Ida O. Abbott
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.
Greg Allen, PhD
Chief Executive Officer & Founder
Step Up Consultants
Dr. Allen is a highly accomplished operations management consultant with a track record of leading projects that are focused on business process improvement, people and achieving measurable success. He is a natural leader, advisor and teacher who is committed to improving organizational performance.
Greg has coached and advised countless of leaders in the legal, healthcare and communications fields in his 25 plus years as a consultant and professor. His publications focused on process improvement, shifting organizational culture and developing people were published in The Journal of Management Science and Operations Management Journal. He was the recipient of the 2018 Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching at George Fox University. His main services include:
Arthur P. Bernstein
Chief Operating Officer
Tucker Ellis LLP
Art Bernstein is the Chief Operating Officer of Tucker Ellis LLP, a general practice firm of 200+ attorneys in Cleveland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, St. Louis and Columbus. Previously, he was the Executive Director of Hopkins & Carley in Silicon Valley, California,. His prior posts include stints at the State Bar of California (Budget Director) and Pillsbury Winthrop (Facilities Director). Bernstein is a Boy Scout leader and a passionate numismatist. He served on the ALA’s Annual Conference & Expo Planning Committee back in 2009 when it was held in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Chief Practice Management Officer
Perkins Coie LLP
Toby Brown is the Chief Practice Management Officer for Perkins Coie (www.perkinscoie.com). In this role Toby works with firm partners and clients in developing pricing arrangements and service delivery models that drive successful relationships. This role includes practice management, pricing, legal project management, lateral partner acquisition, practice innovation and alternative staffing approaches. Prior to this, Toby served as the Chief Practice Officer for Akin Gump (www.akingump.com) and served in pricing roles for both Vinson & Elkins (www.velaw.com) and Fulbright & Jaworski (www.fulbright.com). Before joining Fulbright, Toby served as a Director for the Utah State Bar (www.utahbar.org).
Toby presents nationally on legal pricing, practice innovation, knowledge management, marketing, technology and law firm management for associations, law firms, legal departments and law schools. He is the founder of the P3 Conference (www.legalmarketing.org/P3Conference) and is a founder of the Legal Value Network (www.legalvaluenetwork.com), which is building a community of pricing, LPM and innovation people. Toby is also the founding President of the Board for SALI (www.sali.org). SALI is the standards body for the legal industry. He has published numerous articles, along with the book, Law Firm Pricing: Strategies, Roles, and Responsibilities. Toby has served on a number of legal services boards, bar association task forces and legal market organizations. He was named to The National Law Journal’s 2013 list of Legal Business Trailblazers & Pioneers and received the Peer Excellence Award, the President’s Award and the Anne Charles Award from the National Association of Bar Executives (NABE – www.nabenet.org). Toby received his BS and MS in Economics from the University of Utah.
Toby maintains the ABA award winning 3 Geeks and a Law Blog with 3 colleagues at: www.geeklawblog.com. He is active on Twitter as @gnawledge and can be found on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/tobinbrown.
Michael S. Cohen
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.
Matthew K. Corbin
Senior Vice President and Executive Director, Commercial Risk Solutions, Professional Services
Aon Risk Services Central, Inc.
Matthew K. Corbin is a Senior Vice President with Aon’s Professional Services Group. As a member of Aon’s loss prevention team, Matt consults with Aon’s 275+ law firm clients on a wide range of professional responsibility and liability issues.
Before joining Aon in 2013, Matt was a partner with Lathrop Gage LLP in Kansas City, Missouri, and Overland Park, Kansas. He was a business trial and appellate lawyer handling commercial, business tort, employment, construction, insurance, professional liability, and regulatory matters. Before joining the firm, he clerked for the Hon. Mary Beck Briscoe of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Matt began his career as a law clerk to the late Hon. G. Thomas Van Bebber in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas.
Matt earned his J.D. from the University of Kansas, where he was Note and Comment Editor of the Kansas Law Review, was a member of the Order of the Coif, and won the C.C. Stewart Award in Law. Matt also earned his B.A. from the University of Kansas.
Timothy B. Corcoran
Corcoran Consulting Group, LLC
Timothy B. Corcoran is a legal management consultant with offices in New York, Charlottesville, and Sydney and a global client base. He’s a keynote speaker, author, and legal commentator. Tim brings his deep experience from over two decades as a senior corporate executive to guide law firm and law department leaders through the profitable disruption of outdated business models. His disruptive, confident, and sometimes irreverent stage presence enables him to bring levity to topics of particular gravitas, while masterfully navigating tough discussions from a refreshing perspective. Audiences embrace Tim’s simplification of complex concepts, his practical and actionable advice, and his deep understanding of both the psychology and economics of change.
As a change agent, Tim’s focus is on helping law firms operationalize their strategy, improve profits with project management and process improvement, embrace profitable alternative fee arrangements, assess and improve partner compensation plans, design new financial metrics and dashboards, build effective operations, train current and future leaders, refine business development skills, and embrace technology. Tim helps law departments embrace performance analytics, better manage outside counsel, and improve business velocity. Tim also advises legal service providers on sales effectiveness and go-to-market strategy.
