Lorie Burch and family
Best Family Attorney, Best Civil Attorney
“This is my THREE-peat!” Lorie Burch exclaimed of her third-straight Readers Voice Award win. “This really means the world to me because the whole reason I started my law practice was for the LGBTQ community, to ensure we had legal protections when it comes to hospital visitation, inheriting property we buy together and being able to take care of children we bring into this world.”
Burch was one of the first law firms to get certified as an LGBT Enterprise by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. “So,” she added, “I have dedicated my career to the protection of LGBTQ rights. An award like this means I am contributing to a cause that benefits us as a community.”
Burch said she feels her commitment to her clients combined with her responsiveness, ethics, education regarding the LGBTQ community and her volunteerism both within the LGBTQ community and beyond sets her apart as an attorney, demonstrating her authenticity and her dedication to not just her clients but also to the LGBTQ community and to making the world a better place.
“I often joke that if an organization has an L, a G, a B or a T in its title, I’ve either been on the board or been chair of the board! But even more significantly in my mind is that I took that confidence that I gained through the support of the LGBT community and was elected as the national president of the American Business Women’s Association, becoming their first openly gay president since the organization’s inception in 1949. I know for a fact that I have been able to change hearts and minds in the organization simply by being honest and authentic. As national president, I introduced and got passed the organization’s first fully inclusive non-discrimination policy.”
Burch was the Democratic nominee to represent her Collin County district in Congress in 2018, and while she didn’t win, she did get more votes than any other Democrat in the county.
“Visibility makes a huge impact, and it has a ripple effect. All that is to say that this isn’t just about being a lawyer or having a law practice,” Burch said. “My entire life is about being an advocate for those who feel unseen, unheard and unrepresented. I think that is what truly sets me apart.”
Best Insurance Agent [Tie]
M. Angel Irvin, Farmers Insurance
8:30-5 p.m., Mon.-Thu.; 8:30-4 p.m., Fri.
14651 Dallas Pkwy #110, Dallas, TX 75254
Alex Long, Allstate Insurance
9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Mon.-Fri.
4425 Plano Parkway, Ste. 1001, Carrollton
Best Real Estate Agent
Mikey Abrams of Texas PRIDE Realty
5717 Legacy Drive, #250, Plano
Best Accountant & Tax Preparation
Ron Allen, CPA
9 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon.-Fri.
2909 Cole Ave., #119
Best Civil & Family Attorney
7920 Belt Line Road, Ste. 700
Best Criminal Defense Attorney
Chad A. West
8 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon.-Thu.; 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Fri.
3606 S Tyler St, Dallas, TX 75224
Best Nail Salon & Best Mani-Pedi
Nailed | Nail Bar
10 a.m.-8 p.m., Mon.-Fri.; 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat.; noon-6 p.m. Sun.
3517 Oak Lawn Ave.
Best Hair Salon
3910 Cedar Springs Rd, Dallas, TX 75219
10 a.m.-7 p.m., Tue.-Fri.; 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat.
Best Massage Therapist [Tie]
Vigor Massage & Personal Training
7 a.m.-10 p.m., Mon.-Sat.
112 Swiss Ave
10 a.m.-6 p.m., Tue.-Fri.
9862 Plano Road, Ste. 300/302/304
Best Moving Company
9 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon.-Fri.; 9 a.m.-noon, Sat.
10610 Metric Drive #175
Best Photographer & Videographer
April Barnes Photography
8 a.m.-6 p.m., Mon.-Sat.
10325 Garland Road
Best Photographer & Videographer
April Barnes, April Barnes Photography
April Barnes has been taking photos since she was a kid. Following the advice of her her father, who worked as a professional photographer in the Plano area from about 1980 to 2000, she spent the first 20 years of her “grown up” life working at a “job with benefits.” Then about three years ago, she decided to follow her childhood dreams, trading in the job with benefits for a career in photography giving her more flexibility and more joy. Shortly after telling her father about her decision to follow in his footsteps, “We found out that he had cancer again. Before his passing, I gratefully got to deep dive with him in photography,” she said.
Barnes specializes in content creation for marketing/websites, portraiture, events and boudoir (as Big D Boudoir). When she isn’t working, she said, she enjoys spending time with her life partner, her four children (ages 9-21), two cats and one dog. Travelling in the Southwest with the flowers, sunshine and nature “feeds my soul,” she said, and she loves getting to photograph nature in the middle of Dallas with McShan Florist and Sandone Christmas trees.
“Photography means so much more to me than a career or profession,” Barnes said. “It’s my passion, therapy and connection to life.”