March 1, 2021

IPLAC Newsletter – March 2021

IPLAC Newsletter – March 2021

In This Issue:


1.     President’s Corner

Dear IPLAC Members and Friends,


It is with sadness that I write this letter in the recent aftermath of the senseless and horrific multiple mass shootings.  The first shooting was in Atlanta, GA, and the second shooting was in Boulder, CO.  IPLAC condemns all acts of violence.  It is clear, however, that the first shooting targeted citizens of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in Atlanta.  We particularly condemn the violent targeting of members of the AAPI community and stand by those members of IPLAC in the AAPI community who feel loss, outrage, or the impact of racial discrimination and stereotyping that their community has long endured in this country, which has been heightened during the pandemic.  IPLAC stands for and promotes openness, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Intellectual Property legal profession for all people.  Our committee on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion has been active in holding events to engage in a dialogue of understanding and tolerance, with an upcoming event on March 31, 2021.  To get involved with this committee, please contact the DE&I Committee Chairs Atanu Das at and Cynthia Assam at  Together, we can do more to close the divide between one another and help end bias and discrimination against all people.  For more information and to learn how you can make a difference in stopping bias and discrimination, please visit and support H.Res. Nos. 151 and 153.  You can view a list of resources to further your education on the history of Asian American racism in the United States here.


Resources to further your education on the history of Asian American racism in the US:

NBC News:  Anti-racism resources to support Asian American, Pacific Islander community

Medium- Asian American Women Are Resilient — and We Are Not OK Article

Amend: The Fight for America, Netflix series hosted by Will Smith 

Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans Are on the Rise. Many Say More Policing Isn’t the Answer (Time Magazine)

Anger And Fear As Asian American Seniors Targeted In Bay Area Attacks (NPR)

Yellow Peril: 19th-Century Scapegoating (AAWW)

Why it’s time to retire the term ‘Asian Pacific Islander’ (Seattle Times)

50 Years Later, Former UC Berkeley Students Celebrate the Asian-American Movement They Began (KQED)

THE RETURN OF “YELLOW PERIL:” Anti-AAPI Rhetoric and Policies Leading up to the 2020 Election (Stop AAPI Hate)

‘Model Minority Myth Again Used As A Racial Wedge Between Asians And Blacks (NPR)

Anti-Asian Racism in America is Not News, and That is Exactly the Problem (NextShark)

Fewer Asians Need Apply (City Journal)


Marc V. Richards

136th IPLAC President




Upcoming Events:


1.     Book Club Discussion of We Were Eight Years in Power:  An American Tragedy, by Te-Nehisi Coates, March 31, 2021

On Wednesday, March 31, from 12-1:30 PM Central Time, please join IPLAC’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee with an open mind for a meaningful discussion on how the Obama and Trump presidencies have impacted America’s history of race relations, social change, and the policies we can support to advance equity.


We Were Eight Years in Power, a 2017 Times top-ten non-fiction book, will guide this discussion, so readers are encouraged to attend.  The book comprises several articles such that readers can easily read a portion or all of the articles of the book.  However, if you haven’t read the book, please still join us as your perspective will add to the conversation.  An online study guide is available here:


IPLAC Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee Chairs Atanu Das and Cynthia Assam and Vice-Chair Caleb Norris will facilitate this engaging conversation on We Were Eight Years in Power.  Registration here is free for IPLAC members.


2.     Trade Secrets Litigation at the International Trade Commission with ITC Judge Cameron Elliot, April 8, 2021

On April 8, from 12-1 PM Central Time, IPLAC’s Litigation Committee will host what promises to be a valuable and thought-provoking interview and discussion with ITC Judge Cameron Elliot, focused upon practical insights for litigating trade secret matters in the ITC.  ITC litigants, and anyone who may be considering ITC litigation, should attend this program for the unique opportunity to hear Judge Elliot’s thoughts and tips for litigating at the ITC.  While this event is free to IPLAC members, please click here to register.


