Catharine Ellingsen at Republic Services (312), Amanda
McMillian at Anadarko Petroleum (324), Stacy Cozad at
Spirit Aerosystems (389), Nancy Axilrod at Coach (575),
Michelle M. Warner at USG (616), Stephanie Gill at CONSOL Energy (706), Lauren Ezrol Klein at Time (707), Donna Negrotto at Pinnacle Entertainment (895) and Sophia
Tawil at Providence Service (978).
At hhgregg (937), Candace Bankovich replaced Heather
Cameron Greenawald, who left the consumer electronics
and appliances chain.
As Diversity & the Bar went to press, Michelle R. Keating
was interim general counsel at industrial toolmaker Kennametal (806).
Susan Jacobson joins this list as deputy general counsel
at Cardinal Health ( 21), where she has been running the
law department since the GC left the company. The same
holds true for Carolyn Campbell at Quanta Services (352).
Other women have departed the roster. Audrey Strauss
retired from Alcoa after it split into two businesses, one of
which is Arconic. Kate Hargrove Ramundo, the former GC
of retail clothier ANN, became the top lawyer at Arconic,
which focuses on aerospace and automotive products.
After 17 years as chief legal officer at Nationwide Mutual
Insurance Co., Patricia Hatler retired and moved to private
practice. Also retired from corporate life is M. Suzanne
Reidman, who was Kindred Healthcare’s general counsel
for 16 years and concurrently its diversity chief for five
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans promoted Teresa
Rasmussen from GC to president of its core fraternal business unit. A financial services organization, Thrivent is the
largest fraternal benefit society in this country.
Teri Plummer McClure, who was GC of United Parcel
Service for nine years, left its law department but remains
at the company as human resources and labor relations
Other departures include Stacey Doré from Energy
Future Holdings, Shawn Soderberg from Bio-Rad Laboratories, Maria Green from Illinois Tool Works, Heather
Russell from Fifth Third Bancorp and Lucy Fato from S&P
Global. Russell is now in private practice.
Among minority men, Arthur Chong retired from what
is now Broadcom Limited, shifting to private practice, and
Hoyt Zia retired from Hawaiian Airlines.
After 28 years at Smart & Final stores—and its top
lawyer since1991—Donald Alvarado has retired from the
The Clarion Call
This year’s 90 minority GCs— 33 of them women—and
224 female GCs— 33 of them nonwhite—across the 1,000
highest-revenue corporations represent high-water marks
in the history of the survey.
Certainly, progress has occurred since MCCA’s founding
nearly 20 years ago.
For example, MCCA’s survey a decade ago identified
only six Fortune® 500 women of color. Teri Plummer
McClure, who had just been promoted by United Parcel
Service, was the sole newcomer. A 2006 Diversity & the Bar
article stated that McClure was the first female, minority
newcomer since 2003—when Kellye Walker joined BJ’s
Wholesale Club, the first of four companies where she has
been a GC.
Yet the absence of minority women among newcomer
GCs didn’t end in the mid-2000s.
None were in last year’s Fortune® 500 class. A couple of
them made lateral moves—such as Walker from American
Water Works to military shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls
Industries (378). The 2014 class wasn’t much larger: Audrey Boone Tillman’s promotion at Aflac (135) made her
the only female, minority newcomer.
About 25 percent of Fortune® 500 employers have
appointed new GCs since mid-2014. On average, that’s one
legal chief every seven days.
So corporate leaders cannot blame sparse opportunities.
“This isn’t a moment for self-congratulation,” said
MetLife’s Anzaldua, emphasizing that the legal profession
“is still underperforming as an industry.”
Meanwhile, Fortune® 500 companies alone are responsible for two-thirds of the U.S. gross domestic product.
As the U.S. population becomes increasingly nonwhite—
approximately 36 percent are now minority—MCCA keeps
pressing for greater diversity and inclusiveness in corporate leadership ranks.
MCCA’s Lee noted how the Voting Rights Act of 1965
was not signed into law until an entire century after the
Civil War ended. She and others are determined not to let
as many years elapse before parity is attained in corporate
“We can’t become complacent,” Lee said. “With collaboration, we can do better, because the pace of change is
simply not fast enough.” ■
LYDIA LUM was honored as national journalist of the year by the
Organization of Chinese Americans. Now a freelance writer and editor,
Lydia ( email@example.com) is a former reporter for the Houston
Chronicle and Fort Worth Star- Telegram.