HARRISBURG (May 21, 2020) — The Pennsylvania Bar Foundation announced its new leadership team for the 2020-21 bar year. Its board of directors consists of 22 voting members that manage the foundation, including officers, elected directors and designated directors by appointment.
The following members began their positions at the close of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation Annual Meeting of the Members held virtually on May 7.
Samuel D. Miller III, a private practitioner in Lansdale, is the president of the foundation. He previously served the foundation’s board of directors from 2007 to 2013 and as vice president from 2017 to 2020. Miller is a Commonwealth Club Fellow level supporter of the foundation. He is a past president of the Montgomery Bar Association and Montgomery Bar Foundation and the PBA Conference of County Bar Leaders. Miller represents lawyers and law firms in disciplinary matters.
Larry E. Coploff, of the Lock Haven law firm of Coploff, Ryan & Welch, is the foundation’s treasurer. A longtime member of the PBA House of Delegates and previous PBA zone governor representing Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk and Potter county lawyers. He is a Commonwealth Club Fellow and his firm is a Liberty Club Law Firm Fellow. Coploff handles transactional matters, such as residential and commercial real estate, organization of business entities and contract review and drafting in his law practice.
Christine Hall McClure, of Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett PC in Erie, is secretary of the foundation. A current member of the PBA House of Delegates, she previously served as the foundation’s vice president, as secretary of Pennsylvania Bar Trust & Insurance Fund and on the PBA Board of Governors. McClure’s practice includes estate planning, representation of borrowers or lenders in business transactions, general business counsel, municipal and school district law.
Jeffrey M. Bower, of Bower Law Associates PLLC in State College, is the immediate past president. He is a former member of the PBA Board of Governors, the PABAR-PAC Board and the Centre County Bar Association Board of Governors as a past president. He is a Life Fellow and his firm is a Liberty Club Law Firm Fellow. Bower’s practice focuses on estate planning and business law.
The following board members are serving the first year of three-year terms.
Sara A. Austin, of Austin Law Firm LLC, York, is a Keystone Society Fellow level supporter of the foundation. A former president of the PBA and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, she is a member of the PBA House of Delegates, a former member of the PBA Board of Governors and immediate past chair of the PBA Solo and Small Firm Section. Austin is a former president of the York County Bar Association, a Pennsylvania delegate to the American Bar Association, House of Delegates and a past president of the Middle District Bankruptcy Bar Association. She represents businesses and individuals in employment, business, bankruptcy, HOA/Condo and estate planning matters.
Bernadette Hohenadel, a partner at Nikolaus & Hohenadel LLP in Lancaster, is a Life Fellow level supporter of the foundation. She is a former member of the PBA House of Delegates and Board of Governors, chair of the PBA Editorial Committee and a member of the PBA Commission on Women in the Profession Executive Council and a former member of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute Board of Directors. Hohenadel served as the 2010 president of the Lancaster Bar Association and was a member of its board of directors and a member of the Lancaster Law Foundation Board of Directors. Her practice includes land use law, as well as municipal law and real estate matters.
Jonathan Koltash, chief counsel at Governor’s Office of General Counsel, is a Young Lawyer Life Fellow level supporter of the foundation. He is a former member of the PBA Board of Governors and House of Delegates, a former chair of the PBA Young Lawyers Division, the state co-coordinator of the YLD Statewide Mock Trial Competition and co-chair of the Government Lawyers and Legal Careers Transitions committees. An active alumnus of the Widener University Commonwealth Law School, Koltash is a member of the law school’s Board of Advisors, a former president of the Alumni Association, a moot court coach and a volunteer at its volunteer income tax assistance site. He counsels the Pennsylvania Health Insurance Exchange Authority.
Wesley Payne, a partner in Philadelphia’s White and Williams LLP, is a Life Fellow level supporter. He is a former member of the PBA Board of Governors, the president and former treasurer of the PBA Conference of County Bar Leaders and a former chair of the PBA Diversity and Military and Veterans Affairs committees. Payne is the vice chancellor and past treasurer of the Philadelphia Bar Association, a former director of the Pennsylvania Defense Institute and a past president of the Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel. A trial attorney, he advises insurance carriers and self-insured corporations on complex litigation issues.
The following member is serving the first year of a second three-year term.
