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2018-19 MWL 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.

 

Officers


hover textPresident
Shannon Harmon
Internal Revenue Service, Office of the Chief Counsel
651/757-1249

Shannon Harmon assumed the office of President beginning July 1, 2018. 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. She is a graduate of New York University and the University of Minnesota Law School and a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. Since joining the MWL Board as a Director in 2011, Shannon has also served in the role of Secretary, Treasurer and President-Elect. In addition to serving on the MWL Board and many other leadership roles across MWL, Shannon serves as the Chair of the Knitting Affinity Group. She is also a MWL Foundation Board Director and it's Past-President.

 

hover textPresident-Elect
Amy Taber
Prime Therapeutics
612/777-5682

Amy Taber has been elected to the office of President-Elect. Amy is Prime Therapeutics’ 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. Amy earned a BS from Iowa State University, a MBA from the University of St. Thomas and a JD from the William Mitchell College of Law. Amy has most recently served in the role of Secretary on the MWL Board of Directors. During FY 18-19m she serves as Co-Chair of the Governance Committee.

 

hover textTreasurer

Breia Schleuss
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
612/766-8392

Breia Schleuss has been elected to the office of Treasurer. Breia is a partner at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, where she is a member of the Finance & Restructuring Practice Group and a co-leader of the Agribusiness Finance & Restructuring team. Breia represents commercial and investment banks, as well as other financial institutions and companies. Breia has been recognized as a Rising Star in banking by Super Lawyers and a Top Woman in Finance by Finance & Commerce. Among other board service, Breia serves on the Business Finance Advisory Committee of WomenVenture, a small business lender, and on the Board of Directors for the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations and Minnesota Women Lawyers. During FY 18-19, she serves as Co-Chair of the MWL Development Committee.


hover textSecretary
Kristin Haugen

KC Haugen Law

Kristin Haugen has been elected to the office of Secretary. Kristin 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. During FY 18-19, she serves as Co-Chair of the Networking Committee. Kristin is also active on the Development Committee, helping to facilitate the Partner Leadership Council.  

 

 

 

 

hover textPast-President
Kendra Brodin

Briggs and Morgan, P.A.
612/340-0720

Kendra Brodin assumed the office of MWL Past-President beginning July 1, 2018. Kendra serves as Director of Lawyer Talent at Briggs and Morgan, P.A. In her role, Kendra is responsible for attorney 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. During FY 18-19, she serves as Co-Chair of the Governance Committee, as well as Chair of the MWL Advisory Board. 

 

 

Directors

hover textEllen Ahrens
United States District Court, District of Minnesota

Ellen Ahrens is a career law clerk for the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota. Before clerking, Ellen worked for a Minneapolis law firm representing plaintiffs in antitrust class action litigation. In addition to serving on MWL’s Board of Directors, Ellen mentors local law students through MWL’s attorney-student mentorship program. Ellen serves as Co-Chair of the Publications Committee.

 

 



Kate Bruce
Optum (a UnitedHealth company)

Kate Bruce is an Associate General Counsel at Optum, a UnitedHealth Group company, where she provides enterprise-wide litigation support across many areas of the health care industry. In addition to serving on the MWL Board of Directors, Kate serves as Co-Chair of the Chapter Coordination Committee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

hover text

Susan Gallagher
Gallagher Law Office, L.L.C.
651/209-8364

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 serves as Co-Chair of the Development Committee.

 

 


hover textEmerald Gratz
Minnesota Supreme Court
651/361-7865

Emerald Gratz is an Assistant Commissioner of the Minnesota Supreme Court. Prior to joining the Commissioner’s Office in 2018, Emerald 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. Emerald 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. In addition to serving on the MWL Board of Directors, Emerald serves as Co-Chair of the CLE Committee.  

 



hover textPoonam Kumar
DLA Piper LLP
612/524-3022

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. In addition to serving on the MWL Board of Directors, Poonam serves as Co-Chair of the Governance Committee. She is also a MWL Foundation Board Director.

 

 



hover textCalandra Revering
Attorney at Law
763/888-0008

Calandra Revering is a solo attorney at Revering Law and Consulting. Calandra practices in the areas of criminal defense, family law, personal injury and workplace investigations. Calandra also has extensive trial experience, non-profit experience, she enjoys and using her knowledge and background to mentor other attorneys and law school students. In addition to serving on the MWL Board of Directors, Calandra serves as Co-Chair of the Equity Committee. 

