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A New Year’s Toast to Colleagues
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The legendary football coach Vince Lombardi once said, “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”

His quote came to mind during the past few weeks as I have been taking stock of the past year and looking forward to 2018. In particular, I have been thinking about my colleagues who have been recognized for doing the kind of excellent work they always do. They don’t expect any fanfare or special recognition, but the kudos started coming in the form of awards and rankings for individual lawyers, teams and the firm.

Most recently, Michelle Crockett, Megan Norris and Sherri Wellman were named in Crain’s 2017 Notable Women Lawyers in Michigan. The same day, Margarita Escalante was named in the inaugural edition of Most Influential Minority Lawyers in Chicago by Crain’s Custom Media.

In October, we were proud to have been selected to receive the Distinguished Pro Bono Service Provider Award at the 2017 Detroit Community Development Awards Celebration in recognition of the firm’s significant pro bono work that positively impacted community economic development in Detroit.

A few other highlights from this year include:

  • Rebecca Mancini was named by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as an Up & Coming Lawyer.
  • Beverly Burns was recognized by Hannan Foundation for Civic/Community Leadership in the foundation’s 70 Over Seventy Awards.
  • In July Soni Mithani was named in Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s Women in the Law.
  • Andrew Blum was honored with Notre Dame Award of the Year from the Notre Dame Club of Grand Rapids in recognition of his service to the community.
  • Over the summer Lexpert honored Jennifer Shilson with the Zenith Award Celebrating Women in the Law
  • The Ontario Bar Association recognized Jerry Udell for Excellence in Real Estate Law.
  • Early in the year, Jennifer Sabourin and Douglas Crim were named by law firm ranking organization BTI among the BTI Client Service All Stars for 2017. And just a few weeks ago, BTI named the firm on its Service Honor Roll and the BTI Client Service A-Team for 2018.
  • The State Bar of Michigan named Miller Canfield to the 2017 Circle of Excellence at the Leadership Level, in recognition of our contribution to pro bono service.
  • DBusiness named 18 Miller Canfield attorneys on its annual Top Lawyers list, recognizing their outstanding work in 14 practice areas.
  • Stan Stek won the Michael S. Barnes Award this year for pro bono service.
  • S. News & World Report named 107 of our colleagues on its Best Lawyers list.
  • The prestigious law firm and lawyer ranking organization Chambers & Partners ranked 16 of our attorneys and six practice groups among the very best nationwide.

None of my colleagues commit to excellence in their work so that they can earn recognition, even though the recognition is much appreciated. They do it because they truly value their clients, their communities, and the profession, which drives them to provide the highest possible level of service and work product.

They are simply the best in terms of skill, creativity, service, thoughtfulness and collegiality. For this, I am awed, inspired and ever thankful to them, and wish all of them, and all of you, a delightful New Year. May your year be truly excellent in every way.

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