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Eckhardt_Michael-December 2019-CROPPED
Michael J. Eckhardt

SVP, Chief Risk Officer,

General Counsel & Secretary

Wawa, Inc.

Dear ACC Greater Philadelphia Members and Friends:

We hope you have all enjoyed the summer months – the warmer weather, longer days and the loosening (which hopefully continues) of the pandemic restrictions.  From April through July, the Chapter has hosted three in person Meet Your Counterparts (MYCs) and our annual Softball Charity Game/Family Fun Night in July.  Over 200 members attended these in person events!  It has been great to see each other in person at some great venues.  And yes, for those of you who attended the In-House Counsel Conference and registered for your Swag boxes, the boxes have arrived with tons of great items from our sponsors! We cannot thank our volunteer practice and social chairs enough for all the time they, along with our Chapter Administrators, Chris Stewart and Joanne Ray, and sponsors put into planning and delivering the packed calendar of events.

In addition to our three in person MYCs hosted by Ogeltree Deakins at Estia, Fisher Phillips at Positano, and Greenberg Traurig at The Rooftop at the Logan, in July Morgan Lewis hosted a virtual tour of The Barnes Foundation Museum.  Our sponsors hosted over 14 substantive CLE programs since May.  We held our first in person General Counsel/Chief Legal Officer Lunch in June as well, where the conversation was focused on how companies are planning a return to the office.  Cozen O’Connor hosted our always popular “Tips from the Top” where panelists from companies around the nation shared their insights with our members as to navigating their careers.

The Chapter’s Board finalized and unanimously adopted the Chapter’s initial Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging vision and mission statement, which you can find on our website and also included at the end of this newsletter. Our Diversity Internship Program, now in its 14th year, included 19 law students who worked for 18 companies. The participating compa-nies were: Saint-Gobain Corp.; Unisys Corp.; Bancroft NeuroHealth; Pilot Freight Services; Lockton Re LLP; American Water; Cigna; Teleflex Inc.; Venerable; TE Connectivity; AmerisourceBergen Corp.; Exelon Corp.; Toll Brothers; PJM Inter-connection LLC; Fanatics Inc.; Chesapeake Utilities Corp.; and Wawa, Inc. Thank you to Laura Bautista and the Diversity Internship Committee for their year-round efforts in making this program a success.

We are delighted to share that one of our own member companies, Nouryon in Radnor, received a 2021 ACC Values Champion award. Since 2012, the ACC Value Champi-ons program has highlighted corporate law departments that innovate to optimize legal service delivery for corporations. Nouryon aimed to close the gap between the busi-ness and the IP legal department. Michael Finn, the General Counsel, brought on LKGLOBAL to reorganize and streamline the IP portfolio.  Through an innovative budgeting matrix tool, selective outsourcing and more, this partnership has helped Nouryon reduce its global IP budget, with both internal and external spend, by 41 percent.  By removing low-value patents from the Nouryon portfolio, the total number of patents has decreased by 48 percent, and the number of patent families by 23 percent.

I am also pleased to let you know that the Board of our Chapter adopted [in July] a combined Code of Conduct and Conflicts-of-Interest Policy which applies to members of the Board and to all Volunteer Leaders. While the Chapter already has the Conflict-of-Interest provision, the new Code provisions will go into effect on January 1, 2022.  The Code is based on best practices for our Association, and creates clarity and consistency around our expectations for how leaders of the Chapter are expected to behave in different situations that may arise.  These include ethical standards around confidentiality, treatment of vendors and other third parties and protection of the reputation of ACC and the Chapter.  You can find the Code available at the Our Leadership page of the ACCGP website and I encourage you to review prior to January 1, 2022.

Our Board of Directors and Officers are here to serve you — we welcome your feedback, your ideas, your input, and most of all your involvement.  You can reach me directly at or 610.358.8044.  We look forward to seeing you and we sincerely hope you will remain actively engaged in the wonderful opportunities that our Chapter has planned for the remainder of 2021.

Warmest regards,

Michael Eckhardt


ACC Greater Philadelphia