From youth activities like FC Tucson Youth and the Engage Foundation, to keeping Tucson kind with Ben's Bells, and lots of things in between, we are proud to support some of the best organizations in Tucson.
Recent Community Recognition
Involved in the Community
Schmidt, Sethi & Akmajian and its attorneys emphasize the importance of playing a substantial role in the community. The firm proudly supports and donates to groups like JDRF , Ben's Bells, FC Tucson Youth, Emerge!, the Engage Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson, Angel Charity for Children, the Boy Scouts of America, the National Football Foundation, The University of Arizona and many more. The firm has also bought state championship rings for Palo Verde High School Football, Santa Rita High School Basketball and Sunnyside High School Softball. When the Marana High School football team had its silent auction items stolen out of a truck, the firm replaced them with more and better items.
Below is a sample of just some of our attorneys' individual commitments to the community.
The President of the Pima County Junior Soccer League, the FC Tucson Youth and Vice President of the Arizona Youth Soccer Association. In these capacities he has spearheaded the conversion of a rundown building at Brandi Fenton Memorial Park into a first class clubhouse for kids in the Tucson soccer program. The clubhouse, named in memory of his wife of 35 years—The Ann Kathryn Schmidt Kickin' It Clubhouse—is a finalist for a Common Ground award this year in light of its unique blend of government and private interests working towards a common goal. The result is a sanctuary for kids to recuperate after games, exercise, have team meetings and parties. Adult leagues, PCJSL and AYSA all hold meetings in the clubhouse and conduct mentoring and training sessions. The building also serves as offices for Tucson's largest youth soccer club—FC Tucson Youth.
Additionally Ted has led the charge in developing a new program entitled “Respect the Game” which is designed to eliminate spectator, player and coach abuse of referees, provide valuable and constructive feedback to referees and their mentors regarding their performance and recruit new folks to the ranks of officiating. The program has been unveiled this fall in partnership with Ben's Bells and FC Tucson Youth and has caught on like wild fire. Organizations across Southern Arizona are requesting information that will enable them to develop similar programs. Ted also handles all discipline and rule violations, protests and complaints in state league play. He hopes to spearhead the enactment of the “Respect the Game” program statewide in this capacity by next fall.
Ted is also the director of the Tara Nicole Schmidt “Have a Dream” Memorial Scholarship at the University of Arizona. This scholarship, established in memory of his daughter, provides $10,000 in financial assistance to an Arizona high school graduates who have demonstrated the academic excellence, community involvement and initiative worthy of such recognition. High school students from across the state submit detailed applications highlighted by an essay question that asks them what their son or daughter will say at their memorial service at the end of a long and productive life.
Ted is also an active member of the University of Arizona Law College Association where he currently leads the effort to establish the Tom Mauet Advocacy Center at the UA Law College. Ted was recently inducted into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, made up of the best 500 trial lawyers in North America. He serves on the Finance Committee of this elite organization.
In the past, Ted has also played substantial roles in the Boy Scouts of America as Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, District Commissioner, Council Commissioner, Legal Counsel and Board Member, Catalina Foothills Football as Booster Club President, and the National Football Foundation as President, where Ted played a substantial part in getting local college football legend Chuck Cecil into the College Hall of Fame.
President of the Board of Directors of Ben’s Bells, a Tucson based organization focused on the importance and power of intentional kindness. Ben's Bells is best known for its iconic “be kind” message that is found all around town and for its weekly Bellings, which recognize the kind acts of those in our community. 313 schools, most in Southern Arizona, are involved in Ben's Bells Kind Campus programs, which provide citizenship and kindness education to over 168,000 students. This program, which is beloved by students and teachers alike, is making a profound difference in how our children are interacting and working together.
Dev remains active in the Children's Museum Tucson and the Gootter Foundation, which works on Sudden Cardiac Death issues and recently donated its 100th AED unit to a local school. He is also on the Board of Advisors for Angel Charity for Children, which is now in its 32nd year of raising money for Southern Arizona children's charities. This year, Angel Charity will raise over $750,000 for Girls Scouts of Southern Arizona, El Groupo, and AVIVA Family Services.
Dev is also a member of the University of Arizona Law College Association Board of Directors, where he served as President from 2010-2012, and he is a member of the State Bar of Arizona's Civil Rules Committee, which proposes, reviews and analyzes the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure.
One of Tucson's 40 under 40 by the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Daily Star. This award recognizes 40 outstanding individuals under 40 years of age that have excelled in their professional careers and have made a meaningful impact in the Tucson community.
Matt is the President of the Engage Foundation, a nonprofit that teaches kids how to engage in life by providing new, free and safe opportunities to participate in activities that are challenging, inspiring and underrated.
Matt also serves on the Board of Directors for the Empower Coalition, a group of young professionals organized to improve lives in the greater Tucson community by empowering charitable organizations with resources necessary to carrying out their missions.
Matt has a well-earned reputation as the go-to lawyer in Southern Arizona for all things tech related. He has also started speaking to law students and lawyers about mindfulness in the stressful legal enviornment. He speaks at seminars on a regular basis and has a popular column in the Writ, the Pima County Bar Association's (PCBA) monthly magazine, educating lawyers how to maintain balance in the modern fast-paced world.
In 2011, Matt received second place honors in Arizona Attorney Magazine's Creative Arts Competition. Matt's heartbreaking and touching story, The Taker, explores the relationship between a son who can and would do anything for his mom, except what she forbids him to do.
In 2010, Matt was the recipient of the Andrew Silverman Law Student Community Service Award at the University of Arizona College of Law for his leadership on the Community Service Board, which planned and organized monthly community service activities for law students to participate in.