NAWL 2022-2023 Board of Directors
DeAnna D. Allen is a Partner in Cooley LLP’s Washington, D.C. office. Her practice focuses on patent litigation and she counsels clients in a variety of areas such as telecommunications, semiconductors, computer-related technologies, and biotechnology. Ms. Allen serves as Chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee. She also co-chairs the Programs Committee of the Intellectual Property Subsection of the ABA Section of Litigation, and she is a member of AIPLA and the National Bar Association. Ms. Allen previously served as in-house counsel to Burger King Brands and as a design engineer for Florida Power & Light. She has received multiple Benchmark Litigation recognitions. Ms. Allen has been listed as one of the “Most Powerful and Influential Women” in the Washington, D.C. area (National Diversity Council, 2010), and “Women Worth Watching®” (Profiles in Diversity Journal, 2015, 2009), and a member of the “Hot List” of “professional and entrepreneurial powerhouses under the age of 40” (Black Enterprise, 2007). In 2012–2013, she co-chaired NAWL’s Membership Committee and was a former Board Liaison to NAWL’s Diversity Committee.
Peggy Steif Abram retired as of January 1, 2020, as a Partner in the Corporate and Securities Practice Group in the Minneapolis office of Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. She advised clients on a wide range of business matters, governance, and corporate transactions, and for several years provided general counsel services for a Minnesota-based global technology manufacturer. Ms. Abram was President of the Faegre Baker Daniels Foundation, funding social, cultural, and legal non-profit organizations, and was a founding member of the firm’s Women’s Forum for Achievement. She served on the national U.S. Law Firm Group Corporate and Securities Committee, and was honored with a Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal “Women in Business” Award. Ms. Abram graduated summa cum laude from Carleton College, earned her M.A. from The University of Chicago Divinity School, and received her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School.
Kristin L. Bauer is a Principal with the Dallas office of the national employment law firm, Jackson Lewis PC. Kristin represents management exclusively in workplace law and related litigation. In addition to handling an active employment litigation docket, she counsels management on preventive strategies, including termination decisions, investigations, employment agreements, non-compete issues, wage and hour laws, policies and handbooks, and other workplace issues. Kristin devotes a substantial part of her practice to advising employers on the numerous laws touching ill and injured workers, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act, and strategies to manage those risks. Kristin has been recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer 2014-2018 and repeatedly as a Rising Star, as well as by Best Lawyers in America since 2018. Kristin also served as pro bono general counsel to The Family Place, a Dallas-based non-profit agency serving the victims of domestic violence and their families, from 2005 to 2021. In 2012, Kristin received the “Virginia S. Mueller Outstanding Member” Award from NAWL. Kristin has held leadership roles in several NAWL signature programs and most recently, the NAWL Survey Committee.
Gigi Rollini is a Shareholder with Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A., one of Florida’s premier full-service firms, and leads its statewide Government & Administrative Law Practice Group. Ms. Rollini practices in Tallahassee, Florida’s capital city, and works closely with the firm’s offices in Miami, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, and Coral Gables, Florida. Her practice is focused on litigation and appeals, and all aspects of Florida administrative law, including regulatory compliance, licensure, administrative complaints and disciplinary proceedings, government contracts, procurement and bid protests, rulemaking and rule challenges, state and local taxation, election compliance and litigation, and non-profit and trade association formation, compliance and management. She is AV-Preeminent Rated in Florida administrative, appellate, and civil litigation, and serves on The Florida Bar’s Administrative Law Section Executive Council. She is a past president of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers (“FAWL”) and was FAWL’s Delegate to NAWL for many years. She has been named one of Florida’s “Top 50 Women Lawyers” by Super Lawyers and one of The Best Lawyers in America for administrative and regulatory law, is routinely named one of Florida’s “Legal Elite,” “Top Rated Lawyers,” and a “Super Lawyer” in both administrative and appellate law, and has been honored as a FAWL “Extraordinary Woman,” a Florida Capital City “Woman You Need to Know,” and a Girl Scout Council “Woman of Distinction in Law.” Ms. Rollini is a past recipient of NAWL’s "Virginia S. Mueller Outstanding Member" Award, and is a two-time past president of America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend, her region’s eleven-county food bank.
