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4TH QUARTER - 2021


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Happy Holidays!  Being in retail, this is one of my favorite times of the year.  There is excitement in the air and people are ready to  celebrate and spread joy after a tumultuous 2020 and 2021.  

It has been a privilege to serve as the Chapter’s President this year. I am beyond proud of the Chapter’s accomplishments. Together with our sponsors, we have served our in-house members by providing educational, career development, networking, advocacy, pro bono, and community service opportunities.  This year, we had 56 virtual and in-person stellar events.  Unsurprisingly, our Chapter was recognized as a 2021 Chapter of Distinction by ACC National. 

Thank you to the 2021 Chapter’s Board of Directors (Tim Nohr, Lisa LaVigne, Ginger Daly, Antoinette Walters, John Seymour and Mary-Karen Bierman) and Officers (Nicole Brunson, John Grupp, Jennifer Sadoff, Kevin Chapman and Bob Fleischacker) for your incredible work on behalf of the Chapter.  Also, thank you to our wonderful, hard-working Committee and Affinity Group Chairs (Sharika Shopshire, Charlotte Buell, Carla Poirier, Dottie Hersey, Shandra Stout, Pamela Lamberson, Anna Early, Mary Gamble, Nicole Ramsdell and Megan Scholz). Finally, none of this would be possible without our Chapter’s Executive Director, Jane Nohr, and Assistant Executive Director, Kathleen Smits.  Their dedication and passion for our Chapter is unparalleled and we are lucky to have them.

As a reminder, some of the most important things we can do for our teammates, family, and friends during the holiday season are to express our appreciation and to increase our giving to our communities.  Make sure to vocalize your gratitude, connect with your loved ones, volunteer your time, and focus on positivity.        

Please continue to connect.  My e-mail is stacy_gray@belk.com and my work phone number is (704) 426-8404.  Feel free to reach out to network and/or to offer feedback on how we can better serve our members and our sponsors. Cheers!

Stacy Gray

ACC Charlotte President, 2021


Welcome ACC Charlotte New Members!

September 2021 - November 2021


Matthew Bedsole, Corporate Counsel, Lowe's Companies, Inc

Todd Billmire, Environmental Safety & Health Counsel, Lockheed Martin Corporation

Haley Bishop, Corporate Counsel, US Radiology Specialists, Inc.

Frank Bryant, General Counsel, Raftelis Financial Consultants, Inc.

Justin Choi, Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer/General Counsel & Secretary, CommScope

Cabell Clay, VP, Associate General Counsel, LPL Financial

Peter DeStaffan, Division Counsel – APIC, Hyster Yale Group

Vincent Doa, Counsel, Bank of America

Emily Doll, Associate General Counsel, Carfax, Inc.

Tom Eck, VP Attorney, USAA

Eric Fish, Chief Legal Officer, Federation of State Medical Boards

Lynne Fuller-Andrews, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Sunbelt Rentals

Carol Genis, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel Executive, American Tire Distributors, Inc.

Achim Gronemeyer, General Counsel, Schaeffler Group USA, Inc.

Charles Langhorne, Counsel - Privacy & Data Security, Deloitte

Jessica Lazenby, Senior Counsel, Alight Solutions, LLC

Deanna Mool, Chief Legal Officer, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, Inc.

Mary Fletcher Mullikin, Senior Corporate Counsel, Compass Group USA, Inc.

Jodell Nowicki, General Counsel, Direct Digital, LLC

James Ortega, General Counsel, Pine Gate Renewables, LLC

Tim Palmer, Associate Counsel, Compass Group USA, Inc.

Julien Polk, Senior Corporate Counsel, American Tire Distributors, Inc.

Kendra Roberts, Corporate Counsel, Brighthouse Financial

Fredric Roth, Assistant General Counsel of Technology and Data Privacy, Compass Group USA, Inc.

Jennifer Ruiz, Senior Corporate Counsel, Compass Group USA, Inc.

David Sayers, Corporate Counsel, EPRI

Benjamin Sidbury, SVP and General Counsel, Wingate University

David Thompson, Senior Corporate Counsel, Compass Group USA, Inc.

Brandon Von Zup, Corporate Counsel, Bojangles' Restaurants, Inc.

ACC Charlotte Awarded Silver Chapter of Distinction 2021


Our Chapter was awarded a Silver Chapter of Distinction Award this year by ACC Global. Per ACC, the Chapter of Distinction Program is a subjective tabulation of chapter activities in several areas - governance/operations; membership recruitment; programming; awards/recognition programs; scholarships/pro bono work; and marketing/public relations. The objective of this program is to recognize chapters for furthering leadership and board development, chapter operations, membership recruitment and retention efforts, programs, special projects, and overall involvement.

