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    NAWL EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

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    PRESIDENT Sarretta C. McDonough, a member of the California Bar and a solicitor of England and Wales, serves as Associate General Counsel, Antitrust and Commercial Litigation at Intel Corporation. She previously worked at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP where she represented multinational clients in connection with competition and corruption issues around the globe. Global Competition Review recognized her in 2018 as one of the leading practitioners in competition and named her a “Future Leader” in 2017. Ms. McDonough received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley.

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    PRESIDENT-ELECT Kristin D. Sostowski, is a Director (Partner) with Gibbons P.C. in Newark, NewJersey, where she is a member of the Employment & Labor Law Department and serves as Team Leader of the firm’s Higher Education practice. Ms. Sostowski provides strategic counsel to clients at all phases of the employment relationship, including compliance with federal and state workplace laws, pre-litigation risk avoidance, and defense of workplace-related disputes.She represents companies and managers in employment litigation in state and federal courts and agencies, with an emphasis on discrimination, harassment, retaliation, whistle-blower, and restrictive covenant matters. Ms. Sostowski also provides employment law advice to in-house counsel and human resources professionals in a variety of industries, including higher education,technology, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and financial services. She regularly counsels clients regarding internal investigations, employee leaves and accommodations, workforce restructuring and reductions in force, employee policies and handbooks, employment agreements, and employment issues arising from corporate transactions. Ms. Sostowski currently serves as NAWL’s President-Elect and as a Director of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association. She has served as co-chair of NAWL’s Pipeline to Equity Partnership program and Program and Membership Committees and as Board Liaison to the Amicus Committee. Ms. Sostowski is listed in the most recent editions of Best Lawyers® for Litigation - Labor and Employment and New Jersey Super Lawyers for Employment & Labor and has been named a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. In 2014, she was named to NJBIZ’s “Forty Under 40” list for her work on behalf of New Jersey employers and her leadership on women attorneys’ issues. In 2010, she received NAWL’s “Virginia S. Mueller Outstanding Member” Award. Ms. Sostowski received her B.A. from Swarthmore College with High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa, and earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She lives in NewJersey with her husband and three daughters.

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    VICE PRESIDENT Karen S. Morris Senior Vice President, General Counsel for USAA’s Property and Casualty Group (“P&C”), which offers property and casualty insurance products to members of the military, the military community, and their families. As P&C General Counsel, Ms. Morris serves as the chief lawyer for P&C, and is responsible for providing legal, regulatory, and governance counsel and guidance to the P&C President, the P&C leadership team, and the USAA P&C subsidiary boards. She also leads the P&C Counsel team, which is responsible for providing solution oriented counsel on all matters affecting USAA’s P&C business, from product conception through delivery and fulfillment. Prior to joining USAA in September 2010, Ms. Morris spent 21 years with Allstate, where she held a wide variety of positions in Law, Marketing, Corporate Relations, and Strategy. Most recently, Ms. Morris was assistant vice president, Corporate Relations. In that position she led a team of professionals accountable for driving the company’s reputation, corporate advocacy, and CEO executive positioning strategies. Prior to joining Allstate, Ms. Morris was in private practice in Chicago. She received a B.A., magna cum laude, from St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota and a J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law. Ms. Morris is a member of the University of Texas Center for Women in the Law General Counsel working group, and has been active with NAWL since 2008, serving as vice chair of the General Counsel Institute in 2010, chair in 2012, and sponsorship chair in 2013. She received NAWL’s “Virginia S. Mueller OutstandingMember” Award in 2012.

     

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    TREASURER Jennifer A. Champlin is an Associate General Counsel – Employment for Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P. in St. Louis, Missouri where she partners with company leaders to provide legal advice on all manner of employment issues. Prior to her position at Edward Jones, Ms. Champlin was a director of HR for Walmart U.S., supporting Merchandising and Health & Wellness advising business  partners on HR issues, including but not limited to performance management, talent planning,talent development, organizational effectiveness, and diversity & inclusion. Ms. Champlin also led the Training & Development and Systems & Analytics teams for Health & Wellness HR. 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. Before that she was a member of the Employment Division of the Legal Department where she partnered with leaders to provide legal advice on employment issues and managed the defense of employment litigation and administrative charges nationwide for Sam’s Club. Before joining Walmart, Ms. Champlin practiced as a commercial litigator at Crowe & Dunlevy in Tulsa, Oklahoma and as a white collar criminal defense attorney in the Boston office of Nixon Peabody LLP. Ms. Champlin has been actively involved in NAWL since 2010. She received the “Virginia S. Mueller Outstanding Member” Award from NAWL in 2013. Ms. Champlin currently serves on NAWL’s Sponsorship Committee, co-chaired the 2015 Women’s Initiative Leadership Boot Camp, and has also been part of the planning leadership teams for regional GCI programming in Minneapolis and Atlanta and several other NAWL programs. Ms. Champlin is an avid Boston Red Sox fan and when not cheering for the Sox, she spends her time gleefully chasing after her two children, Grant (7) and Mallory (5), and volunteering on the advisory board of the collegiate chapter of Alpha Chi Omega at the University of Arkansas. She obtained her B.A. in English with honors from Oklahoma State University and her J.D. from Cornell Law School.

