Monthly Feature: Get to Know... Kevin V. Recchia
August 1, 2022
Kevin Recchia knows all about the vicissitudes of life in Upstate New York. He grew up the oldest of 12 children in the tiny hamlet of Blodgett Mills (in Cortland County), then attended college in Brockport and Binghamton. It wasn’t until he was a law student in Michigan that he first sampled life in a warm-weather climate. He worked as a summer associate at two law firms in Southern California. But when summer ended, Kevin decided to return home.
“I felt loyalty to Upstate New York in a way,” he says. “I guess I wanted to be closer to my family.”
A law school buddy working in Los Angeles was flabbergasted when he heard Kevin accepted an offer from a law firm in Rochester, where an average of 100 inches of snow falls each year.
“He said, ‘Why didn’t you talk to me before you ruined your life?’ Kevin recalls with a chuckle.
When the next opportunity to live and work in year-round sunshine came up, Kevin didn’t hesitate. After 58 years in Upstate New York (32 of them practicing law), he decided to transfer from Bond’s Rochester office (where he’d been since 2010) to the firm’s location in Naples, in southwest Florida. Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, Naples is known for its white-sand beaches, 90 golf courses and vibrant arts scene. The average high temperature is 84 degrees.
“I just thought it was time for a change, and Naples is crazy beautiful,” he says.
Even after Kevin made the move south, he was able to continue serving several New York-based clients, including Avangrid (the parent company of New York State Electric & Gas and Rochester Gas and Electric) and MCA Group LLC/Techniplex Management, a real estate developer in Monroe County, as well as several national clients, including AbbVie, one of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, and TEGNA, one of the largest and most geographically diverse broadcasters in the United States.
“If the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that you can work from anywhere,” he says.
Bill Mendick, managing member of MCA/Techniplex, says he enjoys working with Kevin because he “uses language we can understand and never makes us feel foolish. He gets to the point without wasting time. He’s great!”
Kevin concentrates his practice in commercial real estate – a booming industry in Naples.
In college, he studied economics – a subject he says came naturally to him. Law, on the other hand, required him to buckle down.
“I seriously considered getting a PhD in economics, but then I thought, ‘Do you really want to be an academic your whole life?’” he recalls.
Law was in the back of his mind as an option.
“I like to read and analyze,” he says. “Unlike economics, which just seems like common sense to me, mastering the law required more. But it does involve a lot of analyzing and reading, and those I could do.”
His sharp sense of humor – bordering at times on sarcasm – proved to be useful arrows in his quiver.
“I can be pretty sarcastic,” he says. “I find that my sense of humor can be helpful in negotiating. I can get people to laugh. And I can get myself to laugh, which is everything. It helps you build trust. So does being dedicated to not letting people down.”
Kevin has two grown daughters back in the Northeast: Allie, 28, who is studying for her doctorate in psychology in Connecticut, and Nicolette, 24, a research coordinator at the Nathan Kline Institute, a brain research center in Rockland County. Nicolette plans to go to graduate school to study neuroscience.
Unlike many of his fellow New York transplants, Kevin doesn’t spend much time on the golf course. Instead, he likes to kayak in the Gulf waters off Marco Island and on the Imperial River in nearby Bonita Springs.
“The wildlife down here is incredible – birds, alligators, manatees, ducks. It’s very peaceful.”
And if he’s ever homesick, he can always head for Buffalo Chips, a Bills Mafia bar in Bonita Springs.