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Community & Professional Leadership

At Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., we believe that it is our responsibility and privilege to support organizations and activities whose efforts result in stronger communities. Many of our attorneys and staff members serve as officers, directors and trustees for charitable associations, assist as volunteers for civic organizations and events, and contribute financially to worthy causes.

To see a representative list of organizations for which our attorneys serve as officers or directors, click here.

APRIL 2014


Michael Lauer Elected to the American Heart Association’s Board of Directors

Michael Lauer was elected to the American Heart Association’s Board of Directors. The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Founded by six cardiologists in 1924, the American Heart Association now includes more than 22.5 million volunteers and supporters whose driving mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. They fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to save and improve lives.

MARCH 2014


Hal Karas Appointed as Milwaukee County Condemnation Commissioner

Hal Karas was recently appointed as a Milwaukee County Condemnation Commissioner. He was voted into office by the Milwaukee County Circuit Court judges and his term is effective immediately. Condemnation Commissioners serve as an alternative means for aggrieved property owners to appeal condemnation awards instead of proceeding directly to Circuit Court.



Lydia Chartre Reelected Secretary of the Milwaukee Public Museum Board of Directors

Lydia Chartre has been reelected Secretary of the Milwaukee Public Museum Board of Directors. The Milwaukee Public Museum, one of the largest in the United States, is a museum of human and natural history providing a dynamic and stimulating environment for learning, with exhibits to excite and challenge visitors with a diversity of interests. Lydia’s reappointment offers the Museum another year of excellent service and dedication to its academic mission.


Tiffany Hutchens Appointed to Board of Directors of Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health

WHD’s Tiffany Hutchens has been appointed to the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health Board of Directors. WAWH strives to advance comprehensive women’s health in Wisconsin by engaging, educating, empowering, and mobilizing individuals and organizations. Healthy women lead to healthy families, and healthy families lead to healthy communities. Thus, WAWH envisions Wisconsin as an environment where all women have the opportunity to realize their optimal health and well-being at every stage of life.



Nathaniel Hoffman selected to Board of Advisors for Commercial Lease Law Insider

WHD’s Nathaniel Hoffman was selected for inclusion on the Board of Advisors for Commercial Lease Law Insider. The monthly digital newsletter is a premier national leasing publication. It details the latest techniques and ideas to help commercial property owners and managers structure smart lease deals, negotiate the most favorable lease terms, plug risky lease loopholes, and take advantage of the latest court rulings that affect the way professionals draft and negotiate leases.


Rebecca Mitich Appointed as Vice President of the Board of Directors of Northwest Side Community Development Corporation

Rebecca Mitich has been elected as Vice President of the Northwest Side Community Development Corporation’s Board of Directors. The NWSCDC works to enhance the standard of living on Milwaukee’s northwest side by improving the business environment for our low-income communities through community economic development. Since being founded in 1983, NWSCDC has served the economic development needs of Milwaukee’s low-income communities. The NWSCDC has assisted with neighborhood strategic planning to improve safety, land use planning and development on the Northwest Side to spur retail growth, and numerous business and workforce development programs.



Tom Godar Appointed to the Kettle Moraine Curling Club Board of Directors

Tom Godar has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Kettle Moraine Curling Club. The Kettle Moraine Curling Club is a vibrant organization with over 200 regular and 25 social members from 16 to 86 years old. Curling as a sport provides a wonderful mix of competitiveness and opportunities to socialize. The Club’s excellent ice sheets and club house offer inviting spaces for members to enjoy the grand old game.


Tom Godar Named as Secretary to Okauchee Lake Management District Board

Tom Godar was reelected to the Okauchee Lake Management District Board by the riparian owners on Okauchee Lake in Waukesha County. Tom serves as the secretary. The Management Board is charged with maintaining the quality of Okauchee Lake, and oversees lake management and environmental initiatives. OLMD cooperates with local law enforcement and the DNR to manage the lake resources insuring a quality experience for riparian owners and recreational users of the lake.


Andy Schlidt Named Trustee for the Milwaukee County War Memorial, Inc.

