The LGBT Bar is dedicated to promoting justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBT community in all its diversity.
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For Immediate Release
March 3, 2017

Contact:  Laura Hoch
(202) 637-7661 /

National LGBT Bar Association and Foundation Announce New Board Members/Promotions
Washington, DC – The National LGBT Bar Association and Foundation, the country’s largest organizations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied legal professionals, announces the appointment of eleven new board members.

“For nearly thirty years, The LGBT Bar has made it our goal to gather the best and brightest legal minds in the country, and our new board members are a reflection of this commitment to excellence,” said the organization’s executive director, D’Arcy Kemnitz. “As we move forward in this very uncertain legal time, The LGBT Bar’s work toward ensuring the safety and security of our community and families is more important than ever. The diverse backgrounds and expertise of our newly appointed board members will help to further an atmosphere of inclusiveness while also building cutting-edge legal strategies in order to provide our profession with the best opportunities available.”

The eleven new members named today are:

Norma Barnes-Euresti, Foundation At-Large: Norma Barnes-Euresti is Vice-President, Chief Counsel, Labor-Employment and Ethics at Kellogg Company. She formerly served as an administrative law judge for the Illinois Human Rights Commission. She also served as an attorney for the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Association, and is the executive sponsor for KPride & Allies. 

Elizabeth B. Davis, Foundation At-Large: Elizabeth B. Davis is a partner in the Atlanta office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP and is a member of the firm’s Environmental Department and the Food, Drug and Device Law Practice Group. Ms. Davis is a former assistant regional counsel with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She counsels clients and litigates in virtually all aspects of federal and state laws related to hazardous waste, underground storage tanks, water, air, pesticides, toxic substances and occupational safety and health. Ms. Davis also has experience with the environmental aspects of corporate and real estate transactions, occupational safety and health compliance, and zoning and land use issues.

Adeel Mangi, Foundation At-Large: Adeel Mangi is a partner in the litigation department at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, concentrating his practice in complex commercial disputes. He has particular experience in false advertising, pharmaceutical pricing and class action defense.  He also serves on the Boards of Directors of the Legal Aid Society and the Muslim Bar Association of New York, and the Advisory Board of the Alliance of Families for Justice. Mr. Mangi is also a 2013 graduate of the Microsoft Litigation Group's highly prestigious Trial Advocacy Academy.

Mark E. (Rick) Richardson, Foundation At-Large: Mark E. (Rick) Richardson is Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Global Litigation at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Mr. Richardson leads a team of lawyers who manage all forms of non-IP litigation for GSK. Mr. Richardson serves on the boards of Lawyers for Civil Justice and the Product Liability Advisory Counsel, and is a member of the DRI Drug and Device Steering Committee. He also led the development of GSK’s philosophy and processes for managing e-discovery, its Early Case Assessment and Early Dispute Resolution program, and its Write Right program. Mr. Richardson is a member of GSK Legal’s Diversity and Inclusion Steering Team, is on the Admissions Committee and Advisory Council of the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms, and is GSK’s representative to the Inclusion Initiative.
Travis Torrence, Foundation At-Large: Travis Torrence is Vice President – Legal of Jiffy Lube International, Inc., a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Shell Oil Company, where he also serves as Senior Legal Counsel.  Prior to joining Shell, Travis was a Senior Associate at Fulbright & Jaworski LLP (now known as Norton Rose Fulbright).  Travis currently serves on the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas (representing District 4). He is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for Tulane University’s School of Liberal Arts and is currently the President of The Arthur L. Moller/David B. Foltz, Jr. American Inn of Court. 

Ben Aguilar, Affiliate Representative: Ben Aguilar currently runs a solo practice. Prior to this, Mr. Aguilar worked for the Spanish Justice Department in Barcelona, Spain where he helped victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. He also clerked at the Center for International Protection in Moscow, Russia helping provide legal aid to Russian nationals who were victims of human-rights violations. Mr. Aguilar clerked at the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties for two years. 

Jason Burch, Association At-Large: Jason Burch is an associate in Sidley Austin’s New York office. His practice focuses on advising companies through regulatory compliance directives and government enforcement actions. His matters involve a range of issues for the life sciences and financial services industries, including good manufacturing practices, promotional sales & trading practices, civil & criminal investigations, and anti-corruption monitoring. Before practicing law, Mr. Burch played professional baseball for six seasons, and worked as a legislative strategist in Austin, Texas.

Sherman Helenese, Association At-Large: Sherman Helenese is an owner at Garvey Schubert Barer where he provides strategic counsel on complex business and legal issues associated with the development, distribution, acquisition and protection of intellectual property assets. His practice focuses on licensing program development, technology transactions (involving software, hardware and related professional services), IP due diligence, trade secrets, and the rapidly evolving privacy and data security issues associated with the same. He is a trusted advisor and his clients range from fortune 500 companies to emerging growth clients. 

Lousene Hoppe, Association At-Large: Lousene Hoppe is a litigator and criminal defense attorney in the Minneapolis office of Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., representing corporations and individuals accused of health care fraud, financial or tax crimes, and criminal felony and misdemeanor cases at both the state and federal levels. Ms. Hoppe is experienced in dealing with representatives/agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Justice (DOJ), the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Labor (DoL), and other government agencies on behalf of clients under investigation for civil or criminal penalties. 

Deb L. Kinney, Association At-Large: Deb L. Kinney is a partner at Johnston, Kinney & Zulaica LLP, a law firm providing comprehensive estate planning, trust administration and probate services and family law. The practice covers a broad spectrum of families and does foundational estate planning, charitable planned giving, and non-citizen and international planning. The firm has an extensive probate and trust administration practice representing both beneficiaries and trustees. Johnston, Kinney & Zulaica LLP assists families with formation and dissolution issues and has a comprehensive elder law and special needs practice.

Jennifer Protas, Association At-Large: Jennifer Protas is a shareholder at Hoge Fenton and helps employers navigate California’s employment laws.  Her practice focuses on matters related to wage and hour advice and litigation, employee leave issues, personnel management, HR investigations and trainings, and defense of wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, and retaliation litigation. In addition, Ms. Protas has substantial experience drafting employer policies, handbooks, confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements, separation agreements, and settlement agreements. Her practice also includes housing discrimination matters, and general litigation, including business disputes.

In addition to the new Board members, many of the Board's existing members will assume new roles. Dale Noll, Akerman LLP, will assume the position of Association President while Gregory Cheikhameguyaz, Anixter, Inc., will become President-Elect. Wesley Bizzell, Altria Client Services LLC, will take over as Association Treasurer and Kylie Byron, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, will assume the role of Association Secretary. Kevin Kraham, Littler Mendelson P.C., will take over as President of the Foundation while Nancy Halas, Liberty Mutual, will become President-Elect. Jesse Ryan Loffler, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, will assume the role of Foundation Treasurer.   
“The LGBT Bar’s board represents the very best of our profession,” Kemnitz said. “As we enter the twenty-ninth year of our Annual Conference and Career Fair, the board will play a major role in shaping the future of our event and organization, guaranteeing that our programs remain top-notch and relevant to the current climate of the legal profession. With this new leadership, we will work to ensure that The LGBT Bar raises the bar on excellence in the profession, and equality within our community.”

For a complete list of Association and Foundation board members, visit

The National LGBT Bar Association is a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists, and affiliated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal organizations. The association promotes justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBT community in all its diversity.
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The National LGBT Bar Association is a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists and affiliated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal organizations. The LGBT Bar promotes justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBT community in all its diversity.
Copyright © 2017 National LGBT Bar Association, All rights reserved.

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