Queens County Women’s Bar Association Makes History – Attorney Lourdes M. Ventura, Installed As First Latina President

[QCWBA Press Release 6.26.15 – click here for PDF version]

QUEENS, NY -For the first time in its 84-year history the Queens County Women’s Bar Association (QCWBA) will have a woman of Latina heritage lead the organization.

Lourdes M. Ventura, a senior associate at the Law Firm of Ahmuty, Demers and McManus, became the first woman of Dominican heritage to serve as president of the venerable Queens women’s legal advocacy organization.

A packed room, including Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, looked on as the Hon. Jenny Rivera, Associate Judge of the NYS Court of Appeals, installed Ventura as the organization’s 61st president during the QCWBA’s gala installation dinner held at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach on June 23rd.

“I am honored and deeply humbled to serve as president,” Ventura told the audience.  “As a person of Dominican heritage raised in Corona, Queens I am very proud of this honor and excited to work with my colleagues to increase the ranks and advancement opportunities for women in the law.”

A former Queens and State Prosecutor, the Corona, Queens native received her Bachelor of Arts, Master of Social Work and Juris Doctor from the University of Buffalo.

The other newly installed QCWBA Executive Officers, include:

Eun Chong (EJ) Thorsen, Vice President;

Alexandra Zervopoulos, Treasurer;

Adrienne Williams, Financial Secretary;

Maureen M. Heitner, Recording Secretary; and

FeliceMilani, Corresponding Secretary.

The crowd gave outgoing President Zenith T. Taylor a standing ovation. Taylor now becomes the immediate past president.

Dinner Co-chairs and QCWBA Past PresidentsPamela Jordan and Nicole McGregor Mundy; and the entire committee were lauded for their efforts organizing the successful event. The Rev. Dr. Edward Culvert performed the invocation and Justice MartinRitholtz delivered the benediction.

Many of New York State’s best and brightest legal minds attended the celebration, including the Hon. Marguerite A. Grays, Chairperson of the QCWBA Board of Trustees, and the Hon. Fern A. Fisher, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for New York City Civil Courts.

Prominent legal dignitaries at the celebration, include, among others: the Hon. Joseph A. Zayas, Administrative Judge Supreme Court, Criminal Term; the Hon. Bernice D. Siegal, President of the Network of Bar Leaders and QCWBA Past President; and Andrea F. Composto, Esq., President of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York.  New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo was unable to attend but sent a representative.

Ventura said that growing up in Queens she was often called on by her mother and others to help translate Spanish to English.

“I thought it was burden at the time,” Ventura said. “But as I grew older it planted the seed of helping others. I later decided that being a lawyer was the best way I could help others using the ethics and power of the law to move their lives forward.”

Ventura said the values she learned from her parents of helping others would serve at the core of her presidency as she thanked friends, colleagues and mentors in the audience for their support.

“I believe we in the legal profession are the best and the brightest and it is our duty as part of our sworn oath to honor our families, serve our clients and the people of Queens and this great state to the best of our abilities,” Ventura said. “I am proud of my heritage and roots. I am proud to be a New Yorker.”

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The Queens County Women’s Bar Association (QCWBA) is dedicated to the promotion of women in the development of their legal careers and the expression of their professional skills.

In 1931 a group of 14 women who needed an organization of their “own” to promote, discuss and educate each other on legal topics with an emphasis between women and the law.

The QCWBA achieves this goal through a multitude of avenues, including awarding the annual Faith O’Neal Scholarship Fund to deserving law students; sponsoring Continuing Legal Education and community outreach programs; participating in diverse events targeted at issues affecting women in the law and in the community at-large, including our annual participation in the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk.

 To become a member or for additional information: http://www.qcwba.org |info@qcwba.org | 718 595-0585.

 

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