Meg Ferrero is Vice President, Assistant General Counsel for ADP’s Major Accounts Division in Parsippany, New Jersey. Ms. Ferrero leads the Legal and Compliance teams for the Major Accounts Division and Canada. Prior to joining ADP in 2009, Ms. Ferrero practiced law at the largest Hispanic-owned community bank in the US and with law firms in Miami, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has exclusively represented management in all areas of employment law, contracts negotiations, real estate matters, and general management. Ms. Ferrero has extensive experience providing compliance guidance, business training and advice on HR, benefits, payroll and Health Care Reform compliance. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and her law and MBA degrees from Stetson University College of Law.
Keji A. Ayorinde is Assistant General Counsel at The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (IPG), a global fortune 500 marketing and advertising holding company. Ms. Ayorinde specializes in employment law matters on behalf of IPG and its agencies, where she routinely advises on wage and hour issues, investigations, compliance matters, reductions-in-force, post employment restrictive covenants and early dispute resolution. She also manages single plaintiff and class action litigations and is part of IPG’s business ethics and compliance training team. Ms. Ayorinde is called upon frequently to train and lecture on employment law issues with an eye towards compliance practices and risk mitigation. Prior to joining IPG, Ms. Ayorinde started her career as a Labor & Employment Associate at Proskauer Rose in the firm’s New York City office. While at Proskauer, she served as a member and co-chair of the firm’s Associate’s Council and its Black Lawyer Affinity Group. Ms. Ayorinde earned a Bachelor of Science degree at The College of New Jersey and obtained her JD from Pace Law School. She is a member of the bar in both New York and New Jersey and is an active member of the Association of Corporate Counsel-NYC. Ms. Ayorinde is also a member of Proskauer’s Alumni Board of Directors.
Ellen Hochberg is the General Counsel of Aaptiv Inc. where she is responsible for all aspects of the startup’s legal affairs.
With 15 years of experience, Ellen has advised companies across various industries on how best to minimize legal risk, while advancing the company's business objectives. Prior to joining Aaptiv, Ellen was General Counsel of The Princeton Review. Before that she held various positions at Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. Ellen received her J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Michelle is Associate Counsel serving the Global Merchant Services ("GMS") Group at American Express Company. Prior to joining the American Express General Counsel's Organization ("GCO"), Michelle served as Director of Legal Affairs for the Famous Dave’s restaurant chain. She was the sole legal counsel for the company, addressing a broad range of legal matters including contract negotiations and IT and IP matters. Previously, Michelle handled complex contract negotiations for National Express Corp. in the transportation industry, Heartland Food Corp. a Burger King Franchisee and McDonald’s Corp. both in the in QSR/fast food industry, The Rewards Network in the financial and marketing services industry and Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc. in the financial services & risk industry. Michelle has earned international law certificates from the University of Toronto and Oxford University.
Inna Jackson is a Vice President & Senior Counsel supporting Amex Digital Labs, an organization within American Express responsible for spearheading the Company’s digital and mobile payments strategy and developing innovative ways to provide value to Card Members. During her time at Amex, Inna has played a lead role in launching and expanding Amex’s mobile wallet partnerships with Apple, Samsung and Google, led the negotiation and support of numerous complex digital partnerships, including Amazon Alexa and Facebook Messenger, enabled launches and systematic expansions of numerous engagements and products, often involving issues of first impression and supported several key Amex P2P engagements. Prior to her time at Amex, Inna spent 7 years as an M&A and corporate attorney in private practice.
