Samantha Rawleigh is Counsel at Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America. At Allianz Life she works as a Federal Securities Attorney supporting the variable annuities and registered indexed-linked annuity products.
Prior to her time at Allianz Life, Samantha worked in as an associate attorney at a law firm in St. Paul working on a variety of business matters including mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and intellectual property. Samantha is a graduate from Mitchell Hamline School of Law and the University of St. Thomas.
Kathleen Amuzu is Counsel for CNA Insurance in Chicago, Illinois where she provides legal counsel on complex regulatory and compliance matters to various business units. Additionally, Kathleen provides legal support to CNA’s Long Term Care insurance group. Prior to joining CNA, Kathleen served as Assistant Counsel to the American Property & Casualty Insurers Association (APCIA) where she provided legal support and counsel to over 1,000 member companies. Kathleen is a dynamic legal professional with cross-functional competencies demonstrated by a diversified background providing highly competent counsel, directing corporate policy, and a proven ability to construct and implement legal strategies. Kathleen earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame and her Juris Doctor from The John Marshall Law School.
Gray has more than a decade of experience representing employers in workplace litigation, handling labor relations disputes and providing strategic counsel on labor and employment law issues. She advises clients in a broad range of industries including education, software and technology services, real estate, financial services, retail and manufacturing. Gray tailors her solution-oriented counsel to the particular needs of each client, considering the nuances of their business in order to deliver advice that is practical and in line with their goals, values and culture. Gray is the regional practice lead for the firm's Labor & Employment Department for the Chicago office.
A native Spanish speaker from the Dominican Republic, Gray is adept at providing Spanish language representation to clients. She works fluently with Spanish language witnesses and documents, including document review, depositions, mediations, administrative proceedings, internal investigations and employment as well as various types of training.
Jennifer Burnette advises clients that innovate in material and polymer sciences, chemistry/chemical engineering, pharmaceuticals, nanotechnology, and mechanical products. Jennifer has experience in strategic patent portfolio management and counseling, foreign and domestic prosecution of patent applications, inter partes post grant proceedings, and counseling clients on invalidity, non-infringement, and freedom to practice matters. She uses her interdisciplinary training in material science to quickly establish in-depth understanding of technologies and invest in understanding a client’s business needs and objectives to counsel clients on how to maximize the value of their patent portfolio. Clients gain an advocate who works intensively and with dedication to their interests.
Jennifer was selected for inclusion in the 2013–2021 Illinois Rising Stars® lists, featuring outstanding young attorneys in the state. She was also selected for inclusion as an “Emerging Lawyer” in the 2017–2021 editions of Emerging Lawyers Magazine, in which individuals are recognized among the top up-and-coming attorneys in Illinois.
Toni Y. Hickey is Deputy General Counsel & Chief Intellectual Property Counsel for Cummins.In this capacity she is responsible for the protection, management, and exploitation of Cummins’ global intellectual property portfolio. Toni manages a global team responsible for developing comprehensive intellectual property (IP) strategies for Cummins worldwide, and helping to formulate and drive IP-related strategic planning. She also counsels on government, regulatory and trade policies that impact Cummins intellectual property rights and in this capacity, she interacts with the invention review committees and brand council, as well as supply chain and advanced concepts groups to identify, harvest, protect and acquire intellectual property rights in the U.S. and around the world.Toni also manages Cummins’ trademark, copyright, industrial designs and domain name portfolio, including managing copyright and trademark conflicts and infringements, including counterfeiting.
Before coming to Cummins, Toni was Senior Counsel in the Washington, D.C. Office of a major law firm. She began her career with the United States Patent and Trademark Office where she was an examining attorney, a negotiator on US trade agreements, an intellectual property rights attaché to the United States Embassy in Mexico and Deputy Chief of Staff for the Agency. Toni earned her law degree from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, and graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and accounting.
