2016-2017 Board of Directors
+ President: Pamela Reynolds
PAMELA REYNOLDS, President, is an associate attorney in the Rochester office of Littler Mendelson, P.C., a U.S. based international law firm exclusively devoted to representing management in every aspect of labor and employment law. There, she counsels clients in a broad range of labor and employment matters from discrimination claims to wage and hour obligations to ERISA matters. Pamela received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history, with a minor in mathematics, from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and her J.D. from the University of Richmond School of Law, cum laude. Pamela previously served as Treasurer of GRAWA. She is also a member of the New York State Bar Association, where she previously served as Secretary of the Committee on Women in the Law and is a past co-chair of the Membership Committee of the Monroe County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section.
Pamela is honored to be serving as GRAWA’s President and looks forward to carrying the torch of those who have served before her into another exciting year.
+ President-Elect: Jodie Ryan
JODIE RYAN, President-Elect, is Of Counsel in the Rochester office of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP. She concentrates her practice in the area of civil and commercial litigation with an emphasis on personal injury, products liability, asbestos disease litigation, chemical exposure/toxic torts and commercial collections matters. Jodie received her Bachelor’s Degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo cum laude, and her J.D. from Albany Law School. She previously served on the Board of Directors for the Fairport Baptist Homes Caring Ministries Foundation from 2009-2015 and also served on the GRAWA Board from 2013-2014, during which time she also served a two-year term as co-chair of the Judicial Evaluation Committee. Currently, she is a member of the Rochester Women’s Network, the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers, and the Defense Research Institute (DRI). She is also a member of the American Bar Association, Monroe County Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA). In addition, Jodie is an active member of GRAWA and has served on its Judicial Evaluation Committee for several years. In 2007, she received the NYSBA’s President’s Award for Pro Bono service and in 2009 she was recognized by the Daily Record as an Up and Coming Attorney.
+ Immediate Past-President: Jill Paperno
JILL PAPERNO, Immediate Past President, is the First Assistant Public Defender for the Monroe County Public Defender's Office. Jill graduated from the State University of New York at Albany in 1981, and Buffalo Law School in 1984. She was a staff attorney with Prisoners' Legal Services of New York from 1984 until 1987, when she joined the Monroe County Public Defender's Office. She has worked for the Monroe County Public Defender's Office since then representing indigent defendants in criminal cases. In 2010 she was awarded the Jeffrey A. Jacobs Memorial Award for outstanding trial work. In 2011 she was named a Rochester Daily Record Leader in Law and awarded the Rochester Daily Record Nathaniel Award. Jill contributed a chapter on handling sex offenses in Strategies for Handling Sex Crimes published by Aspatore Books, and her book, Representing the Accused: A Practical Guide to Criminal Defense was published by West Publishing in 2012. She contributes to criminal defense blogs at newyorkcriminaldefense.blogspot.com and for the National Association for Public Defense at http://www.publicdefenders.us. Jill was the 2015-2016 president of GRAWA. Previously she served as Legislative Chair for GRAWA, and as one of the chairs of the Criminal Law Committee for WBASNY.
+ Secretary: Catherine Callery
CATHERINE (KATE) M. CALLERY, Secretary, is a senior staff attorney with the Disability Advocacy Program (DAP) Unit in Empire Justice Center’s Rochester office. Her practice focuses on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability issues before the Social Security Administration (SSA) and in federal court, including the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In addition to litigation, she works on system change advocacy within SSA, does research and training, acts as an informational clearinghouse, and provides litigation backup to other legal services programs and community based organizations. Kate previously served as the Supervising Attorney of the DAP Unit at the Public Interest Law Office of Rochester (PILOR) and the Monroe County Legal Assistance Corporation. She was an Assistant Public Defender in the early 1980s. Kate is a past president of GRAWA (Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys), a former member of the Board of Trustees of the MCBA, and 2014 recipient of the MCBA’s Crimi Award. She was also the proud recipient of GRAWA’s 2014 President’s Award. Kate is a graduate of Smith College and the University of Connecticut Law School. She and her husband have two grown children.