Sandra S. Yamate the Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (“IILP”). IILP is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to creating a more diverse and inclusive legal profession through its research and programs. A lawyer by training, Ms. Yamate spent ten years as the Director of the ABA’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. She was the first Executive Director of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms. Prior to that, she was a litigator in Chicago for ten years. Ms. Yamate is a former Chair of the National Judicial College where she currently chairs the Nominations and Governance Committee, and she serves on the Diversity Equity & Inclusion Committee of the New York City Bar Association. She helped found the Asian American Institute, the National Women’s Political Caucus of Metropolitan Chicago, the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area (of which she is a past president), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and Asian Americans for Inclusive Education. Ms. Yamate is a former co-chair of the Diversity Committee of the Chicago Bar Association and a past president of both the Japanese American Service Committee and the Harvard Law Society of Illinois, and a former board member of numerous civic and community organizations in the Chicago area. She has been honored and recognized by Crain’s Chicago Business “40 under 40,” Chicago Sun Times “Neighborhood Hero,” National Asian Pacific American Bar Association“ Trailblazer” Award, Today’s Chicago Woman “One of 100 Women Making A Difference,” Chicago Department of Human Relations, Chicago Bar Association “Vanguard Award,” the University of Illinois “Asian American Alumni” Award, and the Asian American Bar Association “Hall of Fame” Award. Most recently, she was honored with the Women’s Leadership Award of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the Ping Tom Memorial Pan-Asian American Award by the Asian American Coalition of Chicago, the highest award bestowed by the Asian American community in Chicago. In addition to her work within the legal profession, she is known for her work writing and publishing Asian American children’s literature. A Sansei (third generation American of Japanese ancestry), Ms. Yamate earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School as well as an AB in Political Science (cum laude) and History (magna cum laude) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She has written and spoken extensively on community engagement, diversity and inclusion, and multicultural issues. Ms. Yamate and her husband, Brian Witkowski, reside in Chicago with their two dogs, Cashew and Filbert.
Tamela Merriweather is an experienced legal and regulatory advisor in the financial services industry. In her role as Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for The Northern Trust Company, Tamela is a member of the legal department leadership team and advises on securities finance, derivatives and global banking regulations.
Prior to joining Northern Trust, Tamela practiced in the Chicago and London offices of Mayer Brown LLP. Tamela began her career as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Alan C. Page and the Honorable Helen M. Meyer of the Minnesota Supreme Court. Before attending law school, Tamela had the privilege of serving as a U.S. Department of State intern at the U.S. Embassy in Paris.
Tamela joined the board of directors of the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) in July 2021 and NAWL’s executive committee in July 2022. Tamela previously served as the co-chair of NAWL’s Diversity Committee and is a past recipient of NAWL’s "Virginia S. Mueller Outstanding Member Award."
Tamela has been an active member of the Securities Finance industry for many years through her leadership of the Legal, Tax, and Regulatory Subcommittee of the Risk Management Association’s Securities Lending Council, as co-chair of the 35th Annual Conference on Securities Lending, and as a founding member of the Risk Management Association’s Women in Risk Committee.
Tamela completed McKinsey’s Black Executive Leadership Program in 2021 and Corporate Leadership Center’s Leading Women Executives Program in 2018. For many years, Tamela has actively supported By The Hand Club For Kids, a non-profit educational program serving kids and families on the west and south sides of Chicago. Tamela grew up in San Diego and lives outside of Chicago. Tamela received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Spelman College and her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School. Tamela is admitted to practice law in Illinois.
