LaddHer Up

October 18-19, 2018,

Silverado Resort & Spa, Napa, California


Ms. J.D. will host our inaugural LaddHer Up retreat on Thursday, October 18 - Friday, October 19, 2018. This retreat will create a unique opportunity for women law firm associates in the earlier stages of their careers to personally engage with women general counsel for transparent 2:1 career strategy discussions, as well as professional development on expanding personal networks, effectively pitching to potential clients, and building skills for a general counsel role in the future.

LaddHer Up is a unique program that will include two general counsel plenary panels, including topics like “How to Pitch to a General Counsel". Both days will provide great general counsel networking opportunities and interesting expert workshops. Thursday's programming will include inspiring keynote authors and small group recreational activities to foster informal general counsel-associate social interaction.  On Friday, we will hold a career meet up where each general counsel will informally provide career advice to a few associates.

Laddher Up Host Committee Co-Chairs:

Michelle Banks, Senior Advisor & Executive Coach at BarkerGilmore LLC, and former Global General Counsel of Gap Inc.



Michelle Banks is a Senior Advisor at BarkerGilmore LLC, where she specializes in providing executive coaching to corporate general counsel and their successors in development. She Co-Chairs UCLA Law Women LEAD, an initiative she co-founded at her alma mater to empower and advance the careers of women students and alumnae. She serves as a Board member of DirectWomen, a national nonprofit whose mission is to prepare women lawyers to serve on corporate boards of directors. She is a frequent speaker on leadership.

Until March 2016, Michelle was Executive Vice President, Global General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer of the third largest global apparel retailer Gap Inc. (Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta and Intermix). Before joining Gap Inc. in 1999, Michelle worked as Legal Counsel for the Golden State Warriors NBA team and in Tokyo as American Counsel for Itochu Corporation, one of the largest Japanese trading companies. Her prior law firm practice with Sheppard Mullin and Morrison & Foerster in California and New York focused on corporate finance and international commercial transactions.  

Jan Kang, Chief Legal Officer, Chronicle; Founder, Women General Counsel Network


Jan Kang is the Chief Legal Officer of Chronicle LLC.  Born from X, the moonshot factory, Chronicle is one of the independent companies within Alphabet, dedicated to helping companies find and stop cyberattacks.

Over 25 years in the legal field, Jan Kang has held positions in organizations focused on revolutionizing the industries and being on the cutting edge of fighting cybercrime. During her tenure at  X, the moonshot factory, Jan served as General Counsel for a stealth project that graduated to become Chronicle.  She’s also served as General Counsel for a number of companies including Bromium, AOptix Technologies, Inc., Cupertino Electric, Inc. (where she also served on the Board of Directors), Prism Solutions, MyTeam and Asera, a Vinod Khosla-founded company, and associate general counsel at Lam Research Corporation. Jan worked overseas in Seoul as a foreign legal consultant for the law firm of Shin and Kim and started her career with Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton in Los Angeles, California. Her broad expertise includes corporate governance, contracts, litigation, financing, labor and employment law, mergers and acquisitions and intellectual property.

Jan is also the moving force of the Women’s General Counsel Network (WGCN). Founded in 2009, WGCN is comprised of some of the most influential, powerful female general counsel and heads of legal departments across the Nation.  WGCN’s impressive membership is over 600 members strong and is still growing. Jan also serves on the Board of Directors for the Asia Pacific Fund and is a member of Hipower, the Council of Korean Americans and the Bay Area Asian American General Counsel. In 2014, Jan was the winner of the 2014 Corporate Counsel Awards (Community Champion Category) by the San Francisco Business Times and Silicon Valley Business Journal.  She was named as one of the Top 100 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley by the Business Journal and one of The Recorder’s 50 Women Leaders in Tech Law.  Jan was also chosen as Legal Professional of the Year by the Korean American Bar Association of Northern California.


LaddHer Up Agenda

Thursday, October 18th

  • 8:00 - 9:00am      Networking Breakfast
  • 9:00 - 10:00am    General Counsel Panel: How to Become a General Counsel (Jennifer Sim, VF Outdoor, Merle Vaughn, Major, Lindsey & Africa & Richard Jones, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)
  • 10:00 - 10:15am    Break
  • 10:15 - 11:15am       PowHer Up to Negotiate Workshop with Avery Blank
  • 11:15 - 12:15pm       General Counsel Panel: How to Pitch a General Counsel (Lacey Bundy, PetSmart, Matt Fawcett, NetApp & Marina Gracias, Varo Money)
  • 12:30 - 1:45pm      Lunch Keynote with J. Kelly Hoey: Build Your Dream Network
  • 2:30 - 5:30pm      Group Recreation Outings
  • 6:30 - 7:30pm      Cocktail Reception
  • 7:30 - 9:30pm      Dinner Keynote with Michele Mayes in conversation with Michelle Banks: Courageous Counsel