To be recognized, chapters must demonstrate a commitment to promoting member involvement, meeting their members' needs, demonstrating leadership and association best practices, as well as furthering ACC's strategic plan.

Thanks to all involved with our ACC Charlotte Chapter. Your involvement helped our organization to achieve this honor for 2021!


John Mayo

December 1, 1960 - September 11, 2021

ACC Charlotte is sad to recognize the loss of one of our longtime members, John Mayo. John was an enthusiastic volunteer on our committees and regularly attended our Byron's monthly meetings. He always greeted you with a huge smile and had something humorous to share. He will be missed by so many of his friends and colleagues. We extend our sincere condolences to his dear wife, Judy, also an ACC Charlotte member, and his children that were so precious to him. If you feel inclined, his family has asked for donations to the Charlotte Ballet or TreesCharlotte in his memory. 

You can view John's obituary here.


Lawyer Holi-daze

Trigger Warning: Addiction, Depression, Anxiety, Suicide


Charlotte Buell, ACC Charlotte Communications Chair 2021

Compliance Officer - US & Canada

Continental Tire the Americas, LLC

Addiction, Depression, Anxiety, Suicide. This heavy list of challenges impact us day in and day out whether we know it or not. Friends, family members, and colleagues are suffering at this very moment. Often we will never know since the shame and stigma surrounding these issues are still heavy enough to keep a lot of people quiet.

But keeping quiet about these subjects can destroy the most precious gift – a human life. 

Quiet or not, this is the reality for a lot of our colleagues. It’s time we dip into our courage banks and stop hiding this truth by talking about it. We are in high stress jobs that no one other than other lawyers will ever fully understand, so it’s important that we watch out for one another and let those around us know that we are here to listen (judgment-free), help where we can, and that we are a safe space for them to talk about what’s going on.

It might just save a life.

Why am I talking about this in a professional newsletter? Just because society views attorneys on a “definition of success” pedestal, we are not above these medical and mental health challenges. In fact, lawyers have abnormally high rates of addiction, depression, and anxiety. 

Before you stop reading this article mid-way because you’ve decided this is just another “touchy, feely” article, consider these facts obtained in 2016 from a survey of 13,000 U.S. lawyers across 19 states:

  • Lawyers report depression 4X more than the general U.S. population
  • 1 in 3 (36%) respondents owned that they had problematic drinking (Physicians are at 15%)
  • 1 in 4 (28%) experience depression currently, 50% at some point during their career
  • 1 in 5 (19%) experience anxiety currently, 65% at some point during their career

The group most at risk are younger lawyers in their first 15 years of practice. That’s the bucket a lot of my friends and I fall into. However, it’s not just us that struggle in this profession. There are a lot of people outside of this age and experience range that are also hurting.

The simple fact is this – our brains are organs in our bodies that create certain chemicals and hormones. Sometimes they become imbalanced for no reason. It just happens. Other times it may be caused by trauma, stress, or other things. It’s important that we do not blame the person suffering when they are seeking help.

Some of you reading this are struggling, and trust me, I have been there myself.

I was one of those younger generation statistics. I lived by a work-hard/play-hard standard. However, this was not sustainable, and I am so grateful I realized that in my 20s before hitting a burnout that I personally could not recover from. The moment I asked for help, I got it. This is when I ended my relationship with alcohol and started my journey towards developing healthier life coping skills. Next month will mark my 6th year of recovery.

What have I learned? There is no shame in asking for help. In fact, it’s one of the most courageous, admirable, strong, and mature things a person can do. 

I chose to share my story so maybe someone hurting in this moment, during this holiday season, or in the future might share theirs. I am here as a resource for you. I might not have all the answers, but I know where to go to find them. My email address is charlottebuell@gmail.com and my personal cell phone is 980-939-2324.

You can also reach out to NCLAP (North Carolina Lawyers Assistance Program), which is completely separate from the disciplinary arm of the NC State Bar. Anything you share with them is strictly confidential – even misconduct or ethical violations. Read more about NC LAP’s Confidentiality Practice here https://www.nclap.org/confidentiality/.

You do not have to go through this alone.


The Path To Lawyer Well Being (nclap.org)

Journal 212 (nclap.org)

Thomson (nclap.org)

David and Scott NLAP CLE Substance Abuse CLE (acc.com)


Thank you to our members that have continued to attend our events both in person and virtual. We have enjoyed slowly easing back to in person events and keeping a healthy mix of virtual events sprinkled in. We hope this transition continues, but we will always follow CDC guidance. We appreciate our members bearing with us during this time!

