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History and Heritage

2017 ACC Award Winners

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

Troy Swan, general counsel and company secretary at Winc Australia and New Zealand, is a widely recognized leader in the Australian in-house counsel community and has provided extraordinary contributions to ACC Australia throughout the years, especially as a frequent speaker at the Australian National Conference and as a contributor to the development of legal resources.

Matthew J. Whitehead, II Diversity Award

Mastercard Law Department has a long-standing commitment to recruiting and retaining diverse talent. More than one-third of its global legal team identifies as ethnically diverse, a figure that extends to nearly half when looking only at the Law and Franchise Integrity leadership team. Worldwide, the department is majority female, and 78 percent of Law and Franchise Integrity group leaders are female. In addition to a formal mentoring program, department leaders participate in forums and councils promoting diversity in the legal profession. Meanwhile, 20 percent of the department's North America law firm panel is made up of minority- and women-owned law firms, demonstrating a commitment to spending with organizations that reflect the diversity of the company's customers.

ACC Corporate Pro Bono Award

The pro bono program at Exxon Mobil Corporation is guided by their pro bono slogan, "Give an Hour – Change a Life," to represent the huge impact that in-house lawyers can have on underserved communities by contributing just a few hours of their time. In 2016 alone, the department co-sponsored a clinic advising on deportation relief for those who were brought to the United States as children; provided citizenship workshops; advised on veterans benefits appeals cases; launched a live chat system to permit law department volunteers to assist with legal questions from their desks; and much more. The Exxon Mobil legal team is active in child advocacy work, representation of the homeless, and many other community partnerships. The department even has its retirees contribute their expertise to these pro bono campaigns.

Jonathan S. Silber Committee Member of the Year Award

Dawn Haghighi, general counsel of PCV Murcor Real Estate Services, Hightide Settlement Services and Vendor Resource Mortgage Services, co-founded the ACC Regulatory Working Group,which provides regulators and public officials with an opportunity to update in-house counsel on various regulatory developments in real-time throughout the year. Through Dawn's leadership and vision, the ACC Real Estate Committee instituted several initiatives for the first time, including developing a strategic plan, writing a succession plan, publishing a newsletter, and hosting professional development programs with a goal of attracting C-suite in-house counsel.

Outstanding Large/Small Committee of the Year Award

For the fourth year in a row, the ACC Health Law Committee is the winner in the small category. The ACC Health Law Committee achieved nine percent membership growth, produced 20 written resources, and 18 virtual presentations. The committee further advanced the strategic initiatives of ACC through its commitment to build and nurture partnerships with other committees, chapters, and outside organizations. Taking a multi-pronged approach, the committee has 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 development 20 webcast presentations and over 40 written resources, which includes 22 Wisdom of the Crowd resources developed based on e-group discussions on its member-networking platform. The committee also makes great use of its 11 sub-committees and contributed to ACC's strategic initiative of increased collaboration by jointly hosting two local events with ACC Indiana and ACC St. Louis.

Outstanding Committee Sponsor of the Year Award

As sponsor of the ACC Health Law Committee, Foley & Lardner LLP has gone well beyond its required duties, working closely and collaboratively with the committee leadership to help make it an ACC leader. Foley actively contributed to the committee's strategic planning effort for the coming year, which included offering topics, ideas, and programs. Foley also is a regular contributor to the Health Law Committee's quarterly newsletter, as well as author of articles for the ACC Docket on timely health law issues. Further, Foley made available to the Health Law Committee a 28-page guidebook entitled, "Cybersecurity in the Pharma, Biotech and Medical Devices Industries: Protecting Your IP and Confidential Information in Cyberspace," which includes practical policies and procedures that corporate counsel can implement to help avoid damage to their business.

Outstanding Chapter Achievement Awards

Innovative Programming

ACC South/Central Texas (Ethics Follies)

ACC Israel (ACC Israel Annual Summit)*

ACC San Francisco Bay Area (March Madness)*

Best Membership Recruitment/Retention Plan

ACC Southern California (Regional Expansion Initiative)

ACC Kentucky (Chapter's FIRST CLO, Member and Scholars of the Year Awards)* 

ACC Israel (ACC Israel Chapter Growth Strategy)*

Best Partnership Program

ACC Colorado (Nonprofit Legal Audit Clinic Partnership)

ACC Louisiana (ACC Louisiana Sponsorship Program)* 

ACC Southern California (Sponsor Concierge Program)*

Best Diversity Initiative

ACC New Jersey (Disabilities Prove Great Abilities in the Workplace: How Our Lives are Changed Through Disability Inclusion - Bringing People With Disabilities Under the Diversity Umbrella)

ACC St. Louis (St. Louis ACC Diversity Community and Student Initiatives)*

* Honorable Mention

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