Women's Law Project Board of Trustees 2013-2014
David F. Abernethy is a partner in the law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP in Philadelphia, practicing in areas that include commercial and insurance litigation, products liability litigation, and family law. He is a member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee and for a number of years served as its Pro Bono Partner, responsible for overall supervision of the firm’s pro bono practice. David previously served as a director and as President of the Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program (Philadelphia VIP), which recruits and trains volunteer attorneys to represent Philadelphians unable to afford legal counsel in civil legal matters. Before joining the Drinker firm in 1986, David served for four years on active duty as a judge advocate officer in the United States Army. David is a graduate of Syracuse University and the Syracuse University College of Law.
Suzanne Sheehan Becker has over 30 years of leadership in the nonprofit, cultural and higher education sectors. Most recently she served as the executive director of the Expanding Possibilities Campaign at Community College of Philadelphia. Sue has led fundraising programs at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, the Franklin Institute Science Museum, Philadelphia University, and, Women’s Way, where she served as President and CEO. She served as Executive Director of the Children Achieving Challenge and the director of development at the Penn Museum. Sue serves on the boards of the Fairmount Park Art Association; Family Planning Council; First Hospital Foundation; Philadelphia Scholars; and the Education Law Center. Her deep knowledge and extensive expertise, ability to think strategically, and creative approach to problem solving have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant to nonprofit organizations. She is an undergraduate of Penn’s Wharton School and holds a Master of Liberal Arts from the University of Pennsylvania.
Jessica Beckett-McWalter serves as General Counsel & Vice President of Human Resources at ChemImage Corporation. In this role, she directs human resources policy and procedures, and serves as counsel on all contract and intellectual property activities. Prior to joining the company, Jessica was an associate in Pepper Hamilton, LLC's Commercial Litigation practice group, representing clients in matters relating to the misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of multi-million dollar contracts, constitutional civil rights issues, securities class actions, construction litigation and general employment issues. She currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Law. Jessica received a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings School of Law and a B.A. in American Civilization and Education Studies from Brown University. She is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania and California.
David S. Cohen (Secretary, Board of Trustees) is an associate professor of law at Drexel University's Earle Mack School of Law. An award winning teacher, his scholarship explores constitutional law and gender issues in the law that range from sex discrimination to interactions between gender identity and social policy. He also studies violence and harassment of abortion providers. After graduating from Columbia Law School he clerked for Justice Alan B. Handler of the New Jersey Supreme Court and Judge Warren J. Ferguson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Before going to Drexel, he was a fellow and a staff attorney for the Women's Law Project and handled a range of cases involving reproductive rights, sex discrimination under Title IX, health insurance coverage of contraceptives, healthcare for women prisoners, and family rights for gay and lesbian couples. He also has held adjunct faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania and Long Island University. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Women’s Medical Fund in Philadelphia.
Robin Coward has served as Assistant Regional Counsel for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for the past fourteen years. As counsel, she represents the P.L.C.B. before state and local trial and appellate courts and also participates in various administrative capacities including meeting with community groups, civil leaders and local enforcement agencies in furtherance of the P.L.C.B.'s program to eliminate nuisance bars. Robin began her legal career as a staff attorney for the EEOC and later served as a staff attorney for the Women's Law Project. Robin has been involved in various fundraising efforts for the National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division. She also served as Chairwoman of the WLP annual fundraiser from 1998 to 2002 and was chair of its Board of Directors from 2001-2002. She is an active supporter of a variety of charitable organizations including Working Women's Career Wardrobe and the United Negro College Fund. Robin holds a BA from Hunter College at the City University of New York and a JD from Temple University School of Law.
Ellen M. Doyle is a partner in the Pittsburgh law firm of Stember Feinstein Doyle & Payne, LLC. and has been a member of the Pennsylvania Bar since 1975. She served as Director and Staff Counsel for the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”), and later as Chairperson of the Chapter and Vice-President of the Pennsylvania affiliate of the ACLU. She worked for four years as Assistant General Counsel for the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. Since 1982 Ellen has litigated complex class actions for ERISA plan participants, insureds, borrowers, consumers and others adversely affected by corporate abuses and financial overreaching. She was selected for membership in the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County and serves on that organization's Board of Directors, has served as Chair of the Insurance Section of the American Association for Justice (formerly ATLA), and has served on both the Advisory Committee for the Rules of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and that Court’s Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure. She currently serves as the Plaintiff co-chair of the Labor and Employment Section of the American Bar Association’s Committee on Employee Rights and Responsibilities. She has also served on the Board of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation, the Pennsylvania chapter of NARAL, and the Three Rivers Community Foundation. She is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law.
