2016 RainDance Conference Speakers
David Ackert, President
David Ackert has been a client development mentor to lawyers and their firms for over 15 years. He is the president of The Ackert Advisory, a consulting firm that specializes in driving business results for law firms. Through his programs his has worked thousands of lawyers, many of whom hail from top 20 global Am Law firms. He is the founder of the Managing Partner Institute, developing more effective law firm leaders worldwide, and the founder of Practice Boomers, winner of the “Your Honor Award” in both the US and Canada for excellence in practice development.
David has written for and contributed to articles in publications including the Los Angeles Times, The National Review, the Daily Journal, the Attorney Journal, the Wall Street Journal, Attorney At Work, The Recorder, Voice America, and the Los Angeles Business Journal. He is a frequent speaker at law firms and trade conferences including ABA, ALA, and numerous national conferences. He is a guest lecturer at USC’s Marshall School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, and the UCLA School of Law.
Sheila L. Ardalan, Director of Business Development
Freeman, Freeman & Smiley LLP
Sheila L. Ardalan has been Director of Business Development and Client Services with Freeman Freeman & Smiley, LLP for 12 years. She is responsible for cultivating new business relationships, as well as managing relationships with existing clients, such as Fidelity National Financial.
Throughout the greater Los Angeles business community and beyond, Sheila is a trusted advisor. She is an expert at establishing innovative client-specific systems that streamline legal operations and deepen relationships for and between her clients. By merging her passion for creating connection with her cutting edge approach to client service, Sheila is a true advocate and partner to enterprises ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.
Sheila’s passion for health and wellness is evident in her out-of-the-office activities. While in Washington D.C., she enjoyed rowing on the Potomac River. Now in Los Angeles, Sheila founded a horsemanship training company, and is a trained classical dressage rider.
Sheila is a graduate of The Ohio State University. Prior to joining Freeman Freeman & Smiley, LLP, Ms. Ardalan worked at Brown, Winfield and Canzoneri, Inc., in Los Angeles, and Hale and Dorr LLP, in Washington, D.C.
She serves on the Advisory Board of the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission (LASEC) a private, nonprofit organization who partners with the City of Los Angeles to bring major sporting and entertainment events to Los Angeles, like the NBA All-Star Weekend, the GRAMMY Awards, the Final Four, the Super Bowl and many others. These events have a significant economic impact on the local economy and continue to spotlight Los Angeles as the Entertainment Capital of the World. She also serves on the Executive Committee of Provisors LA4 and works on the Advisory Council of the GO Campaign, which identifies deserving Local Heroes throughout the world and partners with these grassroots organizations to provide children and young adults with critical services, resources and needed opportunities.
Jeffrey A. Baron, Managing Director, Advisory National Pursuit Team
Jeff is a Managing Director in PwC's Marketing and Sales organization with over 25 years of professional experience in all facets of proposal management, sales, business development, marketing, and communications.
In his role as Managing Director for the Advisory National Pursuit team, he provides strategy and Coaching for the largest, most complex Advisory sales pursuits with the greatest revenue potential for PwC. Working closely with PwC partners and leaders, he drives the development of differentiated value propositions, win themes, pursuit strategy, and relationship management to "deliver the firm" to our clients.
One of the most critical aspects of his role is Coaching PwC people for optimal performance in key meetings and orals presentations in which he leverages his Psychology background and people management experience. This training helps him understand, motivate and Coach client service professionals.
He has also provided marketing and communications consulting services to clients of the firm in the US and abroad. For 10 years prior to joining PwC, Jeff served in several healthcare leadership positions with responsibility for overall hospital operations and is a clinician by training.
Craig Brown, Principal Consultant
LawVision Group LLC
Widely recognized as an authority on building law firm clientele, Craig Brown has worked with law firms for over twenty five years in the areas of business development, training, coaching, strategy, knowledge management and research. As a former practicing lawyer, a large part of his practice is training and coaching lawyers to use their strengths to build relationships that lead to strong books of business.
