InsideCounsel Editor-in-Chief Cathleen Flahardy welcomes guests to the this year’s Transformative Leadership Awards dinner at the Raddison Blu Aqua hotel in Chicago.
Transformative Leadership Awards Co-chair and Allstate Insurance Co. General Counsel Michele Coleman Mayes speaks to attendees about the importance of honoring general counsel and law firm partners who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the empowerment of women in law.
Former general counsel of Fannie Mae, Sears, MCI and AIG, and now DLA Piper Partner Anastasia Kelly introduces the one of the winners of the Economic Empowerment Awards.
SNR Denton’s Global CEO Elliott Portnoy accepts the Economic Empowerment Award for Firm Wide Policies, which recognizes a law firm that has made significant strides in advancing women on the executive or management committees and the percentage of women who are relationship managers.
Portnoy: “These leaders don’t hold these positions because they are women—they do so because they are our very best leaders.”
Rainmaker award winner Lawrie Demorest, a partner at Alston & Bird, was honored for her extraordinary business generation efforts and exemplary client service.
Demorest: “People have asked me, ‘What makes you a great rainmaker?’ I told them that it’s about relationships. I am fortunate to have clients who not only provide me with great work, they provide me with great friendships.”
Executive Vice President and President of Pitney Bowes Services Solutions Vicki O’Meara received the Pamela L. Carter award, given to a woman who was formerly a general counsel and currently is the head of a major business unit or public agency.
O’Meara: “The second and third waves after the first still shape the shoreline, and every wave that comes after is more important in changing the contours of that shoreline.”
Janet Langford Kelly, senior vice president, legal, general counsel and corporate secretary of ConocoPhillips, received the Anastasia D. Kelly award honoring a general counsel who has manifested a sustained commitment to accelerating the ascendancy of women to senior leadership roles within the legal department and beyond.
J.L. Kelly: “I’ve long believed that the voice of the feminine has been underserved in corporate America to its detriment.”
Winston & Strawn Partner Christine Edwards was presented with the Mary Ann Hynes Pioneer award for transforming the status quo and being a catalyst for change by advancing the cause of women in law. When she was promoted to executive vice president and general counsel of Dean Witter in 1990, Edwards became the first female general counsel on Wall Street.
Edwards: “There are so many other pioneers in this room, and we need to help them.”
Walgreens executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary Thomas Sabatino received the Thomas A. Mars Pathmaker award for his courage, vision, integrity and conviction to carve a path for attorneys of color and women in the legal world.
Sabatino: “I have found that the female voice is so often subtle, nuanced and thoughtful in ways other voices are not, and I have worked to make that voice heard by others.”