December 15, 2021
The Rusty Pelican, Miami

Thank you for joining us on this special evening. We are here to celebrate twenty-five years of success—measuring success by the lives we have touched, the causes we have championed, the businesses we have assisted or protected, the women or men, older or younger, whom we have been blessed enough to guide in their hour of need. We pause for a moment from the work to which we have devoted our lives—preserving the benefits of law for future generations—to say thank you to those who have made the task easier by their kindness and friendship and example. We also take a moment to say thank you to our mothers and fathers, abuelas y abuelos, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, to each one who journeyed from Colombia to America. Without your sacrifice we would not be here today at this wonderful gala—proud, appreciative, and happy.

Alexander Lian
Colombian American Bar Association

Cocktail Reception
Heri Merchan


Welcome To COLBAR’s
25th Anniversary Gala

Adriana Santiesteban
COLBAR Vice President

Opening Remarks
Judge Milton Hirsch

The Florida Bar President’s Remarks
Michael G. Tanner

COLBAR Memories
Marco E. Rojas
COLBAR Founder

Alexander Lian
COLBAR President

Baile de Colombia
Museo Empresarial y Cultural Colombia

Recognition of Honorees
Judge Veronica Diaz
Circuit Court, Eleventh Judicial Circuit

Judge Diana Gonzalez-Whyte
County Court, Eleventh Judicial Circuit

Senator Annette Taddeo
Florida Senate

The Honorable Gladys Mezrahi
Former Vice Mayor, City of Aventura

Guest Speaker

Judge L. Felipe Restrepo
US Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

Remarks by the Consul General of Colombia
Pedro Augustín Valencia Laserna
Consul General of Colombia, Miami

Closing Remarks
Judge Milton Hirsch

Evening Entertainment
Jorge Gomez

COLBAR is pleased to recognize the many sponsors and supporters that made this Gala possible. We are especially pleased that the storied firm of McCarter & English, headquartered in New Jersey and with offices throughout the northeast corridor, chose COLBAR’s Gala to spotlight its entrance into Miami. We thank them for Presenting.

COLBAR founders Walter A. Reynoso and Marco Rojas through their respective firms (The Law Offices of Walter A. Reynoso and R&S International Law Group, LLP) graciously stood as Supporting Sponsors as did the St. Thomas University College of Law, represented by Dean Tamara F. Lawson and Assistant Dean for Career Development, Lourdes B. Fernandez.

Additional support came willingly from both longtime Colbarians and brand new members. Thanks to Martha Arias (Arias Villa Law), Karamat Qayum (Garcia & Qayum Law Group), Eric Jackwin (Spectrum Title Services LLC), Natasha Cortes (GRYC Trial Lawyers), and Alexander Lian (Alexander Lian, P.A.).

Special recognition is due to Omni Neurological, Orthopedic & Spine Center for sponsoring the Cocktail Hour.


A first time gala is a big production for any organization. Thanks are due to the Indigo Events team for their guidance and direction. Gala subcommittee members Martha Arias and Pilar Rubio provided needed assistance and advice. Maria Teresa Sallato, Lorna Salas, and Mariel Sarmiento Anderson took the lead on COLBAR Memories. Walter Reynoso provided invaluable encouragement from the very beginning. We are grateful to the talented Judge Milton Hirsch for graciously agreeing to emcee the event. And last, but definitely not least, Adri Santiesteban deserves special thanks for shouldering much of the responsibility and getting things done even when she had a great excuse to stop. To all of them, and to everyone at COLBAR who did their part to make this Gala a success, ¡¡Muchísimas Gracias!!