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Seven Icard Merrill Sarasota attorneys were named to the Florida Super Lawyers and Rising Stars 2021 list.

Super Lawyers is a rating service from Thomson Reuters for outstanding lawyers in more than 70 fields who have distinguished themselves in their legal practice and achieved a high level of recognition and professional achievement.

The Icard Merrill attorneys selected for the list are Charles J. Bartlett, Economic disputes; Drew Clayton, Securities disputes; Thomas F. Icard Jr., Construction disputes; Telese B. McKay, Real estate; William W. Merrill III, Land Use & Zoning; and Alyssa M. Nohren, Real estate. Also a lawyer Jordan Riccardi, Estate Planning & Probate, was named to the Florida Rising Stars list for 2021.

Super Lawyers selects lawyers using a patented multi-stage process. Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with independent research. Annual selection is based on a rigorous process that includes a nationwide survey of lawyers, an independent research assessment of candidates, and peer reviews by subject area.

Only 5% of attorneys in any state or region make the super attorney list.

Rising Stars are attorneys who are 40 or younger or who have not been practicing for more than 10 years. Only 2.5% make the cut.

Potato BROWN

Linda Poteat-Brown was recently promoted to Vice President of Human Resources at Easterseals Happiness House in Sarasota. Poteat-Brown has been a department head since 2016 and managed employee operations and various departments during her tenure.

Poteat-Brown came to Easterseals from Atlanta, where she spent 14 years in the HR department of the Morehouse School of Medicine. Previously, her extensive and diverse background was honed at Philip Morris, Avon, and Bloomingdale’s.

She has a master’s in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in marketing.

With autism, mental health, and other disability needs paramount in our community, Poteat-Brown will be responsible for key strategies that will serve the agency’s continued expansion and goals.

The Easterseals Happiness House provides exceptional therapies and services for people with disabilities and their families by enabling them to enjoy their lives to the fullest.

West berry

Alisa J. Westberry has joined Caldwell Trust Co. as an associate trustee and is based out of the downtown Sarasota office.

Westberry began her banking career in 1994 at Barnett Bank, where she worked part time alongside college. For the past 21 years, she was with BMO Harris Bank, where she was Branch Manager and Vice President / Premiere Banking for Sarasota and Manatee.

At Caldwell, she will manage relationships for trust and investment clients.

She is heavily involved in volunteering, including her current board membership at Realize Bradenton; Committee work with 40 Carrots Family Centers; and past board memberships including Junior Achievement and Bishop Museum of Science and Nature. At BMO Harris Bank, she was selected to represent the Sun Belt Region as a United Way Ambassador in 2021.

Caldwell Trust Co. is an independent Florida trust company with offices in Venice and Sarasota.


Career banker Gina Letterio joined the Trust and Investment Management division of Charlotte State Bank & Trust.

Previously, she was a personal banker in the Murdock office, today she is a personal fiduciary operations specialist tasked with facilitating the operation of fiduciary departments and assisting clients with inquiries, inquiries and assistance.

Merrill III

Icard Merrill shareholder William W. Merrill III was recognized by Florida Trend in the 2021 edition of Florida Legal Elite.

The list of 1,263 award winners includes lawyers in private practice as well as leading prosecutors and nonprofit lawyers. Merrill was recognized in the Constitutional and Administrative Law category.

In their 18th year, the Florida Legal Elite showcases the state’s finest licensed and practicing lawyers, selected by their peers. To make the list, Florida Trend invited all active practicing lawyers in Florida to name the lawyers they are most respected in – attorneys they have worked with and would recommend to others.

The ballot papers were processed, checked and tabulated by an external provider. The list of winners represents just over 1% of the active Florida Bar members practicing in Florida.

Merrill’s nationally recognized practice in land use, planning, transportation and environmental law includes representing property developers and contracting authorities.

Icard Merrill is a full service law firm based in Sarasota.

Try onLyon

Tom Tryon, a former opinion editor of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and David Lyons, a former international executive of Coca-Cola Co., have joined the board of Second Heart Home Inc.

Tryon and Lyons are active community leaders who will serve on the board with Chairman David Welle, Sarasota County Judge, Erika Quartermaine, Kurt Bonner, Jim Doyle and Leslie Travis.

Second Heart Homes Inc. is a rapidly growing 501 (c) (3) nonprofit that helps homeless adults with mental illness find shelter and become self-sufficient in Sarasota. Unlike many other organizations, Second Heart Homes offers permanent and transitional housing, daily support services, and skill building workshops tailored to the individual needs of clients.

Amanda R. Kison, an attorney with Bentley Law, has been named chairman of the American Red Cross of Southwest Florida, which serves Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.

She has been a member of the Board of Directors for over a year and will serve as Chairperson for a two-year term.

Kison, based in Sarasota, has practiced law for more than a decade, focusing on the commercial litigation related to commercial and real estate disputes.

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