Marcie Borgal Shunk is President & Founder of The Tilt Institute, specializing in helping firms shepherd significant transformation. Marcie trains and coaches leadership teams and emerging leaders to create dynamic plans, shift mindsets and motivate action. She combines the principles of leading change with deep analytical experience in the business of law to give her clients a comprehensive toolkit to apply to ever-changing challenges and opportunities. Marcie also co-founded and piloted The Leadership Institute with John “The Purple Coach” Mitchell to prepare law firm leaders to lead through dynamic change.
Marcie is an outspoken proponent of change and is quoted in leading legal publications globally including Bloomberg, The American Lawyer, Law360, Practice Innovations, The Legal Intelligencer. She speaks regularly at industry events including CFO/COO Forum, Marketing Partner Forum, Legal Value Network, CI in the Modern Law Firm, Law Firm Profitability and various Managing Partner roundtables. Marcie is a Fellow of College of Law Practice Management, an ALM Intelligence Fellow, Faculty Member of Executive Institute on Inclusion, Board Member of BizDev Gals and former board member of Legal Marketing Association. She holds numerous certifications including cultural assessments through Human Synergistics International and Smart Collaboration Accelerator. She graduated Harvard University in 1996.
Director, Global External Legal Services | CIBC Legal Department
Richard Brzakala Director, Global External Legal Services | CIBC Legal Department
CIBC Legal Department, Canada
Richard has had an accomplished career in legal operations and sourcing that spans 20 years. He is a Canadian pioneer in legal operations and panel management having worked with hundreds of law firms globally and consulted for a number of companies in the public and private space. He is a frequent speaker, panelist and most recently a published author (Show Me The Math: The Importance of Cost Estimates When Engaging A Law Firm – Ark publishing). He is also a contributing author for Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute and is currently the global director of external legal services at one of Canada’s largest financial institutions where his mandate includes the global oversite of compliance, finance, information security and risk management practices as they relate to the management of external counsel. Visit Richard at LinkedIn.
Ellen S. Cappellanti is the Managing Member/CEO of Jackson Kelly PLLC, a regional law firm in six states from West Virginia to Colorado. She is the first female to hold that position in the Firm’s 199-year history. As Managing Member/CEO, Ellen runs the firm with support from the CFO, which has her communicating daily with offices in six states and promoting multiple practice areas. Ellen knows each of Jackson Kelly’s 160 lawyers, a necessary outreach in a firm with so much diversity in geography and practice areas, and this hands-on management. The personal approach to leadership helps Ellen set firmwide expectations on business and firm culture. As a result, the COVID-19 driven transition to remote work happened in less than a week; Jackson Kelly had a summer program; diversity initiatives and seminars launched; and skills trainings for professional and business development enhancement continued. Ellen’s plans for the remainder of her leadership term include expanding Jackson Kelly into new locations and continuing to add talented lawyers to the firm.
Ellen was born and raised in Morgantown, West Virginia. In 1980, Ellen graduated from the West Virginia University College of Law. She was selected as a member of the Order of the Coif and Order of Barristers. While in law school, she was a member of the National Moot Court Team and served as Lead Articles Editor of the West Virginia Law Review.
Ellen’s 40 years practicing law has produced loyal clients and professional accolades. If you ask Ellen what her favorite deal was, she will tell you, “All of them,” and mean it. Each deal is a new set of problems to solve, and whether the transaction was commercial or real estate, in bankruptcy or with a lender, Ellen guided her client to the end. She is recognized in Best Lawyers In America under the areas of Bankruptcy, Corporate, Mergers and Acquisitions, Bet-the-Company Litigation and Real Estate and in Super Lawyers under the Business/Corporate designation. Ellen is a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and is recognized by Chambers USA, America’s Leading Business Lawyers, as a preeminent corporate lawyer. She is the President of the West Virginia Bar Foundation and a member of the Judicial Conference for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Ellen is a recipient of the West Virginia University College of Law Justicia Officium award which recognizes outstanding contributions and service to the legal profession and the Order of the Vandalia which recognizes outstanding service to West Virginia University. She is an avid Mountaineer sports fan and a passionate advocate for the university and the opportunities its undergraduate and graduate programs provide to its students.
