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Introducing our In-House Counsel of the Year awards

Whether they are called the general counsel, chief legal officer, director of legal affairs or just the lawyer down the hall who knows how to get things done, in-house counsel often labor outside the limelight.

They quietly address their companies’ legal needs and, with any luck, head off new issues before they begin.inhouse-counsel17-tickets-300x250

Through our annual Corporate Counsel Desk Book and ongoing series of Corporate Counsel Roundtable discussions throughout the state, Missouri Lawyers Weekly has always acknowledged the critical role these attorneys play to their employers and to the legal community at large.

In 2016, we unveiled a Corporate Counsel award as part of our annual Missouri Lawyers Awards. Now we’re taking our recognition to the next step with our inaugural In-House Counsel of the Year awards.

This year, we recognize 22 honorees. These lawyers, in a broad range of industries and at varying stages of their careers, serve employers large and small, famous and private. What they have in common is a commitment to excellence and dedication to their clients.

The breakfast awards event will be held at The Clayton Plaza Hotel on Nov. 3.

Public Company

  • Jeffrey Groves, senior vice president of legal and general counsel, O’Reilly Auto Parts
  • Kara Larson, assistant general counsel, Kansas City Power & Light
  • Desiree Peri, vice president and assistant general counsel, Charter Communications
  • Cathi Ponciroli, associate general counsel, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals
  • Craig Rosenthal, senior vice president, law – corporate and employment, Altice USA
  • Gina Srivastava, vice president and deputy general counsel, H&R Block
  • Leonard Wagner, associate general counsel, Kansas City Southern Railway

Private Company with annual revenues up to $500 million

  • Patrick O’Leary, vice president and general counsel, The Bar Plan
  • Vivek Puri, vice president and general counsel, Puri Group of Enterprises Inc.

Private Company with annual revenues over $500 million

  • Brian E. Gardner, executive vice president and general counsel, Hallmark Cards
  • Matt Geekie, senior vice president, secretary and general counsel, Graybar Electric Co. Inc.
  • Christopher Lewis, principal and general counsel, Edward Jones
  • Crystal Saling, corporate attorney, The Doe Run Resources Corp.
  • Timothy Triplett, general counsel, Black & Veatch

Nonprofit or Government Organization

  • John Black, general counsel, City Utilities of Springfield
  • Lisa Braun, assistant vice chancellor and associate general counsel, Washington University
  • Mark Falkowski, general counsel, Columbia College

Healthcare Organization

  • Charity Elmer, senior vice president and general counsel, CoxHealth
  • Jacquelynn Richmond, vice president and assistant general counsel, Mercy

Rising Star

  • Nicholas Hendon, deputy general counsel and vice president, epoxy, Olin Corp.
  • Molly Jones, assistant general counsel, litigation, Monsanto Company

Lifetime Achievement

  • Bill Quatman, general counsel and senior vice president, Burns & McDonnell
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