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Valencia Rainey Named MWELA Lawyer of the Year


The Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association (MWELA) presented its 2015 Lawyer of the Year award to Valencia Rainey, a senior attorney with The Law Offices of Gary M. Gilbert & Associates, P.C. MWELA bestows its prestigious Lawyer of the Year award annually to an employment lawyer whose work reflects the highest level of professionalism, commitment to employee rights, and unusual achievement. Valencia is an experienced employment law litigator, with extensive trial and courtroom experience. Rainey litigates matters in the private sector and federal sector and focuses her practice on discrimination, sexual harassment, severance and separation agreements, negotiations, contracts, and workplace issues.

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Barbara Lum Profiled in Crain’s Cleveland Business

lumBarbra Lum, an associate in the Cleveland office of Thompson Hine was profiled in the march 21 issue of Crain’s Cleveland Business about diversity, her work at the firm and her re-energizing the Asian American Bar Association of Ohio. Barbara has been president of the organization since 2013 and has moved it from a dormancy to taking an active role in advocacy and thought leadership. You can read the complete profile here.

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Denise Hanna Given ABA Diversity Award

denise hannaDenise Hanna, Managing Partner of Locke Lord’s D.C. office, has been recognized for her exemplary efforts to promote diversity in the legal profession by the American Bar Association (ABA) with the Health Law Section’s Champion of Diversity and Inclusion Award. Hanna accepted the award at the 17th Annual Conference on Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law. Denise is Co-Chair of Locke Lord's Health Care Practice Group and former Chair of the Firm’s Diversity Committee.

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Frank Walwyn Achieves Two Career Milestones

walwynFrank Walwyn, litigation partner at WeirFoulds LLP in Toronto, Canada, was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers at the 2016 Spring Meeting of the College. Frank will also receive the Ontario Bar Association Award for Distinguished Service in April, recognizing his exceptional career contributions to the legal profession. Frank’s practice involves complex multi-jurisdiction trial and arbitration matters, with a focus on Caribbean and other International Financial Centers.

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Chris Reynolds and Sandra Phillips Promoted at Toyota

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announced promotions last week for two DPN members, Chris Reynolds and Sandra Phillips. Christwas general counsel and chief legal officer, TMA, and group vice president, corporate secretary, chief environmental officer and chief compliance officer, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS), and is now managing officer and appointed to the newly created position of general counsel and chief legal officer, TMC. Chris becomes the first African-American named to these positions globally. Sandra, currently vice president and deputy general counsel was named general counsel and chief legal officer, Toyota Motors North America. Sandra is the first African-American woman named to this position.


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Kirra Jarratt Given Charlotte E. Ray Award by GWAC


The Greater Washington Area Chapter, Women Lawyers Division, National Bar Association (GWAC) presented Kirra L. Jarratt, Executive Directory of the DC Bar Foundation, with the 2015 Charlotte E. Ray Award on Wednesday, February 25, 2015, at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. Since 1989, GWAC and the GWAC Foundation have annually recognized an outstanding African-American woman from the local bar in honor of Charlotte E. Ray, the first woman admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and the first African-American woman certified as a lawyer in the United States. Ms. Jarratt was selected because of her tremendous contribution to the local legal community and for laying the ground work for future African-American women attorneys to succeed in the profession.

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John Daniels Given Legacy Award by Lawyers of Color Magazine


John W. Daniels, Jr., Chairman Emeritus of Quarles & Brady will be presented with the Lawyers of Color Legacy Award at a reception on March 18. 2015. The award is recognition for his exceptional career and efforts to advance diversity in the legal profession. Lawyers of Color has also released it’s fourth annual Power List, and we’re pleased to see a number of DPN members on the list. 

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Regina Speed-Bost Named Leader of Schiff Hardin’s Energy Practice Group


Regina Y. Speed-Bost has been named chair of Schiff Hardin’s Energy and Public Utilities practice group. Regina has been a Partner in the Energy and Public Utilities practice group since joining the firm in 2007. She is based in the Washington, D.C. office, and is also a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee. Earlier this month Regina also assumed responsibilities as Co-Coordinating Partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.

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Barry Caldwell Named New SVP/General Counsel at Waste Management

caldwellBarry Caldwell has been named the new senior vice president of corporate affairs and chief legal officer at Waste Management. Barry has primary responsibility for legal, corporate secretary, state and federal Policy, corporate communications and community relations, real estate, security and aviation. Caldwell joined Waste Management in 2002 from CIGNA Corporation, where he was Vice President, Government Relations.

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Glynn D. Key, 1964-2014

keyGlynn Key, General Counsel at GE Power & Water, Water Process Technologies, passed away unexpectedly on November 24, 2014. Prior to joining GE, Glynn was a partner WilmerHale. From 1993-1996, she served in the Clinton administration at the Dept. of the Interior as counselor to Secretary Bruce Babbitt. In lieu of flowers, two educational scholarship funds have been set up: The Glynn D. Key Fund c/o Ridley at the Univ. of Virginia, P.O. Box 400314, Charlottesville, VA 22903 KeyMemorialFund.com; The Glynn D. Key Fund, Girls Preparatory School, 205 Island Ave., Chattanooga, TN 37405. Please click here for the complete obituary.