Ellen is committed to community service. She served for nine years on the West Virginia University Board of Governors and now serves on the West Virginia United Health System Board. She has served in leadership capacities with organizations such as the Contemporary American Theater Festival, The Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences, Advantage Valley, Inc., the Charleston YMCA, the Charleston YWCA, the Charleston Area Alliance and The Discover the Real West Virginia Foundation. She is also involved in economic development and promoting West Virginia, including participation in four trade missions to the Far East.
Damian R. Cavaleri is a partner at Hoguet Newman Regal and Kenney, LLP, with expertise in business and employment litigation. He handles all aspects of litigation and arbitration, including discovery, motion practice, trial and appeal, and has litigated in federal and state courts in New York as well arbitration forums such as AAA and FINRA. He also advises both employers and employees on employment agreements, separation agreements, internal employment issues, and non-competition restrictions and covenants. Mr. Cavaleri was named on Benchmark Litigation's 40 & Under Hot List in 2020 and 2019, and he was recently recognized as an Employment Law Trailblazer by The National Law Journal, 2020.
As Chief Executive Officer at Schwabe, Graciela Gomez Cowger focuses on keeping clients at the center of all she does, leveraging her training as an engineer to deliver efficiencies, improve processes, and think creatively to bring diversity of thought to a historically slow-changing industry. As a leader and innovator, the nexus of Graciela’s strengths is an intrinsic ability to take bold action when needed while facilitating conversation and collaboration around difficult subjects in a rapidly changing and evolving market.
Graciela remains active in community and Bar efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in the profession and in our communities through her past involvement in the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber, Latina Commission for the Hispanic National Bar Association, and Oregon Hispanic Bar Association. In 2018, Graciela was appointed to the State of Washington’s Women’s Commission by Governor Jay Inslee, an appointment she still holds today. Graciela serves on the Boards of Oregon Public Broadcasting, the Portland branch of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, Portland Business Alliance, and Downtown Seattle Association.
Kalisha Crawford Director of Marketing & Business Development
As the Director of Marketing & Business Development at Ropers Majeski, a national full-service law firm, Kalisha is responsible for firmwide marketing, business development, communications, and client engagement efforts. She started her career as a litigator in New York, where she practiced for several years handling class action and multi-district litigation. She made the transition to legal marketing and hasn’t looked back.
Kalisha helps firms create and execute strategic marketing and business development initiatives nationally and internationally. She has built and led teams in several law firms and legal services companies, where she helps attorneys to implement bespoke personal business and marketing plans, supports and enables firm wide cross-selling efforts, and offers creative solutions to firm challenges and opportunities. She has extensive experience identifying and strengthening the synergies among key firm operations, finance, IT, and attorney development functions to further firm goals and strengthen capabilities and communications.
A passionate supporter of voter engagement, Kalisha currently serves on the Board of Cook Out the Vote, a non-profit organization that connects communities to protect and strengthen voting as an institution and to make democracy delicious. Kalisha lives in Los Angeles with her two beloved German Shepherds.
Kari Durnell is the Accounting Manager with Tucker Ellis LLP, a wonderful midsize law firm in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, since 2015. Kari oversees the billing, AP, AR, payroll and financial reporting departments of the firm. She is also a graduate from Cleveland State University (2009), with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree, focused in Finance. Kari is also a member of the ALA and ILTA. Professionally, she has a passion for data analytics and process improvement. Personally, she has a passion for personal growth and development, as well as crafting of all types.
KANSAS R. GOODEN, a Board Certified Appellate Specialist and AV Rated Attorney, is a shareholder at the law firm of Boyd & Jenerette, PA and serves as the firm’s general counsel and appellate practice group leader. She is based in Miami, Florida and appears in state and federal courts throughout Florida. She has extensive experience handling all types of civil appellate proceedings, including extraordinary writs and plenary appeals. She also provides trial and litigation support to attorneys. Kansas is highly involved in state and local bar associations and has served in many leadership roles. Presently, she is the Secretary of the Florida Bar’s Appellate Practice Section, serves on the Florida Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization and Education Committee, and is on the Board of Directors of the Third District Court of Appeal Historical Society. She also is the President-Elect of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association and chairs its amicus committee. Previously, she was the 2019-2020 chair of the Florida Bar’s Appellate Board Certification Committee and was the Continuing Legal Education Chair for the Florida Bar’s Appellate Practice Section. Kansas is a frequent lecturer and travels the state presenting seminars and presentations on various topics to those in the legal and insurance industries.
