First Annual International Food Festival was a Delicious Success

06.22.18 | Permalink

“RKC’s first International Food Festival was a celebration of the diversity of the RKC family with a focus on foods that we love and wanted to share,” said Pete Tepley, a partner in the Birmingham office and Chair of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Each office gathered together to enjoy food brought in by colleagues willing to share a favorite recipe from his or her culture on Thursday, June 21. The offices were filled with wonderful smelling foods from across the globe and regionally throughout the country.

The diversity of the food is a representation of the many cultures represented throughout the firm.

  • In Birmingham, there were regional foods such as pralines and boudain from Louisiana, Alabama chicken fingers, as well as corned beef and cabbage from Ireland, Lebkuchen from Germany, and chips and malt vinegar from England.
  • Miami celebrated in their newly remodeled employee lounge with featured dishes from Cuba (picadillo con arroz blanco and vaca frita), of course, but also from Ecuador (Seco de pollo) , Jamaica (jerk chicken), Peru (ceviche) and Russia (ensalada Rusa).   Those with a sweet tooth were not disappointed and enjoyed pastelitos, flan, and dulce de leche treats.
  • Orlando had dishes from a wide variety of countries including Barbados, Cuba, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Poland, Peru, Puerto Rico, Sweden, and Vietnam. There were also foods from a number of states including Florida (the Keys), Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina and Virginia. There were a variety of both unique foods such as coucou from Barbados, a New Mexican stew called posole and kugel, a baked pudding that is a traditional Jewish dish, to the familiar dishes such as chimichangas and tamales from Mexico, Cuban sandwiches and baklava from Greece.
  • Accompanying German sausages, potato salad and sauerkraut in Tallahassee, was tabbouleh, cucumber salad, empanadas, and chicken flautas along with meatball subs and fried chicken. For dessert, there was tiramisu along with pound cake.
  • The Tampa office enjoyed a feast that included a 1905 salad from Columbia, empanadas from Mexico, mojo pork from Cuba, French cheeses, and Vietnamese egg rolls to name a few. They also featured well-loved food from the states including jambalaya, hamburger cheese dip, fried chicken and a potato casserole.

“The focus on food was a fun way to bring attention to the varied cultures and diverse backgrounds we represent,” said Kaye Daugherty, Director of Human Resources and Legal Recruitment at the firm.

“While we come from many different parts of the country and the world, our continued focus on using and melding these differences to enhance our relationships and office environments is a huge part of what makes RKC a great place to work,” she said.


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James Walsh Celebrates 50th Graduation Reunion at West Point

06.19.18 | Permalink

In May, 353 of 706 graduates of the United States Military Academy (USMA) Class of 1968, along with 430 other family members , gathered at a hotel near West Point for their 50th Graduation Reunion. RKC’s Jimmy Walsh was among those graduates. He, along with 15 of the 21 living members of Company C-1, his company for 4 years, gathered to share sad and happy memories, tell tall tales (grown taller over 54 years) and enjoy a few more moments together.

Jimmy remembers the day his journey to graduation began where he and 991 incoming cadet candidates endured their first challenge during Reception Day (R-Day) in July 1964
. R-Day is the incoming cadet candidates’ first taste of discipline, uniformity and what it means to uphold the USMA motto of, “Duty, Honor, Country.”

“Pride and trepidation quickly morphed into a major effort on my part to keep up, marching in formation to take our oath. R-Day is a remarkable combination of blurred memory. Even today, a checklist tag hangs from the waist of every candidate. Every mandatory task must be signed off on that tag by an upperclassman to ensure completion,” said Jimmy.

A Memorial Service was held at the Cadet Chapel to remember fallen classmates. “Twenty of our classmates fell in combat in Vietnam, including one from C-1, and several other close friends of mine, and sixty-eight more have died since,” said Jimmy. “Three of my classmates are priests, and they presided over this very somber service,” he added.

During the visit, Jimmy took his family members, two of whom could follow Jimmy’s footsteps in a few years, on a tour of Arvin Gym. “The gym is a huge facility utilized constantly for all manner of physical education, workouts, and fun. Both of my "hopefuls" wanted to run the indoor obstacle course. I had never before seen anyone volunteer for that effort because it is the most difficult two plus minutes of physical effort I have ever experienced,” said Jimmy. “Nevertheless, they had to settle for watching cadets run the "OC." Afterwards, we took a photo to send a message to several Naval Academy friends.”

The “Old Grads” gathered on The Plain (the parade field) at the statue of Col. Sylvanus Thayer, the "Father of the Military Academy for the ‘Old Grad’ Memorial

“During the ceremony, the ‘Old Grads’ joined the Cadet Glee Club and the cadet units volunteered for the ceremony in singing The Alma Mater and The Corps, the two most important songs at West Point,” said Jimmy. “Often, these songs draw tears, even from cadets, especially "Firsties," and this day proved no different as the words crossed our lips.”

Despite threatening rain, the Corp marched onto The Plain, and Passed in Review for the alumni reunion classes. “The ‘Old Grads’ offered congratulations to each company as they marched past, and called out many efforts seeking to elicit reactions from cadets as they marched by, eyes straight ahead,” said Jimmy. 

