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Law Firm Business Development Professionals Recognized

Last week the Legal Sales and Service Organization announced the Sales & Service Award 2019 Winners.  The awards were presented by John Hellerman of Hellerman Communications at the 16th Annual RainDance conference.  Winners were recognized in three categories:

  • Sales & Service Sales Team of the Year
  • Sales & Service Executive of the Year (small firm)
  • Sales & Service Executive of the Year (large firm)

The panel of judges included Erica Glass, Director of Global Corporate Communications and Wolters Kluwer, Chris Hummel, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Banner Witcoff and Samantha McKenna, LinkedIn Sales Navigator.  The judges looked to recognize sales, business development, and marketing professionals who spearheaded initiatives that contributed to revenue growth in law firms in 2018.

Sales & Service Team of the Year

Barnes & Thornburg was named the Sales & Service Team of the Year, recognized for their "Marketing Blitz 1.0."  In this initiative, the four-person team of Gretchen Helms, Business Development Manager, Karen Smith, Director of Communications, Susan Haag, Director of Marketing Services and Gwen Ragno, Digital Marketing Manager hit the road, visiting each of the firm's offices to provide attorneys with training.  Topics included new approaches to business development and showcased the capabilities of the department.  The initiative was such a success, Marketing Blitz 2.0 is in the works. 

Honorable Mention in this category went to the team at Faegre Baker Daniels; including Melanie Green, Chief Client Development Officer, Amanda Stiens, Director of Client Relations, and Client Account Managers Carol Conwell, John Kleinschmidt, Jenny Kummer and Bernadine Lai Krauel.  The team impressed the judges by their careful and strategic reorganization of their department, and the pivot to focus on client experience and sales support.

Sales & Service Executive of the Year  (Small Firm)

Brandi Hobbs, the Director of Client Service & Strategy at Poyner Spruill was named the Sales & Service Executive of the Year in the small firm category. Poyner Spruill is a 93-attorney firm based in North Carolina, and Hobbs spearheaded a program to set strategic marketing and business development choices by focusing on "Clients as Advocates."  Throughout the year, Hobbs developed new approaches to training and increasing efficiency in the firm, with a focus on client service and learning client's businesses to deepen relationships. 

Jenna Schiappacasse, Director of Client Development at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg was recognized with Honorable Mention for how she has shifted her role at the 43-attorney firm. Schiappacasse has shifted her role towards a more outward-facing, client development role responsible for generating revenue and working with attorneys on their client service and business development strategies.  

Sales & Service Executive of the Year (Large Firm)

Christian Berger, Senior Advisor of Strategic Business Development at McGuire Woods was named the Sales & Service Executive of the Year for a large firm.  Over the past four years, Berger has originated or co-originated more than 75 new client relationships and participated in more than 160 first pitch meetings.  Additionally, Berger has worked with attorneys to coach them on their own Business Development efforts, and Joe Cave, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer says his impact on the firm is "nothing short of remarkable."  

Michael D. Helmicki, a Client Development Executive at DLA Piper was honored with Honorable Mention for his work growing DLA Piper’s representation of emerging growth and venture capital clients.

Congratulations to all on their accomplishments!

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About this Author

Eilene Spear legal news editor and writer at the National Law Review
Operations Project Manager & Lead Writer

Eilene Spear is the Operations and Projects Manager for the National Law Review.  She heads the NLR remote publication team as the Lead Writer and assists in a variety of capacities in the management of the National Law Review.

As Lead Writer, Eilene writes extensively on a variety of legal topics; including legal marketing topics, interviews with top legal marketing professionals and the newest trends in legal marketing.  Additionally, Eilene writes on issues affecting the legal industry, such as women attorneys and the challenges they face,...