Bay Ridge Lawyers name Ray Ferrier honorary director and fellow of association
Ray Ferrier joined the Bay Ridge Lawyers Association almost 51 years ago. On Wednesday, the organization gave him its highest honor by naming him honorary director and fellow during its annual holiday party.
“I want to thank the officers, directors and all of the membership of the Bay Ridge Lawyers for bestowing upon me this designation and honor,” said Ferrier, who was surrounded by his family, including his son Michael Ferrier, a past president who flew in from Texas for the occasion. “This is indeed a huge honor and tribute to me.”
The association held its annual holiday party on Wednesday, and about 120 members packed into Encore on Fourth Avenue for the occasion. Ferrier’s son Michael, the association’s president Joseph Vasile and Stephen Chiaino presented Ferrier with a plaque to commemorate the occasion.
Before presenting him with the plaque, Chiaino, who used to work for Ferrier, explained why the organization was giving him such a prestigious title.
“Ray has devoted over 50 years of his life to this association and has held every office that we have — he has chaired committees whenever we needed and always supported our members in any capacity,” Chiaino said. “When Frank Strafaci and Lawrence DiGiovanna approached me with this idea, I knew I was going to do whatever it took to make this happen, and I was only disappointed that I didn’t think of it first.”
Chiaino also shared a personal story that went back to 2003, when his wife became pregnant with their twin daughters. As Chiaino told it, he asked Ferrier, his boss at the time, for a raise since his family was expanding. Ferrier couldn’t afford the raise, but instead found Chiaino another job and personally negotiated a higher salary for him.
“I wanted to give you a little glimpse into the type of man he is and why he’s so important to me,” Chiaino said. “As the story goes, Ray and Larry DiGiovanna completed my trade at the bar at JT’s Restaurant after one of our board meetings — and the rest is history.
“He had nothing to gain by helping me in that manner,” Chiaino continued. “In fact, he hurt his practice because now he had to go out and replace me after the years I spent learning the ropes under his direction. But his loyalty and selflessness are exactly why he is so important to our organization.”
After he was presented with the plaque, Ferrier recalled joining the BLRA more than 50 years ago. Today the organization has a couple hundred members, but then it had between 20 and 30 and met at the Gregory Hotel on 84th Street. He was the youngest member of the organization when he joined just one year out of high school.
“I’m extremely proud of this association. I’m proud of the innovations and programs that they’ve had over the years,” Ferrier said. “I’m extremely impressed with the present group of officers and directors. As far as I’m concerned, this organization is the best.”
After he spoke, Ferrier’s son Michael briefly addressed the crowd, and echoed many of his father’s words about the association.
“My father is 100 percent right,” Michael said. “This organization is the best. It has been a very important part of my life as an attorney, but not as important as my father has been to me.
He has taught me the importance of being a good attorney and instilled in me the qualities that it takes. I want to take this opportunity to thank him personally. Congrats to my dad, Ray Ferrier.”
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