“Mike Belote is one of the most generous, intelligent and funny people I know. He has served for over 20 years as our advocate, advisor and friend and has done more for this Association, and many of our members, than I could recount in this post. It was my honor to present the award to him at the Annual Conference in Anaheim, on October 6th. Thanks for all you have done for us Mike, and congrats!” – Mark Schwartz, outgoing Rosenthal Committee Chairman
We would like to congratulate the other nominees, Wendy Bowman, and Brett Peters, as well. Their names too will be added to the list of recipients someday.
From the Conference Program…
This year, we thought it would be fun to ask members of the committee to write just a couple sentences about each nominee and I tossed in a few as well.
Ted Dietz wrote: “Mike is a very approachable and likable guy who will give you guidance and his professional opinion. He sincerely represents our association and its members. “
Jerry Topolos says: “Mike is very bright, has a great sense of humor and is one of the bright spots at the Annual Conference.”
“I have tremendous respect and admiration for Mike and the way he represents CALSPro. He has helped take us to places we couldn’t have arrived at on our own. When Mike speaks, I listen!” – Chad Barger
Connie Melvin says this about Mike: “I first met Mike at a meeting in 1990, and I am sure he thought: “What have I got myself into?” I thought: WOW what a handsome man and he has such a twinkle in his eye! Mike is a friend to all and I have never heard him say he couldn’t or wouldn’t do something.”
Andy Estin wrote this: “I’ll never forget the time our bill for the year came up for a vote while the Board was on a conference call and Mike had us listen live as the bill was voted down! And then he ran to the Capitol and got the bill passed.” Brett Peters offered this insight: “As a lobbyist, Mike Belote seems to have a sphere of influence in the Capitol that is unrivaled. Yes, Mike and his firm are paid for what they do, but he has contributed in ways that are immeasurable, beyond what any contract calls for. Mike is honest, intelligent and one heck of a storyteller. He is one of a handful of people that I’ve been truly glad to know in my lifetime.”
“Mike is one of the most giving and generous people I know. Anyone that knows Mike knows he is a killer lobbyist with one of the best reputations in the capital, and he has the rare quality of being both a fighter and a realist. His insight and love for the people in CALSPro is obvious and we are lucky to have him on our side.” – David Nill
“Working with Wendy for several years now has been a true pleasure. Her sense of warmth and humility brings a personal touch to our association. Wendy works to ensure that we strive to do what’s best for all of our members.” – Brett Peters
David Nill offered this: “Wendy is a great friend to everyone in CALSPro. She has done most jobs and done them well and she has the benefit of coming from the legal sector, which makes her opinion and thoughts incredibly valuable.”
“Every group needs a member like Wendy. She is very professional, willing to do whatever is asked and never expects to be rewarded.” – Connie Melvin
Chad Barger had this to say: “The definition of a hard worker is one who is industrious and diligent in carrying out tasks or duties. Those words describe Wendy exactly. She is extremely smart, a devoted mother and a person I’m glad to call my friend.”
“Tom is a very lucky man. You have to admire a woman, who many years ago said, “I will never work with my husband.” [Obviously, she changed her mind.] – Jerry Topolos
Ted Dietz offered this: “She not only married into our association, she has taken the torch, ran with it and excelled! She is someone you can easily talk to about the complexities of a writ and then her kids playing soccer.”
My thoughts about Wendy: “Wendy is a fantastic Chair and more importantly to me, a wonderful friend. My wife and I love spending time with her and her sidekick, Tom.”
Andy Estin had this to say about Wendy: “Anyone who has to work with Tom Bowman EVERY DAY deserves an award.”
Jerry Topolos had this to say about Brett: “If I ever went to battle, I would want him by my side.” You and me both, Jerry!
“He used to be a Los Angeles Motorcycle Police Officer and he’s a married father of five (neither one easy to do). A true professional who works hard for the association and its members.” – Ted Dietz
Here are Chad Barger’s thoughts about Brett: “When Brett walks into a room he commands respect. He is a very honorable man and always puts what’s best for CALSPro first. He’s my go to guy and he always gives sound advice, even when I don’t want to hear it. Brett has raised the bar very high for those of us striving to be the best. If there’s one word to describe Brett, it’s consistent.”
Connie Melvin says: “He more or less started getting really active when I was ready to stop. I know he has the respect of all the active members and he does a great job at whatever he is asked to do.”
“As a former Leg. Chair, I know how hard and time consuming the job can be. And I only did it for three years! Brett was Chair twice as long and we all owe him a huge debt of gratitude for what he has done, and continues to do, for CALSPro.” – Mark Schwartz
“Brett is one of the best legislative chairman’s we’ve had at CALSPro and he has the ability to be both serious and witty, certainly a job requirement for our legislative chair!” – David Nill
Andy Estin wrote: “One year he ran for President and lost. He was obviously not happy. We have had others in that situation that then, by their conduct, proved the members had made the right choice. Brett kept working hard, though, and was elected President another year.”
Steve Janney, last year’s recipient, had this to say and so we thought it appropriate that he was the closer:
“Mark – Rather than write what is unique about each nominee, I thought I would write about qualities they share that have led to their nominations.
Each nominee is committed, and not just to the legal support profession. They are committed to the important part we play in our system of due process. This commitment shows in their reputations, developed and seen over decades of involvement.
Each nominee is sacrificial, willing to give what is theirs for the greater good of our profession. They have sacrificed personal time and money to serve and move this association forward.
Each nominee is trustworthy. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines trustworthy as “worthy of confidence.” They have earned our confidence, not over the short term but over a period of time fraught with changes that have forced other associations to limit vision and lose influence.”
Congratulations to each of you on your nomination!
Footnote: The first Bert Rosenthal Memorial Award was awarded to Bert himself, In Memoriam, in 1978. Bert was one of the founding members of CALSPro and as such, is represented by one of the thirteen diamonds in the pin that Mike received at the Conference. Mike also received the perpetual trophy, which has every recipient’s name inscribed upon it, and has been held by each of them (except Bert and Jack Janney, the only two posthumous recipients), since 1979. Mike will exchange it at next year’s Conference for a smaller version so that it can continue to be handed down for years to come. The award plaque on both trophies reads: “Awarded for outstanding and dedicated service toward perpetuation and elevating the photocopy and process serving industries.”