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| 19 minutes read

CMO Series Podcast: 2023 Thanksgiving Special

Join us as we celebrate this season of Thanksgiving with our wonderful community of CMO Series Podcast friends.

We’re lucky to be joined by some of the world’s top Marketing and Business Development leaders in the legal industry. From mentors and leaders to peers, networks, and loved ones, we hear about all the influential people who have supported our guests on their career journeys as they share their gratitude in this very special episode.  

Thank you to all of our illustrious guests for coming on board: Alison Swenton Arjoon, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Fragomen, Alison Janzen, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Torkin Manes, Andrew Laver, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, Courtney Beauzile, Head of Marketing, Business Development and Communications at Robins Kaplan, Courtney Carter, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Jenner & Block, Dawn Longfield, Chief Marketing Officer at Davis+Gilbert, Emily McKeown, Business Development Director at Godfrey & Khan, Emily Rogers, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Norton Rose Fulbright, Erica Roman, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Cole Schotz, Jay Linder, Director of Communications at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, JeanMarie Campbell, Head of Client Development for North America at Baker McKenzie, Jessica Grayson, Director of Practice Management & Lateral Growth at Stradley Ronon, John Eix, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Crowe & Dunlevy, Julie Chodos, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Axinn, Justin Portaz, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Jenner & Block, Maggie Watkins, Founder of Maggie T. Watkins Consulting, Terra Davis, Chief Diversity & Talent Development Officer at Knobbe Martens, Tom Helm, Chief Marketing Officer at Smith Gambrell Russell, and Trish Lilley, Chief Marketing Officer at Thompson Coburn.

From all of us here at Passle, have a very happy Thanksgiving!



Charlie: Welcome to the Passle CMO Series Podcast where we talk all things business development and marketing in professional services. In this special episode, we celebrate this season of gratitude by sharing just some of the voices from our CMO series community to find out who they're thankful for in their legal marketing careers.

Great mentorship can be pivotal in the pursuit of a long and successful career in legal marketing and business development. This group of guests joins us to share their gratitude for those who have influenced their career journeys. Beginning with Jean Marie Campbell, Head of Client Development for North America at Baker McKenzie.

JeanMarie: Well, I have two people, if that's okay; Kim Koopersmith, who is now the Chair at Akin Gump. At the time, she was the recruiting partner. She gave me a chance when I transferred from practicing law to a business role and she interviewed me for a recruiting role. And after 90 minutes, we rewrote the whole job description, which really changed my career and elevated the role and she believed in me so that it really had an impact. Then in the marketing and business development space, Wendy Bernero, recruited me to Baker to take her role as the North America CMO. And this role is one of my favorite roles and I really am so thankful to her for that.

Dawn: My name is Dawn Longfield. I am the Chief Marketing Officer at Davis+Gilbert. I'm thankful for a number of things, but the two things that really come to my mind, and actually, a third are the mentors in my life, the leaders that I've had the opportunity to work with, as well as the team that I am currently working with and the individuals that I've worked with throughout my entire career. The two mentors that come to mind for me are Suzanne Mandel and Wendy Bernero. They were very influential in my career. They helped me establish everything I know and do in the legal industry today. And I don't know where I'd be without them. I also have had the fortune to work with some wonderful leaders at the four different law firms that I have worked with, which have really given me the opportunity to flex all my legal marketing muscles. And thirdly, I'd like to talk about the teams, and the individuals that I have worked with throughout my legal career. In particular, I've got several wonderful individuals on my team that I've worked with for the last couple of years, from Patrick Quinn to Juliana Son, Cece Nagle, and many others on my team. I wouldn't be able to do what I can do today without them. They are a pleasure to work with and I really enjoy helping them grow and succeed in their career.

Emily: I'm Emily Rogers. I am the US Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Norton Rose Fulbright. I am thankful for the sponsors that I have had throughout my career. Specifically, some of the partners at the firm that I'm at. They have really looked for opportunities for me to grow professionally and supported me throughout my career. And I don't think I'd be where I am today without them.