Tim served as President of the 4,000+ member Legal Marketing Association and is a member of its Hall of Fame, he’s a Trustee and Fellow of the the College of Law Practice Management, an American Lawyer Research Fellow, a Teaching Fellow in the Master in Legal Business program at the Australia College of Law, and a sought-after speaker and writer on topics related to the changing business of law. He also authors the widely-read Corcoran’s Business of Law blog.
Associate Director of Legal Support Services
Husch Blackwell LLP
Nichole Cornwell is currently Associate Director of Legal Support Services in the St. Louis office of Husch Blackwell, LLP and has management responsibility over the Firm’s St. Louis office and The Link (virtual) office. Nichole also oversees legal administrative support services across the Firm. She has 17 years-experience in the legal industry with proven achievements in leading innovative Firmwide initiatives, including opening a virtual office; leading a task force assigned to successfully implement new administrative support team structures to provide exceptional client service to attorneys Firmwide and designed and rolled out a workflow system to streamline task-management within the team structure. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies from Maryville University in 2004 and has served in multiple leadership positions in the local Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) Gateway Chapter, including 2018-19 President of the Board.
Sherry A. Cushman
Vice Chairman, Tenant Advisory Services, Founder, Legal Sector Advisory Group
Legal Sector Expertise
As a Vice Chair with Cushman & Wakefield, Sherry Cushman has been a leader in the commercial real estate industry for 35 years, exclusively representing legal sector tenants. She travels the country and globe working with law firms to develop long-term business and real estate strategies that support and fulfil their business, financial and operational goals, with a focus on improved operations and workplace, reduced occupancy costs and increased profits for single, multi- office and large portfolio users.
As leader of Cushman & Wakefield’s Legal Sector Advisory Group, Sherry coordinates the group’s initiatives, national benchmarking, as well as serves as a Thought Leader and Chief Strategist to Cushman & Wakefield law firm clients. The Legal Sector Advisory Group consists of over 350+ highly sophisticated law firm real estate advisors, who draw on multi-disciplinary teams of C&W professionals, to deliver strategic solutions specifically tailored for the legal industry.
A demonstrated leader in the industry and throughout the company, Sherry also serves as a Member of Cushman & Wakefield’s Global Advisory Board (GAB), Tenant Advisory Group (TAG) Executive Committee and Specialty Practice Group Advisory Teams. Sherry also serves as an Executive Committee Member and Co-Chair of Cushman & Wakefield’s Women’s Integrated Network (WIN) Recruitment Initiative which is empowered to drive the firm’s goal of increasing diversity and women opportunities in the commercial real estate industry.
Throughout Ms. Cushman’s career she has consistently been ranked as one of the Top 100 producing brokers worldwide and has won several philanthropic & achievement awards. In 2015, Ms. Cushman was honored with the CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) Lifetime Achievement Impact Award, as well as being recognized as a Heroine of Real Estate by the March of Dimes. Most recently, she was named to Real Estate Forum’s Women of Influence Hall of Fame and recognized by the Washington Business Journal as one of their Women Who Mean Business in 2017.
Lisa R. Dasher
Chief Financial Officer
Wicker Smith O’Hara McCoy & Ford P.A.
Lisa R. Dasher, CPA, CGMA, CLM serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Wicker Smith O’Hara McCoy & Ford P.A., a reputable litigation defense firm with over 250 attorneys and fourteen offices throughout Florida, Arizona, Georgia and Tennessee. A 40-year veteran of the firm, Ms. Dasher was named CFO in 1997, and is responsible for the overall financial management of the firm and execution of firm policies, as well the management of multiple firm functions including human resources, technology, vendor relations, marketing, facilities management, client satisfaction and strategic development.
During her career, Ms. Dasher has gained extensive experience overseeing business performance and strategic growth initiatives for the firm including acquisition of new office space. With a focus on strategic solutions to further the firm’s business objectives, she has also spearheaded the implementation of a fully integrated IP phone system, converging voice and data networks to streamline communication throughout the firm.
Ms. Dasher is currently serving as the Chair of the Standards Review Committee at the International Level and Chair of the CLM Committee of the South Florida Chapter Association of Legal Administrators. Ms. Dasher was the Chair of the 2012 Association of Legal Administrators Annual Conference Committee and the Chair of the 2019 Professional Development Advisory Committee. Since becoming a member of the South Florida and Cyber Chapters of ALA, she has served in various capacities on the Board of Directors from 2003-2020.
Ms. Dasher is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Legal Manager and Chartered Global Management Accountant. She received her Masters of Accounting from Florida International University, where she also obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting.
Chassidy C. Deckard
Director of Administration
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Chassidy is the Director of Administration for the Texas region of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. She has built her career focusing on law firm management by being a trusted advisor and providing innovative strategy for the ongoing administration of law offices. She currently serves as the 2021 President of the Houston Association of Legal Recruiting Administrators.
