On May 12, 2010, more than 300 guests gathered at Gotham Hall in Manhattan for the Business Law & Leadership Gala to celebrate the partnership between lawyers and nonprofits and their power to transform New York City communities.
The Business Law & Leadership Gala honored three New York community leaders for their exemplary commitment to public service, including the Corporate Sector Honoree C. Robert Henrikson, board chairman, president and CEO, MetLife, Inc. For over 140 years MetLife has stood for stability, security and strength, and through MetLife Foundation giving it has helped nonprofits to secure a better future for individuals and communities. Through its health, education and civic affairs programs, MetLife Foundation has supported nonprofits working on aging issues, school improvement (K-12), community improvement and services, families and youth, and more.
The Public Sector Honoree was Gladys Carrion, commissioner, New York State Office of Children & Family Services. The public agency serves as the primary funder and regulator of New York City's vast networks of children's services. Ms. Carrion also has first-hand experience as a former Lawyers Alliance client as executive director of Inwood House.
The Philanthropic Sector Honoree was Mike Pratt, president and executive director of the Scherman Foundation. For more than 30 years, the Scherman Foundation has been a philanthropic partner of Lawyers Alliance's work, providing the critical general operating funds necessary to remain responsive to the changing needs of New York's nonprofit sector.
Led by Master of Ceremonies Jeff Greenfield, senior political correspondent, CBS News, the festivities also included media presentations showcasing the important work of clients and pro bono attorneys as well as the generosity and commitment of Lawyers Alliance supporters.
Edward F. Greene, chair, Lawyers Alliance Board of Directors, noted that, "Over the past forty years, Lawyers Alliance has grown from a cherished public service organization founded by young law firm associates to a national model connecting all lawyers with a firm, nonprofits, and communities to improve the quality of life for low-income urban families. We proudly celebrate that connection."