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.




2015 First Chair Award Recipients

Top General Counsel

Josephine Wang, Securities Investor Protection Corporation
Dina Daskalakis, Hudson Insurance Group
Randi Zeller, A.T. Kearney
Jason Thaler, The Topps Company
David Adler, Market Connect Group
Tim Denker, Dunhill Partners
Jennifer Griveas, Eliza Jennings
Geri Presti, Forest City Enterprises
Jeff Margolis, SIRVA, Inc.
Brandon Kessinger, Akebono Brake Corporation
Robert Rader, Ovation LLC
Cathy McEvilly, Honda North America, Inc. Law Division
Charlotte Toerber, E.ON
Jeannie Frey, Presence Health
Michelle Ventress, WTAS LLC
Stephanie Hart, Kaplan Higher Education
Mark Larsen, LawFin, Inc.
Caroline Tsai, BMO Financial Group
John Blenke, Trans Union LLC
Matthew Revord, Potbelly Sandwich Works
Brian Farley, Allscripts
Janice Block, Kaplan Higher Education
Steve Galler, The Habitat Company
Monica Weed, Navigant Consulting, Inc.
Adam Gotskind, ComPsych
Angelique David, Ziegler
Deborah Golden, GATX
Pia Thompson, Transworld Systems Inc.
Nick Helmer, Friedman Properties, Ltd.
Lisa Young, Enova Financial
Douglas Graham, Oil-Dri Corporation of America
Rena Hozore Reiss, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Joanne Moffic-Silver, Chicago Board of Options Exchange, Inc.
Susan Lichtenstein, Hill-Rom
Jill Rappis, Loyola University Health System
Eric Scroggins, Allison Transmission, Inc.
Carrie Hightman, NiSource
Robert Rieders, Path
Randall Cook, Advent Software, Inc.
Lori Schechter, McKesson Corporation
John MIlek, Fastenal Company
Michael Silverman, SmithBucklin Corporation
Roger Franks, KLX, Inc.
Ryan Patch, B/E Aerospace
Rob Holladay, Cal-Maine Foods Inc.
Lacey Bundy, Express, Inc.
Bridgette Roman, Community Choice Financial
Beth Sprecher Brooks, Inland Real Estate Corporation
Karen Klein, Kayak Software Corporation (Kayak.com)
Fred Stein, Redbox Automated Retail, LLC
Denise Cade, SunCoke
Kurt Stepaniak, KONE Inc.
Gail Halsbrouck, Advocate Health System
Anne-Marie Shelley, Accretive, LLC
Robert Loewer, National Railway Equipment Co.
Carla Hines, MXD
Dale Pierson, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 (IUOE Local 150)
P. J. Malak, Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc.
Jason Maxwell, Hines
Sean Johnson, OOGC America LLC
Rachel Dvorken, Sinai Medical
Joshua Markus, REXAM Inc.
Lydia Wahlke, Chicago Cubs
Jason Rice, Coyote Logistics
Steve Worth, SilkRoad Technology
Vicki Donati, Crate & Barrel
Kristin Coleman, Sears Holdings Corporation
Barbara Peloquin, Kimco Realty Corporation
David Chameli, Heritage
Carla Garfinkle, Donlen Corporation
Jack Silhavy, Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC
Daniel Leep, Old World Industries, LLC
Michael Lorge, Village of Skokie
Jeffrey Leeb, GVW Group, LLC
Juliette Pryor, US Foods, Inc.
Maria Greene, Illinois Tool Works, Inc.
Cynthia Boeh, Misumi USA, Inc.
Lisa Pattis, Wintrust Financial Corporation
Shiela Gallucci Davis, Subaru of America, Inc.
Brett Hart, United
Alex Green, CareerBuilder.com
Sharon Barner, Cummins, Inc.
Eric Reeves, Duchossois Capital Management
Shan Bhati, Edelman
Patrick Barrett, Hitachi America, Ltd
Gloria Santona, McDonald's Corporation
Susan Hallsby, National Express Corporation/Durham School Services
Paulette Dodson, PetSmart Inc.
Peter Bausch, SC Johnson
Paul Applebaum, Shure Incorporated
Gail Myers, Snyder's-Lance, Inc.
Joseph DiCamello, Studsvik
Jan Reed, Walgreens Boots Alliance
Kristen Shaheen, Opinion Lab
Doug Miller, Mariner Real Estate Management, LLC
Chad Wiegand, Schwabe North America/ Nature’s Way
James Office, Victory Wholesale Grocers
Jackie Moen, Allina Health
Janet Lee, HERE, a Nokia Business
Anthony D'Amato, Illinois Institute of Technology
Scott Ammarell, Chicago Housing Authority
Mark Hacker, Motorola Solutions
Brian Farley, Allscripts
Lewis Steverson, Corning Inc.
James Hall, Skyview Capital
Larry Oleksa, FireMon
Laura Schumacher, Abbvie

