FreemanMeansBusiness.com We help women in business communicate effectively with the world -- and men communicate effectively with women in business!
"Freeman Means Business” podcasts serve to raise awareness about the great things incredible people in business are doing to serve others. We write about the podcasts on the blog on the website and then with social media.
For over 25 years, Kimya S.P. Johnson has been a champion for her clients in a career that spans law, politics, education, and diversity & inclusion management. Kimya serves as Co-Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Practice at Ogletree Deakins, one of the nation’s largest labor and employment law firms.
Kimya supports a wide range of employers in their efforts to provide legally-compliant, effective, and organizationally-integrative diversity and inclusion plans. She represents clients by providing D&I-related compliance and risk-reduction services, D&I program assessment and implementation assistance, and D&I-integrated business strategy and leadership development opportunities.
Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Kimya served as the first Director of Diversity & Inclusion at an AmLaw 100 law firm and she also practiced law in the labor and employment group. In her diversity management role, Kimya led the firm’s efforts to recruit, develop, retain, promote and advance diverse attorneys across the firm’s 26 offices in the U.S., Europe and Canada. Working closely with executive leadership and management across company functions, Kimya built systems, developed processes, and executed a host of programs designed to increase diversity within the firm and to promote its core value of inclusion. As an employment lawyer, Kimya handled the myriad of employment and labor-related matters, including affirmative action/EEO law, employment discrimination claims, complaint reporting, procedures and investigations, downsizing processes, wage and hour disputes, and union/management relations at the state and federal levels. She also provided human resource counseling, management/workforce training, human resource policy and handbook creation, and litigation defense to clients across a range of industries.
Kimya was recognized as a “Lawyer on the Fast Track” by The Legal Intelligencer, as a “PA Rising Star in Employment & Labor” by SuperLawyers Magazine, and as an “Influential Woman” by the NAACP, Philadelphia Chapter. She also received the “MultiCultural Leadership Award” from the National Diversity Council.
Kimya has been directly engaged with a host of community, educational, political and social service endeavors for decades. Before practicing law, Kimya was a public elementary school teacher in South Bronx, New York and received the Sallie Mae Excellence in Teaching Award. More recently, she served as Campaign Manager for a candidate for U.S. Congress who garnered more votes than any other primary challenger candidate in the state. Further, Kimya has first-hand experience with non-profit incorporation, management and governance through, among others, Dare to Imagine—an organization that began in her home in 2014 and has since grown to over 700 members with a campus in East Mount Airy, Philadelphia. She currently serves on the boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region, Dare to Imagine Church, Inc., and Dare to Imagine Community Development Corporation.
David G. Smith is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the US Naval War College; a gender, work and family researcher; author and speaker.
Through his research and experience leading diverse organizations, he has established his value to organizations looking to improve gender relations. Dr. Smith is known for facilitating challenging topics about gender relations and brings this skill to his consulting, writing, and speaking.
A sociologist trained in social psychology, he focuses his research in gender, work and family issues including cross-gender mentoring relationships, gender bias, retention of women, dual career families, military families, and military women. In his speaking, consulting and teaching, he explores gender in leadership settings focusing on social science research illuminating the difficulties women experience attaining and being seen as effective leaders. Emphasis on gender and leadership styles, traits, and effectiveness is integrated with domestic responsibilities and organizational cultures and how they differentially impact women and men. Dr. Smith engages audiences and clients in challenging conversations about stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination that contribute to women's under-representation in elite leadership roles. As a practitioner, Dr. Smith provides evidence-based best practices and strategies for promoting parity in top level leadership.
Dr. Smith is a frequent presenter on gender relations topics and best practices in mentoring relationships, co-author of Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women, and authored numerous articles across his areas of expertise.
Dr. Smith received a PhD in Sociology from the University of Maryland, an MS in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego and a BS from the U. S. Naval Academy.
Specialties: Gender, work and family; mentoring relationships; gender bias; retention of women; dual career families; military families; military women; and leadership identity/efficacy.
Charles Stone a lifelong resident of San Mateo County. He graduated from UC San Diego and Santa Clara University School of Law. Charles is an attorney by profession and is Of Counsel to the Law Offices of Katherine R. Moore, in addition to running his own small practice.
After a long history of education activism and youth sports volunteerism in Belmont, he was elected to the Belmont City Council in 2013 and served as Mayor in 2017. In 2018, he was elected to serve a second term.
Charles has also served on the San Mateo County Transit District Board of Directors since 2015 (Chair, 2018), the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board of Directors (Caltrain) since 2018, and the San Mateo County Library Joint Powers Authority Board of Directors since 2014 (Chair, 2018 - present.) He was part of the working group that brought Peninsula Clean Energy to live and serves as a Governing Board Member with that organization, as well.
He is a strong supporter of the San Mateo County High School Mock Trial program and served as a scorer from 2005-2018. In 2018, Charles began coaching the Carlmont High School Mock Trial team.
Charles lives in Belmont with his wife, Jessica, and two daughters, Sophia and Sara (who both attend public school).
Laura Leopard is the founder and CEO of Leopard Solutions, which provides the world’s largest and most accurate law firm database for legal recruiters, attorneys, law firms, corporations, and law schools. Leopard Solutions competitive intelligence program, Firmscape, offers current and historical data for the legal industry. She has been instrumental in Leopard Solutions’ growth and development over the past 15 years and continues to push the envelope designing new systems and data points for their expanding client base.
Laura began her career as an actress in her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, and moved to New York to pursue greater opportunities. She still ‘keeps her hand in’ the acting game, performing with yet another entrepreneurial venture Gotham Radio Theatre, which she founded in 2010.