Dianne Coady Fisher is a principal shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, LLP. She is co-chair of the firm’s National Public Finance Group and a liaison to the firm’s Women’s Initiative. She concentrates her practice in the financing of multifamily housing for persons and families of low or moderate income. She has also served as borrower's counsel, credit enhancer's counsel, bond purchaser's counsel, and swap provider's counsel in multifamily housing transactions. Her practice also involves restructuring troubled financings, asset securitization involving tax-exempt bonds and other alternative financing structures. Dianne also advises clients on the formation and management of public and private investment vehicles, including bond originations and secondary market bond and loan portfolio acquisitions. Dianne is a member of the American Bar Association and the National Association of Bond Lawyers. She is a frequent panelist on a variety of topics at NABL’s annual bond attorneys’ workshop and has also served as a panelist at ABA conferences. She has been listed in the 2008 - 2012 editions of Best Lawyers in America. She is a member of the Community Grant Fund Committee of Women’s Way. Dianne volunteers for the Pennsylvania Innocence Project and Bryn Mawr College, where she is a past member of the President’s Advisory Council. She holds an AB from Bryn Mawr College and a JD from Villanova University, where she was a member of the editorial Board of Villanova Law Review and is also a member of the Order of the Coif.
Margaret F. Goldfarb is Private Client Advisor for US Trust. In Peggy's role as Private Client Advisor for US Trust, she advises clients on all manners of financial solutions including traditional banking, investment management, sophisticated credit transactions, and trust and wealth transfer. She leads a team of disciplined professionals including portfolio managers, trust officers, wealth strategists and administrative support. Peggy joined Bank of America in 2003, having already twenty three years experience in the wealth management business. In 1996, Peggy was selected by Business Philadelphia as one of its "Women to Watch". Peggy has been a Big Sister's volunteer, has served on their Board of Trustees, as well as the board of Women's Way. Peggy holds various licenses and certifications appropriate for her responsibilities. She is a graduate from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Carol Ann Kell established Kell & Associates in 1985. Carol Ann coaches business and other leaders to present to important audiences: investors, clients, new business prospects, reporters, editorial boards and colleagues in the international business and nonprofit world. She helps her clients prepare for presentations: developing messages, editing their speeches and business presentations, and preparing them for tough question sessions. She also helps her clients handle interviews with reporters. She prepares people for crisis communications and "good news" interviews. She has helped foundations and global nonprofits and companies market their ideas and advocate their point of view. Kell & Associates’ unique training method integrates Carol Ann’s long background as a reporter and coach. She brings to her clients over 20 years of media and presentation skills coaching experience. A pioneer in the media and presentation skills coaching field, before founding Kell & Associates, she spent 13 years in broadcasting as a reporter, TV and radio anchor, and talk show host – having worked for WIP radio news in Philadelphia, ABC News in New York, CNN (covering the East Coast), and Associated Press Radio in Washington DC. She is on the Board of the Population Connection, Washington, DC and is a Mentor for Philadelphia Futures. She graduated cum laude from Temple University with a degree in journalism.
Sophia Lee is Chief Counsel in Litigation at Sunoco, Inc., where she manages a portfolio of nationwide litigation, including commercial, environmental, personal injury, products liability and toxic tort matters. Sophia also works on developing best practices in litigation management and e-discovery. She currently chairs the Steering Committee of Sunoco’s Multi-Cultural Employee Network, a business resource group committed to promoting an inclusive and productive workplace. Sophia is Secretary of the Philadelphia Bar Association and an Executive Committee member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania, Vice Chair of Mayor Michael Nutter’s Commission on Asian American Affairs and serves on the boards of the Asian Arts Initiative, the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group, the Philadelphia Education Fund, and Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program. Sophia holds an adjunct faculty position at Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management. She and her chef-husband, Michael O’Halloran, own and operate Bistro 7, a contemporary French bistro located in historic Old City Philadelphia. Sophia received her J.D. and LL.M. in Trial Advocacy from Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law, where she was a member of the Temple Law Review and the Moot Court Honor Society. She received her B.A. in English from Cornell University.