Helen Gemmill, a partner at McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC in Harrisburg, is a Life Fellow level supporter of the foundation. She is a former member of the PBA House of Delegates representing members in Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York counties. Gemmill is a past member of the Dauphin County Bar Association Board of Directors. She is the lead litigation attorney for real estate matters, representing businesses and commercial property owners in disputes involving municipal zoning and land development rights, title challenges, easement rights and obligations, lease claims and real estate tax appeals.
The following designated directors are serving one-year terms.
David E. Schwager, a partner in the Wilkes-Barre law firm of Chariton, Schwager & Malak, is a Life Fellow supporter of the foundation. He became PBA president at the close of PBA House of Delegates meeting held virtually on May 8. He previously served as PBA president-elect from 2019-20, vice president from 2018-19, treasurer from 2013 to 2016 and as chair of the PBA Finance Committee and PBA Investment Committee. From 2018 to 2019, Schwager was chair of the PBA Non-Dues Revenue Task Force and was co-vice chair and past chair of the PBA Planning Committee and was a PBA zone governor from 2010 until 2013. He is a past chair of the PBA Bylaws Committee, PBA Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, PBA Financing of Real Estate Committee, PBA Real Estate Taxation Committee and the PBA Statutory Law Committee. Schwager is a former member of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute Board of Directors, 2018-18 chair of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, past chair of the Third Circuit Bankruptcy Judge Merit Selection Committee, past vice chair of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division’s Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Committee, a past treasurer of the Middle District (PA) Bankruptcy Bar Association and a past member of the executive committee of the Wilkes-Barre Law and Library Association and a past president of its Young Lawyers Division. Schwager’s practice focuses on real estate transactions and litigation, title insurance, real estate taxation, zoning and land use, business law, commercial litigation, municipal law and creditors’ rights.
James R. Antoniono, of DeBernardo Antoniono McCabe & Davis PC, Greensburg, is PBA treasurer, the past president of PBA Conference of County Bar Leaders, a former zone governor on the PBA Board of Governors representing member lawyers from Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties and a member of the association’s House of Delegates. This is his third consecutive year serving as a designated director. Antoniono is a former president of the Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, the Westmoreland Academy of Trial Lawyers and the Westmoreland Bar Association. He focuses his practice on personal injury with emphasis on construction accidents, aviation accidents, auto accidents and head injuries.
Jennifer Menichini, of Joyce, Carmody & Moran PC in Pittston, is the immediate past chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. She served as PBA YLD chair-elect in 2018-19, and PBA YLD secretary from 2017-18. Menichini is the co-chair of the PBA YLD executive committee for the PBA Statewide High School Mock Trial Competition and a regional coordinator for the competition and a member of the PBA House of Delegates. She is a past president of the Middle District of Pennsylvania Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Lackawanna Bar Association and a past president of its Young Lawyers Division. Menichini’s practice focuses on civil litigation.
William H. Pugh, of Kane, Pugh, Knoell, Troy & Kramer LLP in Norristown and Philadelphia, is a former president of the PBA, a former zone governor on its Board of Governors representing members from Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties and a former member of its House of Delegates. This is his second consecutive year serving as a designated director. Pugh is a former president of the Montgomery Bar Association and its Political Action Committee and the Montgomery Bar Foundation. He represents physicians and hospitals in the defense of medical malpractice litigation.
George Joseph, of Quinn Law Firm, Erie, is a Life Fellow level supporter of the foundation and a previous director of its board serving from 2014-2017. He is a member of the Erie County Bar Association Executive Committee serving as the association’s president in 2020, first vice president in 2019, second vice president in 2018 and past chair and vice chair of its Municipal Solicitors Section Joseph is the past president, president-elect, secretary and Region 1 Director of the Pennsylvania School Boards Solicitors Association. He has practiced as a school solicitor for more than 35 years, providing a full range of education law services.
For the full list of Pennsylvania Bar Foundation Board of Directors, visit https://www.pabar.org/site/Foundation/Who-We-Are/Board
The Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable affiliate of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, was incorporated in 1984 in response to the organized bar’s desire to become more involved in public service. The foundation works to increase the public’s understanding of the law and its appreciation of democracy and strives to ensure that Pennsylvania’s citizens have full access to the legal system.