I founded Lakewood Strategy & Consulting, LLC in October 2020 after a 30-year, non-traditional career as a senior corporate legal / business leader, litigator and CPA. I’ve served as a change agent as General Counsel, Chief Litigation / Regulatory Counsel and lead of Government / Public Affairs with iconic Fortune 200 and private growth brands (Kellogg’s, WellCare Health Plans, Health Care Service Corp. (5 major Blue Cross plans) and Catalina Marketing ($550M global company)). I began my career as a CPA and practiced tax / commercial litigation for 10 years at Sonnenschein (Dentons) and Baker McKenzie.
I champion women’s issues and enjoy philanthropic board work. I spend time in St. Pete and Chicago, where I spent most of my career and attended undergraduate (Loyola), graduate (DePaul) and law school (Northwestern).
I chose to focus in two distinct areas that really make me tick. I committed to this work because, when done well, it delivers meaningful change for clients, stakeholders, customers and teams.
Lakewood Legal Innovation leverages my experience as a General Counsel and senior Legal department leader in assessing, structuring, growing and retaining best-in-class legal teams / service models to guide innovative General Counsel and law firms. Our ideal client is an innovative, business-minded General Counsel looking to think creatively about how to build, structure, operate or transform an in-house legal team to align services and resources to risk and strategy. I work on a flat fee to assess needs, talent, processes and resources and deliver recommendations I know will be successful because I sat in the General Counsel seat. I assist in implementation of recommendations and ongoing training and coaching for teams to help lawyers grow from technical experts to trusted business advisors.
I also work with law firms and their marketing teams to help them better understand the needs and challenges of in-house legal teams so they can be more effective and enjoy solid, long-lasting partnerships with their clients. It is a business imperative in the law firm space to stand apart from other firms--investing in learning about in-house dynamics is a strong differentiator.
Lakewood Strategy & Consulting helps clients set and execute high-stakes advocacy, crisis and influencing strategy for high-stakes regulatory / legislative / competitive challenges. My niche is advising clients, proactively and defensively, who operate in complex regulatory / political environments and are facing significant change or challenge. Signature representations include (1) advocacy before Congress, state / federal regulators / legislators, AGs, NGOs and global institutions including the WHO on a wide range of competitive and regulatory matters; (2) food / product recalls / safety issues including the 6th largest US food recall; (3) M&A / transactional regulatory approvals; (4) health care, insurance and CPG challenges, including ACA reform, managed care, advertising and product safety; and (5) high-stakes crisis and PR challenges around litigation, investigations and reputation management needs. I partner to win and understand the needs of the client on complicated and stressful issues because I sat in the seat and had to deliver results during challenging times.