Craig is a Principal with LawVision, a leading law firm consultancy, and is the co-developer of the Lawyer Behavior ProfileTM used by hundreds of lawyers to identify and apply key business development strengths. He is the founder of Modena Seminars and The Motivera Group and has developed and conducted hundreds of action-oriented seminars and workshops.
Craig is a regular sought after speaker at industry conferences and events and at private law firms on marketing, business development, sales and training. He is a guest lecturer at the University of California, Hastings and at UC Irvine School of Law.
Christie Cáceres, Director, Business Development
Foley & Lardner LLP
Christie Cáceres serves as the Director of Business Development at Foley & Lardner LLP. In this role she is responsible for leading the business development team in forming and developing relationships with high performing attorneys, supporting the Firm's client growth initiatives, and providing counsel as it relates to identifying new opportunities and expanding on current ones
David Cambria, Director of Global Operations – Law, Compliance and Government Relations
Archer Daniels Midland Company
David is the Director of Global Operations – Law, Compliance and Government Relations for Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) where he works with the General Counsel to develop and lead a “best-in-class” law department operations function with a primary focus on aligning the department’s day-to-day operations with the business strategy. His team is responsible for overseeing the non-legal and tactical aspects of running the department, including day to day management of the following: finance, information technology, law firm and vendor management, client service/delivers and general administration. Prior to this position, David was the Senior Director of Enterprise Information Management for CDW Corporation. There he led CDW’s Information Management program by driving information security, data management, records management, eDiscovery and intellectual property initiatives across the organization.
Prior to CDW, David worked as the Global Director of Law Department Operations at Aon Corporation where he managed nearly 400 professionals in 29 countries. David also spent five years in the Legal Business Consulting practice with Huron Consulting Group.
David has presented at various domestic and international industry seminars and executive briefings as well as authored several articles for publication. In 2013 he was named by the National Law Journal as one of the Top 50 Legal Business Trailblazers & Pioneers. He is chairman of the advisory board for the Annual Law Department Operations Survey, where he also serves as editor and contributor. He received his BA, with honors in Political Science and Economics from St. John Fisher College and a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Dayton, School of Law.
Michael R. Caplan, Chief Operating Officer
Goodwin Procter, LLP
Mike Caplan joined Goodwin in 2014 and serves as the firm’s chief operating officer. As COO, he leads the firm's business, financial and administrative operations, and is a member of the firm's Executive and Management Committees. Prior to joining Goodwin, Mike served as the global chief operating officer of Marsh & McLennan Companies’ Corporate Legal, Risk and Compliance Departments and the global chief operating officer for Goldman Sachs’s Legal Department. Mike focuses on Goodwin's growth strategy and execution, and is also a leader in business development, bringing the client perspective to discussions on pricing, investment in risk and strategic client partnership. In his first year with the firm, Mike significantly enhanced the firm's pricing and project management functions, elevated administrative service levels across the firm, and facilitated over 100 meetings with client prospects, resulting in new clients and new revenue to the firm. In Mike’s spare time, he enjoys coaching his sons' basketball and baseball teams, spending quality time with his wife Karen, and playing golf.
Michael D. Chartock, Esq., General Counsel
Gordon Brothers Group
Michael Chartock is responsible for overseeing the legal affairs of Gordon Brothers Group. Prior to assuming the position of General Counsel in 2012, Mr. Chartock was responsible for sourcing, structuring and overseeing complex dispositions for Gordon Brothers Group, particularly retail and real estate store closings and wind-downs outside of bankruptcy. He has worked closely with multiple corporate constituencies in connection with consensual out-of-court compositions and wind-downs; with strong parent companies wishing to dispose of under-performing retail subsidiaries; and with healthy retailers in connection with their ordinary course store relocations and closings. Mr. Chartock was instrumental in connection with Gordon Brothers Group's acquisition and wind-down of CompUSA, and he has a long and successful track record partnering Gordon Brothers Group with some of the most well-regarded U.S. retailers.