Charlie: Tom Helm, CMO at Smith Gambrell Russell, joins the series to share the leaders who have spurred him on and shaped his journey.

Tom: Too many to name, but just a couple who come to mind in no particular order. My former boss I had at Bryan Cave was Kathleen Flynn. She, many of the listeners know, she knew how to have fun and, you know, was able to be friends with her team, but, you know, without crossing the line and really work hard, have fun and I learned a lot from her. Another person is another prior boss I had is Gillian Ward. She was a hard charger, a go-getter, and able to make decisive decisions. So sometimes I would ask myself in certain situations, what would Gillian do? And I'd own it and go do it. Another person who happens to be in her first-time CMO role is Tiffany Ziegler. And I've known Tiffany for years and she's been a great resource to me and a good friend of mine. So, those are three, not the only three but certainly three people who come to mind in this moment.

Charlie: Next up, we hear from John Ikes, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Crowe and Dunlevy. 

John: I'm most thankful for Jean Hobby, who was my boss, if you will, my leader for the technology practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers, which is now PwC. She led the technology practice here in Dallas and then eventually became the CFO for PwC, but her style and her confidence in me, her appreciation of me, I think really helped in those first few years that I worked in professional services to really know what was important and know where to focus and know how to do things that had an impact even though I was, you know, pretty new to professional services. I really appreciated her.

Charlie: There's no denying the power of a strong network and our next cohort of guests join us to share their thanks to their peers and support groups who have helped them along the way. Kicking off with Andrew Laver, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Porzio Bromberg and Newman,

Andrew: I would have to say my LMA colleagues and LMA is a big part of my life professionally because every move that I've made in my career has been because of some sort of LMA relationship connection or visibility of myself professionally through LMA that has gotten me to that point. So, the best case in point would be my current job as a Chief Marketing and Business Development officer at Porzio. My predecessor, Amanda Loesch, who was here for, I think, five years or so, Amanda and I by chance, happened to serve on the LMA board together for a year or two in the first part of my tenure on the board. And when Amanda took a new job, the firm said, if you know of anybody who you think would be a good fit with our culture, our attorneys let us know. And I was one of the names that she reached out to because she and I knew each other because of LMA. And obviously, it all worked out because she has her brand new job and I have this new job and everything is going great and, it, you know, but for that relationship, I don't know if I even would have known that Porzio was looking for a new at the time CMO or that I would even qualify and like all these different types of times that we can be together because of this great strong connection we have because of LMA makes me thankful for these people in this association, for bringing me together with these people and being such a large part of my professional and personal life.

Trish: I'm Trish Lilley. I'm the Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Thompson Coburn. I have a lot of folks I have gratitude for. Most were for positive reasons, some maybe for negative experiences I had, but that I learned from. I had a boss years ago when I did something that wasn't really legal marketing. I worked at the Philadelphia Bar Association for many years. That individual taught me a lot about managing people, being empathetic and trying to put yourself in the shoes of other folks, whether it's clients or folks who work for you or peers. And that's something that I turn back to a lot. I've also had so many mentors and supporters and collaborators with whom I've never worked, but who are in this industry. So very thankful for those folks. And I'm not gonna start naming people because I will inevitably miss people, not because they aren't important, but because I am a senior seasoned CMO. However, I definitely wanna say thanks so much to the teams I've had at my last firm Stroock, my wonderful team, doing great things under imperfect circumstances at Fox Rothschild where we built a team from about 10 people to close to 40 I think. And then now at Thompson Coburn, where I joined in January, and our team members have rocked and rolled and morphed and done all kinds of yoga poses throughout the year to change and to mold themselves into new types of folks and deal with new types of issues as we transform that marketing department. So I think it's a broad list. I will, of course, cite my parents who were both first-time college graduates in their families. One ended up being a college professor and one ended up a social worker. So not doing much like I do now, but they did tell me two important pieces of information. My mom said, if you can type, you can always get a job. So I type 90 words a minute and my dad said “Life is 90% filling out the application” and I stick by that. So that's what I'm thankful for.