Chassidy received her bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from The University of Texas and her master’s degree in Occupational, Workforce, and Leadership Studies from Texas State University. She also received her SHRM-CP certification in 2018.
Chassidy has been an active member in the Association of Legal Administrators since January 2014. During her time in ALA she has served as Membership Chair for both the Austin and Houston chapter of the Association. She has also served as a volunteer on the international level by joining the inaugural Membership Development Committee and she is currently a member of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Committee and serves as the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Houston chapter.
Director of Practice Support
Fox Rothschild LLP
Laura A. Dieudonné
Legal Operations and Administration Director
Delta Air Lines, Inc.
Claude E. Ducloux, J.D.
Director of Ethics, Education and State Compliance
Sergeant Jeff Ferry
Criminal Investigations Division
Caldwell County Sheriff's Office
Jeff Ferry has been a certified Texas Peace Officer since 2003 and currently serves the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office as a Detective in the Criminal Investigations Division. He started his career in Caldwell County where he worked as a K9 handler and Patrol Sergeant with the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office. At the Sheriff’s Office, Jeff Ferry worked with the narcotics task force and served on the tactical operations team after completing basic SWAT school in 2005. Since that time, he has operated on numerous tactical scenarios and situations, and still routinely conducts tactical assessments and debriefs as part of his duties. From Feb. 2008 to Nov. 2018 he worked at the Luling Police Department as a Patrol Sergeant and a K9 handler. Jeff Ferry obtained a certification as a PPCT Defensive Tactics Instructor in 2008. From 2009-2018, He was responsible for all areas of the Luling Police Departments Field Training Program and served as the Departments Field Training Coordinator, after serving as a Field Training Officer for over a decade. Jeff Ferry has responded to all types of police scenes, ranging from ‘in progress’ calls to crime scene investigations and all reports produced by patrol officers. He has supervised and participated in crime scenes of varying natures and degrees related to attempted homicides, unattended deaths, burglary (motor vehicle and structures), robbery, assaults, and family violence, among others. Jeff Ferry has taken a keen interest in the area of ‘Active Attack/ Shooting’ incidents, having attended numerous Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training courses and conferences. Jeff Ferry obtained his TCOLE instructor certification, is a certified impact munitions instructor and is currently an adjunct instructor with ALERRT, where he gets to travel the country teaching, and certifying, first responders in the national standard of active shooter response.
In May 2016, Jeff Ferry was elected to public office as a Trustee on the Luling Independent School District Board of Trustees, where he currently serves as the School Board President, having been elected to that position in May 2017. During his tenure on the Board, he has trained all staff, to include teachers, administrators, office staff, and janitors, on the ALERRT Civilian Response to an Active Shooter Event and has started offering a traumatic bleeding control course and persuaded the district to purchase the “School Guard” application for mobile devices to help promote a more effective, informed response in an ASE.
Jeff Ferry has, in his professional capacity, routinely presented to the public on topics ranging from K9 demonstrations, narcotic related presentations, self-defense and active shooter incidents. Jeff Ferry has trained over 3,500 civilians in the CRASE, Avoid-Deny-Defend program.
He was honored to have been selected in 2005 as Deputy of the Year, in 2008 as Officer of the Year, and in 2013 and 2014, by his peers as the Luling Police Department Supervisor of the Year. Jeff Ferry is a third generation Peace Officer, dedicated to professional service and the honor of duty. Contact him at [email protected]
Affinity Consulting Group
Debbie Foster is a nationally recognized thought leader on efficiency and innovation in professional legal organizations. Her 20+ years of experience, combined with a mix of strategic management and strong leadership skills, has enabled Debbie to develop a unique ability to work with law firms and legal departments to help them navigate the ever-changing legal services delivery landscape.
Debbie has been working with law firms and legal departments since 1995, originally implementing software solutions ranging from practice management and time/billing/accounting to document management. This quickly led to her helping solve general law office management issues. It became abundantly clear that in addition to helping clients with their software and technology, what was really needed was help thinking about one’s firms and departments like a business, and running them accordingly.
Debbie earned her Lean Six Sigma Certification and is relied on by firms all over the country as a management consultant. She has been working with legal professionals to understand the importance of accuracy and efficiency in their processes, along with inspiring them to focus on innovation – or simply put, finding the better way. If a bigger picture focus in needed, Debbie is also a trusted advisor for many when it comes to assisting law firms with strategic management problems and their resolutions.
Debbie is very active in the Law Practice Division of the American Bar Association and is currently serving on the Executive Committee as the Budget Officer. She was the Chair of ABA TECHSHOW 2010 the Co-Chair of ABA TECHSHOW 2018. Debbie is also very active in Local and State Bar Associations as well as the Association of Legal Administrators, serves as the Chair of the Business Partner Relations Project Team for the ALA, the Co-Chair of the Business Partner Task Force for ILTA, and she regularly speaks on topics relating to people, process and technology in a law firm.
