WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association (WMACCA), the leading regional bar association for in-house counsel in the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland, has announced the winners of the 10th Annual Corporate Counsel Awards. The awards honor the work of the region’s leading in-house practitioners and departments over the past year in the categories of Outstanding Chief Legal Officer, Outstanding In-House Counsel, Outstanding Paraprofessional, Outstanding Law Department, and Community Service.
Chosen from a field of 27 finalists, the winners of the 2014 WMACCA Corporate Counsel Awards include:
- Outstanding Chief Legal Officer: Brett Coffee, general counsel, vice president of business and corporate affairs, and secretary, Computer Systems Center Incorporated, and Brian A. Miller, executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, The AES Corporation.
- Outstanding In-House Counsel: Michael Kallens, associate general counsel and manager of corporate ethics and compliance, Booz Allen Hamilton.
- Outstanding Paraprofessional: Joyce Ramirez, senior paralegal and contracts specialist, The Advisory Board Company.
- Outstanding Law Department: Fannie Mae.
- Community Service Award: Amy Sue Leavens, general counsel and corporate secretary, Capital Impact Partners (individual) and The Advisory Board Company (department).
Janine Greenwood, vice president, chief legal officer and secretary of National Student Clearinghouse, received the 2014 Corporate Counsel Career Achievement Award, and Michael C. Wu, senior vice president of legal and corporate affairs, general counsel and secretary of Carter’s, Inc., received the WMACCA Service Award.
In addition, WMACCA honored four legal departments – AARP, Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK), CoStar Group Inc., and General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems Inc. – that identified and implemented a creative and new approach to in-house practice with In-House Innovator Awards.
“As a judge for the awards and a colleague, I am so impressed with the trusted judgment, business acumen, leadership, and dedication to community of these honorees,” said Dean A. Manson, president of WMACCA and executive vice president and general counsel, EchoStar Corporation. “We are pleased to provide recognition for their accomplishments and note the high regard in which their colleagues hold them.”
“Again this year, WMACCA has honored a very talented and accomplished group of local attorneys, paraprofessionals, and in-house legal departments with its 10th Annual Corporate Counsel Awards,” said Anne L. Milem, senior vice president and deputy general counsel of Navient Solutions, Inc., and Samuel A. Flax, executive vice president, general counsel, chief compliance officer and secretary, American Capital, Ltd. Milem and Flax are WMACCA board members and co-chaired the Corporate Counsel Awards. “It is wonderful to see the excitement these awards generate among the finalists and winners, and among their friends and colleagues.”
Brett Coffee, general counsel, vice president of business and corporate affairs, and secretary, Computer Systems Center Incorporated, was named Outstanding Chief Legal Officer for his handling of several projects that remade the company to be more efficient, more profitable and in a position to provide better services to its clients.
The co-winner, Brian A. Miller, executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, The AES Corporation, was recognized for leading the legal department in its support of the company’s goals, including narrowing its geographic footprint to focus on markets where it has a competitive advantage.
Michael Kallens, associate general counsel and manager of corporate ethics and compliance, Booz Allen Hamilton, was selected as Outstanding In-House Counsel because of his role in improving the company’s ethics and compliance program in many significant and novel ways.
Joyce Ramirez, senior paralegal and contracts specialist, The Advisory Board Company, was named Outstanding Paraprofessional because of her leadership role in several projects that have improved department and company operations.
The legal department at Fannie Mae was selected as Outstanding Large Law Department for its role in making improvements to the company’s mortgage origination and servicing processes that are enhancing liquidity, improving credit-risk-sharing with private-market participants, and helping consumers who need refinancing or loan modifications.
Amy Sue Leavens, general counsel and corporate secretary, Capital Impact Partners, was honored as an individual with the Community Service Award for her commitment to bringing investment capital into underserved communities and for mentoring promising young people. The legal department of The Advisory Board Company was honored as a co-winner of the award for its dedication, as a team and individually, to social impact and community involvement.
The In-House Innovator Awards were inaugurated this year to recognize a creative and new approach to in-house practice – whether in terms of collaborating with business-side colleagues, enhancing department operations, fostering professional development, or such – that made them more effective contributors to their organizations. These awards recognized:
- AARP for a new self-serve program for executing a type of contractual agreement.
- Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) for translating the concept of client development to in-house practice.
- CoStar Group, Inc. for an effective approach to antipiracy.
- General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems Inc. for adopting a balanced scorecard to measure performance by the legal department.
In addition to the night’s competitive awards, WMACCA honored Janine Greenwood, vice president, chief legal officer and secretary of National Student Clearinghouse, with its Corporate Counsel Career Achievement Award. Ms. Greenwood has dedicated her entire legal career to in-house practice. She was a founding member and president of the New England Corporate Counsel Association (which is now a chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel) and she has served in leadership roles for ACC’s nonprofit organizations committee, including a term as chair.
Michael C. Wu, senior vice president of legal and corporate affairs, general counsel and secretary of Carter’s, Inc., received the WMACCA Service Award for his contributions to WMACCA as a member of its volunteer leadership team.
The finalists were selected from a large pool of nominations submitted by the legal community at-large in response to an open call for nominations. The panel of judges for the Corporate Counsel Awards was comprised of the following leaders in the business and legal communities in this region:
- Brigida Benitez, President, D.C. Bar, and Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
- Mike Daniels, Chairman, Invincea, Inc.
- Samuel A. Flax, Member of the Board of Directors of WMACCA, Co-Chair of the Corporate Counsel Awards, and Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Secretary, American Capital Ltd.
- Philip Fletcher, Legal Assistant and Contract Administrator, HMSHost Corporation
- Patricia A. Lenahan, Commercial Team Leader, TD Bank
- Dean A. Manson, President of WMACCA, and Executive Vice President and General Counsel, EchoStar Corporation
- Kevin E. Martingayle, President, Virginia State Bar, and Partner, Bischoff Martingayle
- Anne L. Milem, Member of the Board of Directors of WMACCA, Co-Chair of the Corporate Counsel Awards, and Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Navient Solutions, Inc.
- Veta T. Richardson, President and CEO, Association of Corporate Counsel
- Debra G. Schubert, President of the Maryland State Bar Association, and Principal, Law Offices of Debra G. Schubert
- William M. Treanor, Dean, Georgetown University Law Center
The Corporate Counsel Awards were created in 2005 and have become a well-recognized and sought-after honor for members of the in-house community in the District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Virginia and suburban Maryland. For a list of all previous Award winners, please visit http://www.acc.com/chapters/wmacca/awards.cfm.
With more than 2,300 members, the Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association (WMACCA) serves the professional needs of in-house counsel in Washington, D.C., suburban Maryland, and Virginia. WMACCA is the regional chapter of the global Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC). WMACCA members participate in more than 80 professional development programs each year and keep connected through a variety of networking events and communications vehicles. WMACCA has been active in regulatory issues that affect the in-house bar, and in providing education to encourage advancements in the standards of corporate legal practice. More information about WMACCA is available on its Web site: http://wmacca.acc.com.