On Friday, April 13, 2018, Craige Jenkins attorneys, staff, and our friends and colleagues in the community attended the 2018 Annual Pinwheel Gala, held by The Parenting PATH (formerly Exchange/SCAN). Assistant District Attorney Jessica Spencer, Chairperson, and Elizabeth Miller, Executive Director, were the hospitable hosts for the evening. The event featured a silent auction, a live auction, a D.J., a Community Hero award presentation, and even a moving testimonial from an individual in the community whose life had been changed for the better by the services of The Parenting PATH.
2018 Community Hero Rick Pfefferkorn addressing the guests
The Parenting PATH is a local, non-profit, United Way partner agency that offers a multitude of services to strengthen families and support parents, many of which are free of charge. Parenting classes, in-home services, father-oriented classes, respite care, and supervised visitation are just a few of the services that the organization provides. The Parenting PATH describes their mission as follows:
The Exchange Club Center for Child Abuse Prevention of North Carolina, Inc. was founded in October of 1981, following a Forsyth County N.C. task force discussion on needed prevention services to deal with rapidly increasing reports of child abuse and neglect. The Exchange Club of Greater Winston-Salem had proposed the program model following the adoption nationally of using parent aides (then known as lay therapists) to work in homes with families. Core services of in home parent aides and community awareness were provided in the first year of operation. By 1983 both parent education services and support group services had been added. As our services expanded we wanted to incorporate our positive, strengths based approach into our name. So in 2018, our name changed from Exchange/SCAN to the Parenting Path: Positive Actions, Thriving Homes.
Various local businesses and individuals were donors for this year’s Pinwheel Gala, which has proven to be a successful night in the past; in 2017, the gala raised a total of $27,500. Craige Jenkins Liipfert & Walker was one of the sponsors at this year’s event. Elizabeth Miller told the crowd that this was the largest turnout they have had for the Pinwheel Gala and inspired guests to donate with anecdotes of extraordinary members going above and beyond to do the most with very limited means, even if that meant cooking dinners out of their own homes to help others.
From left to right: Brianna Riazzi, Crissy Dixon, Phil Searcy, and Julie Searcy
Rebecca Smitherman has been elected as a Fellow to The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC”). ACTEC peer-elects a class of Fellows from across the United States as well as internationally, and its selection process is rigorous. ACTEC’s press release describes the organization and its membership as follows:
ACTEC is an organization of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers and law professors who are skilled and experienced in: the preparation of wills and revocable and irrevocable trusts; probate; trust, guardianship and conservatorship administration; transfer taxation planning and administration; integration of asset protection planning with the aforementioned practice areas; fiduciary income taxation; incapacity planning; elder law; employee benefit planning; donative planning; charitable planning; advising exempt organizations; and probate, trust, and protective proceedings litigation to improve and reform probate, trust, and tax laws, procedures, and professional responsibility.
To qualify for membership, a lawyer must have no fewer than 10 years’ experience in the active practice of trust and estate law. Lawyers and law professors are elected to be Fellows based on their outstanding reputation, exceptional skill, and substantial contributions to the field by lecturing, writing, teaching, and participating in bar leadership or legislative activities. It is their aim to improve and reform probate, trust and tax laws, procedures, and professional responsibility.
Rebecca is a Board-Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law. She also maintains a high level of involvement with the North Carolina Bar Association, where she has served as a speaker and author for a number of programs, as well as Vice-Chair of the Legislative Committee of the Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section.
Rebecca is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Wake Forest University School of Law, where she teaches Planning and Drafting Wills and Trusts. She is an integral member of our community and of our law firm.
Attorney and staff volunteers from Craige Jenkins Liipfert & Walker gathered together this week at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church to help serve dinner to women experiencing homelessness. St. Timothy’s serves as an overflow shelter for women, where guests are able to get a warm meal, a change of clothes, and a full night’s sleep supervised by volunteer monitors. The church works together with a local non-profit organization to provide shelter during the coldest months of the year.