Debbie lives in Seminole, FL with her husband Dan, her two dogs Chole & Izzy, and has 2 grown children.
Duska Frink has over 8 years of experience in the legal industry working directly for a mid-size Canadian law firm. During her time with the firm, she successfully managed legal support staff and worked on many process improvement initiatives. Her last year with the firm was spent leading the implementation of BigHand Workflow and Duska brings first-hand knowledge of on the ground product implementation. Since then, Duska is now the Solutions Consultant of the North American business unit for BigHand, overseeing several products specializing in both law firm finance and operational performance.
Lynn S. Garson, J.D.
Lynn Garson practices healthcare law at BakerHostetler in the firm’s Atlanta office. Ms. Garson’s areas of expertise include physician practice acquisitions and employment, independent contractor and related agreements.
Ms. Garson is also a mental health advocate and author. In July 2012, she published Southern Vapors, a memoir describing her journey from major clinical depression to recovery, and has since spoken widely, including a TEDx Emory talk: “Reforming the Approach to Mental Health in the U.S.” and made numerous presentations to private and public organizations including the American Bar Association, local Bar associations, the American Health Lawyers Association and a number of law schools. Her work includes chairing the Lawyers Assistance Program of the State Bar of Georgia and membership on the Suicide Awareness and Prevention Committee of the State Bar of Georgia as well as the Wellness Committees of her firm, the State Bar of Georgia and the American Bar Association. Ms. Garson also hosts the “Lawyers Living Well” podcast, a joint initiative of the Wellness Committee and the Lawyers Assistance Program. In May 2021, The American Lawyer published Ms. Garson’s article, “Everything I Know About Suicide,” a personal essay about her own suicidality and thoughts about helping others in distress.
Denise Gaskin, PhD, MS
RavenWork Consulting & Coaching
Denise provides coaching so leaders can take their training and skills to the next level. She specializes in working with professionals who want to develop an Encore Career: either at their current firm or in another industry. Developing an Encore Career includes a look through both a cultural and design lens. Denise brings this cultural analysis and design thinking framework to the coaching experience.
She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee in Educational Psychology with a concentration in collaboration, communication, culture, and dialogue. She has an M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Indiana University, and a B.S. in Exercise Science and Wellness from Ball State University.
Denise is a former law firm COO, and before that worked for a multi-county behavioral health organization. Her formative professional years were spent developing and implementing health promotion programs in several industries including healthcare, manufacturing, and for profit businesses.
Founder and Chairman
Chief Executive Officer
James is the founder and CEO of the cybersecurity company INVISUS. As chief strategist and product visionary, he led the development of the company’s cybersecurity, identity theft, and InfoSafe® data breach compliance and breach response lineup that protects businesses including many ALA member law firms throughout the U.S. and internationally. James frequently writes for, speaks and trains in a wide variety of industry and trade groups including financial services, insurance, IT services, and legal, including several recent ALA conferences.
Jeffrey A. Healy
TRGP Investment Partners, LP
Jeff Healy is a Managing Director of TRGP Investment Partners LP, responsible for deal sourcing, investment selection, due diligence, portfolio construction, and negotiation of funding agreements.
For more than 20 years, Jeff represented Fortune 50 companies in mass tort and product liability litigation as national and trial counsel and has tried cases throughout the U.S. Jeff was one of the founding partners of Tucker Ellis LLP, and served as the firm’s mass tort and product liability practice leader as well as chair of the firm’s trial department.
He holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from Boston College Law School.
Judy Hissong, CLM, PCC
Judy earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Huntingdon College, and her Master’s Degree in Sports Management from the University of Richmond. In addition to her Professional Coaching Certification, she is a licensed provider for the suite of emotional intelligence tools provided by Personal Strengths Publishing, and also for the Living Your Vision process. She is a Certified Legal Manager. She resides in San Diego, CA.
Judy Hissong was a professional athlete and has been an ACE Certified Personal Trainer since 1993. She has designed personal training programs for professional athletes and for business professionals. She writes articles on the importance of health and exercise to maintain productive workload and provide work/life balance. She has been a presenter at many international conferences on the topic of work/life balance and stress management in the workplace. She is an Accredited Life Coach working with individuals who know they can achieve more (personally, professionally, or both) and want to overcome their obstacles to success. She works with teams (athletic and corporate) who want to break through their current performance ceiling to achieve the next level.
With over 15 years in leadership roles inside professional service organizations, Judy provides a wealth of knowledge and expertise in leadership, emotional intelligence, and successful business planning. She is a sought-after speaker and facilitator on topics of emotional intelligence, strategic and long-range planning, leadership development and accountability, and job coaching. She writes articles on the importance of leadership and strategic planning in the success of business and has been an instructor for the University of California San Diego in their Certificated Program for Paralegals.
