Chicago Coalition Connects
 May 29, 2020

Dear Chicago Chapter Members,
As I work on this edition of our Connects series, I cannot stop thinking about the unbelievable toll COVID-19 has taken in the U.S. in just these past few months. That really puts everything else in perspective, and is a reminder for how truly unpredictable and dramatic events outside of our control can be – and how precious our health is, and the health of our loved ones. I am thinking about you, and hope that you are staying healthy and safe – and also finding at least some solace and relief in the warmer weather and some sunshine we’ve been seeing this week. 

Being reminded of the things we cannot control also can be a good reminder of those things that are within our range, and can be affected in positive ways. One of the (many) challenges of this time can be that of continuing to nurture sparks of interest, creativity and inspiration when the at-home environment can, at least occasionally, become frustrating or monotone (or both). I don’t claim to have any great solutions, but will share the tip that has worked the best for me – and that is taking even a bit of time each day to do something, anything, that is nurturing and meaningful. Whenever I read or listen about creative, interesting people, they all seem to share the common traits of (i) being present in the moment and (ii) acting on their ideas, even when doing that is messy or unproductive or just for a little bit at a time. By doing, particularly if it’s doing something that is important to you or something you are curious or passionate about, we, inevitably, create and grow – and feel better in return. 

So, if and when you can, take a bit of time for something you’ve been meaning to do for yourself, be it to go on that run, or to read that verse, or to cook that dish or maybe to write a sentence of that book – whatever it is for you! If you do, and it helps, let us know – and we will share in the inspiration!

Please read on for some exciting Chapter news and updates below, enjoy your Friday and your weekend – and be well.

Sonya Rosenberg, Chicago Chapter President
Chicago Chapter Happenings
So much going on, where to start?! Alright, let’s begin by recapping our recent programs. On May 12 th , Our In-House Committee Co-Chairs Maria Maras and Denise Beihoffer hosted a terrific webinar about Peace and Productivity, featuring Kim Taylor of The Zen Within . On May 15 th , we held our first-ever Zoom General Board meeting – and that worked pretty well too! Thanks to our Vice President Malaika Tyson for the fun pic! Just yesterday evening, our Associates and Advisory Committees presented a fantastic joint panel event on the "NCG Factor" (Networking, Connecting and Giving), featuring our own Leslee Cohen of Hershman Cohen LLP and Ashlee Knuckey of Locke Lord LLP among the speakers. Coming up, if you haven’t yet, please be sure to RSVP for our 2020 Virtual Judges Panel , featuring Honorable Rossana Fernandez, Sophia Hall and Virginia Kendall. Kudos and many thanks to our Associates Committee Chairs Sky Emison and Manuela Cabal Carmona and the Committee for their tireless efforts to virtually organize this hallmark, beloved annual program – and with such distinguished speakers at that! And what do Tiger King and Str anger Things have in common? Highly interesting (and entertaining) IP disputes, of course!  And we are looking forward to Programming Committee Co-Chair Kate Johnson’s and In-House Committee Co-Chair Maria Maras’ highly anticipated webinar on the topic , coming up on June 24 th at noon. A n invitation will be circulated soon; please mark your calendars!