Scott Love is the founder of the Attorney Search Group and is a high-stakes headhunter and “sports agent” for law firm partners. Scott has been a recruiter since 1995 and is one of the leading experts in his field. He produces and is the host for The Partner Podcast, has written over 250 articles on recruiting and leadership, and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Huffington Post, and dozens of business publications across the globe. He is the author of Why They Follow: How to Lead with Positive Influence and is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Maryland. Prior to entering the business world, he was third in command of a U S Navy ship and during his shore duty tour was a leadership trainer at the world’s largest naval base. Scott works primarily in the DC and New York legal markets and lives in Virginia with his wife, two children, two cats, and a rescue dog named Ruby. In addition to recruiting, he is also a professional watercolor artist.
Thank you for stopping by! I started my business in 2015 as a side hustle while working full time at the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School) and took it full time in 2017. Throughout my career at different universities, I noticed that students would be optimistic when talking with their friends about their professional future, last exam, or how they felt overall. But when I met with them one-on-one, everything wasn’t OK and they were open and honest about how they were really feeling. These conversations led to my business name… Everything’s Not OK and That’s OK.
Erin Hottenstein founded Colorado 50-50, a community group dedicated to gender parity in elected office and on boards and commissions. In just over two years, Colorado 50-50 has held trainings and events around Colorado with more than 450 people participating. The group is very active on social media and played a key role in advocating for a better work environment at the Colorado Capitol.
Hottenstein is also an Associate Trainer and Vice President at Public Speaking for the Professional. She has 20 years of experience as a trainer in corporate, collegiate and community settings. She has taught courses in presentation and communication skills, personality styles, goal achievement, self-esteem, personal finance and stewardship. Hottenstein holds certificates in coaching and training. During her early career in journalism, she worked in radio, television and print for which she earned numerous awards at the state and national level. This background, along with her subsequent work in public relations, has been a valuable asset to clients who are facing challenges with external communications.
Professional contact info:
LinkedIn: Erin Hottenstein
Volunteer contact info:
Lisbeth McKinley, M.A., CPO® - BIO
Lisbeth “Lis” McKinley, is a certified professional organizer, move manager and owner of LET’S MAKE ROOM, LLC based in Oakland, California.
Lis along with her team at LET’S MAKE ROOM, serves busy homeowners to achieve their compelling vision of organization, with care and compassion, before or after moving, remodeling or simply to refresh their living, work and storage areas. LET’S MAKE ROOM is in its 10th year of operation.
As a move manager and productivity expert and speaker, Lis also advises international audiences on moving, downsizing, as well as how to manage their time, tasks, and paper so they can enjoy life and get more done.
Karen is the CEO/co-founder of Montanya Distillers and Zoetica. When Karen started Montanya in 2008, she was the only female in a male-dominated industry in the US. This impacted her ability to gain respect, buy materials, sell her products, be safe from sexual harassment, and be taken seriously in her work. It also impacted the willingness of banks to lend her money, the willingness of investors to get involved, and venture capital firms to say yes (in 2018, female founders received 2% of venture capital in America and 4% of bank financing).
Karen watched male colleagues with smaller and less successful companies access resources regularly denied to her. Yet she persisted, stayed focused, and refused to let circumstances deny her success. Now, after more than a decade in business, her companies produce double-digit growth annually, and she is one of the larger private-sector employers in her community. She is known for training and mentoring women nationally, and she is the founder of The Women’s Distillery Guild, which is now part of Women of the Vine and Spirits (WOTVS). Karen leads the Women in Distilling group at WOTVS.
Lisa is an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at Rutgers Business School. She teaches undergraduate, MBA and Executive MBA students the fundamentals of corporate finance, with a focus on applying these concepts to decisions typically encountered in corporations and investment banking. She earned the Dean’s Meritorious Teaching Award in 2018. In addition, she provides career coaching and serves as faculty advisor for Women in Business and the Finance Alumni Network. In April 2019, Lisa launched the Rutgers Business School Women’s Initiative to create a thought leadership loop between industry and academia, with the mission of removing barriers and empowering women with confidence and expertise to succeed in a continuously evolving workforce.
Lisa began her career as an investment banker at Alex. Brown & Sons in the mid-1990s, covering financial institutions, and later moved to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where she focused on retail and consumer products companies. She then transitioned to the company side, where she served as the Treasurer of Bed Bath & Beyond for 8 years, and subsequently, as CFO of various private equity-backed start-ups.
Lisa later created Kaplowitz Advisory Group, LLC to support executives, at all stages of growth, with using finance to help direct corporate strategy and decision making. Specifically, she helps companies with the tactics of strategic planning, including execution, implementation, alignment, prioritization of initiatives and measurement of effectiveness. In addition, Lisa provides executive management assistance in all functional areas, including operations, finance, legal and supply chain management.
Lisa also serves on the Board and is Treasurer of PowerPlay NYC, a non-profit that uses sports to advance the lives of underserved girls, helping them growth emotionally, socially and academically stronger.
Lisa earned a B.A. in Economics and International Relations from Brown and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. While at Brown, she was captain of the Women’s Gymnastics team, 4-year MVP, 4-year All-Ivy, 3-year Academic All-Ivy, 2-year all-ECAC and was inducted in the Brown Athletics Hall of Fame in 2018. Lisa is a tireless advocate of women’s athletics and, in 2018, founded Brown Athletics W.O.M.E.N. (Women’s Opportunity, Mentorship & Empowerment Network).
Lisa resides in New Jersey with her husband and 2 sons, and enjoys traveling, skiing and anything active.
Leeatt is the Founder and CEO of Packed with Purpose, a specialty gifting company with a social mission. Founded in
2016, Packed with Purpose was born out of Leeatt’s desire to create a social impact and her appreciation for the
importance of gifting in fostering meaningful relationships. She is thrilled to be building a business that creates deep
societal impact through the everyday act of gift giving.
