Good work should be recognized, no matter where you find it. Late nights and demanding clients may offer a different legal experience than life inside a company, but that doesn’t mean a lawyer’s work can’t have great impact on their company, their industry and their community. Congratulations go to these wonderful lawyers who serve their organizations as in-house counsel.
Our special section divides our honorees into categories based on their organizations: health care, nonprofit or government organization, private company and public company. Two rising stars received special recognition in this year’s awards: Ben Klocke of Bridgewater Bank and Amanda Parker Rusin of Regis Corp. Read more about their budding careers on page 24. We also separately honored two honorees for their lifetime achievement: James L. Chosy of U.S. Bancorp and Mary Wawro of Ryan Cos. US Inc.
Jim Chosy serves as executive vice president and general counsel for the country’s fifth largest commercial bank: U.S. Bank. While his work was similar at his previous position as general counsel at Piper Jaffray Cos., his current position is bigger in scale, which he acknowledges in his efforts to champion such causes as equity and inclusion. “As long as I have this position of influence,” he says in his profile, “I intend to do what I can to increase diversity.” He is also a champion of programs that help lawyer well-being, as well as stay up on current technologies that impact his industry, such as AI, biometrics and virtual reality.
For Mary Wawro, general counsel at Minneapolis-based Ryan Cos. US Inc., her “North Star” has led the way for her entire career: Always do your best, produce quality work, and work with integrity. At Ryan, Wawro’s department of 18 employees provides counsel in the company’s land acquisitions, financings and sales. Her team handles real estate closings from across the company’s 15 U.S. offices, which over the years has included some of its biggest projects such as transferring the old Sears tower in South Minneapolis into the Midtown Exchange and building the Marina Heights project in Tempe, Arizona.
Congratulations to them and the other Minnesota Lawyer 2020 In-House Counsel Awards honorees.
— Joel Schettler