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Missouri Lawyers Media honors 22 with 2021 In-House Counsel Awards

Missouri Lawyers Media has been honoring excellence in law for decades. Five years ago, we expanded our range of honor events to recognize and celebrate top in-house lawyering throughout our state.

That first event in 2017 over-delivered on its promise to spotlight those who consistently excel in the legal departments of some of Missouri’s most significant businesses and organizations. And while it might be natural to worry that subsequent performances would never reach the same high, we weren’t.  We knew we had only scratched the surface of remarkable depth of legal talent serving these businesses.

As predicted, our 2021 group of honorees stands just as tall.

On these pages, you find the stories of 22 men and women who partner and lead with CEOs across a spectrum of businesses and organizations — public to private, large to small, emerging to maturing.

They are strategists. Collaborators. Problem-solvers.  Innovators. They are uncomfortable with ambiguity and navigate a company to excel in efficiency and execution. They are often courageous in their recommendation and guidance during turbulent times.

Parsing the broad business of law into precise practice areas is an evolving need for firms. Legal specialists must become laser-focused in meeting current needs of their many clients. But it’s the generalist who best suits the in-house counsel role for the single client. That attorney has a seat at the boardroom with a stake in the overall and long-term success of the company.

So in selecting the honorees for the In-House Counsel Awards, we look not only at expertise in the legal profession, but the commitment and impact these attorneys have made within their companies. They understand and demonstrate a unique blend as counselor and business strategist as they help to guide their companies’ vision.

Please take the time to read the profiles of all of our 2021 honorees. While their companies and work may vary, they share a common excellence in their profession.

For that, we salute them.

— Liz Irwin, publisher

Click here to see the digital edition and past honorees.

2021 honorees:

Lifetime Achievement Award

Bill Hutton, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated

Health care organization

Chris Feldmeir, Vice President & General Counsel, EyeCare Partners

Chris Koster, General Counsel, Centene

Mayme Sloan, Executive Vice President Compliance & Quality and General Counsel, Compass Health Network

Maureen Vogel, Associate General Counsel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City

Andrew Walkup, Regional General Counsel, SSM Health

Nonprofit or government organization

Rachael Dockery, General Counsel, Missouri State University

Kay Noonan, General Counsel, National Association of Insurance Commissioners

Jason Paulsmeyer, Chief Counsel, Missouri LAGERS

Private company with more than $500 million in annual revenue

Jovita Foster, General Counsel, Drury Hotels Company

Philip Kirkpatrick, Regional General Counsel, Rabobank North America

Private company with up to $500 million in annual revenue

Eugene Tucker, Vice President/Associate General Counsel, HOK

Carrie Wrisberg, Chief Compliance Officer and Counsel, Moloney Securities Co., Inc.

Public company

Meghan McMaster, General Counsel, Bunge

Kate Molamphy, Vice President, General Counsel, ICL Americas LLC

David Narkiewicz, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Purina Nestle

Eileen Petito, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Hussmann Corporation

Charlene Wilson, Assistant General Counsel, H&R Block

Rising star

Danielle Cherney, Director, Associate General Counsel, Spire

Clifton Martin, Associate General Counsel, Save-A-Lot

Sufia Orbe, General Counsel, Axiom Product Administration

Julie Pine, General Counsel and Chief Risk Officer, Lead Bank