Claudia Cantarella is General Counsel at Broadway Technology, LLC. She is responsible for Broadway's worldwide legal operations, including intellectual property, technology, commercial, compliance and employment legal matters. Prior to joining Broadway in 2013, Claudia was a Partner and Co-Chair of the US Intellectual Property Group at Salans LLP. Previously, Claudia practiced law at several firms including Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Fried, Frank, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. In 2006, she was named a Super Lawyer in the field of Intellectual Property and in 2012 she was appointed Vice-Chair of the International Law Privacy, E-Commerce and Data Security Committee of the American Bar Association. Claudia holds a BS in Speech from Northwestern University and a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Jessica Golden Cortes is a partner in the Labor & Employment Practice Group of Davis & Gilbert. Ms. Cortes regularly counsels and actively litigates on behalf of her clients in all aspects of employment law, and frequently conducts employment trainings across the country, educating her clients in subjects such as respect in the workplace, unconscious bias and manager best practices. Representative counseling services include:
In addition, Ms. Cortes represents employers in federal and state courts, federal, state and local administrative agencies and in arbitrations and mediations nationwide in the areas of race, sex, age, disability, failure to hire and other discrimination claims, and in breach of contract disputes arising primarily from alleged breaches of continuing post-employment obligations and for cause terminations. She has successfully defended several of the firm’s clients against claims of discrimination before the EEOC and state agencies in multiple states, including New York, Connecticut, California, Ohio and Michigan.
Ms. Cortes has been recognized by The Legal 500 United States in the area of labor and employment: workplace and employment counseling area for six consecutive years (2013-2018). She has also been recognized as a leading lawyer for labor & employment law by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2012-2016). In addition, she has been selected as a Super Lawyer (2018) and Rising Star (2013-2016) by New York Metro Super Lawyers, and named a winner in the Esquire Industry Practice category for SmartCEO’s 2015 CPA & ESQ Awards. Before joining Davis & Gilbert, Ms. Cortes was a litigation attorney at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP.
Jen Esser is the Deputy General Counsel at Bohler Engineering, a civil engineering firm based in Warren, N.J. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, from which she also received a law degree, magna cum laude.
Michelle Torres is Counsel, Business and Legal Affairs for the NBC Sports Group providing legal expertise to the NBC Sports digital properties in the areas of intellectual property, technology, commercial, privacy, advertising and marketing.
Michelle also supports Telemundo Deportes, the NBCUniversal-owned network, in its advertising, marketing, and digital initiatives as it relates to major events that air on Telemundo. She was an integral legal partner during Telemundo Deportes’ first-time ever coverage of the FIFA Men’s World Cup held in Russia this past summer and will continue this partnership throughout the upcoming 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France™ and 2019 CONMEBOL Copa America soccer tournaments.
Prior to her time at the NBC Sports Group, Michelle was Associate Counsel at 360i, an award-winning integrated media and creative digital marketing agency, and Corporate Counsel at PulsePoint, a programmatic ad:tech and digital media solutions business.
Ms. Rashmi S. Raj is Vice President of the Intellectual Property Legal Department for Nielsen. She is actively engaged in reviewing and advising on the global IP landscape for the company. Her areas of focus include patent assertions, licensing, open source, M&A, trademarks, patent prosecution and commercial transactions.
Prior to Nielsen, Ms. Raj worked in the intellectual property departments of multinational technology companies Pentair/Tyco & Siemens.
During her free time, Ms. Raj is dedicated to advancing females in engineering and science. For the last 20 years, she has offered a yearly scholarship at her local high school for a young woman who has demonstrated academic excellence and an interest in pursuing science or engineering in honor of her mother: Dr. Swadesh Sharma Raj.
She is a recipient of the City College Grove School of Engineering's Annual Women in Engineering Appreciation Award. She has also led and participated in a panel discussion at the MIP Women Leadership Forum in 2017 (NY, NY) on China – US IP Trade Wars: Policy and business concerns.
Ms. Raj earned her J.D. from Seton Hall School of Law, & a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University. She is registered to practice law in NY & NJ and before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and is an active member of several legal organizations. She enjoys long walks, traveling and cooking with her husband and 5 year old daughter.
