A deep commitment to community service and a company culture emphasizing the motto “We make a difference” helped earn Blalock Walters, P.A., recognition as the 2017 Manatee Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year for businesses with more than $1 million of annual revenue.
Blalock Walters attorneys give of their time as chairs, presidents and board members of many charitable and civic organizations in the Bradenton-Sarasota area. The list is long, but a sampling includes Meals on Wheels Plus, the United Way, the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation, Asolo Repertory Theatre, New College of Florida, South Florida Museum and the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.
Several Blalock Walters attorneys have chaired the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, which made the company ineligible for the small business of the year award for many years to avoid an appearance of favoritism or conflict of interest.
The focus at Blalock Walters, 802 11th St. W., is on business law, including banking, litigation, estate planning, health care, land use, local government, probate and real estate.
Blaock Walters has been around for more than 90 years and is one of the largest law firms in the Bradenton-Sarasota area with a staff of 49, including 24 attorneys.
The emphasis is on offering the proper talent and skill to deliver results for clients, rather than being the region’s largest firm.
We all play a role in making our community what it is.
Jonathan Fleece, managing partner, Blalock Walters, P.A.
Jonathan Fleece, managing partner for the past three years, said the company’s philosophy is encapsulated in its six pillars of success: inspired leadership, smart growth, investing in the future, focus on business, making a difference, and finally, “no jerks.”
The last pillar tells a lot about the type of person the company looks for while recruiting.
Robert Blalock, principal of Blalock Walters, has quietly set the tone for the firm for years.
Earlier this year he was named the 2017 Manatee County Distinguished Citizen during the kickoff of the Manatee County Fair. A few months later he was named the 2017 Distinguished Citizen of the Year by the Southwest Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
“We have a really diverse culture consistent with our tag line, ‘We make a difference,’ ” Fleece said.
“We all play a role in making our community what it is. We celebrate doing more individually to make a difference in the lives of others,” Fleece said.
The Great Recession is a defining moment in the lives of businesses and families.
“In order to meet the needs of our clients during recent hard times, the firm resisted ‘pulling back’ and stopping growth,” Blalock Walters said in its application. “In fact, the firm added services to our practice – employment law, tax law, education law and land use and government law – and we added additional employees and attorneys.”
For more information about Blalock Walters, call 941-748-0100 or visit blalockwalters.com.