Ida O. Abbott, JD
Ida Abbott Consulting LLC
Ida Abbott focuses on the power of mentoring relationships to guide, support and transform professional careers from the beginning of practice through retirement. She has long been a leader in the field of talent management, particularly mentoring, sponsorship and the advancement of women into leadership. Her current work focuses on preparing professionals and their firms for retirement. She is author of Retirement by Design, named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the six best retirement books of 2020.
Ida’s experience covers more than four decades as a lawyer, consultant, author and speaker, both nationally and internationally. She co‐founded the Hastings Leadership Academy for Women and the Professional Development Consortium, and is currently Vice Chair of the National Legal Mentoring Consortium, Board Member of the Institute of Legal Talent and Leadership, on the Editorial Board of Modern Legal Practice and an advisor to Diversity Lab. In recognition of her lifetime contributions to the legal profession, she has been elected a Fellow of both the American Bar Foundation and the College of Law Practice Management.
For more information, see www.IdaAbbott.com.
J Chuchi Arevalo, CFA, CFE
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
SPARK Business Academy
Chuchi is the founder and CEO of SPARK business academy, an innovative educational organization with the mission to empower the next generation with essential financial literacy skills, from kids in schools to young adults entering the workforce. SPARK is based in the Washington, DC area and has clients throughout the country, as well as outside of the US. Before launching SPARK, Chuchi was a Director at PwC’s Financial Services Advisory practice, where he managed multi-million dollar engagements with financial services clients.
Chuchi received a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business and a B.A. in Economics from the University of West London in England. Chuchi possesses coveted professional certifications, including Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), and serves as a Board member and Treasurer at Empowering Enrichment, a non-profit organization with the mission to provide enrichment scholarships to low-income students.
Kelly Atkinson MBA
DEI Director and Office Administrator
Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Kelly Atkinson’s career began as a law firm accountant, and has progressed through several law firm administrative departments – even after a short hiatus to the corporate world after business school. She knows what it’s like to work at multiple levels of a firm, and how to enjoy each part of the journey.
Kelly now brings her strong organizational skills, knowledge of process efficiencies and true care for others to her roles as Barnes & Thornburg’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director and the Columbus Office Administrator.
Kelly has a reputation for seeing the big picture, exercising good judgment and getting things done while always considering how decisions affect PEOPLE. Her work promotes her commitment to DEI – especially in creating an inclusive culture where all feel respected and valued for who they are and what they bring to the table.
Outside of the firm, Kelly lives her pride for Columbus as Chair of the Columbus Metropolitan Club, her passion for Jesus as co-leader of a weekly church home group with the love of her life, and her heart for her four kids cheering for them on whatever fields, courts or mats they are playing on.
Director of Business Development
Rich Bracken, MBA
Keynote Speaker and Inspirator
Rich Bracken is a global keynote speaker, media personality, and marketing executive.
He routinely works with companies, firms, and individuals across the country looking to establish sustainable change and improvement in their approach to achieving their business and culture goals. Rich is a frequent speaker and writer on topics such as emotional intelligence, leadership, goal setting and achievement, sales/client service, and presentation skills. He has worked in the legal industry for nearly 10 years and has spoken to law firms, attorneys, and in-house counsel around the globe on how to better themselves personally and professionally.
As a writer and media personality, he has been featured through such media channels as Fox News, CBS News, ABC, Vice Media, Reader's Digest, and Thrive Global, and has worked with such global organizations as MDRT, Legal Value Network, Meeting Professionals International, and the Legal Marketing Association.
Deborah Burrows leads Isanni Consulting, which focuses on HR best practices and employee communications. She started her career at McKinsey & Company and then transitioned to Fortune 100 companies where she led HR and Talent teams and projects. She leverages her degree in Sociology from the University of Toronto and her MBA from the Olin Business School as well as her vast international professional experience to provide practical, impactful HR and communication solutions to business of all sizes.
Chief Operations Officer
Bass, Berry & Sims PLC
Kim is the Chief Operations Officer for Bass, Berry & Sims and has served as the firm’s Executive Director since January 2016. She is responsible for all aspects of the firm’s financial transactions, planning and reporting and firm-wide diversity as well as providing leadership for other administrative functions including talent management for staff, training, benefits, information technology, facilities, and general administrative services of the firm.
Prior to joining the firm, she worked for Gaylord Entertainment Company (now Ryman Hospitality Properties) for more than 20 years in a variety of corporate leadership positions, including positions in finance, information technology and human resources. Kim also spent two years at American Standard Companies where she assisted in establishing an HR Shared Services Center in Nashville.
Kim is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, the Association of Legal Administrators and the National Association of Female Executives. She also is a past president and founding chair of the Past President Council of the Middle Tennessee Association for Legal Administrators, a graduate of Leadership Nashville Class of 2001, a past president of the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the American Diabetes Association, a member of the Finance and HR Committee and Board of Alive Hospice, and a former board member of the Belmont University Ethics Board. Kim earned her B.S. in accounting from David Lipscomb University.
Rosanna Catalano, JD
Rocketship Consultants, LLC
Rosanna Catalano's varied background as a lobbyist, trial attorney, television news producer, professor, university dean, career coach, and chief agency administrator allows her to provide her clients and audiences with a unique perspective and skill set for solving problems, storytelling, and creating successful strategies. For more than two decades, she has advocated on behalf of clients and organizations and made hundreds of presentations. As a result, she is able to assist clients with getting the right door opened at the right time with the right message. She has worked with clients in various industries including but not limited to: law, energy, healthcare, technology, aviation, local government, research, education, transportation, and insurance. She has helped many clients looking to change their professional trajectory through professional branded video streams and podcasts. She is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in broadcasting and a law degree. She has also worked for various media outlets including the Florida's News Channel, WPLG-TV, and WTVJ-TV.