Prior to joining Gordon Brothers Group in 1999, Mr. Chartock practiced corporate law for 10 years, including as Senior Counsel at Harcourt General/The Neiman Marcus Group. He has served in key volunteer leadership positions with the International Turnaround Management Association and Boston’s Combined Jewish Philanthropies. Mr. Chartock received his BA from Brandeis University and his JD from Cornell University
Vice President, Strategic Accounts, Bloomberg Law
A veteran business development executive, legal services entrepreneur, and corporate lawyer, Kevin Colangelo is Vice President, Head of Strategic Accounts at Bloomberg Law in New York, where he works with lawyers and law firms on strategies to help grow revenue and control costs through the deployment of leading edge technology solutions.
As a member of the leadership team at legal outsourcing pioneer, Pangea3, Kevin was integral in the development of its workflow and delivery models, as well as overseeing Pangea3’s growth from 30 attorneys to over 800 attorneys in five years. He held multiple leadership roles, including global head of the Corporate Practice, General Counsel, and relationship manager for many of Pangea3's largest global clients.
He has also held leadership positions at three Am Law 100 firms, including Proskauer Rose, where he served as the firm’s first Client Relations Officer, and Kramer Levin, where he was Co-chair of the Outsourcing and Technology Transactions practice. Most recently, Kevin was a key member of the leadership team at Elevate Services, a global legal software and managed services company.
Kevin speaks frequently and is quoted widely on legal innovation, client relationship management, process improvement and legal process outsourcing. He has been featured in segments and articles in numerous media outlets, including the ABA Journal, the New York Law Journal, Lawyers Weekly, Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, Outsourcing Magazine and Bloomberg Television.
Kevin graduated from Hamilton College and earned his law degree from Vermont Law School, cum laude. Kevin is a member of the New York Bar, and is admitted to the U.S. Court of International Trade.
Marisa Floriani, Sales Executive, Business Development Northeast
After graduating from Albany Law School in 2010, Marisa practiced personal injury law in New York City for a few years before joining Thomson Reuters in 2013. Marisa started as an Account Representative in NYC and was tasked with training attorneys in the AmLaw 100 on Westlaw. In 2014 she became an Account Manager for medium sized law firms in New York and was responsible for all matters relating to her firms. She now partners with firms on the East Coast on their business development initiatives and goals.
Tracey R. Gallegos, CLM, Legal Department Operations Manager
Argonne National Laboratory
Tracey Gallegos, CLM, is a certified legal manager and works for Argonne National Laboratory as its Legal Department Operations Manager. Tracey joined the Laboratory after spending ten years as a law firm administrator in the private sector at which she handled the financial, human resources and facilities components and overall management of the firm. She took her experience to Argonne, where her primary duties include strategic planning, process improvement, outside counsel procurement and budget management. The combination of experience gives Tracey a unique insight into the legal industry from both a for-profit law firm perspective as well as from a not-for-profit government contractor perspective.
Tracey has four children, ranging in age from 6 to 21. In her spare time, she is a volunteer court appointed special advocate for neglected and abused children. She maintains positions on community boards and committees and handles the social media and communications for the Greater Chicago Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators. Additionally, Tracey teaches the Legal Industry e-Learning class for the Association of Legal Administrators national, where law firm administrators and executives learn about alternative fee arrangements, billing for client service, legal project management, strategic planning and law firm marketing.
Donald J.Gibson, General Counsel
MB Financial Bank, N.A.
Prior to joining MB Financial Bank, Donald Gibson was a partner at Chicago-based McGuireWoods, LLP where he chaired the firm’s community banking industry team. Before McGuireWoods, he was a partner at Ross & Hardies, L.P., was a founding partner of Tatooles, Foley, Kluever & Gibson and served as General Counsel and Assistant General Counsel at Boulevard Bancorp, Inc.
He received his BA from Loyola University Chicago and a JD from Loyola University School of Law.
Mark W. Hianik, Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary
Mark W. Hianik is the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Veritiv Corporation, a global business-to-business distribution and logistics services provider based in Atlanta.
Previously, Mr. Hianik served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer of Dex One Corporation and its predecessor, R.H. Donnelley Corporation in Raleigh, NC, as Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of Tribune Company in Chicago, and as a corporate and securities partner with Wildman, Harrold Allen & Dixon (now Locke Lord LLP) in Chicago.