Prior to founding Packed with Purpose, Leeatt served as the VP of Advisory Services for Mission Measurement where
she developed innovative social strategies for Fortune 500 companies to generate social impact and business results.
Prior, she was a Director of Marketing Strategy and Insights at Rosetta, a digital agency within Publicis Groupe.
Leeatt served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay from 2002-2004, witnessing first hand the profound positive
impact that economic development can have on the lives of individuals living in underdeveloped communities. Following
her experiences in the Peace Corps, she went on to earn her MBA from the Wharton School of Business, and a Masters
in International Studies from The Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, in 2010.
Leeatt is a board member of the Anti-Defamation League in Chicago, an advisory board member of Bright Endeavors, a
mentor for Wesleyan University’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, and is an alumni of the Schusterman
Wesleyan University: B.A, Psychology
The Wharton School of Business at The University of Pennsylvania: M.B.A., Marketing, Strategic Management
The Lauder School at The University of Pennsylvania: M.A., International Studies
JoAnn Holmes ("Jo") serves as Outside General Counsel, providing comprehensive legal
solutions and executive level guidance to innovative midsize companies. She helps intimate
management teams protect and monetize intellectual property, leverage legal positioning
for enhanced profitability, and navigate risks to accomplish business objectives.
With over 20 years of experience serving global organizations, Jo is a pragmatic and trusted
advisor. As an external member of clients’ leadership, she focuses on business and legal
strategy, commercial contracts, and building licensing programs for recurring revenue.
Over her career, Jo has successfully negotiated with multiple Fortune 100 companies, and
managed IP portfolios spanning 150+ countries that generate over $2 billion in annual
Stephanie Corey, Co-founder & , General Partner, UpLevel Ops, LLC and Co-founder, CLOC
A veteran in the Legal Operations field, Stephanie Corey began her career at Hewlett Packard Company as Chief of Staff and head of Legal Operations. Stephanie has held similar positions at VMWare and Flex International. She is the co-founder of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC), a leading Legal Operations association, and co-founder and General Partner of UpLevel Ops, LLC, a legal strategy and operations consulting firm. Stephanie holds a BA in Economics and an MBA from Lehigh University, and is a serial entrepreneur in her spare time.
Khalilah Lyons is a results-driven career strategist devoted to moving the work of underrepresented and untapped talent forward and making substantial contributions to the global community.
Her HR experience ranges from Fortune 500 corporations and manufacturers to digital start-ups. She has successfully developed and executed initiatives around diversity & inclusion, strategic planning and workforce management, affording workable solutions that resonate throughout the organization. Her expertise is rooted in pinpointing and unveiling a person’s creative potential. Khalilah creates cultures of belonging, encouraging colleagues to be their best selves. Her approachable and practical workstyle facilitates meaningful connection with colleagues across levels and industries.
As the head of Diversity & Inclusion at Conagra Brands, Khalilah Lyons is building a culture that values, inspires and connects all employees. She believes the foundation of a great corporation begins with a culture of authentic, bold, connected individuals. She empowers and inspires people to do their best work. Khalilah understands the importance of leveraging all the experience individuals bring to the table; experience based on race, disability, gender identity, ways of working, communication style, parental status and other factors impacting an individual’s unique journey.
Combining 20 years in education, counseling and non-profit management, Renee Branson's passion and purpose is helping individuals, teams, and organizations cultivate resilience. After years of working with survivors of trauma and the caregivers who help heal them, she became enthralled with what it is that allowed people to not only survive, but thrive through their greatest crisis. The answer is resilience. The more valuable lesson is that resilience can be taught, strengthened, and cultivated.
As a Certified Resilience Coach (CReC), Renee provides clients with immediately usable tools to increase resilience, well-being, and optimism in the workplace. She works with lawyers, legal marketers, business professionals, non-profit leaders, and others to help them understand and incorporate resilience in their own professional lives and in the teams they lead."
Kim Stuart, Founder of Key Group, is a strategic advisor for professional services firms, non-profit organizations and business executives. She has more than 20 years of experience in constructing and advancing business development initiatives and marketing strategies.
Alycia Sutor, Managing Director
Alycia Sutor leads the Professional Services team and has more than twenty years’ experience helping lawyers and executives accelerate sales performance and revenue growth. She is particularly passionate about helping individuals create greater impact in how they lead, work, and sell by unlocking strengths and research-based insights to power individual, team and organizational growth.
Wendy Merrill has had a successful business development career spanning over 23 years. Her strategic and methodical approach to cultivating and leveraging relationships has allowed her to construct a rich network of resourceful professionals, and help others do the same.
Never a fan of traditional selling or outdated management techniques, Wendy decided early on to approach her career with an eye on the impact she wanted to have with her clients, colleagues and community. Her positioning as a Center of Impact led to great success with her personal and professional relationships.
Editor, writer, and business development strategist with over 25 years experience on the beat and in the C-Suite. Expertise includes legal industry trends, public relations and marketing, and pithy commentary on the state of affairs in law and tech. Based in San Francisco, with work published in San Francisco Magazine, San Francisco Attorney, The ABA Journal, Forbes ASAP, California Lawyer, and the Daily Journal. My monthly column on Attorney at Work is Content Under Pressure; with additional content on JD Supra. Private clients range from individual professionals to domestic and international law firms with 2 - 1,000+ employees.
