Making a Difference
By: Joseph W. Norman
For more from Bigger Impact co-founder, Joseph Norman, visit www.normanized.com.
Enjoy the read about...Sharon Stiller...below! Thanks for your readership!
Sharon Stiller is a woman of tenacity and determination. As a partner and attorney of law for Boylan, Brown, Code, Vigdor & Wilson, she has desired to be in law since she was eight years old. Her intense passion for the field has led her to great success, working with a few different firms in the
area. Born and raised in Rochester Irondequoit, New York, she loves the seasons and has no desire to leave Western New York. Currently, with the view she has from the twenty-fourth floor office in the Chase Building in downtown , one need not wonder why she wants to stay. Rochester
View of the Chase Building
Her childhood was spent inquiring to a distant relative in law, about the line of work. The two later became partners at a law firm together. Seeking her education in the field she studied at the
University of Albany and expressed that one of her wow moments was graduating from the there. She describes the experience as, “completing her dream.” This was only the beginning for this incredibly determined woman. Law School
In the beginning she desired to get into criminal law, so she solicited a promise from each candidate running for the position of District Attorney for
. When the challenger won, he came through and gave her a position as his assistant. This was the beginning of many firsts for Monroe County Sharon, as she was the first female assistant to the District Attorney in , selected in January of 1976. She worked in the position for eight years until it was time to move on. Monroe County
Sharon with Hillary Clinton
From there she shifted over to her longest tenure at Goldstein, Goldman, Kessler & Underberg in 1983, gaining experience in litigation. Working there for nearly twenty two years, she left in 2005 to join Jaeckle, Fleischmann & Mugel. It was only in January of this year, 2007, that she joined her probable final place of work, Boylan, Brown, Code, Vigdor & Wilson. It is this final position she describes her feeling as “extremely content.”
Reflecting on her role, she said that she thinks everybody ends up where they are supposed to be. In fact, she had the opportunity to join the firm early in her career, but passed it up. The world brought her back to where she feels she belongs though, at Boylan, Brown. “I think you kind of have your path and you go this way and that way, then you ultimately wind up being where you should be,” she stated.
The view from Boylan Brown
’s rise through the world of law, she raised a daughter as a single mother. Now nineteen, her daughter learned to be “flexible and accommodating,” Sharon said. It was difficult on both Sharon and her daughter because her schedule was always changing. “I did not know if I was going to make it to her games,” she reflected. This describes the “emergency nature” of the business and one that is not conducive to raising a child. Sharon pulled it off though, and now her daughter is pursuing her own hopes and dreams in college. Sharon
Besides practicing law,
is unbelievably active within the community. She is active in the United Way, Habitat for Humanity, Little Theatre, Mercy Outreach, Red Wings Baseball, and the National Women’s Hall of Fame, to name a few. Countless others span her list, and she takes leadership roles in many of them, including serving on the Boards for the National Women’s Hall of Fame, Red Wings Baseball, and the Little Theatre. She even carried the Olympic torch before when it came through Sharon . Rochester
Sharon with the olympic flame aloft
Other activities have included producing a theatrical performance of the Susan B. Anthony trial at the location of the actual historic trial in
. Her experience here taught her one of the lessons that has stuck with her the better part of her life. “Nothing is as critical as it seems,” she says. Canandaigua, New York
With this performance it went down to the wire, but everything worked out. She needed a playwright; found Gary Lehmann, a wonderful writer who lived nearly next door. Then she needed a crew, which was covered through another connection, and finally, she had nearly everything produced, but she still did not have approval to use the house in Canandaigua. Ten days before the performance that came through and the show went great. She has tried to incorporate this attitude into her daily pursuits.
Now, it is important to find out the little things that make Sharon who she is. Currently, she is taking up painting in her spare time.
is the kind of person that has to allow herself to take on extra activities such as this one because her time is so limited. She also took up the sport of running, as a way to combat her lifelong bout with asthma. In fact, she has run and completed four marathons. The first she completed is another one of her wow moments. Sharon enjoys Krackle or Nestle Crunch bars and Peanut M & Ms; however, she does not eat them very much. She also says cheese would be her favorite food, but she does not allow herself to eat that either. Her discipline is unparalleled. Sharon
A table in Sharon's office
Besides these little things,
also enjoys soccer and loves to read. Recently, she completed Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, Team of Rivals. In response to the message, she waxed eloquently about Abraham Lincoln’s leadership style and writing ability. She would enjoy meeting and talking to Sharon about what he went through. Working to improve her vocabulary is a key part of her reading experiences and she finds great pleasure in it. Lincoln
View from Sharon office
Boylan Brown conference room
Her definition of success is to be contented with her life. She thinks the standards that everybody uses are different, and she would never try to meet someone else’s standards. She states, “If I do what I require of myself, to me that is being successful.” In her own life, she has been fortunate to have a mentor, Marjorie, who has helped guide her through her professional and personal development. She puts much value into building relationships and seeking out mentors, as this has been essential in her successful pursuits.
As a motivated woman with many desires, it is fitting that a person
would like to meet is Susan B. Anthony. It seems that the two share a similar passion for their trades and for making a difference in their respective communities. Sharon has motivated many with her many leadership roles and she has helped many with her skill in the practice of law. It is her ethical obligation to represent her client zealously within the bounds of the law and she does it with the highest form of professionalism and work ethic. She will no doubt continue to make a difference with her pursuits. Sharon
Boylan, Brown, Code, Vigdor & Wilson, LLC
585 232 5300 Ext. 226
Cell: 585 314 2498