Marielle Hazen Elected President of Special Needs Alliance

Marielle F. Hazen, CELA, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has been named president of the Special Needs Alliance (SNA). “Nearly one-fifth of the U.S. population has a disability,” Hazen points out, “so their rights and quality of life touch us all. SNA works for the dignity, security and social inclusion of all individuals with special needs – the child with autism, the veteran with traumatic brain injury, the senior with Alzheimer’s and so many more.

“The toxic budget discussions in Congress will be an ongoing concern for SNA, since Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and other portions of the social safety net are at risk. It has become increasingly important for us to educate legislators on the importance of such programs to the well-being of individuals with special needs, and our affiliation with the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) testifies to our commitment to continued advocacy on their behalf.”

Hazen’s law practice focuses on special needs, elder law and estate planning. She has advocated on behalf of individuals with special needs at both the state and federal level on issues such as special needs trusts, eligibility criteria for public benefits and guardianship.

She is certified as an elder law attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation and has served as president of the Pennsylvania Association of Elder Law Attorneys. In 2010, she received the Excellence in Elder Law Award from the Pennsylvania Bar Association and has been named one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Pennsylvania.

Other newly elected SNA officers are: Richard A. Courtney, CELA, Jackson, Mississippi, as president-elect; Scott Suzuki, Esq., Honolulu, Hawaii, as vice president; Jefferey M. Yussman, Esq., Louisville, Kentucky, as treasurer; and Katherine N. Barr, Esq., Birmingham, Alabama, as secretary. Pi-Yi Mayo, CELA, Baytown, Texas, will serve on the board in the capacity of immediate past president.

Newly named directors are Bradley J. Frigon, CELA, Denver, Colorado, and Dennis M. Sandoval, CELA, Riverside, California.

Reelected directors are Robert W. Fechtman, CELA, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Mary Alice Jackson, Esq., Sarasota, Florida.

Continuing as directors are Martha Brown, CELA, Webster Groves, Missouri; Ann N. Butenhof, CELA, Manchester, New Hampshire; Robert B. Fleming, CELA, Tucson, Arizona; Brian Rubin, Esq., Buffalo Grove, Illinois; and Kelly A. Thompson, Esq., Arlington,Virginia.