Nancy A. Del Pizzo is a partner in Rivkin Radler’s Intellectual Property; Privacy, Data & Cyber Law; and Commercial Litigation Practice Groups. She resolves commercial disputes, litigates when necessary, and counsels on business issues. Her practice also includes transactional work, particularly in the intellectual property space, including prosecuting federal trademark applications and drafting various business agreements. Nancy is a core member of the Rivkin Radler team that was awarded IP Litigation Department of the Year in 2018 by the New Jersey Law Journal.
Ilona Logvinova is a graduate of Columbia University (where she was a joint major in Economics and Philosophy) and received her BA in 2007, and of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law where she was a Dean’s Merit Scholar and received her J.D. in 2011. During law school, Ilona worked within the in house legal groups at COACH, CHANEL and JPMorgan Chase. Following law school, Ilona started her career as an Investment Bank Legal & Compliance Associate at JPMorgan Chase, and then moved to private practice at Hunton & Williams LLP, followed by 4 years as a corporate associate at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP (specializing in leveraged finance). Ilona is currently Senior Counsel within the Enterprise Partnerships group at Mastercard.
Denise Sharperson is Assistant General Counsel and Director of Diversity Initiatives for the New Jersey State Bar Association (the “Association”). The Association has more than 18,000 members and is the largest bar association in the State of New Jersey.
In her role as Assistant General Counsel, she provides legal services to the Association. She also serves as the staff liaison for various NJSBA Sections and Committees providing legal counsel, electoral guidance and bylaw interpretation.
As the Association’s first Director of Diversity Initiatives, Mrs. Sharperson has engaged in wide-spread outreach with the New Jersey diverse bar organizations and actively listens and acts upon their concerns in an effort to make the Association more inclusive for diverse attorneys. She also works collaboratively with the other senior staff members of the Association to ensure that diversity and inclusion remains a priority for all aspects of the Association.
Under her direction, the first statewide full-day Diversity Summit was planned and
over 200 people attended the event. A few of her other notable accomplishments include the creation and implementation of several new and innovative Diversity initiatives such as the Distinguished Speaker Series entitled “Diverse Voices”, a Diversity newsletter, and a database of diverse speakers to assist ICLE with the identification and selection of diverse bar members to serve as panelists for ICLE programs. She also developed a hugely successful webinar on lawyers with disabilities, assisted in the formation of an In-house counsel committee, instituted a professional career development series for law students and new lawyers and hosted a free legal employment fair. She also organizes several educational pipeline programs each year throughout the State of New Jersey for teenagers.
Mrs. Sharperson received her Juris Doctor in 1994 from Seton Hall University School of Law and her Bachelor’s degree in 1991 from Hampton University. She is also a nationally certified Diversity Professional.
Mrs. Sharperson served as the 13th President of the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey, Inc. and remains a member of the organization. She is also a member of the Garden State Bar Association, Morris County Bar Association, New Jersey Women’s Lawyers Association, and American Bar Association. She attends Calvary Baptist Church in Morristown, New Jersey and is also a proud Diamond life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and a member of the Morris County Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. She is a past recipient of the Association’s Young Lawyers Division Community Service Award, 2016 Oliver Randolph Award, and 2016 Women Worth Watching Award.
Ms. Barnett is currently Head Counsel for L’OREAL RESEARCH & INNOVATION, CLAIMS SUBSTANTIATION AMERICAS leading a team of 13. The focus has been on building a globally oriented and performance based claims substantiation team that provides value-added partnership with senior executive leadership on issues related to claims in terms of company responses, positions and policy.
She is a strategic legal advisor with progressive leadership, international and U.S. marketing, promotion, regulatory and trademark law experience in diverse, complex, and change intensive organizations with unique legal and regulatory considerations. Her industry experience spans across Personal Care / Cosmetics, Food & Beverage, Wine & Spirits, and Consumer Packaged Goods for market leading companies that include L’Oreal, Danone, and Pernod Ricard.
Ms Barnett is considered a highly responsive, influential and collaborative legal partner with keen judgment and insight. She has a deep understanding of the interplay between legal and business issues recommending creative solutions to legal challenges that support growth while mitigating risk and protecting corporate equity.
