What Makes Great Leaders in the Law

The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance Announces the 2015 Flex Leader and Flex Success™ Honorees

WASHINGTON, DC, March 12, 2015 – Confidence, motivation, communication, and honesty – all traits we look for in a leader. A truly great leader exhibits not only these traits, but also excels at leading by example through inspiration, commitment, creativity, and flexibility. The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance (the “Alliance”), a think tank dedicated to creating work environments centered on inclusion and innovative thought leadership, is proud to partner with these leaders and their organizations to promote holistic flexibility in the legal profession.

Each year, the Alliance recognizes a General Counsel or Chair of a law firm who is moving his or her organization toward a more inclusive workplace through holistic flexibility with its Flex Leader Award. This year’s Honoree, Joshua Frank, is the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of DHL Americas. As the chief legal officer of a legal department consisting of more than 50 employees, Joshua has used his influence as leader to institute diversity and flexibility both internally and externally. Internally, his legal department is 50 percent female, and 50 percent are also minorities. Externally, Joshua has made it a point to contract with minority and women-owned law firms. By understanding the sustainability of law firms and corporate departments is dependent on overall diversity and inclusion values, Joshua is committed to advancing the business case for flexibility in the workplace and the retention of top talent.

I am honored to accept this year’s Flex Leader Award and extremely appreciative of the excellent work done by the [Alliance]. I am fortunate to work at a company that not only encourages diversity and flexibility in its workforce, but recognizes it as a competitive advantage. I am also extremely grateful to work with an incredible team in the DHL Americas Legal department; every day they demonstrate how providing a supportive workplace leads to better work product and results for our clients. DHL’s commitment to diversity and flexibility also extends to our retention of outside counsel, and we will continue to use whatever influence we have to promote these issues within the legal profession. – Joshua Frank

In a profession where the stigma around flexibility and reduced hours still prevails, the Alliance works with member and non-member organizations to recognize and showcase the connection between effective, holistic flexibility programs and incredible personal and business success. With the annual Flex Success™ Award, the Alliance recognizes a partner working a reduced hours schedule and his or her client that has been integral to making workplace flexibility a reality. “This year’s honorees are nothing short of amazing,” says Manar Morales, the Alliance’s President & CEO. “With an unprecedented number of submissions this year, the eight Honorees clearly stood out and showcase how working flexibly or on a reduced hours schedule is not the end of a career. If anything, this year’s Honorees and their clients prove that flexibility in the legal profession not only thrives, but is a necessity that keeps great leaders in the law.”

The 2015 Flex Success™ Award Honorees:

Toni-Ann Citera is a partner at Jones Day (NY) in the Business and Tort Litigation Group where she focuses on government investigations and litigation in the pharmaceutical and health care industries. In 2006, Toni made partner and started on a reduced hours schedule in 2007 after she had her first child. Her reduced hours schedule has neither hindered her career nor her commitment to the firm. In addition to sitting on the New York office’s Business Development Committee, she also Co-Founded and currently Co-Chairs the office’s Women’s Initiative. “I am so honored to have been selected for this Award and grateful to work at a firm and with clients that are so supportive of my flexible schedule. Having a flex schedule has allowed me to be the mother I want to be and the type of mother I grew up with, without compromising my dedication to the legal profession, our clients, and the firm,” said Toni.

Ms. Citera’s clients, Maria E. Pasquale, Senior Vice President, Legal & Deputy General Counsel and Ailyn Abin, Senior Corporate Counsel, Celgene Corporation, (both also working moms) are extremely supportive of her schedule. Toni starting working with Celgene in 2011 on one matter, and as testament to how her flexible arrangement has been a success and brought value to the relationship, she now works on several of Celgene’s matters at the company’s request. “Flexibility does not mean sacrificing quality of service or work product – for this reason we are pleased to see Toni honored with this Award and to be a part of this recognition,” said Maria.

Kelly S. Hughes, a shareholder in the Charlotte, NC office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., along with her client, Jill Lewandowski, Vice President, People, from Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group, are the second Honoree pair for the Alliance’s 2015 Flex Success™ Award. Kelly has been a shareholder since 2013 and never hides her flexible arrangement. As an ardent champion of workplace flexibility, she Co-Chairs the Flexibility/Awareness Subcommittee of the firm’s Women’s Initiative (ODWIN), serves as a reduced hours advisor, and is an ambassador to the Professional Development Committee. Kelly and Jill share the mantra that workplace flexibility enhances effectiveness and have collaborated on external presentations on this topic. “We are so pleased that [the Alliance] is recognizing Kelly, together with our client, Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group (CG), as 2015 Flex Success™ Honorees” said Terry Egler, shareholder and Chair of ODWIN. “Our firm is committed to providing work flex options to enable our attorneys to be successful both at work and at home. Kelly’s success, supported by CG, shows how this can be a win-win for all.”

Joy Sturm, a partner in the Washington, DC office of Hogan Lovells, has been at the firm for over 17 years – 13 of those years have been on a reduced hours schedule. Joy has developed a specialty practice within the Government Regulatory practice group, taken on numerous mentoring and leadership roles within the firm, and cultivated strong client relationships, especially with her Co-Honorees, Debbie Walters-Francique, Vice President & Assistant General Counsel and Sabrina Yohai, Assistant General Counsel at Pfizer Inc.

“I am honored to receive this award along with my client, Pfizer, and two outstanding women on the Pfizer legal team with whom I work closely – Debbie Walters-Francique and Sabrina Yohai. It is a true privilege to be a partner at Hogan Lovells, where I’ve had the opportunity to develop a vibrant law practice while working a flexible, reduced hours schedule. I could not have gotten to this point without first-rate clients like Pfizer who embody the same ideals as we do. Employers like Hogan Lovells and Pfizer understand that when life outside of work is valued – indeed, honored – through flexible work options, everyone wins,” said Ms. Sturm.

Joy further attributes the success of her relationship with her clients to the fact they all appreciate each other’s need to multi-task, and they have all benefitted from the support of their management teams. “We are very proud of Joy’s success. She serves as an exceptional role model within and outside of the firm, demonstrating a path to success while working flexibly, and proving that client service need not be impacted by such arrangements,” said Emily Yinger, the firm’s Regional Managing Partner of the Washington, DC Area.

Not only does Pfizer support Joy’s schedule, the company has strived to create an environment that is conducive to working flexibly for its own employees. Debbie also works remotely as needed to address her family commitments. “I am proud to be a Flex Success™ Honoree and strongly believe that flexibility in the workplace positively impacts end results.” Sabrina echoed her colleague’s sentiments by stating, “I am proud to work at a company like Pfizer and with firms like Hogan Lovells, where hard work and productivity are valued, no matter where they occur. Such flexibility not only increases efficiency, it improves morale. Who doesn’t benefit from that?”

The Alliance will present all the Honorees with their awards on March 19 at its 2015 Annual Conference, Diversity + Flexibility = Innovative Leadership, at Jones Day in Washington, DC. Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, CEO of 20-first, will be the keynote speaker and provide a fresh, provocative look at what it takes to make progress on gender balance in management and leadership in the legal profession.


The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance is a think tank dedicated to creating work environments centered on inclusion and innovative thought leadership. The Alliance provides practical solutions that increase organizational effectiveness and create high performance cultures leveraging diversity and flexibility.

More information about the Alliance can be found at dfalliance.com.

Contact —

Manar Morales
President & CEO