2016 WIPL - Women, Influence & Power in Law


September 21, 2016


B.I.O Executive Leadership Forum 2016

8:00 am – 9:00 am

Registration and Breakfast

9:00 am – 9:15 am


Welcome – This year’s B.I.O Executive Leadership Conference Theme is the Mini M.B.A.

What separates a fledging assistant general counsel from a fully formed General Counsel? A crucial dynamic to consider is how the General Counsel’s advisory role to the executive team grows. These days the General Counsel is often seen as a full member of the executive team. These sessions are geared towards building an increased understanding of business concepts that will help you stand out and rise.


  • -Acquire new understanding of financial concepts and analysis
  • -Increase your effectiveness in negotiating for the approach you feel is best for the company with consideration of how negotiation approaches for women may differ
  • -Develop unique insights into the responsibilities of the General Counsel as an Executive
  • -Increase expertise in blending a cost-benefit analysis with legal risk management


-Lily Hughes, Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer & Corporate Secretary, Public Storage
-Molly Miller, Chief Content Officer, ALM Media, LLC


   9:15 am – 10:15 am

PHASE I: Plenary – Excel is Your Friend: Accounting Concepts for Lawyers

Understanding cost incentives are a critical component of corporate leadership. This session will introduce some basics of financial accounting and how you can employ them in your legal calculus. Special focus will be placed on how increased understanding of financial concepts will aid you in recognizing your company’s strategic priorities and helping achieve them.


-Cathy Landman, General Counsel, Jostens Inc.
-Meredith Ritchie, Vice President, General Counsel & Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Alliant Credit Union
-Oksanna Malan, Partner, Quadrant Law Group, LLP


10:15 am -
10:45 am

Networking Break


   10:45 am – 11:45 am

Pop Quiz - Financial Analysis Exercise
Interactive walk through of financial statement exercise

Following the panel discussion, the second session will have participants split into breakout groups. Our Mini MBA Candidates will receive a business case and test what they have just learned in the plenary as they are challenged to fill in the missing information on a formal forecast projection, income statement, and balance sheet.


   11:45 am -1:15 pm 


Networking Lunch + Spotlight Discussion: How to Find Allies in the Legal Department, C-Suite, and Boardroom

Moderator: Kara Baysinger, Partner, Dentons


-Ilona Korzha, Counsel, Sprint Nextel
-Kathy Barlow, Senior Vice President, Marsh & McLennan Companies
-Fern Fleischer Daves, General Counsel, Thermostat Recycling Corporation


   1:15 pm – 2:15 pm

PHASE II: Can’t Read My Poker Face: Gaining the Upper Hand in Strategic Decision Making and Negotiations

“Once I realized how to use myself and be myself, and use the things at my disposal, I could leverage the situation to my benefit.”

When you get in the zone and are negotiating, there’s limited bandwidth to deliberate given the intensity of focusing on your position and anticipating the reaction. This session will discuss how to formulate your approach more effectively and perform to your best advantage in the moment when it comes to:

-Finding success in getting your message across without being adversarial
-Embracing unconscious bias and reframing the situation for yourself when people across the table underestimate you
-Understanding who it is you are negotiating with
-Understanding who is in the room
-Tips for choosing your words and body language while remaining genuine
-Expanding your strategy portfolio, including the unexpected power of change-ups
-Staying calm and in charge under pressure


-Diana C. Toman, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Compass Minerals
-Rae Cook, President, Rae Cook & Associates, Inc.
-Jennifer McClennan, Head, Strategic Negotiations, Infosys
   2:15 pm -
   3:00 pm 
Pop Quiz - Negotiations Challenge
Interactive walk through of negotiations strategy

Following the panel discussion, the second session will have participants split into breakout groups. Our Mini MBA Candidates will be challenged to apply the lessons of the plenary in a mock negotiations exercise with fellow attendees.

   3:00 pm -
   3:15 pm 

Afternoon Refreshment Break

   3:15 pm -
   4:00 pm

PHASE III: Talking the Talk of Your CEO – Exuding Executive Presence with Public Speaking and Communication Strategies

When it comes to those pivotal meetings, Powerpoints, conference calls, and presentations to the board, legal leadership knows that how you state your case can be just as crucial to success as the substance of your ideas. In this session, our spirited panelists will share the communication strategies they have found to be most effective in their years of translating legal risk into business recommendations.


-Lily Hughes, Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer & Corporate Secretary, Public Storage
-Margaret M. Foran, Chief Governance Officer, SVP and Corporate Secretary, Prudential Financial, Inc.
-Molly Miller, Chief Content Officer, ALM Media, LLC


   4:00 pm – 5:00 pm


Pop Quiz – Make a Recommendation to the CEO

Your company is facing a scenario pitting the needs of the range of your stakeholders (regulatory agency, customers, employees, and investors) in conflict. You are tasked with balancing cost considerations, the law, and ethics in making a three minute presentation to your CEO on what steps the company should take next. You will have 30 minutes to discuss and prepare before alternately being the listening CEO and General Counsel to your group.


   5:00 – 6:00 pm


Networking Cocktail Reception