Vivian Cortes Hodz, Former Staff Attorney, Chairs Bay Area Legal’s 2024 Board of Directors

Bay Area Legal Services Swears-In New Leaders and Welcomes Members to 2024 Board of Directors

Bay Area Legal Services proudly announces the appointment of Vivian Cortes Hodz as Chair of its Board of Directors for 2024.

Joining Vivian as 2024 Board Officers are Jeffrey E. Cox as Chairperson-Elect (Orrick), James D. Thaler Jr. as Treasurer (Thaler Law Firm, P.A.), and Craig E. Rothburd as Secretary (Craig E. Rothburd, P.A.). Yohance Pettis was also instated as our newest member, and has previously served as Board Chairperson in 2021. Judge Christopher Sabella, Chief Judge of the 13th Judicial Circuit, officiated the swearing-in ceremony on February 20, 2024.

Vivian began her career in public interest law as a staff attorney for Bay Area Legal.

“I have so many wonderful professional and personal memories from the years I worked on the Family Law Team at Bay Area Legal,” Vivian said. “The knowledge absorbed during that time from my team leader and the more experienced attorneys on the team formed the foundation of my career.”

Her time as a staff attorney concluded in 2005.

“I will never forget tendering my resignation in tears to Dick Woltmann [then President/CEO] and telling him with certainty that I would be back to Bay Area Legal someday,” she continued. “I did not know what that would look like but eventually I found my way back.”

I could not be more honored and privileged to serve as the Chairperson of the Board. I am most looking forward to making connections and pursuing relationships for Bay Area Legal Services that will increase visibility and bring attention to the wonderful work being done by the firm. I hope to pursue long-lasting connections with donors, corporations, and organizations that will be mutually beneficial

Vivian Cortes Hodz Headshot

Vivian Cortes Hodz

2024 Board Chairperson

Following her time at Bay Area Legal, Cortes Hodz remained active in pro bono work and took on leadership roles within multiple bar associations. She served as President of the Tampa Hispanic Bar Association and chaired both the Annual Convention and Voluntary Bar Liaison Committees of the Florida Bar. Her contributions have garnered statewide recognition, earning her several prestigious awards.

In 2008, she established Cortes Hodz Family Law and Mediation, P.A., where she currently practices with an exclusive focus on family law and conflict resolution. Cortes Hodz is also in her second year on Bay Area Legal’s Finance Committee and currently serves on the Board of the Hillsborough County Bar Association. She has been part of Bay Area Legal’s Board of Directors since 2014.

Meet Your 2024 Board of Directors

Members of Bay Area Legal’s Board of Directors serve as ambassadors, educating the community and building relationships that support our mission. Their fiduciary duties include financial and program oversight and broad policy-making.

The 2024 Board of Directors includes:

  • Chairperson: Vivian Cortes Hodz
  • Chairperson-Elect: Jeffrey E. Cox
  • Treasurer: James D. Thaler, Jr.
  • Secretary: Craig E. Rothburd
  • Michael A. Bedke
  • Rebecca C. Bell
  • Caroleen B. Brej
  • Cynthia Davis-Gryce
  • Christine L. Derr
  • Valorie Hoppenworth
  • Adriana Huapilla
  • Sarah Lahlou-Amine
  • Yolanda V. Lee
  • Evan M. Malloy
  • Paul Martinez
  • Yohance Pettis
  • Andrew M. O'Malley, Chairman Emeritus
  • Alex M. Sarsfield
  • Tori C. Simmons
  • Linda L. Anderson Stanley
  • Victor Van Pelt
  • Barbara Williams