2023 LMA Annual Conference Advisory Committee

We are pleased to welcome 12 forward-thinking individuals that make up the 2023 Annual Conference Advisory Committee (ACAC). They will spend the next 10 months planning an extraordinary event that will bring together today's sharpest minds in the industry to advance our profession through forward-thinking programming! 


Co-Chairs

 

Jennifer Dezso

Jennifer Dezso
Director of Client Services
Thomson Reuters

Jen is the Director of Client Services and leads the Americas arm of Thomson Reuters’ Market Insights service team.

For the past 18 years, Jen has used a data-driven approach to identify exactly how clients think about their law firm relationships and pinpoint the best opportunities to build more loyal—and profitable—clients. Jen draws on direct research with corporate legal buyers and her deep experience in the legal industry to help law firms grow by: developing high-impact client feedback programs, training professionals in client acquisition and growth, and delivering strategic consulting to organizations looking to improve performance and develop more business.

In addition, Jen is a frequent presenter and author on market trends, how to identify and create opportunities in the market, and implementing organizational best practices in client relationship development.


Megan McKeon

Megan McKeon
Director of Business Development 
Clark Hill PLC

Megan helps attorneys win new work and maximize business potential from targeted clients, by creating client teams, facilitating client interviews, developing client pursuit programs and cross-selling efforts, and implementing impactful business development and client service training. She leads the business development team in raising the market profile of attorneys and key practices and in driving new business and cross-selling efforts to generate significant revenue for the firm. Megan has been actively involved in LMA on the international, regional, and local levels for the last two decades. She is admitted to practice law in Illinois and holds an MBA.


Lee Ashby Watts

Lee Ashby Watts
Founder/CEO
Ashby & Co. Consulting

Lee Ashby Watts has over 20 years of marketing and branding experience, helping both legal professionals and high-achieving executives develop brand clarity and marketing strategy. 

Lee has worked in legal marketing for over 20 years managing marketing, branding, business development, and public relations. Most recently, she was the Chief Marketing Officer at Smith, Gambrell, and Russell, a global law firm headquartered in Atlanta, GA.  

Lee is also the founder and CEO of ashby & co consulting (ashby & watts consulting), a marketing and branding firm where she consults with hundreds of entrepreneurs and leaders, assisting them with their branding and marketing strategies. Lee is also a Faculty Member for The Academy of Creative Coaches where she teaches branding, public speaking, and marketing for those seeking professional certification for coaching. She also assists with diversity and inclusion initiatives with several of her clients. 

Lee sits on the board of the Legal Marketing Association Southeast.  She is also a proud member of the professional women’s network CHIEF. Lee is a blogger & contributor for Forbes Communications Council and a regular speaker for the Argyle Network, TechBridge Inc., among other platforms and organizations. Lee is a graduate of the Executive MBA program from Georgia State University and earned her Bachelor of Arts from Ohio University.


Board Liaison

Roy Sexton

Roy Sexton
Director of Marketing
Clark Hill PLC

Roy Sexton is the director of marketing at Clark Hill, where he helps lead marketing, branding and communications efforts, collaborating with the firm’s exceptional team of marketing and business development professionals. Sexton has nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, business and strategic planning. He has been heavily involved in LMA as a regional and international leader and serves on numerous nonprofit boards and committees, including the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Ann Arbor, Royal Starr Film Festival, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit and encoremichigan.com. Sexton earned his Bachelor’s degree from Wabash College and holds two master’s degrees from an MA in theatre from The Ohio State University (M.A., Theatre) and the University of Michigan (MBA). He is also a published author with two books, “Reel Roy Reviews,” Volumes 1 and 2, taken from his blog of the same name, www.reelroyreviews.com.


Committee Members

Amber Bollman

Amber Bollman
Director of Client Service Initiatives
Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Amber has worked in a wide variety of business development and marketing roles for law firms for nearly the past decade. Having served in national and local leadership roles with the Legal Marketing Association (LMA), she has also written articles, recorded podcasts, moderated panels, and presented to law school classes on a variety topics, including client feedback, business development strategy and effective public relations.

Ambers’ primary focus – to keep the perspective of clients top of mind – is a well-integrated component of the firm’s BT ValueWorks program, which includes a suite of pricing, process and technology solutions aimed at better aligning the firm’s service delivery with the needs of clients.

In addition to assessing client satisfaction through a variety of feedback initiatives, Amber assists in the development and execution of customized action plans to enhance the level of service being provided. Amber is also a passionate believer that law firms must strive to reflect the diversity of their clients and communities. As such, she provides leadership to the firm’s LGBTQ employee resource group and diversity and inclusion efforts, working to shape an affirming and inclusive environment for attorneys and other administrative professionals.


Jon Brewer

Jon Brewer
Chief Marketing Officer
Orrick

Jon Brewer is a marketing, business development and sales professional with broad experience gained from working in professional services for over 25 years. Jon collaborates with leadership teams to design and implement forward thinking strategies with a focus on strategic growth opportunities, client strategies, sector approaches, and brand differentiation.

