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Alumni Notes 2018

Alexis Warner, LW'17, joins Whitfield & Eddy Law

Alexis Warner has joined Whitfield & Eddy Law as a member of the firm's litigation practice group, with an emphasis in family law and labor and employment law.

Joni Ploeger, LW'12, and Olivia Slater, LW'18, join Davis Brown

Two Drake Law alumni have joined Davis Brown Law Firm. Joni Ploeger will practice in the Workers’ Compensation department. Olivia Slater will practice in the firm's Litigation Division.

Dan Schweiker, LW'76, named CEO of Elite Restaurants

Elite Restaurants has announced Dan Schweiker as its new CEO. Schweiker is the former co-chairman and founder of China Mist Brands, Inc.

Laura Snider, LW'09, publishes YA novel

Laura Snider has published a young adult novel called Witches Quarters. The book is about four siblings who find a magical bag of quarters that transforms them to another world. Snider is an attorney for Johnson, Bonzer and Barnaby PLC.

Gregory Milani, LW'87, appointed as district court judge

Gov. Kim Reynolds has appointed Gregory Milani as a district judge in Judicial Election District 8A. Milani currently serves as a part-time magistrate judge in Appanoose County and practices law as a partner at Orsborn, Milani, Mitchell, Goedken, Larson & Cox, LLP, in Centerville and Ottumwa.

Zachary Hindman, LW'10, appointed as district court judge

Iowa Gov.  Kim Reynolds announced her appointment of Zachary Hindman as a district court judge in Judicial Election District 3B. He currently practices law as a partner at Mayne, Hindman & Daane in Sioux City.

Sydney Gangestad, LW'13, joins Davis Brown Law Firm

Sydney Gangestad joined the Davis Brown Law Firm as special counsel in the Government Relations department. She previously served as special counsel and legislative liaison for the Iowa Judicial Branch.

Chris Proskey, LW'07, selected to West Des Moines Leadership Academy

Chris Proskey, an intellectual property attorney at BrownWinick, was selected to the West Des Moines Leadership Academy's class of 2018-19. The academy is an intensive, nine-month leadership development program.

Leslie Behaunek, LW'12, and Katie Graham, LW'11, selected as 2018 Great Plains Rising Stars

Nyemaster Goode attorneys Leslie Behaunek and Katie Graham were selected to the 2018 Great Plains Rising Stars list. Behaunek is a member of the firm’s Litigation Department with an emphasis in appellate advocacy. Graham is a member of the firm's Litigation and Labor and Employment Departments.

Tameeka Purchase, LW'10, named associate circuit judge

Tameeka Purchase has been selected as an associate judge by the circuit judges in the 20th Judicial Circuit. She is currently affiliated with Sandifer Purchase Attorneys at Law in Belleville, Ill.

Anjela Shutts, LW'96, receives Iowa Supreme Court award for justice

Anjela Shutts, attorney at Whitfield & Eddy Law, received one of the Iowa Supreme Court's inaugural Voice for Justice Awards at the Iowa State Bar Association Annual Meeting in June. The award recognizes attorneys for their support and contributions to the administration of justice.

Paige Thorson, LW'10, named deputy chief of staff to Gov. Kim Reynolds

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds selected Paige Thorson as the new deputy chief of staff. Thorson previously served as a health policy advisor in the Office of the Governor. She was also a lobbyist and a lawyer at Nyemaster Goode PC in Des Moines.

James Langeness, LW'79, selected to Super Lawyers list

James B. Langeness, a shareholder at Duncan, Green, Brown & Langeness, P.C. in Des Moines, was selected to the Great Plains Super Lawyers list in estate and trust litigation for the 10th year in a row.

Wyatt Peterson, LW'03, appointed district court judge

Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed Wyatt Peterson as district court judge in Iowa's Judicial District 8B. Peterson, of Winfield, is a part-time judicial magistrate in the Eighth Judicial District and a partner in the Peterson Law Firm.

Stephen Hall, LW'68, celebrates 50th year practicing law

Stephen Hall, an attorney in Indianola, Iowa, celebrated 50 years of practicing law on June 14. His story was featured in the Des Moines Register.

Michael Jacobsen, LW'93, appointed district court judge

Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed Michael Jacobsen as district court judge in Iowa's Judicial District 5A. Jacobsen currently serves as the Jasper County Attorney.

Heidi Nebel, LW'92, appointed to USDA Plant Variety Protection Board

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue appointed Heidi S. Nebel to serve on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Plant Variety Protection Board. Nebel is an intellectual property attorney, managing member, and chair of the biotechnology & chemical practice group at McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC.

Tom Levis, LA'74, LW'77, takes over as Iowa State Bar Association president

Tom Levis, shareholder at Brick Gentry P.C., became the 132nd president of the Iowa State Bar Association (ISBA). He was featured as the cover story of the June 2018 issue of The Iowa Lawyer.

Bethany Currie, LW'03, appointed district court judge

Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed Bethany Currie as district court judge in Iowa's Judicial District 2B. Currie, of Marshalltown, currently serves as a magistrate in Marshall County.

