Meredith Ragains, Esq.Executive Director
Eric Swartz, Esq.Vice President
David Carpenter, Esq.President
Dr. Mary An Merchant, Esq.Treasurer
W. Lamar ChesneyAdvisory Board Chair
Cheryl Tubach, Esq.Secretary
Prior to her work at GLA, Meredith was a litigator for 12 years at Robins Kaplan where she was in the Commercial Litigation practice group. In 2009, the State Bar of Georgia awarded Meredith its Pro Bono Project Award for her outstanding work with pro bono clients.
Meredith graduated from Emory University and Mercer Law School. After law school, Meredith clerked for the Honorable G. Ernest Tidwell of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. In addition to her work at GLA, Meredith is an adjunct professor at Emory Law School where she teaches contract drafting, and she regularly guest lectures at the Georgia State University College of Law on intellectual property-related topics.
Eric has served on the Board of Georgia Lawyers for the Arts since 2012. His experience with the organization goes back to 2002, when he worked as an intern with GLA while in law school. He has watched with excitement as GLA has grown and developed over the years, and is proud to play a small part in helping the organization carry out its mission of supporting the arts community in Georgia.
David has substantial experience representing companies in major consumer class action litigation, including cases involving privacy issues. He has represented a number of Fortune 500 companies in such litigation, moving to compel arbitration on multiple occasions, gaining dismissals through Rule 12 motions, and obtaining favorable settlements for clients in bet-the-company litigation.
David was named to the Georgia Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list for 2017 in the area of business litigation. He received his J.D. from Vanderbilt University in 2007. Before law school, he worked in the public relations departments for the Colorado Rockies and the Atlanta Braves, providing media relations assistance, statistical research, and support for the baseball operations departments of two Major League Baseball teams. David also worked as a student assistant in the sports information department at Duke University, where he received his B.A. in history in 2002.
Mary’s experience encompasses patent prosecution, litigation, reissue and reexamination, post-grant proceedings, licensing, due diligence, and opinions. She provides intellectual property counsel to a variety of clients, including multinational corporations, mid-cap companies, and start-up biotech and medical-device companies. Mary also provides counsel related to issues involving regulatory matters before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She works with emerging-growth companies, both domestically and internationally, and has been involved with financial transactions involving initial public offerings, sales and procurement of assets, and mergers and acquisitions.
Lamar is a dynamic, systemic-minded leader with a strong track record of building highly capable organizations and leading challenging business transformations. His diverse business experience coupled with his unique ability to synthesize complex situations for developing practical solutions positions him well for aiding individuals, executives, and organizations in transforming themselves and the environment in which they operate. As such, he currently is a coach, mentor, and advisor to an array of individuals and business executives.
Lamar is a Magna Cum Laude Business Graduate from the University of Tennessee and a Certified Public Accountant by training. He is an Executive-in-Residence at the Goizueta Graduate Business School at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and is a member of the Advisory Board for The Center for Leadership Development at the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. Lamar is the author of “Reflections – Selected Interpretative Vignettes of Life’s Meaning and Message” and has published many articles on leadership, procurement/supply chain management, and finance. He also is a frequent keynote speaker at Procurement and Finance Conferences. He conducts Leadership Development classes for aspiring professionals and is a mentor to many. Lamar has been the recipient of several awards, including the 2010 Next Practices Innovator Award from The MPower Group and the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from Ariba.
Prior to joining Huber, Cheryl served as in-house patent counsel for The Coca-Cola Company and Eastman Chemical Company. She also practiced IP law for a boutique law firm in Atlanta and briefly worked for Fulton County as Assistant Solicitor. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Ms. Tubach worked as an engineer for 5 years with Dow Corning Corporation.
Cheryl is active in professional organizations including the Association of Corporate Patent Counsel, GSU Intellectual Property Advisory Board, and GSU Corporate IP Roundtable.
Ms. Tubach obtained a law degree from Georgia State University and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kentucky.
