Marsha V. Kazarosian brings with her decades of experience in bar leadership and running a suburban law office to her new position, vice president of the Massachusetts Bar Association for the 2008-09 association year. Kazarosian, who lives and practices in Haverhill, was elected to fill the office that became vacant after the passing of Robert F. Lucas Jr.
Kazarosian was elected by a majority vote at the Sept. 18 House of Delegates meeting held at Mechanics Hall in Worcester. Kazarosian received 38 votes, eight more than were needed to reach majority. She was one of five candidates for the position, which will run through Aug. 31, 2009.
"I’m proud that I was among other candidates who were really excited about the MBA and wanted to be involved," Kazarosian said after winning the election. "It renews my hope for the MBA going forward."
Kazarosian said she plans to listen to the other MBA leaders to learn their goals, while also focusing on increasing membership, particularly among young lawyers, and getting more people actively involved in the association. "I think the most important thing is to find younger lawyers and show them we’re relevant to them," said Kazarosian, who added that lawyers need to learn they can get involved at varying levels.
Five candidates vied for the vice president position, most of whom made speeches at the HOD meeting before the vote. The other candidates were Robert T. Cannon, Equitas LLC, Yarmouthport; Kevin G. Diamond, Shea and Diamond, Boston; Angela C. McConney, Massachusetts Civil Service Commission, Boston; and Janet Hetherwick Pumphrey, Law Offices of Janet Hetherwick Pumphrey, Lenox.
"It’s never easy putting yourself out there in an election, but we do appreciate it, so thank you all very much," MBA President Edward W. McIntyre said after announcing the victor.
A team of tellers, under the direction of retired Justice Mel L. Greenberg, was assigned the duty of collecting and counting the ballots: Damian D. Berthiaume, Dennis F. Gorman, Robert E. Longden Jr., Thomas A. Manning, Ann K. Molloy, Robert L. Rice Jr. and John A. Shea. McIntyre thanked them for their service.
"I think it was a proud moment for the MBA to have an open and transparent election process that really worked," MBA Executive Director Marilyn J. Wellington said.
A managing partner of Kazarosian Law Offices in Haverhill, Kazarosian con-
centrates in civil litigation, family law and discrimination. She became partner in the practice in 1986 and took over from her father, Paul, in the early 1990s.
McIntyre said Kazarosian will help bring the needs of small-town Massachusetts attorneys to the MBA. McIntyre, himself a proud small-town attorney in Clinton, said Kazarosian will help provide "a voice" for those attorneys.
"She’s been on that street, small-town America main street, her entire professional career and she has a great sense of the needs of a small-town practitioner," said McIntyre, who called her comfortable to be around. "She is direct, she is informative and she is what you see."
Kazarosian has many professional memberships and leadership positions under her belt, including having served as president of both the Essex County Bar Association and the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys. She has also served as a contributing author and faculty member of various Continuing Legal Education programs.
MBA President-elect Valerie A. Yarashus said she is looking forward to working with Kazarosian as an officer of the MBA. "She brings experience, intelligence, dedication and a common sense approach to leading organizations into the future," Yarashus said.
A member of the MBA since 1982, Kazarosian has served on nine committees and sections, including the Access to Justice, Civil Litigation, Family Law and Probate Law section councils. Kazarosian has also served on the MBA’s Executive Management Board, House of Delegates, Joint Bar Committee on Judicial Nominations, Nominating Committee and Gala Dinner Committee. She is a Life Fellow of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation and served on this year’s Fellowship Committee.
Wellington said Kazarosian’s thorough understanding of the MBA because of her many years of service will benefit the association, and her North Shore ties will also help expand the association’s geographic reach. "I think she’s really going to bring in a new voice," Wellington said.
Kazarosian institutional knowledge of the MBA, coupled with her strength, will only mean great things for the association, MBA Treasurer Denise Squillante said. "I think Bob Lucas would be thrilled at his replacement. No one could ever fill his shoes, but I think that Bob would be confident, having known Marsha for 20 years," Squillante said.
An accomplished trial lawyer, Kazarosian was named one of the top 10 lawyers in the state in 1999 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly after successfully suing the Haverhill Golf and Country Club for gender discrimination. In 2006, Mass-
achusetts Super Lawyers magazine chose Kazarosian for its cover story titled, "The Power of Marsha Kazarosian."
MBA Secretary Douglas K. Sheff, who has known Kazarosian both professionally and personally for more than 20 years, called her "of the highest caliber."
"She’s extremely intelligent. She’s a quick study. Everything she does, she does it right with grace, class, dignity and a sense of humor," Sheff said. "I’m very pleased to have her on the leadership team."
Active in the North Shore Community, Kazarosian is a corporator of the Pentucket Five Cents Savings Bank and a member of the Essex County 150th Anniversary Committee. She has also served as a board member of the Northern Essex Community College Foundation. Kazarosian has three sons, one of whom is currently enrolled in Suffolk University Law School.
Fellow Essex County attorney Robert L. Holloway Jr., her co-vice president, said Kazarosian was wonderful to work with when they were both officers of the Essex County Bar Association. "She’s going to be a tremendous addition," he said.
Kazarosian received her B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1978 and went on to earn her law degree from Suffolk University Law School in 1982. She is a graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover.