Professional Women's Forum Committee

The Professional Women's Forum is devoted to creating and advancing roles for outstanding female attorneys in the Federation and the legal community at large.  We provide opportunities to develop and strengthen relationships, professional development and business growth.  Everyone is welcome.  You can Join the Professional Women’s Forum for immediate notifications and to engage with other PWF Members. Just click the blue “Join Section Now” button below.


If you would like to see a roster please scroll to the bottom of the page.

The Chair and Vice Chair(s) for this year are:

Chair:  Gena L. Sluga  gsluga@cdslawfirm.com 
Vice Chair:   Alison R. Christian  achristian@cdslawfirm.com 
Vice Chair:   Michele L. Fenice  michele.fenice@chubb.com 
Vice Chair:   Alycen A. Moss  amoss@cozen.com 
Vice Chair:   Valerie A. Price  vprice@msasecurity.net 
Vice Chair:   Vicki M. Smith  smith@bodyfeltmount.com 


Resources


 

Community Roster

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ALEXANDER, TIFFANYTanenbaum Keale LLPPAtalexander@tktrial.com
BERMAN, APRILAsurionTNapril.berman@asurion.com
BRANDT, ANGELALarson King, LLPMNabrandt@larsonking.com
CHAFE, MARIEConn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLPMAMChafe@connkavanaugh.com
CHRISTIAN, ALISONChristian, Dichter & Sluga, P.C.AZachristian@cdslawfirm.com
COLWIN, MERCEDESGordon & Rees LLPNYmcolwin@grsm.com
CURTIS, LAURENTraub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry LLPFLlcurtis@tlsslaw.com
DAVIS, EVELYNHawkins Parnell Thackston & Young LLPGAedavis@hpylaw.com
DUNDON, LEAHBeveridge & Diamond, P.C.DCldundon@bdlaw.com
EGELAND, SUSANFaegre Drinker Biddle & ReathTXsusan.egeland@dbr.com
FENICE, MICHELEChubbNJmichele.fenice@chubb.com
FITERMAN, AMYFaegre Baker Daniels LLPMNamy.fiterman@faegrebd.com
FITZPATRICK, ELIZABETHIsland CompaniesNYefitzpatrick@islandcompanies.com
FRAZIER, KATHLEENShook Hardy & Bacon, LLPTXkfrazier@shb.com
FREEMAN, ALICYNBroening Oberg Woods & Wilson, P.C.AZamf@bowwlaw.com
FRONAPFEL, RHIANNABennett Bigelow & Leedom, PSWArfronapfel@bbllaw.com
GEARY, KIMBERELYFedEx Ground Package System, Inc.PAkgeary@fedex.com
GERDRUM, JILLAxilon Law Group, PLLCMTjgerdrum@axilonlaw.com
GIFFORD, CAITLINTMS International, LLCPAcgifford@tmsinternational.com
GORAL, KIERASwiss Re America Holding CorporationNJKiera_Goral@swissre.com

Discussions

Blogs

  • SHOUT-OUT #1 – Amanda Cialkowski and Rachel Reynolds
    So many lawyers today are wondering –and worrying—about how trials are going to be conducted during the COVID-19 era. Two of our members aren’t just wondering about it—they are leading the way by successfully defending clients in some of their respective communities’ first trials.

    Congratulations to Amanda Cialkowski, who received a defense verdict in a recent jury trial. The case involved a young woman who fell out of a ski chairlift. She claimed that she was in jeopardy from the moment she was at the load line. Defense argued she fell out further up the hill, at a point where there was nothing the lift attendant could do. They started with 14 jurors (the venire was over 90 but 40 were excused before reporting because they were concerned about getting COVID). During the course of their trial, they lost both alternates, but managed to finish with 12 jurors. Everyone wore masks, with the exception of the witnesses who sat behind a plexiglass shield and then wore a clear face shield so the jury could see their faces. The jury was only out of couple of hours before delivering a defense verdict after a week-long trial.