Coalition Celebrates
In the past couple of months, we have learned that many of our delegates have been recognized with truly impressive awards, including the Bulletin’s Inaugural Women In Law , and Crain’s Top Executives Over 50 . Congratulations to these incredible, deserving women – and thanks for all your leadership and support, over many years, of the Coalition!
The following women have been recognized as Crain's 2019 Notable Women Executives Over 50 . These women have jumped hurdles to reach the highest levels of business, rising to influential positions in traditionally male-dominated fields like ours.
Amy Blumenthal , Gould & Ratner LLP
Marci Eisenstein , Schiff Hardin LLP
Rebecca Eisner, Mayer Brown LLP
Teresa Harmon , Sidley Austin LLP
Sonia Menon , Neal Gerber Eisenberg LLP
Margo Wolf O'Donnell , Benesch
And the following women, recognized by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin & Chicago Lawyer magazine , were chosen for their work to mentor and promote other women in the profession, their success in the legal community and being a shining example of leadership.
Olivia Bedi , Neal Gerber Eisenberg LLP
Bethany Biesenthal , Jones Day
Cathy Birkeland , Latham & Watkins LLP
Amy Blumenthal , Gould & Ratner LLP
Marci Eisenstein , Schiff Hardin LLP
Angela Elbert , Neal Gerber Eisenberg LLP
Teresa Wilton Harmon , Sidley Austin LLP
Maggie Hickey , Schiff Hardin LLP
Laura Hoey , Ropes & Gray LLP
Kristen Hudson , Chuhak & Yecson P.C.
Precious Jacobs , Jenner & Block LLP
Andrea Kramer , McDermott Will & Emery LLP
Kim Metrick , Walgreen Co.
Britt Miller , Mayer Brown LLP
Linda Myers , Kirkland and Ellis LLP
Sammi Renken , Johnson & Bell Ltd.
Stephanie Scharf , Scharf Bank Marmour LLC
Nicole Wrigley , Benesch LLP
A warm congratulations to all those recognized. Stay tuned for upcoming correspondence recognizing women who have received other recent accolades and awards. if you or a colleague has received special recognition, please let us know by emailing so that it we can feature you in an upcoming newsletter.
Some Interesting Reads
We are in the news! If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out this cool feature in the Chicago Magazine about the Chicago Chapter of the Coalition. Many thanks to our Career Development Committee Co-Chair Camille Khodadad for writing about us, and to our past and future Presidents Carolyn Blessing and Malaika Tyson for their insights!

A couple of days ago, long-time Coalition supporter and repeat speaker Peter Bensinger of Bartlit Beck shared this insightful article about women leaders in time of crisis, which I found interesting and thought I’d pass along in case you (and/or any of your male colleagues!) might benefit from reading it. Our group probably won’t be too surprised to read that strong women have been particularly impactful in leading during the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises. I found the article to be a timely reminder of the real value leaders bring when they lead authentically, strategically and compassionately. Thanks for sharing, Peter!
Quarantine Photo Challenge Highlights
Thanks to many of our members who submitted awesome quarantine skills photos for the photo challenge organized by our Outreach & Inclusion Committee. For this edition, we had to share this photo from Danielle Twait of Lathrop GPM of her "happy place" right now--aka her gorgeous outdoor space, which she's been working on sprucing up, alongside her family. And a big shout out goes to Carolyn Blessing of Locke Lord LLP, who made this "ridiculously complicated" chocolate ganache birthday cake from scratch, and then delivered pieces to doorsteps all over town. Looks delicious!
If you’d like your impressive quarantine skills featured, you’re not too late! Please send photo or a selfie with a brief description to .
Member Spotlight
Tanvi Patel, Partner
Neal Gerber Eisenberg
Chicago Chapter Member

Why did you join the Coalition?
I was exposed to the coalition early in my practice because many of the women I was fortunate to be mentored by were involved in the Coalition. Thanks to their involvement, I have appreciated the value of the network and resources offered by the Coalition throughout all of my practice. I became more involved in recent years as I witnessed, first-hand, how passionate the leadership is about being an inclusive and genuine resource to all practicing women which inspired me to join the effort. 

What committees are you active on?
I am co-chair of the brown bag committee.  

Give us your elevator speech… or “Call me if you have…”
Call me if you want to protect your carefully developed innovations by strategically building your intellectual property portfolio, enforcing your acquired intellectual property, or defending against claims of infringement.

Tell us something interesting about you that people may not know.
Growing up, I was (embarrassingly) a huge Bollywood fan, and I loved performing Bollywood dances in talent shows and weddings, and even a few competitions. Sorry, no videos available…

Share your favorite book or podcast – or your favorite stay-at-home resource or tip.
My favorite book (or one of my favorites) is Born Survivors by Wendy Holden. My favorite stay-at-home resource(s) are all of the amazing crafty moms on the internet! I have been so blown away and grateful to every mom that shares “how-to’s” on everything from baking kid-friendly treats to creating fun crafts with limited supplies! They have provided hours of entertainment and quality time with my kids!
Quote of the Week
Reading about the terrible death of George Floyd and the unrest in Minneapolis calls for this poignant quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: 

I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard.