Disciplined in Sophisticated Defense and Insurance Litigation

SPOTLIGHT| Kind Acts through Community Service: Telisha Thompson

Donning a white hat called a Fez and a bright sash, Telisha Thompson beamed with pride. A records management clerk who has been with the firm just under a year explains that when she is not at Butler, she loves serving the community.  In 2009, Telisha joined a prominent organization called the Jerusalem Grand Chapter Order of the Eastern Star. She is a part of the Lola Simon Chapter where she dons all white at meetings and is known as an Associate Matron. She is also the District Secretary of Zone 2, overseeing all activities and community service from Tampa’s surrounding areas all the way to Orlando.

So what exactly does she do? She changes lives for the better. Telisha is a part of an organization that focuses on community service and improving the self to empower others to reach their full potential. Telisha focuses on the organization’s youth mentoring group, the Star Lights, which is the nickname they give the group of school-aged girls. She encourages many of her Star Lights to get good grades, engages them in fun activities, helps them express their creativity through performance art, introduces them to business-minded professionals, and teaches them the skills they need to be successful.

Her impact on the students was noted when one of her Star Lights saw Telisha pay for someone’s meal behind her at a restaurant. The young girl then followed Telisha’s lead and used her own money from chores to pay for the person behind her a few days later. She also recalls a Star Light coming to her about failing a class. She encouraged the young girl and followed up with her on her progress reports. With Telisha’s help, the young girl was able to bring her grade up and maintain an A in the class.

“My favorite part is the faces of my Star Lights when they see me. Just working with them brings so much life to me. I encourage them to be better in school. We let them know they can be successful too,” said Telisha.

Along with being a mentor for the Star Lights, Telisha partakes in many other community service projects with her organization’s members. The Lola Simon Chapter adopts a school in Tampa each year, and Telisha partakes in collecting school supply donations to fill up backpacks for underprivileged children at the school. She has also donates her time gathering coats during the winter months so that needy children have all the necessities to keep warm.

Reflecting on all of the good deeds of her organization, she notes the greatest lesson learned is to always have an open heart.

“People need love in the world. When we get together, it’s for the community and all for love.”

Telisha’s dedication to this organization and to her community exemplifies her Service, Teamwork and Principles. She has deep roots within the community and always strives to put a smile on everyone’s face. Co-workers describe her as a ray of sunshine, brightening everyone’s day, and her service to those around her has left an imprint.

SPOTLIGHTZach Jett | Locked Up for Charity

“My grandfather was diagnosed with this disease later on in his life…and it really affected his mobility. He was very active his whole life, so it was very frustrating for him. It really spoke to me personally.”

Read More »
SPOTLIGHTAmerican Civil Liberties Union

I came to see that it was a lot more complex than that, that they were actually protecting the rights themselves from being slowly eroded away, and standing up for people was one of several ways to do that. It was thankless-but-essential work, and it impressed me that there were people doing it for no reason other than that they thought it should be done.

Read More »
SPOTLIGHTKatelyn Desrosiers, Jacob Hanson & Dining with Dignity

The last time I volunteering, I was talking to a woman who was there with her toddler.  I asked her if she came to the Café often.  She responded that she does not come very often, but when money gets tight at the end of the month, she visits the Café to provide a meal for her and her son.

Read More »
SPOTLIGHTDoug Berry | The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program

In many respects, I know everyone of these guys, having served with and alongside them in Viet-Nam and elsewhere.  With respect to veterans of more recent conflicts, I knew their fathers and uncles; the names and faces change but the nature of their selfless service and commitment to the country and to each other don’t.  They don’t ask for much and for me, it’s not too much to try to apply some special skills in order to attempt to help them. 

Read More »
SPOTLIGHTMichelle Green | Fashion Blog

I have always loved fashion and after seeing so many fashion bloggers on Instagram posting their amazing looks and where to get them, I was inspired to start my own blog.  I have been posting and blogging for about 9 months.

