Miami Law Firm Commissions Heroic Soldier Statue for FIU's New Veterans Memorial

12/10/17

To honor the service men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice, Miami-based law firm Genovese Joblove & Battista (GJB) has teamed up with Florida International University to provide the lead gift for a sculpture of FIU alumnus Paul Michael Felsberg that will serve as the centerpiece of the university’s new veterans memorial, the Felsberg Veterans Plaza.

Named in honor of Felsberg, an accomplished FIU student-athlete and second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps, the plaza will serve as a gathering place for the community to pay tribute to FIU veterans.

FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg paid tribute to Felsberg this morning during FIU’s Veterans Day Celebration Breakfast and announced the plans for the memorial plaza. Rosenberg and the Felsberg family will participate in a ceremony on Veterans Day, Saturday, November 11 at 3 p.m. at MMC, adjacent to Parkview Residence Hall, 11200 SW 8th St., in West Miami-Dade, where they will unveil a life-size model of the statue. Following the ceremony, the FIU football team will take on Old Dominion in the annual Veteran/Military appreciation game at FIU’s Riccardo Silva Stadium.

On October 13, 2004, Michael Felsberg, 27, died during a rocket-propelled attack during the second Gulf War in Ramadi, Iraq. A weapons platoon commander, Felsberg volunteered for duty in Iraq after learning that a replacement was needed for an officer killed in combat. He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device along with the Purple Heart for his actions in combat.

A criminal justice major at FIU, Felsberg graduated with a 3.94 grade point average, earning the Athletics President’s Award as the athlete with the highest GPA. Michael was also a three-time winner of FIU’s Athletic Spirit Award, which is now named in his honor.

“A number of our lawyers and staff have served in the military, and we are passionate about supporting veteran programs,” said Jonathan E. Perlman, shareholder at GJB and member of the board of directors of the FIU Foundation. “We also have a great affinity for FIU, which we believe to be a critical institution for the betterment of South Florida. This was an ideal opportunity for us to show our immense gratitude to the men and women who have fought to protect our freedom, while supporting this wonderful initiative led by FIU, and leaving a lasting impression of which we can all be proud.”

The sculpture is one of many efforts that the law firm of Genovese Joblove & Battista has embraced in support of veterans. Recognizing the difficulties that veterans may face when entering the legal industry, shareholder John H. Genovese, a former military police officer in the Army, serves as a mentor, resource, or simply a sounding board for aspiring attorneys who have served in the armed forces. Additionally, the firm, and partners individually, support veterans’ scholarships for students at the FIU College of Law, University of Miami School of Law, Ohio Northern University and Siena College.

FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg, who was a distinguished military student in the Army ROTC and whose father was a decorated World War II veteran, is leading the veterans’ memorial initiative.

“We are grateful to Genovese Joblove & Battista for their generous gift,” Rosenberg said. “We are proud to honor Michael’s legacy and that of all of our veterans. This will be a special place for all of us at FIU to remember and reflect on the members of the FIU family who have fought and sacrificed for the freedoms we all enjoy.”

About Genovese Joblove & Battista, P.A.

Genovese Joblove & Battista, P.A. (GJB) was established in 1999 by founding partners John H. Genovese, Michael D. Joblove, and Paul J. Battista. Today, GJB has grown steadily to become a major regional firm with offices in Miami and Fort Lauderdale and an affiliate office in Caracas, serving clients throughout the U.S. GJB attorneys are recognized for their experience representing clients in large and complex litigation in a number of areas, including bankruptcy, insolvency, receiverships, franchises, and general commercial matters, as well as white collar, real estate, employment law, class actions, and securities litigation. The firm and its affiliate, GJB Consulting, also counsel clients in local, state and federal government matters. For more information, visit www.gjb-law.com.

About FIU:

Florida International University is classified by Carnegie as an “R1: Doctoral Universities - Highest Research Activity” and recognized as a Carnegie Community Engaged university. It is a public research university with colleges and schools that offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in fields such as business, engineering, computer science, international relations, architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida’s anchor institutions, FIU contributes almost $9 billion each year to the local economy. The university is ranked second in Florida in Forbes Magazine’s “America’s Best Employers” list and received honors in all categories of The Chronicle of Higher Education’s 2017 “Great Colleges to work for” survey. FIU graduates are consistently among the highest paid college graduates in Florida and are among the leaders of public and private organizations throughout South Florida. FIU is Worlds Ahead in finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission with multiple state-of-the-art research facilities including the Wall of Wind Research and Testing Facility, FIU’s Medina Aquarius Program and the Advanced Materials Engineering Research Institute. FIU has awarded more than 220,000 degrees and enrolls more than 54,000 students in two campuses and centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell, FIU@I-75, the Miami Beach Urban Studios, and Tianjin, China. FIU also supports artistic and cultural engagement through its three museums: Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, the Wolfsonian-FIU, and the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. FIU is a member of Conference USA, with more than 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. For more information about FIU, visit http://www.fiu.edu/.

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