Judges, lawyers and others thanked and praised Eugene Pettis – the first black president of the Florida Bar Association – completing an accomplished 2013-14 at the Tower Club, downtown Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, Aug. 28. Pettis and the Bar’s Board of Governors recently succeeded in recruiting dozens of black and other minority lawyers to apply to become its nominees for gubernatorial appointments to Judicial Nominating Committees. Pettis, cofounder of Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, also launched the Wm. Reece Smith Jr. Leadership Academy of the Florida Bar to train a diverse group of lawyers to fit into a leadership pipeline. Pictured is prominent attorney Burnadette Norris-Weeks partner at Austin Pamies Norris Weeks at the podium, who introduced Pettis at the event, while other colleagues look on.