Laura Putnam, MA, author of the #1 Amazon Hot New Release in HR & Personnel Management Workplace Wellness That Works (WILEY, 2015), is CEO and founder of Motion Infusion, a leading well-being and learning provider. Her work has been covered by MSNBC, The New York Times, US News & World Report, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, and NPR. She is a former urban public high school teacher, L&D professional, public policy advocate, international community organizer, dancer, gymnast and now a movement-builder in the world of health and well-being. With a mission to get people and organizations “in motion,” Laura is a frequent keynote speaker and has worked with a range of organizations from Fortune 500s to government agencies to academic institutes and nonprofits. She teaches at Stanford University, is the recipient of the American Heart Association's "2020 Impact" award as well as the National Wellness Institute’s “Circle of Leadership” award. A graduate of Brown University and Stanford University, Laura lives in San Francisco with her fiancé. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After earning her B.S. from Journalism School at the University Kansas, Amy went to work at Lathrop & Gage (now Lathrop Gage) for Katie Hollar Barnard. While there she managed public relations and advertising tactics in local markets and nationwide; she maintained firm social media accounts and website content; she coordinated production of firm marketing materials; and she handled numerous nominations and submissions for legal awards and rankings.
Amy then moved to Garmin International where she married her work life with her personal love of fitness, leading global public relations campaigns for the company’s fitness (running, cycling, multisport and swim) and wellness (activity trackers) products. She left Garmin and went to work on the brand public relations and social media team at Hallmark.
After about two years at Hallmark, Amy reconnected with Katie, joining her at her agency, Firesign, as vice president. At Firesign, she develops strategic communication plans for legal industry clients and coordinates the agency’s marketing and social media efforts.
Amy also coordinate marketing for their amazing educational program, "Ellesquire," and leads weekly coaching sessions with participants. This is something Amy is particularly proud to work on as it was a true passion project of Katie’s and clients love the program.
Sarah is a Change Management Professional, Recruiter and Behavioral Mapper. She has a MA in Organization Development, is a certified Career Coach from the Baraka Institute and has a certification in Change Management from Prosci with 3000+ hours of Change Management experience. She routinely stays abreast of best practices in order to follow her credo of ‘listen, learn and adapt.’
And since 2005, she's put this knowledge behind her passion for the world of work -- whether it be recruiting, mapping leadership opportunities or facilitating groups through change. Her aim is to build better work environments for everyone. She's worked with burgeoning nonprofits focused on systemic change to exciting tech startups in Silicon Valley, yet is most familiar with the Social Enterprise sector: nonprofits or for profits that benefit the common good.
When she's not working, she's reading ferociously, cooking (Chinese food) or dancing Casino de Rueda, Kizomba and Salsa.
Joni Wickham is all about grit, grace, and getting things done. A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Joni and her indisputable southern accent arrived in Kansas City almost 10 years ago after leading initiatives within state and federal government as well as advocacy organizations. In her eight years with the mayor’s office—the majority of them spent as Chief of Staff—Joni has proven herself as an accomplished political strategist, communications expert, and organizational leader. She directed public policy initiatives, communications tactics, and administrative decision-making during her tenure, all while promoting women’s leadership and empowerment issues. An artful negotiator, Joni helped steer Sly’s major development projects in Kansas City while raising the city’s profile at the national and international levels. Her front-row seat at City Hall shed light on how local government is still very much a man’s world, and this motivated her to create a first-of-its-kind women’s empowerment initiative, which has been implemented in several major cities.
Prior to her time at city hall, Joni worked with the American Federation of Teachers, the Missouri Department of Transportation, and in the office of Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan. While a student at Meredith College, where Joni received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies, she studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia. An accomplished alumnus of University of Missouri where she earned her Masters of Arts in Political Science, Joni was the recipient of the 2019 University of Missouri Truman School of Public Affairs Mel Carnahan Public Service Award.
As a young girl, Christine Clair sold friendship bracelets in the tasting room of Willamette Valley Vineyards. Her life-long connection and passion to fulfill the founder's dream of making world-class Pinot Noir lead her back to the winery where she serves as Winery Director overseeing winemaking, vineyards, sales and marketing, and is training to replace the Founder/CEO upon his retirement. In 2015, Christine co-founded a new company division, Oregon Estate Vineyards, with Jim Bernau, dedicated to continuing to share the Oregon story through wine by building boutique brands on some of Oregon's most intriguing vineyard sites. In 2018, Christine helped coordinate the Oregon Solidarity collaboration wines as a way to help Southern Oregon winegrowers who had their contracts canceled just days before harvest. Christine was honored with Portland Business Journal's 2017 Forty Under 40 Award.
Carliz Sotelo Moore co-founded Wigs.com in 1999. After working hard to create one of the most popular wig websites in in the world from the ground up Carliz and her team turned their focus on education and helping people find their beautiful both inside and out! She has been a wig wearer and passionate advocate of wearable hair for every woman. Hailed as one of the top wig experts in the industry, Carliz’s passion and mission is to provide a convenient, supportive, and educational platform for those who are affected by hair loss or looking to feel better about their hair. She has a desire to help women in their journey to wearing and learning about alternative hair.
Julie helps clients negotiate investment-related agreements of virtually every type, including investment management, trust, securities lending and transition management agreements, as well as many different types of trading agreements. She represents employee benefit plan investors in all types of private fund investments, negotiating fund documentation and side letters to address ERISA and other risk management issues. She also counsels financial services and investment management clients on ERISA compliance.
But wait! That's not all!
For the Fun Part…
Americans began listening to game shows on the radio and were immediately hooked on the excitement and thrill of competition. As television came of age in the 1940s and ’50s, game shows made a natural transition to the new medium. There’s something about watching contestants match wits onscreen: We love to play along, shouting answers at the television.
“We play games at home, we play games at parties, we go to clubs and play games. Americans love games,” says Bob Barker, host of the long-running “The Price Is Right.” Some game shows were edgy, such as “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” or they could be educational, such as “Jeopardy.”
Having fun with celebrities became a staple for Julie Stapel. She is bright, dynamic, witty, and has a lot of grit. Just as she tells stories of her lifelong love of game shows, I can bet the celebrities tell stories of Julie Stapel.
