Login | June 20, 2018

Akron Bar prepares to welcome new president

Legal News Reporter

Published: June 16, 2017

Officers, trustees and members of the Akron Bar Association are gearing up for a changing of the guard as bar president Margaret (Meg) Andreeff Matejkovic prepares to pass the torch to president-elect David Lewis.

Lewis officially takes over on July 1, following his swearing in on June 22 during the bar association’s annual membership meeting, which takes place at Lake Forest Country Club in Hudson. 

“I’ve known Dave for about four years when I served as the bar’s vice president of membership and he served as treasurer,” said Andreeff Matejkovic. “He is very thoughtful, deliberate and has a great business acumen. I think he will do an amazing job as president. 

“Larry Scanlon and I are completing implementation of the bar association’s two-year strategic plan and related activities,” she said. “I will help Dave to implement the bar’s new initiatives in any way that I can.”

Larry Scanlon, the immediate past president of the bar association, said Lewis’s background and temperament make him “perfectly suited to be the next bar president.

“I got to know David well when he was treasurer and I was president-elect of the bar,” said Scanlon, an attorney at Scanlon & Elliott. “David is always looking to apply changes that are good for the bar association generally and for members specifically.

“For everything that has been done in the last couple of years, that was the standard by which he determined whether or not an action should be taken by the association.”

“I’ve enjoyed working with and learning from Meg and immediate past president Larry Scanlon,” said Lewis, director and shareholder at Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co. “This is a challenging time for the bar association as we must continue to demonstrate its relevance and benefits to retain members and attract new ones.

“The board of trustees will meet in July to assess the bar association’s current status, those remaining strategic planning action items, identify the organization’s new goals, and what must be done to achieve them,” said Lewis. “My personal goal as president is to leave the bar association in at least as good a position as it is right now.”

Much like Andreeff Matejkovic, Lewis brings a variety of experience to his role as president.

Born in Morgantown, West Virginia, Lewis grew up in Amherst Ohio, graduating from Marion L. Steele High School.

After receiving a bachelor’s of business administration in accounting from Kent State University, he started at British Petroleum as an accounting systems analyst, worked on tax projects and then became a tax accountant at The Sherwin-Williams Company in Cleveland.

While working for Sherwin-Williams, he attended night classes at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Lewis received his juris doctor in 1987, the same year he became a certified public accountant in Ohio.

He began his legal career in 1987 as an associate at Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, working his way up to partner.

He joined Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co. in 2010, where he focuses on business transactions, corporate, individual, partnership, sales and use and excise tax law.

“I wanted to be a lawyer since middle school when I first learned what lawyers do,” said Lewis. “In college I took accounting but I was still interested in law. After I graduated I had to start working, but I never gave up on my dream.

“I find taxation very interesting because taxes affect every business and person because ‘Uncle Sam’ is a partner with each of us,” he said. “I enjoy helping my clients see how the law applies to their situations.”

In addition to his work as a lawyer, Lewis also taught tax practice and procedure for The University of Akron’s Master of Taxation program from 1999 to 2013 and was on the program’s board of governors from 2010 through 2014.

A member of the Akron Bar Association since 1987, Lewis served as treasurer from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2015 and is a former member of the Akron Bar Foundation Board of Governors. Lewis also chaired what is now known as the business and corporate law section, is a former member and chair of the now defunct tax section and current member of the finance committee.

In addition, he is a member of the American Bar Association’s Tax Section and the Ohio State Bar Association. Lewis, who is on inactive CPA status, also did a stint as past president and former trustee of the Akron Tax Club and is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Lewis, who lives in Hudson with his wife Marilyn, has three adult children and two grandchildren and has been very involved in the community.

He’s a former vice chair of the Hudson Board of Zoning and Building Appeals and served as a member for eight years. He is past president and former board member of his church, St. Herman of Alaska Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, and he coached baseball in Hudson for 18 years.

C. Allen Nichols, executive director of the Akron Bar Association, said Lewis demonstrates “a good grasp of how the organization operates and understands the types of things that the bar association needs to do as a business to be successful.

“One of his early goals is to complete another strategic planning process,” said Nichols. “He understands that to be successful we need to have a plan in place to help guide staff and the board of trustees about how to make decisions to better serve our members.”

Incoming president-elect William Chris, managing partner at Roderick Linton Belfance, said he’s looking forward to working with Lewis to increase members and tackle other challenges facing the bar association. 

“Dave and I worked together on the finance committee,” said Chris. “We are fairly like-minded when it comes to the bar association. I really respect his views and where he wants to go with the association. 

“It’s been a tough time for the bar and Dave will be a solid steward, whose leadership skills will help to guide the organization forward,” said Chris.  

“He and Meg worked well together and made a great team. I hope he and I make just as good of a team.” 

Lewis said the Akron Bar Association is a valuable resource for new and seasoned attorneys. “We offer a wealth of practice aids to members, but we do much more than that. Membership helps lawyers to develop relationships, find mentors and promote professionalism,” said Lewis.

“We do many things well,” he said. “The challenge is communicating that to all members of the legal community. The bar association will continue to employ some of the same communication methods as well as exploring new ones to get that message out.”