Charley Brown, Esq.Ballard Spahr LLP
Emily Baker, Esq.Jones Day
Nicholas Bedford, Esq.Gray, Rust, St. Amand, Moffett & Brieske, LLP
Josh Kalb, Esq.Hunton & Williams, LLP
Randall FoxThe Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces
Jonathan WareDelta Air Lines, Inc.
Lanchi Bombalier, Esq.Arnall Golden Gregory LLP
Ramsey Prather, Esq.Butler Wooten & Peak LLP
Ling-Ling Nie, Esq.Panasonic
Nicole Morris, Esq.Emory University School of Law
Joshua Aronson, Esq.Eversheds Sutherland
Jane Woodruff Blount, Esq.The Coca-Cola Company
Kent Jordan, Esq.King & Spalding LLP
Alisa MichaelDriven Technologies of MSA
Allison S. Roach, Esq.Kilpatrick Townsendn & Stockton LLP
Charley received his J.D. from Mercer University, a M.S. degree in Bioinformatics from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a B.B.A. in Computer Information Systems from Mercer University. Outside of work, Charley enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.
In addition to her GLA board service, Emily co-chairs the Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement Committee in Jones Day’s Atlanta office, serves on the Emory Law School Alumni Board, and is a Master in the Lamar Inn of Court.
Emily’s husband is also a lawyer, and they have two young children. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time and traveling with her family.
Nicholas is a native of Atlanta Georgia. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Georgia and his law degree from Emory University School of Law. While attending law school, Nicholas received scholarship recognition from Emory University School of Law, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the DeKalb Lawyers Association.
Nicholas is a graduate of the 2014 Leadership Academy of the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia. Nicholas served on the Executive Council of Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia from 2014-2015. Nicholas is a member of the Board of Directors for Georgia Lawyers for the Arts and is the Founder and Director of the organization’s Artist Making a Difference Mural Program.
Josh also has extensive experience in advertising litigation and counseling. He has defended clients against false advertising claims brought between competitors, and by consumers individually and as a class. In addition, Josh routinely advises clients on claim creation and substantiation to help minimize the risk of litigation.
Josh is married to Jennifer Kalb – something he is thankful for every day – and has two amazing kids, Fisher and Sydney, who actually make waking up early on the weekend enjoyable.
Jonathan is an avid meditator and teaches Eastern philosophy and yogic-style meditation to students from around the country. He is passionate about international travel, and his many journeys have included extended trips to India, Egypt, Europe, Latin America and the Far East.
Jonathan and his husband, renowned landscape architect, John Howard, have assembled a growing modern art collection over the course of their 16 year relationship. They count among their collection artists whose works hang in major international galleries around the globe. Jonathan’s passion for the arts called him to begin serving on GLA’s Board in 2017, and he is delighted to support the arts community in this capacity.
Lanchi obtained her joint-degree in law and public health from Emory University and is also a licensed physical therapist in Georgia. Prior to joining the firm, she was a Georgia Academy of Healthcare Attorneys (GAHA) Fellow with the Georgia Hospital Association. Lanchi also worked for several years as a physical therapist, focusing on the treatment of patients with traumatic brain injuries and related neurobehavioral issues. During that time, she served as a clinical instructor for the physical therapy programs at Emory University and Georgia State University. She also served for four years as an appointee on the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Public Policy and Advocacy Committee, which advises and counsels the APTA Board of Directors on public policy and advocacy initiatives to advance physical therapy practice, education, research, and reimbursement.
Ramsey graduated from Tulane University Law School, magna cum laude, in 2010. While in law school, Ramsey served as editor-in-chief of the Tulane Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif.
Following law school, Ramsey served as a law clerk to the Honorable William H. Pryor Jr. on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and to the Honorable Lance M. Africk on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Ling-Ling is a graduate of the University of Georgia, received her law degree from Washington and Lee University’s School of Law, and is licensed to practice in both Georgia and Virginia.
She received the “Excellence in Ethics Training and Communications Award” from the U.S. Office of Government Ethics in 2010 and was a University of Georgia “40 Under 40” award program nominee in 2013. She has also served as a speaker for the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, the Association of Corporate Counsel, the University of Georgia’s Professional Women’s Conference, and Georgia Lawyers for the Arts, for which she currently serves on the Board of Directors. Additionally, Ling-Ling has contributed to compliance publications, both online and in print. She is also the current President of Panasonic’s Women Connect organization.
Prior to joining the Emory faculty, Nicole was the former Managing Patent Counsel at The Coca-Cola Company and was responsible for the development and implementation of the Company’s global patent strategy and providing day-to-day advice and counseling to business stakeholders.
Nicole received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern, her M.S. in Chemistry from University of Michigan, her law degree from the University of Minnesota, and is a registered patent attorney. She has over twelve years of experience practicing patent law in large and mid-sized law firms and has represented clients in patent and trademark litigation matters, as well as patent prosecution matters. She also worked as an engineer for six years with 3M and Eli Lilly and has over twenty years of experience working with consumer products and technology commercialization.
Nicole is a frequent speaker on innovation, technology commercialization, and patent law topics including patent strategy, IP licensing, and the role of corporate counsel in patent transactions. She is heavily involved in the IP community as a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), Atlanta IP Inn of Court, Atlanta Bar Association, National Bar Association IP Section, a board member of Georgia Lawyers for the Arts, and Minority In-House Counsel Association. In 2013, Professor Morris was awarded the 2013 “Rising Star Corporate Counsel Award from the Atlanta Business Chronicle and featured in the August 2013 issue of Corporate Counsel magazine.
Jane is extremely active in the community. She serves on the GLA’s board as well as their Marketing and PR committees. Additionally, Jane serves on the Galloway School and Georgian Chamber Players boards and is a busy supporter of the newly founded Terminus Modern Ballet Theater. Jane has also served on the boards for the Georgia Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, The Atlanta Lawyers’ Orchestra, and on the vestry of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church.
Kent picked up his first camera in 1981, a Minolta 35mm Hi-Matic AF2 and fell in love instantly. Several cameras and a few million photos later, he still actively pursues his first love. Although the iPhone has mostly replaced the camera, and the dark room has given way to Photoshop, the process of seeing an image and attempting to capture that moment in time remains the same.
Alisa has over 16 years of experience in the legal arena and helps law firms make educated IT decisions. In addition to serving on the Board for Georgia Lawyers for the Arts, she serves on Atlanta Legal Aid’s Advisory Board and is involved with the Atlanta Association of Legal Administrators, the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Association, and the State Bar of Georgia. In Alisa’s free time she enjoys traveling, fine wine, and gourmet cooking.
Ms. Roach has been recognized as a 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Georgia “Rising Star” in the area of Intellectual Property by Super Lawyers magazine.
Trey Levie, Esq.Meunier Carlin & Curfman
Hans Choe, Esq.Delta Air Lines, Inc.
Ashley Allman Bolt, Esq.Fish & Richardson
Vail DavidsonInnerlight Creations
Elizabeth Wheeler, Esq.UP tv
Samyra Hicks, Esq.Porsche Cars North America
Alicyn Mcleod, CPAFinLogic, LLC
Julie Kessler Roach, Esq.Inform, Inc.
Jessica Winans, Esq.Stanton Law, LLC
Amy BellBloom Sugarman, LLP
Katherine Eppley Gruner, Esq.Emory University Office of Technology Transfer
Pearson Beardsley, Esq.Beardsley, P.C.
Chloe Ricke, Esq.McLain & Merritt, P.C.
Trey received his J.D. from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, graduating Magna Cum Laude and third in his law school class. Trey also served as the Managing Editor to the Cumberland Law Review, where his comment was published. Trey graduated Magna Cum Laude from Vanderbilt University with an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering and minors in Psychology and Engineering Management. Trey grew up in LaFayette, Georgia, and attended The Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Hans earned his Juris Doctor and Transactional Law Certificate from Emory University School of Law. While in law school, Hans served as an Extern at GLA and continued to volunteer after graduation. Hans also received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Ashley earned her Juris Doctor with Honors from Emory University School of Law. While in law school, Ashley served as an Extern at GLA in both the art and patent programs. Ashley also received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, summa cum laude, from the University of Alabama.