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
Jennifer A. Champlin is an Associate General Counsel for EdwardJones in Saint Louis where she partners with company leaders to provide legal advice on all manner of employment issues. Prior to EdwardJones, Ms. Champlin was a Director of HR for Walmart U.S. supporting Merchandising advising business partners on HR issues including but not limited to performance management, talent planning, talent development, organizational effectiveness, and diversity & inclusion. Prior to taking on an HR role, Ms. Champlin was an attorney in the Walmart Legal Department supporting the company’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) investigative efforts and before that, practiced employment law partnering with leaders to provide legal advice on employment issues and managing the defense of employment litigation and administrative charges nationwide for Sam’s Club. Before joining Walmart, Ms. Champlin was a litigator specializing in electronic discovery at Crowe & Dunlevy in Tulsa, Oklahoma and before that, in the Boston office of Nixon Peabody LLP on the white collar criminal defense team. Ms. Champlin is currently the President of the National Association of Women Lawyers and has been actively involved in NAWL since 2010. She received the “Virginia S. Mueller Outstanding Member” Award from NAWL in 2013. Ms. Champlin has chaired NAWL's Membership Committee, served on NAWL’s Sponsorship Committee, co-chaired the 2015 Women’s Initiative Leadership Boot Camp, and has been part of the planning leadership teams for regional GCI programming in Minneapolis and Atlanta and several other NAWL programs. Ms. Champlin spends most of her free time cheering her children, Grant and Mallory, on in a variety of pursuits, watching the Boston Red Sox or volunteering in a variety of alumnae roles for Alpha Chi Omega. She obtained her B.A. in English with honors from Oklahoma State University and her J.D. from Cornell Law School.
NAWL BOARD - MEMBERS AT LARGE
Carol Anderson, Senior Corporate Counsel - Global Trade for Microsoft, manages critical trade, supply chain, and national security policy and compliance as a member the U.S. Government Affairs National Security and Global Trade team with Microsoft Corporation. Ms. Anderson launched her career at the King County Prosecutor’s Office in Seattle, Washington, where she tried over 100 criminal and jury trials. Ms. Anderson transitioned to corporate practice, joining AT&T (then Pacific Bell Telephone Company) in San Francisco, California. Ms. Anderson’s 22-year career with AT&T took her to Washington, D.C, where she played a critical role securing global competition and regulatory approvals for significant company mergers, led the implementation of sweeping regulatory requirements across the enterprise business portfolio, and represented AT&T in global policy discussions, including participating in panels at the Internet Governance Forum and on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. She also directed domestic and global regulatory policy, trade, and compliance strategies and managed social justice and racial equity policy engagement nationwide. Ms. Anderson retired from AT&T and joined Microsoft in 2021.
Throughout her career, Ms. Anderson has promoted diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal profession and pro bono efforts in her community. Prior to joining the Board of the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) in 2021, Ms. Anderson served as the co-chair of NAWL’s Advocacy Committee relaunched in 2020, chaired the 2019 General Counsel Institute, and was awarded with the organization’s Virginia S. Mueller Outstanding Member Award in 2020. She received her J.D. at Hastings College of Law in San Francisco and her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley. Ms. Anderson and her family are based in Seattle, WA, where she also volunteers at the Seattle Aquarium.
April Boyer is a Partner at K&L Gates LLP in its Miami, Florida office. She focuses her practice on employment law and complex commercial litigation where she serves as lead trial counsel for companies. Ms. Boyer has been recognized by her peers for her accomplishments, including being listed in Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Labor Law-Management and Employment Litigation. She also is an AV-rated lawyer — the highest available rating given by Martindale Hubbell for legal ability and professional ethics. In the area of employment law, she defends employers faced with employment law disputes such as wage and hour claims, discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation lawsuits, whistleblower actions, and ERISA fiduciary duty claims. Ms. Boyer also has significant experience litigating misappropriation of trade secrets claims and breaches of restrictive covenants. Ms. Boyer trains and counsels employers on making day-to-day employment decisions to ensure compliance with applicable employment laws and regulations. She also assists employers in conducting internal audits to ensure legal compliance. In the area of complex commercial litigation, Ms. Boyer helps companies resolve their business disputes with competitors, customers, vendors, and others with whom they conduct business, including claims of misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference with contracts and business relationships, violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, consumer fraud, slander/defamation, and other civil disputes. Ms. Boyer is active in community and charitable organizations and voluntary bar associations. Ms. Boyer began her involvement with NAWL in 2007, serving on a variety of planning committees for NAWL events (including co-chairing the Miami-based Mid-Year Meeting in 2018), serving as the Co-Chair of the Challenge Club Committee (2019-2020), and receiving NAWL's "Virginia S. Mueller Outstanding Member" Award (2013). Ms. Boyer has served on the NAWL Board of Directors since July 2020.
Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Mary E. Card Mina served for 22 years on Active Duty as an Army Judge Advocate. Her final assignment was serving as an Assistant Legal Advisor, Department of Defense, Office of Military Commissions, and Office of the Convening Authority. Lieutenant Colonel Card-Mina previously served as the Staff Judge Advocate for the Army Materiel Command Legal Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, and Maryland. She holds a Masters of Military Arts and Sciences from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College; an L.L.M in Military Law from The Judge Advocate General’s School, U.S. Army; a Juris Doctor from the Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America; and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from The Catholic University of America. Her awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and the Connecticut Wartime Service Medal. She earned the Iraq and Kosovo Campaign Medals, as well as the Korea Defense Service Medal and the NATO medal. She also received the President’s Volunteer Service Medal (Bronze). She is entitled to wear the Department of the Army Staff Identification Badge and is a member of the Military Order of Saint Barbara. She is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Court of Appeals for the United States Armed Forces, the Court of Federal Claims, and is licensed to practice in the State of Connecticut. Mary is currently a Supervisory Attorney at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Mary and her spouse Jim, have one son, James Mina.
Lindsay Carlson is the Information Governance Compliance Manager at Latham & Watkins, in Los Angeles. In this capacity, she oversees the handling of a variety of information governance issues, and ensures the firm’s management of information meets applicable legal, ethical, security and privacy requirements in all jurisdictions in which the firm operates around the world. She is responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining firm-wide and departmental policies, standards, procedures, and guidelines related to records and information management, information security, data privacy and other issues. Prior to this role, she spent 14 years as a litigator and trial attorney in client-facing private practice, working extensively with companies in the automotive, product manufacturing, retail and cosmetics, financial services, and telecommunications industries, among others.
Kelly A. Clark is a Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, P&C Insurance Operations, in the Insurance Operations Law practice group at Allstate. In that role, Kelly is lead counsel to the Product Operations business unit. She leads a team of attorneys that supports Allstate’s Product Operations organization and Compliance. Kelly provides advice and counsel to Senior Leadership Team members on a wide variety of insurance matters including regulatory, compliance, and product management related to Allstate personal lines and commercial lines. In her 25 years at Allstate, Kelly has held a wide variety of positions within the Law Department, including counseling and compliance, claim litigation, regulatory and legislative advocacy, strategic product development, and as a trial attorney defending insureds for Allstate’s staff counsel office in Chicago. Prior to joining Allstate in 1996, she was in private litigation practice in Chicago. Kelly received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from DePaul University, College of Law.
Paula Hinton focuses her practice on representing businesses in complex civil litigation. She has represented clients in courtrooms across the country, before administrative agencies and in international and domestic arbitration forums to resolve a wide variety of disputes, including those concerning contracts and general business issues, business torts, consumer disputes, environmental issues, trademark issues, trade secret issues, product liability, telecommunications litigation, energy-related litigation, and numerous class actions. Paula received a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, in political science, and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Alabama where she was named the Outstanding Graduate Student. She received her J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law, where she served as Chief Justice of the Honor Court and is currently a member of the Board of Governors for the University of Alabama School of Law. After law school, Paula was a Rotary International Graduate Fellow in international comparative law at the Universidad de Seville, Spain from 1980-81 Paula now serves in various leadership positions including as a member of Winston & Strawn’s Execute Committee, and as Global Chair of the Women’s Leadership Initiative. Paula has served and continues to serve as a leader in various local, state and national bar associations, and is currently a member of the American Bar Association’s Litigation Section’s Council-the governing body of the Litigation Section of the ABA.