Samuel J. Catanese, CPA
Samuel J. Catanese, CPA, holds the position of Leading Partner of Catanese Group, a CPA and business advisory firm located in Western Pennsylvania. Mr. Catanese is an expert in the management and administration of professional service companies and often performs profit plan engagements. These engagements involve evaluating the administrative and management procedures of the firms under review and working with owners and managers to formulate efficient and effective operating systems. Mr. Catanese developed his cost accounting and profit planning system while at Harvard Business School. Mr. Catanese is a frequent lecturer on topics such as strategic planning and business consulting.
Margaret Cicchetti, Neuroleadership Coaching Certification
Partner and Co-Founder
Pivot Legal Solutions
Margaret Cicchetti (partner and co-founder of Pivot Legal Solutions) has decades of experience in law firm leadership. She managed the DWT Portland office and served in regional administration and paraprofessional development. She focused on creating a culture that embraces change, continuous improvement, and a growth mindset. She served as a trusted advisor to firm leaders and consistently advocated for making human-centered business decisions.
Margaret understands the crucial role law firm staff play in delivering value to clients and believes paraprofessional legal staff are often underutilized. She led an innovation initiative to redefine the role of legal assistants, empowering them to do higher value work while delegating routine tasks to entry level personnel. She developed a 12 week certification program for staff, with modules on delegation, time management, teamwork, collaboration and project management. Over 100 legal assistants became certified over a three-year period, resulting in increased engagement and higher level of support to lawyers. Margaret is passionate about leadership development, and focuses on enhancing compassion, empathy and respectful communication. Margaret is particularly interested in coaching legal support leaders in their roles as innovators and change agents in the organizations they serve.
Chief Executive Officer
Lida Citroën, author of "CONTROL THE NARRATIVE: The Executive's Guide to Building, Pivoting And Repairing Your Reputation", is an award-winning branding and reputation management expert who designs and enhances the identities of executives, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders globally. As CEO of LIDA360, LLC, Citroën is sought-after for her knowledge of personal brand development, reputation management, leadership communication, and online positioning. A popular past ALA Conference speaker, Citroën is a professional keynote speaker and presenter, whose well-known TEDx talk and multiple courses on LinkedIn Learning showcase her empowering delivery style and message. She regularly presents business workshops on reputation management, personal branding, executive presence, leadership communication, and using social media to self-promote to companies such as The Walt Disney Company, Sirius XM, Google, GE Healthcare and more. Citroën has authored several books: "Reputation 360: Creating power through personal branding"; "Your Next Mission: A personal branding guide for the military-to-civilian transition"; "Engaging with Veteran Talent: A quick and practical guide to sourcing, hiring, onboarding, and developing Veteran employees"; and "Success After Service: How to Take Control of Your Job Search and Career After Military Duty". She is often featured in media such as MSNBC, Access Hollywood, The Hallmark Channel, Bloomberg, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Forbes, and more, for her expertise and insight around reputation, personal branding, and career growth and challenges.
Michael S. Cohen, JD
Duane Morris LLP
Michael S. Cohen is a partner in the Philadelphia office of Duane Morris’ Employment, Labor, Benefits and Immigration Practice Group. Michael concentrates his practice in the areas of employment law training and counseling. He has trained and counseled employers throughout the country on subjects including harassment prevention; workplace diversity; discipline and discharge; hiring and recruiting practices; performance evaluations; FMLA, ADA and FLSA compliance; leave of absence policies; performance management; workplace privacy; sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace; substance abuse testing; workplace violence; records retention; conducting background checks; teens in the workplace and managing attendance problems. Michael also has conducted investigations into claims of harassment and discrimination and has drafted employee handbooks, employment agreements, non-compete agreements and post-termination agreements. Michael has conducted nearly 300 trainings in each of the past two years. He has represented clients throughout the country in EEO and other administrative proceedings.
Michael has been cited as a national authority on employment issues by The New York Times, The Associated Press, USA Today, MSNBC.com, HR Magazine, SHRM On-Line, Employment Law 360, Inside Counsel Magazine, as well as many other publications. Michael serves as a Board Member of The Independence Business Alliance and Serve, Inc. Michael is a 1997 magna cum laude graduate of Temple University Beasley School of Law and a cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.
Chief Legal Talent Officer
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
Chief Revenue Officer
Denise M. Dellaratta
Director of Practice Support
Fox Rothschild LLP
Sybil Dunlop, JD
Greene Espel PLLP
Head of Americas Cyber
Michael A. Ellenhorn
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Decipher Investigative Intelligence
As founder and CEO of Decipher, Michael Ellenhorn helps his clients create safer, more productive and more profitable workplaces by equipping them with investigative intelligence.
He believes that empowering people inside firms to make informed hiring decisions, based on intelligence-driven transparency, is both the right thing to do and one which will change workplace culture for the better, and, ultimately, better humanity.
With more than 20 years of experience in the legal industry, first as a trial lawyer and then as an international legal recruiter, Michael is well-positioned to counsel clients on mitigating risks associated with the hiring process. He leads a team of experienced analysts and professionals who collect credible, actionable intelligence about prospective laterals to help organizational leaders make more insightful and successful talent decisions.
Michael earned his B.A. from the University of Washington, his J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, School of Law, and studied business at the Cass Business School, City University of London.
Debra L. Elsbury, CLM
Debbie is the Firm Administrator for Threlkeld Stevenson. She attended Marian College and earned her Certified Legal Manager (CLM) certification in November 2009. Debbie is very involved with the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA). She has been a member of ALA since 2003. She has served in many leadership roles in the association culminating with the role of ALA President 2020-2021. Debbie and her husband, Mark, are the proud parents of 3 and grandparents of 8. They live on a grain and livestock farm, mainly raising corn, soybeans, and various livestock along with random wildlife from time to time.
Strategic Marketing Management Consultant
Farone Advisors LLC
William F. Fisher
Senior Vice President, Practice Leader, Group Benefits
Equinox Strategy Partners
Jonathan Fitzgarrald is Managing Partner of Equinox Strategy Partners, providing lawyers and law firms with strategic counsel to drive revenue and increase market visibility.
