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Board of Directors

As per MWL's bylaws, the Board of Directors "shall conduct the business and affairs of the corporation." With some exceptions, the Board meets typically the 4th Thursday of the month, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.


Contact Executive Director Debra Pexa for further information on upcoming meetings or past MWL Board of Director meeting minutes.


Executive Committee

hover textPresident
Kendra Brodin

Briggs and Morgan, P.A.

Kendra Brodin assumed the office of MWL President beginning July 1, 2017. Kendra Brodin serves as Director of Lawyer Talent at Briggs and Morgan, P.A. In her role, Kendra is responsible for associate recruiting efforts, professional development programming, and diversity initiatives. 

Kendra earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania and her law degree with honors from the University of Minnesota.

hover textPresident-Elect
Shannon Harmon
Internal Revenue Service, Office of the Chief Counsel

Shannon Harmon has been elected to the office of MWL President-Elect.  Shannon is an attorney with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel's Small Business/Self-Employed Division. Prior to joining Chief Counsel, Shannon served for more than nine years as an Assistant Attorney General with the Minnesota Attorney General's Office, including five years in the Charities Division and four years in the Tax Litigation Division. Shannon most recently served in the role of Treasurer of the MWL Board of Directors.

hover textTreasurer

Breia Schleuss
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

Breia Schleuss has been elected to the office of MWL Treasurer. Breia Schleuss is a partner in the finance and restructuring practice group at Faegre Baker Daniels and represents commercial and investment banks, as well as other financial institutions and companies. She is also a leader of Faegre Baker Daniels' agribusiness finance practice. Breia most recently served in the role of Secretary of the MWL Board of Directors.

hover textSecretary
Amy Taber
Prime Therapeutics

Amy Taber has been elected to the office of Secretary. Amy Taber is Prime Therapeutics's Employment and Litigation Senior Legal Counsel where she provides legal advice and support to Prime's human resources team and assists with oversight of Prime's employment and general business litigation activities. Amy began practicing law in 2004 and was a partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP before joining Prime. Prior to becoming a lawyer, she was a human resources professional for 10 years. 


hover textPast President
Connie Armstrong
McGough Construction

Connie Armstrong assumed the office of the MWL Past-President.  Connie is associate general counsel for McGough Construction Co., LLC in St. Paul. Prior to joining McGough Construction, Connie was a shareholder at a Minneapolis law firm who counseled businesses, contractors and employers in contract, construction and employment matters. Connie serves as a member of the Minnesota Air National Guard, currently assigned as the Deputy Mission Support Group Commander at the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth.


hover textSusan Gallagher
Gallagher Law Office, L.L.C.

Susan M. Gallagher, J.D., R.N. practices exclusively in the area of family law in the 14 county Metro Area and in greater Minnesota for over two decades.  Susan is a qualified neutral under Rule 114 of the Minnesota Rules of General Practice as a mediator, arbitrator, consensual special magistrate, social and financial early neutral evaluator, Court appointed Guardian ad Litem and as a parenting consultant and parenting time expeditor.  Susan brings years of experience as a Registered Nurse to her practice.  In addition to serving on the MWL Board of Directors, Susan also co-chairs MWL’s Development Committee.

hover textEmerald Gratz
Minnesota Supreme Court

Emerald Gratz is an Assistant Commissioner of the Minnesota Supreme Court. Prior to joining the Commissioner’s Office in 2018, Ms. Gratz was a staff attorney at the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings, Assistant Attorney General at the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, and law clerk in federal district court in Minnesota. In 2011, she received the public service award from the Minnesota County Attorney’s Association. Ms. Gratz spent five years teaching appellate advocacy as an adjunct instructor at the University of Minnesota Law School and providing pro bono representation to children in foster care through the Children’s Law Center. She currently serves on the MWL Board of Directors and is co-chair of the MWL CLE Committee



hover textKristin Haugen

KC Haugen Law

Kristin Haugen is a Solo Attorney at KC Haugen Law and an Attorney Business Development Coach for Rock Solid Consultants. As a coach and trainer, Kristin uses her personal experiences to coach other attorneys on managing their practices, building critical relationships and achieving their goals. Kristin serves on MWL’s Board of Directors. She is also a Co-Chair of MWL’s Networking Committee and actively participates in MWL’s Development Committee.  

hover textPoonam Kumar

Poonam Kumar is an attorney with DLA Piper LLP. Poonam has extensive experience working on a wide variety of cross-border transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures and corporate restructurings, as well as general corporate, securities and commercial law matters. Poonam is a representative for DLA Piper’s Leadership Alliance for Women, and serves on the MWL Board of Directors as well as the MWL Foundation Board of Directors. Poonam is also actively involved with the MWL Development Committee.

hover textMichelle Looby

Gustafson Gluek


Michelle Looby is a partner at Gustafson Gluek PLLC where she represents plaintiffs in complex litigation, with a focus on antitrust and consumer protection class actions. In addition to serving on the MWL Board of Directors, Michelle is a co-chair of the MWL Community Action and Advocacy Committee and regularly serves as a mentor to local law students through MWL’s mentorship program.  

hover textBrooke Nelson

Bernick Lifson, P.A.