This unique combination of business and wellness led Judy to create Nesso Strategies. Her mantra, World Domination for Good, is evident in every aspect of her teaching. Her energy is contagious, and her message is powerful and simple. She partners with organizations to develop profit-oriented strategies based on her business acumen and her team-oriented approach. She is here to guide individuals toward balance in their workdays, and their personal lives. Now that makes sense and cents.
Director of Operations
Rogoway Law Group
Tiffany Ho joined the legal industry in 2012 at a multinational law firm with offices in the US and Asia. Since joining Rogoway Law Group’s San Francisco office in 2017, Tiffany oversees the firm’s human resources, finance, administrative operations, and marketing functionality as the Director of Operations. She works closely with the Managing Partner as a strategic partner on business planning and practice management. Tiffany is the Vice Chair of ALA Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Committee (2021-2022).
Prior to working in the legal industry, Tiffany spent over six years working with children and families with special needs. She remains a strong advocate to amplify voices that have been silenced and to empower those without power. Tiffany can be spotted volunteering at events throughout her local community. In her leisure time, Tiffany enjoys traveling, upcycling furniture, and outdoor time with her fiancé and 12-year-old dog.
Brandi M. Hobbs, MPS, ALP
Chief Strategy Officer
Bell David & Pitt, P.A.
Amy A. Hunter
Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Amy A. Hunter is currently the Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the publically traded Caleres. She recently joined the Caleres team after serving as the Senior Global Equity Diversity and Inclusion leader at Boeing . At Boeing led strategies for Boeing Corporate and Defense. Prior to joining Boeing, Amy was the senior manager of Diversity and Inclusion for St. Louis Children’s Hospital. In this role, she led their diversity and inclusion strategies, implementation and measurement while developing educational trainings that impacted retention as well as equitable patient care.
Hunter is also the Principle of Lotus Roots Consulting LLC. She has spoken and presented diversity training, keynotes, seminars and strategy sessions around the world. She is well respected globally and has received numerous awards for her achievements as a diversity resource.
Terry M. Isner
Owner/ Chief Executive Officer
A marketing philosopher, brand consultant and dynamic speaker for the professional services industry, Terry M. Isner is known as “the empathy man” because of his humanistic approach to business strategy. Whereas many business professionals overlook compassion as part of the branding equation, Terry believes humanism is essential to a business’ success in today’s socially conscious environment. As Terry says, “If humanity gets left out of the board room, nobody wins.”
In the world of professional services marketing, Terry fulfills a niche as a business strategist with an extensive background as an award-winning creative director and artist. This unique mix of creative and analytical thinking makes him more likely to set trends than follow them. Terry often draws inspiration from other industries to formulate new approaches to professional services marketing, PR and branding. He also stays current on the latest trends in technology to devise ways to leverage innovation to advance brands.
Terry’s philosophical approach to business is just that – a philosophy. Bringing concepts such as creativity, inclusion and compassion into corporate culture is a reflection of the world we live in. Firms that fail to be cognizant of such issues risk damage to their reputations and devaluation of their brands.
Jean Jewell, CLM
Chief Executive Officer
Senior Director of Strategic Growth
Perkins Coie LLP
As Senior Director of Strategic Growth, Kristina oversees the firm's strategic pricing function which specializes in creating innovative and practical pricing solutions aimed at enhancing the overall value provided to clients and improving firm economics. Her role includes internal and client-facing elements involving the development of pricing strategies and firmwide policies and procedures.
Previously, Kristina served as the firm’s senior director of pricing and practice economics, responsible for leading the pricing and legal project management teams focused on enhancing the overall value provided to clients and improving firm economics. Prior to joining Perkins Coie, she held strategic pricing and legal project management roles with two Am Law 50 firms. She current serves as a board member of the Legal Value Network, an organization dedicated to accelerating the evolution of the legal industry.
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.
Sergeant, University of Texas Police Department
The University of Texas at Austin
Joseph LoBrutto is a Detective Sergeant with the University of Texas at Austin Police Department. He has been with UT System Police since 2005, moving from University of Texas at San Antonio Police Department to UT Austin in 2020. He currently works in the Investigation and Mitigation Division as a Threat Mitigation Sergeant. He gathers intelligence and coordinates with other divisions to plan operations for visiting dignitaries or high-profile persons. He is responsible for tactical field intelligence during assigned periods of operations related to events, crime trends, or perceived threats towards the campus community or property. He also assists in assessing crimes, suspects, reports, situations, events, and other incidents for threat concerns, behavioral assessment, assigning potential threat levels, and coordinating with other divisions before threats present themselves or high-risk incidents develop.
Joe is also a contract instructor for the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) facility. He has been teaching first responders and civilians how to respond to active attack events since 2009. He is also employed by a private company to teach civilians and community stakeholders how to respond to active attack events, as well as assisting them with creating policy and procedures on how to respond before an incident occurs.
Joe has a Master of Arts in Counseling from the University of Texas at San Antonio, as well as his Bachelor of Arts in University Studies with a concentration in Law Enforcement studies from the University of New Mexico. He is a certified Mental Health Officer with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. He also holds a Master Peace Officer License with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.
