Monthly Feature: Get to Know... Bernie Kennedy

August 1, 2018

One of the best ways to get to know Bernie Kennedy is to talk to the people who know him well.

“Bernie embodies the characteristics of a true leader. He doesn’t lead with power –he’s a leader that you want to follow because he does the work, and you want to help him as part of the team.” Richard Grafer, Vice Chair of Family and Children’s Association

“Bernie Kennedy is a family man, an outstanding lawyer and businessman. What makes Bernie so incredibly special is his commitment to the quality of life for all people and the future of Long Island.” Nancy Engelhardt, Director, Energeia Partnership

Bernard Kennedy, the co-managing member of Bond’s Garden City office, came to Bond in 2014 by joining his firm, Kennedy & Gillen, with Bond. Bernie’s practice includes advising clients on various matters such as business transactions, contracts, real estate and litigation. He has a particular expertise in commercial leasing, particularly shopping center leasing, and represents landlords and tenants in leasing transactions throughout the metropolitan area. Bernie counts many independent supermarket operators throughout New York City as his clients, including King Kullen Grocery Co., Inc., to which Bernie has provided general counsel services for more than 20 years. King Kullen has more than 30 locations and five Wild By Nature locations on Long Island. Bernie has responsibility on a day-to-day basis for corporate transactions, real estate, leasing and litigation, as well as coordinating legal services in areas such as ERISA, intellectual property, risk management and employment matters.

In addition to King Kullen, representative clients include Hofstra University, Kimco Realty, Westbury Realty Ventures, Aurora Supermarket Group a privately owned full-service supermarket company with nine locations from the Carolinas to the Tri-state region), the Village of Williston Park and numerous other corporations and institutions, large and small. 

A lifelong Long Islander, Bernie freely gives of his time, expertise and other resources to the Long Island community. A longtime board member and executive committee member of Family and Children’s Association Board, Bernie began his tenure by personally attending all of the organization’s programs to meet staff to learn what they do and how he could support their work. He further endeared himself by visiting a youth homeless shelter the organization supports to cook a huge pancake breakfast for all of the kids and staff. Bernie treats everyone as valued, no matter their status, income, age or background. 

“Bernie is as modest as he is accomplished,” says Grafer. “What he brings to the table first and foremost is an incredibly caring, compassionate, and thoughtful person. He cares more about the causes that Family and Children’s Association supports than just about any trustee I’ve ever met.” 

He adds that Bernie was Board Chair at the very beginning of the time when public funding was getting tight and became a tremendous advocate for continuing all of Family and Children’s programs that had a social impact. 

Bernie has held various roles in civic and pro bono matters, including:

  • Trustee, Village of Williston Park
  • Board member, Family and Children’s Association, Board Chair and Executive and Governance committees member
  • Board member, Little Flower Family and Children’s Services and Executive Committee Member
  • Board Member, St. Joseph’s College
  • Board Member, South Nassau Communities Hospital
  • Chair, New York State Bar Association Committee on Volunteer Lawyers (provided pro bono legal services to residents of drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities)
  • New York State Trial Lawyers advocacy committee provided pro bono legal services to victims of the 9-11 disaster
  • Class of 2012 of Energeia
  • Board member, Point Lookout Civic Association