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MoveMakers & NewsMakers for Feb. 1, 2022


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

St. Louis | Kansas City | Other States

St. Louis

Joseph Blanner, a member of McCarthy, Leonard & Kaemmerer LC, was appointed to the Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority by Gov. Mike Parson. He has more than 20 years of legal experience and primarily focuses his practice on construction law, municipal law, real estate, and commercial and general civil litigation.

Blanner is co-founder and president of the non-profit organization Construction Forum STL and Construction Forum Education Foundation. He is also a board member of the University of Missouri–St. Louis Chancellor's Council and past president of the UMSL Alumni Association. 

His awards include the 2011 Citizen of the Year Award from the City of Eureka and the 2012 Roy F. Essen Outstanding Young Lawyer Award from the St. Louis County Bar Association.

Blanner earned a B.S. in public administration from the University of Missouri–St. Louis, and his J.D. and M.A. in public administration from Saint Louis University.

Affinity Law Group LLC, a boutique business, estate planning, and employment law firm, recently announced that Daniel Renner joined the private client group of the firm. He will focus his practice on assisting clients with estate planning, tax planning, asset protection, and probate and trust administration. 

“We are thrilled to have Daniel join Affinity. He brings a strong commitment and enthusiasm for providing estate planning services to individuals and their families, which are important qualities for serving our clients,” said Tabitha Atwell, the group's practice leader.

Renner earned a dual J.D./MBA from Southern Illinois University. While in law school, he served as an articles editor for the Southern Illinois University Law Journal. He was awarded the Hiram H. and Rosalee Lesar Memorial Scholarship to attend law school and was thereafter awarded the Lee Ann and Paul L. Conti Scholarship for his J.D./MBA dual degree studies. He received his BBA from the University of Kentucky.

 “My interest in estate planning started at an early age. My family members are now in their fourth generation of owning and operating a local funeral home, where my father and brother now work. It was a big part of our childhood. I was able to witness how important end-of-life planning is and how helpful it can be to those we leave behind,” said Renner.

Renner is licensed to practice in Missouri and Illinois. He is a member of Our Little Haven’s Young Professionals Group. 

Renner enjoys spending time with his wife and their son and is an avid sports fan and golfer.

The Association of Corporate Counsel – St. Louis Chapter (ACC STL) recently elected its 2022 officers and board of directors.

The 2022 ACC STL officers include:

  • President: Kate Krebel, vice president, corporate counsel, Leonardo DRS Technologies, Inc.
  • President-Elect: Jennifer Herner, assistant vice president & assistant general counsel, MiTek, Inc.
  • Treasurer: Beverly Garner, associate general counsel, Bunge North America, Inc.
  • Secretary: Danielle Langeneckert, director, pharmaceutical integration, Ascension Health
  • Immediate Past President: Sven Fickeler, senior corporate counsel, Bunzl Distribution USA

Kate Krebel, ACC STL 2022 president, said, “One of the priorities this year is to continue to provide value to our members with programming on timely topics, to host events in partnership with our sponsors, and to continue expanding our pro bono and volunteer opportunities.”

The 2022 board of directors include:

  • Advocacy: Jennifer Feldhaus, senior corporate counsel, Centene Corp.
  • Corporate Counsel Institute (CCI): Tyrus R. Ulmer, chief counsel, The Boeing Company
  • Communications: Aaron Mutnick, legal risk manager, Amazon
  • Diversity: Vikas Sunkari, senior legal counsel, SSM Health
  • General Counsel Forum: Erika Schenk, general counsel & vice president of compliance, World Wide Technology, Inc.; and Kate Molamphy, vice president & general counsel, ICL Americas
  • Annual Golf / Spa Event: Anthony “Jay” Repaso, manager, legal services, Mastercard
  • Law School Relations: Pam Howlett, senior assistant general counsel, regulatory, Bayer
  • Membership: Christopher Wittenauer, vice president and general counsel of Americas and state government regulations, Peabody Energy
  • Practice Area Networking (PAN): Toni Douaihy, vice president & assistant general counsel, Macy’s, Inc.; and Brian Parsons, senior corporate counsel, Centene Corp.
  • Past President Council Chair: Sven Fickeler, senior corporate counsel, Bunzl Distribution USA
  • Pro Bono: Patricia Duft, senior legal director, Medtronics, Inc.
  • Professional Development: Geoffrey Grammer, corporate counsel, Ameren Services
  • Programs: John Farmer, vice president, litigation, Charter Communications, Inc.
  • Social: Chrissy Teske, associate general counsel, World Wide Technology
  • Social Justice Task Force: Lisa Savoy, legal counsel, Experian
  • Sponsorship: Denise Whitener, managing counsel, Wells Fargo Law Department

In 2021, 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. 

Kansas City

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce Daniel Nelson, former chief deputy prosecutor for Jackson County, has joined the litigation and dispute resolution practice group as of counsel. 

Nelson brings vast experience in business law, prosecution, and case management, giving him unique ability to provide clients with creative and efficient counsel related to complex, high-stakes litigation matters. He maintains an extensive track record of success in complex state and federal litigation and regulatory matters, including a focus on trial presentation, forensic accounting evidence, electronic evidence, and business reporting requirements.

Most recently in his role with Jackson County, Nelson oversaw a prosecutor’s office of 152 total employees, including 72 attorneys that annually resolved about 4,000 cases. Prior to this, he spent more than 12 years in federal prosecution as an assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri, litigating many complex white-collar cases, including tax, money laundering, health care, and public corruption. This often involved prosecuting complex fraud investigations that involved the FBI, IRS, CFTC, SEC, and other agencies.

Nelson served as the executive assistant U.S. Attorney from 2008 to 2010, giving him a supervisory role in all district litigation and operations for an office of 128 employees, including 68 attorneys.

“Dan has a longstanding reputation for being a fierce advocate and is known for his success in achieving positive outcomes in complex litigation matters,” said Patrick J. Whalen, chair of the firm. “We are pleased to welcome such a talented attorney who not only fits with our culture of collaboration but also offers our clients unique experience and perspective.”

Nelson has presented to numerous groups including a large regional meeting of bank examiners and government agents at the Federal Reserve Bank, and a national meeting of white-collar FBI agents. He has lectured on ethics, securities, and cyber law at the University of Kansas, and the University of Missouri. He is a special master for the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association’s Trial Academy and has served on the Western District Magistrate Selection Committee.

In his previous stint in private practice, Nelson served as a litigation associate in the Washington, D.C. office of one of the largest law firms in the country. He focused on securities, including securities arbitrations, and complex business litigation.

Nelson completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, graduating magna cum laude, and earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School.

Other States

Robert S. Kenney was recently promoted to senior vice president of regulatory and external affairs at Pacific Gas and Electric Company in Oakland, California. In this role, he is responsible for setting strategy for all interactions with the California Public Utilities Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He is also responsible for local governmental affairs and community relations, including the company's philanthropic endeavors. He has been with PG&E since 2015, with increasing levels of responsibility.



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