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, Margot Jackson-Bermudez, Major, Lindsey & Africa & Richard Jones, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)
  • 10:00 - 10:15am     Break
  • 10:15 - 11:15am       PowHer Up to Negotiate Your Career 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 Debbie Epstein Henry: Strategic Networking & Making your Ask a Give
  • 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, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, BitTorrent, Crate & Barrel Holdings, Echelon Corporation, Embroker, LendUp, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Md7, Pinterest, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, Plantronics, POPSUGAR, Public Storage, 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:



Debbie Epstein Henry

Debbie Epstein Henry is an expert, consultant, best-selling author and public speaker on women, careers, workplaces, and the law.  For 20 years, hundreds of news outlets have featured Debbie’s work including The New York Times, NBC Nightly News, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, The American Lawyer and many more.  Her international work includes multiple engagements in The Hague as well as in Paris at the French Senate and in London, Vienna and other cities abroad.  Debbie is the author of LAW & REORDER, the #1 best-selling ABA Flagship book for 2011 and the co-author of another ABA best-selling Flagship book in 2015, FINDING BLISS.  She conceived of the Best Law Firms for Women initiative, a national competition and benchmarking survey she developed with Working Mother and ran for a decade.  By 2008, Debbie’s visibility enabled her to build a national network of over 10,000 lawyers. From there, in 2011, she co-founded Bliss Lawyers, a secondment firm that employs high caliber attorneys to work on temporary engagements for in-house legal department and law firm clients. 

Debbie has received numerous awards including being named among the Philadelphia Business Journal "Women of Distinction.”  She is also the recipient of the Anne X. Alpern Award, presented annually to a female lawyer who demonstrates excellence in the legal profession and who makes a significant professional impact on women in the law.  Debbie volunteers her time with a number of non-profits including the Forum of Executive Women where she is a Member of the Board and Co-Chair of the annual Leadership Symposium.  She is Chair of Brooklyn Law School’s Women Leadership Circle which runs a national women’s law student and alumnae initiative.  Debbie is also a Member of the New York City Bar Committee to Enhance Diversity in the Profession.  She received her B.A. from Yale and her J.D. cum laude from Brooklyn Law School.  A native New Yorker, Debbie lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her husband; they have three sons.


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 of the American Bar Association’s Legal Career Center 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


Pat Gillette is one of the country’s leading experts and most sought-after speakers on gender diversity and equality.  She was rated as a top employment litigator and trial lawyer by Chambers and other organizations for 40 years and was a leader and rainmaker in her firms, At the end of 2015, she resigned to pursue her passion for empowering women through keynote speaking and writing.  She was also invited to join JAMS to mediate employment cases. 

Ms. Gillette’s newest book, “Rainmakers:  Born or Bred” is filled with practical tactics and strategies that can be easily implemented to enhance business development skills and books of business.  The book highlights the nationally acclaimed Rainmaker Study and includes helpful tips from rainmakers and clients across the country. This groundbreaking study, coupled with Ms. Gillette’s insights from her own experiences, brings a fresh perspective and approach to business development.

Ms. Gillette has been widely recognized for her work to advance women in the profession. Most recently, she was chosen as the 2018 recipient of the ABA Margaret Brent Award, the highest honor given to women lawyers for professional achievements and advancing the interests of women lawyers.  She has also received the ABA Golden Hammer Award, the California Women Lawyers Association’s Fay Stender Award, the Transformational Leadership Award as one of the Top Women Rainmakers, and the Barristers Association of San Francisco Award of Merit. 

Ms. Gillette is the co-founder of the Opt-In Project, a nationwide initiative focused on changing the structure of law firms to increase the retention and advancement of women. Ms. Gillette has been a Commissioner on the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, a member of ABA’s Gender Equity Task Force, Co-Chair of the BASF No Glass Ceiling Initiative, and she serves on several non-profit boards dedicated to protecting and promoting women, including Equal Rights Advocates and DirectWomen,

Ms. Gillette is the proud mother of two successful and enlightened sons and lives in Kensington, California with her husband of 40+ years.  She was an elected official in her town and is active in political and community organizations and activities. Visit Ms. Gillette’s website at 

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.


Margot Jackson-Bermudez , Director, Major, Lindsey & Africa


Margot Jackson-Bermudez is a Director in Major, Lindsey & Africa's (MLA) In-House Practice Group, based out of MLA's Los Angeles and Orange County offices. She specializes in placing attorneys at all levels within corporate legal departments nationwide, with a focus on diversity recruiting. When partnering with clients, Margot aims to identify opportunities where MLA can assist its clients in satisfying their business needs that exist within or beyond an organization's legal department.

A native New Yorker, Margot relocated to Southern California 15 years ago. She loves to hike and to simply enjoy the Southern Californian climate. When she's not working, Margot spends her free time cooking and traveling. She lives in Orange County with her husband Robert and three large, rambunctious dogs.


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