DHC and STC New Building Groundbreaking Ceremony (Transcript)

Dr. Jim Olliver, Master of Ceremonies

Dennis R. DeLoach Jr., Probate, Real Estate and Trust Attorney

Paul R. Cavonis, Injury Law and Trial Attorney

D. "Rep" DeLoach III,  Estate Planning and Board Certified Elder Law Attorney


Dr. Olliver: Good morning everyone and welcome. It's great to have you all join us in this joyful and historic occasion. Have a lot of important to folks here in addition to Dr. Mark Strickland, who's provost of the Seminole Campus, I see Mark back there. And he's currently president of the Chamber of Commerce.`

And we have Tara Pearson who is the executive director of the Chamber with us. Several of our elected city officials are here including Mayor Waters. Mayor Waters, there we go, Mayor Waters. Councilor Barnhorn is with us, Councilor Barnhorn. And a Councilor Edelman is with us as well. As well as our city manager, Ann Toney-Deal. We welcome you all today.

It's an honor for me to be them an emcee, the emcee for this groundbreaking ceremony, signaling the next chapter for organizations with such a rich record of service and support to the greater Seminole area. As the former Seminole campus provost, president of the chamber and now a city councilor and most importantly a long time client of the firm, I've watched as the firm of DeLoach Hofstra and Cavonis and Seminole Title Company have promoted the core values which have made our community so special.

First excellence. It shouldn't be assumed or taken for granted. We have an excellent law firm and title company right here in our community. There's no need to go to Tampa when expertise needed is available right here at home. Second, a long community history, Dennis DeLoach was there for the founding of the city in 1970. He was the first city attorney and since the founding of the companies in 1976, has been actively involved in key property transactions and policy issues throughout the greater Seminole area.

Peter Hofstra served on city council and members of the law firm have served on the chamber board for as long as I can remember. Third, a real sense that the staff and the clients are family. Work with people in the firms and you recognize immediately that they care deeply about each other and all the folks they work with, especially their clients.

Who doesn't feel good just having Emiline greet you when you call. Forth, an engine of economic development in our community, as one of the founding members of the chamber, they have always been there as a model for new and aspiring businesses. They have involved themselves in growth initiatives throughout the city's history and continue to be involved in partnership efforts to expand what we can all best do together. And most importantly, a commitment to service and to giving back. The Firm and Tittle Company have been the quintessential supporters of all things Seminole. They know who we are and value what a community that works together can accomplish. They recognize the critical importance of providing leadership as businesses, civic groups, the college, the city and other community leaders work together to achieve uncommon successes.

The work with the Lurie civic building is just one recent example. And when time came for these great businesses to expand as great businesses often do, they redoubled their commitment to Seminole by working out a plan to build right here, continuing on as a beacon for this community that has enjoyed it for nearly 50 years. So now it's time for me to introduce my friend, in many ways a mentor, a community leader, last year Chamber's boss of the year and the firm's founder, Dennis DeLoach.

Dennis R. DeLoach Jr.: Thank you so much for those comments. We really appreciate everyone coming. This is very select group that we've invited and we appreciate you. Simone, thank you so much for organizing this and doing such an excellent job, like everything you do. We appreciate it. I am such a blessed man and you folks have heard me say that before. The good Lord has allowed me to practice law, in April it'll be 56 years. And then I went and left Fisher and Sauls in 76 and formed the firm down at 8486 and been so blessed. But what's made us a success are the people that we've had. And starting with Peter Hofstra, has been just a wonderful partner and thank you Peter.

And Paul Cavonis came along, he's been a wonderful partner. Been there, what? 24 years, 25 years. And then Rep DeLoach, doing a wonderful job now we've got Joe Murphy. My goal is to always get an attorney that's smarter than I am, then we're in good shape. And then I want to thank my wife for supporting me during these years. Thank you.

And we have Claude McMullen here and his wife. Good to see you folks. And his grandfather, their home was on this property Claude Whittle. And Claude is a member of the pioneer family from the Whittle's and the McMullens and so they've been here forever and at one time this road was called Claude Whittle Road, so their house was right here. So Claude, we just want to thank you for coming and thank you for your contributions to the Seminole community. And I want to thank our staff for the longevity and the hard work. Monica has been here a long time, Emiline, April. April's been here almost all her life. She started when she was 18 then... But we thank our staff and we are committed to excellence. That's what we try to do and we're going to do our best to continue it.

As Paul mentioned, this is the third law office, 8486, and then this building. And this building is going to be a special building and it's going to be... It's not an easy task. Paul Cavonis, about a year ago came and said, "I've been talking to my brother and I think we should build a building out here." I said, "Okay." And Paul and his brother had been working so hard to get this going and there are so many steps to get it going and we thank you. We've got representatives for First Home Bank here are going to provide the financing. And as we know, First Home Bank is the outstanding local bank for Pinellas County, so we appreciate you folks coming.