Annual Meeting & Member Appreciation Event

Hosted by ACC Charlotte - 12/1/21

Thank you to all who joined us virtually for the final Chapter Meeting of 2021. During this meeting the 2022 Officers and Board Members slate were voted upon and announced. We thanked our outgoing Chairs of Committees and announced our 2022 Chairs of Committees and Affinity Groups. Our 2021 President, Stacy Gray, discussed the state of our chapter and what we accomplished in 2021 and introduced John Grupp, our incoming President, who highlighted 2022 events. We also continued our tradition of raffling off great prizes.

We are still looking for volunteers for our committees in 2022! If you are interested in being a part of the chapter growth, please email our Executive Director, Jane Nohr.

Congratulations to the 2022 Officers and At-Large Directors!


President: John Grupp, Vice President/Deputy GC, Arrival

President-Elect: Jennifer Sadoff, Deputy General Counsel, AvidXchange, Inc.

Secretary: Antoinette Walters, Associate General Counsel, Elior 

Treasurer (2-year term): John Seymour, General Counsel, MSS Solutions 

VP Sponsorship/Program (2-year term): Noelle Sproul, Associate General Counsel, Nuveen

Past President: Stacy Gray, General Counsel, Belk Inc. 

New At-Large Directors (serving 3-year terms):

Chris Egner, Attorney, Continental

Megan Scholz, Assistant General Counsel, Bank of America

Sharika Shropshire, Assistant General Counsel, Ally

Shandra Stout, Assistant General Counsel, Collins Aerospace

Tricia Thompkins, General Counsel, Shoe Show

Remaining At-Large Director:

Lisa LaVigne, Counsel, Premier Inc. (2nd year of 3-year term)


Sponsorship Appreciation Reception

Hosted by ACC Charlotte - 11/15/21

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sponsor appreciation 2021

ACC Charlotte Board Members, Committee Chairs and Committee Members joined together with representatives from each of our Firm Sponsors to enjoy drinks and hors d'oeuvres to honor our 2021 Sponsors. The event was held on the rooftop of the Grand Bohemian Hotel, overlooking the Charlotte skyline.

Garden Party 

Sponsored by Bradley - 9/16/21

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ACC Charlotte members joined Bradley attorneys at McGill Rose Garden’s beautiful outdoor space for conversations, libations, and hors d’oeuvres. There was an informal wine tasting where members learned about the delicious wines served and local beer was also available. It was a lovely opportunity for our members to get together in person and outdoors!

Thank you to Bradley for sponsoring this event.

NC Taste-n-See: A Virtual Carolina Tasting

Sponsored by Poyner Spruill - 9/28/21

Taste n see event

ACC Charlotte members joined Poyner Spruill attorneys, the Taste Carolina team, and Pilot Brewing for a fun online social event. Members picked up a generous gift bag of locally made snacks and drinks along with a choice local beer for a guided tasting or North Carolina craft soda.

Thank you to Poyner Spruill for sponsoring this event.


GC Roundtable: Positioning the GC as a Business Partner

to the C-Suite and Board of Directors

Sponsored by Bradley - 11/4/21


General Counsels (GCs) and Chief Legal Officers (CLOs) are increasingly relied upon for strategic and business advice in addition to legal counsel. GCs/CLOs should be effective in their role not only as legal advisors, but as decision makers within their organizations. Topics in this discussion included best practices for effective communication with and presentations to your Board of Directors; communication and leadership within your legal team/department in addition to C-suite and business stakeholders, especially in crisis situations; and using your role as a trusted advisor to demonstrate leadership across the organization.

Thank you to Bradley for sponsoring this event.


New to In House Affinity Group Event:

Speak & Bespoke Mixer

Sponsored by Parker Poe - 9/23/21

NIH event
NIH event
NIH event
NIH event

ACC Charlotte members connected with Parker Poe attorneys on the patio of Bentley's in South Park. Attendees got to know one another better through small group conversations and enjoyed a 3-course small bite and drink pairing.

Thank you to Parker Poe for sponsoring this event.

International Affinity Group Event:

The Re-Opening of International Travel into the US

and its Impact on Cross-Border Employees

Sponsored by Ogletree Deakins - 11/9/21


Curtis Chow

Ogletree Deakins

This timely discussion covered the expected impact of the November 2021 re-opening of travel into the U.S. for fully vaccinated travelers from 33 countries, including how employers with inbound international travel to the U.S. may benefit from this new development, as well as what legal challenges are likely to remain.