Swathi Gandhavadi Griffin is Vice President, Counsel and Chief of Staff to the Chief Legal Officer at Guggenheim Partners.Her practice includes corporate and M&A law as well as project management of numerous firmwide initiatives, including those focused on diversity and inclusion and equal employment opportunities.She is a founding member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee and is an active member of the Women’s Innovation and Inclusion Network.Prior to joining Guggenheim, Swathi worked as a corporate attorney at Kirkland & Ellis and as a financial services attorney at Katten Muchin Rosenman.Prior to entering the legal field, Swathi worked as a management consultant.Swathi earned both her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Psychology and Juris Doctor from Northwestern University.She has been published in various journals, including the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender.
Natasha Newberry is Director & Senior Corporate Counsel for LexisNexis, a division of RELX, Inc. She is an accomplished and results-driven attorney passionate about contributing to the success of minority women within the legal profession. Natasha earned her Juris Doctor from Northern Kentucky University-Chase College of Law in 2008, and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Bowling Green State University in 2004. She is admitted to the Ohio bar and the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
Natasha began her legal career as associate corporate counsel for a small business where she was able to assist with guiding minority business owners through the legal challenges of owning their first franchise. She then became an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney with the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office where she successfully litigated a variety of felony cases including theft, domestic violence, rape, and homicide resulting in her promotion to the Montgomery County Child Advocacy Center where she prosecuted cases on behalf of child victims of sexual and physical abuse. Deciding to go back to her roots in the corporate space, she began working at LexisNexis, a leading global provider of legal, regulatory, and business information and analytics. In her current role, Natasha negotiates complex customer contracts and provides business centric advice to various market segments, including corporate, intellectual property, print and editorial operations, law firm, and government markets. She collaborates and partners with the business to address current legal needs and mitigate potential legal issues.
Natasha is an active member of various professional organizations including the Association of Corporate Counsel, the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, and the International Bar Association. Natasha is committed to the underrepresented members of the community and has served on the board of trustees for Legal Aid of Western Ohio & Advocates for Basic Legal Equality since 2013. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading, binge watching TV, and attending monster jam truck shows with her five-year old son.
Jing is currently employed by a leading worldwide manufacturer and provider of medical technologies, where she works closely with company executives and corporate development teams in structuring, managing and implementing a variety of strategic corporate transactions, including domestic and international mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, strategic investments and other corporate transactional activities. Before her in-house position, Jing had worked as a corporate attorney in two reputable national/international firms where she advised U.S. and international corporations on transactional matters including mergers and acquisitions, cross-border deals, joint ventures, strategic entity formation and business planning, issuances of equity and debt, and other contractual matters. Besides being an excellent lawyer, Jing has also authorized numerous legal expert articles published by Law360.
She obtained her J.D. degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law with High Honors and her LLM in Taxation from Northwestern University School of Law with High Honors.
Moya M. O'Connor is an accomplished trial attorney whose practice focuses on the defense of complex matters in State, Appellate, and Federal Court. More specifically, Moya provides litigation counsel in the fields of premises liability, automobile liability, labor law, property damage, subrogation, personal injury, and other intricate tort matters. Moya also has experience handling workers' compensation matters as well. Moya has achieved defense verdicts and verdicts of nominal amounts in venues across the New York Metropolitan Area.
Outside of the office, Moya is very active in the legal community. She is the Founder & CEO of Caribbean Attorneys Network, Inc. (CAN), a professional organization geared towards the development of attorneys, law students, and legal professionals of Caribbean descent. CAN was the 2016 and 2018 recipient of the Bar Leaders Innovation Award from the New York State Bar Association.
In 2018, the Queens Tribune Press awarded Moya with the Caribbean American Legacy Award, and Crain's New York Business included Moya on its inaugural list of Leading Women Attorneys in New York City. In 2017, The Network Journal recognized Moya as a 40 under Forty Honoree, and the publication, News Americas Now, included Moya on it's list of "12 Caribbean Executives You Should Know." In 2016, Moya was also chosen to be a member of the Defense Association of New York's Diversity Initiative Class of 2016.