Gretchen L. Luessenheide
Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd.
Baker & Hostetler LLP
Monique Mahler, CLM, SHRM-CP has 11 years of experience in legal management and is currently the HR Manager of Baker Hostetler LLP’s Houston office. She received her M.S. in Law Firm Administration from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in May of 2021 and her B.S. in Sociology from the University of Houston – Downtown.
Monique’s passion is leading through change and inspiring people to take their careers – and themselves – to the next level.
Monique’s honors include being the first Foundation of ALA Scholarship Award recipient in 2020, a 2014 ALA Quest Award Nominee, a 2013 Houston Chapter Member of the Year recipient and winning her fifth-grade spelling bee with the word cornucopia.
Monique has been a member of ALA since 2012 and is currently serving as the Houston Chapter President Elect.
Northern California Consultant
The Other Bar
Chief Executive Officer
Alex Martinez began his career in the litigation support industry in 1991. In 2003, his company Sherman, Alexander & Associates was acquired by First Legal, and he was appointed CEO in 2005. Under Alex’s leadership, First Legal has grown from a small, local attorney service company, to what it is today – the nation’s largest Litigation Support Service provider, File Thru Trial™. His focus on treating employees and clients as family has led not only to a unique, positive corporate culture but also to a company with strong customer service and industry relationships. He holds a BA in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and currently lives in Corona with his six kids and their dog Abby. He is a board member of the St. James Inn and enjoys golf and traveling.
Law Firm Administrator
Weinstock Dodig LLP
Oluwafunmibi Matthew, ODCP, SPHRi, ACIPM
Practice Development Manager
Business Strategist, Human Capital Evangelist, Organization Development Leader and Board Effectiveness Professional with over a decade progressive experience in Legal, Property Management and Consulting Industry with globally recognized certifications and memberships.
Board Chair, Center for Leadership and Organization Development, a consultancy and training and development company with membership across Asia, Africa, and USA.
The Practice Development Manager, Bloomfield Law Practice, Nigeria.
A Certified Project Management Professional (CPMP); Organization Development Certified Professional (ODCP, USA), Senior Professional Human Resources International (SPHRI), Member- Organization Leadership & Development Network (MOLDN), Associate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria ACIPM, amongst others.
A participating member in various renowned platforms such as – Global Institute of Organization Development Network, Leadership and Organization Development Network, Learning and Development Committee Chair – Association of Law Firm Administrators Nigeria.
She is passionate about knowledge transfer and currently run a leadership and organization development podcast targeted at educating executives on the importance of Leadership Development as well as the alignment of organization practices to strategy.
Jessica L. Mazzeo
Chief Operating Officer
Griesing Law, LLC
Jessica Mazzeo is a serial entrepreneur who runs three women owned businesses that she co-founded. GriesingMazzeo Leadership conducts diversity, inclusion, elimination of bullying, bias and sexual harassment education and training for businesses; Bossible focuses on business and professional development for individuals and small businesses. As Chief Operating Officer of Griesing Law, a full service business law firm headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, Jessica focuses on overseeing and implementing all of the Firm’s business operations while establishing policies that promote and retain the Firm’s culture and strategic vision. A thought leader on diversity and inclusion, employee issues, business generation and overall business management, Jessica writes a quarterly column for The Legal Intelligencer and speaks around the country. She was the 2020-2021 Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Association of Legal Administrators, and is a volunteer for the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms and for the Women's Business Enterprise Council East. Jessica is also currently pursuing her law degree at Widener University Delaware School of Law which she expects to receive in December 2021.
You can reach Jessica at [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected].
Christina McEnroe, NCIDQ, LEED AP
Senior Project Designer
Marie Moutsos, NCIDQ
Marie brings more than 20 years of award-winning design experience. As FOX Architects’ Interiors Principal, she is responsible for setting and implementing the firm’s interior design standards. She guides and advises design teams on projects, providing overall design direction to ensure consistency throughout each project. She brings an understanding of the smart execution of design while being mindful of her clients’ vision and requirements.
Marie is recognized for her success in leading some of the firm’s most notable interior design projects, including: Nuclear Energy Institute, American Beverage Association, American Forest & Paper Association, ASHP, Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz, among many others.
EDUCATION, CERTIFICATIONS & AFFILIATIONS
Michele M. Peffer
Fox Rothschild LLP
Blane R. Prescott
Blane Prescott is a consultant with MesaFive, LLC, a strategy and management consulting firm based in San Francisco and Tokyo. Blane works with clients on a variety of management and strategy issues, including governance, planning, merger negotiations and assessments, partner compensation, economics, growth, and restructuring. He has worked with over 1,000 law firms, in-house legal departments and private equity firms throughout North America, Asia, and Europe.