+ Treasurer: Meghan K. McGuire
MEGHAN K. McGUIRE, Treasurer, is an Associate at Nixon Peabody LLP in its Commercial Litigation group. Her practice focuses on civil litigation generally and bankruptcy and trusts and estates litigation specifically. Meghan received her bachelor's degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and her J.D. from Columbia University. She is a past Co-Chair of GRAWA's Newly Admitted Women Attorneys Committee, past WBASNY Delegate, and current member of GRAWA’s Nominations Committee. Meghan also served as GRAWA’s delegate to the Campaign for Justice Cabinet and is a member of the Rochester Rotary.
program Committee Co-Chairs
+ Stacey Trien
STACEY TRIEN, Program Committee Co-Chair, is an Associate at Leclair, Korona, Giordano, Cole, LLP. Her practice focuses on commercial litigation, employment litigation, and insurance law. She advocates for clients involved in business, employment, and insurance disputes in state and federal court. Stacey received her B.A. from the University of Rochester, cum laude, and her J.D. from The George Washington University. Stacey is a Rochester native who began her career by litigating commercial and employment law matters in Miami, Florida for more than a decade, and she is happy to have returned to her home town to continue her practice. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Levy Family Foundation, a charitable foundation, and is also a member of the Monroe County Bar Association, the New York Bar Association, and the Florida Bar.
+ Laura Myers
LAURA MYERS, Program Committee Co-Chair, is an Associate at the Wolford Law Firm, LLP. She currently focuses her practice on commercial and employment litigation in state and federal courts. Laura received her JD and MBA from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is admitted to practice in state and federal courts in New York and Ohio, and is a registered patent attorney. Laura is a member of the MCBA Foundation Board and is a past chair of the MCBA Young Lawyers’ Section. Laura has been a member of GRAWA since 2007 and is GRAWA’s liaison to the Coalition on Pay Equity. Laura is also a volunteer and member of the Development Committee for Lollypop Farms. Laura received the MCBA’s Emerging Bar Leader Award in 2011 and the Daily Record’s Up & Coming Attorneys’ Award in 2010.
+ Nominating Committee Chair: Heidi Schult Gregory
HEIDI SCHULT GREGORY, Nominating Committee Chair, is a member of Harris Beach PLLC, leader of the firm’s Health Care Industry Team, and practices in the Business and Commercial Litigation Practice Group. She is listed in New York Super Lawyers in the areas of health care and business litigation and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in medical malpractice law. She has extensive experience representing hospitals, health care providers and long term care facilities, as well as OMH, OASAS and OPWDD licensed entities. Heidi has successfully litigated a variety of medical malpractice and negligence cases and has handled hundreds of guardianship and civil commitment proceedings. Heidi regularly counsels health care clients in areas of risk management, medical ethics, clinical operations, clinical trial work, statutory and regulatory compliance, telemedicine, professional discipline, credentialing, peer review and health information management. Heidi also provides statutory and regulatory compliance training seminars on a number of subjects, including HIPAA, guardianships, Mental Hygiene Law, end of life care and the Family Health Care Decisions Act.
In addition to the practice of law, Heidi is a member, by judicial appointment, of the Fourth Department Appellate Division’s Attorney Grievance Committee and the Judicial Hearing Officer Screening Committee. Heidi is on the Board of Advisors for Siena College in Loudonville, New York. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Coordinated Care Services, Inc. and on the Board of Directors for Faith Child Care and Nursery School in Penfield (the daycare center her children once attended).
Heidi has been a long-standing member of the New York State Bar Association Health Law Section, the Monroe County Bar Association and, last but certainly not least, the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys. She has served in various leadership positions within those associations. Heidi is a past president of GRAWA, and has served in other roles throughout the years both on the Board and within the organization, including secretary and chair of the Family and Careers Committee. Heidi is a graduate of Siena College and Albany Law School, and is the proud recipient of the 2016 Albany Law School Kate Stoneman Award, an award given to those who actively seek change and expand opportunities for women within the legal profession. Heidi is married to her law school sweetheart, Doug. They have two daughters (ages 16 and 14) and one son (age 12). She spends her “free time” chauffeuring her children to and from sporting events.