For nearly two decades and prior to founding Equinox Strategy Partners, Jonathan directed the marketing and public relations at three, top business law firms. In 2017, Jonathan was inducted as a Fellow into The College of Law Practice Management.
A clear, dynamic, and diplomatic communicator, Jonathan regularly speaks and presents to professional audiences on various business development, marketing and public relations topics. He has been quoted in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, the National Law Journal, The Recorder and The American Lawyer. Jonathan has also appeared on The CBS Evening News.
Branch Office Manager
Duska Frink has over 9 years of experience in the legal industry, working directly for a mid-size Canadian law firm and now as Solutions Manager and back-office workflow expert at BigHand. During her time with the law firm, Duska successfully managed legal support staff and worked on many process improvement initiatives including leading the implementation of BigHand Workflow. Duska brings first-hand knowledge of on the ground product implementation and specializes in both law firm finance and operational performance.
Litigation Support Manager
Julie Frischkorn, LCSW, MSW
Vice President of Behavioral Health
People One Health
Julie Frischkorn, MSW, LCSW, is the Vice President of Behavioral Health with PeopleOne Health. Her background is in clinical practice working with individuals and families in residential settings and private practice. Julie earned her Masters in Clinical Social Worker from Boston College, teaches Mental Health First Aid, and is a Certified Workplace Mindfulness Facilitator. Julie has been teaching and training with students, non-profit organizations, and corporate clients for the past 20 years. Her passion lies in reducing mental health stigma and supporting health equity initiatives.
Kim Brown Goodwin
Recruiter and Principal
KIP Search, LLC
Kim Brown Goodwin was a firm administrator for the Minneapolis office of a national law firm, as well as an active member of ALA-MN Chapter. With a solid background in human resources, leadership, and management, Kim is familiar with the challenges law firm leaders face. Kim brings her ability to strategize, problem-solve and navigate difficult conversations, to move past obstacles and initiate change.
Legal Technology Consultant
Portia Hickey, CPsychol AFBPsS
Portia Hickey is a British and Australian trained organizational psychologist who advises globally on talent management, psychometrics, and behavior change in law firms, healthcare, and multi-national corporates. She has expertise in developing psychometrics and tools in conjunction with some of the foremost thought leaders and universities. Portia developed the Smart Collaboration Accelerator with Dr. Heidi Gardner of Harvard Law. Portia is co-founder of Communication Labs and the Thrive Matters platform, which provides people analytics instruments to institutions and organizations. Portia is also an Associate with the Møller Institute, Churchill College, Cambridge University.
Human Resources & Staff Manager
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
Michael D. Hill
Gould & Ratner LLP
Director of Operations
Rogoway Law Group
Jay Hull, JD
Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Pivot Legal Solutions
Jay loves to build up individuals, teams, and organizations through healthy, constructive, and energizing working relationships. This requires growth in self-understanding, practical leadership development, and improved organizational health. Jay is co-founder and the managing partner of Pivot Legal Solutions, a firm focused on bringing these principles to the legal services sector.
Jay has been a lawyer for over 35 years, in both a large US law firm and as in-house counsel. Among other leadership roles in his law firm, Jay was the Chief Innovation Partner at US law firm Davis Wright Tremaine for five years, where he was the founding partner of DWT De Novo, an award-winning legal innovation initiative. His work as a lawyer, and with other lawyers, sparked his interest in the vital and differentiating role of positive leadership development and organizational health. His speaking and teaching opportunities have extended to the UK, Australia and throughout the United States, including multiple presentations at industry conferences, law firms, and corporate legal departments.
Director of Marketing & Business Development
McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman Co., LPA
Michael Kahn, JD, LPC, M. ED
ReelTime Creative Learning Experiences
Michael Kahn holds a J.D. from theDickinson School of Law, and practicedlaw with the Attorney General’s Officefor the State of New Jersey for 6 years.Although he left the practice of law in1991, his work thereafter has kept himinvolved in the lives of lawyers in variouscapacities. Following a stint as AssistantDirector of Career Services with theTulane University School of Law, Michaelobtained his M. Ed. in Counseling fromUNC-Greensboro in 1994, and shortlythereafter became a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of North Carolina.
Michael’s areas of focus in his psychotherapy practice have included anxiety,depression, grief/loss, career satisfaction and men's issues, and he hasworked with adolescents and adults in individual and group therapy settings.In 2012, he relocated to Oregon, where in addition to continuing his speakingcareer, he served as an Adjunct Professor at the Lewis & Clark GraduateSchool of Education & Counseling and co-facilitates grief groups for lawyers.
Michael currently resides in Vancouver, BC, where he serves part-time on thecounseling staff of the Lawyers Assistance Program of British Columbia. Hecontinues to present training seminars and workshops on ethics, grief,wellness, diversity and inclusion, and other topics for lawyers and mentalhealth professionals throughout the U.S., Japan and Germany, including forthe U.S. military.
Josh Kalish, CLM, MBA, CFA, MA
Law Firms of the Future, LLC
Josh Kalish is Chief Transformation Catalyst at Law Firms of the Future, LLC. The agency provides management consulting to innovative law firms seeking to lead in the transformation of client service delivery and law firm profitability in an industry where clients are disrupting traditional law firms comfort zones. Law Firms of the Future works with management on client-centric approaches to strategy, enterprise scorecards, compensation, financial improvement and data analytics to close the gap on where law firms are and where they want to be.
Josh Kalish earned an MBA from Columbia University and holds the Charter Financial Analyst designation. He also earned a masters degree in communications from UC Santa Barbara and earned the Certified Legal Manager designation from the Association of Legal Administrators. As an Optimize Coach and a World Taekwondo certified International Referee, he is comfortable navigating most law practice management settings.
