ANDREW K. WARD, ESQ.
Drew began The Ward Law Firm in 2006, after gaining several years of experience as an estate planning attorney with other area firms. Drew has focused his own practice exclusively on Estate and Medicaid Planning for the last several years. Our practice is client based, so Drew meets with all clients directly and he personally handles the Estate and Trust plans from the first meeting through to completion. In February 2017, Drew partnered with Michael A. Arcuri to form the Ward Arcuri Law Firm with the purpose of diversifying the services we have always offered to be able to serve the more varied legal needs of our clients. Drew is a current Executive Board Member for the SUNY Poly Foundation Board and he is the current President of the Board at Upstate Cerebral Palsy. He has also served as President of the New Hartford Central School Board, and has volunteered as a board member on several local charities, including the Sunset Neighborhood Center and the ARC Guardianship Committee. Drew has participated in the Ride for Missing Children for over 16 years. Drew is a graduate of Union College and Dayton School of Law. He resides in New Hartford with his wife, Jennifer, and their two sons and daughter, Sam, Eli and Annie. The Ward Family is a proud sponsor of the Red Fox and the Bactrian Camel exhibits at the Utica Zoo, and has been a past sponsor of the Wallaby exhibit. In his spare time, Drew enjoys attending his children’s activities, traveling and biking.
MICHAEL A. ARCURI, ESQ.
Michael has over 20 years of experience practicing law in the Central New York area. Just prior to partnering with Drew Ward, Michael focused his own practice on Real Estate, Labor and Employment, and Business Law for the last several years. Michael meets with all clients in these law areas directly, and personally will handle all real estate, business startups, business contracts, labor and employment law matters from the first meeting through to completion. Michael is very involved in the community and currently serves as an Administrative Law Judge and as a member of the board for the New York State Industrial Board of Appeals, the Kelberman Center and the Utica Schools of Excellence Foundation. Michael also serves as adjunct instructor at Utica College, is the plan administer for the Oneida County Assigned Counsel Program, and was a founding member of the Cannae Policy Group. After earning his Bachelor of Arts in History at the University at Albany and later receiving his Juris Doctor certification at New York Law School, Michael began his career as an Attorney at Law practicing in Utica, NY from 1985 to 1993. As Michael’s career progressed, he became District Attorney for Oneida County from 1994 to 2006. Michael then pursued a career in politics, for which he is most well-known in the Central New York area, serving as a member of Congress with the United States House of Representatives in Washington D.C. from 2007-2011. Following his term in public office, he worked as an attorney in both the Syracuse, NY and Utica, NY areas. Michael Arcuri has been proud to serve the citizens here in Central New York for the entirety of his career in law and looks forward to continuing to do so under his new partnership with Drew Ward at the Ward Arcuri Law Firm. He currently resides in New Hartford, NY with his wife, Sabrina. He has four children; Carmen Joseph, Dominique, Nicholas and Sophia Rose.
SANDRA KARAS, ESQ.
Sandra Karas is an attorney and tax accountant with a background in the arts, theatre, music, and education. She lectures regularly on tax, estate planning, debt management, budget and finances to myriad professional, labor and arts organizations. Her philosophy and approach to her practice is to empower each client with the tools needed to navigate the unpredictable seas of his/her own financial and professional life. With information comes understanding and the confidence to set attainable goals and manage the vagaries of life. Sandra treats each client with the utmost of respect and values a mutually beneficial relationship. She is proud of the many long-term associations she has cultivated and always welcomes a new member to the practice. An avid volunteer, she also serves on the governing boards of 2 performing arts unions: Actors’ Equity Association as its Secretary-Treasurer and SAG-AFTRA as a New York Local Board Member. Among other duties, she is Director of VITA, an all-volunteer, pro bono tax assistance program. Sandra earned her BFA from Ithaca College, her MA from Schiller International University in Berlin, Germany, her MFA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her JD from Syracuse University College of Law. She is admitted in all New York State Courts, Federal District Court, United States Tax Court and the United States Supreme Court. Sandra is married to Andrew Karas and they have two children: Christina, an Environmental Scientist who lives in New Hampshire and Alexander, a Mechanical Engineer who lives in New York.
