Awards

The First Chair Awards is an annual selection of in-house counsel who have, through their hard work and innovation, made significant contributions to the legal community. Our award program honors the top in-house counsel for their accomplishments in the past year in a wide range of categories.




2014 First Chair Award Recipients

Top General Counsel

Katherine Adkins, Toyota Financial Services
Janice Alwin, Oak Point Partners
Jeff D. Barlow, Molina Healthcare, Inc.
Meredith Bjorck, Tuesday Morning Corporation
Janice Block, Kaplan Inc.
Patrick Cage, Chicago State University
David Chameli, SIRVA
Richard Chivaro, Office of the California State Controller
Patrick Christmas, Lumara Health Inc.
Kristin Coleman, Sears Holdings Management Corporation
Angelique David, Ziegler
Shannon Dwyer, St. Joseph Health
David Ebroon, JPMorgan / Chase Capital
Jennifer Estabrook, Fila USA, Inc
Maria Greene, Illinois Tool Works, Inc.
Robert Guttman, ULTA Salon
James F Hall, Skyview Capital, LLC
Daniel Hanrahan, The Marmon Group LLC
Stephanie Hart, Kaplan Inc.
Nick Helmer, Friedman Properties, Ltd.
Carrie Hightman, NiSource
Amy Hoffman, Central EMS
Neil Jenkins, Lawson Products, Inc.
Pamela Kapsimalis, Preferred Freezer Services, LLC
Janet Lee, HERE, a Nokia Business
Karl Leo, American Builders & Contractors Supply Co., Inc. (ABC Supply Co. Inc.)
Daniel Lichtenstein, Grant Thornton Internationa Ltd.
Susan Lichtenstein, Hill-Rom
Robert Loewer, National Railway Equipment Co.
Joshua Markus, REXAM Inc.
Robert A. McKenzie, ATI Physical Therapy
Judith Miles, Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group
Joanne Moffic-Silver, Chicago Board of Options Exchange, Inc.
Andrea Okun, Merit Management Group, LLC
Lisa Pattis, Wintrust Financial Corporation
William J. Peltin, Ridge Development Company, L.L.C.
Dale Pierson, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 (IUOE Local 150)
Geri Presti, Forest City Enterprises
Sarah Qadeer, Home Depot of Canada Inc.
David Rifkind, Buzzi Unicem USA Inc.
Brian Roche, Easton-Bell Sports
Thomas A. Russo, American International Group, Inc.
David Sienko, Hecla Mining Company
Jack Silhavy, Fresenius-Kabi USA
Michael Silverman, SmithBucklin Corporation
Brad Simon, About, Inc.
Anthony Sitko, S&C Electric Company
Martha Solinger, Lehman Borthers
John Spiegleman, DCT Industrial Trust
Dalton Sprinkle, One Roof Energy Inc.
James Strother, Wells Fargo
Joyce Tuohy, BMO Financial Group
Monica Weed, Navigant Consulting, Inc.
Steve Worth, SilkRoad Technology
Ken Zak, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.
Steve Zeigler, SantaFe HealthCare, Inc.