Ms. Guthrie is chief business development officer at Harris Beach PLLC where she is responsible for supporting the development and execution of the firm’s and its subsidiaries strategic business plans and business development initiatives. Ms. Guthrie has more than 30 years of professional services business development, marketing and communications experience. She was director of marketing and sales for NYC-based Rosenman and Colin (now Katten) before joining Harris Beach. Prior to entering the legal industry, she worked at Deloitte where she managed corporate research projects and handled national marketing responsibilities for a number of the firm’s consulting groups. She began her career designing and executing marketing research programs including product and service usage research, focus groups and executive surveys.
Ms. Guthrie earned her MBA from Pace University and holds a Bachelor of Science from Nazareth College of Rochester.
Eric Hunter Chief Technology and Innovation Officer
Bradford & Barthel, LLP
Eric is a global futurist, speaker, author and CTO. He is the Chief Technology and Innovation Officer for the US based law firm, Bradford & Barthel, LLP where he leads the futurist team Spherical Models, and serves as an advisory member to multiple boards across the globe. Eric studies how the future of technology and human behavior continually evolve and intersect the globe over. Eric’s work with Spherical Models teaches how to recognize, create, and leverage new business and process models in leading organizational change through the current reality of global business model disruption. For the past 11 years Eric has worked with organizations across the world such as Google, IBM, Shapoorji Pallonji Group, TEDx, the Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, KM Asia, KM Europe, KM Congress in India, Social Now in Portugal, Global Legal Forum in The Hague, and many more. Eric expanded his focus within the future of technology and human behavior in his latest TEDx: “The Future of Human Behavior”. His next book, “The Future of Human Behavior” is due to publish Spring of 2022.
Tom is the CEO/President of Iridium Technology -- the firm that is 100% focused on business intelligence (BI) and financial analytics for law firms. Tom has been focused on business intelligence and profitability for law firms for over 20 years. Prior to starting Iridium Technology, Tom worked for Aderant for 13 years, with most of his tenure as the Product Manager for Aderant's business intelligence offering. Tom is a regular presenter at ILTACON and has been the Chairperson and host for the ARK Profitability and ARK BI conferences for the last three years. He has a B.S. in Computer Science from University of California, Santa Barbara, and was selected as the outstanding Computer Science student in his graduating class.
Mark Medice is a Principal at LawVision and leads the Financial Performance and Data Science Practice. He has over 20 years of leadership experience providing and applying data solutions to the most pressing challenges facing law firm leaders. Mark spent over 10 years at Thomson Reuters where he launched and led the Peer Monitor program. During that time, he created the Peer Monitor Index (PMI) which is widely used throughout the legal industry. Immediately prior to LawVision, Mark led new initiatives around analytics and metrics at Intapp.
Law firm leaders rely on Mark’s unparalleled experience in financial competitive intelligence and benchmarking, predictive analytics, industry performance, rates, pricing trends and strategy, profitability, and other critical issues facing firms today.
Mike Mellor Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer
PRYOR CASHMAN LLP
Mike Mellor is the Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Pryor Cashman, a 175-attorney midsize firm with offices in both NYC, Los Angeles and Miami. In this role, he works to identify, develop and execute strategies to both drive new business for the firm and increase brand awareness.
Mike’s nearly 20-year career has spanned various marketing and BD roles, working at such firms as Paul Weiss, Katten and KPMG. His passion is creating clarity and game plans for the attorneys around the firm, implementing rigor and process around the new business development cycle. By listening to his internal and external clients, he uncovers unique selling propositions (USP's) and targeting ideas, and then develops client personas, 30/60/90 day plans, and creates other innovative strategies to help attorneys in their business development initiatives.
A self-defined process junkie, Mike is also heavily involved in developing proposal methodologies, toolkits, preparing attorneys for pitches, and directly assisting the firm’s clients to help align them with the correct resources and attorneys at Pryor Cashman. He is a big believer in using data to make informed decisions, and employs numerous individual, practice and industry KPIs to constantly tweak and refine his approaches.