Ari Kaplan Advisors LLC
Legal industry analyst Ari Kaplan is a lawyer (formerly with McDermott, Will & Emery in NYC) and the author of two books (The Opportunity Maker (West Academic, 2nd edition, 2016) and Reinventing Professional Services (Wiley, 2011)) about how professionals can stand out in a shifting economy. He has spoken at over a dozen ALA chapters nationwide, as well as at the 2012 Law Firm Financial Management conference, the 2016 Annual Conference, the 2016 Business of Law conferences, and the 2019 Annual Conference.
Kip Knippel, JD
President and Chief Executive Officer
KIP Search, LLC
Kip Knippel began his career as an attorney, practicing commercial real estate and corporate M&A. After recognizing his abilities to identify talent, Kip made the decision to focus on those skills to help companies find key leaders for their organizations. After honing his skills with a national recruiting firm, Kip launched his own executive, c-suite, & leadership recruiting firm, to assist law firms and other industries identify the talent they need to operate their businesses.
As an attorney and recruiting professional, Kip is driven to help organizations and individuals achieve abundant and impactful lives.
Suzanne Koch, CPA, CMA
Senior Director of Engagement Solutions
Fulcrum Global Technologies
Director of Administration
Bondurant Mixson & Elmore, LLP
Account and Marketing Director
Shannon Lanier is responsible for managing client accounts and working with internal teams to provide innovative communications solutions. She supports Poston Communication’s own business development initiatives and marketing efforts.
Shannon is an experienced professional with a broad marketing and communications background. Prior to joining Poston Communications, she served as marketing communications manager for a midsized law firm in North Carolina. There, she managed the firm’s website, social media, media relations, content strategy and advertising, and guided attorneys to develop a professional brand through thought leadership and social media.
Shannon currently serves on the Legal Marketing Association Well-Being Committee and as communications co-chair of the North Carolina Bar Association Small Firm and Technology Council. She formerly served on the LMA Southeast Region board of directors and is a former chair of the Raleigh / Triad Local Steering Committee.
Travis A. Larson
Senior Director, Firm Operations
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Travis A. Larson is the Senior Director of Firm Operations at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. In this capacity Travis works closely with Morgan Lewis’s global firm leadership to optimize resources, processes, and procedures and to develop and advance strategic firm goals. Travis assists in the day-to-day operation and management of Morgan Lewis’s finances and procurement, information technology, space and facilities, non-legal staff, and vendor relations. He is also responsible for providing administrative leadership for the firm’s offices and acts as liaison between the offices, firm departments, and firm leadership.
Travis has more than twelve years of professional experience in law firm administration, with an emphasis on operations, human resources, personnel development, team building, and project and facilities management. Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, he was an administrator at a prominent national law firm.
Travis received his B.A. in political science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Kevin S. Lee JD, M.Div
City Attorney’s Office, City of San Jose
Kevin S. Lee, JD, MDiv, is the Building Management Administrator for the City of San Jose. He has been in the legal profession for more than 25 years, working as a Senior Litigation Legal Analyst — specializing in intellectual property and general business litigation with several prominent law firms — and as a Legal Support Manager at the City of San Jose Attorney’s Office. Lee received his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University. He earned his JD from the University of the District of Columbia School of Law. He also earned his Master’s degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. Additionally, he served as a board member for ALA’s Silicon Valley Chapter and is currently a member of ALA’s National Board of Directors. He is also a member of the American Bar Association. Kevin has been married to his wife, Connie, for 23 years. He has a 13 year old son, Evan.
Natalie W. Loeb, MS
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Rob Mattern, MBA
Rob Mattern is President and Founder of Mattern, LLC, the leader in legal business process consulting and cost recovery solutions. Rob publishes widely including in American Lawyer, Wall Street Journal, Legaltech News and Legal Management magazine, is an editorial board member of Law Journal Newsletter’s Accounting & Financial Planning for Law Firms, and is a frequent speaker at key industry events including the ALA Annual Conference and Expo, COO CFO Forum and PwC Law Firm Services Global Forum.
Dan McCormack, CLM, MBA, ACC, SCA
Chief Executive Officer and Founder
Dan McCormack & Associates, LLC
Influence Digest and Lawyers Weekly designated Dan McCormack & Associates as the number one Executive Coaching practice in Boston; a practice devoted toward individual leadership development as well as organizations in transition.
Dan is a seasoned leader and executive coach with experience that includes twenty-one years as the lead administrator at Skadden Arps Boson Office with operating results consistently at the forefront of the firm’s standards. Achievements include successfully mentoring staff into effective managers while motivating others to achieve their career goals. Dan’s leadership and communication skills coupled with his operational knowledge, were instrumental in overseeing a three year, $75 million relocation to smaller and modern office space.
Prior to the legal field, Dan served three years on the Board of Directors and as CFO for a Community Health Center where he wrote and implemented the strategic plan that eliminated operational deficiencies and strengthened the organization’s ability to provide new and expanded services. The banking sector is where Dan’s career began and his responsibilities successfully progressed from managing a $30 million branch office, cross selling $75 million in new business loans and eventually credit risk management responsibilities for $100 million in bank assets. Dan’s leadership, accreditations, financial and operational knowhow provides his company the capacity to support small to large scale professional development and operational projects throughout the legal industry.
Chief Operating Officer
Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Steven Merkel serves as the chief operating officer of Barnes & Thornburg. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the firm and its 20 offices, including finance, information technology, human resources, marketing and facilities. Mr. Merkel works closely with firm leadership and the management committee to create new efficiencies and increase quality across the firm’s processes and programs.
A retired U.S. Army colonel, Mr. Merkel served a long and distinguished military career. He graduated with honors in his class from the United States Military Academy in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and a commission as a field artillery officer.