Top Assistant General Counsel

David Adams, Kaplan Inc.
John Amberg, Northern Trust Corporation
Tricia Barrett, Urban Outfitters Inc.
John Carreon, Kaplan Inc.
Dawn Cassie, Navigant Consulting, Inc.
Beth Davis, Kaplan Inc.
Kathleen Deane, BMO Financial Group
Deborah Decker, Exelon
Mary Downie, BMO Financial Group
Conni Gibson, BMO Financial Group
John Griffith, Culligan International Company
Stacee Hasenbalg, BMO Financial Group
Marni Helfand, Huron Consulting Group
Colleen Hennessy, BMO Financial Group
Katie Holahan, Navigant Consulting, Inc.
Dawson Horn, AIG
Lisa Horning, Navigant Consulting, Inc.
Melinda Jesse-Smith, Sears Holdings Management Corp.
Keri Johnson, Midas
Chris Kearns, ACE Group
Rachel Lei, GATX Corporation
Chris Lenhart, U.S. Bank
Jill Liska, Sargent & Lundy LLC
Christina Loundy, Stepan Company
Simon Manoucherian, Grifols Inc.
David Mason, Perrigo Company plc
David Meehan, BMO Financial Group
Michael Mendola, HSBC
Emily Milman, Crate & Barrel
Elliot Molk, World Kitchen LLC
Lynn E. Monaco, SantaFe HealthCare/AvMed, Inc.
Kevin Morris, Global Hyatt Corporation
David J Mulvihill, Bank of America
John Neel, US Foods, Inc.
Nikki Nocera, Excelon Corporation
Christopher Paetsch, Kaplan Inc.
Reginald Parks, Cushman & Wakefield
Clare K Pierce, BMO Financial Group
Julia Pilliod, The Warranty Group
Jessica Pollack, Colgate
Natalie Pons, CVS Caremark
Rasul Raheem, Bank of America Legal Department
Sean Rahilly, First American Bank
Gayle Robinson, BMO Financial Group
Jason Ryan, CenterPoint Energy
Maria Scherer, Ares Management
Renee Schreiber, Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc
Joy Shulruf, APAC Customer Services
Mary Smigielski, Sears Holdings Management
Catherine Smith, R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company
Craig Sonnenschein, Orbitz Worldwide LLC
Eryk Spytek, Mead Johnson Nutrition Company
Richard Stevens, Old World Industries, LLC
Michael Strohmeier, Exelon BSC
Gisele Sutherland, BMO Financial Group
Laurie Tenzer, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
Pia Thompson, Navigant Consulting, Inc.
Marsha Tolchin, Illinois Tool Works Inc.
Shelly Watson, MillerCoors Brewing Company
Pamela Weinstock, Sears Holdings
Derek Windham, Del Monte Foods
Kimberlee Yapchai, Masco Corporation

Top Litigation Counsel

Douglas Edwards, Wells Fargo
Cynthia Abbott, Motorola Mobility LLC
William Barnette, The Home Depot
Carey Bartell, Hospira
Rufus Beaty, TD Bank
Barry E. Beldin, TD Bank, N.A.
Kenneth Bradley, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Inc.
Peter Carlson, Motorola Solutions, Inc.
Trish Dennis, Ally Financial
Sneha Desai, BASF
Christopher Doherty, Kraft Foods
Edward Gallagher, NCR Corporation
Jonathan Goodman, General Electric Company
Katherine Haennicke, BMO Financial Group
Tanya Holcomb, Honeywell
Laura McLaren, Bank of Montreal
Anthony Michael, Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.
Jennifer Molinar, CVS Caremark
Raven Moore, McDonald's Corporation
Emily Muceus, Deere & Co.
Babette Orenstein, Consolidated Edison, Inc.
Allison Phillips, Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
Catherine Spector, Hospira legal department
Karen Yen, UBS

Rising Stars

Valeria Bailey, Rand McNally
Umar Arshad, comScore, Inc.
Sara Bolden, Target
Stephanie Bundage Juvane, CenterPoint Energy
Jonathan Chester, Enova International, Inc.
Michael Donovan, The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen)
Jennifer Griveas, Eliza Jennings Senior Care Network
Kim-An Hernandez, International Paper
Stacy Howard, BMO Financial Group
Christina Kiel, BMO Financial Group
Frank McEachern, MicroTransponder
Patrick O'Connor, The Walsh Group
Farrah Pepper, GE
Ryan Polkowski, Harley-Davidson
Elissa Port, BMO Financial Group
Michele Racadio, BMO Financial Group
Brad Rosen, Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Division
Jennifer Rubin, Banco Popular North America
Matt Schmanski, BMO Financial Group
Timothy Whelan, NewlyWeds Foods, Inc.