3.     Virtual Patent Law Career Planning Event, April 14, 2021

IPLAC’s Women in IP Committee and DE&I Committee are co-hosting a Virtual Patent Law Career Planning Event on April 14, 2021, at 6 PM Central time, with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University Chapters of the Society of Women Engineers (“SWE”), sponsored by the law firm of Leydig, Voit & Mayer.  The program includes a panel discussion regarding pursuing a career in Patent law and the way in which an engineering degree can assist in such a career.  We are grateful for the following panelists to attend this event:  Mary Fetsco (Associate at Von Briesen & Roper); Lilian Ficht (Patent Agent at Marshall Gerstein); Manisha Bhangare (Associate General Counsel, Product at Facebook); Keelin Bielski (Associate at Leydig, Voit & Mayer); Atanu Das (Moderator – Of Counsel at Guntin & Gust).



4.     World IP Day – April 26, 2021

Please join IPLAC in recognizing and celebrating World Intellectual Property Day on April 26, 2021.  On this date in 1970, the WIPO Convention came into force.  In 2000, WIPO decided to celebrate IP by designating April 26th each year as World IP Day.  Each year, countries around the globe celebrate this day by hosting special events to promote the role of IP rights in encouraging innovation and creativity.  Each year WIPO selects a different theme.  This year the theme is IP and Small and Medium-Size Enterprises (SMEs):  Taking Your Ideas to Market.  


SMEs make up 90 percent of the world’s businesses and employ about 50 percent of the global workforce.  The world’s highest-valued companies, such as Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, etc., were once SMEs just a generation ago.  Creativity and innovation paved the way for their tremendous growth, and helped improve the lives of billions of people.  To learn more about this annual event, visit WIPO here.  And please help promote this day by using #WorldIPDay on your social media.


5.     IPLAC Annual Meeting and Election – May 19, 2021

Annual Elections will be held at the IPLAC Annual Meeting on May 19, 2021.  There are four open positions for members of the Board of Managers and certain Officer positions:  Treasurer, Vice-President, and President-Elect.  If you are interested in being considered for a position by the IPLAC Nominating Committee, please send an email describing your interest and qualifications to the IPLAC President, Marc Richards, at


6.     In-Person Events Resume – Save the Dates!

The Golf Outing/Field Day is scheduled for August 12, 2021.  The Annual Judges Dinner is scheduled for October 22, 2021 at the Mid-America Club, at the top of the Aon Center, at 5:30 P.M.


Recaps of Past Events:


1.     Recap:  Virtual Panel Discussion on Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession – March 18, 2021

On March 18, the IPLAC Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and the Richard Linn American Inn of Court co-hosted a Virtual Panel Discussion on Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession which drew over 154 participants.  Past IPLAC President and current Linn Inn President Adam Kelly opened the event by addressing the recent spike in violence against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.  Honorable Ann C. Williams (Retired) then set the stage for the remaining featured panelists, who included:  Antonette M. Smith, Executive Director, Just the Beginning (JTB) – A Pipeline Organization; Josie M. Gough, Assistant Dean, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, School of Law, Loyola University Chicago; Sandra S. Yamate, Chief Executive Officer, The Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession; Honorable Ann C. Williams (Retired), Of Counsel, Jones Day, Co-Founder of Just the Beginning – A Pipeline Organization, Co-Founder, Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Chicago; Honorable Virginia M. Kendall, U.S. District Judge, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  One of the most probing questions posed during the event was whether attorneys have an ethical obligation to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in our profession.  We thank the panel and the Richard Linn American Inn of Court for an honest, insightful, and timely discussion.