Karen LoDico works at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
Carol A. Mager is an employment, ERISA and class action litigator. Her practice includes employment discrimination, civil rights and ERISA litigation on behalf of individual employees, as well as class and multi-plaintiff actions. She also has an active practice as an arbitrator and mediator of employment and commercial disputes and as an advisor on matters of employment law. After serving as a partner, and practice group co-chair of two large Philadelphia defense firms, in 1992 Carol co-founded an all female owned litigation and labor law boutique firm devoted primarily to representing individual employees and investors in class actions. She became of counsel to Console Law Offices in October 2008. She is a long-standing member of the American Arbitration Association Commercial (and employment) Panel since 1983. Her present board positions include Committee of Seventy, University of the Arts Educational Policy, and Neumann University Strategic Planning Committee. Carol is an elected Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers (1997-) and served as Chair of its Third Circuit Admissions Committee (2009-2010). She is a past Chair of American Bar Association Section of Litigation, Employment and Labor Law Committee and the Philadelphia Bar Association Employment and Labor Law Committee. She has been named to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list (2004-2011), the TOP 50 Female Pennsylvania Lawyers list, and the TOP 100 Philadelphia Lawyer list by Philadelphia Magazine.
Joann Mitchell (Chair, Board of Trustees) is Vice President for Institutional Affairs at the University of Pennsylvania. Joann works closely with the President on strategic initiatives; oversees the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs, the African American Resource Center, the Almanac, the Office of the Ombudsman, the University Archives and Records Center, the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, and Special Events for the President’s Center. Previously she served as the Vice President and Chief of Staff at Penn (2004-2006) and held a series of progressively responsible positions at Princeton University, the last being that of Vice Provost for Administration, where she worked for more than a decade. She is Secretary of the Board of Directors of Higher Education Resource Services, Inc. (HERS). She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Education Fund and is a Trustee and former President of the Board of Trustees of the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, New Jersey. She also serves on the Board of Visitors and the Alumni Board of Davidson College and is Assistant Treasurer and a Trustee of the White Rock Baptist Church. She is an ex officio member of the Board of Overseers for the Annenberg Performing Arts Center at Penn. Joann earned an A.B. in psychology from Davidson College and a J.D. from Vanderbilt University.
Yvonne Montgomery is an attorney at Tucker Law Group.
Robin Neifield is the CEO and cofounder of Netplus, a leading interactive agency established in 1996. Netplus was recently named a Top 25 Agency to watch by industry publication iMedia and a Social Media Star by the Philadelphia Business Journal. Robin brings a depth and breadth of marketing experience to the agency's practice and management. As one of the digital marketing industry's pioneers, she is a driving force behind Netplus’ ongoing success with a diverse and discerning client base that includes Stanley Black & Decker, Airborne, Schiff Nutrition, Independence Blue Cross, AON, Amerisource Bergen, Merck, Phillip’s Seafood, Harriet Carter and many others. Robin is a frequent speaker at national industry events, including ClickZ, Internet.com, OMMA, Ad:Tech, Search Engine Strategies, Online Marketing Summit, and Thunder Lizard conferences and is a sought-after resource for industry and business publications for her insight and advice on such topics as digital strategy, social media marketing, and behavioral targeting. Robin authors a biweekly column on digital strategy on clickz.com. Robin is the immediate past Board Chair for the Pennsylvania/Jersey American Red Cross Blood Donor Services Chapter, has served on the Advisory Council of Interactive Media and Measurement for TBS Media Intelligence, was appointed to the Kilts Marketing Steering Committee at the University of Chicago, and was a former Board Member and Co-Chair of the Forum of Executive Women marketing committee. Robin was named a top 50 Women in Business for Pennsylvania in 2010. Robin holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.
