In keeping with best practice in light of COVID-19, CenterForce is going virtual! Now more than ever, it is imperative that we adhere to our core values around diversity and inclusion, and remain anchored to our community. Please join us as we continue to explore the obstacles, risks and rewards on the path to a fulfilling and productive career for women and minority leaders.
What are the best strategies for recruiting and retaining diverse talent even in the face of a pandemic?How can we maintain standards of excellence while working remotely?How can we enlist men to become our allies and advocates?Are companies doing enough to create a culture of inclusion that goes beyond metrics?
Our virtual events promise you the same compelling content and interactive format. This conference will provide networking, learning opportunities and more!
Two Interactive Panel Sessions June 24th, 11am CDT:
A Country in Crisis: How the Pandemic Has Exacerbated Economic Disparities in America
Redefining Success in the Age of COVID-19: A Bridge to the New Normal
Chief Executive Officer
Chief, Deputy and Associate General Counsel
Trademark and Copyright Counsel
Head of Litigation
Chief Financial Officer
Director of Business and Legal Affairs
Chief Operations Officer
Director/VP of Licensing
Chief Legal Officer
Chief Diversity Officer
Natara is the General Counsel of Trace Midstream II, a Quantum Energy Partners portfolio company. Natara was the General Counsel of Trace Midstream I and the SVP, General Counsel of Intensity Midstream from 2019 to 2022 and both companies were successfully sold in 2022. From 2012 to 2019, she was the Assistant General Counsel of Oasis Petroleum (now Chord Energy) managing a diverse workload of transactional and other legal matters. Prior to going in house, Natara was an associate in the Energy Transactions & Project Finance group at the law firm of Vinson & Elkins where she represented Fortune 500 energy and oil and gas companies in matters involving upstream and midstream transactions, strategic investments and corporate and project financing and development. Natara began her career at Norton Rose Fulbright as an associate in the Corporate Department in 2005. Natara currently serves on the Tahirih Justice Center Advisory Committee and the Event Host Committee and was the 2022 Auction Committee Chair for the organization's annual gala. She has also provided pro bono representation for the Tahirih Justice Center and for other various nonprofit organizations throughout her career. Natara earned her Juris Doctor degree from Duke University School of Law and has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in International Business and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from Stetson University.
Kyle Lewis is Senior Counsel on the Safety & Insurance Legal team at Uber Technologies, Inc. He oversees a team of in-house attorneys who work closely with outside counsel to defend the company in Northeast U.S. claims litigation matters, which present a host of novel and first-impression legal issues. Before joining Uber, Kyle was an Associate at an insurance defense law firm in Chicago where he defended a range of corporate defendants in a variety of tort liability litigation. He received his B.A. in International Studies and Communications from Saint Louis University, and his J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. He is a Member in Good Standing of the Illinois State Bar.
In his free time, Kyle enjoys exploring Chicago with his wife or taking weekend trips to mountain towns to go hiking.
Mrs. Deonne Cunningham Nauls is Associate General Counsel at Symmetry Energy Solutions, LLC, where she is responsible for trading, marketing and asset management services related to natural gas and renewable energy. Most recently, Deonne was Lead Counsel of the Wholesale Legal Contracts team at Direct Energy. She notably led the Wholesale Legal Contracts team through the latest closing of the $3.6 billion sale of Direct Energy to NRG Energy, a Fortune 500 company. She has fourteen years of energy law, marketing and trading legal experience and has represented several companies as counsel such as Noble Energy, Repsol, Iberdrola, and the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) in Houston, Texas.
Deonne's practice includes energy matters, including commercial transactions related to marketing, physical and financial derivatives trading for natural gas, petroleum products and renewable energy, regulatory compliance, project development and various other matters. She holds her Juris Doctorate from the University of Houston Law Center and Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Houston.
Hillary Holmes is a partner in the global law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Co-Chair of the firm’s Capital Markets practice group. Hillary advises public and private corporations, private equity firms and investment banks on long-term and strategic capital raising. She regularly counsels companies on disclosure and reporting obligations under federal securities laws, corporate governance and ESG issues. She frequently advises boards of directors, special committees, and financial advisors in transactions involving conflicts of interest or unique complexities.
Hillary has been recognized as top of her field. She is the only woman and the youngest lawyer to be recognized by the premier legal review organization Chambers USA in the category that covers capital raising in the energy industry, receiving ranking in the highest level, as well as in the categories covering national oil and gas transactions and Texas corporate transactions. She has also been recognized by the National Law Journal as a Finance, Banking and Capital Markets Trailblazer, a Most Effective Dealmaker by Texas Lawyer, a Woman Who Means Business by the Houston Business Journal, as well as by Who’s Who, the Legal 500, the Houston Bar Association, the Greater Houston Women’s Partnership, and the National Association of Women Attorneys, among others.
Hillary regularly writes and speaks on topics relating to the capital markets, developments in securities regulation, ESG issues and the state of the energy industry, and she is Co-Editor of the academic blog the Securities Regulation and Corporate Governance Monitor.
Hillary demonstrates a strong commitment to providing free legal services to those who cannot otherwise afford to access them, particularly abused women and immigrant girls, and serves on the board of directors of several local nonprofits, including Houston Volunteer Lawyers and Harrison’s Heroes.