After West Point Mr. Merkel attended the Defense Language Institute in the Presidio of Monterey, California where he studied French before serving as a platoon leader with the 1st British Corps in Paderborn, Germany. Mr. Merkel commanded a field artillery battery and a headquarters company in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He then attended the School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas where he earned a Master’s Degree in Military Science from the US Army Command and General Staff College. Mr. Merkel commanded a field artillery battalion in Fort Stewart, Georgia and in Baghdad, Iraq where he is credited with rescuing seven hostages held by insurgents near Salman Pak, Iraq. Mr. Merkel went on to serve as a Regimental Tactical Officer at the United States Military Academy before commanding a brigade for First Army in Camp Atterbury, Indiana. He earned a second Master’s Degree in International Relations from the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island and went on to serve as Chief of Staff for First Army and deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan as the Chief of Staff for the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan. Upon his redeployment Mr. Merkel served as the Brigade Tactical Officer for the Corps of Cadets and the Director of Operations at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.
David C. Miceli
Chief Operating Officer
Balch & Bingham LLP
John Andrew Moschella, CLM
Barry McTiernan & Moore
Financial and Administrative Management Executive with more than 18 years of progressive experience in finance and operations management within corporate law firms. Andrew has worked in small, medium, and large corporate law firms in both Northern New Jersey and Midtown Manhattan and he has a master’s degree in financial communications.
Kofi Mundy-Castle, MS, ARCS, CSPO, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt
Legal Pricing & Project Management Lead
Fulcrum Global Technologies
Kofi is experienced across the legal commercial management domain delivering pricing strategy, deep analytics, legal project management, resource management and legal operations consulting. Kofi maintains high expertise in business process design, implementation and improvement, having advised global law firms and Fortune 500 legal departments on legal framework delivery as well as regional business outsourcing. Additionally, he has rich experience presenting to and negotiating with multinational clients across the banking, financial services, pharmaceuticals, transportation and energy sectors. Recently, Kofi managed the Legal Pricing & Analytics team at top 30 global law firm, Reed Smith, and was previously a senior pricing advisor at top 5 global law firm, Norton Rose Fulbright. Kofi completed his BSc and MSc (MSci Hons) in Theoretical Physics at Imperial College London of Science, Technology and Medicine, and is a Certified Scrum Product Owner and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Professional.
Jill M. O’Connell
Human Resources Direct
Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, P.C.
Chris Osborn, JD, NCDRC
Certified Superior Court Mediator & Trained Collaborative Lawyer
ReelTime Creative Learning Experiences
Julie G. Paul
Chief Human Resources Officer
Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP
With more than 20 years of experience in all aspects of human resources management and employment law, Julie has spent much of her career in law firms. A former practicing attorney, she brings a unique perspective to the evolution of legal support, routinely seeking out greater efficiencies while also managing leadership resistance to systemic change. Julie also serves as co-chair of the education committee for the First State ALA chapter.
Chief Strategy Officer
Keystone Group International
Chelsey Paulson is the Chief Strategy Officer at Keystone Group International. Prior to joining Keystone, Paulson managed an ESOP organization with 150 employees and 15 locations in the point of sale and managed services industry. Chelsey has over 15 years of management experience in a midsize, employee-owned, technology organization. Chelsey built her career around being a strategic partner to the executive team, molding and growing the culture and focusing on strategic people initiatives that aligned with the organizations business initiatives such as internal communications, career and leadership development, succession planning, and aligning the right people in the right seats within the optimal organizational structure.
Chelsey has been involved in multiple boards and twice as Chairperson where she had the opportunity to coach and mentor the Executive Director and President/CEO of the organizations.
Chelsey’s area of expertise is in Human Resources, Culture Development/Revival, Employee Ownership Management, Long-term Strategic Planning, and Executive Coaching. Chelsey is passionate about creating a lasting impact on businesses, especially when it comes to strategy, culture, and people. She does this by using her Superpower of being a constant learner to learn new information, strategies, and skills to challenge and push our clients to the next level.
Lynne P. Pierce
Chief of Real Estate and Office Operations
Ballard Spahr LLP
Lynne Pierce serves as the Chief of Real Estate and Office Operations for Ballard Spahr, a national law firm with over 600 lawyers. Her primary responsibilities include oversight of the operation of the firm’s fifteen offices, including direct support, outsourcing, procurement, firm events, sustainability, wellness, travel services, and most recently, the firm’s return to on-site operations.
She also oversees the full life cycle of firm’s 600,000 square feet real estate portfolio, including real estate site selection, lease negotiations, lease administration, and design, construction, and space utilization. She focuses on incorporating well-being into space design, while ensuring that space promotes collaboration, and provides opportunities for each person to do their best work.
Lynne is currently leading the implementation of the firm’s Strategic Plan for Direct Support, which includes full team support throughout the firm, utilizing BigHand as a workflow tool, creating career paths for legal administrative assistants, and ensuring that the direct support team is well-equipped to meet the current and future needs of the firm’s lawyers and clients.
Dave Poston, JD
Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel
Dave Poston is a licensed attorney who has held numerous international in-house and agency positions for law and other professional services firms handling international responsibilities from offices in Atlanta, London, New York and San Francisco. Throughout his career, Dave has developed media opportunities for his clients and employers in hundreds of important international media and trade publications. He managed firm-wide public relations and marketing in various roles as marketing and/or public relations director or manager at King & Spalding LLP, Dorsey & Whitney LLP and Jones & Askew LLP. He worked with more than 20 West Coast law, architecture, construction, financial services, management consulting, real estate, technology and travel clients at Blattel Communications. Dave graduated with a double major — Bachelor of Arts in political science and English & history — from Emory University in Atlanta and received his law degree from Tulane Law School in New Orleans. He also received training in graphic design at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and sales with Miller Heiman and Motorola’s Six Sigma University. He has served as the co-chair of the Legal Marketing Association’s (LMA) “Strategies” magazine, president of the LMA Southeastern Chapter and a member of the 2003 Committee of the Year for the LMA New York Metropolitan Chapter. He is also a member of the State Bar of Georgia.
Corey B. Rabin, Esq., JD
Clinical Advisor, CARON Legal Professionals Program
Attorney, Managing Partner
Rabin, Panero & Herrick, Esqs.
Corey B. Rabin, Esq. brings extensive personal and professional knowledge to his role of Clinical Advisor for the Legal Professionals Program at Caron.