Nancy Reese is a founder and co-owner of Akoya, a strategic communications firm serving federal (DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, NASA, HHS, VA), corporate (Heinz, DDI), and non-profit (Blackburn Center) clients. Akoya helps organizations engage the diverse constituents who are vital to their missions, including industry stakeholders, policymakers, customers, employees, and research communities. Nancy’s strengths include communications planning, message development, content marketing, creative direction, and “plain language” writing to convey technical subjects to business audiences. She previously acted as Chief Creative Officer for Brandegee, a Pittsburgh firm providing corporate communications and strategic planning. Nancy has served as the board president and chair for the Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corporation (WYEP-FM) and as a board member for the Carnegie Mellon GSIA management game, and is a member of Women Impacting Public Policy. She received her BA in English from Cornell University as a National Merit Scholar. Nancy is also a founding member of the In Sisterhood Project, which chronicles the history of the women’s movement in Pittsburgh.
Judith A. Ruszkowski has built her career as a grant writer, community organizer and administrator in several Pittsburgh-based, non-profit advocacy organizations. She has advocated for utility reform, fought plant closings, and spurred community development and neighborhood empowerment. She served as the Executive Director of the South Pittsburgh Economic Revitalization Team, a neighborhood-based development organization. As a community organizer and grant writer for the Tri-State Conference on Steel, she worked with the Steel Valley Authority to retain manufacturing jobs in SW PA. She served as treasurer of the Alliance for Progressive Action, whose Living Wage Campaign sought to secure legislation in Allegheny County. Judith is a founding board member of the Women and Girls Foundation of SW PA, a community foundation promoting social change by addressing fundamental inequalities. Currently, she is a member of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh and exhibits her photographic work regularly in the area. She holds a B. A. in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh, with a Certificate in Women's Studies.
Margaret Sadler is a global Human Resource executive with a history of active involvement in community and civic organizations. She serves on the Council and Executive Committee of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. She is active with Women for Social Innovation, a giving circle in Philadelphia and WIL of Philadelphia, a newly organized group concerned with women’s issues globally. She is a member of the Forum of Executive Women and past Board member. With the support of the Forum, she initiated Transitions, an affinity group interested in the transition out of a working executive life. She is on the Advisory Board of East Falls Village and is a past Board member of the Maxwell Mansion Museum. On the for-profit side, she serves on the Advisory Board of DNAConnect, a small private company providing DNA testing for immigration, paternity and estates. Margaret spent 20 years with FMC Corporation, most recently heading world-wide human resources for Agricultural Products Group, a billion dollar business with 1600 employees in 30 countries. Prior to FMC, for 10 years she worked for ITT Corporation in Ohio and Minnesota where she served three terms as St. Paul Civil Service Commissioner. She earned a BA, English from Youngstown State University in the city where she grew up.
Robin Stuntebeck is a financial and management executive with significant experience in business development and relationship management at the C-level, team building, financial and economic consulting, public policy analysis, and entrepreneurship. She is currently a co-founder and Executive Vice President of Doctor’s Best Immediate Medical Care, Inc., an independent urgent care facility located in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. She oversees the financial, marketing and human resources operations of the company and strategic planning of future locations. Prior to Doctor’s Best, Ms. Stuntebeck was Managing Director of the Philadelphia office of Resources Global Professionals, a publicly-traded professional services company serving 2,100 clients in 66 countries. In her role, she was the strategic leader responsible for driving revenue and service line growth in the regional Philadelphia market by building new and existing client relationships, and deploying experienced consultants to address clients' objectives and goals. From 1994 to 2005, Ms. Stuntebeck was director, Dispute Analysis and Investigations at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she prepared expert witness damages analyses related to multiple large or complex litigation matters. She has a B.A. in economics from Wellesley College and an MBA in finance from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She also studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Wanda D. Whitted-Smith is Director of Human Resources at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis.
Thomas E. Zemaitis is a partner in the law firm of Pepper Hamilton LLP, where he specializes in commercial litigation, particularly intellectual property, antitrust and corporate disputes. He joined Pepper as an associate after his graduation from law school, becoming a partner in 1984. He has been actively involved in pro bono representation throughout his career, serving the legal needs of the economically disadvantaged. He has also been involved in impact litigation in the field of reproductive rights, and he has twice appeared before the Supreme Court in cases successfully challenging legislation in Pennsylvania that restricted women’s access to safe and legal abortions. He currently serves on the board of New Directions for Women. He has also held leadership positions on several other nonprofit boards, including Philadelphia VIP, the Support Center for Child Advocates, Moorestown Friends School and Medford Leas Continuing Care Retirement Community. Tom received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.
Women's Law Project, 125 S. 9th Street, Suite 300, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (215-928-9801) email@example.com