Legal Sales and Service Organization Announces Winners of 2019 Sales & Service Awards

BOSTON--()--The Legal Sales and Service Organization (LSSO) and Hellerman Communications announced the winners of the 2019 Sales & Service Awards, which recognizes sales, business development, and marketing professionals who spearheaded initiatives contributing to law firm revenue growth in 2018.

The winners include:

Sales Team of the Year:

In 2018, Barnes & Thornburg launched “Marketing Blitz 1.0” with the mission to expand attorneys use and knowledge of marketing tools, teach new approaches to business development, and help attorneys build or jumpstart plans for creating successful practices, which a four-person team took to the road. The team of Gretchen Helms, Business Development Manager, Karen Smith, Director of Communications, Susan Haag, Director of Marketing Services, and Gwen Ragno, Digital Marketing Manager, conducted the firm-wide training at each of their 13 offices. Learn more.

“The program was so well received by attorneys and staff that we have already kicked off Marketing Blitz 2.0,” said Allen Chichester, Chief Marketing Officer at Barnes & Thornburg. “A [now] five-person team will visit all 14 offices this year to provide one-on-one training focused on client satisfaction and demonstrating thought leadership.”

An Honorable Mention was awarded to Faegre Baker Daniels. The team of Melanie Green, Chief Client Development Officer, Amanda Stiens, Director of Client Relations, Carol Conwell, Client Account Manager, John Kleinschmidt, Client Account Manager, Jenny Kummer, Client Account Manager, and Bernardine Lai Krauel, Client Account Manager, impressed the judges with their strategic approach to restructuring their team. Responsibilities were reassigned and the role of Client Account Manager was created to focus on client experience and sales support.

Sales & Service Executive of the Year (small firm):

As the Director of Client Service & Strategy at Poyner Spruill, a 93-attorney firm with four offices across North Carolina, Brandi M. Hobbs is raising the bar on client service both inside and outside the firm.

In 2018, Poyner Spruill launched an ambitious program which laid out a set of five priorities that the firm used to make strategic marketing and business development choices throughout the year – the top priority being developing ‘Clients as Advocates.’ With this top priority in mind, Ms. Hobbs worked with individual attorneys and teams to focus on creative approaches to training, increasing efficiency within the firm, and deepening relationships with clients and knowledge of the industries they serve. Learn more.

“We admire and benefit from the passion that she devotes to client service and improving the business development culture at our firm,” said Dan Cahill, Managing Partner at Poyner Spruill.

An Honorable Mention was awarded to Jenna Schiappacasse, Director of Client Development at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg, a 43-attorney firm with five offices across Maryland, Delaware, DC, and New York. Over the past several years, Ms. Schiappacasse has shifted the focus of her role from marketing and communications to an outward-facing client development role that is directly responsible for generating revenue in addition to coaching the firm’s attorneys on their client service and business development efforts.

Sales & Service Executive of the Year (large firm):

Since joining McGuireWoods in 2015, Christian Berger has had a deep impact on business development activity throughout the firm. As the Senior Advisor of Strategic Business Development at McGuireWoods, Christian leads and participates in client-facing business development initiatives to engage prospective clients in the mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and debt finance practices. He has originated or co-originated more than 75 new client relationships, and in 2018, has led or participated in more than 160 first pitch meetings. Learn more.

“As important as his client acquisition contributions have been, Christian’s sales coaching and training have been transformational for some lawyers’ careers,” said Joe Calve, Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer at McGuireWoods. “His impact on McGuireWoods and many of our partners and associates has been nothing short of remarkable.”

An Honorable Mention was awarded to Michael D. Helmicki, Client Development Executive at DLA Piper LLP (US). Mr. Helmicki’s creative approaches have resulted in substantial growth in DLA Piper’s representation of emerging growth and venture capital clients.

The awards were presented by John Hellerman at the 16th Annual RainDance Conference held June 5-6, 2019 in Chicago at The Mid-America Club.

The following professionals served on the judge’s panel to select these award winners:

  • Erica Glass, Director of Global Corporate Communications, Wolters Kluwer
  • Chris Hummel, Director of Marketing and Business Development, Banner Witcoff
  • Samantha McKenna, LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Entries for the 2020 edition of the awards will open in December 2019.

About the Legal Sales and Service Organization:

Launched in 2003, LSSO delivers the education and resources that lawyers and those who work with them need to improve their sales and client service skills with exclusive research, and tools and information for members only. LSSO supplies the legal marketplace with innovative, groundbreaking events and resources, including the annual RainDance Conference and LSSO's Coaching Certification Programs. Follow LSSO on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Hellerman Communications:

Hellerman Communications is an award-winning corporate communications agency that specializes in positioning professionals to win business. With expertise in strategic marketing & content development, crisis & litigation communications, and social influencer & stakeholder relations, we help the world’s most elite professionals and their firms build and protect their most lucrative relationships. Connect with Hellerman Communications by email or on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.


Amanda Ferrari


Amanda Ferrari