Thank you to Ogletree Deakins for sponsoring this event.

Community Outreach Event:

Angels, Cocktails, and Holiday Sweaters... OH MY!

Sponsored by Poyner Spruill - 12/7/21

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We supported the local Charlotte Salvation Army by putting together Angel Tree donations! All donations will be given out to local Charlotte children for this year's holiday season. When members dropped off their Angel's donation items, they received a holiday cocktail kit to make while we networked during a virtual Zoom event. Members and Poyner Spruill attorneys wore their ugliest holiday sweaters for an extra festive feeling and enjoyed a fun holiday themed scavenger hunt!

Thank you to Poyner Spruill for sponsoring this event.


Floral Arranging: You Had Me at Hydrangea!

Sponsored by Littler - 9/30/21

floral arranging

Our women members learned how to create a Pinterest-worthy flower arrangement with proud female founder-led company, Alice’s Table. The workshop was fully virtual and included step-by-step instructions on flower arranging while teaching top tips and tricks of the trade. Each guest received a delivery of farm-fresh flowers and vase prior to the event.

Thank you to Littler for sponsoring this event. 

Virtual Holiday Mixology Class

Sponsored by Nelson Mullins - 12/2/21

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Participants were led by a master mixologist, Ashley Thompson, from The Cocktailery as they learned how to create two holiday cocktails: Espresso Martini and Fall Spiced Whiskey Sour. All cocktail ingredients were sent to participants prior to the event!

Thank you to Nelson Mullins for sponsoring this event. 


Insurance Basics for In-House Counsel

Sponsored by Robinson Bradshaw - 9/21/21


Steve DeGeorge

Robinson Bradshaw

This presentation provided an overview of key coverages and insurance policy terms, common exclusions, and recommended types and amounts of coverage based on the insured’s business model and risk profile. Other basics discussed were common contractual provisions regarding insurance coverage obligations of contracting parties, filing claims with insurers (when and under what circumstances advisable) and disputing coverage denials. Lastly, a summary of trends in COVID-related coverage litigation, the most dynamic and financially impactful area of coverage litigation since pollution coverage lawsuits in the 1980s. 

Thank you to Robinson Bradshaw for sponsoring this event.

Preserving Privilege in Internal Communications

Sponsored by Nelson Mullins - 10/7/21


Elizabeth Timkovich


Atlantic Union Bank


John Branch


Nelson Mullins


Chelsea Barnes


Nelson Mullins


Cory Patterson


Nelson Mullins

This CLE discussion included an overview of best practices to be prepared in case of an investigation, including those by regulatory agencies; cost effective management of e-Discovery; preserving documents (antispoilation); how new Apps (such as Teams and Signal) have changed or could change, using new case law and discovery.

Thank you to Nelson Mullins for sponsoring this webinar. 

Hot Topics in Discrimination and Harassment:

Where the Future Lawsuits May Arise

Sponsored by Ogletree Deakins - 10/14/21


Michael D. Ray

Ogletree Deakins

kelly hughes

Kelly Hughes

Ogletree Deakins

This presentation focused on potential claims in an increasingly remote environment, new developments, and provided practical tips for employers to avoid being caught in these traps. Several topics were covered, including new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claims, such as remote work accommodation issues and mandatory vaccine-related issues; gender/sex harassment issues, especially in the context of an increasingly remote workforce and social media; religious accommodation, including mandatory vaccines; and age discrimination claims, including the effect of an increased dependence on technology.  

Thank you to Ogletree Deakins for sponsoring this webinar. 

A Recipe for Success: 

A Step-by-Step Guide for Protecting Your Company's Trade Secrets

Sponsored by Bradley - 10/19/21


C. Bailey King, Jr.



Tim Lendino

Compass Group USA

Coca-Cola's secret formula is often referred to as the "quintessential trade secret." Using Coca-Cola and other popular food brands such as KFC’s "secret blend of 11 herbs and spices" and Little Caesar's "Hot-N-Ready" pizzas as examples, presenters talked through the recipe for protecting your company’s trade secrets in any industry. Topics discussed included best practices so that you are prepared to protect your secrets; best practices for identifying your company’s trade secrets in litigation; tips for how best to defend against claims of anti-competitive conduct in connection with protecting your company’s trade secrets; and tips for presenting your trade secret case at trial.

Thank you to Bradley for sponsoring this webinar. 