Friday, October 19th

  • 8:00 - 9:15am       Networking Breakfast
  • 9:30 - 10:30am     IntHERupting Implicit Bias Workshop with Patricia Gillette
  • 10:30 - 10:45am   Break
  • 10:45 - 11:45am    Grit for Growth Workshop with Linda Chanow
  • 12:00 - 1:30pm      General Counsel-Young Associates Career Meet Ups

LaddHer Up will feature General Counsel career coaches from over 30 companies including: AdRoll, Avi Networks, Aviat Networks, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, BitTorrent, Crate & Barrel Holdings, Echelon Corporation, Embroker, LendUp, Loon, X (formerly Google X), Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Md7, Pinterest, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, Plantronics, POPSUGAR, Public Storage, Prudential, Reddit, REI, Rodan & Fields,, Uber, UCLA, Veritas, and Zuora.

If you are a current or former general counsel of an organization or a law firm associate in your first five years of practice and you would like to attend, please contact Danielle Allison, Executive Director of Ms. J.D, at for more information.

This year's retreat will feature two Keynote Speakers:



J. Kelly Hoey

Kelly Hoey is the author of Build Your Dream Network: Forging Powerful Relationships In A Hyper-Connected World (January 2017 / Tarcher Perigee).

Kelly has been lauded from Forbes (“1 of 5 Women Changing the World of VC/Entrepreneurship”) to Fast Company (“1 of the 25 Smartest Women On Twitter”) to Business Insider (“1 of the 100 Most Influential Tech Women On Twitter”) and Inc. (“1 of the 10 Most Well-Connected People in New York City's Startup Scene”). Empowering A Billion Women By 2020 included her on their list of the “100 Most Influential Global Leaders Empowering Women Worldwide”. She has appeared on CNBC’s Power Pitch, contributes to publications such as Fast Company and Inc., and works with inclusive companies including Comcast and Capital One.           

Kelly’s career story is one transformation, and can only be explained by her unique ability to tap into networks and make valuable connections. Her career started in corporate law, eventually transitioning to the management side of a global law firm. A chance opportunity in 2009 to work with a visionary leader of an international business networking group sparked her transition from earning a paycheck to seeking equity. Co-founding a startup accelerator then an interim CMO role with an emerging tech company are just part of her journey of career reinvention as an author, influencer and investor. Kelly remains active in the startup community as a limited partner in two venture capital funds and an advisor to New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.


Michele Coleman Mayes


Michele Coleman Mayes is the co-author of the book Courageous Counsel: Conversations with Women General Counsel in the Fortune 500 (2011) Ms. Mayes is Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for the New York Public Library (NYPL).  She joined NYPL in August 2012 after serving as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Allstate Insurance Company since 2007.  She served as a Senior Vice President and the General Counsel of Pitney Bowes Inc. from 2003 to 2007 and in several legal capacities at Colgate-Palmolive from 1992 to 2003.  In 1982, Ms. Mayes entered the corporate sector as managing attorney of Burroughs Corporation.  After Burroughs and Sperry Corporation merged, creating Unisys Corporation, she was appointed Staff Vice President and Associate General Counsel for Worldwide Litigation.  From 1976 through 1982, she served in the U.S. Department of Justice as an Assistant United States Attorney in Detroit and Brooklyn, eventually assuming the role of Chief of the Civil Division in Detroit.  Ms. Mayes received a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

Ms. Mayes served on the Presidential Commission on Election Administration under President Obama from 2013-2014. She served as Chair of the Commission on Women in the Profession of the American Bar Association from 2014-2017. Effective in 2015, she was appointed as an Advisor to the ABA Business Law Section, and in that same year, became a Fellow of the American College of Governance Counsel. In August 2016, she was elected to the Board of Directors of Gogo Inc. (NASDAQ: GOGO).


Featured Speakers

Avery Blank, Impact Strategist, women’s Leadership Expert, Policy Attorney




Avery Blank leverages her skills as a lawyer to help professionals and organizations worldwide to better advocate and strategically position themselves for leadership, career, and business opportunities. She advised one of the winning teams of the inaugural Women in Law Hackathon sponsored by Bloomberg Law and Stanford Law School.

She has worked in the public sector at all levels of government including experience at the Executive Office of the President of the United States, the private sector at Johnson & Johnson, and non-profit consulting with the University of Maryland Center for Health & Homeland Security.

