Lewis Brisbois Celebrates Pride Month

(June 2021) - Throughout the month of June, Lewis Brisbois will be celebrating and honoring our LGBTQ+ colleagues with a series of messages from our attorneys and staff sharing their perspectives on the meaning of Pride Month, as well as their personal stories regarding their day-to-day experiences in the legal profession and in their communities. We will be compiling all of these messages here. Learn more about Diversity & Inclusion at Lewis Brisbois here.

The first contribution in our Pride Month Spotlight series comes from Hartford Managing Partner Angeline N. Ioannou, who points out that members of the LBGTQ+ community are underrepresented in the legal profession. She describes how she became the best version of herself when she stopped hiding her identity in the workplace and freed herself from the weight of secrecy.

Angie is a member of Lewis Brisbois’ Healthcare and General Liability Practices. She has more than 20 years of litigation experience and splits her practice between handling healthcare matters and defending complex tort and commercial liability claims involving wrongful death and catastrophic injuries.

Learn more about Angie's professional experience here.

As our Pride Month spotlight series continues, today we hear from Denver Partner Jon Olafson, who describes the obstacles he faced as a child. Reminding us that “love is love,” Jon emphasizes the importance of remaining sensitive to the needs of individuals in the LGBTQ+ community.

Jon is a member of Lewis Brisbois’ Labor & Employment Practice and has extensive experience advising clients on trade secret and corporate espionage matters, complex commercial disputes, wage and hour issues, and more. He is also the founder and co-editor of the firm's labor & employment law blog, The Grindstone. Jon was recently appointed to the Colorado Bar Association’s Executive Council and serves as chair of its Racial Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity Committee.

Learn more about Jon's professional experience here.

In the next contribution to our Pride Month spotlight series, San Bernardino Partner Dean McVay expresses his gratitude for firms like Lewis Brisbois that recognize diversity and inclusion as a strength. He also recalls a time when this was not always the case and notes there is still much work to be done to bring equity to the LGBTQ+ community.

Dean is a member of the firm's Healthcare and Insurance Coverage Practices, with over 30 years' experience in civil litigation. Outside of his practice, he is an adjunct professor at La Verne College of Law.

Learn more about Dean's professional experience here.

Next up in our Pride Month spotlight series is Fort Lauderdale Office Administrator Trish Spiller, who reflects upon her journey from having a great husband and three wonderful children, to meeting the woman of her dreams and making the hardest decision of her life to come out and be true to herself. Now, feeling more fulfilled and happier than ever, Trish hopes to inspire others who are hesitant to leave their past behind and begin a path to greater happiness.

Learn more about Trish's professional experience here.

Learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion at Lewis Brisbois here.

As our Pride Month spotlight series continues, we hear from Director of Marketing Martin Hughes, who discusses why Pride Month is a bittersweet time for him. In doing so, he acknowledges the hard-won progress that the LGBTQ+ community has made, while also poignantly describing the importance of defying shame, which continues to play an often debilitating role in his and others’ lives. 

Martin joined Lewis Brisbois almost 14 years ago. In his role as Director of Marketing, he leads Lewis Brisbois’ cross-office marketing team and oversees all of the firm’s nationwide internal and external marketing-related initiatives.

Learn more about Martin's professional experience here.

In the next contribution to our Pride Month spotlight series, Director of Enterprise Applications David Maynard describes his journey from feeling as though he could not always be his authentic self in the workplace, to getting married to a great guy and determining that he did not wish to hide any longer. He also expresses gratitude for the welcoming environment at Lewis Brisbois.

Learn more about Dave's professional experience here.

As we enter the last week of Pride Month, we hear from Brand Manager Curtis Collins, who shares that pride was once “inconceivable” for him due to being raised in a deeply religious community. After experiencing persistent shame and several dark moments, he began discovering the meaning of true pride through the love of friends and allies in the LGBTQ+ community. Today, Curtis seeks to fight for the safety and well-being of his LGBTQ+ family against the backdrop of the increasing violence and mental health challenges that the community faces.

Learn more about Curtis’ professional experience here.

To close our Pride Month series, Lewis Brisbois Chairman and Founding Partner Bob Lewis shares his philosophy that permeates both his professional and personal life, namely, that “people are people.” As the leader of the firm, and as the father of a gay son, Bob emphasizes that a person’s character, not their sexual orientation or gender identity, is what matters. He also expresses pride for the culture of acceptance that Lewis Brisbois has created.

Learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion at Lewis Brisbois here.

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