Finish Lines: Michael Bleier

Retired attorney Michael Bleirer trekking in Mt Lebanon’s Bird Park.

Michael Bleier, 75, has been retired for two years from Reed Smith’s banking law practice.  He joined the firm after 25 years at Mellon Financial Corporation, the last 14 as general counsel, He was intimately involved in the bank’s expansion, its transformation into a global asset manager and its acquisition of Dreyfuss Corporation. The Lynn Haven Drive resident has no patience with anyone who is “bored” in retirement.  Here’s why:

What do you do to stay healthy and active? In October, I participated in The Trek, a five-day 40-mile charity walk in the Negev Desert, which encompasses about 55 percent of Israel’s land.  The challenging walk was for Norwood, a U.K. charity that helps children and young adults with disabilities. To prepare, in addition to my daily 2 1/4-mile walk on my home treadmill, I walked twice a week around the neighborhood for five weeks with my three-liter camel pack, wearing my boots, poles and hat. I must have looked funny in the hot weather we had. To date, I have raised over $8,000 for Norwood. I will do a photo diary of the Trek for each of my sponsors. I also participate in a Sunday bowling league, and practice at least once a week.  The last time I bowled much was many years ago. One of my first dates with my wife, Carol, was going bowling. Carol actually beat me with a 130.  Since then, she has never broken 100. She says she tried real hard and the Fates were with her.

What new activities have you found time for? I am learning to play the piano. Tom Roberts, a Duquesne University music graduate and jazz musician, is my teacher.  I really enjoy it, even though so far, I am not very good at it. And there is always time for my grandchildren in Pittsburgh, Bethesda, Maryland, and Boston. I enjoy traveling to their hockey, track, soccer, basketball and baseball games and I look forward to their holiday visits to Pittsburgh. It’s great fun being a grandpa and hopefully helping our grandkids (two granddaughters and six grandsons) make wise life decisions.

Read Michael Bleier’s blog about The Trek at