Highly regarded trial lawyer with a passion for agriculture to be honored Sunday, October 1 at Luther Bank Center for the Arts
From raising a barn and establishing an educational endowment fund for kids in agriculture, to representing clients in large case commercial litigation involving issues of agricultural production and financing, Patrick W. Emery knows the true meaning of the words hard work, passion, and leadership. For his decades of dedication to the Sonoma County Fair’s Junior Livestock Auction and wise counsel as president of the Sonoma County Fair Foundation, the Sonoma County Harvest Fair is pleased to honor Pat Emery with this year’s Friend of Sonoma County Agriculture award.
As a young boy, Emery grew up on a farm in El Dorado County where he participated in 4-H and FFA. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a law degree from the University of California, Davis. Emery went on to become one of just a few practicing attorneys in Sonoma County that were inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers. He also developed one of the area’s top law firms – Abbey, Weitzenberg, Warren & Emery. Aside from offering a high level of expertise to each client, the firm is committed to contributing to Sonoma County by donating legal services, engaging on the board of several organizations and contributing to the community financially. Emery finds that the most rewarding part of his professional career is developing creative approaches to difficult cases which continue to engage his interest.
An esteemed trial lawyer in Sonoma County for the past 43 years, Emery said “Being a trial lawyer is very hard work, involving significant levels of stress. Training yourself not to be deterred by those factors is a career-long challenge.”
Emery was appointed to the Sonoma County Fair board of directors in 1989 and served until 1997. During his year as Fair Board President (1992– 1993), Emery used his leadership skills to guide the Fair through complex issues and created a legacy of community service. In addition to his commitment to the Fair, Emery held the presidency of the Sonoma County Bar Association and The Volunteer Center of Sonoma County. He also held the position of Chairman of the Sonoma County Civil Service Commission. As an honorary Fair Director, he plays an active role in the fair’s junior livestock auctions, serves as an announcer at the auctions and is an avid supporter of the county’s 4-H and FFA programs. Emery is also a current member of the Sonoma County Harvest Fair Board of Directors.
In 2011, Emery donated his legal expertise to help establish the Sonoma County Fair Foundation which at the time was led by Saralee McClelland Kunde. It was Saralee’s mission to fund an ag education center in the heart of the Fairgrounds. She passed in January of 2014 and a group of dedicated agriculture supporters continued her mission by raising over three million dollars to complete Saralee and Richard’s Barn. The Fair Foundation serves as the community’s dominant financial partner in support of promoting and enhancing the Sonoma County Fair, as well as fostering improvements at the fairgrounds. Pat Emery, as the President of the Fair Foundation, was one of the driving forces behind seeing the project through. He dedicated several years towards the design and construction of the Barn itself, as well as promoting fundraising efforts and inspiring others to do the same.
Pat Emery is the proud father of four “good kids” and six “intellectually superior” grandchildren.
“I am very pleased to receive this award,” said Pat Emery. “I believe in the positive economic and cultural impacts of a diverse and vibrant agricultural community.”
The Sonoma County Harvest Fair is proud to recognize Patrick W. Emery as this year’s Friend of Sonoma County Agriculture. Emery will be honored during the Harvest Fair Annual Awards Night to be held October 1 at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. Limited tickets are available at HarvestFair.org and the Harvest Fair Box Office located at 1350 Bennett Valley Road in Santa Rosa.
The 2017 Sonoma County Harvest Fair is October 6-8 at the Sonoma County Event Center at the Fairgrounds. For information or to purchase tickets, visit HarvestFair.org or call (707) 545-4200 or find “Sonoma County Harvest Fair” on Facebook.