Jennifer Cona, a managing partner at Genser Dubow Genser & Cona (GDGC) in Melville, an elder law and estate planning firm, was recently honored with the Long Island Business News “Leadership in Law” Award.
This award recognizes individuals whose dedication to excellence and leadership, both in the legal profession and in the community, has had a positive and lasting impact on Long Island. Cona was selected by a committee of business leaders and was honored, along with nine other recipients in the Partner category, at a special gala dinner on Thursday, Nov. 29 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.
“I am honored to receive this award and to be a part of an elite group of attorneys who not only dedicate their time to superior advocacy on behalf of their clients but who engage in community and pro bono work to help our community members in need,” Cona said.
A leader and pioneer in her field, Ms. Cona founded the elder law and health care facility representation departments at GDGC 15 years ago, which has grown to include a staff of 30.
Ms. Cona’s work involves representing, counseling and assisting seniors and their families with a complex range of elder law and estate planning issues. Offering a holistic approach, Ms. Cona assists clients with planning for long-term health care needs as well as coordinating financial resources, ensuring seniors’ right to quality care.
Under Ms. Cona’s direction, the firm has expanded its health care facility representation practice to include over 60 skilled nursing facilities on Long Island and throughout the metropolitan New York area, making Ms. Cona’s firm one of the preeminent law firms in this practice area.
Ms. Cona is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards for her business acumen and commitment to the community. Ms. Cona was named one of the Top 50 Most Influential Women in Business by Long Island Business News. In 2011, Ms. Cona was honored by the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation (LIAF) for her works in the legal field and charitable contributions to the community. She has twice been featured in Long Island Business News’ Who’s Who in Women in Professional Services and was named by Long Island Business News as one of four attorneys in its Ones to Watchcolumn. Ms. Cona was named among Long Island Business News’ 40 Rising Stars Under 40 and was honored by Touro Law School with the Outstanding Pro Bono Attorney award for her legal services provided to a severely disabled woman.
In 2007, Ms. Cona launched GDGC Charitable Events, a not-for-profit organization committed to enhancing the quality of life for the elderly and the underprivileged. She spearheads various community outreach programs including the Senior Dreams Come True program which grants wishes to low income seniors, the Salute to Veterans program which provides educational programs and pro bono legal services to Veterans, and the GDGC Mother’s Day Blossoms event in which students from local elementary schools bring hundreds of corsages to women in nursing homes across Long Island on Mother’s Day.
Ms. Cona dedicates her time to raising money for charitable causes including the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation,Long Island’s Fight for Charity and GDGC’s Midnight Run relief mission to hand deliver food and warm clothes to New York City’s homeless.
Ms. Cona recently opened the Susan C. Snowe Caregiver Resource Center in the firm’s offices so seniors and their family have easy access to all types of information and materials covering nearly all issues faced by seniors and caregivers. Visitors to the Center can speak to an attorney one day a week at no charge.
In 2002, Ms. Cona founded, and she still chairs, the Advanced Elder Law Focus Group for attorneys to meet monthly to share ideas and discuss new laws and strategies in the rapidly changing field of elder law.
An advocate for women, the disabled and those with limited access to the legal system, Ms. Cona is a New York State Certified Guardian, Court Evaluator and Counsel to incapacitated persons. Initiating programs to help Veterans, her firm has handled over 200 applications for pension benefits on a pro bono basis. She is accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs for the preparation, presentation and prosecution of claims for Veterans benefits.
Serving on the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation’s (LIAF) Board of Trustees Executive Committee and Legal Advisory Board, Ms. Cona provides legal advice and direction on the issues facing those with Alzheimer’s. She also serves as General Counsel to Life’s WORC, an organization which serves individuals with developmental disabilities.
A dynamic speaker, Ms. Cona is a frequent lecturer on Elder Law, Estate Planning and Special Needs Planning, addressing both local and national professional organizations and community groups.
Ms. Cona has been featured in national and local media that include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Kiplinger’s Retirement Report, Newsday, Long Island Business News, New York Law Journal, CPA Wealth Provider, Nassau Lawyer and Suffolk Lawyer and many others. She has appeared as a legal expert on CNN, WNBC News, News 12 Television, News 55, Channel 21, WBLI Radio, WOR and WFAN.
Ms. Cona resides in Cold Spring Harbor with her husband Jack Genser, GDGC partner, and their two children, Sam and Carley.