Blane was a co-founder of the Hildebrandt Institute, one of the premier programs designed to teach law firm leaders how to lead and develop lawyers. He is the author of more than 60 articles on law firm issues, and his work has appeared in The American Lawyer, The National Law Journal, The ABA Journal, The New York Law Journal, California Lawyer, and California Law Business. You can read his recent articles at https://www.mesafive.com/insights.
Blane was a Partner and Consultant with Hildebrandt International for more than 20 years and has served as the CEO/COO of large law firms based in the United States.
Bill T. Ramsey, J.D.
Neal & Harwell, PLC
Senior Manager, Global Talent & HR Operations
Douglas R. Richmond
Managing Director, Commercial Risk Solutions, Professional Services
Doug Richmond is Managing Director of Aon’s Professional Services Group. Aon’s Professional Services Group is the world’s leading broker of insurance for law firms. Doug consults with Aon’s 275 law firm clients on professional responsibility and liability issues, and additionally leads Aon’s loss prevention efforts for all professions.
Before joining Aon, Doug was a partner with Armstrong Teasdale LLP in Kansas City, Missouri (1989–2004), where he had a national trial and appellate practice. In his time at Armstrong Teasdale, he tried over 40 major jury cases as “first chair” and was often engaged to handle appeals of cases tried by other lawyers. In 1998, he was named the nation’s top defense lawyer in an insurance industry poll as reported in the publications Inside Litigation and Of Counsel. He was a member of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Ethics & Professional Responsibility (2016–19). He is also a member of the American Bar Foundation, American Law Institute (ALI), American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), and Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC). In the ALI, he served as an Adviser for the Restatement of the Law of Liability Insurance and is currently an Adviser for the Principles of the Law, Compliance, Enforcement, and Risk Management for Corporations, Nonprofits, and Other Organizations. Doug has also been selected to The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of legal malpractice, personal injury litigation, and railroad law. In 2003, the Euromoney Legal Media Group named him as one of the nation’s top insurance and reinsurance lawyers.
Doug is the lead author of the book Professional Responsibility in Litigation (2d ed. 2016), and the co-author of an insurance law treatise, Understanding Insurance Law (6th ed. 2018) and an insurance law casebook, Cases and Materials on Insurance Law (8th ed. 2018). He is also a named editor of the New Appleman Insurance Law Practice Guide. He has published more than 60 articles in university law reviews, and many more articles in other scholarly and professional journals. Doug teaches Legal Ethics at the Northwestern University School of Law, and Insurance Law and a seminar on Liability Insurance Law at the University of Florida College of Law. He previously taught Trial Advocacy and Insurance Law at the University of Kansas School of Law, and Insurance Law and a seminar on Damages at the University of Missouri School of Law. Doug is also a regular NITA faculty member, teaching both deposition and trial skills.
Doug earned his J.D. at the University of Kansas, an M. Ed. from the University of Nebraska, and his B.S. from Fort Hays State University.
Rick Rigsby, PhD.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Rick Rigsby Communications
Texas Department of Public Safety
Special Agent Brandon Stribling began his law enforcement career as a patrol officer with Sulphur Springs Police Department in January of 2000. Assignments included Patrol Division, SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) Team member and Sniper and oversaw the Reserve Officer Unit. In 2003 he was accepted into the DPS Academy and began his career with the Texas Department of Public Safety. He was assigned to the Highway Patrol Division and stationed in Emory and Sulphur Springs Texas. In 2009 he transitioned into the role of an Adult Probation Officer with the 8th Judicial District Adult Probation office in Sulphur Springs. In February of 2011 he came back the Texas Department of Public Safety and remains commissioned with them today. Since his return he has been assigned to the Critical Incident Response Team, Accident Reconstruction Team, Crisis Negotiation Team, Uniformed Division of the Governor’s Protective Detail and promoted to CID with the CITEC (Computer Information Technology and Electronic Crimes) Unit in August of 2017.
Agent Stribling has worked with Cumby ISD and Walsh Gallegos law firm in implementing plans and procedures during an active shooter time of crisis.
Agent Stribling earned his Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science in Criminal Justice from Midwestern State University, and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Texas A&M Commerce. He also has a Master of Arts in Christian Studies with an emphasis in Christian Leadership from Grand Canyon University.
Lynda C. Shely, J.D.
The Shely Firm, P.C.
Cornell Smith Mierl Brutocao Burton, LLP
Ted Smith is one of the founding partners of the law firm of Cornell Smith Mierl Brutocao Burton, LLP, in Austin, Texas. Ted is a Board-Certified Labor and Employment attorney who specializes in representing employers in all aspects of the employer-employee relationship, from training and advice to litigation and appeal. In particular, Mr. Smith has significant experience in litigating and counseling clients regarding federal and state employment discrimination statutes, as well as non-competition and trade secret matters, wrongful discharge matters, individual employee rights issues, retaliation under workers’ compensation laws, and matters related to unions and individual employee arbitrations.