ROBERT J. MALPEZZI
Robert J. Malpezzi is the Director of Medicaid Planning at the firm. Robert joined the Ward Law Firm in 2011, bringing his unsurpassed and hands-on experience as an integral part of our team. Robert served as the Director of the Medicaid Recovery Unit for the County of Oneida for over 16 years. Robert also served as a member of the Elder Abuse Coalition for several years, and served on that Board. He also coached in the North Utica Little League for eight years. He resides in Barneveld with his wife, Jennifer, and their four children, Olivia, Giovanni, Talia and Dylan. In his spare time, Robert enjoys preparing food for his family and friends, fishing, golfing, working in his yard, and watching the Cubs play baseball. He is also an avid hockey fan, particularly of the Boston Bruins.
Barb has worked as Drew’s executive assistant and client coordinator for 10 years, starting the first day Drew opened his own practice. Prior to working with Drew, Barb worked in the corporate offices of Delmonico’s Restaurant. Barb served as a member of the Whitesboro School Board for several years and the New Hartford Perry Junior High School PTA for three years. She has also been an active volunteer in the various sports her children have played. Barb’s interests include working in her yard, sports, dancing, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends. Barb resides in Sauquoit with her husband, Todd, and their children.
Nathalie has been with the firm since 2008. She stayed home for several years with her small children. Prior to that, she lived in Boston and was a Senior Account Executive for the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s insurance program for over 13 years. Nathalie is a 1990 graduate of St. Lawrence University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and a minor in Spanish. She has also completed several years of insurance education. Nathalie has served the PTA of various schools. She is also actively involved in her children’s sports and extra-curricular activities as a volunteer. Nathalie lives in New Hartford with her husband Steve and their three children Andrew, Matthew and Kathryn. She also has a beloved yellow Labrador, Molly. In her spare time, Nathalie enjoys cooking, running, reading and being outdoors.
Kay has worked in our firm for the last three years. Previous to this, Kay was the assistant to Richard Enders at what is now our Clinton office for over 25 years. Kay lives in Waterville with her husband, Curt. She has six grown children and her 27 grandchildren 10 great grandchildren keep her busy almost all the time. She enjoys baking, bowling, gardening, and reading.
SHANNON L. BRIDGE
Shannon works with Robert J. Malpezzi as Assistant to the Director of Medicaid Planning, and has been with our firm since August, 2016. Prior to coming to Ward Arcuri, Shannon gained several years of experience working in Medicaid Planning for a local firm. Shannon also worked at Covidien for over ten years and attended MVCC. Shannon lives with Nick, her husband of seven years. The two of them enjoy bowling in a league together each week. Shannon has two children, Lakota and Dawson and a beloved cat, Butters.
Jackie has been with our firm since 2012 and has 24 years of paralegal experience. She has over 19 years of Probate, Estate and Trust administration experience. Jackie holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from SUNY IT and holds an AAS Paralegal Studies Certification from Herkimer County Community College. Jackie has experience working with almost every county Surrogate’s Court in New York State. She is also a Notary Public for Oneida County. Jackie works out of her home office and handles all of the Estate Settlement, Probate and Trust Administration work for the firm. Jackie lives in Verona with her husband Jon and their four children, Justin, Ricky, Brooklyn and Luke. She enjoys cooking, spending time with her family, and reading.
Bette has been with our firm since 2016. She is a receptionist and administrative assistant in our New Hartford office. Prior to coming to the Firm, Bette spent 33 years working for a local dentist’s office. Bette lives in Sauquoit and has been married to her husband Tom for twenty-five years. She enjoys spending time with her daughter, son-in-law and her new grandson, Kian. Bette likes to walk and babysit her “grand-dog” Duke. She also attends her nephews’ sporting events in her spare time.
Shea joined Ward Arcuri in July, 2018 as a legal assistant. Shea assists in all areas of the firm, bringing her prior local paralegal experience to each department. She was born and raised in this area and enjoys being able to help the firm’s clients and work in a family oriented environment. Shea resides in Utica with her husband and two cats. She enjoys spending time with family, cooking, baking and working on projects at their new home.
KEVIN J. DWYER
Kevin joined the Ward Arcuri Law Firm in September, 2018. He is a graduate of St. John Fisher College and SUNY Buffalo Law School and is an adjunct professor at Utica College. Kevin previously worked in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office and has extensive experience in prosecuting white collar crime and felony offenses. He also worked with Citigroup as a compliance attorney focusing on insider trading. Kevin is from and lives in New Hartford with his wife, Alyssa and daughter Gwen.