Top Compliance Counsel

Kevin Dunleavy, Sunoco, Inc.
Robyn Eckerling, Aon Corporation
Deborah Friedman, Telephone and Data Systems, Inc.
Marvin Gurevich, Enova International Inc.
Hope Newsome, The Newport Group Inc.
Dan Oseran, eBay
Kimberly Quinn, BMO Financial Group
Lisa Seilheimer, CDW
Lisa Tamburini, RMB Capital Management, LLC
Greta Weathersby, Integrys Energy Group Inc.

Top Real Estate Counsel

Toni Di Giacomo, Brixmor Property Group
Robyn Alexander , Sears Holdings Management Corporation
Zachary Blair, Sears Holdings Management Corporation
Joseph Conn, Sprouts Farmers Market
Kim Dombrow, Inland Real Estate Corporation
Janet Lindeman, Ulta Beauty
Jason Maxwell, Hines
Mary Parish, Chevron Corporation
Barbara Peloquin, Sears Holdings Management Corporation
Marianne Simonini, Sears Holdings Management Corporation
Elizabeth Williams, Sears Holdings Management Corporation

Top Corporate Counsel

Kerry Abbott, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Michael Ascher, Brunswick Corporation
Holly Bailey, BMO Financial Group
Claire Battle, ArcelorMittal USA
Vineeta Bonthala, BMO Financial Group
J. Stephen Carow, Chevron USA, Inc.
Jane Crane, Macy's Retail Holdings, Inc.
Julie D'Angelo, BMO Financial Group
Dana Davenport, Accenture LLP
Christine DeMott, BMO Financial Group
Jay Derbis, BMO Financial Group
Katharine Dunn, Rising Medical Solutions, Inc.
Megan Ferraro, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
Christine Graham, BMO Financial Group
Steven Grieb, BMO Financial Group
Kerilyn Johnson, Ace Hardware Corporation
Shawn Karasarides, The Wendy's Company
Tracy Kocourek, Accenture Legal
Nicholas Kourides, AIG Corporate Legal Department
Linda Lu, Nationwide Insurance
James Mahlo, Navistar
Tim Peters, Prologis, Inc.
Shailaja Reddy, BMO Financial Group
Jason Romick, HUB International
Sophia Ruffolo, BMO Financial Group
Koreen Ryan, Hospira, Inc.
B. T. Thomas, BMO Financial Group
Audrey Waltenburg, Walgreen Co.
Michael Wieber, BMO Financial Group
Charlene Yaneza, BMO Financial Group

Top Intellectual Property Counsel

Karl Fazio, GoDaddy
Heather Kartsounes, Rush University Medical Center
Stasia Ogden, Baxter Healthcare
Bruce Schelkopf, Ingersoll Rand Company
Brian Wacter, Broadcom Corporation

Top Healthcare Counsel

Paul Cushing, Partners HealhCare System
Neil Hazaray, Navigant Consulting, Inc.
Kenneth Kubes, Coventry Health Care, Inc.
Nicie Pratt, Covenant Health System
James Watson, St. Joseph Health System
Michael Watters, Catholic Health Initiatives
Robert L Wax, St. Luke's University Health Network

Top Legal Department

Navigant Consulting, Inc. Navigant Legal Department, Navigant Consulting, Inc.
St. Joseph Health System (SJHS) SJHS Legal Department, St. Joseph Health System

Top Private Equity Counsel

Katie Reilly, Blackstone Group LP

Top Employment Counsel

Jeffery Brockmann, U.S. Bank
Kathryn Career Education Corporation, Wolters Kluwer
MaryAnne Carlson, OneWest Bank
Rebecca Clar, AOL Inc.
Brian Holbrook , Toyota Financial Services
Keith James, MASCO
Rebecca Letourneaux, Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC
Ellen Malasky, Florida Power & Light Company
Kimberly Metrick, Walgreen Co.
Amy Turk, Dollar Tree Inc.
Michael Wilck, Bed Bath and Beyond