Further, Moya has been published in the Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) Magazine and New York State Bar Association Torts, Insurance, & Compensation Law Section Journal. Moya has also spoken on various panels regarding trial advocacy and career development.
Melissa Green joined the American Medical Association (AMA) as an Assistant General Counsel in November 2019.In her role at the AMA, Melissa supports the CPT and Masterfile licensing programs, in addition to supporting the legal needs of the Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability business unit.Prior to arriving at the AMA, Melissa was the Chief Legal Counsel and Privacy Officer at The Chartis Group, a healthcare advisory services and analytics company, headquartered in Chicago, where she was responsible for commercial transactions for Chartis and its wholly owned SaaS company, and also served as the organization’s privacy officer responsible for HIPAA compliance. Melissa started her legal career in Cincinnati, Ohio at the law firm of Frost Brown Todd where she served as an associate in the Corporate department doing healthcare transactions, securities, and general corporate work. In 2007, Melissa transitioned into her first in-house counsel role at GE Aviation. During her time at GE, she had many roles including supporting new engine sales transactions for the Europe/Middle East/Africa region, its Electric Power business located in Dayton, its Engine Services business (supporting the CF34 and CF6 engine lines), and compliance. Upon leaving GE, Melissa had a brief stint at MedStar in Virginia before accepting a full-time position at the University of Maryland Medical System in Baltimore, Maryland in July 2013.
Originally from East Lansing, Michigan, Melissa received her bachelor’s graduate from Michigan State University’s – James Madison College and is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.
Vineeta Bonthala joined BMO Financial Group in 2011 and serves as an Assistant Corporate Secretary for BMO Financial Corp. and BMO Harris Bank N.A.She assists with all U.S. corporate secretary and subsidiary governance functions.Prior to joining the bank, Vineeta was a corporate associate with Winston & Strawn LLP in Chicago and Kelley Drye & Warren LLP in New York.She also serves on the Board of Apna Ghar, a Chicago non-profit that supports survivors of gender violence.Vineeta has also assisted the American Cancer Society with various fundraising efforts.
Vineeta graduated from Williams College with a degree in History and Women’s Studies and received her Juris Doctorate from The University of Michigan Law School.She enjoys chasing after her three boys and puppy, running, reading and gardening.
Isabel Gomes has completed her legal studies in her home country, Brazil. She also holds an MBA and an LLM in US Law.
Isabel initiated her legal career as an associate in a large law firm in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She then moved inhouse as a Legal Manager with the Whirlpool Corporation’s Brazilian subsidiary. About 17 years ago, she joined 3M as the country General Counsel in Brazil. In 2011, Isabel became the General Counsel to 3M Latin America. In 2013, Isabel was transferred to the 3M headquarters in St. Paul, MN, to serve as the General Counsel for 3M’s International business. Isabel is currently Vice-President and General Counsel for 3M’s global Health Care business.
Isabel has held the positions of President, Brazil-Minnesota Chamber of Commerce; President, 3M Brazil’s Foundation, and President, American School of Campinas. Her professional experience prior to practicing law includes owning and managing small businesses.
Isabel is a proud mother of two girls, both currently in college.
Caren Seenauth is Director Counsel of Retail Strategies, Marketing for Target Corporation in Minneapolis, where she supports marketing, creative production, strategic partnerships and cause marketing. She has held similar roles at companies like Best Buy, Buffalo Wild Wings and Arctic Cat. Prior to becoming an attorney, Caren was a beauty and fashion publicist in New York. She is passionate about volunteerism, diversity, equity and inclusion and youth advocacy and currently serves on the Board of Directors of MoveFwd; an organization that provides housing assistance and mental health counseling to homeless and at risk youth. Caren also serves on the board of directors of Everwood Farmstead Foundation and LegalCorps and is a faculty mentor at University of St. Thomas Law School.