Read More »
SPOTLIGHTDiane Barnes-Reynolds | Arctic Adventure

I know it sounds crazy. Everyone I told laughed. They thought it was a joke because of the extraordinarily cold weather at the Arctic Circle. But when you live in the paradise that is Tampa, where else would you go? And it was quite an amazing adventure. I only regret that we couldn’t take our daughter; and I can’t wait until we return when she’s old enough to join us. In the meantime...

Read More »
SPOTLIGHTScott Frank | El Camino de Santiago de Compostela

The trip was to Spain for the purpose of completing a pilgrimage called El Camino de Santiago de Compostela, which translated means The Way of St. James. It refers to St. James the Greater, one of the apostles of Jesus. There are 10 different routes of the Camino, with the most popular being the Camino Frances or the French Way. This Camino starts in St. Jean Pied de Port, just over the French side of the France-Spain border...

Read More »
SPOTLIGHTGloria Arthur & Makitia Dillard | Guardian ad Litem

For those who are not familiar, the Florida Guardian ad Litem program (GAL) is voluntary and is set up to provide an effective voice for Florida's neglected, abused and abandoned children. The program works in conjunction with the Circuit Courts. Florida law defines GAL as the person, "who is appointed by the court to represent the best interests of a child in a proceeding as provided for by law … 

Read More »
SPOTLIGHTLewis Collins | Making of a Modern Day Knight

I was asked to be a mentor for a friend’s son who was going through a program with his dad 20 years ago called the “Making of a Modern Day Knight.” To act as his mentor, I had to read the book that this program  was based on and learn the way to raise a son as God expects — so the world doesn’t craft a son’s image of what it is to be a “man.” I was very impressed with this program and, when my son was born 3 years later, I promised myself (and him) that we would go through this program together...

Read More »
SPOTLIGHTCurt Allen & Brian Hohman | Little League

I like to make safety and fun a priority. Unfortunately, some coaches and parents take a “win at all costs” approach. I believe this misses the point entirely and sends the wrong message to the kids. Instead of giving them a break from everyday pressures, it adds more. I played many sports as a kid, and played football at the collegiate level. Hence, I understand competition and a desire to win. But, at the little league level...

Read More »
SPOTLIGHT"Al" Harrington Smoot | CCYS

Al works with the Capital City Youth Services (CCYS) which provides shelter and counseling for at-risk young people, including runaways, ages 10 to 17. CCYS is the only shelter for this age group in Leon County and the seven surrounding counties. CCYS also provides counseling, free of charge to families struggling with issues relating to teenagers. CCYS offers teenagers a "time out" so they can either work out their issues, or get out of a dangerous home environment...

Read More »
SPOTLIGHTAaron Jacobs | Fight Night Productions

I was first introduced to boxing when I watched a Bernard Hopkins (at that time, the Middleweight World Champion) fight in high school. I was fascinated with the sport, and from that point forward, was consumed with learning as much about boxing as possible. I would read books, magazines, and watch as much boxing as i could. In college, I started the Florida State University Boxing Club, which was part of the Sports Club Council. We ran a small amateur program for a handful of students out of a boxing gym...

Read More »
SPOTLIGHTPeter Vogt | Addis Abba, Ethiopia

The project involved working at a relatively new school located on the outskirts of Addis Abba. The school did not have a library, proper sanitary facilities, or any playing fields. There were 17 people on our team, and we worked with an Ethiopian crew. The school has approximately 1200 students, and thee children were on site at lunch/recess. This was a very big project and we had limited tools. For instance, we hand mixed cement for the foundations, and we completed an outdoor basketball court and volleyball court...

Read More »
SPOTLIGHTRick Mulder | JDRF

I became involved with Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) when my son Garrett was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes in August of 2008.  Each year, more than 15,000 children and 15,000 adults - approximately 80 people per day - are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in the U.S. It comes on suddenly, causes dependence on injected or pumped insulin for life, and carries the constant threat...

Read More »
SPOTLIGHTPaul Butler | Manaleni

There are approximately 100 kids served at the Manaleni Center, located about 50 miles northeast of Pretoria.  A team visits the kids and staff at least once a year.   From day one we have committed to do more than write checks.  We know the kids and they know us.  They remember us.  They know us by name and we know them by name.  One year there was a team member who had been on the two previous...

Read More »