2.     Recap:  Trade Secrets Summit – Part I, March 18, 2021

The IPLAC Trade Secret and Unfair Competition Committee sponsored the Trade Secrets Summit – Part I, on March 18, 2021.  The two-hour CLE program has two segments, with the first entitled “A Review of Trade Secrets Case Law Developments in 2020 and Early 2021,” and presented by former IPLAC President R. Mark Halligan of FisherBroyles, LLP (pictured).  The second segment, entitled “What Civil Practitioners Should Know About Investigations and Prosecutions of Trade Secret Misappropriation Under the Economic Espionage Act,” was presented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Driscoll, a federal prosecutor based in Chicago, and FBI Special Agent Jennifer French, who is based in Arlington, Virginia.  


Mark provided an in-depth analysis of recent trade secret case law from the federal courts, addressing state trade secret laws and the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act.  In particular, precedential opinions from the Courts of Appeal for the First, Third, Fifth, Seventh, and Eleventh Circuits were addressed.  Numerous district court decisions from across the country were also analyzed in depth by Mr. Halligan, from both substantive law and civil procedure perspectives.  Mr. Halligan noted that substantial development of the law continues in the states that follow the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (now adopted in every state except New York), and that with the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act in effect for just five years, further common law development will continue in the immediate future.


In the second segment, Mr. Driscoll summarized the elements of economic espionage (18 U.S.C. § 1832), which have similarities to civil trade secret misappropriation elements but must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  Jurisdictional and procedural aspects were also discussed.  Mr. Driscoll noted that the benefits of reporting to law enforcement include mitigation of the effects of the misappropriation, deterring others both inside and outside of the organization from further and future criminal conduct, restitution, and potential public relations benefits.  Pitfalls to avoid, and potential downsides from criminal enforcement were also identified. 


In the concluding segment, Ms. French discussed FBI actions against criminal trade secret misappropriations.  She noted that the vast majority of FBI criminal trade secret cases were based on former employee conduct, and that over half of the cases involved email and USB devices as the method to wrongfully obtain trade secrets.  Special Agent French highlighted that time was of the essence in reporting conduct to the FBI, and that a rights holder should be prepared to provide a substantial time and resources to law enforcement in the investigation phase, as well as in the prosecution phase, to obtain a successful outcome.


If you were unable to attend the Trade Secrets Summit – Part I, look for an announcement of Part II next quarter.  The IPLAC Trade Secrets and Unfair Competition Committee welcomes your attendance.  Further, if you would like to join the Committee next year, please add the Committee to your membership list of Committees when you re-up for IPLAC next year.


* Summary provided by Committee Vice-Chair Brad Lane,


3.     Recap:  Harmonizing Individual Decision-Making Differences to Maximize Team Effectiveness, March 24, 2021

On Wednesday, March 24th, a webinar entitled “Harmonizing Individual Decision-Making Differences to Maximize Team Effectiveness” was hosted by the Patent Agents, Corporate, and Diversity and Inclusion Committees. There were 19 people in attendance. Attendees learned about a proven system for characterizing a person’s working style, to produce a quantified work profile for that person. 



© The Next Move LLC, 2021


The quantified work profile describes the extent to which the person fixates on each of three common project phases (researching, planning, and executing), how the person prefers to interact with others during those phases, and the person’s overall working style (how influenced a person is by his/her environment, preferred workload/number of simultaneously juggled spheres of life, assertion vs. perceiving during the three project phases).  Attendees also saw examples of the system being used in a variety of ways:  by a manager to delegate projects in a way that optimizes each individual’s efficiency, by hiring managers to select a candidate that is best suited for a position, by employees to understand the most effective ways to interact with their managers and each other, and to understand and minimize conflicts in both personal and working relationships.


The webinar was recorded for those who missed it or are interested in viewing it later.  For more information, please contact the Chair of the Patent Agents Committee Ritu Chander at


4.     Recap:  Chicago Inventors Organization Legal Day, March 25, 2021

On Thursday, March 25th, IPLAC members volunteered at the Chicago Inventor Organization’s very first Legal Day.  The seminar started with a panel discussion about the basics of intellectual property law, and the importance of having an attorney involved at all stages of the creative and inventive process.  The speakers included IPLAC members Joseph Ambrose and Karen Hwang, along with Genna Hibbs, Roberto Fernandez, and Thomas Key.  Kenny Matuszewski, an IPLAC member and Committee Chair, led and moderated the discussion. 