Mr. Hianik, a certified public accountant, started his professional career as an auditor with Arthur Andersen & Co. in Chicago. Mr. Hianik is an experienced public company general counsel and leader of corporate administrative functions with significant mergers and acquisitions, securities, corporate finance and corporate governance experience. Mr. Hianik holds a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a J.D. from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law.
David H. Freeman, J.D. Founder
Law Firm Culture Shift
David Freeman is the CEO of the David Freeman Consulting Group and founder of Law Firm CultureShift®. He is a former lawyer, and for over twenty years he has worked with 180 law firms, including 40% of the AmLaw 200. He helps firms create exceptional cultures of business development through leadership and business development training and coaching, retreats, cross-selling initiatives, and client service training.
For three consecutive years, David was voted the “Best Law Firm Business Development Consultant and Coach” in National Law Journal surveys, and he was ranked the #1 coach and consultant in the 2015 Best of Legal Times survey. He is a best-selling author who as written four books on law firm leadership and business development, he is a Fellow at the College of Law Practice Management, and he is the exclusive business development coach for the Women in Law Empowerment Forum.
Dr. Jeffrey Kaplan, President & CEO
J. Alan Group LLC
In demand across the globe, Dr. Kaplan has delivered keynotes and workshops in 26 countries from Moscow to Dubai to Hong Kong. Over 200,000 people have experienced the passion Jeff brings to every event. Centered on the power of human relationships, Jeff combines three decades of business experience to help executive leadership, operations, sales and marketing teams rapidly increase innovation, collaboration and productively.
In his early career, he turned a $1,500 garage-based start-up into a million-dollar payout. Working on the globals scene for business consulting powerhouse Capgemini, Jeff led the firm’s relationship with IBM and later Microsoft.
Teaming up with the #1 NY Times best-selling author and relationship development expert Keith Ferrazzi on his book ‘Who’s Got Your Back’, Jeff contributed to the book and designed a marketing campaign and book tour that changed book promotion forever.
Dr. Kaplan the founder and managing partner of J. Alan Group, a research firm and consultancy devoted to the art and science of maximizing performance through people. He also serves as a Director of China Foundations and prior Director for KOSTechnology.
Dr. Kaplan has extensive experience working with the world’s top brands, including Aon, Accenture, Apollo Group, Bank of America, British Telecommunications, Dow, DuPont, New York Stock Exchange, Procter & Gamble, Royal Bank of Scotland, Siemens (now Unify), Thompson-Reuters, U.S. Bank, United Healthcare, Windstream, Wisconsin Department of Justice and Cassels Brock Law Firm among many others.
Brad Messerich, Regional Sales Manager, Northeast
Brad Messerich has been with Thomson Reuters for 11 years in a variety of sales roles supporting law firms of all sizes, corporate legal departments and government agencies. In his current role as a Business Development Sales Executive, he consults with legal marketing and business development professionals across the country to integrate Monitor Suite competitive intelligence, Business Development Premier CRM/ERM software, and Thomson Reuters company data into the law firms’ client development strategy. When Brad isn’t busy visiting with legal professionals, he spends his time having fun with his wife and children at home in Minnesota.
Toni Minick, Director of Product Management, Lexis Nexis InterAction
Toni Minick joined LexisNexis in 2005 and currently serves as Director of Product Management for the company’s leading client relationship offering, InterAction. Her background in both product management and software user experiences spans more than 16 years, 13 of which have been focused on legal software solutions. From that knowledge base of customer understanding, Toni is committed to helping users address problems in simple and elegant ways. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from George Fox University.
Rebecca Minihane, Director of Marketing Operations
Latham & Watkins LLP
Rebecca has more than 20 years' experience working with global enterprises advising on, and implementing, marketing and operational solutions.
For the last 12 years Rebecca has been at Latham & Watkins where her role involves managing the systems, processes and training that underpin the busy and diverse global business development and marketing function. She has worked in New York and London and has direct experience of other major global legal markets having worked closely with the firm's leadership, partners and business development teams across a variety of roles and projects.