    Also, congratulations to Rachel Tallon Reynolds, who recently obtained a defense verdict in one of her state’s first jury trials since the pandemic. Rachel was in the difficult position of defending a large out-of-state corporation against claims from a small, local business. Despite these tough odds, the jury deliberated for only two and a half hours before returning their verdict for the defendant! Rachel tried this case in an event center/theatre in Bellevue, Washington that the King County Superior Court had rented to serve as a temporary courthouse, since the space was large enough to allow sufficient space for social distancing. Pre-trial motions were argued remotely, and jury selection took place via Zoom, but the trial was conducted in person. Once the trial began, several health and safety precautions were taken each day. The doors to the courtroom were kept open to allow more airflow. Jurors, parties and counsel all were asked COVID-19-related questions every morning. The court also required everyone present at the trial to wear a mask at all times, even if they were testifying.

    Thank you, Amanda and Rachel, for your leadership in trial practice during these unprecedented times!

  • SHOUT-OUT #2 -- LAUREN CURTIS and VALERIE KELLNER
    SHOUT-OUT #2 -- LAUREN CURTIS and VALERIE KELLNER

    Thank you and congratulations to Lauren Curtis, FDCC Board Member. Lauren chaired the committee that planned and presented the FDCC’s first “Coverage Bootcamp” in March 2020, in conjunction with the winter meeting in Scottsdale. The program there was so well received that Lauren and her team modified the program for a remote format and presented it again in October to 100 participants over three half-day sessions. It takes a special skill and talent to somehow find a way for people to enjoy a webinar about reading insurance policies, but Lauren absolutely nailed it! The virtual program, like the first, was a huge success –the FDCC already has a waiting list for the next time around. Thank you, Lauren, for your time and leadership.


    Our thanks and admiration also go to Valerie Kellner for her role as a co-chair of this year’s virtual Corporate Counsel Symposium, and I know that Valerie benefitted from the experience and assistance of last year’s chair, Tiffany Alexander. Over 400 people participated in the virtual CSS event in October, and the programming was outstanding. Tis was particularly impressive because this was the FDCC’s first massive webinar undertaking of the pandemic. It’s always hard to be the first at anything, but this year’s CSS team made it look easy. Thank you, Valerie.

    Thank you and congratulations to Lauren Curtis, FDCC Board Member. Lauren chaired the committee that planned and presented the FDCC’s first “Coverage Bootcamp” in March 2020, in conjunction with the winter meeting in Scottsdale. The program there was so well received that Lauren and her team modified the program for a remote format, and presented it again in October to 100 participants over three half-day sessions. It takes a special skill and talent to make people enjoy a webinar about reading insurance policies, but Lauren absolutely nailed it! The virtual program, like the first, was a huge success –the FDCC already has a waiting list for the next time around. Thank you, Lauren, for your time and leadership.

    Our thanks and admiration also go to Valerie Kellner for her role as a co-chair of this year’s virtual Corporate Counsel Symposium, and I know that Valerie benefitted from the experience and assistance of last year’s chair, Tiffany Alexander! Over 400 people participated in the virtual CSS event in October, and the programming was outstanding. This was particularly impressive because this was the FDCC’s first massive webinar undertaking of the pandemic. It’s always hard to be the first at anything, but this year’s CSS team made it look easy. Thank you, Valerie!


  • SHOUT-OUT #3 -- LYNNE INGRAM, LINDA BOTEK, KELLY GALLINGER and RACHEL REYNOLDS
    Speaking of being the first to do something….I so appreciate Lynne Ingram and the work she is doing on the FDCC’s new philanthropic committee: FedServes! We were probably overdue for an FDCC committee focused on service, but Lynne is making up for lost time and is doing a great job! The current FedServes initiative is focused on children of veterans who are undergoing treatment at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Philadelphia.

    Why not honor Veteran’s Day by contributing? Ordering is easy:
    • Click on this link: https://www.amazon.com
    • Select one or as many books as you would like
    • Click Go to Cart to check out

    You know you’ll be on Amazon today anyway (or is my family the only one surviving through mail deliveries these days?)

    Also in honor of Veteran’s Day: I enjoyed the FDCC “Friday 5” message honoring the Federation’s members who have served in the armed forces, including the following amazing women:

    Linda Botek of Travelers Indemnity Corp., who served in the U.S. Navy;

    New PWF member Kelly Gallinger of the Brown Law Firm in Billings, Montana, who served in the U.S. Army; and

    Rachel Tallon Reynolds of the Lewis Brisbois law firm’s Seattle office, who also served in the U.S. Army.

    Linda, Kelly, and Rachel -- thank you for your service!