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    SECRETARY 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 “WomenWorthWatching®” (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 is currently the Board Liaison to NAWL’s Diversity Committee.

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    ASSISTANT SECRETARY Peggy Steif Abram is a Partner in the Corporate and Securities Practice Group in the Minneapolis office of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP. She advises clients on business matters, including corporate governance, compliance, Securities and Exchange Commission reporting, and major corporate transactions, and for several years provided general counsel services for a Minnesota-based global technology manufacturer. Ms. Abram is President of the Faegre Baker Daniels Foundation, which funds social, cultural, and legal non-profit organizations, and she chairs the firm’s Sponsorship Steering Group. She is a founding member of the firm’s Women’s Forum for Achievement, and a member of the Forum’s Leadership Council. Ms. Abram serves on the national U.S. Law Firm Group Corporate and Securities Committee. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Guthrie Theater, and has been honored with a “Women in Business” Award from the Minneapolis/ St. Paul Business Journal. 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. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and is the proud mother of two daughters.

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    IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Angela Beranek Brandt is a Partner with Larson•King, LLP in St. Paul, Minnesota. Ms. Brandt is an accomplished first chair trial lawyer and has earned favorable results for clients in front of juries, arbitrators, and judges. She practices in the areas of commercial litigation, employment law, and products liability. Ms. Brandt served as NAWL’s President (2017-2018) and has served as co-chair of NAWL’s Program, Mentorship, and Membership committees and has chaired a number of NAWL programs, including Backpack to Briefcase, Taking Charge of Your Career, and the 2013 Mid-Year Meeting. She also has served as the national chair of the NAWL Nights of Giving. In 2008, Ms. Brandt received the “Virginia S. Mueller Outstanding Member” Award from NAWL. She is particularly proud of her work developing the NAWL Challenge Club. In addition to her work with NAWL, Ms. Brandt is a past president of the Ramsey County Bar Association. She has been elected to membership in the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel and American Board of Trial Advocates. Ms. Brandt has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” by Minnesota Law & Politics, was named a 2017 Minnesota Lawyer of the Year and is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Her work with women is balanced out at home where she has three sons—a twelve-year-old and nine-year-old twins.

    NAWL BOARD - MEMBERS AT LARGE

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    Diane E. Ambler is a Partner in the Washington, D.C. office of K&L Gates LLP, practicing in the area of financial institution regulation under federal securities laws. She is a frequent speaker and writer in this area and has testified as an expert witness in her field. Ms. Ambler focuses her practice on mutual fund governance, compliance activities of mutual funds, private funds, variable insurance product issuers and distributors, and activities of related service providers. She champions women’s leadership initiatives in the profession, including as a charter member of the K&L Gates Women in the Profession Committee. Chambers USA has ranked Ms. Ambler as a top lawyer practicing inthe areas of Investment Funds, Registered Funds, and she is listed in Best Lawyers in America for Mutual Funds and Private Funds Law. Ms. Ambler has an AV® Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, reserved for lawyers who have been recognized for having the highest levels of skill and integrity, and she is listed in the Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers, exclusively for women attorneys who have received the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards from their peers. Ms. Ambler is a member of The American Law Institute, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, Chair of the Board of Consultors for Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, and an Executive Board Member of the Mutual Fund Directors Forum and the Women in Law Empowerment Forum.

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    Kristin L. Bauer is a Principal with the Dallas office of the national employment law firm, Jackson Lewis PC. Ms. Bauer 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 issues affecting the workplace. Ms. Bauer also advises 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. She has been recognized as a “Texas Super Lawyer” 2014-2017 and repeatedly as a “Rising Star”. Ms. Bauer has served as pro bono general counsel to TheFamily Place, a Dallas-based non-profit agency serving the victims of domestic violence and their families, since 2005. In 2012, Ms. Bauer received the “Virginia S. Mueller Outstanding Member”Award from NAWL.