Rebecca Weinstein Bacon tries and litigates complex cases for Fortune 500 clients. With over 20 years of experience, Rebecca has represented companies in some of their most important cases on a variety of claims: pharmaceutical products liability claims, antitrust cases, consumer class actions, and commercial disputes. She is an expert legal strategist with extensive trial experience, as well as the business sophistication and acumen to know when and how to obtain the best possible settlement for her clients.
Rebecca tried one of the only consumer class action cases to go to trial, which resulted in a defense verdict for Whirlpool. She also tried one of the only “pattern and practice” employment discrimination cases to go to trial. It was brought by the EEOC against Texas Roadhouse. She is currently leading the team defending FedEx Ground against sweeping claims by the EEOC relating to their treatment of deaf package handlers. She serves on trial teams for bellwether cases in pharmaceutical companies’ most important mass torts. She has tried and is slated to try pelvic mesh trials for Johnson and Johnson in 2019 and 2020.
Her representation of Bayer in the WeightSmart litigation led to one of the seminal class action decisions related to ascertainability. In this case, her leadership resulted in appellate review of the only certified state class which she argued before the Third Circuit. The Third Circuit reversed the class certification decision and denied plaintiffs’ request for rehearing.
Rebecca is a nationally recognized attorney. She is Chambers ranked, named one of Crain’s Most Influential Women Lawyers in Chicago (2017), a Benchmark Litigation National and Local Litigation Star, and one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation for many years, including 2019 and on the Lawdragon 500. Rebecca served as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law for three years where she taught a class on trial advocacy, and she has published and presented on a wide range of topics related to high-stakes litigation.
Rebecca graduated from Columbia University School of Law as a Kent and Stone Scholar and earned her bachelor’s degree from UCLA with honors.
Yinka Owolabi is Senior Counsel and Trust & Compliance Officer at IBM Corporation, where she manages complex legal and compliance matters and leads daily compliance operations for IBM’s healthcare and research focused business units.Previously, Yinka had responsibility for enhancing IBM’s healthcare compliance program. In this capacity, she advised internal clients on legal and compliance issues relating to sales, marketing, research, and commercial operations, and provided strategic and tactical leadership in compliance program management, policy and procedure development, transparency reporting and daily compliance operations.
Prior to joining IBM, Yinka worked at a medical device company where she managed a U.S. compliance program in accordance with applicable laws and regulations consistent with best practices and industry guidance. She’s also worked at international law firms, where she provided transactional and regulatory counsel to a broad range of healthcare clients, including hospitals, managed care plans, academic medical centers, pharmacies, and life science companies.
Before going to law school, Yinka worked at Walgreens Health Initiatives, Inc., where she managed the implementation of pharmacy benefit programs and assisted clients in providing prescription drug coverage customized for Medicare and Medicaid populations.
Yinka earned her law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Lake Forest College. While in law school, Yinka was a member of the Illinois Law Review and Editor in Chief of the Illinois Law Update publication of the Illinois Bar Journal.
Yinka has been a Board Member of Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare since 2019, a non-profit organization that helps people recover from mental illness and reclaim with wellbeing. Yinka also serves as Chicago location lead for IBM’s Legal and Regulatory Affairs Diversity & Inclusion Committee.
Kendall Mills is Senior Counsel for Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), which employs more than 70,000 employees in 80 countries. JLL is a leader in the areas of commercial real estate and professional services and has been voted one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for eleven consecutive years. In her role as Senior Counsel, Mills provides advice and counsel on employment law matters, directs internal ethics and employment investigations, ensures statutory compliance with employment laws, and drafts and assists in the development and implementation of company policies and programs. Prior to joining JLL, Mills was Employment Counsel at Allstate Insurance Company where she provided employment law advice and counsel to clients, managed litigation and directed internal ethics investigations. Mills was also responsible leading many of the Law and Regulation Department’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, including the development of a diversity and inclusion scorecard to measure Allstate’s Premier Law Firms’ commitment to diversity in the legal profession and the creation of Allstate’s General Counsel’s Excellence in Diversity Award. Mills received her Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School in Chicago.