Hillary received her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and her Bachelor of Arts from Duke University. Hillary is a native Houstonian who loves to run marathons and watch Avengers movies with her two active young sons and one lovable pug.
Sean Davis is a shareholder in Winstead's Business Restructuring/Bankruptcy Practice Group. Sean's practice focuses primarily on commercial bankruptcy and restructuring matters in numerous industries, including: real estate, construction, equipment and vehicle leasing and finance, oil and gas, maritime shipping, health care, food service, office supply, and manufacturing. Sean's experience includes representing and counseling secured lenders, lessors, trade creditors, and financial institutions in a wide-variety of liquidation and reorganization proceedings and related bankruptcy and civil litigation. Prior to licensure, Sean was a judicial intern for The Hon. Leticia Z. Paul in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas and for The Hon. Terry Jennings in the Court of Appeals of Texas, First District. Sean also serves as the pro bono coordinator for Winstead's Houston office.
Aurra is a trial lawyer who has litigated a wide variety of commercial disputes in federal and state courts, and private arbitrations. She has also assisted clients with internal and governmental investigations. Aurra uses her experience and creativity to zealously advocate for her clients.
Pam Rea is a member of the Law & Regulations team for Allstate Insurance. In her position as Counsel, Pam litigates claims for damages under commercial and automobile policies representing the company’s insureds. She also provides other legal services to the organization. She embraces Allstate’s focus on diversity and team building by seeking out opportunities to work with colleagues who want to sharpen their own skills, while also learning from these talented team members.
Prior to joining Allstate, Pam had her own law firm for more than a decade representing clients involved in business and contractual disputes, copyright infringement and trademark disputes; the misappropriation of proprietary data and trade secret theft; unfair competition and other commercial litigation. She also handled labor and employment matters, including restrictive covenants and workplace discrimination claims, risk prevention training, policy guidance, external investigations of allegations, and representation of employers before the EEOC or other governmental entities and through the litigation or arbitration process.
Beyond litigation, Pam Rea is experienced in handling cases at the appellate levels and has tried cases before arbitration panels and in administrative law matters.
Pam was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in May 1995 and has practiced throughout the State of Texas. She is also admitted to practice before the federal U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Northern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas.
Past firm affiliations include Delgado, Acosta, Braden & Jones LLP, and Beirne, Maynard & Parsons LLP. An honors graduate of the University of St. Thomas and South Texas College of Law, Pam is also a graduate of Leadership Houston Class XXIV and a member of the Texas Bar College.
Arden Joseph joined Deutsche Bank in 2015 as Assistant Vice President and Counsel in the Americas Legal Department located in Jacksonville, Florida. In her role, she negotiates derivative contracts for hedge funds, corporate and institutional clients. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, she spent eleven years at Citigroup in New York as a senior member of their capital markets legal team. There, she partnered extensively with various stakeholders as a transactional attorney. She also served as a subject matter expert for the FX prime brokerage desk.Ms. Joseph earned a Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School and her Bachelor of Science in Finance from New York University, Stern School of Business.
Rishi Varma serves as General Counsel and oversees Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s legal department globally. Rishi and his team handle, among other things, HPE’s corporate governance, strategic acquisitions, divestitures and investments, litigation, intellectual property, commercial contracting, sales and supply chain issues, securities law compliance and disclosure, treasury and financing transactions, and certain other corporate transactions and restructurings, bankruptcy, credit and collections matters and employee compensation and retiree benefits. From 2013 – 2017, Rishi served as Deputy General Counsel overseeing HPE’s corporate, securities and M&A practice.
Before joining Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Rishi served as general counsel for two different publicly traded companies from 2005 to 2013 – TPC Group, Inc., a petrochemical company, and Trico Marine Services, Inc., a global subsea service provider. During his time at Trico, Rishi also served in additional management roles including chief operating officer and president. Prior to these companies, Rishi served as securities counsel and director of investor relations for EGL, Inc., a publicly traded global freight forwarder (2002 – 2005), and as a business associate in the New York office of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, LP (1998 - 2002).
He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the Georgetown University Law Center and also graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. Rishi and his wife, Michelle, have three children.
Jill Louis focuses her practice on private equity and corporate representation, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and franchise transactions. Her experience includes advising on over-the-road transportation and project infrastructure matters, as well as the creation and implementation of contract-management processes for public and private companies, based on a process she developed as a leader of in-house legal departments.
Jill has both depth and breadth of experience advising multi-location retail and industrial companies. Prior to returning to private practice, she was the general counsel for a large private equity portfolio company with over $1 billion in annual revenue, operating heavy duty parts and service locations in 45 states. She also served as general counsel for a multinational service office franchisor with $600 million in revenue and operating in all 50 U.S. states, Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, France, and Mexico,. For over 10 years, she led the transactions group for the retail operating company of a global courier delivery service, leading transactions in North America and Asia and launching their transportation delivery service.
Active in both her professional and personal communities, Jill is member of the board of trustees of Howard University. She also serves on the executive committees of the AT&T Performing Arts Center and North Texas Public Broadcasting, Inc. (KERA).