February 2022 Member Spotlight – Geena Kandel

Geena Kandel was born and raised locally here in Naples, although she has travelled extensively for her education, including high school in New Hampshire, her undergraduate education at Washington University in St. Louis, and law school at the University of Miami where she received her Juris Doctor and Master of Laws in Estate Planning. She is an Associate Attorney at Roetzel & Andress where she specializes in Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Administration, and Guardianship. In addition to her participation with Young Professionals of Naples, Geena is active in multiple legal associations and other professional groups, including the Collier County Bar Association, the Young Jewish Professionals of Greater Naples, and she was part of the Associate Leadership Collier Class of 2021. Outside of her professional life, Geena is very involved with serving STARability Foundation, and she also loves spending time with her Golden Retriever named Bari.

YP: Did you grow up in Southwest Florida?

GK: I was born and raised right here in Naples, Florida! I was in the Northeast for high school (Phillips Exeter Academy) and the Midwest for my undergraduate education (WashU in St. Louis), but I made my way back to sunny Florida for law school (University of Miami), where I received my JD and an LLM in Estate Planning. I love being back home in Naples!

YP: How long have you been practicing law?

GK: I have been practicing law for over two years. I am an Associate Attorney at the law firm of Roetzel & Andress, where I specialize in Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Administration, Guardianship. I tell my clients that in Estate Planning we deal with “death, taxes, and family dynamics” – so I attempt to turn the complicated legal language into understandable plain English and provide my clients with peace of mind! 

YP: What steps have you taken over the past couple of years to integrate yourself into the legal community here in Naples?

GK: I am involved with the Collier County Bar Association (CCBA), including the Trusts & Estates Section and the Young Lawyers Section. I am also active in the Collier County Women’s Bar Association and the Florida Association of Women Lawyers (FAWL).

YP: In addition to to law, what other associations have you made as part of integrating yourself into the Naples community of young professionals?

GK: Outside of the legal world, I was a member of the Associate Leadership Collier (formerly known as GAIN) Class of 2021, Young Professionals of Naples, and the Young Jewish Professionals of Greater Naples.

YP: Have you been involved with any local non-profit organizations?

GK: My family is involved with the STARability Foundation here in town – my sister, Hannah, is a participant there as well as an employee. The work that STARability does – providing social, vocational and educational resources and services for individuals with special needs is so important. I have loved getting to know the fantastic staff and participants.

YP: You’re also a dog person and are passionate about service dogs. Tell us a little bit about that.

GK: Another great organization close to my heart is Golden PAWS Assistance Dogs. I have nearly two-year-old Golden Retriever named Bari and while he is not a service or therapy dog (WAY too much puppy energy still!), it is truly amazing to see the work that the Golden PAWS dogs do in our community.

YP: Who do you see as role models in your life?

GK: My entire family. I am the youngest of three children – I have an older brother, Max, and an older sister, Hannah. I have the most wonderful siblings and parents, who have all been incredible role models for me.

YP: Is there anything else you would like to share or reach out to the YP community about?

GK: I am a new member of the Peloton community (just recently surpassed 150 classes)! Any recommendations on favorite instructors? Lastly, I love getting to know other young professionals here in Naples. Please feel free to reach out and introduce yourself!