As our Craige Jenkins volunteers prepared the dinner, they learned about the church and its local efforts to combat the issue of homelessness in Winston-Salem. Most of the women who would stay at the shelter that night were transported from a downtown location where they check in for the evening. Because the permanent shelter locations are often at capacity now, overflow shelters are able to take in guests for the night. All of our volunteers enjoyed the conversations with the guests while serving dinner, and all were able to sit down together as a community to enjoy the dinner together.
Pictured from left to right: Ashley Robbins, Melissa Webb, Crissy Dixon, Lori Edwards, Allie Booker, Lynn Miller, and Lorrie Bennett.
Rebecca L. Smitherman has been selected by her peers for inclusion in the 24th edition of The Best Lawyers in America for her work in elder law & trusts and estates.
The Best Lawyers in America was first published in 1983. Since then, the same tried and tested peer review process has been used consistently for more than thirty years. While the scope and scale of this publication has dramatically grown over the past three decades, the core mission of Best Lawyers to highlight the top legal talent in America has remained unchanged. The 24th edition highlights the top 5% of practicing attorneys in the U.S. and is organized by state, city, and practice area for readability.
Craige Jenkins Liipfert & Walker is pleased to announce that Crissy Dixon has joined the firm as an Associate. Crissy concentrates her practice in the areas of Estate Planning, Trust and Estate Administration, and Tax. She received her J.D. from Wake Forest in 2016 where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Wake Forest Journal of Law & Policy and received The National Association of Women Lawyers Outstanding Student Award upon graduation. Crissy received her B.A. from Rutgers University in 2013 where she graduated magna cum laude from the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program. While attending Wake Forest School of Law here in Winston-Salem, she served as a teaching assistant for several courses as well as a student attorney in the Elder Law Clinic.
Our law firm was a table sponsor of the 2017 Associates in Christian Counseling Fundraising Banquet. The ACC provides income based mental health counseling services in Forsyth, Rockingham and Surry Counties. The ACC has a profoundly important impact on our community and we were proud to be a part of the successful event.
Craige Jenkins was a proud sponsor this year of the Komen Breast Cancer Foundation of Northwest North Carolina’s Pink Tie Ball. The annual event, held in Greensboro, raises support for and awareness of breast cancer throughout a twenty-two county area in North Carolina, including Forsyth, Guilford, Yadkin, and the surrounding counties.
Business NC has named two of our attorneys – Julian Robb in Real Estate and Rebecca Smitherman as a “Young Gun” – to their 2017 list of the legal elites! We are very proud to have such talent and dedication at our law firm.
Amanda Gargis, an attorney at Craige Jenkins, helped readers of the AgeWise column in the Winston-Salem Journal. On September 26, a reader submitted a question regarding inheriting IRAs from an estate. The answer? IRAs are subject to specific rules that affect distributions, taxation and income. Because of the multitude of factors that impact “inherited” IRAs, including the relationship between the beneficiary and the person who owned the IRA, the owner’s age, the beneficiary’s age, whether the beneficiary was named in the IRA or whether the beneficiary inherited the IRA under a Will, individuals inheriting IRAs may find the gift a mixed blessing. AgeWise recommends seeking an expert opinion before making any transfers or withdrawals. In addition to Amanda, CJLW has a number of experienced estate attorneys – Cowles Liipfert, Gordon Jenkins, John Keiger, Rebecca Smitherman, and Luke Wooley – who can help with IRA or other estate-related questions.
The Attorneys and staff at Craige Jenkins understand the importance of giving back to our Community. Although we all have our own favorite nonprofit organizations near and dear to our heart, we thought it would be a good idea to put together a team for a joint project.
The firm decided to bring our individual efforts into a collective one with a Habitat House build.
On September 20, 2016, a group of 16 members from our office consisting of both attorneys and staff worked for a full day on a Habitat House build. It so happened that the house that we were working on needed the roof to be completed to be ready for a group coming a few days later to put shingles on the house.
If you have ever worked on a Habitat House, you know that there is a core group of volunteers along with Habitat Staff that supervises the work. With the help of these very skilled people, a group that may have little or no experience in construction can become a dynamic and efficient work force.
After positioning the scaffolding, we all went to work. Fortunately, it was a one story house so getting on the roof was not too intimidating. By the end of the day, this lawyerly group was an impressive construction crew. The roof was completed!
We enjoyed it so much that we agreed to do it again.