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New Mid-Shore Pro Bono Board to Focus on Enhancing Support from Community

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Contact:

Cyndy Carrington Miller, Public Relations Consultant

410-770-9410, 443-521-2330 (cell)

October 15, 2014

New Mid-Shore Pro Bono Board To Focus On
Enhancing Support From Community

Attorney William C. Hollis III is bringing a fresh focus to Mid-Shore Pro Bono as its new board president. The organization has been providing low-income residents of Kent, Queen Anne’s, Caroline, Talbot and Dorchester counties with access to civil legal services since 2005.

Joining Hollis as officers for fiscal year 2014-2015 are Vice President Chad Malkus, Secretary Kisha Petticolas and Treasurer Ralph Twilley. New board members are Saundra Hayman, and attorneys Christine DuFour, Bridget Lowrie and René Swafford. Judge Stephen H. Kehoe and Judge Melvin J. Jews are new members of Mid-Shore Pro Bono’s Advisory Board.

“We are entering a different environment, as far as fundraising and fiscal management,” Bill Hollis said of Mid-Shore Pro Bono’s future. Grants from foundations funded the agency’s creation and have been the primary support for its programs. Hollis noted that once foundations get an organization started, they expect it to develop the donor support to sustain services on its own.

With Mid-Shore Pro Bono now well-established, Hollis is focusing his skills on positioning the organization to reach out for local community support from individual donors and other organizations.

A Long Island native, Hollis has had a home in Easton since 1993. At age 45, he changed course from a career as a health care executive and went to law school, earning his degree from the University of Maryland in 2003.

“In hospital administration, I was not working directly with patients and had no immediate personal feedback,” he said. As a partner in the Easton firm of Hollis, Cronan & Fronk, P.A., he enjoys using his competitive nature to win battles for clients, especially those who are least able to negotiate the complex legal system.

Hollis recalls a case he handled in another jurisdiction for a young man who had been sexually abused as a child. Up against police who questioned the man’s veracity and running out of time on the statute of limitations, Hollis and another attorney filed a civil complaint that spent two years winding its way through the system. On the third day of the trial, Hollis said, they were able to reach a substantial settlement to provide for the financial and medical needs for the rest of the young man’s life. “Being able to help him get justice—that was the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.”

He now is combining that passion with experience in nonprofit management and fundraising, earned in his previous career, to lead Mid-Shore Pro Bono’s efforts. A retreat with the organization’s strategic planning and development committees led to new mission and vision statements and established corporate values for Mid-Shore Pro Bono, the cornerstone, said Hollis, of developing a strategic plan. “We’re in competition with a lot of other organizations and need to be able to tell donors why they should give to Mid-Shore Pro Bono.”

 The core efforts of the organization are in providing access to representation for people who can’t otherwise afford it. “The justice system doesn’t work well for people who can’t afford an attorney if the other side has one,” Hollis said. “It’s like entering a boxing match with both hands tied behind your back.”

Hollis is quick to point out that it’s the people who make Mid-Shore Pro Bono more than just a name. “Executive Director Sandy Brown and the rest of the staff are wonderful, caring and dedicated to helping clients find the right legal support.”

However, Hollis would like Mid-Shore Pro Bono to be able to do more. Clients need to fit certain financial criteria to qualify for many of the organization’s programs, which leaves some who fall into a gap between having too much income to qualify and not enough to hire their own attorneys. Through expanded fundraising, he explained, “we could help more of those who fall into that gap by providing ‘low-bono’ services—representation at a reduced fee on a sliding scale.”

The board will be working to generate that additional support by spreading the message of how important the organization’s services are to the community. “If we can augment Mid-Shore Pro Bono’s financial support in the community,” said Hollis, “we can work on expanding services to cover other areas of the law and ensure all people who need legal help can access it. We can help level the playing field for more of those who need it most.”

For more information or to make a donation, call Mid-Shore Pro Bono at 410-690-8128 or visit www.midshoreprobono.org.

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Photo Caption [CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]:

MSPB_Board.jpg:  Mid-Shore Pro Bono’s FY14-15 Board of Directors. Left to right, front row:  Advisory Board Member Judge John Nunn and Board Members Christine DuFour, Anne Ogletree, Kisha Petticolas, René Swafford, Saundra Hayman, Bill Hollis and Wanda Molock. Back row:  Board Members Walter Chase, Bridget Lowrie, Sandy Hale, Jim Richardson, Ralph Twilley and Cynthia McCann. Board members not pictured: Childlene Brooks, Chad Malkus and Alice Ritchie.

Copyright © 2014 by Mid-Shore Pro Bono, Inc. Permission is granted to use any photos within this Press Release only for publication and not for sale or resale. All other rights reserved.

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