A Commitment to Community Service
Riley Stingley Brazas has a proud history of serving its community. The firm and all of its attorneys take seriously the responsibility to advise and aid civic and charitable organizations in Fulton and Callaway County. All of the members of the firm work to give back to the community, and that service to others is one of the qualities of Riley & Stingley that makes this firm unique.
The firm’s history goes back nearly 100 years when W.B. Whitlow began the practice of law in the city of Fulton. W.B. Whitlow served federal and local governments, represented central Missouri in the Missouri State Senate, and was well known throughout the state representing banks which were closed during the Great Depression. The Whitlow name is still seen throughout the town as the old Whitlow farm eventually became a subdivision and the Whitlow branch of Stinson Creek still runs through town.
In 1957, W.B. Whitlow’s son, Bill Whitlow, formed what would eventually be Whitlow & Riley and then Riley & Stingley. Bill Whitlow served as legal secretary for the Missouri governor, counselor for the City of Fulton, and prosecuting attorney. Bill Whitlow donated his time for charitable and civic service for nearly 30 years working as a member of the Board of Trustees of Westminster College, a founding member of the Missouri Cancer Commission, and was involved in many organizations, promoting the history of Missouri and, particularly Callaway County and Fulton.
In 1963, Charles W. Riley, joined Bill Whitlow to form the firm of Whitlow & Riley, after service in the Judge Advocate General’s Department of the United States Air Force. Charles Riley actively served in leadership positions within the legal field, as Chair of the Missouri Bar Property Law Committee, member of the Missouri Bar Board of Governors, and President of the Callaway County Bar for over 20 years. Charles Riley also was a founding director of Mid-Missouri Legal Aid-an organization devoted to legal representation of indigent persons-and served as its President for more than 10 years.
Within Fulton, Charles Riley served civic and charitable organizations for nearly 50 years. He was President of the Fulton School Board, President of the Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce, President of the Fulton Colleges Board of Associates, which was created to fund scholarships for local students to attend Westminster College and William Woods University. Charles Riley was also continuously involved in many aspects of the United Methodist Church, and served for 12 years as Trustee for the United Methodist Church for the State of Missouri. In 2005, Charles Riley was the founding President for the Foundation for the Advancement of the Fulton State Hospital, which continues to endeavor to provide opportunities for those receiving services and those working at the institution. Charles was and continues to be active in the Fulton Kiwanis Club.
Thomas M. Dunlap’s family also traces its history to the earliest days of Fulton and Callaway County. In fact, his ancestors gave the city the name of Fulton. Dunlap joined the firm in 1975 upon graduation from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. Dunlap was a founding member of the Fulton Area Development Corporation-the entity charged with economic development in Callaway County-and served for many years as its President. He has also served as President of the Fulton Colleges Board of Associates and as President of the Kingdom of Callaway Supper, where the heritage of our community is recognized annually. Dunlap was President of the Board of Jail Visitors, empowered by the 13th Judicial Circuit Court to inspect the conditions at the Callaway County Jail, and has also served as President of the Callaway County Bar Association. He was President of the Fulton Rotary Club and a member of the Westminster College Alumni Council.
Before joining the firm in 2006, Joe D. Holt, another descendant of the settlers of Callaway County, served as Representative for Callaway County in the state legislature from 1967 to 1982, including terms as the Majority Floor Leader of the Missouri House of Representatives. Holt served as President of the Callaway County Bar Association and as Judge of the Associate Circuit Court of Callaway County from 1988 to 2006. Holt served as President of SERVE, Inc., a charitable organization serving the needy in Callaway County by operating numerous programs including the Clothes Cupboard, the food pantry, and senior transportation services. Holt was also twice President of the Fulton Optimist Club, President of the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society, and the Kingdom Supper. Holt has demonstrated his commitment to the betterment of Fulton’s students by serving on the Board of Directors of the Fulton Public Schools Foundation, and has also received the Fulton Public Schools Volunteer Award.
Thomas K. Riley-son of Charles Riley-joined the firm in 1998 after serving as law clerk to the Missouri Supreme Court. Riley was elected to the Kingdom of Callaway Chamber of Commerce and served as its President. He later was selected to the Fulton Area Development Corporation and served as its President as well. Riley was a director of the YMCA of Callaway County and a member of the capital campaign committee that raised funds for the YMCA’s building in Fulton. Riley has also served as a director of the University Extension Council, director of the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society, President of the Callaway County Board of Jail Visitors, and President of the Fulton Colleges Board of Associates.
In 2011, Riley was a founding director of the Fulton Brick District Association, drafted the legal documents to form that entity, and has since worked as President of the Brick District to renovate and revitalize downtown Fulton. Riley’s work has included the creation of the downtown Farmer’s Market, festivals such as Morels & Microbrews, and creation of numerous other events helping the core historic and economic center of Fulton. In 2013 and 2014, Riley led the group forming the Art House-a new art gallery and learning center in downtown Fulton. In his newest endeavor, Riley has also led the group that is currently renovating the old theater in downtown Fulton, now named the Brick District Playhouse.
Jacquelyn Brazas, has continued this history of public service since joining the firm in 2012. Brazas is currently the President of the board of directors for the Callaway County United Way; is a member of the Fulton Rotary Club; and was a member of the board of directors for the Callaway Chamber of Commerce. Brazas is also active in her church, Callaway Christian Church.