Latham & Watkins' commitment to innovation means Rebecca is constantly looking at ways to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the firm’s marketing operations. She believes the firm's collaborative ethos is central to its success across all of its functions.
Prior to legal marketing, Rebecca was a senior corporate and financial public relations adviser working for a variety of global financial institutions, corporations and other organizations.
Jennifer Johnson Scalzi, President
J. Johnson Executive Search
Jennifer is the Founder of J. Johnson Executive Search (JJES) and has spent the last 17 years inside of, and as a consultant to, law firms. She now specializes solely on placing marketing, business development and communications professionals into law firms. In the past decade of providing recruitment and strategy services to firms, she has achieved prominence as a consultant who truly understands the legal marketing industry. Her insider knowledge — gained from six years in professional development and lawyer recruitment at a prominent Am Law 100 firm and as a leader in the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) — gives her a competitive advantage. Her clients and candidates know that Jennifer understands their world.
Jennifer has been a member of LMA since 1999 and has been actively involved in leadership positions since 2004 when she was elected to the Board of Directors of the New York Chapter where she went on to serve as President in 2008. She dedicated a year of service in 2009 to the International Board of Directors of the LMA as the liaison for the eighteen Chapter Presidents. From 2010-2011 Jennifer served as Co-Chair for the Your Honor Awards, established by the LMA to recognize excellence in legal marketing. In 2012 she helped to create the LMA’s first ever Rising Star Award to recognize up and coming professionals in the industry. She is currently chairing the LMA New England Your Honor Awards program for 2016 and is serving as the Co-Chair for the LMA New England's Regional Conference to be held in November 2016. Additionally, she is pleased to serve as a Judge for the LMA Toronto Chapter Your Honor Awards program for 2016.
Jennifer’s expertise is international in scope. She runs global searches for her clients and regularly travels throughout the country, and on occasion overseas, for the sole purpose of assessing candidates.
A featured speaker and published author on topics of professional and career development, Jennifer has also contributed her expertise through interviews with CBS’s “MarketWatch,” The American Lawyer, and Law360.com.
Jennifer holds a B.A. from Baylor University and resides in the Boston suburbs with her husband and four children.
Jennifer Schaller, Co-Founder and Managing Director
National Law Review
Jennifer Schaller is the co-founder and Managing Director of the National Law Review on-line edition, one of the highest volume business law websites in the Unied States. The National Law Review platform was started by Jennifer and a group of in-house attorneys at several major Chicago corporations. She also is a former in-house attorney and director at CNA Financial who was directly responsible for hiring law firs on a daily basis. Prior to her role at CNA, she served as a marketing Vice President at the Aon Corporation, a Fortune 500 professional services firm. Jennifer started her legal career as an associate attorney at Smith Amundsen, LLC, in Chicago, IL, a 150+ attorney Midwest regional firm.
In her role at the National Law Review, Jennifer has unique access to the readership metrics of thousands of thought leadership pieces published by law firms from across the country. She speaks regularly at various Legal Marketing events and writes on the effectiveness of thought leadership in raising the profile of law firms and lawyers in the legal marketplace. She also writes and speaks on the factors involved in the retention process of attorneys and law firms by corporations.
Jennifer is admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois and has earned a Masters’ Degree in Education from DePaul University of Chicago and a Juris Doctorate from Chicago Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Kevin Skrzysowski, Regional Director
Kevin Skrzysowski joined Bloomberg BNA in 2007 and has served as Midwest Regional Director since 2010. Kevin and his team work with some of the world’s largest law firms on strategies to grow revenue, increase practice efficiencies and control costs through the deployment of Bloomberg BNA’s flagship solution, Bloomberg Law.
With more than 15 years of experience as an attorney and business leader, Kevin partners with legal professionals and executive management to find solutions to the unique challenges facing the legal market today. Kevin also works across the organization on the development and deployment of Bloomberg BNA solutions for the betterment of the legal industry.
Kevin earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Ohio University and his J.D. from Marshall College of Law in Cleveland, Ohio.
