It’s tough to run a law department, but it’s even tougher to transform one. To transform a law department means to commit to diversity, to bring leadership to the most difficult of situations, and to have the courage to stand up for the company in the face of any adversity.

Not many individuals, even among general counsel, possess the ability to transform. That’s why ALM and Inside Counsel has committed to awarding those individuals that do.

The awards committee for the 7th annual Transformative Leadership Awards announced its awards recipients for 2016, representing GCs from a number of companies, including eBay, IBM, Toyota and WGL. The awards ceremony will be held during a gala dinner on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at the Omni Shoreham, Washington, D.C.

Among the winners, all of whom are general counsel of their respective organizations, are:

Catalyst for Change Award

Leslie T. Thornton, Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, WGL & Washington Gas Light Company

Roderick Palmore Pathmaker Award

Sandra Phillips, General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer, Toyota Motor North America

Sharing the Power Award (In-House)

Marie Oh Huber, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, eBay Inc.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Michelle Browdy, Senior Vice President, Legal and Regulatory Affairs, and General Counsel, IBM






The Transformative Leadership Awards honor general counsel and other senior in-house legal professionals who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the empowerment of women in corporate law. The following women have been named as Visionary Leaders in five practice areas.

Visionary Leaders



Nadia Dombrowski, Senior Vice President & General Counsel of Community Federal Savings Bank





Christine L. Meuers, Executive Vice President & Head of Office of Global Ethics & Integrity, Wells Fargo & Company





Natalie Pons, Senior Vice President, Assistant General Counsel, Health Care Services, CVS Caremark





Ashley Watson, SVP, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, Merck






Kim Yapchai, Chief Compliance Officer, Whirlpool Corporation





Governance & Securities

Stacey Geer, Executive Vice President, Chief Governance Officer, Deputy General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Primerica, Inc.





Polly Klane, Managing Vice President, Chief Counsel, Digital and Enterprise Service, Capital One





Lydia Mathas, former Director, Corporate Governance and Assistant Corporate Secretary, Walgreens





Linda J. Soranno, Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, General Mills, Inc.





Deborah Telman, Vice President & General Counsel, Centers of Excellence – Americas, Johnson Controls






Intellectual Property

Rebecca Bortolotti, VP Chief Technology Counsel – Technology, Supply Chain, R&I, ConAgra Foods, Inc.





Alyssa Harvey Dawson, Vice President, Global Intellectual Property and Licensing, Harman International





Catherine Lacavera, Director, IP and Litigation, Google





Deborah Marson, Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Iron Mountain






Lorie Ann Morgan, Vice President, Intellectual Property, Gilead Sciences







Taa Grays, VP & Associate General Counsel, MetLife






Wendy Hufford, VP, US Litigation, Risk Management & Human Resources, Boehringer Ingelheim




Kathryn Koorenny, General Counsel, AlixPartners






Linda Lu, Senior Vice President & Chief Litigation Officer, Nationwide





Malini Moorthy, Vice President & Associate General Counsel; Head of U.S. Litigation, Bayer Corporation






Felice Gray-Kemp, Corporate Counsel-Americas, The LEGO Group






Martha Ha, Vice President, Corporate Secretary, and General Counsel – Corporate & International, DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc.





Tekedra Mawakana, Vice President of Government Relations, eBay






Candace Rodriguez, Associate General Counsel, Home Depot






Noelle Perkins, Chief Counsel, Archer Daniels Midland Company






For more information on the awards, past winners, and the Sept. 21 event, visit