Eddie Stephens receives Palm Beach County Leadership Excellence Award



Eddie’s acceptance remarks:

In each of us there is a voice. A unique gift that we have to offer. We are all different, and that “gift”, “voice”, “ability to contribute” is different for each of us. For some people, the gift is obvious. For others, it takes some searching, maybe even overcoming an ordeal. For some, it comes from events that are out of control, but as a result, we are inspired to do great things.

As a citizen of this world, I believe we all have a duty, not only to discover this gift, but to utilize this resource, whatever it may be, for the common good. When you hear your call to adventure, you have a duty to accept the challenge.

I am grateful for Leadership Palm Beach County. Through connecting, collaborating and changing with other professionals in this organization, the impact on the community of my own gifts have been magnified.

I am grateful we hired Noel Martinez as our Executive Director. If you have been paying attention, you might have noticed organization is heading in a really good positive direction. As program chair, I have worked a lot with staff and can tell you Noel hired two amazing people, Melissa Gaynor and Marlee Brannock.

You have this great organization, that is arguable enjoying a leadership renaissance, and we we are putting together our committees for next year.
There are so many ways to serve this organization, so many opportunities, so many ways to apply your unique gift. If you are not participating I would challenge you to get involved. If you are involved, I would challenge you step outside your comfort zone, because after all, that is where the magic happens.

I have a few personal “thanks yous” so please bear with me 1 more minute.

I want to thank my cousins Billy and Sue, who have both served instrumental roles in my life at critical times for traveling here tonight, and my sister Paige who could not be here because of her daughter Sloan’s recital.

I need to send out a big shout out to my Grow Co-Chairs Bill Foman and Cory Strolla and the founder of the Brew House Gallery, A.J. Brockman, for accepting my “call to adventure”. I approached each of one of these gentleman and asked them to join me on an adventure. I didn’t know exactly how it would work, I just promised everything would work out great. Not only did it everything work out, but we had a ton of fun exceeding our goals.

I am blessed to get to do something I really love for a living. I am even more blessed to do it with a group of individuals that I not only respect but love. They not only accept, but encourage my community involvement. Thank you Denise Bleau for the nomination. I would ask everyone from Ward Damon to please stand up. These are the people responsible for making me look good.

Lastly, I would like to acknowledge my beautiful wife, Jacquie. Jacquie not only inspires me to be the very best version of me, but she also tolerates me. What I mean by that is it takes a lot of time for me to do what I do, and that is time I could otherwise spend with her and my kids. That’ a sacrifice she is making and I have never had the opportunity to thank her publicly for it. Tonight, I ask your help to properly thank Jacquie for putting up with me. Can we all please stand up and give Jacquie a huge round of applause.


Thank you.

-Eddie Stephens, June 7, 2018

“Eddie has a talent for quickly learning and developing the strengths of those around him and he consistently strives to empower those around him to be the very best version of themselves.” Denise Bleau, Equity Partner, Ward Damon, PL

“Eddie’s charitable work all done with a sense of quiet joy and selflessness. It’s not done for the recognition and accolades. As a leader, Eddie is truly invested in our community, the people who make up our community, and making it a better place to live. That’s true leadership.” Renée Layman, CEO, Center for Child Counseling, Inc.

“I have personally witnessed Eddie’s commitment to his family, career and community. His civic accomplishments are a testament to his involvement and the outcome of other peoples’ lives and their ability to live life to the fullest. He handles each day with humility, grace, humor and compassion and quite frankly, I don’t know anyone like him.  Debra Willard, leadership Palm Beach County, Class of 2015

“Eddie brings to all of his activities energy, enthusiasm, and commitment. This is to be expected for any successful member of society; however, Eddie exceeds most in this regard. Eddie stands heads and above other when someone or some organization is in need. Whether it is cooking for hundreds of guests at a Boy Scouts of America fundraiser, speaking to alumni of Delta Sigma Pi members regarding leadership or teaching continuing education classes for the Florida Bar to his fellow family attorneys, Eddie consistently delivers. His ability to connect with friends, family, clients, or really, anyone and his talent at understanding difficult concepts, as well as more advanced topics, are truly superior. Eddie has excellent written and verbal communication skills and is extremely organized and reliable. He is the definition of a true leader.’ Adam Seligman, Equity Partner. Ward Damon, P.L.