A practicing attorney for more than 40 years, Corey holds a JD from the University of Miami School of Law and has decades of experience in substance abuse recovery and interventions.
He speaks and writes nationally about behavioral health subjects relating to lawyers and law firms and provides regular counseling and resources to legal professionals while they engage in the world-class services and programs at Caron.
William T. Ramsey, JD
Neal & Harwell, PLC
Ellen M. Rosenstiel, SHRM-SCP
Director of HR Employment and Employee Relations
Kutak Rock LLP
Phillip E. Ross
Chief Operating Officer
Philip E. Ross leads all of the firm’s business operations, including finance, human resources, and information technology. Philip works closely with the firm’s Executive Committee and Practice
Group Leaders on topics such as strategic planning and practice management.
Philip has significant experience in leadership roles in large companies. Prior to joining Clark Hill, he was the Regional Director of Operations for Deloitte Consulting, where he worked with the Regional Managing Director to
manage $500 million in revenue and more than 2,000 employees. He began his employment with Deloitte Consulting in 1993, rising to the position of senior manager, and re-joined Deloitte in 2001. Additionally, he has
held various leadership positions in the professional services and banking industries for over 15 years
Gina F. Rubel Esq
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Furia Rubel Communications, Inc.
Gina F. Rubel, Esq. is the CEO of Furia Rubel Communications, Inc. (www.FuriaRubel.com), one of the nation’s leading legal marketing, public relations, crisis communications and content marketing agencies. A renowned legal industry expert, attorney and author, Ms. Rubel predominantly works with the large and mid-size law firms and legal service providers across North America and in Caribbean countries. She is a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management and the American Bar Foundation, and is recognized by Lawdragon as a Global 100 Leading Consultant and Strategist to the legal profession.
Corporate and law firm leaders call on Ms. Rubel for high-stakes public relations, crisis planning, and incident response support including high profile litigation media relations. She teaches audiences nationwide how to implement ethical, integrated, and measurable communication strategies that help their organizations to meet their business objectives. Ms. Rubel formed and co-chairs the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Law Firm Risk Management Committee – the first of its kind for a bar association and believes it is every lawyer’s duty to understand how various risks can affect their law firms and their clients.
Ms. Rubel has been named a Woman of Distinction by The Legal Intelligencer and Philadelphia Business Journal. She has been included among Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business and is a SmartCEO magazine’s Brava Award winner. She often is quoted by Law360 and The American Lawyer and has appeared on various news programs as a communications expert. She contributes regularly to Mid-Market Report and Attorney at Work. The second edition of her industry acclaimed book, Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers, is available on Amazon and AttorneyatWork.com.
You can follow her on Twitter at @ginarubel, connect with her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/ginafuriarubel, call her at 215-340-0480 or email her at [email protected]. For more information, go to www.FuriaRubel.com.
Sarah A. Ryan
Director of Marketing & Business Development
Stark & Stark Attorneys at Law
Sarah Ryan is the Director of Marketing & Business Development at Stark & Stark and has been an active member in the legal community for nearly 10 years. She is responsible for assisting Attorneys in putting their skills and connections into meaningful action that directly creates opportunities for profit and growth. She is focused on implementing processes and procedures within the firm that help others set goals and strive for success. Through one on one Business Development Coaching, Sarah helps lawyers set meaningful goals and applies structure around building their business. She also serves on the Diversity & Inclusion Committee at the Firm and is the Chair of the Women’s Employee Resource group.
Sarah leads a team of 5 Marketing & Business Development Professionals at the Firm. This team is focused on applying structure and planning to the success of the business as it applies to Marketing & Business Development. The team covers all aspects of Marketing and BD including but not limited to, website design, SEO strategy, communication strategy, social media, digital advertising, public relations and business development coaching.
Tammy Salata MBA, BSN, RN RN
Tammy Salata, MBA, BSN, RN, is an RN Manager with PeopleOne Health. Her background is in behavioral health, spending 9+ years working with acutely mentally ill patients in an inpatient hospital setting. She cared for patients as a floor nurse and then served as the Director of Nursing/Patient Services for Inpatient Psychiatry at Cleveland Clinic Akron General. Tammy also has a background of teaching psychiatric nursing clinicals for Walsh University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Tammy earned her MBA from Walsh University and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Ohio University. Tammy is passionate about decreasing the stigma surrounding mental health. She made a career change from the hospital setting to PeopleOne Health to allow her a greater opportunity to provide mental health education and support others in improving their mental wellbeing to become their personal best.
David B. Sarnoff, Esq., ACC
Director of Strategic
Sally J. Schmidt, MBA
Schmidt Marketing, Inc.
Sally Schmidt helps law firms and lawyers improve their relationships with existing clients and build their books of business. She has consulted with 450+ law firms and more than 1,000 individual lawyers on their marketing, client service and business development efforts.
With an MBA in marketing, she was the first President of LMA and is in the LMA Hall of Fame. She also was inducted into the inaugural class of the College of Law Practice Management. Sally has spoken at more than 250 national and international seminars and conferences for the legal profession. Her 250+ articles have appeared in virtually every major legal trade publication and she has a monthly post in Attorney at Work.
Sally is the author of two books on law firm marketing: Marketing the Law Firm: Business Development Techniques (Law Journal Press) and Business Development for Lawyers: Strategies for Getting and Keeping Clients (ALM Publishing).
Kathryn Scourby, CBCP
KNS Consulting, LLC.
David Shar, SHRM-SCP
President and Founder
The founder of Illuminate PMC, David Shar, SHRM-SCP is a keynote speaker, consultant, corporate trainer, and adjunct professor. David is also the host of the live leadership and culture interview series: WaterCooler Wednesday with David Shar. A subject-matter expert on employee motivation, David combines decades of leadership experience with the latest psychological research to help organizations improve their work culture, combat burnout and design meaningful work.
David holds his master's in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. He is a current doctoral candidate in business psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, researching the interaction between meaningful work and burnout.