 

 



hover textAlona Rindal
U.S. Bank

612/303-7910

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 MSBA Assembly representing the Corporate Counsel Section and is a long standing volunteers with VLN Service Line and Children's Law Center. In addition to serving on the MWL Board of Directors, Alona serves as Co-Chair of the Programming Committee, and Co-Chair of the Professional Parents Affinity Group.

 

 



hover textJennifer Robbins
MADEL PA

612/605-0630

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. In addition to serving on the MWL Board of Directors, Jenny serves as Co-Chair of the Governance Committee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

hover textAmy Schmidt
Ramsey County Attorneys' Office

Amy Schmidt works in the Office of the Ramsey County Attorney. Previously Amy was the Assistant City Attorney for the City of Bloomington, and has worked for municipal government since 2000. In addition to serving on the MWL Board of Directors, Amy serves as Co-Chair of the Annual Conference Committee.


 

 




hover textMary Szondy
Attorney at Law
651/699-4988

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 has over 20 years' experience working with people with disabilities or impairments due to aging. Mary serves on the Hennepin County and Ramsey County Court Appointed Attorney panels for Guardianship/Conservatorship cases. In addition to serving on the MWL Board of Directors, Mary serves as Co-Chair of the Community Action & Advocacy Committee, and Co-Chair of the Solo/Small Firm Practitioner Affinity Group.

 

Chapter Representatives

 

The Central Minnesota, Northeastern Minnesota, South Central Minnesota, and St. Croix Valley Chapters will elect a representative to serve as a full-voting member of the Board.

hover textCentral Chapter 

Michelle Draewell
Quinlivan & Hughes, P.A.

Michelle Draewell practices in the areas of commercial litigation, criminal prosecution and defense, contractual business, and liability defense matters. at Quinlivan & Hughes in St. Cloud Minnesota. Previously Michelle served in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota as an extern for the Honorable Richard H. Kyle and represented low income clients on housing matters at the U of M's Housing Clinic. Michelle earned her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. She is the new liaison for the MWL Central Chapter.

hover textNortheastern Chapter

Kay Biga
Spott Law Office


Kay Biga is a partner at the Spott Law Office in Duluth, Minnesota. She advises small business clients in the areas of business formation, employment law and estate planning. Kay worked as a guardian ad litem in St. Louis County for seventeen years and is on the Rule 114 qualified neutral roster as a mediator. She is the new liaison for the MWL Northeastern Chapter.

 

 


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 since 2017. This is KyLee's second year serving as the South Central Chapter’s liaison. 




hover textSt. Croix Valley Chapter
Anne Brown
Sjoberg & Tebelius, P.A.

Anne Greenwood Brown practices Employment and Personal Injury law with Sjoberg & Tebelius, P.A. in Woodbury, Minnesota. Anne has experience as an appellate court law clerk, adjunct law professor, juvenile public defender, as well as an extensive and varied history as a private practitioner. Anne earned her Juris Doctorate (cum laude) from William Mitchell College of Law. In addition to serving on the MWL Board of Directors, Anne is actively involved with the MWL Publications Committee.

 



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
Hannah Reichenbach

Hannah Reichenbach will be a 2L at Mitchell Hamline, where she will be serving as the VP of the Rosalie E. Wahl Legal Association of Women Students (LAWS) and the treasurer of If/When/How, a reproductive justice group. Currently, Hannah is a legal compliance intern at Ceridian. Hannah's past experience includes organizing on a state senate campaign, interning with Governor Mark Dayton, and working with the Government Advocacy and Consulting Team at Faegre Baker Daniels.




hover textUniversity of Minnesota Law School
Taylor Gunderson

Taylor Gunderson is a 2L at the University of Minnesota Law School. She is passionate about advancing human rights globally, especially for women. She is currently a research assistant at the University of Minnesota Law School with her last summer spent at the St. Paul Department of Human Rights. She is also on the executive board of the Human Rights Advocacy Project and the Women's Law Student Association at the law school.

 




hover textUniversity of St. Thomas School of Law
Ashley Olson

Ashley Olson is a 2L at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. She recently joined the UST Law Journal as an associate editor, and is an active member of the MWL Networking Committee. Ashley is currently working as a law clerk at the Minneapolis County Attorney's Office. Prior to her experience as a law clerk, she interned at the Legal Rights Center in Minneapolis. Her goal this year is to help foster relationships between MWL members and UST law students.






 

 

Minnesota Women Lawyers
600 Nicollet Mall, Suite 390B
Minneapolis, MN 55402
612/338-3205
mwl@mwlawyers.org

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