide.
Click here to learn more about the Susan G. Komen foundation. www.komen.org.
Our firm was proud to sponsor and attend a field trip for the Women of Tomorrow at the University of Miami School of Law. The Women of Tomorrow’s mission is to inspire, motivate and empower at-risk young women to live up to their full potential through a unique mentoring program with highly accomplished professional women and scholarship opportunities. This field trip was specifically designed to allow participants to tour the university’s campus and to give students a better understanding of the opportunities available for a career in the legal field.
Our firm was proud to provide financial support for the new virtual education program of Patronato Benéfico Oriental (PBO), which is a non-profit organization that has offered food, childcare, education, and medical and dental assistance to underprivileged children in the community of La Romana in the Dominican Republic for more than 35 years. Our donation is helping the organization to provide virtual education programs for the students in its “Hogar del Niño” school, which now has more than 1,500 students.
Many of the students of the “Hogar del Niño” school are disabled, and more than 100 are deaf, so the virtual education program will help to facilitate and maximize their educational opportunities through the venerable organization.
- In addition to our firm’s work in real estate, construction and community association law, we are also known for our work in aviation law. Partner Elisabeth D. Kozlow represents a diverse client base in almost every aspect of the industry including aircraft owners, lessors and lessees, aircraft management companies, and maintenance, parts and service providers.
Kozlow attended the National Business Aviation Association’s 2016 Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, which took place Nov. 1-3 in Orlando. She has been a regular attendee at this trade show that draws tens of thousands of aviation industry professionals from around the world and is an active member in NBAA.
The event caters to current and prospective business aircraft owners, manufacturers and customers. Its more than 1,000 exhibitors and dozens of informative seminars make it the premier annual gathering for the business aviation industry.
- The firm served as a "Friends" sponsor for the 6th Anniversary Raise the Bar networking and cocktail event which was held at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts on April 5, 2016. Raise the Bar is the annual fundraising event for the Women's Foundation of Palm Beach County, which helps raise funds for the organization's programming. The Women's Foundation of Palm Beach County invests in women and girls to encourage leadership and positively affect their economic, political and social status.
- The University of Miami’s Ralph E. Boyer Institute Condominium and Cluster Development seminar has served as one of the South Florida area’s most prestigious and respected annual forums for community association and real estate development attorneys and other industry professionals for decades. At the 40th edition of the event, which took place Oct. 29-30, 2015 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, Michael Hyman was a featured speaker on the impact on community associations of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions on fair housing and marriage equality.
One of the cases that the presentation covered was a decision by the court that the Texas Department of Housing violated the Fair Housing Act. The court ruled that the department violated the FHA because one of its rules had a “disparate impact” on a protected class. The disparate impact analysis represented a dramatic departure from other types of discrimination because it does not require the plaintiff to prove intent to discriminate. The other case discussed was the court’s decision upholding the right of same-sex couples to marriage licenses under the Fourteenth Amendment, as it may have opened the door to claims against associations that their discrimination based on sexual orientation violates the amendment. Together with attorney Dan Lobeck of Lobeck & Hanson, Michael presented the discussion on these cases. Since the inception of the seminar, he has been a featured speaker on more than a dozen occasions.
- Firm shareholder, Stuart Sobel, and his wife, Lori, are proud to have become K-9 Knights.
Miami Beach K9 Knights Inc. is a non-profit organization, presently with 52 members, who facilitate the gifting of dogs to police officer handlers. The dogs are trained by the police departments in bomb detection, drug interdiction or cadaver recovery. They all also receive training in crowd control and the apprehension of criminals. These specialized dogs are an integral part of law enforcement. The Knights play a key role in providing the animals directly to the police departments in which the dogs serve.
Established in 2012, K-9 Knights has, so far, delivered 2 dogs (each costing more than $9,000 before training) to the Miami Beach Police Department. As the organization grows to its goal of 100 Knights, dogs will be procured for other communities. Presently, Bal Harbour is in line to receive a police dog.
Pictured here are proud Knights, Stuart and Lori, receiving their plaque from Miami Beach Major Mark Causey, Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates, and K-9 Knights founder, Peter Catalano.