Ms. Barnett is committed to building high performance teams and mentoring professionals to their highest potential and fostering a work culture of growth, achievement and success.
Natalie Krodel is currently practicing law in the Global Technology and Operations group at A&E Networks in NYC. Prior to that, she was the General Counsel of Wenner Media, owner of brands such as Rolling Stone, Us Weekly and Men’s Journal, where she saw that company through to its sale to Penske Media. She likes coffee so much that she took 9 years off from law firm practice to open and run her own espresso bar on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, before returning to full time legal life as Associate General Counsel of Wenner Media in 2012.
Natasha is a trusted strategic advisor and business partner, focused on delivering innovative solutions for complex issues of first-impression that directly drive revenue. She is a leader of a sophisticated, cross-functional, global team opening up new industries for Mastercard and transforming how businesses, governments and people interact.
Andowah Newton is Director, Legal Affairs at LVMH Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, Inc., where she manages litigations and legal disputes for 25 luxury brands such as Bulgari, Fendi, De Beers, Dior, Givenchy, Guerlain, Hublot, TAG Heuer, and Thomas Pink. Ms. Newton directs legal strategy and advises senior executives and general counsel in the United States, Europe, and Asia on legal disputes involving consumer class actions, advertising and marketing, product and environmental claims, breach of contract, personal injury, intellectual property (trademarks, copyrights, and patents), regulatory and internal investigations, indemnification, and debt recovery. She recently directed trial strategy in a case resulting in a favorable $5 million jury verdict. Before joining LVMH, Ms. Newton spent eight and a half years litigating complex commercial cases at top law firms in New York City, including successfully arguing motions and appeals. She began her legal career as a judicial clerk for the First Vice President Judge of the International Criminal Court in The Netherlands. Before becoming a lawyer, Ms. Newton spent four years as an auditor/CPA and internal controls analyst at PricewaterhouseCoopers and The Estée Lauder Companies. Ms. Newton earned her Bachelors of Science in Accounting from Georgetown University and dual law degrees in U.S. and French law from Cornell Law School and The Sorbonne. She is fluent in French and proficient in Spanish. Ms. Newton is a member of the New York Choral Society and its Board of Trustees. She serves as a mentor and coach for high school, college, and law school students in the Legal Outreach and Inroads programs.
LaTanya is an experienced international attorney and corporate advisor with deep knowledge of commercial law, compliance and corporate administration. She is a highly organized and driven team member and leader, focused on implementing innovative business strategies solutions to all situations and at all levels of an organization. Currently, LaTanya is a senior executive for BIC which manufactures and sells 22 million stationery and pen products every day around the world. BIC is the number one manufacturer of ballpoint pens in the world and a leader in stationery products. At BIC, she is General Counsel responsible for all legal matters regarding Stationery products globally and manage all legal matters in international markets, including, Latin America, Caribbean, Africa and Middle East. She is also responsible for the Anti-Corruption Compliance Program, including policy launch, implementation and training. LaTanya partners with global executives to build a profitable and sustainable business.
Anta Cissé-Green is Associate General Counsel at NYU Langone Health with primary responsibility for advising the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs on a variety of fundraising and tax-related legal matters including drafting and negotiating agreements for gifts and bequests, administration of bequests from trusts and estates, not-for-profit legal and taxation issues and general contracting for fundraising events and activities for NYU Langone Hospitals and the NYU School of Medicine.
Anta received her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, summa cum laude, and her L.L.M. in Tax from NYU School of Law. Immediately prior to joining NYU Langone Health in 2016, Anta was Senior Counsel at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in the firm’s private client services section of the tax group where she advised wealthy individuals on the development of tax efficient vehicles for the transfer of wealth, complex estate and trust administration issues, charitable planning strategies and the formation and governance of tax exempt organizations. Previously, Anta was an associate with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and law clerk to the Honorable Lois Bloom, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York.
