Capital Chapter Your Honors Awards

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Left to Right: Faith Brinkley (2011 Member of  the Year), Andy Stief on behalf of Morrison Foerster (2013 Big Idea Winner) , Martin Gold (2011 Hall of Fame), John Hellerman on behalf of Hellerman Baretz Communications (2010 Big Idea Winner), Sydni Williams (2013 Member of the Year), Helena Lawrence (2012 Member of the Year).  Photo by Gittings Photography.


The Capital Chapter Your Honor Awards Ceremony was held on November 7, 2013 to recognize members that have made significant contributions to the Capital Chapter and the legal marketing industry. Attendees enjoyed drinks and hors d’oeuvres and some quality networking time before and after the ceremony.  

There were two winners from the Member of the Year and Big Idea categories. The award presenters were introduced by the master of ceremonies, Amy Knapp of Knapp Marketing. 

The member of the year award was presented by Marguerite Downey to Sydni Williams of Bean, Kinney & Korman who is a co-chair of the Chapter’s Future Law Firm Leaders Special Interest Group. Her introduction included quotes from her nomination for the award, which said despite being a junior member of legal marketing, she has been proactive and found ways to give back to the organization,” and “she has managed to become a strong presence at LMA and has sought out members at all levels. 

The award for Big Idea was presented by John Hellerman of Hellerman Baretz Communications and the 2010 Big Idea winner to Morrison & Foerster (MoFo).  The award was accepted on behalf of Morrison & Foerster by Andrew Stief.  This award is given to a firm and its legal marketers who have brought their marketing efforts to the next level and whose actions can provide solutions that will help motivate colleagues facing similar challenges.  Judges were particularly impressed that this “was not about MoFo, it was about the client” and that the firm “built relationships and built credibility by providing real value.”

Below is a description of the project from the submission:

Andrew and his team identified that the firm’s Emerging Company and Venture Capital practice group were not getting in front of enough early-stage technology companies.  Using competitive intelligence, they learned that to capture more market share they needed to go beyond one-off marketing events and to create a program that allows for multiple touch-points with prospective companies.  Through a series of planning meetings they developed their strategic objective: to establish a strong presence in the emerging growth company community by forming an exclusive, CEO level networking and programming initiative that focused on three of the regions fastest growing tech sectors: cyber security, big data and analytics.  Secondary criteria included private companies with annual revenues between $1M - $50M.

A task force developed the program from scratch over the next 10 months including meeting with representatives from other similarly designed programs, identifying outside partners who would add value and created a board of advisers from industry experts and professionals. From this, they formed AlphaTech Group Inc. as a non-stock corporation to administer the program.  Funding came from the organizing board of founders and using this board and the board of advisers they planned the content and programming for the organization’s eight month program.

What is so interesting for a law firm, is that AlphaTech stands alone and while MoFo provided the infrastructure and the sweat equity, when you go to the website, it is not a MoFo product.  It is about the client and stands alone as such.  They currently have 14 CEOs in the first class and are expanding to 25.  One of these companies has already become a client. 

Thank you to the following 2013 Capital Chapter Your Honor award sponsors who helped make the event a success:  Washington Parties, Hellerman Baretz Communications, Gittings Photography and The Ad Answer.

By Elaine Noble, Partner and Creative Director, Noble Pursuits LLC, for the November/December 2013 Issue of the Capital Ideas Newsletter.

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