A frequent author and speaker around the country, Mike earned his BS from the University of Maryland, his MCert from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and his MS from Columbia University. He currently serves as the national CMO SIG Co-Chair for the Legal Marketing Association, and also serves on Thomson Reuters' Marketing Leadership Council, Gwabbit’s Advisory Board, and on the Board of Governors for the University of Maryland’s Alumni Association.
Trisha Miltimore is an International Speaker empowering teams, leaders and HUMANS to engineer their own DEEPLY SATISFYING LIFE EXPERIENCE. As a momma of four and lead Passion Igniter at Contagious Leadership Training, Trish knows first hand the hardships and privileges of PURSUING YOUR PASSION including what it takes to ignite and maintain an attitude of success. A curator of CURIOSITY + COURAGE Trisha teaches proven LifeTool Strategies to reach your goals and FLOURISH at the same time. Her down-to-earth style is refreshing. Her messages are clear, practical and transformational. A profound storyteller, Trisha empowers people via an experienced bold blend of inspiration & personal insights. Visit www.passionigniter.ca to learn more.
As President of Ikaun, Jason drives the daily innovation pipeline that fuels Ikaun’s client solutions and successes. Having started his career as a hard-core software engineer, Jason understands the nuts and bolts of complex, mission critical business solutions but brings a unique perspective on how technology drives growth and profitability. Jason has spent over twenty years helping clients such as Microsoft, World Bank, Orrick, Kirkland & Ellis, Reed Smith, KPMG, and the US Navy maximize their information, make better decisions, and utilize technology as a strategic differentiator
Sona Pancholy is president of Meritas, the premier global alliance of independent, market-leading law firms. Founded in 1990, Meritas has member firms in 253 markets worldwide with more than 7,400 dedicated, collaborative lawyers. Under Sona's leadership Meritas launched the Race and Equality Taskforce to foster greater diversity and inclusion at Meritas and amongst the member-firms.
During the past 25 years Sona has led various legal organizations through the disruption in the industry. Prior to joining Meritas Sona led business growth strategies for Bloomberg Industry Group, where DE & I was also part of her portfolio. Sona has transformed business development and client services at leading law firms and legal associations. She holds an LLM from American University Washington College of Law and a JD from Boston University School of Law.
Melissa A. Peña
Management Committee Member, Attorney & Chair of the Meritas Women’s Leadership Congress and Meritas Executive Council
Meredith Ritchie SVP, General Counsel and Chief Ethics & Government Affairs Officer
Alliant Credit Union
Meredith Ritchie, a Chicago native, graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY and obtained her JD from DePaul College of Law in Chicago.
Meredith has had a diverse legal career in Chicago starting out in private practice where she litigated tort actions. A large portion of her litigation included defending a Fortune 100 petroleum company.
Meredith then served as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Cook County, Illinois in both the civil and criminal divisions. She then took her experience to the State of Illinois where she contributed to the Illinois Department of Public Aid and then served as Deputy General Counsel to the Department of Central Management Services.
Meredith then served as in-house counsel for Accenture, an international technology consulting firm.
Currently, Meredith is SVP, General Counsel and Chief Ethics & Government Affairs Officer for Alliant Credit Union, a $14 billion dollar financial cooperative, in Chicago, Illinois. There, she oversees the Legal and Audit Departments, the Ethics Program and is a member of the Executive Leadership Team. Meredith is known for bringing pragmatic and creative business and legal solutions to her clients. Her consultative approach, coupled with her energy, positivity and thorough knowledge of the law, enable her to add value to the management team of her organization. Meredith enjoys leading her diverse team and helping them realize and maximize their potential.
Meredith chaired the Standing Committee on Women and the Law of the Illinois State Bar Association as well as the Young Lawyers Division. She served on the Board of Managers of the Chicago Bar Association. Currently, Meredith is President of the Board of Directors of the Alliant Credit Union Foundation and is Co-Chair of the Governance Sub-committee of the American Bar Association Credit Union Committee.
With over 20 years of experience applying best technology practices to solve business challenges, Erik has held a wide range of responsibilities across corporate legal IT, legal software manufacturers and consulting organizations. In addition to writing and public speaking, Erik provides strategic advisory services to law firm executives. Erik specializes in investment strategies for delivery of differentiating technologies aligned to law firm business goals and via cost-effective operating models.