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U.S. Attorney Diversity Outreach Event, November 6

Dana Boente, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, invites all Minority Bar Association members to a Diversity Outreach Event on Thursday, Nov. 6, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the U.S. Attorney's Office (2100 Jamieson St., Alexandria). For additional information please contact Fay Brundage at (703) 299-3822.

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Diverse Partners Network—Midwest Luncheon, November 18, Kansas City, MO

The DPN will host a luncheon on Tuesday, November 18 from noon to 2:00 p.m. at the offices of Lathrop & Gage in Kansas City to discuss the creation of a Midwest Chapter. For details please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. RSVP to Cate Logan.

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Two Lectures by Gwen Keyes Fleming, November 20-21, Atlanta

Gwen Keyes Fleming, Chief of Staff at the EPA, will give two lectures this month at her alma mater, Emory University in Atlanta, GA. The first will be held on Thursday, November 20th at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health on the topic of “Expanding the Conversation on Environmentalism: What does it look like in your Community?”  The second event will be on Friday, November 21st at Emory’s School of Law on the topic of “Next Generation Environmental Protection: A Lawyer’s Role.”  Gwen is a 1993 graduate of the Emory University School of Law, has been recognized as one of the Law School’s Distinguished Alumni. She was previously Administrator for EPA Region 4 – (Southeast – Atlanta) and is the first African-American to hold both positions.

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Denise Hanna Named Chair of Locke Lord’s Health Care Practice Group


denise hannaDenise Hanna , a partner in the firm’s DC office, has been named Chair of Locke Lord’s Health Care Practice Group. Denise has represented health insurance companies and managed care organizations in a variety of matters, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate and entity formation, managed care contracting, joint ventures and commercial contracting. She has closely tracked the enactment of federal health care reform, and regularly advises clients on implementation and compliance issues.

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Kelly-Ann Cartwright Named to Top 20 Women in Law—South Florida

kelly cartwrightKelly-Ann Cartwright, the Executive Partner at Holland & Knight's Miami office, was honored by the Daily Business Review as one of the Top 20 Women in Law - a selection of accomplished women who have made a mark in the South Florida legal community. She was chosen from a pool of more than 80 candidates from law firms, courts, public agencies, and education for the inaugural program. Kelly-Ann is a trial lawyer, with an emphasis on employment discrimination, civil rights, business torts and labor law, and she is also experienced in trade secrets, defamation, fraud, civil theft, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and unfair competition.

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Robyn Minter Smyers Named Managing Partner of Thomson Hine’s Cleveland Office


Robyn Minter Smyers, the longtime chair of Thompson Hine’s nationally recognized Diversity & Inclusion Initiative, and partner in the firm’s Real Estate and Corporate Transactions & Securities practice groups has been named Partner-in-Charge of the firm’s Cleveland office. Smyers advises some of Thompson Hine’s largest clients, focusing her practice on commercial real estate acquisitions and sales, development, financing, leasing and corporate transactions, with a particular focus on shopping center deals, urban redevelopment and hospitality projects.

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Karl Racine is DC’s First Elected Attorney General

racineKarl Racine, a partner in Venable's DC office, is the first elected Attorney General for the District of Columbia. Racine, a longtime Washingtonian who served as a public defender, White House lawyer and former managing partner at Venable, beat out four other Democratic candidates by a wide margin, taking home 36.9 percent of the vote. Current Attorney General Irving Nathan plans to step down on Nov. 17, and Chief Deputy Attorney General Eugene Adams will serve as interim attorney general until Racine arrives in January.

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Two New Positions for Erek Baron

erekbarronErek Barron, Counsel at Whiteford, Taylor and Preston, was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates for the 24th District in Prince George's County, Maryland on Nov. 4 and will be sworn in as a delegate in the coming weeks. He will start his first legislative session in Annapolis in 2015. Two days later, Erek was installed as the new president of the J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association, the minority bar association for Montgomery and Prince George's County, Maryland. Erek is co-chair of the firm's Administrative & Regulatory Law practice group and a member of the Business Litigation Section. An experienced litigator and trial attorney, he represents clients in complex civil litigation and white collar criminal defense cases.

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Reception for Class of 2014 on October 23

2126521The D.C. Diverse Partners Network invites you to the Class of 2014 New Associate Reception on Thursday, October 23, 2014 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at The Bar of the St. Regis Washington, D.C. (16th and K Streets, N.W.) RSVP to Jamese James at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Craig Holden Sworn in as President of California Bar Association

image006Craig Holden, a partner at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP in Los Angeles, has become the 90th president of the California State Bar.  The California State Bar is the largest lawyer regulatory body in the world with a $150 million annual budget.  Holden is the co-chair of Lewis Brisbois’ Commercial Litigation Practice. His leadership roles, outside of the bar, include serving on the Rand Corporation’s SoCal 50 Leadership Council, immediate past chairman of the Courts Committee for the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, and the board of directors of the California Minority Counsel Program.

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