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The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the world's largest organization serving the professional and business interests of attorneys who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations, nonprofits and other private-sector organizations around the globe.

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April 28, 2022 | 3:30 PM - 7:00 PM EDT

Overview (Program Summary)

2022 ACC MI Zausmer Header

Practice Makes Perfect: Avoiding Unexpected Pitfalls in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives

Thursday, April 28, 2022 |  3:30 pm - 7:00 pm | Lexus Loft, Henry Ford Pistons Performance Center, 6201 Second Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202

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Event Timeline:

3:30 - 4:00 pm – Guest Registration

4:00 - 5:00/5:15 pm – Educational Program

5:15 - 5:30 pm – 2022 ACC Michigan Scholarship Presentation

5:30 - 7:00 pm – Networking

 

Moderator:

MBMischa M. BoardmanShareholder with Zausmer, P.C. in Farmington Hills, MI

Ms. Boardman focuses her practice on eminent domain and commercial litigation around issues involving trade secrets, real property, construction, and business torts at the trial and appellate levels in state and federal courts. Her clients include road commissions, transmission companies, municipalities, state transportation departments, publicly traded REITs, Fortune 500 corporations, small enterprises, and individuals.  She frequently speaks on right-of-way topics, appearing at industry and bar association conferences across the United States.  Ms. Boardman earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Michigan and has been recognized as a Michigan Super Lawyer and a Michigan Top Lawyer.  In 2015, Michigan Lawyers Weekly named her to its elite annual list of “Women in the Law.”

 

Panelists:

RHRichard HaddadChief Operating Officer & Chief Legal Officer | Pistons Sports & Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons

Richard Haddad is Chief Operating Officer & Chief Legal Officer for Pistons Sports & Entertainment (PSE) and the Detroit Pistons. In his current role, he oversees human resources, finance, IT, risk management, corporate and real estate development, and legal, business and government affairs for PSE, the Pistons, Motor City Cruise, Pistons Performance, and related entities and properties.  He also serves as general counsel to 313 Presents and its venues and properties, including Little Caesar’s Arena, the Fox Theatre, Pine Knob Amphitheatre, Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, and Meadow Brook Amphitheatre

Prior to joining PSE in 2012, Haddad practiced law at Proskauer Rose LLP in New York, where he represented a broad base of corporate and individual clients in sports, finance, media, entertainment, aviation, real estate and other sectors and industries.  He also served as a law clerk to Judge Barbara S. Jones of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Haddad grew up in Adrian, MI and graduated from the University of Michigan (BA, History) and Columbia Law School (JD). 

 

GMGabrielle (Gaby) McKee | Associate Counsel at Pistons Sports & Entertainment ("PSE")  and Detroit Pistons | Executive Director of the Detroit Pistons Foundation.

Gabrielle focuses on drafting and negotiating vendor and sponsor agreements, assisting with NBA compliance issues, and managing collections matters. She also assists with real estate projects, employment matters, grant-making and other legal affairs for PSE, the Detroit Pistons, the Detroit Pistons Foundation and related properties and companies.

Before joining PSE in January 2019, Gaby specialized in estate planning & administration at Dickinson-Wright PLLC in Troy, Michigan where she focused on counseling domestic and international high net-worth individuals and families on business succession planning, estate planning, charitable giving, and domestic and international tax planning. Gaby grew up in Oakland, California and graduated from Duke University and University of Michigan Law School.

 

GKGretchen Kaplan Senior Associate General Counsel, Brookfield Properties

Gretchen Kaplan is a Senior Associate General Counsel, Litigation & Employment, for Brookfield Properties’ retail group, which owns and operates nearly 170 retail properties throughout the country. As Brookfield Properties Retail’s employment counsel, she advises Human Resources on employment-related matters and federal, state, and local employment law. Gretchen also handles litigation and manages the Company’s Asset Recovery subgroup. Before joining Brookfield Properties, Gretchen worked in private practice litigating complex commercial disputes, including at Willkie Farr & Gallagher in New York where she focused on white collar defense. Gretchen lives in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago with her husband and two young children. Outside of work, Gretchen sits on the Board of Directors for Connections for Abused Women and their Children, a Chicago organization committed to ending domestic violence using a self-help, empowerment approach. Most importantly, Gretchen was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is an avid University of Michigan and Detroit sports fan.

 

CPCinnamon A. Plonka | Shareholder with Zausmer, P.C. in Farmington Hills, MI

Ms. Plonka is one of the preeminent litigators in Michigan, who handles a wide array of civil litigation matters, including first-party no-fault and third-party automobile negligence claims, premises liability, employment litigation, fraud, and insurance coverage disputes, both at the trial level and before appellate courts. She has a nearly flawless record of “No Cause of Action” verdicts over the past few years and her reputation for winning has prompted insurance carriers to substitute Ms. Plonka for its existing defense counsel. Her clients include State Farm, Farmers Insurance Exchange, Geico, and the State of Michigan handling matters through the Michigan Automobile Insurance Placement Facility. She is also currently litigating employment cases for TCF Bank and Piston Group.  In 2015, she was named to the list of Michigan Top Lawyers, and in 2017, Michigan Lawyers Weekly named her to its prestigious list of “Women in the Law.” She is dedicated to serving the community through mentoring youths, serving with the State Bar of Michigan’s Attorney Discipline Board, and as a Member on the Board of Directors of the Black Women Lawyers Association, as well as serving as co-chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee. Ms. Plonka earned her undergraduate degree in social work from Eastern Michigan University and received her law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law.

 

MSMichael A. Schwartz Shareholder with Zausmer, P.C. in Farmington Hills, MI

Michael Schwartz is a commercial litigator, handling business and commercial disputes, insurance, real estate, employment, civil rights, and general liability claims. His extensive experience includes the successful representation of Fortune 500 insurers, national restaurant franchisees, real estate owners and developers, one of the Midwest’s largest banks, the Detroit Pistons, and numerous other businesses and non-profits. He has previously served as a panelist for the Association of Corporate Counsel Michigan and regularly presents at the Insurance Alliance of Michigan’s annual seminar. He regularly supports the firm’s community efforts, including City Year Detroit, Gleaners Community Food Bank, and the Detroit Pistons’ Season of Giving.  Mr. Schwartz earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Georgia.

 

Please note that the ACC Michigan Scholarship Committee will host a presentation immediately following the education portion of the afternoon. Every year, ACC Michigan bestows a scholarship on one student from each of the major Michigan law schools who plans to pursue a career as in-house counsel. We look forward to honoring these individuals that evening, and we thank Zausmer for their support of our scholarship program.

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