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    Susan (Susie) L. Lees is Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of The Allstate Corporation. She leads Allstate’s 1,400-person legal team to guide the company’s business strategy, ensure sound compliance and foster a healthy legal, legislative, and regulatory environment. Ms. Lees joined Allstate in 1988 and moved up through the ranks, holding a variety of leadership positions with increasing responsibility, most notably in her previous role as senior vice president and deputy general counsel for Allstate Financial. During her extensive tenure at Allstate, Ms. Lees led a multitude of complex initiatives, including the company’s acquisition of American Heritage Life Insurance Company. While leading the corporate law division of Allstate’s law and regulation department, she gained extensive experience working with business areas throughout the corporation. Earlier in her career, Ms. Lees built a foundation of business acumen through professional sales roles at Celanese Corp. and Exxon Chemical. Ms. Lees is a champion of solutions to key societal issues and serves on The Allstate Foundation Board of Trustees. In addition to her service at NAWL, she serves on the Boards of the Rand Institute for Civil Justice, the Institute for Legal Reform, and the National Network to End Domestic Violence. She is past president of the Board of Directors for the Riverside Foundation, a non-profit organization offering life enrichment opportunities to adults with developmental disabilities and she is a former member ofthe Board of Directors for the Association of Life Insurance. Ms. Lees’ story is one of challenge and accomplishment. She launched her career as a part-time lawyer balancing a rich family life with professional expectations and successfully forged a path to the highest levels of corporate law. Her involvement with NAWL underscores her personal commitment to empower more women to pursue thriving legal careers. Ms. Lees has worked to not only promote the mere fact that more women are practicing law, but to celebrate women’s unique contributions to the profession. She holds an A.B. degree in political science from Brown University and a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

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    Elizabeth A. Levy is an attorney with experience in intellectual property and corporate/regulatory in private practice and in-house law departments. She also serves as a hearing officer for attorney discipline matters with the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers. Ms. Levy graduated with honors from Suffolk University Law School and the University of Texas. She was a partner at McDermott Will & Emery’s Boston office before taking in-house legal positions at Bayer Corporation, Siemens Healthcare, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She chaired NAWL’s Seventh General Counsel Institute (“GCI”) and its first Night of Giving in Boston. She led GCI8’s sponsorship team and was a mentor in NAWL’s mentoring program. She received the “Virginia S. Mueller Outstanding Member” Award in 2013.

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    Leslie D. Minier is a Partner and the Chief Diversity Officer at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP. She has extensive experience representing both private and public companies in mergers and acquisitions, venture financing, and general corporate matters. Ms. Minier represents buyers and sellers in structuring, negotiating, and documenting acquisitions including stock purchases, asset sales, tax-free mergers, and leveraged recapitalizations. She is the co-chair of Katten’s Diversity Committee. She has a strong commitment to public service and holds leadership positions with several organizations including Chicago United and the Joffrey Ballet. Ms. Minier received her J.D.from Northwestern University School of Law. Additionally, she earned her M.S. in Management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and her M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She also received her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Tuskegee University.

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    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.

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    Sheila M. Murphy is Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel at MetLife. She leads the U.S. Regulatory and Retail Litigation Group where she provides litigation, regulatory, and risk mitigation advice. Ms. Murphy focuses on providing proactive, strategic advice to identify and resolve complex issues and protects business interests. She serves on the Advisory Board to MetLife’s U.S. Women’s Business Network (“WBN”) and is co-chair of the Legal Affair’s Academy. Ms. Murphy previously served on MetLife’s U.S. Diversity Task Force. She is also a member of the Litigation Support Business Owners’ Committee. She previously served on the Legal Affairs Technology Governance Committee and a task force focused on increasing Legal Affairs’ efficiencies, effectiveness, and engagement. She is a member of the Legal Affairs’ Diversity Committee and participates in its and the WBN Mentoring Programs. Ms. Murphy is a member of the Board of Director of Power Play, in an addition to NAWL. She is co-chair of the CARE’s Women’s Network of New York. She previously was a member of the Board for Read Alliance. Her commitment to helping others advance in their careers was recognized by the Women’s Venture Fund which awarded her the highest “Leaf” Award in 2010. In 2011, she was named a “Most Influential Irish Woman” by the Irish Voice. In 2015, Ms. Murphy received the “Benchmark Litigation In-house” Award at the Americas Women in Business Awards and the “Virginia S. Mueller Outstanding Member” Award from NAWL. In 2017,she received the “First Chair” Award for her significant work for the legal community and Crain’s NYC named her to its “2018 Legal List of Leading Women Lawyers” in New York City. In addition, she is an Advisory Board Member of the Thomson Reuters Transforming Women’s Leadership in the Law. Ms. Murphy is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she served on the Comparative Labor Law Journal and the School of Management at the State University of New York at Binghamton where she graduated magna cum laude. Prior to joining MetLife, Ms.Murphy was at the law firm of Thacher Proffitt & Wood.