John Ralph is our CPA, we appreciate you coming John. But all in all we just thank everyone for coming and we're just so blessed and thankful for the way the good Lord has just blessed our whole operation and at this time I want to turn it over to... First of all, I want to also recognize E.J. Bickley. The grandson E.J. Bickley and a major client of the firm, but he lives in town now and is a very successful softball player. But we're glad you could come. But I want to turn it over to Paul. Paul is an outstanding lawyer, a person with vision. And as you can see I'm at the Twilight zone in my career, but the firm's in good hands with Paul and Rep and Joe. But we'll turn it over to Paul. And again, thank you everyone for coming.

Paul Cavonis: Well as always, Dennis is just way, way too modest and we all recognize that we wouldn't be here without you Dennis, and thank you so much. So, today we marked the beginning of really an exciting new chapter in the history of our law firm. And as was mentioned before, our law firm was created in 1976, by my good friend and partner Dennis DeLoach, who had vision. He worked very, very hard. And through his dedication he has made this law firm what it is today. He has guided this law firm with a steady hand, with clear leadership and he has provided us with many, many good opportunities, which brings us to this very day. And without his leadership, without his guidance, none of us would be here celebrating the creation of this brand new building.

And I'm very happy to say that the task of building this new building has fallen in the capable hands of my best friend and brother Doug, who has assured me that we will not only be under budget, but we will be way ahead of schedule. So first we're going to dedicate this building in honor of our friend and founder Dennis DeLoach. We also dedicate this building to the city of Seminole, the community, and our clients, who have supported us through many, many decades. And we are so appreciative of that. And finally we dedicate this building to our coworkers and our work family, many of whom themselves have been with us decades and without whom we would not be where we are today.

And I want to extend a special thank you to our work family, for making the law firm. Just a great place to spend the work day, and I mean that. You're all like a family and we appreciate everything that you do. And I am so looking forward to seeing all of you in the new building in what, five months? So thank you all very much. And please extend a warm welcome to another DeLoach friend of mine and my partner, Rep DeLoach.

Rep DeLoach: It's truly my great pleasure to be here this morning and to be here at the groundbreaking of our new building, as it's mentioned, this is the third building that our law firm has occupied. We're hoping this is going to be... They say don't say hurricane proof, they say hurricane resistant. So we're hopeful for that. That's one of the main reasons we're building the building. We want it to be stand up for the weather because we think about this. This is really a commitment to the community and a commitment to our clients. It's a commitment to our staff. We hope to have a home here that lasts forever and through the ups and downs that come and we know that Florida is subject to certain weather related events, and we hope that this is a stronger foundation for all of us here. Because as Paul mentioned earlier, really this is our work family and our work family is so important to all of us here.

Because the attorneys, if we didn't have you all, I mean everything that you do for us on a daily basis, if we didn't have you, we would just be nothing and you can have good attorneys. But if you don't have the good people to back you up. And we go through a lot on a daily basis with ins and outs and the estate planning and the probate practice and dealing with the injuries of clients, we're dealing with the real estate. And there's a lot of, we have a lot of pressure on our shoulders and our staff feels that just as much as the attorneys do. And so we're glad to have hopefully, a better or stronger home for all of us as a commitment to our community commitment to our clients. It really is a commitment to our staff who do so much for us on a daily basis.

Well, this is also a distinct pleasure to be up here with my father. I mean, we didn't know this would be here. Dad always said he loved getting up and going into work in the morning and practicing law. And I said, "All right, if that's good enough for my dad then maybe I like it too." And so here we are, we're building the building together with my father, with our wonderful partner Paul. I couldn't ask for a better partner because the reality is that I'm not a litigation attorney. Every once in a while you need a litigation attorney on your side. So I'm glad to have Paul involved. And finally I'll mention a brief word about my lovely wife Simone, who, she's been with the firm now for five years and she's the one that puts on great events like this. And so, I could not ask for a better partner to go through life with and build a new building with her. And so thank you very much, my honey bunny. Without further ado, I think we'll turn it back over to Dr. Olliver.

Dr. Olliver: All right. Now it's time for the highlight of the program. It's time to line up the leadership for photos. We're going to break some ground, so if I can have leadership, please stand up and get those hats on.

(Photos are taken)

All right, that's a great job. Congratulations! The next chapter of the DeLoach Hofstra and Cavonis and the Seminole Title Company has begun. We've heard some themes that throughout the remarks today, people have made excellence, leadership, family strength, continuity, service. It's just wonderful for all of us to be here to celebrate this occasion this morning. Please stick around, I believe there's more coffee and some breakfast and more camaraderie.

Thank you again all for joining us today.