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TESTIMONIALS

TESTIMONIALS

The concept of diversity and inclusion is something many people embrace and talk about, but in my experience, few actually dedicate their lives to this concept in an attempt to make our profession and the world a better place. At the top of...

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Past President, Florida Bar, and Member of the Board of Governors

GREGORY W. COLEMAN

The concept of diversity and inclusion is something many people embrace and talk about, but in my experience, few actually dedicate their lives to this concept in an attempt to make our profession and the world a better place. At the top of my list of the “few” is Larry Smith.

As President of The Florida Bar, I worked very closely with Larry in making noticeable and documented progress in the area of diversity and inclusion. Larry was my first choice to lead this effort on behalf of the 107,000 lawyers in Florida who make up the third largest mandatory Bar in the country.

Larry is a superstar. He is incredibly intelligent and driven, yet compassionate and giving. He possesses the rare quality of actually listening to people when they talk. If I were to hire anyone in the world to assist me in advancing diversity and inclusion-related issues, the choice would be clear… Larry Smith.


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Past President, Florida Bar, and Member of the Board of Governors

GREGORY W. COLEMAN

I have known Larry for many years, and respect his work as a lawyer and at the vanguard of the bar’s diversity efforts. His commitment to and passion for diversity are inspirational, and yet he is always able to find that delicate balance...

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Past President, The Florida Bar and the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers

MAYANNE DOWNS

I have known Larry for many years, and respect his work as a lawyer and at the vanguard of the bar’s diversity efforts. His commitment to and passion for diversity are inspirational, and yet he is always able to find that delicate balance between the need for immediate action, and the understanding that progress must sometimes be coaxed. He’s a cogent and compelling speaker, and offers meaningful teaching moments. Larry’s the real deal.

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Past President, The Florida Bar and the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers

MAYANNE DOWNS

Larry engages, motivates, and challenges individuals to set aside ingrained preconceptions they may have about those who are different from themselves. They come away with more than the typical training handouts. They come away with a...

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Former Chair, DRI Diversity Committee, and Sheryl J. Willert Pioneer Diversity Award Recipient

PAMELA W. CARTER

Larry engages, motivates, and challenges individuals to set aside ingrained preconceptions they may have about those who are different from themselves. They come away with more than the typical training handouts. They come away with a visual and visceral experience that helps them to better understand others’ perspectives. Larry’s work is professional, engaging, genuine and sincere, but most of all it is framed with integrity, reality and appropriate humor. If you want a sensational educational outcome with “value-added” for your program or D&I event. Larry Smith is more!

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Former Chair, DRI Diversity Committee, and Sheryl J. Willert Pioneer Diversity Award Recipient

PAMELA W. CARTER

The topic of diversity and inclusion can make some people feel blamed and alienated and end in those working on diversity and inclusion preaching to the choir with no results. What is so impressive and important about Larry Smith’s...

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President-Elect, Florida Association for Women Lawyers

KIMBERLY HOSLEY

The topic of diversity and inclusion can make some people feel blamed and alienated and end in those working on diversity and inclusion preaching to the choir with no results. What is so impressive and important about Larry Smith’s approach to the topic is that he has a knack for not only knowing how to get everyone to the table for the discussion but for making them feel invested in positive changes in their organization. He makes everyone feel like they are part of the solution, not worried that they are being blamed for the problem, which is essential for actual change to happen.

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President-Elect, Florida Association for Women Lawyers

KIMBERLY HOSLEY

Larry possesses a high degree of integrity, ethics, professionalism and genuine concern for others. He has been at the forefront of diversity and inclusion for the Florida Bar and LGBT issues and has contributed monumental efforts in so...

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Past President, The Florida Bar (upon presentation of the G. Kirk Haas Humanitarian Award), and Cuban American Bar Association

RAMÓN ABADIN

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7D4Myz-0JA

Larry possesses a high degree of integrity, ethics, professionalism and genuine concern for others. He has been at the forefront of diversity and inclusion for the Florida Bar and LGBT issues and has contributed monumental efforts in so many ways that we cannot even count them.

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Past President, The Florida Bar (upon presentation of the G. Kirk Haas Humanitarian Award), and Cuban American Bar Association

RAMÓN ABADIN

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7D4Myz-0JA

Larry Smith embodies the three “P’s” – Professionalism, Passion and Purpose. He has a consistent track record of being an excellent communicator and advocate which is why he is such an exemplary litigator. Larry serves his clients...