Top Assistant General Counsel

Gioia Macey, Navigant Consulting, Inc.
Tricia Barrett, Urban Outfitters Inc.
Laura Cole, Astellas Pharma
Dave Goltz, Robert Bosch Tool Corporation
Nancy Brooks, Discover Financial Services
Rasul Raheem, Bank of America Legal Department
Garrett Ferencz, True Blue
Susan Fyan, Zoetis
Christian Clayton, CoBank, ACB
Jody Porter, Toyota Legal One c/o Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Doug Bishop, Honda North America, Inc. Law Division
David Peim, Honda North America, Inc. Law Division
Laurie Tenzer, Rehabilitation Institute
Timothy Walsh, Integrys Energy Group Inc.
Maria Scherer, Ares Management
Jill Liska, Sargent & Lundy LLC
Mary Beth Tighe, RR Donnelley
Catherine Smith, RR Donnelley
Christopher Paetsch, Kaplan Higher Education
John Carreon, Kaplan Higher Education
Beth Davis, Kaplan Higher Education
Carla Goldstein, BMO Harris Bank
Christy DeMott, BMO Harris
Kathleen Deane, BMO Harris Bank N.A.
Mary Downie, BMO Financial Group
Stacee Hasenbalg, Harris N.A.
Pamela Kain, GE
Shelly Watson, MillerCoors Brewing Company
Damon DiCastri, The PrivateBank
Dawn Cassie, Navigant Consulting, Inc.
Rahsaan Sales, Navigant Consulting, Inc.
Renee Schreiber, Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc
Laura Scheland, Oil-Dri Corporation of America
Annette Isaacson, JP Morgan Chase & Co.
Kevin Morris, Equinox
Lindsay Blohm, Hill-Rom
Beatriz Olivera, Huron Consulting Group, Inc.
Christina Archer, ArcelorMittal USA
Lisa Carestia, Nuveen Investments
Dennis Garcia, Microsoft
Carl Bergetz, Rush University Medical Center
David Mulvihill, Bank of America
Toni Landreth, Anheuser Busch
Naima Stevenson Starks, The National Collegiate Athletic Association
Simon Manoucherian, Grifols
Jami Fenner, Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
Sarah Borrey, Specialized Bicycles Components
Gayle Robinson, BMO Financial Group
Derek Windham, Del Monte Foods
Melinda Jesse-Smith, Sears Holdings Management Corp.
Lisa Horning, Navigant Consulting, Inc.
Aaron Garms, Fastenal Company
Ellen Malasky, Florida Power & Light Company
Joseph Conn, Sprouts Farmers Market
Gisele Sutherland, BMO Financial Group
Mia Meloni, UHS of Delaware, Inc.
Jennifer Baumann, Alliant
Kerry Abbott, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co
Janet Lindeman, Ulta Salon
Keri Johnson, Midas
Christine McInerney, NBTY, Inc.
Nicole Nocera, Exelon
Melissa Turai, ReachLocal Inc.
Kathleen Byrne, Reyes Holdings
Elliot Molk, World Kitchen LLC
Emily Milman, Crate & Barrel
Mary Smigielski, Sears Holdings Management
Melinda Smith, Sears Holdings
Susan Scalzo, Sears Holdings Management Corporation
Andrew Johnstone, Sears Holdings
Pamela Weinstock, Sears Holdings
Shannon Couffer, Walgreen Co.
Joy Shulruff, APAC Customer Services
Ilese Flamm, Donlen Corporation
Christina Loundy, Stepan Company
Lynn Watkins-Asiyanbi, Grainger
Richard Stevens, Old World Industries, LLC
Andre Frieden, Wolters Kluwer (Law Department)
Kathryn Hartrick, Wolters Kluwer
John Schloerb, Cole Taylor Bank
Jennifer Nichols, Banner Apartments LLC
John Neel, US Foods, Inc.
Dorothy Capers, U.S. Foodservice, Inc.
Marsha Tolchin, Illinois Tool Works, Inc.
Eryk Spytek, Mead Johnson Nutrition Company
Dawn Blume, Stericycle
Terri Claybrook, Subaru of America, Inc.
Joshua Pearson, EDF Renewable Energy
Jennifer Quinn, FDH Veolcitel
Peter Farah, J.M. Smucker Company
Theresa Coetzee, Marriott International
Ellen Georgiadis, MillerCoors
Katherine Tabor, Office Depot
Alex Kim, B/E Aerospace
Srini Medi, Kaplan Higher Education
Lori Bellows, Here
Cory Bagby, Advocate Health Care
Rachel Lei, GATX Corporation
John Amberg, Northern Trust Corporation
Tom Wilson, Zebra Technologies Corporation
Andrea Okun, Joseph T. Ryerson & Son, Inc.