J.D., University of Texas School of Law, 1994
BBA, University of Notre Dame, cum laude, 1991
Honors & Awards
Ted Smith has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 2010 in the areas of Employment Law – Management, as well as Labor Law – Management. In 2021, The Best Lawyers in America named him Austin’s “Lawyer of the Year” in the area of Labor Law – Management. Since 2003, Mr. Smith has also been named in the “Texas Super Lawyers” list under Labor and Employment Law, as published in Super Lawyers Magazine and Texas Monthly.
Michael G. Stephens
Director of Human Resources & Diversity
Alston & Bird LLP
Michael Stephens is the Director of Human Resources & Diversity at Alston & Bird, an international law firm with more than 1700 lawyers and employees in thirteen offices. Alston & Bird has been recognized by Fortune Magazine on their annual list of "100 Best Companies to Work For©" for the past 22 consecutive years. In his role, Michael manages all human resources operations, including supporting the firm’s award-winning culture that prioritizes trust, service, and inclusion. He also serves on the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion and Data Privacy & Security Committees.
Michael is a former President of the Atlanta Chapter and in 2020, Michael completed his term as Chair for the ALA’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Science from Florida State University. Where he also serves on the Florida State University National Alumni Board and their D&I Committee.
He is dedicated to community involvement and public service. Michael has served as a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta, Year Up Greater Atlanta, and POSSE. Currently, Michael serves on the Board of Trustees for the Historic Oakland Cemetery Foundation.
Kristi D. Stevenson
Berman, Sobin, Gross,
Feldman & Darby LLP
Chandra Storrusten, MBA
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Value Creation Officer
Chandra co-founded Visible Value in 2003 and serves as CEO & Chief Value Creation Officer. She fosters sustainable value creation strategies that allow organizations around the globe to capitalize on pivotal opportunities during growth, transitions, and transformations. Chandra inspires her clients to be mission, values, and purpose-driven organizations that deliver superior client and employee experiences and develop sustainable competitive advantages. Her clients become innovative leaders in their industry, achieve their vision, and consistently out-perform their competition.
Chandra advises clients on the evolving opportunities and challenges they face in the areas of strategy, M&A, organizational development, client and employee experience, and innovation and disruption. In addition, she delivers strategic keynotes for clients and regularly presents at national and regional conferences. Chandra obtained an Executive MBA from Duke University – Fuqua School of Business.
Sarah M. Tetlow
Chief Executive Officer and Founder
Firm Focus, LLC
Sarah is the CEO and founder of Firm Focus, LLC which focuses on productivity consulting for attorneys and busy professionals. She uses her past experiences, organizational and strategic thought process, education, and training 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.
Sarah began her career in law in the early 2000’s after graduating from UC Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Law & Society. Sarah has experienced first-hand the stresses that attorneys and legal professionals endure in trying to manage multiple projects. They also have the daily necessity to react to more pressing needs in a matter of minutes, causing frequent mind-shifting and multi-tasking. Sarah’s mission, and the reason for starting Firm Focus, is the desire to see a change in the legal industry. Ultimately, through Firm Focus, Sarah wants to help attorneys boost productivity and reduce stress at work.
Nia C. Troup
Executive Vice President of Strategy and Organizational Development
Attorney and Legal Content & Compliance Manager
Sharon Van Dyke
Graves McLain PLLC
Teresa J. Walker
Senior Advisor, Chief Operating
Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP
Dr. Jen Welter
First Female NFL Coach
Dr. Jen Welter draws from her trailblazing journey to deliver memorable insight on the far-reaching benefits of being an authentic leader, focusing on one’s goals, and cultivating a champion’s mindset.
The first female coach in NFL history, Dr. Jen Welter serves as a powerful role model and an inspiring reminder that barriers are meant to be broken. With a career studded with a number of firsts, Dr. Welter made history when she coached the Arizona Cardinals’ inside linebackers for their 2015 training camp. Previously, she became the first woman to coach a men’s professional football league team, as linebacker and special teams coach for the Indoor Football League’s Texas Revolution. She was also the first woman to play running back in a men’s professional football season with the Revolution. In October 2017, her first book, “Play Big” will be released, in which she reveals the grit and determination that it took to be a trailblazer in one of the country’s toughest boys’ clubs. Dr. Welter holds a doctorate degree in psychology and a Master’s in sport psychology.
Managing Director of Workflow
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.
Joni Watke has been an attorney in private practice and a professional speaker since 1996. She co-founded Academy LGBTQ whose mission is to educate organizations and families to elevate themselves so they can celebrate LGBTQ individuals. Joni educates at all levels of an organization, consults on corporate policy and helping organizations through the process of transitioning employees. Joni is also a former PFLAG National Board Member. PFLAG is the country’s oldest and largest organization of allies and LGBTQ individuals working together to move equality forward.
Joni uses humor to help educate and raise awareness of LGBTQ issues for thousands across the country each year. Her approach is to focus on meeting people where they are, so that real change and growth becomes possible. She’s worked with companies like Comcast, ConAgra, Union Pacific, Mutual of Omaha, Bank of the West, the American Bar Association and the US Army Corps of Engineers.