Xifaras honored with President’s Award; volunteers, 50-year members recognized

Issue July/August 2009 By Tricia M. Oliver

The Massachusetts Bar Association thanked section leaders, community and public service volunteers and task force and committee members at a volunteer reception held June 24 at the John Adams Courthouse in Boston.

Nearly 200 people attended the awards and networking event, at which New Bedford attorney Margaret "Mardee" D. Xifaras was honored with the President's Award and the association's 50-year members were recognized.

MBA President Edward W. McIntyre applauded the work of the MBA's numerous volunteers.

"You are truly the heartbeat and workhorses of the organization," he said. "Because of your considerable sacrifices and contributions to our vibrant organization, the Massachusetts legal community as a whole is better off, the public needing legal services are better served and access to justice is better preserved for those who need it most."

MBA Treasurer Denise Squillante, a longtime colleague and friend of Xifaras, co-presented the President's Award with McIntyre. Xifaras is an attorney at Lang, Xifaras & Bullard.

"Mardee likes to do her work where it most counts - in the trenches," said Squillante, who chronicled Xifaras' admirable career in public service, accentuating Xifaras' professional strengths as she "talked the talk and walked the walk."

While accepting the MBA's high honor, Xifaras described herself as "an old-fashioned organizer." She emphasized the importance of the "values of community" taught to her at a young age.

Xifaras added, "Being a lawyer is something more than being a business person … it's always about what the community needs."