After the panel discussion, IPLAC volunteers led Zoom breakout rooms and answered attendees’ questions about patents, trademarks, copyrights, licensing, contracts & agreements, and IP strategies.  The Zoom breakout room leaders included Adam Kelly, John Augustyn, Joe Carafiello, Rachel Miller, Johnny Zhang, Kenny Matuszewski, Cameron Pick, Elias Soupos, Genna Hibbs, Shannon Hughes Mastick, Xavier Pillai, and Roberto Fernandez.  The attendees thought that the volunteer attorneys’ advice was very insightful, and the seminar was met with effusive praise and raucous applause.  IPLAC looks forward to the next opportunity to work together with the Chicago Inventors Organization, and thanks all of the volunteers who served as speakers for the panel or leaders for the breakout room sessions.


* Summary and screenshots provided by Kenny Matuszewski




Articles and Special Features:


1.     Definition of Highly Sensitive Documents According to the Northern District of Illinois


By R. David Donoghue, Practice Group Leader, Holland & Knight and Vice-Chair of IPLAC Litigation Committee


In response to recent questions about a potential breach of the CM/ECF system, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issued a General Order setting out a definition of Highly Sensitive Documents (“HSDs”).  Despite what most parties in civil actions may believe, the General Order makes it clear that commercial documents are rarely HSDs.  The General Order states that “[m]ost sealed filings in civil cases do not constitute HSDs” and specifically excludes “[c]ommercial [and] proprietary information” from HSD classification.  Documents will not be classified as HSDs solely because they include personal identifying or financial information. 


In addition to various criminal filings, the following categories of material can be classified as HSDs:


“Materials whose disclosure could jeopardize national security or place human life or safety at risk;” and


“Materials whose disclosure to a foreign power or its agents (as defined by 50 U.S.C. § 1801) would be unlawful under U.S. law or would substantially assist a foreign power or its agents in the development of that foreign power’s competing commercial products or products with military applications.”


HSDs are required to be filed with the Clerk in paper form.  In order to have a document classified as a HSD, a party must seek leave to file as a HSD, including a Rule 11 certification that the document qualifies as a HSD.  The order granting the motion must identify the persons allowed access to the documents and instructions for handling of the documents after the case concludes.


Two copies of any HSDs are to be filed in separate, sealed envelopes “conspicuously labelled as HSD Sealed Material,” the case caption, and identifying the attorney’s or party’s name and address, including email.  A copy of the order authorizing the HSD filing must also be included with any document presented for filing as an HSD.


Parties may seek to reclassify documents already filed as confidential as HSD by motion pursuant to Local Rules 5.8 (filing motions under seal) and 26.2 (sealed documents).


* This article was first published on and was adapted from the Chicago IP Litigation blog.


2.     Appointment Committee Announcement

Judge Eli Wallach of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has announced that he is transitioning to Senior Status.  This means there will be an opening for an active Judge at the Federal Circuit.  IPLAC’s Appointment Committee is looking to support and assist qualified attorneys who are interested in being appointed by the Biden Administration to the Federal Circuit, especially those with ties to the Chicago IP community.  If you know of someone who could use IPLAC’s assistance, please contact the Appointment Committee Chair, Kate Berezutskaya, at  IPLAC is also willing to help support candidates for other judicial openings and even for Director of the USPTO.



