Below you can view and read my interview with ParkBench.com (Babylon Village)
If you have seen any movies portraying the frustration and cost of divorce, Collaborative Attorney Concetta Spirio explains that there is a Wholistic approach.
Describe your business.
I am an attorney who has been practicing for over 37 years. I am trained and experienced in alternate dispute resolution through Mediation and Collaborative processes. I am dedicated to helping families resolve conflict or the dissolution of a primary relationship without going to court, including the LGBTQ community. I am also skilled and experienced in other areas of law, including real estate, will trusts and estates, family law, including LGBTQ families, as well as having been experienced and continue when necessary to represent clients in litigation.
Where are you originally from?
I was born and raised on Long Island and Long Island has been my home for my entire life.
What made you decide to open this business?
I have always been an advocate from when I was a young child and had to express myself in oral debate or conversation. My preliminary college education was in Education and Athletic Training and then Social Work and then ultimately the Law. I was motivated to practice law from my innate feeling of seeking justice in wanting to help people on an emotional as well as practical manner.
How did you get started?
I worked for several years in other law firms and then decided to make my own mark in my own practice which enabled me to run my law firm and my office in my own way.
Why did you choose this profession?
I have moved toward and have embraced alternative dispute resolution because I recognize the value, not only legally and financially but the importance of emotion health of my clients and their families. As a young adult, I witnessed a very close family member go through a vicious divorce. That has inspired me to find a better path for people going through such horrible circumstances.
What drives you to do what you do? What motivates you?
My passion for helping people and educating them about the alternatives available to them and being a part of a process that is so beneficial to my clients. What motivates me is being able to help people and the feeling of accomplishing good and what’s in my client’s best interest as well as witnessing their transformation through a difficult time that ends in a positive result.
What has surprised you most when owning a business?
The ultimate demands and stresses upon my time and efforts to not only do what I love to do but also have to deal with the business side of that and keeping the business going. I also take great pride in running an office the way I like it to be run so that I believe it is a good environment for me and my employees. I also recognizing that I have created a place for them to have a job and a way of supporting their families.
What was it like when you first started?
When I first started it was scary in the newness of learning how to be a lawyer in practicality as opposed to what you learned in law school. When I started my own firm, the scariness of having to be responsible for your own paycheck as well as keeping your firm and your staff alive and well.
What is something most people don't know about the business?
That there is compassion and I am passionate about what I do and who I help and that people are just not numbers or dollar signs to my business. I get emotionally vested in the wellbeing of my clients. I try to have an office that supports my clients in any way possible.
What would your customers say they love most about your business?
That they have an opportunity to actually be heard and listened to their stories by someone who cares. To become personally involved in my clients’ personal social events, whether it be to attend their performance in a band or be invited into their personal world as a friend. I have been fortunate that over the years many clients have actually become true friends
How do you motivate and encourage your staff?
I have a small private office that is very much like a family and we try to support each other on a personal level as well as business level. I also have a shared office space and my suitemate, and her staff also have become like family.
What are your goals over the next year?
To grow my business and especially develop more speaking engagements and more exposure to educate the public about alternative dispute resolutions and collaborative law and to build my other business with Pampered Chef.
What are your greatest challenges?
In an economy where people are struggling, cash flow and working with my clients and their financial needs, while keeping my office financially sound and running. I tend to care so much that I give too much of my time without payment.
How long have you lived in the neighborhood?
I have lived on Long Island all my life and I have lived in the Suffolk County Islip area for almost 20 years. We wanted to be in Suffolk County. We fell in love with the neighborhood where we found our home. Because my spouse worked many evenings, I wanted an extensive home office, and have an outside office that was close to my home.
What were the factors that made you choose this neighborhood?
I am a Long Islander at heart. I love being on the South Shore, having access to parks and beaches and living in a lovely residential neighborhood.
What are your favorite restaurants in the neighborhood?
