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2016 ACC Award Winners

Robert I. Townsend, Jr. Member of the Year Award

Edward T. Paulis, III, vice president and assistant general counsel at Zurich North America, has contributed to a wealth of member service areas, including leadership positions in committees and serving on the 2016 ACC Annual Meeting Advisory Board and the ACC Docket Editorial Advisory Board. Ed also initiated a pro bono collaboration with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and helped launch the second ACC substantive practice area committee blog series, Litigation Shorts, on In-house Access.

Matthew J. Whitehead, II Diversity Award (Corporate and Individual)

Discover Financial Servicessupports the success of underrepresented groups in the legal profession. Women, minorities, and individual with disabilities comprise roughly 70 percent of the law department. The company's resource groups also provide avenues for employees with common interests to support Discover's mission. One of the resource groups resulted in the company's first partnership with two historically black colleges, from which Discover draws talented job candidates. When creating its Preferred Provider Program for outside counsel, the company specifically sought out and included law firms that were minority-owned and diverse.

Susan E. Dunnings, vice president and associate general counsel at Lockheed Martin Corporation, is passionate about strengthening the legal talent pipeline for women, minorities, the LGBT community, persons with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups. She demonstrates her commitment to diversity and inclusion through direct hiring of staff and outside counsel, as well as through mentorships, fellowships, board positions, and sponsorships. Susan serves as the legal advisor to the Lockheed Martin Executive Inclusion Council and is the executive sponsor to the University of the District of Columbia as part of the company's outreach initiative to historically black colleges and universities.

ACC Corporate Pro Bono Award (Corporate and Individual)

In 2009, Duke Energy Corporation Legal Department pledged that at least 50 percent of staff would participate in pro bono work annually. This goal was achieved in 2011 and the department later reached 84 percent staff pro bono participation in 2015. Duke's lawyers have partnered with many organizations to prepare free wills, estate planning documents, and power of attorney forms for public school employees. The legal department has expanded this concept, providing similar no-cost services at clinics catering to senior citizens.

Peter Janiga, a lawyer at MetLife in Slovakia,has dedicated much of his time to the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award, a worldwide organization that cultivates leadership skills and personal growth among young adults ages 14 to 24 in Slovakia. Peter has also aided other nonprofits in Slovakia by advising on corporate agenda, licensing and registration duties, taxation and accounting, employment and data privacy.

Jonathan S. Silber Committee Member of the Year Award

Katia Bloom, associate general counsel at ForgeRock,has been instrumental in helping create the overall programming for the IT, Privacy & eCommerce Committee — planning legal quick hits and working in partnership with other organizations to providing the best quality programming to members. She has also facilitated a strong, positive relationship between the committee and its sponsor, and is influential in the committee's development of a new strategic plan.

Outstanding Large/Small Committee of the Year Award

For the third year in a row, the ACC Health Law Committee is the winner in the small category. The ACC Health Law Committee held its second, one-of-a-kind Health Law Regulatory Summit in 2016, which built significant relationships between ACC, the committee's sponsor, and regulatory authorities who have a great impact on our member companies. Taking a multi-pronged approach, the committee has also partnered with local chapters for joint events; organizations for CLE and social outreach; and a national group for pro bono.

The ACC Employment & Labor Committee won the award in the large category. The committee created international programming and expanded use of the committee eGroup and other communication tools. Further, the ACC Employment & Labor Committee strengthened engagement with ACC by conducting a top-to-bottom assessment of the committee's strengths and weaknesses, as well as addressing governance and advocacy issues that affect the greater in-house counsel community.

Breakthrough Performance Award

In 2016, the ACC Sports & Entertainment Committee has experienced considerable growth, garnering a 10 percent increase in members this year. The committee reached out directly to in-house entertainment attorneys through both traditional communication and social media channels. It also established networking connections with local, national, and international organizations, and developed a cache of new resources of interest to existing and potential members.

Outstanding Committee Sponsor of the Year Award

As sponsor of the ACC Health Law Committee, Foley & Lardner LLP actively contributed to the committee's strategic planning effort for the coming year, which included offering topics, ideas, and programs. Foley also hosted a CLE for ACC New York City, provided engaging speakers for our programs, and spearheaded two events in Washington, D.C. that offered committee members unique opportunities to interact with key regulators and policy makers that impact their business.

Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award (Large/Medium/Small)

ACC Israel (representing over 300 members) is the winner in the small category of this year's Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award. The chapter achieved 41 percent membership growth and met its goal of recruiting large law departments. ACC Israel also held 43 events this year, finding a balance between offering members varied and rich event content.

In the medium award category, ACC San Diego (representing over 600 members) has encouraged communications with diverse local bar associations and presented its first annual General Counsel Awards, together with the San Diego Business Journal. The chapter also enhanced its sponsorship program to provide opportunities for firms of all sizes — ensuring that members are not just exposed to "big firm" options for their needs.

ACC Greater Philadelphia (representing over 1,500 members) is the large category winner. In the last six years, the chapter has accomplished over 40 percent membership growth, hosted or co-sponsored more than 80 events, and provided over 60 hours of CLE sessions. Additionally, the chapter has also introduced innovative new programming and witnessed record attendance at chapter events.

Congratulations to the 2016 ACC award winners!

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