Nat Slavin is a partner in the Wicker Park Group, a consultancy focused on helping law firms strengthen and deepen their relationships with in-house counsel through client feedback and other client facing programs. Nat has interviewed more than 1,000 in-house counsel and executives on behalf of law firms and trained 100’s of lawyers on client service. He was the 2007 International President of LMA, is an inductee in the LMA Hall of Fame and a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management.
He is also the former publisher of InsideCounsel (Corporate Legal Times) and the author of more than 100 articles on legal department management and frequently speaks on best practices in the client-firm relationship. He regularly works with law firm leadership to advise on marketplace trends, consults with corporate legal departments and is intimately involved in the creation of innovative brand initiatives for a variety of consultancies, technology companies and law firms. Previously he was founding editor and publisher of U.S. Business Litigation.
He has been to 49 states and visited almost as many countries and briefly taught bilingual/bicultural English and History in Southern California.
Robert Surrette is a Shareholder and serves as President of McAndrews. He focuses his practice on the resolution of intellectual property and technology-related disputes with an emphasis on patent, trademark, trade secret and trade dress litigation. For the last 15 years, Bob has counseled a leading global medical device manufacturer on numerous litigation and transactional matters.
Bob, building on his experience as a federal district court law clerk, has extensive experience in preparing and bringing complex intellectual property cases to trial, including overseeing all aspects of pre-trial discovery, procuring and supervising experts, preparing and arguing pre-trial, dispositive and post-trial motions, including claim construction and summary judgment, and participating in multi-week trials. He also has significant experience in appellate proceedings, including arguing at the Federal Circuit.
Bob also maintains an active transactional practice through which he advises clients on transactions involving the transfer of intellectual property, including mergers, asset deals, and licensing deals, and on patent portfolio development and management.
He has worked in a number of diverse technology areas, such as surgical control systems, wrist implants, insufflators, hospital beds, surgical cutting tools, medical image capture systems, balloon angioplasty catheters, implantable cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators, as well as digital jukeboxes, electronic dartboards, exhaust systems, contact lenses, fluorescent lighting systems, and chillers.
Bob has led a number of diverse organizations, including serving as President of the Chicago-Kent Alumni Board of Directors, President of the Richard Linn American Inn of Court, and Regional Commissioner of American Youth Soccer Organization Region 210.
Tom Van Der Moere is the Chief Financial Officer at Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP, a Chicago-based law firm with 130 lawyers, where he oversees the financial operations of the firm including the areas of accounting, treasury management, planning / analytics / business intelligence, practice economics and strategic pricing, financial and operating systems, and new business acceptance and risk management. Tom has expertise in professional service firm administrative and financial management, performance and compensation analysis, financial and operational analysis and modeling, strategic planning, process development and re-engineering, firm/project profitability and risk management, and business intelligence. He also has significant financial experience with public and private companies in professional services, energy, and manufacturing industries. Tom has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and an MS in Accounting and Business Management from the University of Tulsa.
Lisa Waligorski, CLM is the Executive Director at Newmeyer & Dillion, LLP. She started her career in a legal assistant/paralegal role, and the past 20+ years have been spent in either an Executive Director or Director of Finance/Controller role. Her education and background provide experience and knowledge in developing and implementing strategic initiatives, and overseeing organizational operations, finance, human resources, facilities, information technology, and marketing & business development. Lisa has been a speaker on both law firm accounting and human resources topics. She has also been an ALA e-learning Law Firm Accounting and Financial Information & Analysis instructor for the past six years.
Executive Vice President & Associate General Counsel, Litigation
Naomi Waltman Executive Vice President & Associate General Counsel, Litigation
Naomi B. Waltman is Executive Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Litigation at ViacomCBS Inc. She serves as the Company’s chief litigation counsel, overseeing litigation for ViacomCBS and its business units in a broad range of matters, including intellectual property, defamation, and general commercial disputes. Earlier in her career, Naomi was a litigation associate at Kaye Scholer LLP (now Arnold & Porter) in New York City and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Warren W. Eginton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.
Naomi is a well-recognized leader in the legal profession and is frequently honored by external legal and professional organizations. She has been recognized as a National Woman in Law (Technology, Media, and Telecom) by Corporate Counsel, a Leading Woman Lawyer by Crain’s New York Business, and a Woman of Influence by Best Lawyers Magazine.
Naomi received a B.A. with Distinction from Stanford University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.