Missouri Lawyers Media has been honoring excellence in law for decades. Seven 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 2023 group of honorees stands just as tall.
On these pages, you find the stories of 20 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 2023 honorees. While their companies and work may vary, they share a common excellence in their profession.
For that, we salute them.
— Susan A. Bocamazo, Esq., publisher
Lifetime Achievement Award
Kimberly S. Myers, General Counsel, Imo’s Holding Company, St. Louis
Health care organization
Teresa A. Generous, Vice President and General Counsel, Hannibal Regional Healthcare System, Inc., Hannibal
Thad N. Leach, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, Phelps Health, Rolla
Nonprofit or government organization
Stephanie Grise, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Midwest BankCentre, St. Louis
François Henriquez, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, and General Counsel, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Private company with annual revenues over $500M
Brent C. Beumer, Vice President of Real Estate and Corporate Counsel, Dierbergs Markets, Inc., Chesterfield
Jessica Miner-McLin, Senior Corporate Counsel, Orscheln Management Co., Moberly
Waldon L. Moss, Senior Corporate Counsel, Shelter Insurance Companies, Columbia
Daniel M. O’Keefe, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Litigation, Enterprise Holdings Inc., St. Louis
Private company with annual revenues up to $500M
Ben Byrd, General counsel, Nodaway Valley Bank, Maryville
Joshua Ellwanger, General Counsel, IPFS Corporation, Kansas City
Adam P. Sachs, Senior Vice President & Chief Legal Officer, Kansas City Royals Baseball Club, Kansas City
Scott Aripoli, Senior corporate counsel, H&R Block, Kansas City
Kate Dugan, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Energizer Holdings, St. Louis
Diedre Gray, Executive vice president, general counsel and chief administrative officer, corporate secretary, Post Holdings, Inc., St. Louis
Seth Hawkins, Vice president and General Counsel, Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis
Chonda Jordan Nwamu, Executive vice-president, general counsel and secretary, Ameren, St. Louis
Jessica Li, Lead patent and technology counsel – Intellectual property, Cigna/Express Scripts, St. Louis
Elise Senti, Senior counsel, real estate, Bunzl Distribution, St. Louis
Lischen Peso Reeves Gibson, Corporate Counsel – Privacy and Cybersecurity, Oracle Corporation, Kansas City
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