“My first introduction to Eddie was a few years ago when I was asked to speak for the youth leadership of Palm Beach County program. The next year he took over as director for that program and continued to curate the best experience possible for those kids. Through that, we continued a professional and personal relationship to expand on other projects exemplifying community leadership. I was most excited to partner with Eddie on his presentation titled “Living An Extraordinary Life: Lessons from our Heroes”. 100% of the proceeds from this event were donated to my nonprofit, Kelsey Cares, that aligns perfectly with Eddie’s passion and commitment. Kelsey Cares is committed to funding art, theater, music, film, and cultural development through community outreach by providing subsidies for productions, events, artists and musicians to carry out their mission. Not only did Eddie completely waving all fees for the presentation but he has single‐handedly raised over $5,600 making, him one of our largest fundraiser to date. Eddie Stephens is a clear example of what it means to have “leadership excellence” and he demonstrates that every day.” AJ Brockman, Executive Director, Kelsey Cares

“In short, there are not enough people like Eddie Stephens in this world, and it would truly be a better place if there were more people as altruistic and giving as Eddie. He is an exemplar of excellence in leadership.” Sally Still, Partner, Ward Damon, P.L.

“It is truly incredible to see the love Eddie has for educating, equipping, and empowering the next generation in our community.” Dane Leitner, Partner, Ward Damon, PL

“With being a full‐time lawyer, Eddie finds the time to give back to his community.” Gabriella Leto, South Atlantic Regional Vice President, Delta Sigma Pi

Eddie Stephens Named Recipient Of 2018 Leadership Excellence Award

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (June 7, 2018) — Eddie E. Stephens III, a partner at Ward Damon, has been announced as the recipient ofthe 2018 Leadership Excellence Award (LEA) in the Private Sector category by Leadership Palm Beach County (LPBC).The awards recognize exceptional LPBC alumni who have made significant contributions to improve their community. Award recipients are celebrated as being living examples of the vision and mission of LPBC while demonstrating the need to connect, collaborate and change.

Stephens, an equity partner at the West Palm Beach-based firm, leads the marital and family law department and manages community relations for the firm. He is a board certified attorney in Marital and Family Law who specializes in high-conflict matrimonial law. He has earned the AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, a professional rating indicating the highest ethical standards and professional ability, and has been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America®, a peer-review publication recognizing the top 4% of attorneys in the country.Stephens earned his J.D. at Stetson University College of Law.

In addition to practicing family law, Stephens is an author, a popular and engaging motivational speaker, and an active community advocate involved with a number of charitable endeavors.He has been a leader in the Boy Scouts of America for over 10 years and is also involved with Big Dog Ranch Rescue, Palm Beach County’s largest no-kill dog rescue. He graduated from the Leadership Palm Beach County Class of 2015, served on its Board of Governors, and is currently Program Chair of Leadership GROW, its youth leadership program.Most recently, Stephens was elected as a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Child Counseling in Palm Beach County, working with mental health professional involved in law proceedings and helping fight childhood adversity and trauma.

“Eddie’s charitable work is all done with a sense of quiet joy and selflessness. It’s not done for the recognition and accolades. As a leader, Eddie is truly invested in our community, the people who make up our community, and making it a better place to live. That’s true leadership,” stated Renée Layman, CEO, Center for Child Counseling, Inc.

Stephens, along with additional LEA award recipients Senator Bobby Powell, Jr. (Public Sector category), Owen O’Neil (Non-Profit Sector category), and Eric Hopkins (President’s Award), will be honored at the LPBC Leadership Celebration on June 7, 2018 at the Palm Beach Convention Center.For more information on this event, visit leadershippbc.org/celebration.

About Ward Damon

Ward Damon, PL is an AV-rated, multi-disciplined law firm serving the legal needs of its clients and community since 1987.Ward Damon represents businesses and individuals through legal counseling, transactional work and litigation in federal and state courts. The firm has offices in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Jupiter and Stuart. For more information, visit www.warddamon.com or call 561.842.3000.


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