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Director – Corporate External Affairs, Florida Power & Light Company, Former Chair of The Florida Bar Leadership Academy and The Florida Bar Board of Governors

JULIET MURPHY ROULHAC

Larry Smith embodies the three “P’s” – Professionalism, Passion and Purpose. He has a consistent track record of being an excellent communicator and advocate which is why he is such an exemplary litigator. Larry serves his clients and the larger community by going above and beyond. His commitment to any case or task that he takes on is evident in his dedication to successfully accomplishing the desired goal. His long-term support of diversity and inclusion dates back over 2 decades, and his contributions to furthering D&I are prolific. He is truly a change-agent.

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Director – Corporate External Affairs, Florida Power & Light Company, Former Chair of The Florida Bar Leadership Academy and The Florida Bar Board of Governors

JULIET MURPHY ROULHAC

I want to give my unrestricted endorsement to Attorney Larry Smith and his new company, the Valorem Institute for Inclusive Excdllence, PLLC.

I can think of no other person — and I’ve been practicing law for 43 years, in...

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Past President of Florida Association for Women Lawyers

AVA K. DOPPELT

I want to give my unrestricted endorsement to Attorney Larry Smith and his new company, the Valorem Institute for Inclusive Excdllence, PLLC.

I can think of no other person — and I’ve been practicing law for 43 years, in New York and Florida — who personally exemplifies all the attributes of a diversity and inclusion expert, as well as a friend.

He has lived and talked this message when no one was listening, when no one was even asking, and he practically single handedly invented the concept of diversity among many of us so that it included a wide range of different kinds of people. With his soft southern voice, his smile, direct appeal and his transparency about his own personal journey, he has been able to reach wide and varied audiences, and to change the way people think, without their even realizing he’s done it.

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Past President of Florida Association for Women Lawyers

AVA K. DOPPELT

In today’s crowded field of voices talking about diversity and inclusion it’s hard to find authentic thought leaders who are knowledgeable and experienced. Larry Smith is such individual who has walked the walk and is able to talk the...

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Past President (First African-American President) The Florida Bar

EUGENE PETTIS

In today’s crowded field of voices talking about diversity and inclusion it’s hard to find authentic thought leaders who are knowledgeable and experienced. Larry Smith is such individual who has walked the walk and is able to talk the talk.

As the first African-American president of the Florida Bar in 2013, inclusion was one of the center-points of my administration. I have observed and called upon Larry on many occasions and seen the fruits of his skills.

Larry is a proven leader who has the ability to elevate the discussion of inclusion in a manner that gets all people to embrace its virtues.

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Past President (First African-American President) The Florida Bar

EUGENE PETTIS

I have served with Larry Smith on the Florida Bar Committee on Diversity and Inclusion for almost a decade. As a past President of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, I appreciate his advocacy on behalf of women. In fact, he is...

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Past President, Florida Association for Women Lawyers, Past Chair, The Florida Bar Standing Committee on Diversity and Inclusion

SUSAN HEALY

I have served with Larry Smith on the Florida Bar Committee on Diversity and Inclusion for almost a decade. As a past President of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, I appreciate his advocacy on behalf of women. In fact, he is truly inclusive in his efforts, supporting the removal of barriers to success across the board.

Too often, diversity advocates confront rather than persuade. Larry brings his unique mix of empathy, southern charm, litigation skills and humor to the table to create a comfortable – and more effective – approach to difficult conversations.

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Past President, Florida Association for Women Lawyers, Past Chair, The Florida Bar Standing Committee on Diversity and Inclusion

SUSAN HEALY

I have worked with Larry for the past twenty years to ensure that the Florida Bar is welcoming to all persons. For many years, Larry was one of the few Gay men who would be active in diversity efforts, which, in turn, made the bar an...

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Litigation Director, Disability Independence Group, Inc., Former Chair The Florida Bar Equal Opportunities in the Profession Section, The Florida Bar G. Kirk Haas Humanitarian Award Recipient

MATTHEW DIETZ

I have worked with Larry for the past twenty years to ensure that the Florida Bar is welcoming to all persons. For many years, Larry was one of the few Gay men who would be active in diversity efforts, which, in turn, made the bar an inclusive environment for all LGBT persons to become more involved in Florida Bar activities. In my role in advocating for disability rights, Larry has been one of my greatest supporters in understanding the shared challenges in ensuring inclusion for other marginalized communities, and using these commonalities to amplify the message of diversity and inclusion.

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Litigation Director, Disability Independence Group, Inc., Former Chair The Florida Bar Equal Opportunities in the Profession Section, The Florida Bar G. Kirk Haas Humanitarian Award Recipient

MATTHEW DIETZ

Larry Smith is a once in a lifetime leader! I have observed several of his presentations on diversity, and invited him to speak at conferences which I have attended or chaired.

Whether educating audiences about the very real issues...