Top Litigation Counsel

Carey Bartell, Hospira
Marc McKay, BMO Harris, N.A.
Charlene Yaneza, BMO Harris
Eva Almirantearena, Intel Corporation
William Peterson, Zurich NA
Lisa Stauffer, PNC Bank N.A.
Harry Dubnick, Commonwealth Edison Company
Raven Moore, McDonald's Corporation
Nick Beizer, GoDaddy
Melissa Markiewicz, Capital One
Darin Osmond, Walgreen Co.
Howard Rosenblum, Walgreen Co.
Cynthia Abbott, Motorola Mobility, Inc.
Kenneth Bradley, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Inc.
Erinn Wehrman, GATX Corporation
Peter Carlson, Motorola Solutions, Inc.

Rising Stars

Monique Forrest, Beiersdorf, Inc.
MaryAnn Kanary, Toyoda Gosei North America Corporation
Jami Statham, Akebono Brake Corporation
Emily Muceus, Deere & Co.
James Oliva, Honda North America, Inc.
Ashley Nall, Dyson, Inc.
Shannon Cassell, Allscripts
Jeremy Unruh, PharmaCann, LLC
Ryan Powell, BMO Financial Group
Karoline Andris, BMO Financial Group
Keara Roethke, BMO Financial group
Kamau Coar, Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc.
Julia Loyd, Hill-Rom
Josh Jubelirer, TTX
Lora Graentzdoerffer, Masco Corporation
Michael Murphy, BMO Financial Group
Lia Moeser, Allstate Insurance Company
Michele Racadio, BMO Financial Group
Michael Hamilton, McKesson Corporation
Matthew Riopelle, Apple Inc.
Michael Qaqish, NSK Americas, Inc.

Top Compliance Counsel

Donna Radzik, Discover
Kim Yapchai, Whirlpool
Jeanmarie Tade, BP
Greta Weathersby, Integrys Energy Group Inc.
Blair Hanzlik, Enova International, Inc.
Lisa Tamburini, RMB Capital Management, LLC
Faith Knight Myers, McKesson Corporation
Faith Myers, McKesson Corporation
Steven Grieb, BMO Financial Group
Michael Wieber, BMO Financial Group
Dan Guggenheim, McKesson
Jennifer Zerm, Mead Johnson Nutrition Company
Gregory Moffatt, Raytheon

Top Real Estate Counsel

Stephen Skrivanek, Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance
John Nicholson, Fannie Mae
John Wooton, Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, Inc.
Nora Lee Zeller, Simon Property Group
Jonathan Brohard, IMH Financial Corporation
Cara Ahola, TJX Companies, Inc.
Robert Kubica, The Davis Companies
Elizabeth Williams, Sears Holdings Management Corporation
Robyn Alexander, Sears Holdings Corporation
Zachary Blair, Sears Holdings Management Corporation
Consuelo Boyd, Sears Holdings Management Corporation
Marianne Simonini, Sears Holdings Management Corporation
Tzivia Masliansky, Sears Holdings Co.
Toni DiGiacomo, Brixmor
Jon Macdonald, Fairfield Residential Company
Mary Parish, Chevron Corporation
Matt Cimino, Welsh