Connie Montoya is a Partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, where she is also a member of the Diversity Committee. She brings nearly two decades of class action experience to her trial and litigation practice in employment law and consumer protection defense. She is widely recognized for successful strategies that resolve litigation disputes and governmental investigations and ensure compliance with various regulatory requirements. Ms. Montoya has litigated in the federal, state, and administrative courts of New York and New Jersey in countless class action lawsuits involving claims brought under various federal and state employment and consumer laws. She has represented publicly and privately held companies; not-for-profit organizations; banking, finance and financial services firms; governmental entities; law firms; tech companies and startups; health care providers; and restaurant, insurance, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, and retail businesses. In the field of labor and employment, Ms. Montoya counsels her clients on a variety of employment issues, focusing on discrimination and harassment matters, including claims relating to discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, gender, age, pregnancy and disability. Before joining Hinshaw, Ms. Montoya was an assistant corporation counsel in the Special Federal Litigation Division of the Office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York, where she defended the City and its municipal employees in federal civil rights actions.
Jennifer Rosato Perea has served as dean of DePaul University College of Law since 2015. A nationally recognized leader in legal education, Dean Rosato Perea brings a wealth of experience to DePaul as an experienced administrator, a longtime advocate of student engagement and professionalism, and a respected legal scholar. One of only a small number of Latina law school deans in the nation, she has been recognized and honored for her commitment to diversity through her presentations to national organizations, mentoring, and creation of innovative programs. Most recently, Dean Rosato Perea received the HNBF 2022 Academic Leadership Award. She also has presented nationally and regionally on the future and challenges of legal education before a variety of organizations, including the Association of American Law Schools and the American Bar Association. Dean Rosato Perea is an accomplished scholar and expert on family law, bioethics, and legal ethics, having published extensively on a variety of legal issues affecting children and families. Prior to joining DePaul, she served as dean of Northern Illinois University College of Law for six years.
Ghillaine A. Reid is a Partner in Troutman Pepper's White Collar and Government Investigations Practice Group. Ghillaine co-leads the securities investigations and enforcement practice at Troutman Pepper. She focuses her practice on government and securities regulatory investigations, financial services litigation, commercial litigation, and corporate compliance. Drawing on her experience in government service and private practice, Ghillaine regularly represents corporations and individuals in investigations conducted by the Securities & Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and other government and regulatory agencies. Ghillaine has successfully defended several high-profile SEC investigations and enforcement proceedings involving a wide range of significant issues, including insider trading, accounting fraud, market manipulation, and broker-dealer sales practice violations. Prior to entering private practice, Ghillaine was a Branch Chief and Staff Attorney in the New York Regional Office of the Securities & Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement, where she investigated and litigated a wide range of securities enforcement matters. Ghillaine also represents clients in complex financial services and commercial litigation matters, in both federal and state courts. She has achieved favorable outcomes in cases involving fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation, and tortious interference. She has also successfully defended clients in large-scale arbitration proceedings, both through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the American Arbitration Association.
Ramona E. Romero is Vice President and General Counsel of Princeton University. As the University’s chief legal officer, she is a member of its senior management team; advises the trustees, the President, and other senior administrative and academic officers on the legal implications of University policy and decision-making; and leads the team of lawyers and administrative professionals in the Office of the General Counsel. She joined the University after nearly four years as General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a Senate-confirmed position to which she was appointed by President Obama. At USDA, Ramona advised Secretary Vilsack and other senior department leaders, and led a team of over 300 legal and ethics professionals. Previously, she held a variety of legal roles at a major multi-national corporation and was a white collar, government contracts and commercial litigator at a Washington, DC-based law firm. Throughout her career, Ramona has volunteered her time to many professional and community organizations, with a particular focus on promoting diversity and equal opportunity, access to justice, and judicial independence. Currently, she is a member of President Biden’s Commission on White House Fellowships, a trustee of Barnard College and of Legal Services of New Jersey, and a member of the American Law Institute. Her prior volunteer efforts include service on the governing boards of Greater Trenton, Inc., the McCarter Theatre Center, the Justice at Stake Campaign, the American Red Cross of the Delmarva Peninsula, and the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, and the Advisory Committee of the O’Connor Judicial Selection Initiative at the University of Denver. She is a former chair of the Supreme Court Committee of the National Association of Women Lawyers, and a former National President of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA). As President of the HNBA (2008-2009), Ramona founded the Latina Commission and the highly successful Hispanic Appointments Project, which advocated for and supported President Obama’s appointment of Hispanic lawyers to the Federal judiciary and Executive Branch. Ramona’s leadership and contributions have resulted in numerous awards and recognitions, including the Lucero (“guiding star”) award from Latino Justice/PRLEDF, and twice being identified by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the United States. An immigrant from the Dominican Republic, she earned her B.A. from Barnard College and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. Ramona lives in Princeton with her husband, their two daughters, and their dog.