Charlie: Maggie Watkins, founder of Maggie T. Watkins Consulting joins us next to express her thanks to those she's met throughout her career.

Maggie: I have so many friends in the legal community who have helped me along the way. Many of them I grew up alongside in this, you know, industry as we navigated the business. Those that I served with on LMA board, spoke with on conference panels, and co-chair conferences, LMA conferences with them, you know, attorneys who have provided advice and guidance along the way. There's just so many that um if I listed anyone, I would obviously surely miss somebody and I know they all know who they are. So I just want to say thank you to all of them because I wouldn't be here today without any of them throughout our lives.

Charlie: Many of us turn to our friends and loved ones for advice and this group of guests are no different. They join us to express their appreciation for their family, starting with Courtney Carter, Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion at Jenner and Block.

Courtney Carter: This is probably pretty cheesy. But I'm really grateful for my dad. You know, I don't work with him, but he provides me with so much fantastic career advice and honestly, not just me, he has given advice to colleagues as well. I told him he could probably start a consulting service and I keep him really busy, but he has had a long career across a variety of industries and is always willing to troubleshoot with me to provide some perspective and just give a really seasoned measured approach that I always appreciate when I'm sort of in the weeds or in the thick of it. And I'm incredibly grateful to be able to talk through all of the work challenges I have with him.

Courtney Beauzile: My name is Courtney Beauzile, and I'm the Head of Marketing Business Development and Communications at Robins Kaplan. I'm thankful to many this November.

I don't think I could just choose one. I'm thankful for Sarah DiCaro at Perkins Coie who hired me into legal marketing over 17 years ago. I'm thankful that she still answers my calls. I've had several mentors who have been generous with their time knowledge and support.

Mark Roy and Lisa Olney were among the first, most recently, Sandra Bang. She supported me with her words and took action. Thank you. I recently joined Robins Kaplan and I'm grateful for the warm welcome from the firm's leadership and the support I've received across the firm. My team is highly capable, creative and collaborative. Christine, Kylie, Mike, Asher, Taylor C, Kim, Kate, Rebecca, Missy, Taylor P, Emily, Tracy. I'm thankful to be your marketing leader and I'm inspired by what we will accomplish together and I can't forget Eric. Thank you for your support. And to my husband and three boys; thank you for your support through this transition and for holding down the fort while mom is away.

Terra: Hello, my name is Terra Davis, Chief Diversity and Talent Development Officer at Knobbe Martens. And I am thankful for my partner-in-good who was also my spouse and my three-year-old. And I'm also thankful for my Legal Marketing Association crew and mentors and some of those folks who have really guided me through my personal DEI journey and career journey as well. And then just my family who has continued to support and uplift me and encourage me along the way. In addition to my work family that I have here at Knobbe and the folks that I've collected along the way through the other firms that I've worked with and been a part of. I'm immensely thankful for them this season.

Charlie: Justin Portaz, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Jenner and Block joins us to share his gratitude for a very special person in his life.

Justin: The answer for me is actually quite simple. I have to say it's my wife, not only because she is the one who has always been there uh in both the great successful days and the darker days. And she's someone who has believed in me right from the start and saw something in me that I think I often struggle to see in myself. And the other reality is I think life is so intertwined between our work days and our non-working hours. And so she's been a sounding board uh also as a trained therapist and counselor. I'd be lying if I said I didn't lean on her for some insight into her area of expertise to help me navigate the world I live in each day. 

Charlie: Building and working within a great team is fundamental to the happiness and success of any leader. Our next guests join us to share their immense gratitude to their teams and colleagues. First up, we hear from Alison Janzen, Marketing Director at Torkin Manes.

Alison: Well, I have to say that I'm thankful for my marketing team because they make all the difference every single day. That's Jessica Horowitz, Jennifer Dales, Melissa Partland, and Shawn Seeley on my team and they are all professionals, they know what they're doing, they can run with things. They are just an incredible team of people to work with. So that makes me thankful every day.

