David Ackert, M.A., is the President of The Ackert Advisory and a mentor to high-achieving professionals in the legal, corporate, finance, and accounting sectors. David has advised hundreds of lawyers, CEOs and professional-services executives on overcoming business development and marketing challenges.
He has developed and implemented business development programs for countless firms, from AmLaw 100s to local boutiques. Widely recognized as an e-learning pioneer in the legal field, David is the founder of Practice Boomers, a business development e-learning program and two-time winner of the Legal Marketing Associations “Your Honor Award.” He is also the founder of Practice Pipeline, a pipeline management software platform that incorporates business development coaching. The combination of technology and coaching has become a hallmark of his programs.
David has published and been quoted in such media as the Los Angeles Times, the National Review, the Daily Journal, the Wall Street Journal, Voice America, Attorney at Work, The Recorder, and the Los Angeles Business Journal. He often leads panels and makes seminar presentations on effective communication and business development strategies. David regularly keynotes at law firm partner retreats and trade conferences. He serves as a guest lecturer at USC’s Marshall School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, and at the UCLA School of Law.
Sheila Ardalan is Summit’s Chief Operating Officer. Her primary responsibility is to develop and execute Summit’s strategic plan. Sheila is known throughout the greater Los Angeles business community and beyond as a trusted advisor and strategic legal services consultant. Sheila is an expert at establishing innovative client-specific systems that streamline legal operations and deepen relationships for and between clients. By merging her passion for creating connections with her cutting edge approach to client service, Sheila is a true advocate and partner to enterprises ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Sheila is responsible for cultivating new business relationships, as well as managing relationships with existing clients, such as Fidelity National Financial.
Sheila’s enthusiasm in understanding of key clients, practice areas and market placement allow her to identify clients‘ needs and maximize their strengths. In many cases, by connecting them with other business development contacts. Her extensive experience in real estate transactions and litigation matters facilitates her ability to make sure the clients’ needs are handled in a timely and efficient manner.
Prior to Summit LA, Sheila worked at Freeman, Freeman & Smiley, LLP, Brown, Winfield and Canzoneri, Inc., in Los Angeles, and Hale and Dorr LLP, in Washington, D.C.
Stephanie Corey is a co-founder of UpLevel Ops, a consulting firm specializing in providing services for in-house legal departments and law firms. UpLevel Ops provides a complete range of Legal Operations support, including IT solutions, Finance and Budget guidance, Talent Management and Development, Benchmarking, Best Practices and Metrics, and Outside Counsel Selection and Management.
Stephanie is also a co-founder and executive member of the leading legal operations trade organization CLOC, Corporate Legal Operations Consortium. She is a widely respected veteran in the Legal Ops field.
Most recently, Stephanie has served as the Chief of Staff and Senior Director of Legal Operations at Flex, which has a global legal department of more than 150 people in 15 countries. She has spent the better part of her career providing value-added services to Legal Departments, including building and deploying critical infrastructure to enable them to meet their business priorities. Stephanie’s areas of expertise include Information Technology, Finance, Communications and Administration.
Stephanie holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from Lehigh University, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Wilkes University.
Jon Hoak, Co-founder of UpLevel Ops and former GC of Flex
Jon S. Hoak is a co-founder of UpLevel Ops. UpLevel Ops is a consulting firm specializing in providing services for in-house legal departments and law firms. UpLevel Ops provides a complete range of legal operations support, including IT solutions, Finance and Budget guidance, Talent Management and Development, Benchmarking, Best Practices and Metrics, and Outside Counsel Selection and Management.
Prior to joining UpLevel Ops, Jon served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Flex from January 2011 until July of 2016. At Flex, Jon had global responsibility for providing legal support and directing legal operations. He also led the corporate security function and directed US government affairs activities at Flex.
Previously, Jon was Vice President and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer at Hewlett-Packard (HP), where from 2006 until 2011 he oversaw the strategy and implementation of HP’s ethics and compliance program, including adherence to HP’s standards of business conduct. Jon also served from 1993 until 2006 as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for NCR Corporation, where he was responsible for furnishing legal counsel services and directing legal operations for all global divisions of the company. He also served as General Counsel for AT&T’s Federal Systems Division, where he led a group of attorneys to support AT&T’s provision of products and services to the United States government. Prior to joining AT&T, Jon was a partner of the law firm of Sidley & Austin and also worked for Heritage Communications, a cable television operator.
Jon holds a juris doctor degree from Drake University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he majored in psychology, history, and political science.
Patrick Lamb is a founding member of Valorem Law Group, a business litigation law firm. The firm pioneered the use of Value Fees (some use “alternative fees”) for business litigation, believing fees can be fixed and incentives created for any business dispute. Valorem is now well known for providing true value to its clients instead of the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” approach used by so many others: fixing a fee at the maximum estimate of how much it would cost under an hourly arrangement. Valorem’s success in this area has been widely acknowledged: indeed, in a report from BTI Consulting, Valorem was named one of only 22 firms in the world as “Best at Delivering AFAs.”
Valorem also has been recognized for its commitment to unparalleled customer service. For the past four years, Valorem has been named a Client Service All-Star by BTI Consulting, and for the same four years, Pat has been named a Client Service All-Star MVP. So when Valorem says it designs custom solutions for its clients, its track record shows we do it.
Pat also makes the Valorem accomplishments available to others, consulting with both firms and clients on structuring AFAs, providing great customer service, and creating the environment needed to be successful at using or delivering AFAs.
Mark T. Greene, Ph.D., is the President of Market Intelligence. As a consultant, Mark pioneered professional service firms’ use of market research, process improvement, and competitive intelligence to make smart business decisions. As a CMO/Marketing Director he was instrumental in shaping strategic direction and branding for O’Melveny & Meyers, Nixon Peabody, Waller, and Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie.
Mark was one of the first recipients of the Legal Marketing Association’s lifetime achievement award, he is a Trustee and President-Elect of the College of Law Practice Management, he was included on the inaugural list of the National Law Journal’s “Business of Law Trailblazers & Pioneers,” he is on the Advisory Board of “Attorney at Work,” he was the 2014 winner of Nashville Business Journal’s “CMOs of the Year” award, and he is a GE-trained Six Sigma Black Belt and Champion. Mark is a distinguished Graduate Alumni of the University of North Carolina and a Master Level Competitive Intelligence Professional (Academy of Competitive Intelligence). He is also an adjunct professor and lecturer at several universities.
Mark is a frequent speaker and writer on artificial intelligence, market research, competitive intelligence, branding, and business strategy. Outside the business world, he is active on behalf of environmental organizations, a Master SCUBA Diver, avid cyclist, Boy Scout leader, and proud father of two Eagle Scouts.