Elizabeth (Beth) Pagel Serebransky is of counsel in Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s New York office. Her practice focuses on a broad range of executive compensation and employee benefits and corporate governance matters, including advising boards and their compensation committees with respect to compensation and disclosure matters, addressing tax and benefits issues that arise in mergers and acquisitions and other corporate transactions and on the design, negotiation and implementation of employee agreements, equity-based incentive and other compensation programs. Ms. Pagel Serebransky also advises clients on compensation-related corporate and securities law matters, including analyzing and complying with applicable SEC registration, reporting and disclosure requirements. Ms. Pagel Serebransky is ranked as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA. In addition to her legal work, Ms. Pagel Serebransky also serves on several not-for-profit boards and is Co-Chair of The New Jewish Home, a NY-based elder care service provider.
Julia A. Simon is Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary at Mary Kay Inc.’s global headquarters in Addison, Texas. As a member of the executive committee, Simon manages all aspects of the company’s Legal, Risk Management, Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility functions. Simon has more than 25 years of legal experience in private law practice and in-house positions. She first joined Mary Kay Inc. in 1995 as an employment lawyer, then left to rejoin the law firm, Locke Purnell Rain Harrell, where she was elected as a partner in 1998. Simon returned to Mary Kay Inc. in 2000 and most recently served as Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Assistant Secretary. She is active in the legal community, currently serving on the Women in the Profession Committee for the State Bar of Texas and as a member of the General Counsel Working Group at the Center for Women in Law at the University of Texas. In 2015, Simon was recognized by the Association of Corporate Counsel and D CEO Magazine as Outstanding Deputy General Counsel. Simon earned a Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University in 1989 and her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 1991. She is active in the North Texas community having served on the board of directors for charitable organizations including the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, Family Gateway, Friends of the Dallas Public Library, and the Dallas Zoological Society.
Catherine So is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Tiffany & Co. Before joining Tiffany in 2015, Cathy held roles of increasing responsibility with Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, specializing in the areas of employment law and securities litigation. She also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, as well as a litigation attorney with Debevoise & Plimpton. She received her B.A. and her law degree from Columbia University.
Eva M. Spahn is a Litigation Shareholder at Greenberg Traurig LLP. She handles complex commercial and class action matters in various forums, including state and federal courts in multiple U.S. jurisdictions, as well as domestic and international arbitrations before various arbitral bodies. Her professional and community involvement includes active participation as a Board Member of NAWL, as well as membership in the ABA, serving as a Co-Chair for the ABA Litigation Section Annual Conference for the 2021-2022 bar year, and Co-Chair for the ABA Litigation Section International Litigation and Dispute Resolution Committee for the 2022-2023 bar year. In 2015, Ms. Spahn was shortlisted by the Chambers Women in Law Awards in the Future Leader (Private Practice) category, and in 2016 and 2018 she was shortlisted by the Chambers Diversity Awards USA in the Future Leader – Gender Diversity category. Ms. Spahn was listed as a “Top Up-and-Comer” by South Florida Legal Guide in 2020 and as a “Rising Star” by Florida Super Lawyers in 2019-2022. In 2021, she was also named a “Top 40 Under 40” by the South Florida Business Journal and was recognized by the Daily Business Review Florida Legal Awards as an Attorney on the Rise. Ms. Spahn graduated magna cum laude in 2011 from the University of Miami School of Law and received a B.A. in government from Harvard University in 2006.
