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YLS members earn 2023 Chair, JoEllen Engelbart Awards

The 2022-23 Young Lawyers’ Section (YLS) Council wrapped up its service at the 2023 Missouri Judicial Conference and Annual Meeting of The Missouri Bar on Thursday Sept. 14, with a series of awards recognizing the outstanding service of several council members. Elizabeth Kiesewetter Fax, chair of the YLS Council, presented three awards to members: two YLS Chair Awards, and the new JoEllen Engelbart Award. 

Danielle Drake, of Lake Ozark, and Keegan Tinney, of Joplin, both earned a YLS Chair award, which is given to exceptional members who enrich the council and the message of The Missouri Bar and its lawyers. While they both earned the same distinction, both Drake and Tinney received the award for different reasons. 

“Danielle was chosen for a Chair Award because of her hard work and dedication to the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Committee," Fax said. “It was a big job to revamp the YLS CLEs, but she did it and it resulted in record breaking attendance.” 

The YLS Council kept involved in this year’s Annual Meeting, not only through services like professional headshots, but also through other enrichment activities such as the puppy adoption and destress event. 

“[Tinney] was chosen for a Chair Award because he is always willing to step up and help, regardless of what the task is,” Fax said. “He is also someone who thinks up great and new ideas, like offering headshots at the annual meeting, and makes them happen.” 

While the YLS Chair Awards transpire every year, the new JoEllen Engelbart Award is a new addition to the council’s recognitions.  

The award honors the late JoEllen Engelbart, who passed away in 2021. At the time of her passing, she was chair-elect of the council. Engelbart dedicated her career to public service. She was a fierce advocate for special victims through her job as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Jackson County. She was an invaluable member of the council and always willing to help and mentor new members.  

“She was so joyful and had a laugh that could be heard several rooms away,” Fax said. “She embodied the spirit of YLS and the JoEllen Engelbart Award honors her legacy."  

Tristin Estep of St. Louis earned the inaugural JoEllen Engelbart Award. 

“[Estep] was a perfect pick for this award, as she has also dedicated her professional life to public service through her job as an assistant Attorney General,” Fax said. “[Estep] also is dedicated to the mission of YLS as evidenced by her coordination of our community service projects and her enthusiasm in doing so.” 

The council also recognized outgoing members. The following outgoing members attended the meeting in person and posed for photos with the chair:  Immediate Past Chair Chris Dandurand of Kansas City, Rep. Anthony Ealy of Grandview, Adam Ford of St. Louis, Amy Jackson of Kansas City, Bobby Thrasher of Kansas City, and Syd Tippie of Springfield. 

View photos of this year’s YLS award winners at the top of the page and read more about The Missouri Bar’s awards here