Brooke Nelson is an attorney with Bernick Lifson, P.A. Brooke’s practice focuses on commercial litigation, creditors’ remedies, and real estate and land use. Prior to joining Bernick Lifson, Brooke practiced complex litigation at a large Twin Cities law firm and for a boutique firm working exclusively on complex litigation involving multiple claimants and insurance issues.  In addition to serving on the MWL Board of Directors, Brooke also serves as a co-chair of the MWL Chapter Coordination Committee.

hover textAlona Rindal
U.S. Bank


Alona Rindal is a Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel at U.S. Bank. Alona leads a team of attorneys who provide comprehensive legal support to U.S. Bank's Consumer Default Management divisions. In addition, she advised various business lines on Credit Bureau Management issues.  Alona serves on the MWL Board of Directors, is a co-chair of the MWL Professional Parents Affinity Group, and is actively involved in the MWL Networking Committee.  In addition, Alona serves on the MSBA Assembly representing the Corporate Counsel Section and is a long standing volunteers with VLN Service Line and Children's Law Center.

hover textJennifer Robbins


Jennifer Robbins (“Jenny”) is the Managing Partner at MADEL PA, where she represents Fortune 500 companies and individuals in plaintiff- and defense-side business litigation (e.g., antitrust, trade secret, complex class actions, regulatory matters) and white-collar criminal defense, government investigations, and matters alleging misconduct against professionals. Jenny serves on the MWL Governance Committee in addition to the MWL Board of Directors.

hover textSarah Rohne
University of Minnesota Law School

Sarah manages employer relations for the University of Minnesota Law School, including development of local, regional, and national employment opportunities for law students and alumni; and management of national and on-campus recruiting, diversity hiring, and other hiring programs. Sarah’s background also includes practicing law as an attorney in Minneapolis, and employment with national legal staffing agencies as a senior recruiter. She serves as a co-chair on the MWL Equity Committee, and the MWL Board of Directors.

hover textMary Szondy
Attorney at Law

Mary Szondy owns her own solo practice, focusing on guardianships and conservatorships, wills and trusts. As a former social worker at the Courage Center and on an Alzheimer unit at the Minnesota Masonic Home, Mary Szondy has over 20 years' experience working with people with disabilities or impairments due to aging. She is the co-chair of the MWL Solo and Small Firm Practitioner Affinity Group, is actively involved on the MWL Publications Committee, and serves on the MWL Board of Directors. She also serves on the Hennepin County and Ramsey County Court Appointed Attorney panels for Guardianship/Conservatorship cases.

Chapter Representatives


The Central Minnesota, Northeastern Minnesota, South Central Minnesota, and St. Croix Valley Chapters will elect a representative to serve on the Board as a Director.

Central Chapter 

To be announced

hover textNortheastern Chapter

Brenda Denton
Denton Law Office, LLC

Brenda S. Denton is a solo practitioner with Denton Law Office, LLC, and works in the Arrowhead region of Minnesota (St. Louis, Lake, Cook, Carlton, and Pine Counties), primarily in the area of family law, basic wills, and landlord/tenant law.  Brenda established her own practice in 2007; prior to that she worked with Legal Aid Offices in Duluth, MN and Bemidji, MN.  Brenda is one of original founding board members of the Northeast Chapter of MWL and is excited to be back as their board liaison.  Brenda is also a Rule 114 Qualified Neutral; Family Law Mediator; Parenting Time Expeditor; Early Neutral Evaluator; and Custody Evaluator.

hover textSouth Central Chapter
KyLee Manthei
Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services

KyLee Manthei is an attorney for Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services (SMRLS) in the Family Law Unit. KyLee has been with SMRLS for a year. I look forward to becoming more involved with MWL and am excited to be the South Central Chapter’s liaison. 

hover textSt. Croix Chapter
Amy Schmidt
City of Bloomington

Amy Schmidt is the Assistant City Attorney for the City of Bloomington, and has worked for municipal government since 2000. She is a co-chair of the MWL Annual Conference Committee, and serves on the MWL Board of Directors. 

Law Student Liaisons

The women's law student organizations at all three Minnesota law schools will elect a member to serve as non-voting liaison to the MWL Board of Directors.


hover textMitchell Hamline School of Law
Caroline Moos

Caroline Moos is a part-time 3L at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Caroline is the Editor-in-Chief of the Law Journal of Public Policy and Practice and is on the executive boards for the Women Law Student Association, Student Bar Association, and If/When/How at Mitchell Hamline. Last year, she started a new committee to address the needs of Mitchell Hamline's growing number of non-traditional students like herself. Caroline is currently a Law Clerk in the Child Protection division of the Ramsey County Attorney's Office.

hover textUniversity of Minnesota Law School
Ellen Hunt

Ellen Hunt is a 2L at the University of Minnesota Law School. She is currently a Law Clerk for the Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office, and research assistant at the University of Minnesota Law School. Prior to her experience as a Law Clerk, Ellen has also been a Women’s Rights Intern with The Advocates for Human Rights.

hover textUniversity of St. Thomas School of Law
Megan Arriola

Megan Arriola is a 3L at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. She is currently working as an immigration law clerk for Anderson & Anderson, LLC. She spent the summer of 2017 working as an organizing fellow for Congressman Keith Ellison's campaign. She has also worked as a student attorney for St. Thomas Law's Community Justice Program Clinic, and as a legal research intern for the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault.



Minnesota Women Lawyers
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