Patricia is a senior legal professional with more than 20 years’ business and legal experience in multi-national corporate and Fortune 500 business environments. Over the course of her career she has worked in senior level positions in procurement, most senior as the Vice President, IT Procurement with Barclays Capital Plc.She has spent many years working in private practice as a transactional lawyer, litigation associate and in-house counsel.Patricia has expertise in matters involving Procurement, Technology, Manufacturing Operations, Labor and Employment, Marketing, Commercial Litigation, Transactions, and Process Improvements. She has spent the last 12 years of her career at Ingredion Incorporated, a Fortune 500 food ingredient manufacturer, where she has proven herself to be a persuasive senior leader, negotiator, and problem solver dedicated to building strong teams that drive results in complex global business environments.As a member of the Ingredion Global Commercial Law Center of Excellence, Patricia delivers global legal department and business process improvements, develops playbooks and provide transactional support. As the Ingredion company sponsor, Patricia developed and is managing the company’s Diverse Summer Internship Program.She is also an Advisory Council Member of the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF) in which capacity she manages the company’s initiatives to retain and engage NAMWOLF firms to provide outside counsel legal support to Ingredion.
Angela Carter is the Compliance Director for Owens Corning, where she leads a global team in managing the Company’s compliance programs, including policy management, training and awareness, risk mitigation, and continuous improvement.With their colleagues in the Global Legal Organization, Angela and her team work cross-functionally to deliver a comprehensive set of solutions on a broad range of compliance topics such as FCPA/Corruption, Export/Trade, Competition Law, Data Privacy & Security, and Contract Management.Prior to joining Owens Corning, Angela held positions at the Whirlpool Corp. (Compliance), Walmart Inc. (Compliance), Johnson & Johnson (Tax/Finance), and the City of Detroit Law Department (Property, Environmental & Municipal Law).She holds a BS from Western Michigan University, a JD and an LL M (Tax) from Wayne State University Law School, and an MBA from University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business.Angela is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and is registered as Corporate Counsel in OH.She is a member of several professional and community organizations, and is currently living in Ann Arbor, MI.
Maryam Arastu is Counsel at AbbVie, Inc., where she provides strategic advice to AbbVie’s global research and development (R&D) and health economics and outcomes research (HEOR) functions on a broad range of legal, regulatory, and compliance issues, including FDA regulations, False Claims/Anti-Kickback, OIG Guidance, Good Clinical Practice regulations (GCPs), and competition laws in connection with pre-clinical and clinical studies as well as strategic research collaborations. Prior to joining AbbVie, Maryam worked both in-house and in a law firm setting supporting life sciences research and intellectual property matters.
Maryam holds a Juris Doctorate and Master of Science in Biotechnology from Texas Tech University and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Texas Christian University. In her spare time, she enjoys trying out complex new recipes, learning more about personal finance, and exploring the outdoors.
Janneth Lanini is a Senior Counsel at Reynolds Consumer Products, in her role, she primarily supports Procurement, Supply Chain/Logistics, and International Business, regarding all aspects of commercial transactions, including the negotiation of complex agreements, as well as related compliance and risk management matters. She serves as a trusted advisor and counsel to business units on compliance with applicable law, regulations and policies to drive brand and support strategic business initiatives. Prior to joining Reynolds, Janneth worked in legal departments for government and non-profit agencies, as well as a law firm, focused on regulatory compliance and ethics. She held roles at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Acero Charter Schools, and the Chicago Transit Authority.
Janneth is the President of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois. Janneth received her J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law and her B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from Loyola University Chicago.