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Past President (and First African-American President), the International Association of Defense Lawyers

CRAIG A. THOMPSON

Larry Smith is a once in a lifetime leader! I have observed several of his presentations on diversity, and invited him to speak at conferences which I have attended or chaired.

Whether educating audiences about the very real issues we face in our society or challenging us to develop and implement solutions, Larry always finds a way to connect, inspire and motivate. He never disappoints, and always delivers.

Larry truly understands what we need to be the best versions of ourselves, and has dedicated his professional life to providing us with the tools necessary to create better communities and places of employment. He is a game changer.

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Past President (and First African-American President), the International Association of Defense Lawyers

CRAIG A. THOMPSON

Larry is the consummate professional, walking the walk, talking the talk, and bringing a smile to the face of everyone with whom he works. He is gracious, authentic, accepting and inclusive. Moreover, he openly shares the diversity...

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Past President The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, Past President Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers, President Elect Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers, Past Vice-Chair, The Florida Bar Leadership Academy

MELANIE GRIFFIN

Larry is the consummate professional, walking the walk, talking the talk, and bringing a smile to the face of everyone with whom he works. He is gracious, authentic, accepting and inclusive. Moreover, he openly shares the diversity challenges he has faced, affording him the unique skill set to deeply understand the obstacles that must be tackled by professionals and their organizations. Most importantly, Larry is passionate, including, at times, being moved to tears when processing the adversity others have overcome. These, and many others, are the qualities that make Larry a true champion of, and problem-solver when it comes to, diversity and inclusion issues.


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Past President The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, Past President Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers, President Elect Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers, Past Vice-Chair, The Florida Bar Leadership Academy

MELANIE GRIFFIN

Larry is a passionate and dynamic force for the practice of diversity and inclusion. I’ve heard Larry speak, a few times, and I believe that helping folks embrace and understand what diversity and inclusion is all about, is what he was...

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Associate General Counsel, Wal-Mart Legal

JULIE GIBBENS

Larry is a passionate and dynamic force for the practice of diversity and inclusion. I’ve heard Larry speak, a few times, and I believe that helping folks embrace and understand what diversity and inclusion is all about, is what he was born to do. Larry has a way of making people feel both comfortable and safe when discussing a topic that may be new to them. Larry is also a natural born story teller and folks are just drawn to him. He can literally light up a room and I’m so pleased that he’s chosen to carry the torch for embracing diversity and inclusion in the workplace.



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Associate General Counsel, Wal-Mart Legal

JULIE GIBBENS

A great speaker, with several great messages about the advancement of Diversity. Larry, touches on all aspect of diversity and its value. The home run is how he makes both the business case for diversity compelling even...

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Past President, The Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel

DON MYLES

A great speaker, with several great messages about the advancement of Diversity. Larry, touches on all aspect of diversity and its value. The home run is how he makes both the business case for diversity compelling even “non-believers” to promote the concept while not losing those who for the greater good and altruistic reasons are equally on board with the message. Thanks for making such a broad appeal to compel movement forward for us all.




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Past President, The Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel

DON MYLES

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Larry Smith through mutual professional acquaintances. I was immediately impressed by his passion for and commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, not just because it is the right thing to...

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Former Chief Legal Officer Ruby Tuesday, Inc., Denny’s, and Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Assistant General Counsel, Wal-Mart Legal

RHONDA PARISH

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Larry Smith through mutual professional acquaintances. I was immediately impressed by his passion for and commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because of the increased value a diverse workforce brings to organizations. Since then, we have become friends, and I have personally witnessed his commitment to inclusion and diversity, both on the public stage in his many speaking engagements as well as in his private life. Larry not only “talks the talk”; he also “walks the walk”. I would highly recommend him to any organization interested in furthering its diversity and inclusion efforts.




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Former Chief Legal Officer Ruby Tuesday, Inc., Denny’s, and Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Assistant General Counsel, Wal-Mart Legal

RHONDA PARISH

Larry Smith is a once in a lifetime leader! I have observed several of his presentations on diversity, and invited him to speak at conferences which I have attended or chaired.

Whether educating audiences about the very real issues...

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Attorney, Morgan & Morgan

PAUL SANGIOVANNI

I have worked with Larry Smith professionally and through Bar Association activities for in excess of 20 years. The passion and courage that Larry brings to his work are unparalleled.

In professional and community work, personal interactions and presentations, Larry’s expertise and enthusiasm are powerful tools for guiding hearts and minds to embrace and implement the values of diversity, inclusion and equality.

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Attorney, Morgan & Morgan

PAUL SANGIOVANNI

JULIE GIBBENS

Associate General Counsel, Wal-Mart Legal

Larry has a way of making people feel both comfortable and safe when discussing a topic that may be new to them. Larry is also a natural born story teller and folks are just drawn to him.