- The firm served as a “Friends” sponsor for the 5th Anniversary Raise the Bar networking and cocktail event which was held at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts on March 12, 2015. Raise the Bar is the annual fundraising event for the Women’s Foundation of Palm Beach County, which helps raise funds for the organization’s programming. The Women’s Foundation of Palm Beach County invests in women and girls to encourage leadership and positively affect their economic, political and social status.
- The firm served as a “Silver” sponsor for the Mater Foundation’s 4th Annual Mater Academy Foundation Fundraiser which was held at SLAM in Miami on February 28, 2015. The proceeds from the event are used to support education opportunities for economically disadvantaged students and families.
- The University of Miami’s Ralph E. Boyer Institute on Condominium and Cluster Development seminar has served as one of the South Florida area’s most prestigious and respected annual forums for community association and real estate development attorneys and other industry professionals for decades. At the 39th edition of the event, which took place Oct. 23-24, 2014 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, Michael Hyman was a featured speaker on the timely topic of “Mixed-Use Structuring and Operational Issues – The Shared Facilities Concept.”
The session focused on the growing trend in communities and complexes with both residential and commercial aspects, including hotels, offices and retail mixed with traditional multifamily residential units. Michael’s presentation emphasized the issues faced by condominium associations in a mixed use complex that are necessary to insure proper and equitable involvement in the operation of the complex so as to protect the unit owners investment in their units. Together with the other speakers he delivered a presentation on the topic and answered questions from the attendees. Since the inception of this seminar, Michael Hyman has been a featured speaker on more than a dozen occasions.
- The Women of Tomorrow is a mentee program which provides mentorship to a group of approximately thirty young girls. They seek to provide the girls with tools and information which they may need to succeed in today’s society. Every so often they invite a speaker who they feel will empower the girls and provide guidance to help put them on the right track to become successful women.
This past Friday the girls of the Women of Tomorrow were engaged and eager to learn more about the law profession when Maryvel spoke to them. She gave them background information of both her studies and her employment throughout her college life and also explained the steps she took to become an attorney and how she now balances her day-to-day life as a mother, wife and attorney.
She focused on encouraging the girls that anything is possible with perseverance and determination. Maryvel spoke candidly of her struggles when she graduated from high school and in search of a career while at the same time trying to make heads or tails out of our country’s higher education. Having immigrant parents with little understanding of the school system, Maryvel had to constantly seek assistance from counselors and pose questions to anyone around her willing to help provide guidance. Luckily, she found her calling when she became a secretary at a small law firm. It was there where Maryvel became immersed in all things legal and became motivated to reach for something greater. While working as a legal assistant, she became more educated in the legal system and decided to pursue a future in law. As she told the girls, the journey was full of obstacles and required sacrifices, but with a “can do attitude” it was attainable. After discussing how she balanced life as a female attorney while being a supportive wife and parent, the girls began asking questions relating to how they could attain their goals. The questions ranged from how rigorous the schooling was to how to pay for the schooling. She explained how she handled the financial expenses and also let them know to become knowledgeable about the different types of financial aid and scholarship programs available to them. Maryvel also recommended applying for internships and finding jobs in the career fields that the girls were most passionate about so that they would have a good understanding of the profession.
It is safe to say that the girls truly related to her upbringing and left the meeting feeling empowered with the understanding of the important role women have in society, despite their careers.
- At Siegfried Rivera we regularly get involved with great organizations and charities in our community. Recently, firm Attorney Elizabeth A. Bowen attended a very exciting event in Coral Gables for Read To A Child.
Read To A Child is a nonprofit organization that matches business professionals with a local schoolchild for a rewarding, read aloud experience during the child’s lunch break. Read To A Child is dedicated to expanding opportunities for underserved children who have limited access to reading role models.
So far, Read To A Child has 40 students involved from two local elementary schools with the goal of expanding the program to as many students as possible.
Elizabeth got the chance to be a part of this event and meet children’s author and TV host, Brad Meltzer. “Read To A Child is an organization with a very meaningful mission. I’m glad I was able to be here and be a part of Read To A Child’s fundraising efforts to impact the lives of children in our community.”
- Our firm has been an active member of the Latin Builders Association for many years, and we were very proud to receive the award for the LBA’s “Member of the Month” for March 2014. Firm Shareholder Jason Rodgers-Da Cruz proudly received the award at the LBA luncheon that took place on Friday, March 21, 2014 at the Rusty Pelican. Pictured here at the event from left to right are LBA President Guillermo Fernandez, Shareholder Jason Rodgers-Da Cruz and Southern Wine and Spirits Representative Guillermo Alvarez.