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    Gigi Rollini is a Shareholder with Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A., one of Florida’s premier full-service firms. 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. She practices administrative and civil 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, state and local taxation, nonprofit compliance, health insurance, banking, election, utility, telecommunications, and energy law. She is a past president of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers (“FAWL”) and Tallahassee Women Lawyers, and FAWL’s Delegate to NAWL since 2011. She is AV-Preeminent Rated in Florida administrative, appellate, and civil litigation, and serves on The Florida Bar’s Administrative Law Section Executive Council and Appellate Court Rules Committee. She has been named one of Florida’s “Top 50 Women Lawyers” by Super Lawyers, is routinely named one of Florida’s “Legal Elite” and a “Super Lawyer” in both administrative and appellate law, and has been honored as a FAWL “Extraordinary Woman,” a Tallahassee “Woman You Need to Know,” and a Girl Scout Council “Woman of Distinction in Law.” Ms. Rollini is active in NAWL, serving as co-chair of NAWL’s 2018 Mid-Year Meeting, and on NAWL’s Amicus, Sponsorship, Pipeline to Equity Partnership, and Membership Committees. She has also recently completed two terms as president of America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend, her region’s eleven-county food bank.

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    Sima F. Sarrafan is a Senior Attorney in the Corporate, External, and Legal Affairs (“CELA”) department at Microsoft. She provides legal guidance to Marketing and Consumer Business clients and previously worked in Microsoft’s Office of Legal Compliance. In addition to her experience at Microsoft, Ms. Sarrafan has worked in private practice, served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C., and served as an adjunct professor of law, having taught courses in Corporate Compliance and Investigations at Seattle University School of Law and Trial Advocacy and Advanced Appellate Advocacy at Roger Williams School of Law. While in law school, she also taught economics as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard College. Ms. Sarrafan is a Director of the Bellevue School Board. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her B.A. from Vassar College.

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    Elizabeth (Beth) Pagel Serebransky is a senior partner in the Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits Group at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York. Her practice focuses on a broad range of executive compensation and employee benefits matters, including the 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 for public and private companies, financial sponsors, management groups, and individual executives. She also advises clients on compensation-related corporate and securities law matters, including corporate governance and analyzing and complying with applicable SEC registration, reporting and disclosure requirements. Ms. Pagel Serebransky is ranked as a leading lawyer by both Chambers USA and The Legal 500 US in Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation.

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    Eva M. Spahn is an Associate with the Litigation Department of Greenberg Traurig LLP’s Miami office. 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, and the Dade County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, and has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami. Ms. Spahn is also a member of the Board of the Miami Chapter of Dress For Success/Suited for Success, a member of the winning project team for the 2013-2014 Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Leadership Miami Program, and participated as a 2010-2011 Ms. JD fellow. In 2015, Ms. Spahn was shortlisted by the Chambers Women in Law Awards in the Future Leader (Private Practice) category and in 2016 she was shortlisted by the Chambers Diversity Awards USA in the Future Leader – Gender Diversity category. She 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.

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    Mary-Christine (M.C.) Sungaila, a Partner in Haynes & Boone LLP’s Orange County office and anchor of the firm’s California appellate practice, has briefed and argued appeals raising cutting-edge and core business issues, and helped secure important rights for women and girls nationally and internationally. 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 invarious 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.

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    Deborah K. Wright is responsible for providing legal advice to Prudential’s servicing subsidiary, Prudential Asset Resources, Inc (“PAR”). PAR’s $90B+ 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 includes 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. Recently, she has been 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.Ms. Wright has over 35 years of experience in servicing, special servicing, and workouts. Prior to joining 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.

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    Sandra S. Yamate is 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 the Chair of the National Judicial College and serves on the Enhance Diversity in the Profession Committee of the New York City Bar Association where she co-chairs the Global Diversity Sub-committee. 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. 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, BrianWitkowski, reside in Chicago with their two dogs, Cashew and Filbert.


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