Columbian Lawyers introduce new president, say goodbye to old, at annual dinner
The Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn held its 47th annual dinner dance where it said goodbye to outgoing President Bartholomew T. Russo and welcomed incoming President Rose Ann C. Branda with a ceremony at El Caribe in Mill Basin on Friday.
“We are here tonight to celebrate a great year under our outgoing president Bart Russo,” said past President Steven “Blue Eyes” Bamundo. “We also welcome with enthusiasm and optimism our new president Rose Ann Branda.”
Borough President Eric Adams was in attendance and presented both Russo and Branda with citations from his office. Before that, Bamundo spoke highly of Russo and his time in office and praised him for adding 45 new members to an already thriving association.
“A year ago Bart was charged with overseeing a relevant, vibrant, active association,” Bamundo said. “He didn’t mail it in, he didn’t just maintain the status quo. Under his leadership the association was more relevant and more vibrant than ever. For this he deserves our thanks and gratitude for a job well done.”
Russo talked about all the recognition that he got as president and said that even though he didn’t anticipate liking it that he did love being called “President of the Columbian Lawyers” everywhere he went because it showed how important and respected the Columbian Lawyers Association is in Brooklyn’s legal community.
“It has truly been a fabulous year, which far exceeded my expectations,” Russo said. “Although I was originally promised a security detail, a car and a driver — that never materialized. Instead I got tremendous memories of a wonderful year sharing what we do as Columbian Lawyers.”
Gregory T. Cerchione later introduced Branda as the incoming president and said that her past experience as president of the Brooklyn Bar Association and the Bay Ridge Lawyers Association made her the perfect candidate to replace Russo.
“The association’s past presidents have each helped to build our legacy and ensure our future relevancy as a specialty bar association,” Cerchione said. “There is no one more deserving or worthy than our incoming president Rose Ann C. Branda.”
Kings County Supreme Court Judge Carl J. Landicino swore in Branda as well as the incoming directors Ben Bartolotta, Ralph Marra, Grace Borrino and Salvatore Scibetta. The new officers sworn in included George J. Siracuse (historian), Susanne Gennusa (recording secretary), Hon.Frank Seddio (corresponding secretary), Mark A. Longo (treasurer), Joseph Rosato (3rd vice president), Linda LoCascio (2nd vice president), and Dean Delianites (1st vice president).
In closing, Branda thanked executive and Annette Scarano. Branda also took the time to remember the late Hon. Anthony Cutrona.
“What was most important to Judge Cutrona was that the future leadership of this organization continue to foster, promote, advance, support and preserve the values, customs and traditions of Italian culture, heritage and history,” she said. “I intend to do that. I vow tonight to honor that mission this year and I encourage everyone in this room to join us in that mission.”