Carl Ver Beek, a Grand Rapids attorney at Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt and Howlett LLP, has been selected to receive the State Bar of Michigan Labor and Employment Law Section's Distinguished Service Award for 2004. He is the first recipient from West Michigan to receive this honor since the inception of the award in 1996.
The award is given each year to a Michigan attorney who exemplifies outstanding service and professionalism in the practice of labor and employment law. In addition to the award, the Section will donate $1,000 toward a scholarship established in Ver Beek's name at the Detroit College of Law—Michigan State University, where he has served as an adjunct professor.
The Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section James Moore said Ver Beek had made innumerable contributions to the practice of law. "Honoring Carl with the Section's Distinguished Service Award celebrates his many accomplishments and is a measure of the enormous respect and admiration his fellow lawyers have for him," Moore said.
Ver Beek has focused on labor and employment relations at the Varnum law firm for 42 years. Throughout that time, he remained actively involved in the State Bar of Michigan and the American Bar Association. He is also a frequent speaker at the Institute for Continuing Legal Education. Recently, Ver Beek was re-appointed chair of the Attorney Grievance Commission for the State of Michigan, the prosecution arm of the Supreme Court on lawyer discipline.
Ver Beek serves in a leadership role on many community organizations, including the American Heart Association, Bethany Christian Services, the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Holland Home, Hope Reformed Church, Kent Health Plan Corporation, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the Recuperation Center, and the Reformed Church in America.
The State Bar of Michigan Labor and Employment Law Section is one of the largest sections in the Bar with over 2300 members. Past honorees of the Section's Distinguished Service Award include Ted St. Antoine, who taught labor law at the University of Michigan for many years, and the arbitrator and former State Bar president George Roumell.
The award will be presented to Carl Ver Beek at the Labor and Employment LawSection's annual Mid-Winter Meeting in Ypsilanti in January.