09:52 AM

MoveMakers & NewsMakers for Jan. 27, 2021


See who is making news and moving where in the weekly Missouri Bar update "MoveMakers & NewsMakers."

St. Louis 

St. Louis

The St. Louis County Bar Association has selected Sarah Shelledy Pleban as the recipient of the 2021 Dudley C. Dunlop Distinguished Service Award and Brandon Lamar Jackson as the recipient of the 2021 Roy F. Essen Memorial Award for Outstanding Work as a Young Lawyer.

Pleban has concentrated in the family law arena, primarily as a guardian ad litem, since entering into private practice. She has been a sole practitioner in St. Louis County since 1989.  Her first job as a lawyer was at the St. Louis County Public Defender’s Office where she eventually was the chief trial attorney. She graduated from Quincy University and St. Louis University School of Law.  

Pleban has spoken at many continuing legal education seminars put on by The Missouri Bar, the St. Louis County Bar Association, and the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, including the Bench and Bar Conference and The Missouri Bar Annual Meeting.

Pleban has been on the board of trustees for Quincy University, board of directors for Affton School District, school board for St. Michael the Archangel School, and on several boards including the Epilepsy Foundation, Heritage House, and St. Franciscan Charities - Province of the Sacred Heart. She was a volunteer tutor at Loyola Academy in the City of St. Louis from 2012 – 2019. Since 2017, she has spent many hours volunteering for St. Francis Community Services, the Migrant & Immigrant Community Action Project (The M.I.C.A. Project) and the St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America in their power of attorney workshops, pro se asylum workshops and legal clinic nights. She has also volunteered her services for Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry and the M.I.C.A. Project both as guardian ad litem and lawyer for parents seeking paternity judgments in cases involving immigrants. She is a member of the Shrewsbury Anti-Racism Collective.  

Brandon Lamar Jackson is an associate at Brown & Crouppen Law Firm where his practice is devoted to protecting the rights of injured victims.  He received his undergraduate education at Morehouse College where he was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate, and his J.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was awarded the pro bono notation, participated in the community development law clinic, and won Best Orator at the Frederick Douglass Moot Court competition.  

Jackson is a member of several community organizations including the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis where he serves as chair-elect of the Minorities in the Legal Profession (MILP) Committee, the Mound City Bar Association where he serves as chair of the Young Lawyers Division and a board member of Arch City Defenders, a holistic legal advocacy organization that combats the criminalization of poverty and state violence, especially in communities of color. He was named an Up & Coming Lawyer in 2019 by Missouri Lawyers Weekly.

The Dudley C. Dunlop Distinguished Service Award is an honor conferred on an attorney who has provided distinguished and unselfish service to the organized bar and the community. The recipient must also show constant devotion to the highest principles and practices of the legal profession and symbolize the highest standards of integrity, honor and unselfish service.

The Roy F. Essen Memorial Award for Outstanding Work as a Young Lawyer is an honor conferred on an attorney in recognition of excellence and distinguished work as a lawyer, distinguished service to the organized bar, and outstanding service to the community. The recipient must be under the age of 40 years.

Affinity Law Group, a St. Louis-based boutique business, estate planning and employment law firm, recently announced that Tabitha Atwell and Andrew Rushing have each been promoted to member.

“Tabitha and Andrew have been instrumental in the growth of Affinity with their energy, leadership and dedication. We are excited to have them as part of the management team, and we look forward to seeing the impact they will make on the firm,” said Kathleen Bilderback, co-founding member of the firm.

Atwell joined the firm in 2008, and her practice is focused on estate planning, asset protection, wealth preservation planning, probate, elder law, and estate and trust administration. She received her J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law. She is a member of The Missouri Bar's Estate Planning & Probate Administration Law Committee, Elder Law Committee and Taxation Law Committee, and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Atwell is also a member of WealthCounsel and ElderCounsel, both of which provide a nationwide network collaboration for trusts and estate attorneys and other legal, tax and business professionals.

Rushing, who joined Affinity in 2014, has served as counsel to closely held businesses and their owners since 2007, and specializes in mergers and acquisitions, commercial financing, private equity and other business transactions. He also provides ongoing advice on day-to-day operational issues and has extensive experience in commercial real estate transactions. Rushing received his J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and his B.S. in business administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The Association of Corporate Counsel – St. Louis Chapter (ACC STL) recently elected its 2021 officers and board of directors.

The 2021 ACC STL officers include:

  • President: Sven Fickeler, Bunzl Distribution USA
  • Vice President / President-Elect: Kate Krebel, Leonardo DRS, Inc.
  • Treasurer: Jennifer Herner, MiTek, Inc.
  • Secretary: Beverly Garner, Bunge North America Inc.
  • Immediate Past President: Brian Parsons, Centene Corp.

Sven Fickeler, ACC STL 2021 president, said, “One of the priorities this year is to continue to provide value to our membership with frequent access to quality topics and events in partnership with our sponsors despite the ongoing constraints and challenges caused by the pandemic. We have strong relationships with our sponsors who have been supportive in switching to all virtual events until circumstances allow us to resume in person events.”

“I am excited to continue the Chapter’s award-winning diversity program and am proud that we will again be offering corporate internships to students with a diverse background even if it has to be in a remote setting. Despite the pandemic, we will be expanding our internship program this year, which is a testament to our host companies’ commitment to the program,” added Fickeler.

The 2021 board of directors include:

  • Advocacy: Jennifer Feldhaus, Centene Corp.
  • Corporate Counsel Institute (CCI): Tyrus R. Ulmer, The Boeing Company
  • Communications: Danielle Langeneckert, Ascension Group
  • Diversity: Tamee Reese, AT&T Services Inc.
  • General Counsel Forum: Kate Molamphy, ICL Americas; and Erika Schenk, World Wide Technology, Inc.
  • Annual Golf / Spa Event: Anthony “Jay” Repaso, Mastercard
  • Law School Relations: Pam Howlett, Bayer; and Margy Weisman
  • Membership: Vikas Sunkari, SSM Health
  • Practice Area Networking (PAN) – Labor & Employment: Toni Douaihy, Macy’s Inc.
  • Past President Council Chair: Brian Parsons, Centene Corp.
  • Pro Bono: Patricia Duft, Medtronics, Inc.
  • Professional Development: Geoffrey Grammar, Ameren Services
  • Programs: John Farmer, Charter Communications, Inc.
  • Social: Chrissy Teske, Commerce Bancshares, inc.
  • Sponsorship: Denise Whitener, Wells Fargo Law Department
  • Director: Christopher Goddard, Washington University

In 2020, the ACC STL received the Gold Chapter of Distinction by the national Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC). The award recognizes the Chapter’s accomplishments in areas including programming, membership recruitment, and governance/operations. Also, the ACC STL received the 2020 Innovation Award from the national Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) for its 2019 Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Summer Internship Program.


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