Charles Borth, LW'95, appointed district court judge

Iowa Gov. Reynolds appointed Charles Borth as district court judge in Judicial District 3A. Borth, of Spencer, serves as a district associate judge in District 3.

Scott Beattie, LW'92, appointed district court judge

Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed Scott Beattie as district court judge in Iowa's Judicial District 5C. Beattie, of Pleasant Hill, currently serves as a partner at Peddicord Wharton in West Des Moines.

Barbara Quijano Decker, LA'72, GR'83, LW'00, named executive director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Des Moines

Barbara Quijano Decker, president of Mercy College of Heath Sciences, was selected as the new executive director of the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Des Moines. Decker is currently president of Mercy College of Heath Sciences.

Douglas Scheidt, LW'78, announces retirement from SEC

Douglas Scheidt, an associate director and the chief counsel in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Division of Investment Management, will retire at the end of September. For over 21 years, Scheidt has led the Division’s chief counsel’s office and provided legal and policy guidance for the $82 trillion asset management industry.

Anjela Shutts, LW'96, receives Willie Stevenson Glanton Award

Polk County Women Attorneys honored Anjela Shutts, attorney at Whitfield & Eddy Law, with the prestigious Willie Stevenson Glanton Award for her leadership and success in making the Des Moines metro a better place to live.

Tom Henderson, LA'77, LW'80, inducted to American College of Trial Lawyers

Whitfield & Eddy attorney Tom Henderson was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) in Phoenix, Ariz. Henderson has represented clients in litigation, business, and municipal law matters at the firm for 28 years.

Tomas M. Zurek, BN'70, LW'74, selected as Distinguished Barrister Award recipient

Tom M. Zurek, senior chief legal counsel, executive vice president, and secretary for OneAmerica, was chosen as a 2018 recipient of Indiana Lawyer's Distinguished Barrister Award. The honorees will be profiled in the May 2 issue of Indiana Lawyer and recognized at a reception in May.

Paul Carter, LW’95, named president of Long Beach Bar Association

Paul Carter was installed as president of the Long Beach Bar Association. Carter is a partner at Bergkvist, Bergkvist & Carter, LLP, in Long Beach, Calif. He is also concluding his third year as chairman of the St. Mary Medical Center Foundation Board of Trustees.

Keith Duffy, LW'11, admitted as shareholder at Nyemaster Goode, P.C.

Keith Duffy has been admitted as a shareholder to Nyemaster Goode, P.C. As a member of the firm’s Litigation Department, Duffy's practice involves claims of bad faith related to the handling of workers’ compensation submissions, as well as creditor rights and bankruptcy disputes.

Ashley (Watts) Aust, LW’10, Leslie Behaunek, LW’12, Charlie Bottenberg, LW’13, and Krystle Campa, LW’07, named to Business Record’s Forty Under 40

Four alumni from Drake Law School were named to the Business Record’s 2018 Forty Under 40 list of honorees: Ashley (Watts) Aust, associate general counsel at Hubbell Realty Company; Leslie Behaunek, attorney at Nyemaster Goode, P.C.; Charlie Bottenberg, attorney at Masterson & Bottenberg, LLP; and Krystle Campa, senior shareholder attorney at the Davis Brown Law Firm. Members of the Drake Law community have been represented on the Forty Under 40 list every year since the Business Record began the awards in 2000.

Amanda James, LW'08, promoted to shareholder at Sullivan & Ward, P.C.

Sullivan & Ward, P.C. announced the promotion of Amanda A. James to shareholder. James is a public utility attorney with experience in public utility law and regulation through representation of clients in the electric, gas, telecommunications, water, and renewable energy industries.

Cassie J. Edgar, LW'07, joins McKee, Voorhees & Sease PLC

McKee, Voorhees & Sease PLC announced that Cassie J. Edgar is joining the firm as a member. Edgar will head up an initiative at the firm to develop a regulatory practice group, which will help MVS clients obtain approvals through federal agencies such as the FDA, USDA, and EPA, for product development and commercialization.

Bryan P. O’Neill, LW'11, elected shareholder of Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen P.C.

Bryan O’Neill was elected a shareholder of Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen P.C. O'Neill's practice involves various all types of litigation cases, including discrimination, retaliation, FMLA, wage and hour, and wrongful termination. Additionally, he counsels clients in the employment area on compliance with state and federal laws.

Lisa Kirkpatrick, LW'01, receives promotion in U.S. Attorney's Office for District of Minnesota

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Kirkpatrick was named the Chief of the Appellate Division and Chief of the St. Paul Branch office of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota. Kirkpatrick has worked for the U.S. Attorney's Office since 2004.

John McKinney III, LW'97, and Randall Jackson, LW'97, coached 2017 Iowa Middle School Mock Trial state champions

John McKinney III and Randall Jackson coached the team from Des Moines Merrill that won the 2017 Iowa Middle School Mock Trial state tournament. McKinney is senior vice president and general counsel at West Bank. Jackson is an attorney and owner of the Jackson Law Office.


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