Anta has been awarded a number of accolades and honors in connection with her work in the legal profession. In addition to being named as an honoree in the Crain’s 2019 Notable Women of Law, Anta has also been honored by the New York Law Journal as a “Lawyer Who Leads By Example”, in recognition of her many years of commitment to providing pro bono legal services to underrepresented New Yorkers; named to the National Black Lawyers Top 100 Attorneys; and as a New York Metro Area Rising Star by Superlawyers in the area of tax and estate planning.
Anta is an active member of her community in her roles as President-Elect for the Metropolitan Black Bar Association; member of the attorney advisory panel for the Planning and Estates Law Project for the City Bar Justice Center of the New York City Bar Association; and a member of the Board of Directors for the Children’s Law Center, a New York based nonprofit organization that advocates for children by providing them with a strong and effective voice in legal proceedings that have a critical impact on their lives.
Sapna is a Partner in the firm's Litigation Department and Intellectual Property Practice Group. Sapna has spent nearly two decades representing clients in patent, trademark, copyright, and complex commercial matters, including successfully litigating disputes in a range of jurisdictions. They include the Federal Circuit and federal courts in Delaware, the District of New Jersey, the Eastern District of Virginia, the Eastern District of Texas, the Southern District of New York, the Southern District of Florida, the Northern District of California, the District of Maryland, the District of Minnesota, and the Western District of Wisconsin. She also has extensive experience with alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation.
Sapna also counsels and represents a variety of U.S. and international clients regarding U.S. intellectual property by providing them with infringement, validity, enforceability, and clearance opinions and by advising them in licensing and antitrust matters. She also has conducted intellectual property due diligence investigations in connection with acquisitions and licensing deals, and she has represented clients in proceedings before the U.S. Patent Office. Sapna also counsels clients about patent law in Asia, including China and India.
Sapna's patent experience covers a broad array of technologies, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, drug delivery systems and medical devices, mechanical devices, batteries, software, and agrochemicals. Outside the patent area, Sapna has represented clients in trademark, trade dress, and copyright litigation as well as in counseling clients on trademark and copyright registration, strategy, and licensing. Sapna has also handled a number of complex commercial disputes involving complex contractual matters in the oil, renewable energy, construction, and food services industries.
Sapna frequently writes and speaks on a range of topics, including developments in litigation, e-discovery, patent law, patent reform, intellectual property law in Asia, pharmaceuticals, biosimilars, biotechnology, and medical devices. Her programs have been presented by the Practicing Law Institute and WestLegal Ed, and she has been published and quoted in leading publications, including Practicing Law Institute, Forbes, ABA Litigation Journal, IP Law360, New York Law Journal, Corporate Counsel Connect, Pharmaceutical Patent Analyst, and Bloomberg/BNA.
She is an adjunct professor at Pace University School of Law, addressing antitrust and patent topics. She clerked for the Honorable Judge Robert J. Hurley of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Sapna is committed to pro bono legal services. In 2008, she was honored by the Pennsylvania Capital Representative Project for extraordinary efforts on behalf of Pennsylvania's death row inmates. In 2001, she received the Legal Aid Society award for Outstanding Pro Bono Representation.
Sapna is on the board of directors of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) and the AABANY Leadership Development Institute. Previously she was a Co-chair of its Women's Committee. Sapna is an inaugural member of Judge Janet Bond Arterton's Intellectual Property American Inns of Court and is also a member of the New York Intellectual Property Association and its Litigation and Legislative Action Committees.
Sapna received her J.D. summa cum laude from Pace University School of Law, where she was Notes and Comments Editor at the Pace Environmental Law Review. She received her B.B.A. magna cum laude in international management with pre-medical concentration from Pace University, where she received the Medal for Distinction in University Honors Program and a Medal for Outstanding Scholarship in International Management.
Sapna has lived and studied in both India and Tanzania. She is fluent in Hindi and Marathi and conversant in French.