When Every Day is "Blursday" -

Wage and Hour Compliance for a Remote Workforce

Sponsored by Littler - 10/26/21


Kellie Tabor



Jennifer Staples


Complying with the complex patchwork of wage and hour laws is difficult enough when managing a 9-to-5, Monday-to-Friday, office-based workforce. Now that millions of workers are adjusting to a more permanent remote work arrangement, wage and hour compliance is even more challenging. During this session, the panel guided attendees on how to define and track “hours worked” when work-from-home employees are constantly juggling work and personal priorities throughout the day. As plaintiffs’ lawyers have encouraged remote workers to sue for unreimbursed home office expenses (including computers, phones, internet service, office supplies, and even a portion of utilities and rent), presenters discussed how to structure a reasonable expense reimbursement program. The discussion also explained how transitioning to work-from-home may have transformed the nature of previously exempt jobs and the perils of common “self-help” remedies undertaken when the employment relationship ends and home office equipment is not returned.

Thank you to Littler for sponsoring this webinar. 

Noble Profession:

Fulfilling Your Ethical Responsibilities of Pro Bono Service

Sponsored by Kilpatrick Townsend - 10/28/21


Sylvia Novinsky

NC Pro Bono Resource Center

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Jared Smith

NC Equal Access to Justice Commission

This ethics CLE presented the state of access to justice in North Carolina, the importance of pro bono service, the professional responsibilities around pro bono service (RPC 6.1), and opportunities to volunteer as lawyers.

Thank you to Kilpatrick Townsend for sponsoring this webinar. 

So Where Are We?

Employee COVID Vaxx / Testing Mandates, Options, Tips, and Traps

Sponsored by McGuireWoods - 11/2/21


Meredith Pinson



Brian Barger


On Sept. 9, President Biden announced a broad six-part strategy to combat COVID-19 at the federal level, including extensive new vaccination and testing requirements for large private employers, certain federal contractors and subcontractors, and healthcare organizations. But the plan was big on concept and thin on details – with rules to be issued afterwards. Members joined McGuireWoods attorneys for an overview of the new COVID-19 obligations, agency guidance to date, key implementation options, and tips and legal traps for employers.

Thank you to McGuireWoods for sponsoring this webinar. 

Employee Mental Health Issues

Sponsored by Jackson Lewis - 11/16/21

bernard tisdale

Bernard Tisdale

Jackson Lewis


Kathi Lucchesi

Jackson Lewis

Employee stress/anxiety/depression is rampant, and it won't be letting up any time soon. This presentation discussed the possible warning signs that an employee in the workplace may be suffering from depression or anxiety. Presenters discussed what an employer can do (and not do) to assist employees who could be suffering from a mental illness. They also covered the state of employment laws applicable to employees with mental illness. Attendees left with an outline of considerations for each of these issues so as to enable employers to identify when an employee could be going though a mental health issue, assist the employee with the situation, and, at the same time, protect the employer from liability.

Thank you to Jackson Lewis for sponsoring this webinar. 

Environmental, Social, and Governance Elements and Legal Considerations

Sponsored by Kilpatrick Townsend - 11/18/21


Scott Marrah

Kilpatrick Townsend


Adria Perez

Kilpatrick Townsend


Todd Roessler

Kilpatrick Townsend

Many companies and organizations are committed to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) efforts as part of their own corporate directives, and in many instances, for their shareholders. This CLE helped attendees understand and navigate the myriad of ESG legal considerations. It can be a challenge to know what risks to consider in order to set ESG strategy. Shareholders, suppliers, customers, communities, employees, governments, and non-governmental organizations must all be considered. Presenters covered who else should be involved, who is invested, what is voluntary and what may become mandatory, and the potential legal exposures so that in-house counsel can start and maintain your ESG journey.

Thank you to Kilpatrick Townsend for sponsoring this webinar. 

I Don't Have Time to Read This Lease - Where Should My Focus Be?

Sponsored by Troutman Pepper - 12/9/21

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Lee Cory

Troutman Pepper

This interactive discussion focused attendees on the key issues in commercial leases from the corporate counsel’s perspective, under the assumption that the corporate counsel is not the primary lease negotiator. Topics discussed included operating expense pass throughs, assignment and sublet provisions, work letter issues, and "real life examples” of commercial lease issues that keep corporate counsel up at night.

Thank you to Troutman Pepper for sponsoring this webinar. 

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ACC Charlotte Chapter, P.O. Box 2964, Huntersville, NC 28070

704-999-0814 * charlotte@accglobal.com

The contents of this newsletter are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions. The contents of this newsletter should not be relied upon for legal or tax advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. The information presented may not reflect the most current legal developments. No action should be taken in reliance on the information and we disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this site to the fullest extent permitted by law. An attorney should be contacted for advice on specific legal issues.


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