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The Chicago CLM’ers


Don Anderson, CLM
Executive Director
Williams Montgomery & John Ltd.
"Taking and passing the CLM test has given me more confidence in my ability to excel in the world of law firm administration. Having the certification gives me an advantage in the marketplace that is needed in these tough economic times. It has allowed me to draw on what I’ve learned and apply it in every day situations we face as administrators.  If you want to stand out from the crowd, take the challenge and prove to yourself and others that you have what it takes to contribute to a firm’s success."

Jane C. Brinkworth, CPA, CLM
Controller/Office Manager
Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C.
"I was a little apprehensive when I first decided to sit for the CLM exam. The last time I prepared for an exam of this magnitude personal computers didn’t even exist, so I didn’t need to know what CAT V cabling was.. But as I started digging into the materials, I became more confident and questioned my sanity less.  Maybe I hadn’t formally “studied“ much of the material before, but I had been dealing with it in my day to day life as an Administrator. Now everything had a name! Theory X, The Halo Effect, 360 Feedback. If you are considering sitting for the exam be sure to join the Chapter study group. The road to CLM doesn’t seem as long if you have someone to travel with!  Don’t worry, you probably know more than you think you do!"

Jose Ricardo Cheesman, CLM
Client Services Manager
Baker & McKenzie

Mark A. Bridgeman, CLM
U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Illinois

Maureen E. Dohe, CLM, PHR

William F. Donehoo, CLM
"I feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in completing and maintaining the requirements for the CLM designation. In mentoring the study groups in Chicago, and being a resource for CLM study groups in other chapters, I have continued to learn and stay current in an ever-changing legal environment. Through the CLM program, I have expanded my realm of friends and have deepened my respect for those I have known for a longer time."

Maureen T. Feltman, CLM
Business Manager
Brady, Connolly & Masuda, P.C.
"The CLM experience for me was an adventure.  By nature I am shy, thought the ALA members were better educated than me, and I could not compete in this category.  However, during my meetings with the CLM candidates, I found administrators who were willing to share their knowledge and the most supportive group of individuals I could find. I am proud that I took the journey and found Chicago ALA was a supportive group. The test did not prove whether or not I was a good Administrator just whether I was able to grasp the concept of some of the responsibility of an Administrator (which none of us felt related to our job)."

Marie Fiorito, CLM
Schoenberg FInkel Newman & Rosenberg
"It was a great experience! I pushed myself to a study level that I didn’t think I could do.  I encourage everyone to take the test. The knowledge I learned has helped in my everyday work life. There was such of sense of accomplishment that I just cannot express. Taking the test gave me the confidence I knew I could do anything I put my mind to. As Administrators we are challenged every day. This test lets you know you can take on anything you need to.  I was in a great study group that was very supportive.  The friendships I developed will never be forgotten. Remember your ALA friends are always there to support you."

Suzanne Florez, CLM
Firm Administrator
Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC

Tracey Gallegos, CLM
Firm Administrator
Argonne National Laboratory

Susan M. Gerovasil, CLM
Firm Administrator
Coplan & Crane, L.L.C.

Charles Gurian, CLM
"Good luck! Remember to breathe. And we’re pulling for you."

Margaret Hagerman, CLM

Karen Hammersmith, CLM, SPHR
Legal Administrator
Levin Ginsburg
"Becoming a CLM was an incredible experience for me, both personally and professionally. The knowledge necessary to do our jobs well is constantly evolving and expanding, and the CLM certification and recertification process provides you with the tools and information needed to keep up with those changes. Each person in my study group was committed to the learning process, and I believe each person brought a different perspective to the materials that allowed our group to achieve the best possible understanding of the body of knowledge required to become certified in our profession. I am so proud of the work we did and the effort we put forth to help each other do our best. The results were very much worth the effort, and I encourage those who are considering the CLM program join a study group and get started. You'll be glad you did!"

Linda Hsu, CLM
Chief Operating Officer
Chico & Nunes, P.C.

Patrick Johansen, CLM, CPP

Kasia Johnson, CLM
Chief Operating Officer
Horwood Marcus & Berk Chartered

Ken Koehn, CLM
Gould & Ratner

Deborah A. Kuchta, CLM
"The validation and self-confidence I have gained since passing the CLM test is tremendous. The study group was an opportunity not to be missed. Each of us had different educational and career backgrounds.  As a group, we brought that all together for an awesome educational experience."

Carol A. McCallum, CLM
Office Administrator
Arnette Law Group
"It’s the journey to the CLM that means the most. The people who travel with you become more than friends and they will see you through it no matter how long it takes."

William Mech, CLM
Executive Director
Cunningham, Meyer & Vedrine, P.C.

Sally J. Mendoza, CLM
"Just like many other journeys in our lives, each individual should weigh the pros and cons of working towards the CLM designation. For me, I was ready for the challenge and viewed it as an opportunity to renew and to grow. It was a lot of hard work, but overall a very positive experience, not the least of which was the reward of teaming up with an amazing study group."

Patricia S. Morrow, CLM

Jena Neisler, CLM

Rita R. Nielsen, CLM, PHR
Office Administrator
Locke Lord LLP
"The road to CLM certification is tough but well worth the reward of passing the test.  It definitely has had a positive impact on my professional development and my career.  I would encourage fellow ALA members to go for it!"

Deborah A. O'Donnell, CLM
Director of HR & Operations
Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP

Joann Pichla, CLM
Firm Administrator
Clark Baird Smith LLP

Mary Ann Rojas, CLM, SPHR
Office Administrator
Pugh, Jones & Johnson P.C.
"I can't tell you how many times in the course of my job I use the knowledge I gained from studying for the CLM. I still use some of the materials today when an issue comes up, or I pick the brain of someone in my study group. As an added bonus I didn't expect going in, our study group developed long term friendships that I really value. It's a win-win situation! Good friends, additional knowledge, and an accomplishment we can be proud of!"

Lisa Van Sant, CLM

Laura Sears, CLM
Chief Administrative Officer
Gould & Ratner LLP

Marsha Thomas, CLM
Office Manager
Madigan & Getzendanner

Mary Lynn Wilson, CLM
Legal Administrator
Cray Huber Horstman Heil & VanAusdal LLC

Steven D. Wingert, CLM
Thompson Coburn LLP

Patricia Winter, CLM
Executive Director
Foran, Glennon, Palandech, Ponzi & RudloffLLP

We also offer the reflections of another Chapter CLM'er, entitled "The Road to the CLM."