Cheryl Aufdemberge is passionate about helping lawyers reach their digital marketing goals. She always wanted to practice law but the opportunity never arose so she chose to become a marketing tech serving the legal community.
Cheryl loves all things tech and social. Her years of experience reside in the realm of websites, blogs, e-marketing, CRM, social media and online research. Cheryl is a member of the Legal Marketing Association (LMA), The Freelance Exchange of Kansas City (FXofKC), International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA), Social Media Club of Kansas City (SMCKC), and International Legal Technology Association (ILTA).
When she isn't working, you can find Cheryl planning/managing events for local nonprofit organizations.
Michelle Tillis Lederman, one of Forbes Top 25 Networking Experts, is the author of four books including the internationally known, The 11 Laws of Likability, and the #1 new release The Connectors Advantage. Michelle is a connection creator and CEO of Executive Essentials, which provides customized communications and leadership programs for fortune 500, non-profit, university and government clients. A former finance executive and NYU Professor, Michelle is a regular in the media appearing on NBC, CBS, Fox, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, NY Times, CNBC, and others. Michelle is known for helping people work better together and advance their individual impact.
Katie started Firesign to help legal industry clients attract, win and retain business. She draws upon more than 10 years of experience at two of the nation’s largest law firms to build brands that connect and business plans that deliver.
As the chief marketing officer at Lathrop & Gage, and then Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Katie led all business development and marketing communications for the national Am Law 200 firms. She started the client feedback program at Lathrop, now in its ninth year, and launched the award-winning agribusiness practice. Her full-scale rebrand of Shook earned “Best Identity” from the Legal Marketing Association’s Midwest chapter. During her Shook tenure, she also created a business development dashboard to show pitches and wins in real time, and most relevant to Firesign clients, her department brought in eight figures of new work.
Katie’s in-house marketing teams won recognition for branding, websites, internal programs and other tactics, but she may be more proud that she outlawed stock photos of gavels, law books and the scales of justice at both organizations.
Her experience extends beyond the discipline of marketing into the business of law; she is adept at marshalling resources, staff and technology. She has advised on leadership transitions, mergers and acquisitions, and office openings and closings.
A former journalist, Katie previously covered legal issues for the Associated Press and three newspapers. As a reporter, she learned to deliver under deadline, simplify complex ideas and wield a ruthless grammar standard.
Pat Gillette is one of the country’s leading experts and most sought-after speakers on gender diversity and equality. She speaks regularly at law firm retreats, conferences, ABA meetings, State Bar meetings and industry events.
For most of the 40 years over which Ms. Gillette practiced law, she was rated as a top employment litigator and trial lawyer by Chambers and other organizations and was a leader and rainmaker in her firms, At the end of 2015 she resigned as a partner at Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe, LLP to pursue her passion for empowering women through keynote speaking and writing. She was also invited to join JAMS to mediate employment cases and now has a successful mediation practice.
Ms. Gillette’s newest book, “Rainmakers: Born or Bred” is filled with practical tactics and strategies that can be easily implemented to enhance business development skills and books of business. The book highlights the nationally acclaimed Rainmaker Study and includes helpful tips from rainmakers and clients across the country. This groundbreaking study, coupled with Ms. Gillette’s insights from her own experiences, brings a fresh perspective and approach to business development.
Ms. Gillette has been widely recognized for her work to advance women in the profession. Most recently, she was chosen as the 2018 recipient of the ABA Margaret Brent Award, the highest honor given to women lawyers for professional achievements and advancing the interests of women in the profession. She has also received the ABA Golden Hammer Award, the California Women Lawyers Association’s Fay Stender Award, the Transformational Leadership Award as one of the Top Women Rainmakers, and the Barristers Association of San Francisco Award of Merit.
Ms. Gillette is the co-founder of the Opt-In Project, a nationwide initiative focused on changing the structure of law firms to increase the retention and advancement of women. Her team at the 2016 Diversity Lab Hackathon created the Mansfield Rule, requiring that 30% of all candidates for leadership positions be women or minorities. The Mansfield Rule has been adopted by over 60 firms nationwide and is increasing the visibility and pipeline of women and minorities for leadership positions in firms and organizations.
Ms. Gillette has been a Commissioner on the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, a member of ABA’s Gender Equity Task Force, Co-Chair of the BASF No Glass Ceiling Initiative, a member of the National Women Lawyers Association Board and Foundation, and she serves on several non-profit boards dedicated to protecting and promoting women, including Equal Rights Advocates and DirectWomen,
Ms. Gillette is the proud mother of two successful and enlightened sons and lives in Kensington, California with her husband of 40+ years. She was an elected official in her town and is active in political and community organizations and activities.
Visit Ms. Gillette’s website at www.patriciagillette.com.
Deborah Farone has had the unique opportunity to play a role in developing the best practices in professional services marketing by working with the most respected and demanding professionals in the world.
Over the past two decades, Ms. Farone has carved out a niche by distinguishing herself as the chief marketing officer of two of the country’s most successful law firms and the founder of both firms' business development and communications departments. But before entering into the legal marketing profession, she sharpened her communications and business development skills by working at a global management consulting firm. When she applied for her first position out of college, she didn’t take no for an answer when applying to the PR firm she had her eye set on for her first job. After receiving numerous letters stating the firm was not hiring, the third letter she submitted to the firm along with a press kit demonstrating her experience did the trick. She was hired as a coordinator in the firm’s new business department.
Best Practices in Law Firm Business Development and Marketing is a unique resource for law firm leaders, practicing attorneys, legal marketers, consultants, and educators who want to uncover the best marketing practices in the legal profession. Find out how the most successful law firm leaders are creating and developing firm cultures to encourage business development, and how smaller firms and single practitioners are executing on marketing plans to make an impact.
Deborah's new book uncovers the best practices in the wide arena of legal marketing.