I have a passion for good food, and I have a lot of favorite restaurants. I often don't just limit myself to the immediate neighborhood. There is a lovely takeout in Bayshore, "Mediterranean Express". There are also several lovely restaurants that I enjoy. There is Tellers in Islip that is excellent as well as H20.
What do you want to see improve the most in this neighborhood?
In general, for small businesses to flourish and each town have a vibrant main street.
What is something most people don't know about you?
That I have always had a passion and a love for horses. I love to play golf, although I have not been able to play in the last few years. Obviously, I have a passion for cooking and eating good food. I also enjoy travel but have not had the opportunity. My spouse and would like to go cross country when we retire in an RV. I can be found Gardening and am skilled at doing various own home repairs and projects.
Why do you think it's important for people to shop local?
I think it is important for us to support local businesses and to make our own individual towns thrive and make main street thrive, notwithstanding big business chains and online shopping.
What are some of the highest highs you've had in life so far?
Having an amazing partner and spouse in life that brings the lighter side of life to my world on a daily basis and is always there as a supporting influence. I’ve enjoyed different landmarks like graduating Law School, seeing my parents and family take pride and enjoy my accomplishments. Enjoying special times with my parents and members of my family. Knowing some career accomplishments that have made a difference for my clients. Having some amazing outcomes that were not expected or predicted because the law and court can be very unpredictable. Seeing clients thrive in the alternative methods of processing conflict resolution and being a part of that process that gets them and their family to a better place. Working in concert with certain colleagues that are dedicated to the same purposes as far as passion and doing good in the world and moving a good process forward for the world.
What are some of the lowest lows you've had in life so far? And what got you through it?
Losing my parents, watching my spouse lose her sister and living without her as a part of our lives, facing on a daily basis the critical illness of a close family member and watching that person’s parent lose their life, their planned retirement and their daily existence in the dedication for the care of their child and trying to manage the impossible nature of their circumstances.
What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had working with a customer?
I had the good fortune to have several and they boil down to being able to help and accomplish something very positive for the client. There are several outcomes that were against all odds and amazing victories in my view.
Where are your favorite places to go in the neighborhood?
I enjoy going to the parks and the beach. Going to a favorite restaurant and/or taking a walk in the neighborhood. Cooking, projects around the house, I’m very handy, do things in a construction type of manner.
What else do you do besides work?
Reading, watching a good movie, cook, house projects.
Anything exciting going on that customers should know about?
Reaching out to clients and customers, trying to contribute to anyone who needs assistance with respect to what is going on with the Corona virus. Education on things that they should have in place as far as being prepared to see a physician and/or having certain documents in place with respect to health care issues. With respect to my other business, constantly having Pampered Chef parties both live and online.
What is the best way for customers to contact you?
Via phone or email.
In addition, view the Website:
www.LICDP.com The Long Island Collaborative Divorce Professionals for Comprehensive Divorce Solutions. Helping Families Resolve Conflict Without Court
Who from your childhood had the biggest impact on you? And what did that person teach you?
My sister taught me so many things, not only to be kind and respectful to others and to help one another but to be a good and strong person and believe in yourself.
What’s one memory from your childhood that stands out to you?
I have so many good memories with all the travel that I did with my parents and even on my own at a young age. Going to Belgium to see my mother’s family for the first time at the age of 12 by myself. At a young age, recognizing and reconciling who I was with the negative terms and labels designated for the LGBT community and realizing the negativity surrounding it was not true and not a reflection of who I was.
What’s your current family situation?
Currently married. Although I have not had children myself, I have been very involved in the lives of my sibling’s children.
What does the future hold for you?
I am looking forward to a bright future in which I expand my connections and relationships and develop more than one business enterprise that can help people and also incorporate things that I love and enjoy.
If a young person asked you for advice on how to live their life, what would you tell them?
To be themselves and to follow their passions in what makes them happy.
When your life is over, how do you want to be remembered?
For the good person that I have been and for the support and friendships that I have given to others