A new milestone in LCLD's move to virtual meetings occurred on June 25, as LCLD Members Michael Hankinson, Chief Legal Officer of Delta Dental, and Henry Walker, Chairman of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, teamed up to host our first-ever Virtual Leadership Lunch for 2020 Fellows and Alumni.
After introductions and an ice-breaker, Hankinson described his career path, from bartending his way through law school and running restaurants to serving as the chief legal officer for the largest dental insurance company in the United States. He spoke of crisis management and the opportunity for diverse attorneys to demonstrate leadership in the current pandemic.
"Crisis and uncertainty can bring out the best in people," Hankinson says. "You need to be the eye of the storm—that calming force that can see the right path forward when chaos is swirling. Be the person who steadies others and brings clarity and conviction into view, so that people look to you for leadership and judgment."
Walker also provided an overview of the career path that led him to Kilpatrick Townsend, a founding Member of LCLD, and shared his thoughts on leading through a crisis. He stressed the importance of empathy and servant leadership at all levels of a legal career, no matter the circumstances.
The Lunch attendees, 2020 Fellows and LCLD Alumni, asked questions and sought advice on topics such as relationship-building in a virtual environment, motivating employees in a time of crisis, and conversations about race.
"Even in this most difficult year, LCLD is unique in that it continues to build and sustain relationships that help us succeed over time," says Stephanie Baldanzi, a 2020 Fellow from AT&T. "And hearing from Members who have managed their lives and careers successfully, through all kinds of weather, is incredibly valuable—especially now."
In addition to the hosts, LCLD would like to thank 2014 Fellow Yendelela Holston, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP; 2018 Fellow Yoriko Hayes, Director and Corporate Counsel at Delta Dental Insurance Company; and 2019 Fellow Laura Kreitz, Senior Counsel at Delta Dental Insurance Company, for their help in arranging this event.
Leadership Lunches are small group sessions hosted by an LCLD Corporate Member and/or a Law Firm Member. The purpose is to allow current Fellows and LCLD Alumni access to the LCLD Membership in a small, intimate environment to learn and ask questions. While usually an in-person event, these lunches have shifted to a virtual platform in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are four more Virtual Leadership Lunches planned in the next two months:
• July 8, 2020 with Joel Unruch, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary of Accenture, and Ellen Dwyer, Chair of the Executive Committee of Crowell & Moring LLP
• July 15, 2020 with Ellen Glaessner, U.S. General Counsel for TD Bank
• July 30, 2020 with Thomas Bender, Co-President and Co-Managing Director of Littler Mendelson, and Marilyn McClure-Demers, Vice President, Associate General Counsel at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, a 2014 Fellow and 2020 Rick Palmore Award Recipient
• August 21, 2020 with Craig Glidden, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of General Motors Company, and C. Matthew Keen, Managing Partner of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart
If you are interested in hosting a Virtual Leadership Lunch, please contact Nichole Velasquez, LCLD Fellows Program Manager.