Andy Schlidt has been named a Trustee of the Milwaukee County War Memorial, Inc. He was also elected by the Board of Trustees to serve as its Corporate Secretary. The War Memorial Center was born out of the collective vision to create a fitting memorial to honor our Country’s veterans and does so through its mission "To Honor the Dead by Serving the Living." Today the War Memorial Center partners with numerous veteran's organizations to provide services to veterans and to host a variety of community events.


Barbara Zabawa Appointed Vice Chair for the American Health Lawyers Association’s Behavioral Health Task Force

Barbara Zabawa was appointed as Vice Chair to the AHLA’s Behavioral Health Task Force. The Behavioral Health Task Force is committed to advancing the understanding of laws impacting behavioral health, including the delivery of services to those living with mental illness, certain neurological conditions, substance use disorders or developmental disabilities, and reimbursement for such services. Scientific, legislative, and other developments, including healthcare reform, have presented new issues and opportunities in this area, including primary and behavioral healthcare integration initiatives, insurance coverage parity mandates, changes to Medicaid, and evolving public policy. The BH Task Force will monitor and evaluate these laws and developments through written materials, webinars, and in-person educational activities so that AHLA members are better equipped to advise clients on behavioral health topics. In addition, the work of the BH Task Force will serve to raise awareness about how behavioral health laws influence health improvement efforts, and will include collaborative efforts with AHLA's Public Interest activities.



Michael Dahm and Steve Lyons Appointed to 2013 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium Steering Committee

Michael Dahm and Steve Lyons were appointed to the steering committee that is planning the 2013 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium which will be held November 5-6 at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center in Madison. The symposium helps entrepreneurs learn how to pursue capital and offers investor pitch opportunities.


Mindi Giftos Elected Chair of the Board of Directors of Girls on the Run Dane County

Mindi Giftos was elected Chair of the Board of Directors of Girls on the Run Dane County. Mindi is also the founder of a Girls on the Run program in her community, Cottage Grove, and is an active coach in the program.

Girls on the Run is a non-profit prevention program that encourages preteen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running. Its curriculum addresses all aspects of girls’ development – including their physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual well-being. Girls on the Run strives to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident. Girls on the Run Dane County is currently serving more than 600 girls this fall season in over 40 sites throughout Dane County.

JULY 2013


Jack Laffey Reappointed to DRI's Law Institute

Jack Laffey was reappointed to a three-year term on the DRI’s Law Institute. DRI is the international membership organization of lawyers involved in the defense of civil litigation. It is the leading organization of defense attorneys and in-house counsel. Laffey has served on the Law Institute since 2006.


Thomas Gonzalez Elected to the Board of Directors of Centro Legal

Thomas Gonzalez was elected to the Board of Directors for Centro Legal on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. Centro Legal provides free and low-cost legal services for individuals and families in Milwaukee County. The organization serves a diverse group of clients in family law and criminal misdemeanor defense cases. In 2012, Centro Legal provided representation in more than 800 client cases. Centro Legal also served more than 1,000 individuals through their family law classes and consultation program.


Patrick Coffey Joins the Advisory Board for the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Institute for Compliance

Patrick Coffey has been invited to join the Advisory Board for the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Institute for Compliance. The Institute promotes careers in finance compliance, trains and prepares students for such careers, increases knowledge of the importance of compliance, and provides various events for the Chicago-based compliance and legal community. It was the first institute of its created by a law school.


Patrick Coffey Appointed to the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel of the Eastern District of Wisconsin

Patrick Coffey was appointed to the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel of the Eastern District of Wisconsin on Wednesday, June 26, 2013.

The panel, comprised of carefully selected members of the community, has been called to review candidates for the Magistrate Judge position that recently became vacant following the retirement of U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia J. Gorence.

The Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel conducts the process of screening and recommending candidates for consideration for the United States Magistrate Judge position. The merit selection panel is appointed by an order of the district court, and its members must be either residents of the district or have significant ties to the community of the district within which the magistrate judge is to serve.