Page SIG

by Paulo Amaral on September 18, 2014

Welcome to Page SIG, our new feature highlighting the activities of our chapter’s various SIGs (Special Interest Groups) and our NJ City Group. We encourage you to join and participate in these important subsets of our chapter:


The Business Development SIG held its most successful event to date on July 10. Mark Power (Founder, Concep) and Evan Bruno (Senior Account Executive, Relationship Science), shared their knowledge and thought leadership around marketing technology trends that are revolutionizing law firm business development. The discussions focused on emerging technologies that are changing the way the B2B sector is communicating and the challenges faced by marketers and business development managers today, and in the future. The turnout was overwhelming with 58 registrants and a long waiting list.

Katie O’Rourke, Concep
Jean Heaton


The Chief Marketing Officer SIG held two recent events of note. On May 19, a luncheon, hosted by Davis & Gilbert LLP, featured Gretta Rusanow, Director and Senior Client Adviser in the Law Firm Group at Citibank. Ms. Rusanow provided attendees with an advance look the Citi Private Bank Law Watch report.

Ms. Rusanow identified the sectors of the law firm market experiencing the most growth in the first half of 2014. She also discussed the latest trends in mergers, lateral hiring and the organic growth of firms, as well as client feedback programs, legal process outsourcing (including outsourcing of e-discovery) and pricing issues. Attendees at the meeting were asked to bring a promotional item from each of their firms as thank-you gifts to Ms. Rusanow for speaking to the group and she left with a swag bag amply filled with unique items.

On the morning of July 24, Gerry Riskin, the founder of Edge International, spoke to the group about law firms and change. This talk served as a sneak preview of the presentation that Mr. Riskin gave later that day at the Chapter luncheon.

Despina Kartson, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
Dawn Gertz Longfield, Davis & Gilbert LLP


The June lunch meeting of the Client Relationship Management SIG welcomed legal CRM consultants Chris Fritsch and Laura Hester from Clients First consulting. The session was designed to provide practical advice on CRM around topics that the audience wanted to address in a Q&A format. All those who registered submitted questions as part of the registration process to start what became a very informative session.

The next meeting is currently being planned with the Social Media SIG as a joint session to explore trends and breakthroughs (as well as the good, bad and ugly) in digital holiday cards and year-end annual reviews.

Matt Parfitt, Vuture Group


The NYLMA Corporate Social Responsibility SIG organized its first Earth Day Volunteer Event on Sunday, April 27th at the Clayton Williams Community Gardens, a cornerstone in the community for over 20 years. Volunteers helped with preparations to begin the spring planting by fixing planting beds, mulching, and even building a compost bin! It was a beautiful day to be outside and also enjoy a nice barbeque after all that labor. Thanks volunteers, everyone did a great job!

In May, the CSR SIG will be hosting an event on social and environmental responsibility trends and insights and takeaways for law firm business and communications with Fenton Communications, a social change communications agency that has worked with companies like Patagonia, National Geographic, and the ACLU.

Anna Bernardis, Kobre & Kim LLP
Gayatri Joshi ecoAnalyze LLP

Future Leaders SIG

The NYLMA Future Leaders SIG met on July 23rd at the offices of Dechert LLP for a program that provided practical advice on how young legal marketers can help their attorneys build value, develop trust, and bring in new business in light of ever increasing competition from other law firms.

Bill Taylor, president of Corporate Ladders, presented a variety of topics including the importance of understanding the business development needs of both internal and external clients; how to align business development activities to the individual; and how young legal marketers can use their business development savvy to advance their personal career development.

Special thanks to Robbie Murphey at Dechert LLP for her help in setting up the program!

Matt Loomis, Anderson Kill & Olick LLP,
Robbie Murphey

Small Firm SIG

The Small Firm Special Interest Group luncheon on May 13 was the occasion for a presentation by Michael Rynowecer of BTI Consulting. Mr. Rynowecer is a familiar face to legal marketing professionals for his frequent talks on the legal marketplace, but this time he focused his attention uniquely on market opportunities for small firms.

He characterized the current market as a “Predator’s Paradise” and pointed out areas where small firms might best compete with larger firms or find lucrative opportunities not suited to large firms. Michael also spoke about how small firms can win and retain business in a market where clients increasingly spread their business among a smaller number of firms and about achieving what he called “Clientopia,” the ideal state of the law firm client relationship. The well-attended event was hosted by SIG Chair Tiffany Yarde at Cohen & Gresser, LLP.

Tiffany Yarde, Cohen & Gresser LLP

Social Media SIG 

On July 14, more than 40 NYLMA members joined us for the NYLMA Social Media SIG program on “Engaging Your Audience with Visual Content Marketing,” held at Rubenstein Associates. The panelists included Guy Alvarez, Chief Engagement Officer at Good2bSocial; Mark Dolgonos, Senior Manager of Marketing Communications at Dentons; Stefanie Marrone, Associate Director of Strategic Communications at Proskauer Rose LLP; and Jaron Rubenstein, President, Rubenstein Technology Group.

The panel discussion focused on how visual content can be used as a powerful marketing tool to help firms differentiate themselves, raise their profile and engage with their target audiences using case studies and real examples. The group discussed how to effectively utilize visual content, including infographics, video, Flipboard, Pinterest and Instagram in marketing campaigns.

Stefanie Marrone, Proskauer Rose LLP

Special Events SIG

The Special Events SIG worked hard to scout locations to host this year’s NYLMA Summer Soiree! Its choice of the fabulous Refinery Rooftop at the Garment District’s Refinery Hotel was more than fine. A record number of attendees for an NYLMA event greatly enjoyed the Refinery Rooftop, the crowning jewel of the Refinery Hotel with its cinematic views of the Manhattan skyline and Empire State Building!

This July, the committee was treated to a wonderful tasting at Kicky’s Kitchen where CEO & Founder Christie MacKinnon showcased her innovative and delicious Caketails – inspired by your favorite cocktails! Kicky’s Caketails are guaranteed to spark conversation and entice taste buds at your next corporate engagement!

In June, the gorgeous, upscale Andaz 5th Avenue hosted the SIG while showcasing its exquisite guest room and event space. The hotel is fully equipped with conference and event spacing to handle and personalize any event with ease and style.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to co-chairs Victoria Kononenko or Michelle Rocha for event venue or services information.

Victoria Kononenko, Hogan Lovells US LLP
Michelle Rocha, Fried Frank

New Jersey City Group

On June 18th, the New Jersey City Group hosted a live meeting to discuss key takeaways and insights from this year’s LMA International Conference. Moderated by Amy Adams, chair of the NJ City Group, the session featured panelists 2014 LMA National President Tim Corcoran, Lindsay Griffiths, Director of Global Relationship Management, International Lawyers Network; Joshua Peck, PR Head, Duane Morris LLP; and John M. Byrne, President, Glencoe Media Group Inc. The interactive event covered a range of sessions and highlights from the conference and was enjoyed by over 40 attendees.

Michelle Murray, Connell Foley LLP

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