3.    Special Feature – Get to Know IPLAC Member and Vice-Chair of the IPLAC Amicus Committee Margaret Duncan

Our Vice-Chair of the IPLAC Amicus Committee, Peg Duncan, was kind enough to share a bit about her path to patent law, career in private practice, the transition to teaching, and her experiences with IPLAC.  Peg has been practicing intellectual property law for 39 years with extensive experience in patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.  She has been registered at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for 38 years.  In her career, Peg has practiced mainly in litigation, but also focused on the protection of IP, counseling and transactions.  Three years ago, Peg joined Loyola University Chicago School of Law and teaches courses in patent and business law.  


Q: Can you share a bit about what drew you to intellectual property law?


A: Actually, I fell into intellectual property law at a time when I thought I wanted to be an estate planning attorney. I was interviewing for a position in that field, when a women partner took me aside and advised me to never mention that I had a two-year old daughter. I was shocked (perhaps because I was very young and inexperienced in the practice of law) and thought, “I do not want to work in a field or for a firm where you have to hide your two-year old.”


Luckily, I had a science background (chemistry and biology) and had worked at Evanston Hospital in a clinical laboratory for 5 years, including during law school. Chuck Laff, my IP Law Professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, asked if I would be interested in joining the Giles Sutherland Rich Patent Law Moot Court team. I agreed and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, especially arguing before federal judges in the Northern District of Illinois, D.C. Circuit (Judge Abner Mikva), U.S. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals (Judges Giles Rich and Helen Nies) and even the U.S. Register of Copyrights and former Commissioner of Patents (David Ladd). Professor Laff then asked if I would be interested in clerking for his law firm, and the rest is history!


Q: How long have you been an IPLAC member?


A: I joined IPLAC right after I graduated in 1981, at the urging of other IPLAC members, mentors and colleagues, including the partners at my first law firm Chuck Laff, Warren Whitesell, Howard Rockman, Lou Altman, Larry Saret, Marty Stern, and Joe Schmidt. The firm was called Laff, Whitesell & Rockman at that time, and IPLAC was called “The Patent Law Association of Chicago.” There were very few women in PLAC at that time. I recall meeting only two other women at my first PLAC Golf Outing and Dinner. I was asked by one of the partners at my firm Bob Conte to assist him in handing out the prizes, so I was sort of the “Vanna White” for that event. 


When I think back over those years of my life, I am very grateful to the partners and colleagues at Laff Whitesell, who introduced me to PLAC, now IPLAC, and provided wonderful mentoring and training in all aspects of intellectual property law. I was the only woman attorney in the firm, had a two-year old daughter and was expecting my second child. They were completely supportive of my family life and provided a paid maternity leave, when there was no legal requirement to do so. I will always be grateful for their friendship and realize Laff, Whitesell & Rockman was way ahead of the times in the early 80’s, including in their promotion of PLAC to young women patent attorneys.


Q: How has IPLAC helped you as an attorney?


A: IPLAC has taught me the importance of giving back to the IP community by mentoring, especially mentoring younger attorneys of gender, racial and ethnic diversity. IPLAC has also taught me the importance of participating regularly in continuing legal education to stay abreast of the many changes in IP law over the years.


Q: Beyond the obvious networking benefits of a professional organization, are there any other benefits of being an IPLAC member?


A: Another great benefit of being an IPLAC member is that I learned the importance of friendships and social interactions with colleagues in intellectual property law.


Q: When recommending a friend or mentee to join IPLAC, what’s the main reason you would give them to join?


A: It’s a no-brainer to join IPLAC as a student member or when you graduate. You will meet many friends and mentors in IP, especially if you join a committee and stay active in the organization.


Q: For newer members of IPLAC, is there any advice you would give about how to get involved or move into leadership positions?


A: Join a committee!


Q: What’s your favorite IPLAC event?


A: I have enjoyed many different events over the years, so it is difficult to pick a favorite, but I would say one that stands out has been the Judges Dinner, honoring many of our wonderful federal and local judges.


Q: Are you looking forward to any IPLAC activities in the coming months?


A: Yes, returning to our first live event will be wonderful when it is safe to do so.