- Siegfried Rivera was the proud sponsor of the face painting and bounce house activities at Bristol Management’s “A Day at the Ballpark” celebration. The event, which took place on Saturday, April 19, 2014, at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla., was a fun day filled with activities for entire families. It included an Easter egg hunt, face painting, bounce houses, pony rides, a petting zoo and a baseball game!
- Siegfried Rivera was a proud supporter and participant in the 6th Annual 5k benefiting Families for Fragile X that took place Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Virginia Key. Families for Fragile X is a non-profit organization, established by families and friends all affected by Fragile X Syndrome. Our law firm’s team was very proud to run for the cause. Pictured here from left to right are Nicholas Siegfried, Juliet Rodriguez, Stephanie Bonilla, Tagg Bowman and Brian Abergel.
– The firm was proud to serve as a sponsor of the Latin Builders Association's 2013 Presidential Gala, an event that honored the upcoming President of the LBA. We would like to congratulate Mr. Guillermo Fernandez, who has now been installed as the LBA's 21st President, and wish him great success throughout his term. Here's a picture of the Siegfried group at the celebration which took place on November 23rd.
– The firm is proud to support the Kulanu Scholarship Fund as a Pearl Sponsor of their Business Partnership Program. The Kulanu Scholarship Fund was established to help those families that cannot afford a Hillel tuition. Hillel provides scholarships to those families that are unable to pay in full in order to fulfill their commitment to giving children the Jewish education they deserve. We hope to continue contributing to this inspirational organization in the upcoming years.
– The firm is proud to support the Beit Issie Shapiro Foundation for past couple of years. Beit Issie Shapiro is Israel’s leading special needs organization, helping over 30,000 people every year by furthering the rights, opportunities and services for people with intellectual or physical disabilities. We look forward to collaborating with this inspirational organization and help build a better future for children and adults with disabilities for years to come.
- The firm was proud to serve as a sponsor of the Community Association Institute South East Florida Chapter’s Miami-Dade event, which took place at Dadeland Marriott on June 5, 2013. Unit owners, board members, property managers and other professionals had the opportunity to network and join in on a panel discussion that addressed important topics pertaining to condo/HOA living. Roberto Blanch served as the moderator for the panel, which was comprised of legislators, lobbyists and other experts. Pictured here at the event from left to right are Helio De La Torre, Daniel Salas, Maryvel De Castro Valdes, Caridad Rusconi, Stephanie Bonilla and Stephanie Chaissan.
- The firm has been an active member of the Latin Builders Association for many years and was proud to serve as the “Title Sponsor” for the LBA’s June Luncheon, which is part of the on-going LBA DECISION series. The event took place on June 28, 2013 at Jungle Island. Attendees had the opportunity to network as well as join in on a panel discussion that addressed important topics pertaining to the recent legislative session. Pictured here at the event from left to right are Stuart Sobel, Roberto Blanch, Steven Siegfried, Stephanie Bonilla, Michael Kurzman, Joseph Miles and Jason Rodgers-Da Cruz.
- The firm was proud to serve as a sponsor of the 2013 Ritz-Carlton Residential Operations Leadership Conference, which took place at Amelia Island on May 20-23, 2013. Helio De La Torre served on the panel, with other members of the legal industry, and discussed various legal aspects of residential operations.
- Bouygues Civil Works Florida (BCWF), a division of Bouygues Construction, held their 4th annual golf tournament at Turnberry Isle Resort & Club on Saturday, May 18, 2013. The firm was proud to serve as a “Foursome/Hole Combo Sponsor” at the event, in which Michael Clark, Jonathan Mofsky, Joseph Miles and Nicholas Siegfried participated. Benefitting the Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation, a foundation that focuses on serving as a showcase to enlighten, educate and entertain the South Florida community through transformational arts and cultural experiences, this fantastic event combined fun and a noteworthy cause on the green. Pictured here at the event from left to right are Scott Eccleston from Stryker Electric and Stuart Sobel.
