Meet the Moderator

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Michael Colacchio

Partner, Michael Colacchio Consulting Group

Michael Colacchio is an executive and leadership coach whose focus is helping lawyers to grow as leaders and professionals. Michael has worked almost exclusively with law firms over the past 25 years. He has successfully coached attorneys and professionals on business development and leadership from firms that include Cahill, Reed Smith, Milbank, Orrick, Paul Hastings, Cooley, Faegre Baker Daniels, Fenwick & West, Holland & Hart, Kilpatrick Townsend, Farella Braun & Martel, Howard Rice, Clifford Chance, Ernst & Young, and Deloitte.

Michael holds a Masters in Neuro-Linguistics and is a Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst. Michael is a member of the Legal Marketing Association (LMA), the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the Professional Coaches and Mentors Association (PCMA). He is a frequent speaker on topics relating to leadership, emotional intelligence, client relationship management, and business development within law firms. He is a certified practitioner of Daniel Goleman’s “Primal Leadership” model. He is also certified in Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence model and the corresponding 360° Assessment.

Michael graduated with honors from Dartmouth College (Class of 1980), where he majored in Classics and Art History, learned Italian, studied in Florence, refined his French and Latin, edited the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine and played on one of the nation’s top-ranked rugby teams.

Meet the Speakers

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Derrick Boston

Chief Administrative Officer & General Counsel, Virgin Orbit

Derrick Boston is the Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of Virgin Orbit, LLC, which will launch satellites into low-earth orbit from the wing of a 747 airplane.  At Virgin Orbit, he supervises the Information Technology, Enterprise Software, Facilities and Security teams, in addition to being the head of the company’s legal department.  He was previously EVP, Business Development & General Counsel of Panavision, which rents cameras and lenses for producing movies, TV shows and commercials.  At Panavision, he also served as President of its Advanced Imaging Group, with P&L responsibility for three Panavision subsidiaries.  Mr. Boston is a corporate and securities lawyer, with broad experience encompassing mergers, acquisitions, securities offerings and debt restructurings.  A former partner at the law firms Irell & Manella LLP and Guth | Christopher LLP, Mr. Boston received his BA from Harvard University and his JD from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.  

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Cynthia Kao

Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs, Viacom

Cynthia Kao is Head of Business and Legal Affairs for Pluto TV, the leading free streaming television service in the U.S. and a wholly owned subsidiary of ViacomCBS.  She oversees all legal affairs and content acquisitions for the division.  In her role at Pluto TV, she advises senior executives on strategic transactions involving licensing and distribution, provides product counseling and guidance in support of significant product initiatives, and advises on complex privacy and regulatory matters related to digital media. 

Prior to joining Pluto TV, she was the lead commercial and product counsel for Sony Pictures Entertainment’s “direct to consumer” divisions, including its Crackle, Games and Digital Networks groups.  She was also formerly senior counsel with Viant Technology, where she provided legal guidance in support of its sophisticated digital advertising technology business.

She began her legal career as an associate with Latham and Watkins in its Los Angeles and Hong Kong offices, advising companies with respect to various domestic and Asian cross-border corporate matters.  Prior to law school, she was an associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers in its global risk management division.

Cynthia received her bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley, and her J.D. cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School.

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José Lopez

Senior Director, Samsung NEXT

Jose L. Lopez is a Senior Director in the legal department at Samsung NEXT, where he focuses on M&A, venture investments, and serves as the Head of Legal for Whisk.com.  Jose was previously corporate counsel at Salesforce and an associate at the law firms of Gunderson Dettmer and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.

Jose graduated from the UC Berkeley School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the California Law Review.  Prior to law school, Jose taught in public schools as a New York City Teaching Fellow and earned a Master’s degree in Education from CUNY - Lehman College.  He received his B.A. in English from UC Berkeley was born and raised in San Jose, California.

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Minh Merchant

General Counsel,  Genome Medical, Inc.

Minh Hoang Merchant joined Genome Medical, Inc. as its General Counsel.  Genome Medical is a leading telegenomics technology and services company committed to democratizing access to genomic-based medicine, in March 2020.  Prior to her current role, Ms. Merchant was Associate General Counsel at Myriad Genetics, Inc., which acquired Counsyl, Inc., where Ms. Merchant served as Associate General Counsel.  Before that, Ms. Merchant was also Chief Counsel at McKesson Corporation, a Fortune 5 company and the largest pharmaceutical distributor in the nation. Ms. Merchant has been practicing law for over two decades, graduating from UCLA School of Law, and has spent the entirety of her in-house career in life sciences. Ms. Merchant has served on various minority bar association boards as well.