Jon is a highly driven creative problem solver who excels at strategy, team leadership, project management and execution with a proven ability for innovating through creative approaches, having designed a program that won an FT Innovative Lawyer Award.


Joseph Edmonds

Joseph Edmonds, Esq.
Associate Practice Development Director
JAMS

Joe Edmonds is an attorney working in business development for JAMS, a global provider of arbitration and mediation services. Based in Chicago since 2019, Joe leads the team that is responsible for planning and execution of business development initiatives enabling firm revenue in the Midwest and Texas.  Joe also leads business development activities for the firm’s Global Engineering & Construction practice group.  Joe’s strengths include using his legal knowledge to create pertinent content and programming, partnering with outside organizations to raise the profile of JAMS and its neutrals, and leading campaigns related to strategic goals.  Joe has been active in LMA since 2012, first as a member and later as co-chair of New York Local Group programming.  He served on LMA’s Education Advisory Council from 2020-2021. 

Joe holds degrees in French and International Relations from the University of Washington (Seattle), a Juris Doctor from the Seattle University School of Law and a Certificate in International Arbitration Studies from the McGill University Faculty of Law (Montreal).  In his free time, Joe is a masters competitive rower for the Chicago Rowing Union, the Midwest’s only LGBTQ+ rowing organization.


Tahisha Fugate

Tahisha Fugate
Sr. Manager, Business Development and DEI Client Relations
Paul Hastings LLP

Tahisha Fugate is a Sr. Manager, Business Development and DEI Client Relations at Paul Hastings LLP. She leads strategic growth initiatives for the firm's global litigation practices and collaborates with the firm's Global Head of Diversity on initiatives to connect with clients to identify opportunities to advance DEI in the legal profession. Since 2003, she has advised global law firms in all phases of the business development life cycle. She currently serves as one of the co-chairs of LMA's DEI SIG, a host of Legal Marketing Coffee Talk and frequent panelist and author on DEI-related topics.


Michael Mellor

Michael Mellor
Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer
Pryor Cashman LLP

Mike's nearly 20-year career has spanned various roles, working at such firms as Paul Weiss, Katten, and KPMG. His passion is creating clarity and game plans for attorneys around the firm by implementing rigor and process to drive efficiencies and encourage collaboration.

In addition to providing strategic and marketing direction for the firm, Mike also oversees the firm's marketing department, which is responsible for planning, public relations and communications, client development, digital and social media, and events. 

A self-defined process junkie, Mike is also heavily involved in developing internal methodologies and processes, and is a big believer in using data, employing numerous individual, practice, and industry KPIs to constantly tweak and refine his approaches. A frequent author and speaker around the country, he loves live music, sports, and exploring different cultures.


Ruth Morayniss

Ruth Morayniss
Manager of Client Relations and Business Development
Beard Winter LLP

Ruth Morayniss has worked in legal marketing at large and mid-sized Canadian law firms since 2013. Her current role is Manager of Client Relations and Business Development at Beard Winter LLP, a Canadian Lawyer top 10 Ontario regional law firm. Prior to working in the legal sector, Ruth held PR, marketing and communications roles in the tech, financial services, health care, government, and education sectors. She sits on the board of the Legal Marketing Association Canada Region and is co-chair of Membership. Ruth is driven by a passion for uncovering opportunities for growth, pride in client service excellence, collaboration, and creativity.


Gail Lamarche

Gail Lamarche
Director, Marketing and Business Development
Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.

Gail Lamarche has accrued a wealth of legal marketing knowledge and experience during her 25 years in the industry. She has honed the skills of communication and personal branding and conducts monthly business development coaching sessions. As Director of Marketing and Business Development for Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. in Southwest Florida, she is responsible for all of the firm’s marketing efforts, including advertising, budgeting, events and seminars, social media, and sponsorships. Gail blogs and speaks on the use of social media to various industry and professional groups, most recently presenting to a class of future financial planners at Florida Gulf Coast University.

As a New England native, Gail blends her love of baseball and community and has served on the Boston Red Sox Celebrity Golf Classic Tournament Committee for over a decade. In 2022, the event series raised nearly $400,000 for Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida’s pediatric neurosurgery program. She is also a member of the Southwest Florida Seminole Club Board of Directors and takes the lead in producing its annual fishing tournament. Gail previously served on the Communications Task Force for the Horizon Council of Lee County, was an inaugural member of LMA’s Social Media Shared Interest Group Leadership Committee, and was a co-founder and past president of the Social Media Club of Southwest Florida.


Arthur Uratani

Arthur Uratani
Marketing Director
Bookoff McAndrews PLLC

Arthur Uratani is a Marketing Director at the patent firm of Bookoff McAndrews. He currently serves as Sponsorship Chair for LMA Mid-Atlantic and most recently served as Chair for LMA Capital. Arthur believes a little bit of humility and positivity will get you far in life. He is a yoga teacher on the side.