- The firm is proud to serve as a “Socio” sponsor of the Cuban American Bar Association’s 39th Annual Gala, which will take place on the evening of Saturday, February 2, 2013, at the JW Marriott Marquis in downtown Miami. The gala, which is CABA’s largest event of the year, will be attended by more than 1,000 guests, including federal and state judges, prominent attorneys, federal, state and local elected officials, business leaders, and other individuals who have made a significant impact in our community. Funds raised from the gala will benefit the Cuban American Bar Foundation, which provides scholarships to worthy law students throughout the State of Florida, and the Cuban American Bar Association Pro Bono Project, which offers free legal services to members of our community. Additional information, tickets and sponsorship details are available at www.cabagala.com or by calling (786) 210-5984.
- The firm served as a corporate sponsor for the Mater Foundation’s annual “Casino Night” fundraiser at the Robert W. Shane Center in Miami Beach on November 16, 2012. The proceeds from the event are used to fund scholarships for juniors at the Mater Academy in Miami to attend postsecondary summer enrichment programs at prestigious universities.
- The Miami chapter of this important national organization hosted its annual gala dinner at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach on November 14, 2012, and the firm was proud to serve as a “Dreamer Table Sponsor” at the event. The organization works to ensure that all children have the opportunity to pursue higher education by providing children in low-income communities with guaranteed tuition support and equipping them with the skills, knowledge and habits that they will need to succeed in college and beyond. Pictured here at the event from left to right are Stuart Sobel, Steven Siegfried and Oscar Rivera with Julie Siegfried and Lori Sobel.
- The firm has been an active member of the Southeast Chapter of the Community Associations Institute for many years, and for 2012 we are proud to sponsor the chapter’s annual golf tournament, which is one of its premier annual events. The tournament begins with a shotgun start at noon on Friday, Oct. 26, at the beautiful Jacaranda Country Club in Plantation, and registration, which costs $125 per golfer, starts at 11 a.m. Prizes and trophies will be awarded immediately following the tournament, which is always one of the best networking events of the year for the group’s members and guests.Click here to learn more and register to participate.
- The firm is proud to be a corporate sponsor of the 2012 edition of Raise the Bar, the 8th annual silent auction and reception benefitting the Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade. The event is taking place on Thursday, June 7, 2012, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Miami Center (201 S. Biscayne Blvd.), and tickets are available for just a $35 donation by clicking here . The Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade empowers women and girls through advocacy and funding for innovative initiatives that build equality, foster social change, and create community partnerships. Since 1993, Women’s Fund has awarded more than $3 million to a wide range of innovative programs that provide women and girls the skills and resources necessary to improve their lives.
- Siegfried Rivera was a proud supporter and participant in the 2012 Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run in downtown Miami on April 26. The event, which benefits the American Red Cross, drew more than 22,000 runners to Bayfront Park for the 5k run, and the law firm’s team was very proud to take part. Pictured here from left to right are team members Erica Sefton, Stephanie Moeller, Johanna Ortega, Lindsey Pressner and Stephanie Bonilla at the start of the run.
- The firm is proud to sponsor this event by AV Homes (formerly Avatar) at its Solivita community in Kissimmee, FL, which took place on March 10, 2012. This official Guinness World Records event set the new record with more than 2,013 guests taking part in the course on Zumba, the Latin-inspired dance-fitness program that has become popular around the globe. All of the proceeds from this event benefitted the American Cancer Society.
- The firm is proud to sponsor the Fort Lauderdale edition of Take Steps, the CCFA's largest annual fundraising event. The walk-a-thon will take place on Saturday, April 28, 2012, at 6 p.m. at Huizenga Park in Fort Lauderdale. The firm also served as the "Comic Relief Sponsor" for the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America's 2nd annual "Comedy Night," which took place at on Feb. 16, 2011, at the Improv Comedy Club at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood. The proceeds from these events benefit the foundation, which focuses on funding research to find a cure for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and improving the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. To learn more or sign up for the walk, visit www.cctakesteps.org.
- The Miami chapter of this important national organization hosted its annual gala dinner at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach on Nov. 8, 2011, and the firm's Tiffany Hurwitz, Ivette Machado, Lindsey Pressner, Nicholas Siegfried, Helene Brown and Michael Clark played important roles in the event as members of the organizing committee. The organization works to ensure that all children have the opportunity to pursue higher education by providing children in low-income communities with guaranteed tuition support and equipping them with the skills, knowledge and habits that they will need to succeed in college and beyond.
Our attorneys and professionals will continue our firm's tradition of making community and industry involvement one of our main objectives.