ACC National Capital Region Names Finalists for 2018 Corporate Counsel Awards and Recipients of the In-House Innovator, Career, Service, and Lifetime Achievement Awards

— Winners to be announced at October 25th awards gala —

WASHINGTON--()--ACC National Capital Region has announced the finalists for its 2018 Corporate Counsel Awards. The awards honor the work of the region’s leading in-house practitioners and legal departments over the past year in the following categories -- Outstanding Chief Legal Officer, Outstanding In-House Counsel, Outstanding Law Department, and Community Service. ACC National Capital Region will announce the winners during its Corporate Counsel Awards Reception at The Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner in McLean, Va., on Thursday, October 25, 2018.

The finalists for the 2018 Corporate Counsel Awards are:

Outstanding Chief Legal Officer:

  • Brian Geoghegan, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, SOS International LLC
  • Laurence Grayer, Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Creative Associates International
  • Patricia Lee, General Counsel, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)
  • Thomas McCabe, former Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Orbital ATK, Inc.
  • Gregory Nixon, Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Legal Officer, and Corporate Secretary, DynCorp International LLC

Outstanding In-House Counsel:

  • Felicity Chaban, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, WeddingWire, Inc.
  • Aaron F. Herman, Deputy General Counsel, JBG SMITH Properties
  • Audrey Jean, Corporate Counsel and Director, Bloomberg BNA
  • David Lawson, Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, AT&T Services, Inc.
  • John Pisa-Relli, Managing Director, Global Trade Compliance, Accenture
  • Nathaniel Wilson, Associate General Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary, Carey International, Inc.

Outstanding Law Department:

  • comScore, Inc.
  • Discovery, Inc.
  • Iridium Satellite, LLC
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Truth Initiative

Community Service Award:

  • Leidos (law department)

Darryl Franklin and Mary Jane Saunders, co-chairs of the Corporate Counsel Awards, lauded the finalists for their achievements and contributions. "The work done by these finalists provides excellent examples of the integral role the in-house legal team plays in the success of an organization,” said Franklin and Saunders. Franklin is assistant general counsel at HMSHost Corporation, and Saunders is vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of the Beer Institute, Inc. They both serve on the Board of Directors of ACC National Capital Region.

The finalists were selected from nominations submitted in response to an open call for nominations. The panel of judges for the Corporate Counsel Awards is comprised of the following leaders in the business and legal communities in this region:

  • Randall Boe, Commissioner, Arena Football League, and Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Monumental Sports and Entertainment
  • Kevin Buck, Chief Operating Officer, Association of Corporate Counsel
  • Henry N. Butler, Dean, George Mason University Foundation Professor, and Executive Director, Law & Economics Center, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University
  • Mike Daniels, Chairman of the Board, LMI
  • Darryl Franklin, Member of the Board of Directors of ACC National Capital Region, Co-Chair of the Corporate Counsel Awards, and Assistant General Counsel, HMSHost Corporation
  • Navid C. Haghighi, President of ACC National Capital Region, and Managing Associate General Counsel - Law, Public Policy & Security, Verizon
  • Esther H. Lim, President of the D.C. Bar, and Partner, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
  • Mary Jane Saunders, Treasurer of ACC National Capital Region, Co-Chair of the Corporate Counsel Awards, and Vice President and General Counsel, Beer Institute
  • Robert A. Stern, Past-President of ACC National Capital Region, and Former Group General Counsel, Sodexo

In addition, the ACC NCR Board of Directors selected these special honorees:

In-House Innovator Awards

  • The Legal Department at Fannie Mae
  • The Legal Department at the National Association of Manufacturers

Career Achievement Award

  • Cynthia (Cindy) M. Lewin

ACC NCR Service Award

  • Stephen Epstein

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Ilene G. Reid

This will be the first time that ACC NCR presents a Lifetime Achievement Award. Chapter leadership is excited to recognize Reid’s unparalleled contributions to the chapter. She became the first staff member of ACC NCR in 1998 and led the chapter as its executive director until April of this year when she transitioned to the role of senior director. Over the span of those twenty years, the chapter grew from approximately 500 to nearly 2,500 members and from hosting a dozen events to more than 100 each year. In doing so, Reid has touched the lives, careers, and businesses of numerous attorneys, professionals, legal departments, law firms, and companies. Haghighi notes “Ilene’s dedication to excellence and producing high quality programming is only surpassed by her warmth and ability to create a welcoming community for our members, sponsors, and guests. Her impact on the in-house community in this region cannot be overstated and we are excited to celebrate and thank her for 20 years of leadership and friendship.”

Created in 2005, the Corporate Counsel Awards have become a well-recognized and sought-after honor for members of the in-house legal community in the District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Virginia and suburban Maryland. For a list of all previous Award winners, please visit Registration for the Awards Reception is now open at

About ACC National Capital Region

With approximately 2,500 members, ACC National Capital Region serves the professional needs of in-house counsel in Washington, D.C., Virginia, and suburban Maryland. It is the regional chapter of the global Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC). ACC National Capital Region members participate in more than 80 professional development programs and community service events each year and keep connected through a variety of networking events and communications vehicles. The organization 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. The organization was first established in 1980 as the Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association (WMACCA). It adopted the name ACC National Capital Region in 2015 to better communicate the area it serves and to support the ACC global brand. More information about ACC National Capital Region is available on its website:


ACC National Capital Region
Shannon A. Graving, 301-881-3018
Executive Director


ACC National Capital Region
Shannon A. Graving, 301-881-3018
Executive Director