The In-House Counsel Awards celebrate the achievements of attorneys who, among other things, navigate complicated contract negotiations, defend their companies in high-stakes litigation and defend some of their organization’s most important assets.
Our In-House Counsel Awards recognize leaders in categories based on their organization: health care, nonprofit or government organization, private company and public company. Three rising stars received special recognition at this year’s awards: Ashton Boon of Mayo Clinic; Amanda Matchett of Infor; and Brian Vander Pol of U.S. Bank. You can read more about their early success beginning on page 14.
Anna Richo, of Cargill Inc., was honored for her lifetime achievement. While only in her third year at the global food giant, Anna sees her role as a change-maker. “I am here to break down barriers and foster a diverse and inclusive environment so all my colleagues can flourish. As general counsel, chief compliance officer and corporate secretary, Richo oversees legal, ethics and compliance, global government relations, corporate governance, global security and shareholder relations functions. With 30 years of legal experience, this Lifetime Achievement honoree might only be getting started. “The people here are looking for change, and I have embraced that challenge.” Read more on page 4.
For Bloomington City Attorney Melissa Manderschied, the appeal to working as an in-house counsel could be found in seeing the big picture. Manderschied had established a career in community and outreach and land-use planning before becoming an attorney and working with various townships on issues such as zoning, housing and economic development. But as a contract employee, her role was limited. “I missed being able to analyze the totality of a project,” she says. Leading the Bloomington office since 2016, she wears many hats (and masks) as she oversees a staff of 14 that provides the city legal counsel to all city departments, boards and commissions, often during hourslong court hearings while following COVID protocols. These uncertain times can be difficult, she says, but new ways to work without being in a courtroom can also lead to “greater access to justice and the justice system.”
The Minnesota Lawyer team is proud to honor Richo, Manderschied, and the other stars of the legal industry found in the pages of this publication. Congratulations to the Minnesota Lawyer 2021 In-House Counsel Awards honorees.
— Joel Schettler
Anna Richo, Cargill, Inc.
Health care organization
Daniel Santos, UCare
Nonprofit or governmental organization
Melissa Manderschied, City of Bloomington
Private Company with annual revenues over $500M
Molly Thornton, Cargill, Inc.
Private Company with annual revenues up to $500M
Peter Carlson, The Nerdery LLC
Robert McGarry, Kindeva Drug Delivery LP
Joel Rietz, CSM Corp.
William Childs, 3M Co.
Marlon Cush, UnitedHealth Group
Mara Garcia Kaplan, Wells Fargo
Ryan Hoch, CHS Inc.
David Justmann, Smiths Medical
Abigail Nesbitt, TCF Bank
Jaimala K. Pai, Medtronic
Ashton Boon, Mayo Clinic
Amanda Matchett, Infor
Brian Vander Pol, U.S. Bank