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Volunteer Award Winner:
Boyd Chapin

Speakers Bureau - April 2008

Detroit native Boyd Chapin remembers visiting the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) with his mother when he was a child. "I have always gravitated to the Wedding Dance by Pieter Bruegel the Elder," said Chapin, now a volunteer for the museum. "(Bruegel) is generally considered the greatest Flemish painter of the 16th century."

Chapin is an artist, but because of an auto accident in 2002, he had to give up his aspirations for advancement in the craft. But he is now a personal injury defense attorney, a senior partner and senior trial attorney with the law firm of Garan, Lucow, Miller, P.C. He represents doctors and hospitals in medical malpractice cases. He also lectures to medical groups and writes risk management articles on medical and legal issues for medical societies and insurance companies.

Chapin began volunteering at the DIA about five years ago. He is currently a member of the Speakers Bureau and editor of the group's monthly newsletter, the SpeakEasy. He recently began delivering the SpeakEasy by e-mail, in full color.

One of Chapin's favorite Speakers Bureau memories happened after a talk at an assisted living facility. "I always introduce myself by saying that I am an attorney and an artist," he said. "After the talk a woman came up to me and said that since the left brain handles cognitive analysis and the right brain handles artistic endeavors, I was the first attorney she ever met who was in his complete mind."

When the prior editor of the SpeakEasy could not continue because of illness, Speakers Bureau chairman Kay Duncan asked for a volunteer.

"Nobody volunteered," Chapin said. "So I agreed to do it until she or her successor found someone. I’m still waiting."

Chapin has two adult children and two grandchildren.

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