Top Corporate Counsel

Angela Hatseras, NiSource, Inc.
Koreen Ryan, Hospira, Inc.
Tim Peters, ProLogis
Kimberly Udovic, Toyota Legal One c/o Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Sarah Weersing, BDO USA, LLP
Kimberly Hayden, Sargent & Lundy
Corinne Cerny, Press Ganey
Sara Hays, Wrightwood Capital
Taylor Hammond, Lincoln Renewable Energy, LLC.
Timothy Verrilli, NXT Capital, Inc.
Theresa Duckett, BMO Harris Bank N.A.
Theresa Marx, BMO Financial Group
Brian Booker, BMO Financial Group
Matt Schmanski, BMO Financial Group
Vineeta Bonthala, BMO Financial Group
Rob Gal, BMO Financial Group
Leila Francis, BMO Financial Group
Anne Brynn, BMO Financial Group
Reggie Parks, Cushman & Wakefield
Renee Schreiber, Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc
Elizabeth Epstein, Grant Thorton LLP
Jon Casadont, BlueStar Energy Services, Inc.
Robyn Martin, Potbelly
Tracy Kocourek, Accenture Legal
David Fein, Constellation NewEnergy
Elizabeth Geraldi, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Claire Battle, ArcelorMittal USA
Julie D'Angelo, BMO Financial Group
J. Matt Martin, Olin Corporation
Joni Lawrence, Avnet, Inc.
John Nassos, NiSource Inc.
Joyce Tuohy, BMO Financial Group
Donald Liskov, Liberty Mutual
Kim Dombrow, Inland Real Estate Corporation
Jeffrey Fleischman, AAR Corp.
Audrey Waltenburg, Walgreens
Sam Banayan, Redbox Automated Retail, LLC
Kerilyn Johnson, Ace Hardware Corporation
Christopher Okoroegbe, Cargill, Incorporated
J. Stephen Carow, Chevron USA, Inc.
Lisa Chessare, Walgreen Co.
Andrew ("Andy") Marks, Walgreen Co.
Francis (Frank) Ferraro, Walgreen Co.
Maria Doughty, Allstate
Chris Schafer, Komatsu America Corp.
Altaf Baki, Grainger
Craig Elkins, Fresenius Kabi USA
Angela Frye, Verizon Wireless
Michael Ascher, Brunswick Corporation
Kelton Farris, Premium Assignment Corporation
Jeff Blum, Dish Network
Lawrence Hill, General Growth Properties, Inc.
John Brodersen, Kimberly-Clark
Carla Michelotti, Leo Burnett Worldwide
Ann Chen, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.
Christine Graham, BMO Harris Bank N.A.
Megan Ferraro, Hyatt Corporation
Robert Nachwalter, Lands' End

Top Intellectual Property Counsel

Kathy Beckles, JPMorgan Chase
Maurice Finnegan, ITW
Karen Schweickart, Citadel LLC
Kathleen Boege, FreightCar America, Inc.
Aimee Nolan, W.W. Grainger, Inc.
Sylvia Chen, Google Inc.
Jennifer Embry, Hospira
Daniel Shulman, Reynolds Group Holdings Ltd.
Bruce Schelkopf, ABB

Top Healthcare Counsel

Peter Braveman, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Sienna Singer, Accretive Health, Inc.
Neil Hazaray, Navigant Consulting
Lina Brenner, McKesson Corporation
Robert L. Wax, Esq., St. Luke's University Health Network
Michael Watters, Catholic Health Initiatives
James Watson, St. Joseph Health System
Nicie Pratt, Covenant Health System

Top Legal Department

Steven Rivers, LNR Property
Honda North America Legal Department, Honda North America, Inc.
Redbox Automated Retail, LLC, Redbox Automated Retail, LLC
Nadia Sarangi, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)
HERE in-house legal team Legal Team, HERE, a Nokia Company

Top Employment Counsel

Samy Sadighi, Toyota Financial Services
James Beyer, GE Power and Water
Susan Rider, Excelon
Kathleen Hughes, Union Pacific Railroad
Jeff Brockmann, US Bank
Isabel Lazar, REXAM BCNA
Barbara Lackman, NBC Universal Television Group
Rebecca Letourneaux, Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC
Abigail Roche, IDEX Corporation
Lincoln Lounsbury, United Airlines
Michael Wilck, Bed Bath and Beyond
Jennifer Rieker, St. Joseph Health System
MaryAnne Carlson, OneWest Bank
Brian Holbrook, Toyota Financial Services