Managing Partner, Law Offices of Slesnick & Casey, LLP
Don Slesnick has been in private practice as a labor and employment lawyer since 1976, representing public sector employee organizations. He served as Mayor of Coral Gables for 10 years, from 2001 to 2011, and was President of the Florida League of Mayors for 2009-2010. For the past six years he has been the Honorary Consul of Australia for Florida. A Vietnam veteran and former U.S. Army advisor to NATO forces in Germany, Slesnick is an “Ambassador” for the Chief of the Army Reserve.
In November, Slesnick was inducted into the State of Florida’s Veterans Hall of Fame. He is just one of 100 veterans to have been inducted into the Hall, out of the estimated 1.5 million veterans living in the state. He is the only veteran from Miami-Dade County among last year’s class of 20 inductees, one of the largest. The award is given to veterans not only to honor their service, but also for the contributions made to their state after leaving the military. In the photo here, Slesnick is about to jump with the Golden Knights of the Army at Homestead Airforce Base, which he fought to preserve.
What He Says
“To be recognized is a great honor. I am humbled. Obviously, this is a state where there are a lot of people deserving of this recognition,” said Slesnick, who went to Vietnam in 1971. He served as a military advisor to the civilian police in Danang, helping set up police academies to train officers. “I also worked with the judges of Danang, since I was a law grad,” he said. “But I never got a purple heart or the Medal of Honor.” The worst trouble he got into in Vietnam was when he appeared on the CBS News with Walter Cronkite, telling a reporter that “we are trying to buy our way out of Vietnam.”