Born and raised in Atlanta, she moved to Los Angeles in 1998 where she worked in the entertainment industry for eleven years, and met her husband Clay. They moved back to the ATL the summer of 09’ to be closer to their families as they expand. She soon founded Innerlight Creations, LLC, providing creative development, design, writing and editing services, selling both original and client commissioned collages and wire sculptures, and participating in juried local art exhibitions and festivals.
The colorful, soothing images reveal themselves through the artist’s exploration of media and technique. Ice & Heat-fusion methods are used to create highly textured, luminescent, and multi-dimensional masterpieces. The Aquatic world and Stellar universe inspire his work and encompass his native Hawai’i!
MJ graduated from the University of Hawai’i, receiving degrees in Education and Culinary Arts. His training in food preparation taught him the importance of color and texture, as evidenced in the delicious quality of his artwork.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Samyra graduated from California State University with a degree in Spanish and earned her J.D. from Western State University. During her undergraduate and law school years, she worked for Toyota Motor Sales in Torrance, CA. After law school she relocated to Atlanta and, after practicing at a large firm for a few years, returned to her passion – the automotive industry. After leaving Alston & Bird LLP, she spent three years with Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. and finally joined Porsche Cars North America, Inc. in September 2013.
Samyra lives in West Midtown with her husband and two children, 11 and 18.
Alicyn McLeod specializes in tax planning and compliance for closely-held businesses and not-for-profits. She previously ran her own solo practice and brings the same enthusiasm and dedication to her clients at FinLogic, along with 15+ years of accounting & tax experience.
Alicyn is a Georgia native, currently residing in Buckhead, and is an active member of the Atlanta business community. She contributes her professional skills by volunteering with several organizations including serving as President of the American Woman’s Society of CPAs – Georgia Affiliate, Treasurer of Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta (a German cultural center), and as an advisory board member for the Georgia Lawyers for the Arts.
Julie received her Juris Doctor degree from Emory University School of Law with a certificate in Transactional Law and Skills and is admitted to practice law in the State of Georgia. She graduated magna cum laude from UGA with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Music and Philosophy.
Julie has worked at ASCAP, Live Nation Entertainment, The Coca-Cola Company, and with several solo practitioners. She is an active member of the National Association of Record Industry Professionals (NARIP) board. Julie served as a legal extern for GLA during law school, later became Director of Volunteer Services, and now serves on GLA’s Advisory Board. Julie is currently Corporate Counsel at Inform, Inc., a media and technology startup based in Buckhead, and Director of Marketing for D. Gonzalez Law Group, LLC presents Letterbox Legal. In addition, Julie is the Principal Attorney and Owner of Julie K. Roach, Esq., LLC. Julie loves seeing live music and has played alto saxophone for over 15 years.
A Nashville native, Jessica moved to Georgia in 2011 after graduating from the University of Tennessee College of Law. In her free time, she enjoys sewing, gaming, and attending pop culture conventions with her friends and her husband, Bill.
Katherine A. Gruner is a licensed attorney with expertise in contract drafting and negotiation, as well as intellectual property law, branding, and new business counseling. She studied Biology and Spanish at Hiram College and earned her Juris Doctor and Masters of Law in IP from the University of Akron. Katherine began her legal career as a patent attorney with Pearne & Gordon LLP in Cleveland, Ohio where she gained extensive experience writing legal opinions relating to pharmaceutical patent documents, as well as drafting responses to USPTO Office Actions in patent and trademark cases. Since entering the legal profession, Kae has enjoyed leading public seminars on topics relating to business, contract law, innovation & patents, trademark law, and other legal issues often encountered by inventors and entrepreneurs. She currently negotiates contracts on behalf of Emory University in the Office of Technology Transfer.
Pearson Beardsley, Esq.
Chloe now practices as a real estate attorney at McLain & Merritt, P.C. in Buckhead. She lives in Morningside with her fiance, Mason, and enjoys going to concerts, trying out new restaurants and exploring Atlanta with the family dog, Manney.