CLIMB (Chamber Leadership Initiative: Mentoring for Business) is a 10-month program that brings together a select group of diverse young leaders representing a wide variety of roles and industries in the Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes business community. This marks the fifth cohort of young professionals to take part in this nationally-recognized business strategy and leadership development program.
Participants undergo an in-depth exploration of the various industries that fuel the regional economy, receive personalized development training, and are matched with a business community executive for one-to-one mentoring.
Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bob Duffy said, “We are excited to welcome a strong and diverse CLIMB cohort again this year, representing some of the best rising talent that Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes region has to offer. Our special thanks to the Executive Mentors for volunteering their time and talent to invest in our young leaders. We look forward to another great year of growth and exploration.”
Mike has chosen to dedicate his personal and professional life to one of advocacy - for his clients, his peers in the legal community, area businesses, and standing up for those in need. His path to becoming a lawyer was not necessarily a typical one. After earning his bachelor’s in political science, Mike became the Public Affairs Manager for the Builder’s Exchange of Rochester, working to advocate on behalf of the construction industry to push for meaningful reforms in Albany. He thoroughly enjoyed acting as an industry advocate, determined to make a difference. That passion led him to earn a master’s degree in public policy, then his law degree.
In his practice, Mike advocates for business clients through the contractual matters that drive all business, from manufacturing vendor deals, to the insurance policies that protect their people and their products, to working to ensure that the goals of all parties in a business agreement are clearly stated and mutually understood. Even though he is a litigator, Mike believes those who recognize the possible pitfalls for business agreements, deadlines and expectations that can go off course have the vision necessary to spot and navigate around potential obstacles. This has earned him a role as a trusted advisor among his clients, including acting as essentially an “external in-house” counsel for a Rochester headquartered healthcare client. For this client and others, he understands their goals and is committed to helping them achieve them.
Mike is regularly engaged in mentoring youth and rising young legal professionals, both within and outside the firm, acting as a champion and trusted confidante as they launch their careers. He served on the board of the Young Lawyers Section of the Monroe County Bar Association for several years and serves on the Young Professional Board of Villa of Hope, a community not-for-profit committed to helping young people reach their full potential.
Congratulations to Mike and all the other CLIMB 2021-2022 members on being selected to participate in this exciting program!