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Mountain States Spotlight with ADL Board Member David Seserman

  • January 6, 2017


Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Regional Board Member David Seserman talks about his passion for the law, family, ADL and – of course – the Denver Broncos.

How did you first become involved in the Anti-Defamation League? How are you involved now?

Prior to joining ADL, I spent over two decades on the executive board of the Rocky Mountain Region of American Jewish Committee (AJC).  After the national office closed the regional AJC office in Denver, I was approached by several ADL leaders and asked to consider becoming involved with ADL.  I have always respected and appreciated ADL’s mission.  Locally, I was particularly drawn by the professional and lay leadership.  I joined the regional board in 2015. I currently co-chair the Summer Associate Research Program (SARP) and look forward to doing so again next year.

What do you do in your professional life?

Professionally, I am a trial attorney with Brosseau Bartlett Seserman, LLC – a six attorney litigation boutique firm located in Greenwood Village.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

As a kid, I always thought that I would go into business and become a manager.  My first job after undergrad was in sales and, later, sales management.  After working in that field for several years, I decided to attend law school and pursue a legal career.  With a background in business and finance, I was sure I would become a business lawyer.  However, I thought that trial work would be challenging and something I should do before becoming a corporate attorney.  30 years later, I’m still a trial lawyer.  As I like to tell people, I have never gotten away from sales – my target audience is now a judge or jury.

Where were you born? From where do your ancestors hail?

I was born in Norwalk, Connecticut.  My parents moved our family to Colorado when I was 9.  My ancestors hail primarily from Russia, Poland and Hungary.

What’s your favorite holiday?

Pesach.  Growing up, my immediate family lived in Colorado, but all of our cousins and grandparents lived on the east coast.  Since my mother kept a kosher home, Pesach was the holiday where our grandparents, who also kept kosher, would come to visit.  To this day, Pesach is special and a time to be with family.  Rosh Hashanah is my second favorite holiday.  As with Pesach, Rosh Hashanah is a time to gather with family and a few close friends to celebrate the start of a new year.

What’s your favorite food?

Ice cream is my vice of choice.

What are you reading?

Fixing My Gaze:  A Scientist’s Journey Into Seeing in Three Dimensions by Susan R. Barry.

What’s a special place you have visited?

I don’t know if I would call it special, but one of the most unique and meaningful places I have visited was Auschwitz.  I was on a mission to Poland with AJC.  Coincidentally, when we arrived at Auschwitz, Elie Wiesel was there giving a lecture that we were fortunate enough to be invited to attend.  The combined experience of Auschwitz and Mr. Wiesel was surreal and powerful.

What’s one thing every person should know or experience?

Travel.  Travelling has many benefits.  Travel is educational and relaxing, and it exposes you to different points of view and value systems.  I find that travel helps me appreciate the freedom and rights we have in the USA.

What teacher or class stands out to you the most in your education and why?

Mrs. Braun, my 4th grade teacher in Lakewood.  Mrs. Braun pulled me out of the standard class curriculum and engaged me in independent study.  She challenged me to explore my interests, to seek challenges and to achieve academic success.

What are you passionate about personally? What can’t you stop talking about?

The Denver Broncos.  We have had season tickets since 1968.  When my father first moved to Denver, he started a grass roots organization (The DOERs) that raised $5M and allowed Denver to keep the Broncos from moving.  Bronco games with my family members are a focal point of every fall.  We’re third generation Bronco fans.

Where can we find you when you’re not working?

Either participating in a community event or at home with my wife, Rose, and our dogs.

What would be impossible for you to give up?

Exercising.  Regardless of whether I find myself working out in our basement or a fitness club, cycling or skiing in the mountains, I try to get in some exercise every day.  I find that exercising helps keep me not only physically fit, but mentally focused and balanced.  Exercise is my favorite way to deal with stress.

If you had to teach something, what would you teach?

Negotiation Skills.  Negotiation involves a myriad of skills: listening, analysis, quick wit, quick thinking, presentation skills, etc.  There is no one best way to approach a negotiation.  Each participant brings his or her particular skill set to each negotiation.   Teaching negotiation skills and helping students find their most effect negotiation styles would be rewarding.

Tell me a story that immediately pops into your mind that was a defining or significant moment for you.

My father died unexpectedly at the age of 55 during spring break of my first year in law school.  As a result of his death, I prioritized my life.  Family comes first and foremost.  I also learned the importance of maintaining balance and keeping things in perspective.  I do my best to remain calm when I find myself in emotionally charged situations that, if I wait a day to address, can be dealt with objectively and calmly a day later.

Why do you choose to make a financial investment in ADL?

Rose and I support the work of ADL.  We understand that ADL cannot rely on support from foundations alone and that contributions from individuals are vital to the long-term success of ADL.

If you are a legacy donor, why have you chosen to invest in ADL in this way?

Planned giving is my favorite method of giving.  Planned giving requires an organization to steward its relationship with legacy donors.  Planned giving is also an effective way for one generation of a family to share its values with other generations.

Complete this sentence: For me, the ADL is …

… vital.   The world is full of challenges and ADL plays a significant and relevant role working to establish and maintain freedoms throughout the world.