Erica: Hi, I'm Erica Roman. I'm the Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Cole Schotz PC. I would say I'm thankful for my team. Without them, nothing could be done. It's incredibly valuable to have a team of, just so happens on my team to be, strong women who are very passionate about the job and give their everything at all times.

Julie: Hi, I'm Julie Chodos. I'm the Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Axinn. I'm thankful to so many different people throughout my career and so many colleagues that I've worked with first. I think I'm most thankful for my new role at Axinn because I'm having so much fun. So “Shhhh” don't tell anybody that, but it's an opportunity to do so many things that I've done throughout my entire career all in one place, because the lawyers have such a willingness and an appetite for growth and change and they are a group of attorneys that are so passionate about their clients and solving their business challenges with a keen sense of commerciality and that completely aligns with what I love to do. I'm also incredibly grateful for my team. So I'm lucky enough to work alongside Tahisha, Jenny, Rebecca, Jade, Lily, and very soon to join us, Dylan. And I think we all know in marketing that nobody succeeds alone and this team is really excited about the art of the possible. So that's incredibly energizing for me and something that I wake up completely grateful for every day. I'm also grateful to the other CMOs that I work with. I've recently spent a lot of time networking and joining groups with other CMOs and that sense of community and camaraderie and the ability to call people and ask them about their experience. It's just such a heartfelt and authentic group of humans. And finally, I think often about my gratitude for an early mentor of mine when I was a new lawyer probably 25 years ago, I was actually a law student, a third year law student at a clinic, prosecuting misdemeanor domestic violence crimes at the Manhattan DA’s office. And Carolyn Streicher was former head of the Homicide Bureau, I think, and she kind of guided our team in the courtroom. And at the time, I was absolutely terrified. Even though I'm not really shy and I lean into speaking before thinking, sometimes, she advised me on my first day in court where I was looking at a judge, I was in a huge courtroom at 100 Center Street with opposing counsel on the other side, is certainly, you know, 25 years my senior and she looked at me and she said, “You're a woman. So get out there, speak loud, speak first, take up space, walk around if you have to.” And I said, “Well, what if I don't know what to say?” She said, “Just do it.” So I did that. And somehow, as if by magic, the judge was looking at me and the opposing counsel was listening and I don't even know what I said, but it worked. And I always think about her if I ever feel like an impostor or I'm nervous about trying something new that it might not go well because that early experience was so empowering. I thought if I could do this, I could do a lot of things. And mostly I'm excited to pay that type of experience forward.

Charlie: Our next two guests impart their thanks to their personal and professional support networks who have helped nurture them throughout their careers.

Jessica: Hi, I'm Jessica Grayson and I am the director of Practice Management and Lateral Growth at Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, based in Philadelphia. I'm thankful to so many people over the course of my career. And I'm grateful for the community of professionals I'm honored to call colleagues and friends. It's funny how, when I reflect on the leaders and peers throughout the years, the experiences that stick out the most are the challenging projects or times those who stood out as being the bright lights or the steady forces that helped guide the team through. I know I'm not alone when I say how grateful I am to Trish Lilley, who's now the Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Thompson Coburn. There are so many of us in the legal marketing industry that has been mentored or counseled by her over the years. Whether you work for her at a firm or within the LMA community or some other organization, you'll know that she's pragmatic and decisive and says it like it is, but it is also so gracious with her time and energy and she also happens to just be a wonderfully warm and generous human and I literally would not be here without her friendship and guidance. Count my blessings every day that I get to work at my firm, Stradley Ronon, with the amazing attorneys and business professionals doing work that I like to do. It honestly doesn't feel like work and I'm beyond grateful to Marissa Parker, our Chief Operating Officer. She's really the leader I aspire to be. She brings vision and energy to her team every day. And of course, I'd be remiss to leave my husband out Bob, who has never let me say over the past 25 years. I'm not sure if I can do this or if I question if I'm up to a challenge. He always just looks me square in the eye and says, “Are you kidding me? You got this”.