JEC Committee Co-Chairs
+ Erin Heintz
ERIN HEINTZ, Judicial Evaluation Committee Co-Chair, is an Assistant General Counsel at Rochester Regional Health. She supports all labor and employment law matters for the health system. Prior to joining Rochester Regional Health, Erin was an associate with Littler Mendelson, P.C., where she counseled and defended employers in employment litigation matters. Erin received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Virginia Tech, and received her Juris Doctor degree from Syracuse University College of Law. Erin also serves on on the Advisory Board for The Salvation Army. Erin and her husband Jeff reside in the City of Rochester.
+ Carol McKenna
CAROL A. MCKENNA, Judicial Evaluation Committee Co-Chair, is an Associate with Faraci Lange, LLP, where she focuses her legal practice on civil motions and appeals. She joined Faraci Lange in 1990, after earning her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. Carol has worked on all types of personal injury litigation cases, including products liability, medical malpractice, toxic tort, automobile negligence, premises liability, and New York State Labor Law cases. She is a member of the American Association for Justice, the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers, the New York State and Monroe County Bar Associations, and the Greater Rochester Association of Women Attorneys. Carol lives in Brighton with her husband Matt Belanger, who is also an attorney at Faraci Lange, and their two children.
+ Media Committee Chair: Heather Neu
HEATHER NEU, Media Chair, is an Associate at Evans & Fox LLP. She graduated from University at Buffalo School of Law, with a concentration in Finance Transactions, and earned her B.A. in Political Science from Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. Heather currently serves as GRAWA’s media chair and as co-chair of WBASNY’s Membership Committee. She has also served as GRAWA’s
membership chair, NAWA Co-Chair and as Co-Chair of WBASNY’s Convention 2014 Committee. Heather is also active as a Director of Gannon University’s National Alumni Board for the Gannon University Alumni Association. In 2014, Heather was awarded the Daily Record’s Excellence in Law: Up and Coming Attorney Award, and in 2015, she received WBASNY’s Doris S. Hoffman Outstanding New Lawyer Award and SuperLawyers Rising Star recognition.
+ Legislative Committee Chair: Carey Ann Denefrio
CAREY ANN DENEFRIO, Legislative Committee Chair, is an Associate at Littler Mendelson, P.C., a U.S. based international law firm exclusively devoted to representing management in every aspect of labor and employment law. At Littler, Carey Ann represents clients in a broad range of labor and employment matters arising under federal and state law. Before joining Littler in July 2015, Carey Ann served as the Confidential Law Clerk to the Honorable Jonathan W. Feldman from December 2007 – July 2015, and was an Associate at Ward Norris Heller & Reidy LLP from September 2005 – December 2007. Carey Ann received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Boston College, and received her Juris Doctor degree from Albany Law School, cum laude, where she served as Executive Editor for Lead Articles on the Albany Law Review. Carey Ann is currently a member of GRAWA’s Legislative and Dinner Club Committees, and was previously a member of the Family & Careers and Newly Admitted Women Attorneys Committees. Carey Ann is an active member of the Monroe County Bar Association. She has been on the Board of Directors for the Foundation of the Monroe County Bar since 2011, where she currently serves as Chairperson of the Grants Committee, and is also a member of the Nominating Committee. For several years Carey Ann served as Chairperson of the MCBA Young Lawyers’ Section Community Outreach and Social & Networking Committees. Since 2008, Carey Ann has served on the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities Community Services, and currently serves on its Nominating Committee. Carey Ann also currently serves as a Nominating Committee member for the Genesee Center for the Arts & Education, where she previously served on the Board of Directors from 2009-2011. In 2013, Carey Ann was the recipient of the MCBA’s Emerging Bar Leader award, as well as the Rochester Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 award. In 2011, she was recognized by The Daily Record as an “Up and Coming Attorney.” Carey Ann, her husband Tim, and her son Tate reside in the City of Rochester.
