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September 2020 Update
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Message from the Chair

Welcome to the September Update. DirectWomen looks forward to hosting two virtual programs this month - a video webinar on the importance of board diversity and a video book conversation with Valerie Jarrett. I hope you'll join us for these unique programs. Registration information for both programs is included in this message. For more information on DirectWomen's full slate of virtual programs, click here to download the virtual program series flyer or visit DirectWomen's website.

In this Update, you will also find news on the remarkable recent accomplishments of the members of our network. I am happy to share that, to date, more than 35% of DirectWomen alumnae have been elected to serve on a corporate board. Together, we are succeeding in increasing the number of women lawyers on corporate boards. 

Webinar: Why Corporate Board Diversity is More Important Than Ever

Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 2:00 PM Eastern
Register Now
Research reveals that companies with women board members, particularly those with three or more women board members, financially outperform, on average, those with fewer or no women board members. Join our distinguished panelists as they discuss why, in the era of COVID-19, board diversity is more important now than ever before. 

Featured Speakers:

Sharon Y. Bowen, Former Commissioner, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Partner, Seneca Women; Director, Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. and Neuberger Berman
Elisa D. Garcia, Chief Legal Officer, Macy's, Inc.; Director, Dollarama Inc. 
(Moderator) Denise F. Keane, Chair, DirectWomen; Former Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Altria Group Inc.

Virtual Video Discussion: A Conversation with Valerie Jarrett

Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 12:00 PM Eastern
Register Now
Join DirectWomen board member Patricia K. Gillette as she sits down for a candid conversation with Valerie B. Jarrett to discuss her New York Times bestselling memoir, Finding My Voice: When the Perfect Plan Crumbles, the Adventure Begins.

Throughout her incredible career in law, business and public service, Valerie Jarrett was often the only woman—particularly the only African American woman—in the room. In FINDING MY VOICE, Jarrett invites readers into her life along her remarkable journey from childhood in Iran to the White House and beyond. Through personal stories, Jarrett offers her optimistic view on the importance of leadership and the responsibilities of citizenship in the twenty-first century, inspiring readers to lift their own voices.

Need to buy your copy of FINDING MY VOICE? Visit to purchase.

Webinar: Top Tips for Building Board Ready Connections

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 2:00 PM Eastern

It’s no secret that the right connections can make a huge difference in landing a board seat. Learn how to expand your network and build board ready connections. Attendees will walk away with concrete steps to strengthen their network and identify board opportunities. Registration details to come.

DirectWomen Alumnae and Class Member Added to Boards

Janet L. Carrig (Class of 2017) was recently appointed to the board of Whiting Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: WLL), an independent oil and gas company that explores for, develops, acquires, and produces crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids primarily in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. Click here to read the press release. This is Janet's second board appointment. In 2019, she joined the board of EQT Corporation.

Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale (Class of 2012) was recently appointed to the board of Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE: FRT), a leader in the ownership, operation, and redevelopment of high-quality retail-based properties. Click here to read the press release. 

Shelley B. Milano (Class of 2009) was recently appointed to the board of J.Jill, Inc. (NYSE: JILL), a premier omnichannel retailer and nationally recognized women’s apparel brand. Click here to read the press release. This is Shelley's third board appointment. In addition to J.Jill, Shelley currently serves on the boards of Bartell Drugs and Urban Hardwoods.

Veta T. Richardson (Class of 2012) recently joined the Strategic Advisory Board of Ethisphere Institute, a privately-held company with the mission of advancing business ethics as a competitive advantage.

Andrea L. Zopp (Class of 2020) was recently appointed to the board of Relativity, a global legal and compliance technology company. Click here to read the press release.

Save the Date: 2021 Sandra Day O'Connor Board Excellence Award Luncheon

Mark your calendars: DirectWomen's next Sandra Day O'Connor Board Excellence Award Luncheon will be held in New York City on October 8, 2021. If you would like to sponsor DirectWomen and reserve a table for your firm or company, please contact DirectWomen's Executive Director, Shawn Taylor Kaminski.

DirectWomen in the News

April Miller Boise (Class of 2018) was recently featured in a Bloomberg Law article entitled "Black General Counsel Reach Milestone in the Fortune 1000." April co-founded the Black General Counsel 2025 Initiative in 2017 to track and promote Black legal leaders in the Fortune 1000. The group’s initial goal for Black general counsel to reach 5% representation by the end of 2020 has been met nearly half a year early. Click here to read the full article. 

2011 Board Institute Alumna Deborah Platt Majoras and 2007 Sandra Day O'Connor Board Excellence Award Honoree Laura Stein were recently named 'Legends in Law' as part of the annual Burton Awards, which have been honoring outstanding practitioners in the field for 21 years. Click here to read the full article.

Articles and Research of Interest

Thank you for your help in supporting our mission. If you have suggestions for additional ways to strengthen DirectWomen’s outreach during this unprecedented time, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Take care and stay safe.
All the best,

Denise F. Keane
Chair, DirectWomen

Thank You to Our 2020 Sponsors and Individual Donors!

Platinum Ambassador Sponsors





2020 Individual Donors To Date

Susan Alexander
Catharine Biggs Arrowood
Michelle Banks
Roya Behnia
Alan L. Beller
Janet L. Carrig
Mary J. Dent
Sarah C. Dodds-Brown
Deneen L. Donnley
Ulrika Ekman
Randa Fahmy
Lisa M. Fairfax
Elisa D. Garcia
Mark J. Gentile
Patricia K. Gillette
Peggy A. Heeg
Mary Ann Jorgenson
Denise F. Keane
Sylvia Khatcherian
Christine B. LaFollette
Roberta D. Liebenberg
Patricia A. McQuater
Trevor S. Norwitz
Marla S. Persky
Hillary A. Sale
Teresa M. Sebastian
Karen E. Silverman
Brande Stellings
Rachel R. Stern
Andrea E. Utecht
Linda J. Vilardo
Robin Walker-Lee
Michelle M. Warner
Jennifer Wolfe

Platinum Sponsors


Gold Sponsors


Latham & Watkins LLP and
Karen E. Silverman

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton &
Garrison LLP

Thompson Hine LLP

Toyota Motor North America, Inc.


Silver Sponsors


Huntington Bancshares Incorporated


Interested in sponsoring DirectWomen in 2020? Contact Laura Beth Hooper for more information. 

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