David brings a unique passion to his craft, making leadership theory and business psychology inspirational, educational & operational.
Jodi L. Stanke
Chief Executive Officer
Talon Performance Group, Inc.
Jodi Standke is a trusted partner who advances law firms, legal departments and legal professionals through its people and increased effectiveness. Talon developed T.A.P. (Talent Alignment Process) which is a cohesive approach to talent selection, leadership development and retention in the digital age. Aligning one’s talent makes the critical difference in the success of any organization.
Talon Performance Group is Minnesota based – providing Midwest values and cost-effective service to law firms, organizations and professionals nationally. From Emerging companies to fortune 50 organizations, local and global law firms – Talon has a track record of creative and innovative solutions.
Jodi is an elected Fellow of the prestigious College of Law Practice Management. She is a frequently sought author, keynote speaker and seminar presenter. Jodi was featured in Forbes Magazine as one of six outstanding Minnesota Women Business Owners. She was recognized by Finance and Commerce as one of 40 Minnesotans to Watch, by the Twin Cities Business Journal as a Top Woman to Watch and by Global Women CEO organization as an Enterprising Woman. Her bachelor’s degree is from Minnesota State University, Winona and a mini masters via the Interise e-200 program. Jodi is certified in numerous coaching, assessment, personality and emotional intelligence programs. She has participated on several boards which include The National Association of Women Business Owner - MN Chapter, The National Association of Legal Search Consultants and The Minnesota Zoo.
In her “free” time, Jodi is a run coach, yoga instructor and mindful mediation coach. She is an athlete participating in triathlons, running and bicycle events and yoga. Her claim to fame is mastering the wall push up and she has a rocking canned beet recipe!
Sarah M. Tetlow
Executive Officer and Founder
Firm Focus, LLC + ARRT™ Email Productivity
Sarah is the CEO and founder of Firm Focus where she focuses on productivity consulting for attorneys and busy professionals. She uses her past experiences, organizational and strategic thought process, education, training, and natural gift to help professionals, law firms, and businesses improve their bottom line and operate more efficiently. More importantly, Sarah’s clients see a reduction in stress and anxiety and an increase in focus and new business.
Cynthia Thomas, SSCC, SSGB
Principal and Executive Director
PLMC & Associates
Cynthia Thomas is Legal Accounts Receivable Department Manager at Frontline Managed Services, and the owner of PLMC & Associates, a law firm management consulting company. With over 30 years’ experience in law firm management, Cynthia's employment included Firm Administrator, Law firm Administrative Director and Chief Financial Officer and Operations Manager.
As certified Six Sigma Champion with white and green belt, Cynthia is passionate and committed to assisting firms in operating effectively and efficiently. Cynthia often speaks and writes about law firm operations and management.
Cynthia is active member of the American Bar Association where she currently serves as the associate editor of ABA’s Law Practice Division Law Practicemagazine and the co-vice chair of the ABA LP Lawyer Leadership and Management Committee. She is also a board member of the ABA’s Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division, GPSolo eReport Board. Additionally, she a board member of the ALA Greater Los Angeles Chapter, where she currently serves as the magazine editor.
Chief Human Resources Officer
Jonathan Trimble, GSEF, GCIA, GCIH, GMON, GSFA
President and Chief Executive Officer
Jonathan Trimble founded Bawn Cybersecurity after a 25 year career as a Special Agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mr. Trimble led multiple complex technology projects to improve the FBI’s ability to collect, analyze, and disseminate information. He also investigated international criminal organizations that conducted computer intrusions and data theft.
Mr. Trimble served as the Chief Technology Officer of the FBI Information Management Division where he oversaw the successful development of the FBI Central Records Complex, incorporating artificial intelligence, robotics, business process redesign, high speed scanning, civil construction, and secure cloud migration. This cutting edge records center was considered to be the most complex project in the FBI, which was completed on time and under budget. He was also the Government Vice Chair for the ACT-IAC Cyber Community of Interest, as well as the Chair of the Port of Virginia Cyber Security Subcommittee.
Mr. Trimble is a graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy where he received a B.S. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. He subsequently earned a M.S. in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University, and a M.S. in Systems Architecture and Engineering from the University of Southern California. He holds multiple cybersecurity certifications.
Cheri Vaillancour & Associates LLC
Cheri Vaillancour is a certified executive coach with more than three decades’ professional experience. She has held senior leadership positions in several international organizations. Cheri has extensive experience in helping leaders define and achieve goals for themselves and their organizations. With deep and broad experience coaching leaders, her approach focuses on identifying meaningful, motivating goals, and moving her clients into action to adopt new, more productive behaviors and mindsets.
Through coaching, she has helped hundreds of lawyers at all experience levels develop leadership skills, enhance their professional effectiveness, and balance their work and personal lives. Drawing on her experience and passion for helping others to succeed, Cheri established her own coaching and consulting practice in 2019.
Cheri works with leaders from manager-level to C-Suite. She has helped them build strong leadership skills; integrate their personal and professional lives more effectively; boost their productivity; and improve their communication skills, emotional intelligence, and executive presence. She has a special passion for coaching high-potential women leaders, and an impressive track record for helping them identify and value their strengths, develop self-confidence and executive presence, and realize their professional goals.
Cheri’s coaching skills derive from traditional coaching frameworks and models, informed by her ongoing interest in learning and development. Whether working with early career managers or experienced leaders seeking career direction or facing the challenges of a new role, Cheri has both the passion and the aptitude for understanding complex systems and subject matter and is a highly valued listener and thought partner for her clients.
Cheri is a graduate of Oregon State University (B.S. Degree, Health Education). She earned post-graduate executive coaching certificates from both Georgetown University and the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) and is certified at the PCC level by the International Coach Federation. She is also certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SHRM-SCP) by the Society for Human Resources Management. Cheri has been a regular speaker for the National Association for Law Placement, Society for Human Resources Management, and the Professional Development Consortium on a broad range of topics related to professional excellence.
