Letter From the President Of The Washington Metropolitan Chapter Of The Association Of Corporate Counsel

2007-12-01 01:00

To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:

A volunteer organization is only as good as its leaders and members. As my term as WMACCA president winds down, I am proud to say that WMACCA is an excellent organization, and I am grateful to all the wonderful people whose tremendous expenditures of time and effort make it so great.

On October 25, WMACCA honored some of the leading lights of the in-house bar at the WMACCA 3rd Annual Corporate Counsel Awards Reception. It was exceedingly satisfying to see in-house counsel get the recognition they deserve for the very important role they play in the successes of their companies and organization. It also was wonderful to see the excitement the awards generated among the finalists and winners, and among their friends and colleagues - both within their organizations and from the business community at-large. Almost 350 people attended this year's reception.

Deborah Fox, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of QinetiQ North America Operations LLC, was named Outstanding Chief Legal Officer for her accomplishments in creating the first office of general counsel for this billion-dollar company, while handling QinetiQ's acquisitions of three companies and efforts to win several significant government contracts.

Andrew E. Shipley, Assistant General Counsel of Northrop Grumman Corporation, was named Outstanding In-House Counsel for his leadership of the company's development of a program for retaining outside counsel, and in managing the company's e-discovery processes. Andy heads the company's Washington, DC, law office, and manages domestic litigation east of the Rocky Mountains and internationally in Europe, Canada, South America and Japan.

The Outstanding Law Department award went to the legal team at American Capital Strategies, Ltd., because of its hands-on management of a groundbreaking initial public offering on the main market of the London stock exchange. The department also played an integral role in the company's capital-raising activities, and greatly expanded its responsibility for the company's core businesses - mergers and acquisitions, and lending.

Kristin P. Walinski, Senior Corporate Counsel of Circuit City Stores, Inc., was honored with the Community Service Award for her dedication to the Law Explorers Program. The Program engages young people in activities designed to encourage them to become lawyers, and teaches them about how the law affects them and their families every day. The awards judges were impressed with Kristin's efforts to cultivate the next generation of lawyers.

The awards reception also featured the presentation of a special WMACCA Corporate Counsel Career Achievement Award to Robert S. Lavet, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of SLM Corporation (Sallie Mae), who is a former WMACCA director and president and is a member of the Board of the Association of Corporate Counsel, the parent organization of WMACCA. We honored Rob for his stature as one of the national "deans" of the education finance bar and his reputation as a lawyer who understands business.In the past year, he and his staff led Sallie Mae through a legal labyrinth of acquisitions, governmental inquiries and investigations, and an effort to sell the company to a private equity consortium.

We are grateful to Manik K. Rath, WMACCA Vice President for External Relations, and Chair of the Corporate Counsel Awards, for his leadership of this awards program. We also are grateful to our panel of judges, who examined numerous nominations and selected a fine group of honorees. In addition to Manik and me, they were: Mike Daniels, Consultant to SAIC and former chairman and CEO of Mobile365; Bobbie Kilberg, President and CEO Of The Northern Virginia Technology Council; Bob Kipps, Managing Director of KippsDeSanto & Co.; Fred Krebs, President of the Association of Corporate Counsel; Michael Lustbader, Managing Director of Arlington Capital Partners; Philip Odeen, Non-Executive Chairman of Avaya Inc.; Eric D. Reicin, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Sallie Mae Inc., and Louise Wager, Vice President of Commerce Bank.

As my presidency concludes, I know that WMACCA is in good hands - with strong leaders and an engaged and dedicated membership. Kevin Lapidus stepped up as President-elect this year and, with your support, will take on the presidency in January. We hope that many more of you will decide to give of your tremendous gifts and energy to WMACCA activities. If you do, both WMACCA and you will reap great benefits.


Mary Kennard