+ Membership Committee Chair: Randi Nicole Proukou
RANDI NICOLE PROUKOU, Membership Committee Chair, is a Founding Partner at Zea Proukou PLLC, where she represents injured individuals in Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability matters. Randi received her J.D. from the University of Dayton School of Law, and her B.S. from Nazareth College. Randi is a member of GRAWA’s Family & Careers Committee and Nominations
Committee. She is also an active member with the Injured Workers’ Bar Association and the Monroe County Bar Association, specifically in the Solo/Small Firm Committee and Disability Committee. Randi was selected to the 2015 “Upstate New York Rising Stars” list by Super Lawyers Magazines. Randi resides in Brighton with her husband, Nicholas, an attorney at Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP, and their three-year-old son, Levi.
CLE Committee Co-Chairs
+ Hon. Connor Jane O'Brien
CONNOR JANE O’BRIEN, CLE Committee Co-Chair, graduated from Union College and Syracuse University College of Law. Judge O’Brien joined the Social Security Administration (SSA) as an Administrative Law Judge in 2009. Before becoming an A.L.J., she worked for the U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, as the Pro Se Law Clerk, from 1998 to 2009. Prior to that, Connor Jane had a solo practice, litigating assigned appeals for both family court and criminal cases, and served as an adjunct faculty member for the Rochester Institute of Technology and Monroe Community College. When she first returned to Rochester, she was with the Appeals Unit of the Monroe County Public Defender’s Office. Connor Jane began her legal profession with The Legal Aid Society of New York, Criminal Defense Division, doing criminal defense trial work in Manhattan.
Connor Jane has previously served on GRAWA committees, and is honored to join the Board as Co-Chair for the CLE committee. She and her husband, David F. Mayer, Esq., currently enjoy city living as empty-nesters in Rochester, New York.
+ Lori O'Brien
LORI O’BRIEN, CLE Committee Co-Chair, is the Managing Attorney of the Rochester office of Legal Assistance of Western New York and has worked with the organization since 2007. She previously supervised the Rochester office’s General Law Unit and practices, predominantly, in the area of welfare advocacy. She also serves on the MCBA President’s Commission on Access to Justice. Lori is a past presenter at NLADA and the NYSBA Partnership conferences on topics including the “ADA and TANF: Removing Barriers for the Disabled” and “The Art of Partnering (with community based organizations).” She has presented at regional conferences on “Legal Issues of the Homeless” and “Beyond the Crisis (Moving Families toward Self-Sufficiency)” and has provided CLE’s on the effects of civil settlements on recipients of government benefits and the practical and ethical considerations of community partnership building. She is a frequent
trainer for the staff and clientele of Rochester area non-profits on issues related to government benefits and elder law. In 2014, she received the NYSBA Denison Ray Civil Legal Services Staff Attorney award for the development of community partnerships to address the legal and non-legal needs of Monroe County’s low-income and disadvantaged populations. Lori is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School.
+ Diversity Committee Chair: Destini Bowman
DESTINI BOWMAN, Diversity Committee Chair, is a native of Rochester, NY and proud graduate of East High School. Destini received her B.Sc. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University in 2005. After graduation, Destini served as an Americorps VISTA at the Greater Homewood Community Corporation (GHCC) in Baltimore, MD and then as a Community Organizer for Maryland's Collaborative Supervision and Focused Enforcement (CSAFE) in Northeast Baltimore. She successfully initiated a Youth Public Safety Conference and also a customary community Parade for National Night Out. While at Albany Law School, Destini was an active member of the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA), and in 2010, led the Northeast team to “Region of the Year.” After receiving her J.D., Destini was selected to serve as a Legislative Fellow with the New York State Senate, where she was assigned to work with the Hon. Ruth Hassell-Thompson. Desiring to work in the court room, Destini joined the Monroe County District Attorney's Office, as an Assistant District Attorney under the leadership of the Hon. Sandra Doorley in 2012. While in Rochester, Destini was an executive board member of the Rochester Black Bar Association (RBBA), where she introduced their Annual summer clerks’ BBQ. She is a current member of the Monroe County Bar Association (MCBA), the National Black Prosecutor’s Association (NBPA), Greater Rochester Association of Women Attorneys (GRAWA) and also a board member of the National Bar Associations’ Young Lawyer’s Division (NBA YLD). You will regularly catch Destini at community service events. She is a 2014 recipient of the Daily Record’s Excellence in Law: Up and Coming Attorneys. Destini takes pride as a Girl Scout troop leader for high school girls and serves as the Williams Park’s Service Unit Manager.
