On July 28, 2017, LCLD Member organizations Abercrombie & Fitch and Squire Patton Boggs hosted Fellows and Pathfinders for a Leadership Lunch Plus at Squire Patton Boggs’ New York office in Rockefeller Center. Afterwards, attendees walked to the flagship store of Abercrombie & Fitch for a tour.

The event was co-hosted by Fred Nance, Global Managing Partner of Squire Patton Boggs, and 2016 Fellow Stacia Jones, Vice President, Associate General Counsel, and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Abercrombie & Fitch. John Nonna, Managing Partner of Squire Patton Boggs’ New York office, welcomed the LCLD Fellows and Pathfinders to the lunch followed by introductions of attendees. The discussion between Nance and Jones was moderated by Alethia Nancoo, an LCLD diversity professional and Partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.

Nance, joining by teleconference, regaled the attendees with stories from his career, including his work with clients such as the City of Cleveland, the Cleveland Browns, and NBA star LeBron James. He used these examples to demonstrate to attendees that their careers, like his, would be unscripted and rely on external factors. He urged them to focus on the things they can control such as their personal brand, relationships, and taking advantage of every opportunity.

Jones discussed her career path from law firm attorney to her current position overseeing Abercrombie & Fitch’s global diversity and inclusion efforts. She stressed the importance of clients, like Abercrombie, demanding diversity & inclusion efforts from their partner law firms in order to effect change in the profession.

Hearing from these two leaders in the industry made an impact on the attendees. Naima Garvin, Senior Attorney at IBM Corporation and 2017 Fellow indicated, “They both have phenomenal career and life stories that are motivating to me as I chart my path forward in my own career. Both speakers reiterated the importance of diversity in the legal field and reminded us that though we have made progress, there is still much to be done.” 

The Fellows and Pathfinders also had the opportunity to ask questions of the leadership in the room. They inquired about mentorship, global diversity issues, and bringing their authentic selves to work. Afterwards attendees walked to the four-story flagship Abercrombie & Fitch store and got a tour from some of the employees. 

For many LCLD Pathfinders, this was the first time that they were able to network with Fellows and found the experience to be a valuable compliment to the Pathfinder Program.

“The Leadership Lunch helped me synthesize and build upon some of the lessons learned during my first Pathfinder meeting, including the differences between mentorship and sponsorship and building your own personal brand,” expressed 2017 Pathfinder Jackson Murley, an Associate at Shearman & Sterling LLP. Both Fellows and Pathfinders expressed an interest in more co-networking opportunities like this in the future.

LCLD would like to thank 2016 Fellows Arooj Sheikh (Abercrombie & Fitch Co.) and Traci Martinez (Squire Patton Boggs), as well as LCLD diversity professional Crystal Arnold (Squire Patton Boggs) for their efforts in planning this event.

Nichole Velasquez is the Fellows Program Manager at LCLD. For questions about hosting a Leadership Lunch event, please contact her at nvelasquez@lcldnet.com.