Alison: I'm Alison Swenton Arjoon and I am the Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer of Fragomen. So this question of who am I thankful for is a fantastic question. And it's a delightful question because it brings to mind so many people. So I started honestly with an overarching. I am so grateful for my mom and my dad and, and I mean that sincerely in the sense of my career because they let me explore things and pursue things that were of interest to me and that seemed to tap into what I was good at my skill set and they supported that and they encouraged that and, and then that support and that commitment from them helped me to ultimately find a career that I love. It's funny, my brother, Bill, my sister Kristen and I all ended up in fields that are in the business development realm. And so we often, you know, not only give each other advice, but also things like suggestions on books to read or conferences to go to or introductions and networking. So, just that alone has been so helpful to me. You know, way back when I worked for Capital One and I had a boss there, Robert Box who I'm still in touch with. And he was someone who taught me a lot when I got into the law firm marketing world. I worked with a partner, Peter Chaffetz, who now has his own very successful firm and he was really there to support me and help drive me along the way. A guy now who's a partner at a firm, Rob Half and he was someone I could always talk to about um the culture and the firm and ideas and he just had a really good sense of things, great judgment. Ken Gallows is another one and he and I were at one firm together and then we were both at Paul Weiss together, learned a lot from him. And by the way, there are so many strong women role models as well, which was also really important. Beth Wilkinson, is someone who I really admire. She has her own law firm now and she and I used to work together. Even in a more recent firm, there's a partner, John Blake, who's a  prince of a man, and he used to be the managing partner of Covington many years ago, and when I joined that firm, he was just someone who almost like took me under his wing, even though I was the CMO it wasn't like I was brand new and needed a whole lot of mentoring. But he's someone who I still am in touch with and we talk about a lot of issues outside of work as well. And I mean, by the way, I have that in spades now at my current firm Fragomen. And I can't even start naming partners because I'd be naming everybody as well as colleagues, really, you know, pleased and proud to be there. And I will say as well when you think about what you're thankful for, absolutely my team and I think about colleagues throughout the years who I feel so privileged to have worked with.

Charlie: And finally, a special thanks for those little things that help get you through the day.

Emily: My name is Emily McKeown and I'm the Business Development Director at Godfrey & Khan in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And this season, I am thankful to work somewhere that brings in a lot of lunches and snacks, cos nothing gets me through the three o'clock slump like a chocolate chip cookie.

Jay: I'm Jay Linder and I am the Global Head of Marketing and Communications for Cadwalader. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. And that's not just because of parades, football, family, and macaroni and cheese, which should be on everyone's table. But also because it's just a fantastic opportunity to be reflective and grateful for those in your life and those in your career and having the opportunity to be part of an extraordinary community of law firm marketing and business development professionals has always meant a lot to me in my, more than 20 years of doing this. We're a really cool group of people. I always feel lucky to have the opportunity to talk with folks and understand what they're doing. What their hopes are, what their challenges are. And I have been so appreciative for how generous everyone has always been to me in terms of advice and insights and that is a great way to sort of set things up for year-end, which would be a crazy time of year for people in our profession when we think about what we do and the partners and stakeholders, we serve that sort of home stretch from the time. You watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade right up until the ball drops in Times Square can be a little wacky. And it does serve as, I think, a reminder of what a great community we are and how we support one another and lift each other up. So that's how I feel about things. Did I mention the macaroni and cheese though? Cos that's the one thing I think I really wanna remind everyone that they should be thankful for, even if they don't like it. Give me your portion, I'll have it. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Charlie: That's all for this very special edition of the Passle CMO Series podcast, except to say a huge heartfelt thanks to all of our friends colleagues, and of course, our CMO Series and CMO Series REPRESENTS guests. We couldn't do this without you. And we wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving holiday.


passlepod, cmoseries, thanksgiving, e2e, professional services, marketing