“After the parade, the reunion party gathered in The Mess Hall for lunch while several Distinguished Graduates were inducted, including a classmate and a beloved professor of mine,” said Jimmy. “Several of my friends had a number of classes with that professor because he was so good. When all of us returned to our barracks rooms following graduation 50 years ago on June 5, 1968, each of us found a handwritten note from the professor on our bunks,” remembered Jimmy. “After the lunch, I finally got the opportunity to thank him for that thoughtful effort long ago, and to let him know his classroom efforts had been important to my career efforts.” 

Another professor of Jimmy’s, and for whom he later served under in Vietnam, was General Norman Schwarzkopf. “I served under Schwarzkopf as part of his Recon Platoon, then went to work for him after the war for a while. He was my teacher, my boss and then a lifelong friend.”

Above: First Lt. Jimmy and Lt. Col. Norman Schwarzkopf 

Still looking to avoid regulations, Jimmy had “secretly” arranged a tour of the C-1 Barracks, despite graduates not being allowed in the barracks. He also proudly showed his family the windows to each room he had lived in during his four years in East Barracks (now known as Pershing Barracks). He took them to the "new, new library", as opposed to the "new library" that was completed in the early 1960s. “I showed them the entrance hall and statue of President Jefferson, which were paid for by our class. Despite paying for that hall, our class was advised we could not display the Class of '68 Crest because Jefferson Hall is an academy facility. In spite of, or perhaps because of that prohibition, the Class of '68 Crest is hidden, but quite visible in the hall, and is protected by President Jefferson himself,” explained Jimmy.

The best part of each day was meeting up with great friends each night in the banquet hall noted Jimmy. “C-1 had 5 tables of grads and guests, so the tall tales reigned,” he chuckled. “Stories of sheer horror at the time of the events, but incredibly funny in retrospect prevailed, such as: Pete's sudden horrifying discovery that we had helped him put on the wrong uniform to walk punishment tours; my sneak peek into my squad leader's mirror which revealed I had forgotten to put on my tie before breakfast; or Don's ‘closing’ of an upperclassmen's window before reveille, which actually opened the bottom window, allowing snow to pile up in the room,” remembered Jimmy.

He continued, “These examples only scratch the surface of so many oft repeated tales. Such tales help explain the bonds which were grown over our four years together, bonds which have allowed us to marry each other off, to bury some, and to only grow closer over the last 50 years.”

Below: First Lt. Jimmy Walsh during Vietnam


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Hooray for the Red, White & Blue!

06.15.18 | Permalink

Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell Ships 73 Packages to Troops Serving Overseas

Mounds of snacks, hygiene items, socks, coffee and other supplies covered the conference room table in the Orlando office of Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell on Thursday ready to be gathered into boxes and shipped across the world to men and women serving our country. In addition to the much needed supplies, each box contained festive red, white and blue leis, flags and other patriotic gear and notes of encouragement and thanks to help lift their spirits as they protect our freedom this 4th of July. It took the volunteers just 45 minutes to fill 73 boxes destined for nine units spread across the globe from Africa and the Persian Gulf to the tiny island of Diego Garcia.

“I’m so thankful for the support we receive to make this happen 3-4 times a year,” said Lisa Griffin, a legal assistant at the firm who started this program in 2009 when her son was serving in the Marines in Iraq. “Over the years we have supported literally thousands of hard-working service people deployed to all parts of the world. My heart swells just thinking about it,” Lisa continued.

This shipment included packages to support 4 units aboard the USS Harry Truman located in the Persian Gulf. Thousands of service people are on board the ship working hard to send off jets for nightly missions over the Middle East. During their deployment away from home for nearly a year, they will shove the jets off hundreds of times for countless missions.

“This time around, we received special requests particularly for ground coffee, drink flavoring, hygiene products and individually wrapped snacks,” said Lisa. “It’s always amazing to see the generosity of our staff who donate both items and money to cover postage of these boxes. We also receive help from Mateer Harbert, who supplied a huge donation of coffee and our friends at Orange Legal and Milestone Reporting who also donated items and helped pack the boxes,” explained Lisa.

All of the RKC offices step up to support the cause. Miami shipped four additional boxes of supplies to the USS Harry Truman and Tampa shipped three boxes to a Special Operations unit in an undisclosed location in support of a staff member’s nephew. Birmingham and Tallahassee support the cause with financial contributions used to cover postage.

“It is truly a well-oiled machine and we couldn’t make this happen without the generosity of so many who choose to participate or the support of our leadership,” said Lisa. “I’m so proud to be a part of this great firm.”

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Recent Updates

06.22.18  First Annual International Food Festival was a Delicious Success  Read Article >>

06.19.18  James Walsh Celebrates 50th Graduation Reunion at West Point  Read Article >>

06.15.18  Hooray for the Red, White & Blue!  Read Article >>

05.22.18  Avi Solomon Earns Security Certification from the International Information System Security Certification Consortium  Read Article >>

05.22.18  Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell Celebrates Diversity in the Workplace and Honors Asian and Pacific Island American Attorneys This Month  Read Article >>

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