Q: You moved from private practice into education, what was that experience like?


A: It has been a wonderful transition from private practice to education because I enjoy working with students and sharing much of what I have learned throughout my years of practice.


Q: How did you first get interested in teaching?


A: I have four children, so I have always tried my best to help them with school work and teach them lessons I have learned in my professional life. I also taught in the “Lawyers in the Classroom” program at Brown Elementary, a CPS elementary school on the near west side of Chicago. I met with sixth, seventh and eighth graders (including learning disabled students) and taught them about the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Then, in 2018, Professor Cynthia Ho, Clifford E. Vickrey Research Professor and Director, Intellectual Property Program, at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, asked me if I would be interested in teaching Patent Law. I was humbled and excited at the same time to take on this new challenge, even while working full-time at McDermott Will & Emery. The wonderful law students I met during my first semester proved this was a great decision, and I was completely hooked on teaching almost immediately!


Q: Do you have any advice for folks considering teaching?


A: Always consider the amount of work it will take to prepare a semester course and be ready to be ever present for your students to help them succeed. Especially during the pandemic (which I did not plan for in my first semester of teaching in 2019), you will need to be up for any challenge in providing a great quality education and learning experience for students of diverse backgrounds and experiences.


Q: Because we’ve all be stuck inside during the Covid lockdown, how have you been keeping active during the pandemic?


A: I have been spending a lot of time outdoors with family and friends, walking, hiking, biking, skiing and appreciating the wonders of nature. Also, I have learned to prepare more meals during the past year than in my entire life! It took a pandemic to teach me how to cook and realize I actually can follow recipes. 


Q: Are there any new hobbies you’d like to share?


A: Spending time with my family (when possible and being safe), following the AFI [American Film Institute] Movie Club, reading, and doing Sudoku puzzles – all have been wonderful reprieves during the pandemic!


4.     Special Feature – Get to Know IPLAC Member and Past President Janet Garetto


As part of our ongoing series of interviews with past IPLAC presidents, Janet Garetto was invited to tell her story about starting in IP law, launching her career, and what made her a successful attorney and IPLAC member. Janet has been practicing since 1997 and handles patent and trademark prosecution, client counseling work, and also some IP litigation issues for various clients. She’s been with Nixon Peabody since 2007, when she and a number of her colleagues opened the Chicago office. Janet has been an IPLAC member since the onset of her career and held many positions before the presidency.  


Q: How long have you been an IPLAC member?


A: I have been an IPLAC member since the onset of my career. I have a deep love for IPLAC – it is the place where I was able to learn IP law and get to know so many IP practitioners across the Chicagoland area.


Q: What leadership positions have you held in IPLAC besides the presidency? How are you involved now?


A: I began my time with IPLAC as Vice-Chair and then Chair of the Membership Committee. It was a great way to step my foot in the waters at IPLAC and begin to know our many members. From that time of service, I was asked to serve on the Board, then in the role of Treasurer and ultimately in the roles that lead up to preparing for service as President (Vice-President, President Elect) and followed by Immediate Past President. After this period, I migrated into a role as a Co-Chair of the Annual Symposium event which I held for many years with Past President Pat Burns and Dominic Zarfardino. I continue to participate in IPLAC programs and to always encourage colleagues in my office and other IP practitioners to join and, most importantly, become active in IPLAC.


Q: Can you share a bit about what drew you to intellectual property law?


A: I was interested in practicing in IP law given my undergraduate degree in chemistry. Thanks to my undergraduate science degree, I was blessed to secure a job as a summer associate with the IP boutique, Arnold White & Durkee, and began practicing with some of the attorneys with whom I still practice (we migrated together from Arnold White & Durkee to Jenkens & Gilchrist, both firms no longer active, to Nixon Peabody). I was turned onto the ability to do a mix of patent and trademark work from a now-retired partner with whom I practiced – and a Past President of IPLAC – Ron Coolley.


