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The Expanding Role of A General Counsel: Balancing Work, Life & Responsibilities

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 59 minutes
Recorded Date: October 26, 2020
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• Introduction
• The role of the GC in today's corporate world
• Beyond Legal - the ever expanding responsibilities
• Balancing Responsibilities
        - Work Life/Home Life
        - Team Management
• Impacts of the Pandemic
• Q & A

Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: October 26, 2020


Legal advice is the minimum that a General Counsel should provide to the business. They must also be able to provide advice on a whole range of scenarios and situations from commercial to operational and financial. In this session, we will explore the ever-expanding role of the General Counsel and how you can see these challenges as opportunities up the ladder.

This program was recorded as part of Corporate Counsel's Women, Influence, and Power in Law Virtual Conference held on October 26th, 2020.

Provided By

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Chasity Wilson Henry

Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary
CECO Environmental Corporation

Chasity Henry is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of CECO Environmental Corporation, a global leader in air quality and fluid handling serving the energy, industrial and other niche markets. CECO helps companies grow their business with safe, clean and more efficient solutions that help protect our shared environment. As a key member of CECO’s senior leadership team, Chasity leads the legal department and helps drive the formulation and execution of the company’s corporate strategy.

Prior to joining CECO, Chasity was an Assistant General Counsel at Kimberly-Clark Corporation in the company’s Dallas World Headquarters. She was the lead attorney globally for strategic transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and joint ventures. In addition, Chasity assisted with corporate governance and a number of strategic and operational initiatives.

Chasity is a 2006 graduate of The University of Texas School of Law. Upon graduation, she practiced in the M&A and Securities group at Vinson & Elkins in Dallas and then transitioned in-house to Vizient, Inc. and, subsequently, to Dr Pepper Snapple Group prior to joining Kimberly-Clark. Chasity is a zealous advocate for diversity and inclusion, particularly in the legal profession. To that end, Chasity is the founder and President of The NEW Roundtable, Inc., a nonprofit organization that drives the inclusion and advancement of African-American women attorneys through targeted relationship-building, professional development initiatives, and mentoring. The group is currently comprised of over 100 African-American women practicing in Dallas in-house, at law firms, in academia and in government. Chasity also serves on the Board of Directors of The Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program (DAPP) and helped launch the DAPP Direct job placement program in 2018. The program seeks to connect law firms and corporations with talented, client-ready women of color who have excelled during their first year of law school.

Chasity was awarded the 2019 Outstanding Corporate Counsel of the Year for Diversity by the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) DFW Chapter and Texas Lawbook. In 2018, Chasity was recognized as Corporate Counsel of the Year by the TMCP Committee at the Texas Minority Counsel Program, as a Rising Star by D CEO Magazine at the Women Leaders in the Law Breakfast Roundtable, and one of the National Bar Association's (NBA) "40 Under 40 Nation's Best Advocates." In 2017, The Texas Diversity Council named Chasity a Texas Top 50 Multicultural Lawyer and Dallas Top 50 Women Lawyer. She was named a Finalist for Outstanding Corporate Counsel of the Year for 2017 and Diversity of the Year for 2018 by the ACC DFW Chapter and Texas Lawbook. Chasity was recognized as the Outstanding In-House Counsel for 2016 by D Magazine and the ACC, and she was a finalist for the award in 2015.

Chasity is also deeply committed to non-profit board service. In addition to the DAPP and NEW Roundtable boards, Chasity serves on the Board of Directors for the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, Texas.

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Nora Dahlman

General Counsel
Sunlight Financial

Nora Dahlman is the General Counsel at Sunlight Financial, a point of sale consumer specialty finance/fintech company located in New York, NY and Charlotte, NC. Sunlight Financial is a high growth, PE portfolio company. In her capacity of General Counsel, Ms. Dahlman also serves on the Executive Team, is responsible for the Compliance Department and acts as the company’s corporate secretary.

Ms Dahlman also has responsibility over Human Resources and facilities management. Prior to joining Sunlight in 2017, Ms. Dahlman spent 9 years as an Assistant General Counsel at Wells Fargo heading up the legal team that supports the Wells Fargo structured finance businesses through-out the U.S.

Prior to that Ms. Dahlman served as the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of ACA Capital, a publicly held asset manager and financial guaranty insurance company. Ms. Dahlman received her B.A. from Gonzaga University and her law degree from Vanderbilt Law School.

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Robin Elkowitz

Executive Vice President, Deputy General Counsel & Corporate Secretary
Citizens Financial Group

Current Area of Focus/Expertise:
•Administering Board and Board Committee meetings.
•Advising the Board of Directors, the Chairman and senior management on corporate governance matters.
•Drafting and advising on SEC and NYSE filings.
•Overseeing compliance with other public company obligations of the Company.
•Providing shareholder services including the administration of the Annual Meeting of Stockholders, preparation and distribution of the Proxy Statement and other related materials and shareholder communication and outreach.
•Assisting the Finance and Treasury functions with various corporate actions.

Work Experience:
•Managing Director, Associate General Counsel and Corporate Secretary - RBS Americas
•Managing Director and Associate General Counsel - RBS Greenwich Capital
•Associate Counsel, Corporate Assistant Secretary - The Estee Lauder Companies Inc.
•Director and Counsel - Credit Suisse First Boston LLC
•Senior Vice President and Senior Associate General Counsel - Instinet Group Incorporated
•First Vice President & Counsel - Salomon Smith Barney Inc. (f/k/a Salomon Brothers Inc)
•Associate - Stroock & Stroock & Lavan

•Juris Doctor, magna cum laude - New York University School of Law, May 1992
•BS Economics, cum laude - The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, May 1989

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Julie Chen

General Counsel
Share Our Strength

Julie Chen is General Counsel of Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit that runs the No Kid Hungry campaign. Julie provides legal and strategic counsel to Share Our Strength in its advocacy, fundraising, and programming activities and advises on risk management for the organization.

Julie has seen the practice of law from various vantage points, both in-house and as outside counsel, having previously been a partner with McDermott, Will & Emery and as in-house counsel for the US Tennis Association, Verizon and the Smithsonian Institution.

Julie is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine and the University of Michigan School of Law.

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Elsa A. Ben Shimon

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP

Elsa Ben Shimon represents institutional investors in joint ventures, acquisitions and dispositions, and financings of large-scale commercial real estate projects, including office buildings, shopping centers, industrial complexes, condominium properties and multifamily residential projects throughout the United States. She also has experience representing U.S. clients in cross- border real estate transactions particularly in Europe and Asia, acting as lead counsel on the corporate real estate aspect of the transaction and providing oversight on the acquisition and financing of the assets.

Elsa counsels a wide variety of client types on their real estate investments, including pension funds, private real estate funds, and public and private REITs, as well as their investment advisors. She has also counseled clients with distressed real estate.

Elsa has also developed a deep experience helping Israeli investors expand their holdings in U.S. real estate on the debt and equity side. Major Israeli institutions regularly call on her for assistance in investing in U.S. real estate assets. Beyond traditional legal counsel, Elsa regularly provides clients with introductions to potential deal and business partners. An Israeli national, Elsa has many ties in the Israeli business community and is uniquely positioned to assist leading U.S. institutions and real estate companies in navigating the Israeli capital markets.

Elsa also has experience in the real estate technology sector, connecting leading real estate companies and institutions with technology startups, and providing counsel on investment rounds in such startups.

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