+ Katherine Courtney
KATHERINE (KATIE) COURTNEY, WBASNY Delegate, is a graduate of Niagara University and the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School (JD/MSW), and has been employed with the Social Security Administration’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) since 2011. Prior to coming to ODAR, Katie was a staff attorney with the Disability Advocacy Program Unit in Empire Justice Center, representing clients before the Social Security Administration. Katie is active in the Monroe County Bar Association, Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys, and the Women’s Bar Association of New York. She is past chair of MCBA’s Disability, Labor and Employment Committee, GRAWA’s Legislative Committee, and WBASNY’s Legislative Committee. She has been honored to receive the Daily Record’s Excellence in Law: Up and Coming Attorney Award, WBASNY’s Doris S. Hoffman Outstanding New Lawyer Award, and GRAWA’s President Award on two occasions. Katie is an avid runner and lives in Spencerport with her husband Dan and their four children (Sean, Bridget, Mary Katherine, and Claire).
+ Wende Knapp
WENDE J. KNAPP, WBASNY Delegate, is currently an attorney at Xerox Corporation, where she recently rejoined the company in June 2014. Prior to re-joining Xerox, Wende was as a labor and employment litigator at Harter Secrest & Emery, as well as a commercial and labor and employment litigator at Woods Oviatt Gilman. After a decade-long career at Xerox leading several of the company’s international public relations teams, she returned to school and received her J.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, where she was editor-in-chief of the Intellectual Property Law Journal. Wende also has a BA from Canisius College and a MA in Strategic Communications and Leadership from Seton Hall University. Wende has previously been a member of GRAWA’s Newly Admitted Women Attorneys Committee and also serves as President-Elect for the Women’s Council, a Rochester Business Alliance Affiliate. She is also heavily involved with the Monroe County Bar Association. Currently, she sits on the MCBA’s Board of Trustees and is Immediate Past Chair for the Young Lawyers Section, where she twice-chaired the Section’s annual Silent Auction to benefit Rochester Teen Court. She also served on the MCBA’s Diversity Committee, chaired the Jazz for Justice Silent Auction Committee, and co-chaired the Bar’s Roc the Day efforts in 2011. Also in 2011, Wende was recognized as a Forty Under 40 by the Rochester Business Journal. She resides in the City of Rochester with her husband, Joseph, and her fur-babies Libby, Dexter and Josie. To relax, she hones her home improvement DIY skills with her trusty tool belt and miter saw!
+ Hinna Upal
HINNA UPAL, WBASNY Delegate, is an attorney at Littler Mendelson, P.C., a U.S. based international law firm exclusively devoted to representing management in every aspect of labor and employment law. There, she represents employers in a broad range of labor and employment matters including complex business litigation, class action and regulatory issues. She has worked extensively in federal and state court, both at the trial and appellate level. Previously to joining Littler, Hinna was the deputy general counsel at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and an attorney in another New England law firm. Hinna received her bachelor’s degree (Honors) in Sociology from Queens University and her J.D. (magna cum laude) from Roger Williams University School of Law. She served as Executive Notes and Comments Editor on the Law Review and after law school, Hinna clerked for William Smith, chief judge at the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island and Hon. Francis Flaherty at the Rhode Island Supreme Court. She is past President of the South Asian Bar Association for Greater Boston.