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Honorary Board

Ann Chen

Ann Chen is Assistant General Counsel at TransUnion, managing legal matters in litigation, employment, intellectual property, real estate, and tax. She has significant in-house experience advising global businesses, including in the financial services, healthcare, and consumer goods industries. She is a leader in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion, including previously leading the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion program for the in-house legal department of a Fortune 100 company and as a Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellow. Ann received her BA from Yale University and her JD from the University of Michigan Law School. She clerked for U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan in the Southern District of Florida (now on the 11th Circuit). The National Law Journal previously named Ann a "Top 40 Under 40 - Chicago's Rising Stars."

Jane Funk

Jane is a former practicing litigation attorney. For the past 12 years, Jane has successfully worked with corporate in-house legal departments and law firms to design and implement legally defensible and cost-effective processes for collection, processing, managed review review, and production of electronically stored information (ESI) utilizing AI technology. Additionally, Jane assists her clients with non-litigious legal data initiatives, including M&A Due Diligence, Data Privacy, Cyber Security, Government and Internal Investigations, Bankruptcy, and Contracts Review. At Consilio, Jane is responsible for managing relationships with a portfolio of strategic accounts spanning numerous highly regulated industries. In addition, she is responsible for driving the use of value- based business development strategies specific to the Pharmaceutical vertical. Jane draws upon her litigation experience and her years of industry experience put her clients’ needs first.

Kristy Gonowon

Kristy joined Lowe’s Companies, Inc. in October 2022 as Corporate Counsel providing advice and counsel on all things ERISA and employee benefits related, including executive compensation, equity plans, incentive plans, 401(k), fringe benefit plans, severance plans, and health and welfare plans. Kristy previously held this role with Allstate Insurance Company, in addition to overseeing Allstate’s legal defense strategies involving extra-contractual liability, potential excess verdicts, and coverage issues within several states (Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Vermont). Kristy is a 2021 Fellow to the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. Kristy just completed a dual Immediate Past President role in 2022, as she served as President of both the National Filipino American Lawyers Association and the Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago in 2021.

Tae Kim

Tae is a business litigator who specializes in litigating complex matters. Tae has litigated in state, federal, and appellate courts and alternative dispute resolution forums across the country. Tae has significant experience in litigating and advising his clients in a wide variety of matters, including contract disputes, corporate governance, fiduciary duties, misappropriations, fraud, restrictive covenants and trade secrets, labor and employment, and data privacy. Tae currently serves on AABA’s Honorary Board, and is Co-Chair of AABA’s mentorship committee.

Samera Ludwig

Samera Syeda Ludwig is a partner at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP where she focuses her practice on labor and employment. For more than 20 years, she has represented employers in both state and federal courts and in administrative proceedings throughout the country. As an experienced litigator, Samera counsels and represents businesses on matters involving employee discipline, employee claims of discrimination, and harassment and retaliation and conducts internal investigations. Samera has an active pro bono practice partnering with the National Immigrant Justice Center assisting individuals in obtaining asylum, U visas and other relief. Samera also sits on the Board of the Chicago High School For The Arts. Samera received her B.A. with Honors from Wesleyan University and her J.D. from Columbia Law School.

Jaz Park

Jaz Park is an Illinois-licensed attorney with a litigation practice in employment law, representing employees and small businesses. Jaz assists executives and high-level employees in disputes, including race and gender discrimination, wage and hour issues, non-competes, and whistleblowing. Jaz also advises employers on diversity and inclusion, EEO matters, and investigations. She has served as a faculty lecturer in Employment Litigation at Chicago-Kent College of Law, in its preeminent Labor and Employment Law program, where she also received her JD. She attended Brown University for her BA, and is admitted to the Northern District of Illinois.

Jaz’s latest initiatives have been focused on diversity in the legal profession, through her appointment to the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA)’s Steering Committee on Racial Inequality, as well as on the exemplary passage of a bipartisan 2021 non-compete bill in Illinois with the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) and the IL Chamber of Commerce. She currently serves as a Co-Chair of the Minority Bar CLE (MBCLE) Conference, and Vice President of the Korean American Bar Association (KABA). Previously, she served as a Vice President of the Korean American Association of Chicago (KAAC), and Chair of the Advisory Council on Equity for the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations.

Jaz values her longstanding Chicago roots. As a Chicago Public School (CPS) K-12 alum, she now participates on racial equity matters for her children in CPS.

Binal Patel

Binal is a partner and past president of Banner Witcoff. He has a range of experience in intellectual property matters including procurement, litigation, and counseling. He represents clients in various industries including financial services, insurance, automotive and heavy equipment technologies.

Outside the firm, Binal is a leader in the Chicago legal community. In 2000, he co-founded the South Asian Bar Association of Chicago (SABA-Chicago) and, in 2002, he co-founded the South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABANA). Over the years, he served on the boards and executive committees of both groups and currently serves on the Advisory Council for SABA-Chicago. More recently, he formed the North Shore Corporate IP Roundtable, a forum for in-house corporate counsel to interact, engage, and share best practices. Since its forming, several other Roundtable groups have formed both in the western suburbs of Chicago as well as in the D.C. area.

Binal is currently a board member of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms, an organization seeking racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession. He is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and an adjunct professor at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, teaching “Intellectual Property Litigation: Pre-trial Skills."

Sonni Choi Williams

Sonni Choi Williams was appointed as the City Attorney for the City of Lockport, Illinois in June of 2017. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Williams worked for the City of Peoria for over 17 years. She has over 20 years of experience in municipal law and defending civil state and federal tort and injunction cases including appeals before the state and federal appellate courts and the Illinois Supreme Court.

Ms. Williams was admitted to the practice in 1999; U.S. District Courts: Central District- IL in 2002 and Northern District-IL in 2017; U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit in 2007; and U.S. Supreme Court in 2013. She received her J.D. from the Northern Illinois University College of Law in 1999 and her B.A. in history from the University of Iowa in 1994. Ms. Williams was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism from 2005 to 2016 and to the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) Hearing Board currently as a Chair presiding over attorney disciplinary cases. She is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA); National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA); Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA); Will County Bar Association (WCBA); Will County Women’s Bar Association (WCWBA); and Black Bar Association (BBA) of Will County. Ms.Williams served two terms on the ISBA Assembly, two terms as an ISBA Board of Governor (2012-2018), and was elected in April 2021 as the ISBA's 3rd Vice-President, making history as the first woman lawyer of color to be so elected in the position. Through automatic ascension, Ms. Williams will be the President of the largest bar association in Illinois in June of 2024. She currently serves on the boards of Korean-American Bar Association of Chicago (KABA); Asian-American Bar Association Chicago (AABA), Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE); Prairie State Legal Services, and Lockport Township High School Foundation.

Asian American Bar Association of

Greater Chicago

321 S Plymouth Court
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