Branch Office Manager
Meagher & Geer PLLP
McGlinchey Stafford, PLLC
BigHand North America
Eric Wangler is the Managing Director of Workflow at BigHand. With over 25 years of experience in the legal industry, Eric previously served as vice president of Ricoh’s legal vertical segment. He is an expert on legal workflow and back-office operations, partnering with firms across the US and Canada to enhance their administrative support functions, specifically focusing on streamlining processes, increasing efficiencies, and optimizing resources, and arming firms with the visibility and real-time information necessary to make informed, data-driven decisions.
Eric J. Webber, MA, CADC, CCS, CSAT/CMAT, CCPG
Director, Caron Legal Professionals Program, Senior Clinician of Specialty Services
Caron Treatment Center
Eric Webber is the Director of the Legal Professionals Program and Senior Clinician for Specialty Services at Caron Treatment Center. He provides direct care through specialty lectures and counseling sessions focused on relapse, Addiction Interaction Disorders, work/professional related issues, and other targeted needs. He conducts the Legal Professionals group, as well as a general Executive/Professional group. Mr. Webber is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Certified Clinical Supervisor, and holds a Certificate of Competency in Problem Gambling, all through the Pennsylvania Certification Board; he is also a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist and a Certified Multiple Addiction Therapist through the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals. He holds a Master’s Degree from Alvernia University.
Tracey West, Esq.
Tracey West, Esq., a senior consultant with Loeb Leadership, is a seasoned facilitator with expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion, emphasizing inclusive leadership in the legal profession. Tracey’s experiences as the former
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at an Am Law 50 law firm, and the Associate Dean of Diversity & Inclusion at Boston College Law School for 20 years uniquely positions her to address and counsel her clients around multiple
challenges facing many of us in the everchanging business of law. Tracey’s programming is engaging, interactive, and impactful. As a former trial attorney, Tracey is mindful of the challenges that legal services professionals face
when managing individuals and teams. In 2015, the National Association for Law Placement named her Diversity Champion for creating the nationally recognized LAHANAS program, designed to assist historically
underrepresented law students with their successful transition to law school and the legal profession.
Tracey’s passion for initiating change and building inclusive academic and law firm cultures is facilitated through her consulting practice as a Diversity and Intercultural Competency trainer. One of the many tools in Tracey’s toolbox is
the IDI® (Intercultural Development Inventory). As a Qualified Assessor for IDI®, Tracey can administer and analyze the results of the IDI assessment. In workshops, Tracey brings IDI® content to life by reviewing the outcomes,
discussing the relevance to the participants and the firm, and providing opportunities for the participants to collaboratively discuss and develop initiatives. These programs help clients to advance towards their goals or
interests by enhancing cultural competency and developing a more inclusive environment. Tracey’s participants describe her as honest, candid, provocative, and inspiring.
Tracey was a trial lawyer for 12 years in both the private and public sectors, handling all phases of civil and criminal litigation. Raised in New York City, she earned her law degree at Georgetown Law School and her bachelor’s degree
at Georgetown University.
Geoffrey M. Williams, CLM, MBA, M.Div
Chief Operating Officer
Cunningham Bounds, LLC
Geoffrey M. Williams, CLM, MBA, M.Div. is COO/CFO at Cunningham Bounds, LLC on the Alabama Gulf Coast. He is a current member of ALA’s Board of Directors and is the ALA President-Elect for 2022-23. Mr. Williams is a Certified Blockchain and Law Professional by Blockchain Council, earned the Graduate Certificate in Law Firm Management from George Washington University, and his MBA from Louisiana State University in Shreveport. He is also a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and has a minor degree in computer science. He has consulted for service firms, led chapter board retreats and educational sessions, and taught at various national and regional conferences.
National Program Director
GLJ Benefit Consultants
Alan Wilson started working with GLJ Benefit Consultants (GLJBC) in 2004 as an Employee Benefits Specialist. Since 2006, Alan has spearheaded the effort within GLJBC to reach out to law firms nationally regarding their benefits and business operations and how to use them to help attract and retain quality personnel. While in his current role, Alan and GLJ have created 10 National VIP Business Partner Programs for the Association of Legal Administrators with hundreds of firms attorneys and tens of thousands of their employees enjoying the value- added benefits of these businesses. Alan has written articles for the Association of Legal Administrators’ Legal Management, speaks frequently on benefits, leadership and client relationship building at conferences, and consults with individual law firms nationally. Alan is a member of ALA's approved and recommended expert speakers.
Chief Community Officer
Office Administrator - Seattle and Bellevue Offices
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Deb Zaha is the Regional Office Administrator – Washington at Davis Wright Tremaine, a full-service law firm with eight offices in the United States. Deb started with Davis Wright Tremaine in 1997 in its Seattle office, then moved to the Bellevue office in the HR Department in 2009. In 20014, Deb was appointed Office Administrator of the Bellevue Office. She is now the Regional Office Administrator, which includes responsibility for the firm’s largest office, in Seattle. Deb received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington, where she majored in psychology. Deb is a native of the Seattle area. She enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking and reading.
Deb sponsored and participated in the leadership study group at her firm that will serve as an illustration of the power of leadership development study groups.
Laura Zaroski, JD, RPLU
Managing Director, Law Firms Practice
As the Managing Director of Gallagher’s Law Firms Practice, Laura is responsible for the placement of Lawyers Professional Liability, Management Liability and Cyber Liability insurance for Gallagher law firm clients. Laura has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by law firms due to her 16 years as a practicing attorney, her handling of law firms claims and years dealing with LPL coverage issues. Laura brings her knowledge and skill set to the broking process in order to tailor the best coverage solutions available in the marketplace for each law firm.
Suzanne Zimmerman, CAPM
Project Management Institute
Vice President - Billing Services
Frontline Managed Services
An expert in legal accounting operations, Suzanne specializes in “intake to cash” processes and has 25 years of experience working with AmLaw 200 law firms.