Anne Ahola Ward is chief executive officer at Veritoken Global. Dubbed "The Mother of Startups" by CNN, Ward is an entrepreneur, futurist, and published O'Reilly author. As CEO of Veritoken Global, Ward has led the way for updates in blockchain technology, specifically utilizing previously underappreciated technology known as "Non-Fungible Tokens" (NFTs) to help alleviate global suffering for the unbanked.
In a career that spans more than 15 years, Ward has thrived in most areas of technology, having mastered nearly every role in web development including DBA, webmaster and developer. Ward was an early entrant into the field of search engine optimization and in 2009 co-founded digital marketing agency, CircleClick, which has worked with world-renowned companies including Apple and Samsung. Ward was named one of Entrepreneur's "27 Top Masters of Marketing that everyone can learn from" in 2014, and "Top 50 Inspirational Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2017." Ward frequently tours as an IoT Influencer with the elite IBM Futurist Program.
Sheenika S. Gandhi leads the development, oversight and implementation of the firm’s strategic marketing and business development objectives.
She is a strong project manager, creative thinker, and a trusted advisor for the firm’s attorneys and management. Her recent notable projects include: an integrated thought leadership strategy, a business development coaching program, and centralized budget and operational processes.
Prior to joining Payne & Fears LLP, Sheenika led the digital marketing strategy for five years at an AmLaw200 firm.
Sheenika received her J.D. from California Western School of Law and her B.A. in Business Administration and International Relations from University of San Diego. Sheenika is a licensed California attorney.
Sheenika is an active volunteer with the Legal Marketing Association, the leading association for legal marketing. She currently assists with programming, communications and sponsorship in her role as Vice-Chair of the Southern California Local Steering Committee.
Committed to helping cultural non-profit organizations grow in their membership and marketing, she has volunteered as a former Co-Chair for both the Young Jains of America and Young Jain Professionals, and served on committees for the Jain Center of Southern California and the Gujarati Society of Southern California. She enjoys yoga, exploring vegan restaurants and traveling.
Linda Ficano began her legal marketing career nearly 25 years ago when Paul, Weiss asked her to delve into this new industry where she developed and implemented their first marketing department. Her career led her to the IP specialty firm Fitzpatrick in 2004 when a friend of hers heard they were looking to hire their first seasoned marketing director. The collaboration was successful and lasted nearly 15 years.
During those years Linda played a key role in many initiatives including project management, PR, redesigned websites, creation of microsites and overall raising recognition of the firm’s name in the New York business and legal communities.
In January Linda was asked to join Neo Design Group as their client solutions specialist. Linda had worked with Neo Design Group while at Fitzpatrick where they collaborated on the creation of microsites for individual practice groups and the rebranding and redesign of the firm’s website.
Linda’s belief that every law firm would benefit from having a non-lawyer manage client relationships and her passion for branding led to the decision to join the team at Neo Design Group where her role will be a liaison between your company and the design team to ensure exceptional customer service.
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Pam is an innovative and transformative executive with 25+ years of success in global marketing, communications programs, and corporate social responsibility for global professional service firms. Expertise establishing strategic marketing communications programs from scratch, growing revenue through new business development, developing high-performing teams across the globe, and building strong and strategic relationships within the actuarial and legal professions.
Dr. Angela Meyer is President and CEO of PLAC (The Product Liability Advisory Council), a legal association of manufacturers, retailers, distributors and select outside counsel. A trained and licensed mechanical engineer, she has been working in the litigation support arena her entire professional career- she is one of the few people that can say “I love lawyers.”
“I am often asked why, as a lawyer, I pursued a career in communications. The answer is simple. In marketing and public relations, we communicate a message to a target audience to achieve a desired response or outcome. This is like the practice of law except I can be more proactive and creative.”
After 20 years of successfully litigating and developing and coaching talent in corporate America and law firms, Sheila is pursuing her passion for helping others reach their full potential. Leading with moxie, Sheila is CEO and President of Focus Forward LLC and Chief Learning & Talent Officer of WOMN LLC, focused on having individuals and businesses achieve their career and business goals. Sheila also continues to support the financial industry in her role as a consultant at Bates Group.
On this special edition of Freeman Means Business "Wonder Women in Business" we chat about Leadership. What is it, what does it mean to different people, is it hard to engage in effective leadership and as Brene’ Brown says, do we lead in an “armored or daring manner. We are delighted to have our listeners tune into “Freeman Means Business” on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor, Google Podcasts, Breaker, and RadioPublic for our great episodes starring people who move the needle. I was delighted to have “A Dynamic Duo of Deborahs” on the show! Deborah McMurray and Deborah Grabein. Many of you in the legal marketing arena know these two amazing women quite well but we hope today you’ll learn something new about each of them while you enjoy this podcast!
Brenda Pontiff is the Director of Business Development, Diversity & Inclusion for Horvitz & Levy, LLP, the nation’s largest appellate law firm. Brenda started her business development career in law before marketing departments at firms existed. She served in a sales role at Vinson & Elkins for almost 8 years before becoming a business development manager at Deloitte & Touche where she sold litigation support services. From there, she went on to lead Ernst & Young’s largest sales support team and then took a role as a global client retention leader, achieving a 100% success rate in maintaining relationships with critical at-risk priority clients. Brenda believes client service innovation is the key to law firm growth and success.
Merry Neitlich is a partner with EM Consulting and a leader in legal marketing and business development solutions.
With over 25 years of experience, Merry provides clients with tools to grow relationships and to successfully identify, court and convert targets into clients. In addition to proven client development programs, she has extensive branding expertise capturing a law firm’s unique distinction and integrating it with all marketing efforts. Merry implements social media programs, and creates websites and client satisfaction programs that inevitably lead to new business.