Su K. Suh is Intel's Racial Justice Pro Bono Counsel and they are excited about the opportunity to promote social equity in support of Intel's RISE 2030 Goals. Previously, they served as Chief of Staff and Technical Assistant to Allon Stabinsky, SVP and head of Intel Legal Department. She has also served as commercial and antitrust counsel for various sales and marketing teams. Su is an experienced business and DEI leader with a long history of social justice activism. Su has a MBA< JD, and degrees in economics and women's studies. Su enjoys writing and speaking about the intersections of inclusion + innovation and business + social justice.
Mary-Christine (M.C.) Sungaila is the leader of Buchalter’s Appellate practice group and a Shareholder in the Firm’s Orange County office. Ms. Sungaila has repeatedly been named a “Notable Appellate Practitioner” by Chambers USA, Chambers & Partners (2013-2018), as one of “California’s Top 100 Women Lawyers” by the Daily Journal (2005, 2010-2018), and twice named a “California Lawyer Attorney of the Year” (2015, 2016) for victories before the California Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Clients describe her in one Chambers listing as a “gifted appellate lawyer who consistently delivers bottom line results” and praise her for her “great practical sense,” “laser” focus on key issues, “excellence in creative thinking,” and ability to “advise on the business side just as well as she does on the legal side.” Last year alone, two of the year’s five biggest appellate reversals in California cited by the Daily Journal involved her. At the age of 29, Ms. Sungaila took on and helped win a case before the U.S. Supreme Court (a decision which reinstated a criminal civil rights verdict against a state court judge who had abused his power by raping and sexually assaulting female court employees and litigants). She has provided free representation in at least one appellate case a year since 1996, resulting in significant victories at the international, national, and state levels, including a decision in a case against Mexico before the Inter American Court of Human Rights for the disappearances and killings of women and girls in Ciudad Juarez that has been lauded as one of the most important women’s rights decisions in decades and the first to interpret a women’s rights treaty. She has continuously served on one or more community boards and bar organization leadership for more than two decades. Within the ABA, Ms. Sungaila has served on the Standing Committee on the American Judicial System, the Standing Committee on Amicus Briefs, the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity, and in various leadership roles within the Litigation Section. Locally, she currently serves as a Director-at-Large on the Orange County Bar Association Board of Directors, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Coastline Community College Foundation. Ms. Sungaila has also been honored for her sustained commitment to community service and pro bono work, receiving recognition from groups as diverse as California Women Lawyers, Alpha Phi International Fraternity, the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association, the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, and Coastline Community College Foundation. In 2017, she was awarded both the Orange County Women Lawyers’ Association’s “Attorney of the Year” and the “Ellis Island Medal of Honor”, whose recipients include seven U.S. Presidents, Nobel Prize winners, athletes, leaders of industry, artists, and others whose work has made a lasting impact on humanity, for her combined professional achievements and humanitarian and pro bono work.
Deborah K. Wright was formerly responsible for providing legal advice to Prudential Financial, Inc.’s servicing subsidiary, serving as General Counsel to PGIM Real Estate Loan Services, Inc (“PGIM Loan Services”). PGIM Loan Services’ $100B+ commercial real estate loan portfolio covers Prudential’s General Account, CMBS, Fannie Mae, FHA, Freddie Mac, third-party investors, funds, and other loan portfolios. This included assistance in strategic initiatives, business planning, corporate matters, insurance matters, rating agency matters, operations and development, and documentation and negotiation of the acquisition of servicing portfolios. She was very involved with a coalition of lenders working on the revised HMDA regulations as well as earlier efforts working to ensure continued availability of Evidence of Insurance to commercial lenders as well as other industry-wide initiatives. Ms. Wright has over 35 years of experience in servicing, special servicing, and workouts. Prior to her time at Prudential, she was in private practice with concentrations in banking, real estate, finance, and bankruptcy, followed by a 13-year experience with AMRESCO, Inc. and Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, Inc., and 4 years as General Counsel for Asset Management Company of America, L.P. (formerly a Goldman Sachs subsidiary). She advised those companies with respect to international fund management, portfolio and corporate acquisitions, CMBS acquisitions and servicing (in both Master and Special servicing capacities), bankruptcy, litigation & workout matters, information technology and other intellectual property areas, and general corporate governance.