Blank is a Board Member with the American Bar Association’s Legal Career Central and a member of the Editorial Board of the Public Lawyer. She sits on the Advisory Council with The Wilson Center’s Women in Public Service Project and is a Tribeca Disruptor Innovation Fellow, Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar, and SheSource Expert with the Women’s Media Center.

Matthew Fawcett, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary, NetApp



As senior vice president, general counsel, chief compliance counsel, and secretary for NetApp, Matthew Fawcett is responsible for all legal affairs worldwide, including corporate governance and securities law compliance, intellectual property matters, contracts, and mergers and acquisitions. He has overseen the transformation of NetApp’s global legal department into a high-performance organization with a unique commitment to innovation.

Before joining NetApp, Matthew was the senior vice president and general counsel of JDS Uniphase Corporation, where he built a worldwide legal organization, managed dozens of acquisitions and strategic transactions, and oversaw a patent program with thousands of issued and pending patents. Matthew is on the General Counsel Steering Committee for the National Association of Corporate Board Directors and the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley as well as the Board of the Association of Corporate Counsel. He received his J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and a B.A from the University of California, Berkley.

Patricia Gillette, Author, Speaker, and JAMS Mediator




Patricia (Pat) Gillette is the author of the book Rainmakers: Born or Bred (2017). Ms. Gillette is one of the country’s leading experts on gender diversity and equality in the workplace.  As a top rated trial lawyer and leading author, Ms. Gillette’s illustrious career has focused on solving the most critical business issues of Fortune 500 clients by strategizing and implementing paradigm shifts in company culture and management. Because Ms. Gillette is herself a successful business person, rising to the top levels of management in the firms and companies for whom she has worked, she speaks with authority and conviction to all levels of employees, from  CEOs to sales people to managers.

In her presentations and writings, Ms. Gillette identifies ways in which organizations can drive results from every employee.  She focuses her messages on how to succeed in the high powered, fast paced business environment of today.   Relying on research studies she commissioned as well as her charismatic style, Ms. Gillette is able to inspire audiences to think differently about the way they can realize their personal and business goals.

Richard A. Jones, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta



Richard A. Jones is senior vice president and general counsel at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He joined the Bank in October 2000.

Before joining the Bank, Jones was Regional Counsel for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's (FDIC) Atlanta region, which includes Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. There, he oversaw the provision of legal services pertaining to the examination and supervision of state-chartered, FDIC-insured banks that are not members of the Federal Reserve System. Before joining the FDIC, Jones was for five years a Senior Regional Attorney at the Office of Thrift Supervision, where he played a lead role in numerous enforcement matters and acquisitions of troubled thrifts. He began his legal career as an attorney with the Federal Home Loan Bank Board in Washington, D.C. After serving there for a year, Jones became a Senior Attorney with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, where he served for five years.

Jones earned a bachelor's degree, with honors, from Morehouse College in Atlanta. He received his juris doctor degree from the George Washington University School of Law (“GWU”) in Washington, D.C., where he currently serves as a member of the GWU Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council and sits on the board of directors of the GWU Center for Law, Economics and Finance.   He is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard University Business School and a current Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Olga V. Mack, Vice President of Strategy, Quantstamp


Olga V. Mack is a strategist, nationally-recognized author, public speaker, and women’s advocate. She is a Vice President of Strategy at Quntstamp, the first decentralized security auditing blockchain platform. In the past, she has served as General Counsel at ClearSlide and received the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Top 10 30-Somethings, Make Your Mark, Corporate Counsel of the Year, and Women Leaders in Technology Law awards. Olga is also very involved in her community.

She is an adjunct professor at Berkeley Law and TEDxEmeraldGlen curator and organizer. She also serves on numerous boards and advisory boards. Olga founded the Women Serve on Boards Movement ( that advocates for women to serve on the corporate boards of Fortune 500 companies. In the past, she has held various roles at Visa, Zoosk, Pacific Art League, Wilson Sonsini, and Yahoo. Olga earned both a B.A. and J.D. from UC Berkeley.


Merle Vaughn, Partner Recruiter, Law Firm Diversity Practice Leader, Major, Lindsey & Africa


Merle Vaughn is the National Law Firm Diversity Practice Leader and a Partner Recruiter in Partner Practice Group's Los Angeles office. Before discovering her niche as a legal recruiter, Merle was general counsel for WOC Products Inc., worked in high-tech sales, practiced corporate law with Cooley LLP, and was a successful business owner. Since becoming a recruiter in 2003, Merle has been involved in several high profile law firm partner and in-house placements in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. She has also been retained by corporations and law firms specifically for her expertise in the area of diversity recruiting.

Merle received her J.D. from the University of California – Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. While at Boalt, she was a judicial extern for the Honorable Harry Pregerson, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a member of the High Technology Law Journal and she taught Street Law to inner city youth.


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