Jim Jarrell helps his clients by building structure and accountability into customized business development plans and through one-on-one or group dynamic coaching programs. He has developed and conducted formal training programs on a variety of topics that are often eligible for CLE credit, including business development planning, cross-selling strategies, personal branding, social media and delivering the perfect elevator pitch. Jim is also a certified “Yellow Belt” by the Legal Lean Institute for legal project management and process improvement.
While studying peace and conflict resolution during a college program in the Middle East, Marla Sofer realized her passion for partnerships aimed at addressing significant social challenges. Today, she is the VP of Strategic Partnerships at Jemstep, a digital advice platform focused on helping Americans achieve their financial goals. At Jemstep, Marla has established allies across technical, financial, and consulting ecosystems to expand the availability of investment advice, improve the end-to-end user experience, and reduce the cost to serve clients at the country’s largest financial institutions. Prior to joining Jemstep, she was the Head of Business Development at Xignite, and the Head of Third-Party Monitoring and Oversight at Lending Club. Both firms dedicated to democratizing financial services to broader markets.
Mignon Crawford is the Group Vice President of Client Integrations for SunTrust Bank’s Treasury and Payment Solutions division. She has been with SunTrust for 28 years holding positions in Treasury and Payment Solutions, Global Trade Services, and Receivables Capital Management. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science in International Trade and Finance. Mignon lives in Atlanta, GA with her partner Montserrat Miller and her son Nicholas Knoll attends the University of Alabama. She is actively engaged with her community including St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, The Boyce L. Ansley School, and SunTrust’s onUp Movement.
Jodie Baker is an innovator, entrepreneur and business builder and advocate of #LegalTech. Jodie has a background as an in-house lawyer and financial analyst, is a Founding Member and Deputy Chair of the Australian Legal Technology Association and Co-Chair of the College of Law Centre for Legal Innovation. Jodie was the architect, founder and MD of Hive Legal– winner of many of Australia’s leading innovation and law awards.
Mark is President of Leadership for Lawyers, LLC, a consultancy focused on helping lawyers become better leaders and business developers. He provides training, coaching and consultation to firms in the areas of leadership development, business development and marketing with law firms across North America. His clients range from small, single office firms to global Amlaw 100 firms.
He provides training, coaching and consulting in the areas of leadership development, business development and innovation. He focused his work on helping firms adapt to the “new normal” by equipping firm and practice group managers with leadership skills, tools and direction. Often he works with managing partners, executive committee members, C-level executives and practice groups to improve their performance.
Bob Burg shares information on topics vital to the success of today’s businessperson. He speaks for corporations and associations internationally, including fortune 500 companies, franchises, and numerous direct sales organizations.
Bob regularly addresses audiences ranging in size from 50 to 16,000 — sharing the platform with notables including today’s top thought leaders, broadcast personalities, Olympic athletes and political leaders including a former United States President.
Although for years he was best known for his book Endless Referrals, over the past few years it’s his business parable, The Go-Giver (coauthored with John David Mann) that has captured the imagination of his readers.
The Go-Giver, a Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek Bestseller, has sold over 850,000 copies. Since its release it has consistently stayed in the Top 25 on 800ceoread’s Business Book Bestsellers List. The book has been translated into 22 languages. It was rated #10 on Inc. Magazine’s list of the Most Motivational Books Ever Written, and was on HubSpot’s 20 Most Highly Rated Sales Books of All Time.
Bob is the author of a number of books on sales, marketing and influence, with total book sales of well over a million copies.
The American Management Association named Bob one of the 30 Most Influential Leaders and he was named one of the Top 200 Most Influential Authors in the World by Richtopia.
With clients across the US, Judy Dang is a corporate productivity trainer and coach whose mission is to help professionals work smarter, not harder. Clients who work with Judy achieve their goals faster because she helps them clarify their most meaningful goals and creates clear steps to get there. She's also their accountability partner and keeps them on track to achieve what they thought was nearly impossible.
Nikki is a community activist in Menlo Park and an outspoken advocate for providing women opportunities to relaunch their careers after a career pause. The Recorder listed Nikki as one of its 2017 Leading Women in Tech Law and the Silicon Valley Business Journal named her Bay Area Corporate Counsel of the Year (Innovation and Tech) in 2018.
KMS began its life in Tacoma, Washington, in 1971 and relocated its headquarters to Seattle in 1976. We focus exclusively on supporting the efforts of our associated investment professionals - more than 300 individuals working with clients to define and implement prudent strategies to address their financial goals and objectives.
As a consultant, Mark pioneered professional service firms’ use of market research, process improvement, and competitive intelligence to make smart business decisions. As a CMO/Marketing Director he was instrumental in shaping strategic direction and branding for O’Melveny & Meyers, Nixon Peabody, Waller, and Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie. One of the first recipients of the Legal Marketing Association’s lifetime achievement award, Mark’s many other honors include:
Trustee and President-Elect of the College of Law Practice Management
Included on inaugural list of the National Law Journal’s “Business of Law Trailblazers & Pioneers”
Advisory Board of “Attorney at Work”
2014 winner of Nashville Business Journal’s “CMOs of the Year” award
GE-trained Six Sigma Black Belt and Champion
Distinguished Graduate Alumni of the University of North Carolina (Go Heels!)
Master Level Competitive Intelligence Professional (Academy of Competitive Intelligence)
Adjunct professor and lecturer at several universities
Mark is a frequent speaker and writer on artificial intelligence, market research, competitive intelligence, branding, and business strategy. Outside the business world, he is active on behalf of environmental organizations, a Master SCUBA Diver, avid cyclist, Boy Scout leader, and proud father of two Eagle Scouts.
