Shumaker Helps Raise More than $2.5 Million for a Cause that Hits Close to Home

Tampa, FL – Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP has raised a record $2.5 million for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). The amount demonstrates the firm is living up to its brand promise of being involved in and with the communities they serve.

But the money raised also illustrates Shumaker’s commitment to stand behind its employees like Joel Freedman, Director of Land Planning for Shumaker Advisors Florida, and Todd Rains, Chief Administrative Officer. Joel was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and Todd has been diagnosed with Follicular Lymphoma.

“Having been diagnosed with an incurable blood cancer, the LLS research is essential to me with its mission to fund leading edge research for every type of blood cancer,” said Todd. “Shumaker’s support, both on a personal level in my battle with this disease, as well as the firm’s support for LLS is inspiring to my fight and it’s with much gratitude, the firm and Shumaker lawyers who serve on the LLS board realize that patients cannot fight this disease alone.”

Tampa Partner Ron Christaldi (2018 Chair Light the Night Walk), Charleston Partner J. Bennett Crites III (Past LLS Charleston Board Member and Team in Training Member and Mentor), Toledo Partner Rebecca Shope (LLS Toledo Board Member and 2017 Toledo Woman of the Year), Toledo Associate Kate Decker (LLS Toledo Board Member and  2018 Woman of the Year Nominee), and Charleston Associate Mary Ramsay (Nominated for 2020 Woman of the Year) are all involved in leadership roles at LLS where they have helped raise funds for LLS. But reaching the $2.5 million goal is due to an army of folks at Shumaker, from secretaries to mailroom employees. The achievement demonstrates the teamwork and culture of Shumaker.

“LLS has helped me financially offset the cost of treatment,” said Joel. “Since I was diagnosed, I have learned that both corporate and individual funding help support those us of fighting the disease. It means a great deal to me that Shumaker has taken on such a great cause that affects me so personally.”

“Ron Christaldi has truly been, as I like to say, an angel on Earth to our patients, their families, and our organization as a whole. His passion for supporting and bringing light to the local impact that LLS has is unmatched and he plays an instrumental role in getting our name out in the Tampa Bay community. After leading our 2018 Light the Night campaign to raise $850,000, Ron has since introduced us to a number of supporters that make his impact everlasting,” said Miranda Zoloty, senior campaign manager for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Suncoast Chapter.

Ron is known for connecting and building relationships within the community. He is a hard-working and intensely prepared business attorney with a broad practice, comprised of both transactions and complex litigation. Ron has also been recognized as one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Florida and one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. Ron is committed to his clients and attributes his success to the fact he identifies his clients’ goals at the outset of the engagement and works collaboratively with them on the best, most efficient strategy to achieve their goals.

Bennett is a member of the firm's Litigation group, advising businesses and individuals on complex legal issues. His practice focuses on transportation and commercial trucking law, products liability, professional liability, and retail and hospitality where he is experienced in litigating cases from minor injury to wrongful death and catastrophic injury.

Rebecca concentrates her practice in the areas of labor and employment, litigation, and family law. She represents private and public entities in a variety of litigation, internal investigations, risk management, and traditional labor matters, such as defending employers in discrimination, harassment, retaliation, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and wrongful discharge disputes. In addition to litigating, Rebecca also assists employers in navigating complex employment laws and regulations. A proactive counselor, she seeks to develop a deep understanding of her clients’ businesses to help anticipate and prevent workplace disputes before they arise.

Kate focuses her practice on wage and hour defense and a broad range of commercial and appellate issues, including business torts and contract disputes, administrative appeals, medical malpractice defense, foreclosures, and landlord/tenant disputes. Having represented employees in national wage and hour claims for three years prior to joining Shumaker, Kate uses her unique perspective to counsel employers regarding state and federal wage and hour claims and assist in their wage and hour compliance efforts, including but not limited to reviewing and drafting wage and hour employment policies and auditing exempt and non-exempt employee classifications.        

Mary handles a variety of cases in state and federal court, including general insurance law, contract disputes, products and premises liability actions, life insurance and financial services litigation, including Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). She also practices in the regulatory and administrative arena in the areas of health care provider licensing, facility licensing, and certificate of need.        


Founded in 1925, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP is a full-service law firm with more than 260 lawyers and seven offices in Toledo and Columbus, Ohio; Tampa and Sarasota, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Shumaker is a premier provider of quality legal services. Whether it's commitment to clients or work in the community, involvement lies at the core of all of Shumaker’s initiatives.