Aaron K. Tantleff , Partner
Foley & Lardner LLP
Aaron K. Tantleff is a partner and intellectual property lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. His practice focuses upon providing legal and strategic guidance regarding information technology, outsourcing, licensing, consulting, professional services, e-commerce, manufacturing, supply, and distribution agreements, as well as product acquisitions, strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity investments where technology and intellectual property are of significant importance and value. Mr. Tantleff is a member of the firm’s Technology Transactions & Outsourcing; Privacy, Security & Information Management, and Chemical, Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical Practices, as well as the Health Care, Life Sciences, and Energy Industry Teams.
Mr. Tantleff works closely with clients on privacy, security and information management matters as well as state, federal and international restrictions on the use of information. He has extensive experience advising businesses regarding the drafting and negotiation of privacy and security provisions in a wide range of agreements. Mr. Tantleff has also formulated and drafted privacy, security and data use compliance policies and procedures. He is well acquainted with security breach notification laws, EMR/EHR/PHR matters, HIPAA and other medical privacy laws and social media and blogging policies. Mr. Tantleff has conducted investigations of data security breaches and has identified and proposed best practices in light of those breaches.
Mr. Tantleff has worked with companies in a wide range of industries, including financial services, consulting, information technology, communications, consumer markets (retail, wholesale and distribution), life sciences, pharmaceuticals, health care and health services, manufacturing, media, technology, software development, automotive, transportation, energy, chemicals and utilities.
Mr. Tantleff has experience in government contracts and the sale and licensing of technology to the U.S. and foreign governments. He has practiced before the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Prior to joining Foley, Mr. Tantleff was an associate at a Chicago based law firm where, as part of his practice, he served as in-house counsel for an international, NYSE-listed management and technology consulting company with revenues in excess of $3 billion. Prior to joining that firm, he served as corporate counsel and director of global intellectual property for a large NASDAQ information technology and software company.
Mr. Tantleff is an adjunct professor of law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where he teaches a course on transactional intellectual property law that focuses on intellectual property licensing, valuation, acquisitions, divestures and joint ventures and technology development.
Catherine Zinn, Chief Client Officer
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
As Orrick’s Chief Client Officer, Catherine helps to ensure that the firm is a steward of our clients’ businesses. Catherine supports Orrick’s commitment to each client’s cause by listening to their views and concerns, responding to their needs, and articulating a shared understanding of priorities.
Among other responsibilities, Catherine meets with clients to solicit their feedback and works with the firm’s client relationship partners and teams to help deliver value added services. She also coordinates the firm’s strategic partnerships with thought leadership and community organizations, also designed to add value for our clients and enhance the firm’s social impact.
Previously, Catherine held senior client relations roles at DLA Piper and at JAMS, the country’s largest private provider of mediation and arbitration services.
Catherine serves on the boards of various organizations including: Silicon Valley Directors’ Exchange, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, Bay Area Cancer Connections, and Legal Services Sales Organization. In January of 2015, the Secretary of Health and Human Services appointed her to the Board of the National Foundation for Fitness, Sports and Nutrition for a six-year term.
In 2008, Catherine served on Hillary Clinton’s National Finance Committee, and, beginning in 2011, she served on Barack Obama’s National Finance Committee as the National Coordinating Co-Chair of Lawyers for Obama. Currently, she is a Community Liaison for Kamala Harris for Senate.
Catherine was recognized as a 2014 Woman of Influence by the Silicon Valley Business Journal and a 2015 Woman of Achievement by Legal Momentum. In January of 2015 she was inducted into the International Women’s Forum and invited to be an American Leadership Forum Fellow for 2015-2016.
Catherine is a regular speaker on leadership, empowerment for women, and sales coaching. Recent speaking engagements include: “In Conversation with Secretary Madeleine Albright: Power of Connections” for Breast Cancer Connections, “Women as Rainmakers” for the California Women Lawyers Association, “Women in Negotiation” for Women’s Business Empowerment Day, and “Sales: the New Normal in the Legal Industry” for the Legal Marketing Association.
Catherine was a three-sport varsity athlete in college, tennis instructor, personal trainer, and head coach of a top ranked high-school tennis team in Washington, DC.
Catherine is a graduate of Hamilton College with a degree in Economics. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and eight-year-old son.