A great conversation with Wendy Toth: Wendy is a writer, editor, and mom of two boys, with a focus on making life more fulfilling for families. For the last 15 years she has held staff and freelance positions at some of this country’s top publications. She’s been a staffer at Parents Magazine, NBC, PetSmart and most recently Happy Wellness Life. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Weight Watchers Magazine, Esperanza, and many more. Because she loves her work so much, she’s obsessed with helping others find career fulfillment, and writes about it regularly at PowerSuiting.com.
Fine artist Melissa Mahoney’s latest painting series is titled ‘Vortices’. She says Vortices draw all that surround them into their powerful currents. She's interested in these masses of energy and how they can contain and then transfer their energy.
Melissa is also attracted to the fluidity and texture of textiles. She created a recent series of artwork specifically to be printed on silk fabric. She created a custom silk scarf for Stanford University, and it sells at the Stanford bookstore on campus and online.
Melissa grew up in a family of artists, drawing and painting. She received formal art training at the University of Georgia where she earned a BFA. She went on to study art in Tuscany, Italy.
Deirdre K. Breakenridge is Chief Executive Officer at Pure Performance Communications. A veteran in PR, marketing and branding, Breakenridge has worked with organizations including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, JVC, Kraft, Nasdaq, NBA Events & Attractions and PRSA.
Breakenridge is the author of six business books. Her most recent book, “Answers for Modern Communicators” was published by Routledge in October 2017. Her other titles include “Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional, and “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations.”
As an adjunct professor, Breakenridge teaches online PR and social media courses for the UMASS at Amherst Journalism Department and for Rutgers University’s PR Certificate course. She speaks nationally and internationally on the topics of PR, marketing, branding and social media communications. Breakenridge is a LinkedIn Learning Instructor with seven video courses on Public Relations Foundations, Media Training, Handling an Unruly Audience, Marketing Communications, Go-To-Market Planning, Competitive Analysis and Creating a Marketing Culture.
Breakenridge is the host of a podcast program, Women Worldwide, interviewing women who share their incredible stories, educating, imparting advice and offering insights to show listeners. Women Worldwide has joined the C-Suite Radio Network, which is the home of podcasts for top business leaders and innovators.
NJBIZ named Breakenridge as one of the Best 50 Women in Business in the state of New Jersey. She also joined the ranks of the Top 250 Women Leaders published by Richtopia in from 2016 through 2018.
Breakenridge blogs about communication, the changing media landscape and collaborative technology at PR Expanded and is the co-founder of #PRStudChat, a dynamic Twitter community with Twitter chats for PR students, educators and PR pros.
Terrie Wheeler is a legal marketing veteran, having served for 13 years as an in-house marketing director, then, in 1997 founding Professional Services Marketing, LLC. PSM delivers outsourced marketing and marketing coaching services to lawyers across the country. On August 15, 2018, Terrie is launching CLE Connect| Ethical Marketing CLEs on Demand for lawyers in Minnesota. Terrie recently ended a six-year term as vice chair of the MN Lawyers Board of Professional Responsibility. She teaches marketing and client service at three midwestern law schools and is a syndicated columnist for the ABA’s Small Firm Solo Section, and Attorney at Law Magazine.
Deborah McMurray is the founder, CEO and Strategy Architect of Content Pilot. Her vision has always been to elevate professional services organizations through smarter strategies, dazzling execution and a service ethic that starts with passion and ends with love and care.
Andrea Amaraggi is founder and principal at Cohere Insights. She has more than 20 years of consulting experience in all aspects of program development and management of analytics applications on both the business and technology side, for companies of various sizes and industries around the globe.
Lindsay by day: a law firm network executive responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN)...alas, tune in for what else is up in Lindsay's world!
Enjoy a terrific talk with Wonder Women in Business: Carrie Wilder, Director of Market Management in Argentina for Expedia Group Lodging Partner Services. Most importantly, Carrie is a friend from high school and a friend for life.
A conversation with one of Legal's favorites, Jennifer Scalzi.
Jenn created Calibrate Legal after having countless conversations with law firm leaders about the obstacles they face in proving their contribution to their firms' bottom line. She wanted to develop platforms and tools that would help those who have previously been labeled “non-lawyers” to redefine themselves as Revenue Enablers™. When their mindset changes, the trajectory of their firms will change as well.
Mike O’Horo is been known by lawyers everywhere as The Coach. He’s helped more than 7000 of them generate $1.5 billion in new business.
He’s integrated human coaching with online education (Dezurve) and interactive training (RainmakerVT) that teaches practical business development skills.
These tools also enable firms to identify which lawyers are serious about learning, and which will contribute to the estimated 80% waste of your budget.
As a management consultant based in New York with a global client base and a former CEO and corporate executive, Tim now advises law firms and law department leaders on the profitable disruption of outdated business models.
She is a Harvard College and Harvard Law School graduate, a wife, a mother of three, a sister, an aunt, a grandmother and now, my friend. I had the great and distinct please of chatting with Betsy Munnell on our “Wonder Women in Business” podcast today — but why? Why Betsy?
Today, we had a delightful guest on the "Peer Pod," Roy Sexton. Roy is an enthusiastic, dynamic, legal marketing professional with years of experience in the healthcare and financial services industries before his time in legal.
Editor-in-Chief, Global Legal Brands
Along with serving as EIC of The American Lawyer, Gina works with the EICs of ALM's global legal brands, including Corporate Counsel, The National Law Journal, Legal Week and China Law & Practice, to connect the deep insights of ALM's niche audience segment,s building communities across the entire legal industry.
Corporate Social Responsibility has become increasingly important to companies over the last several years. Whether it's by empowering women, helping the environment, or trying to end poverty, more and more companies are incorporating social responsibility into their overall business strategy. The social issues may be local, national, or global, but a concern for the health and wellness of others that do not involve sales can be seen as commendable. There are many reasons why a company might engage in social responsibility...