Q: How has IPLAC helped you as an experienced attorney?


A: IPLAC has helped me in countless ways. IPLAC has given me the opportunity to learn new IP skills, stay abreast on IP topics, network, mentor and be mentored, meet countless friends and colleagues and develop leadership and organizational skills through the various committee and other roles available to active members of the organization.


Q: Beyond the obvious networking benefits of a professional organization, what other benefits do you see from being an IPLAC member?


A: The benefits and returns through active participation in IPLAC are really endless! Some of my favorite people I have come to know and love it my career have been IPLAC blessings in my life.


Q: What role do you see IPLAC fulfilling as you advance further in your career?


A: I see IPLAC as a terrific tool for staying connected with IP colleagues at other firms and companies in the Chicagoland area. IPLAC is renowned for holding excellent, affordable, local programming on a host of IP subjects to make CLE – combined with mentorship and networking opportunities – right at your fingertips.


Q: When recommending a friend or mentee to join IPLAC, what’s the main reason you would give them to join?


A: As you can see, I am a huge advocate of getting involved in IPLAC. It changed the course of my career in immeasurable ways. Even if you can only attend a handful of events each year, it’s a terrific way to meet people and fine tune your IP skills.


Q: For newer members of IPLAC, is there any advice you would give about how to move into leadership positions?


A: I would pick a committee that fits your passion around an IP topic of interest or something you enjoy (dinner or event planning?) and get active. Attend. Be present. Volunteer for tasks. Complete those tasks. Offer ideas. People will see your interest, commitment and passion. IPLAC loves supporting its young members through the development of their careers and giving people greater roles in helping to lead and shape the organization.


Q: During your tenure as IPLAC president, is there an achievement or event that is a particular point of pride for you?


A: Inspired by another Past President, Mary Schnurr, who had a very active array of committee events, our Board launched an initiative to expand our committee work and get people engaged. We organized an effort to promote each committee to our members, solicited membership sign-up for 1-2 committees, and encouraged active participation in those committees – and the key was for each committee to host at least 2 events to give our members lots of programming choices. We used champions of IPLAC within law firms and companies to get the word out about events. And – unless I had to travel for work – I attended every committee event while President. What a great way to meet and greet our members and demonstrate the benefits of getting involved! My then small children would say “mommy is off to IPLAC” – even they knew how important it was to me.


We also hosted a luncheon where we gathered together all Past Presidents of IPLAC. I thought it would be a wonderful way to gather some IPLAC history and keep our past leaders engaged with the organization.


Q: What’s your favorite IPLAC event?


A: Too many to list but if I had to pick, the Annual Meeting. I have loved the spirit of sitting in Cathedral Hall at the University Club and the opportunity to see friends from times past sharing time and a meal together in such a lovely setting.


Q: Are you looking forward to any IPLAC activities in the coming months?


I always follow the IPLAC calendar to see what is coming in the pipeline. I am so grateful to see names of folks I know leading and carrying on the wonderful traditions of the organization.


Q: Are there any activities or hobbies that have helped you during the pandemic that you’d like to share?


A: Like many others, I have tried to use the time to work on home organization and improvement projects we can never complete (and, as best we could, my husband and I engaged the help of our four children). When we can “spring free,” I know I will never get my family’s attention on these kinds of things again!



IP Trivia

Q: Known to many as the “godfather of Asian American theater,” this actor had over 161 theatrical credits in his career, including for the films Conan the Barbarian, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Avatar the Last Airbender. A Japanese American whose parents were granted residency by Congress following working with the Department of War during the Second World War, he remained at the forefront of advocating for Asian Americans throughout his life. He used his acting influence to bring these issues to center stage and dedicated much of his stage acting career to the Japanese American incarceration during the Second World War, with many of his performances occurring during the Congressional Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. Name this actor.

A: Makoto Iwamatsu. Read more about Makoto Iwamatsu here.