For the first time, since Nyemaster Goode's inception in 1918, women shareholders are heading up four of the firms six primary practice areas. Practice area chairs are selected by shareholders each year. This year, Coreen Sweeney will head up the Litigation Practice Area; Angela Brick will oversee the Tax, Estate Planning and Employee Benefits Practice Area; Hallie Still-Caris chairs the Business, Finance and Real Estate Practice Area; and Mary Funk leads the Labor and Employment Practice Area.
Much of the firm's success can be credited to a progressive and forward-looking executive leadership, which values innovation and understands change can be good. Unique to Nyemaster Goode is the impressive number of women leaders in the company. Of the 21 female attorneys at Nyemaster, 17 are shareholders and four are associates. Shareholder Angel West, the first woman to serve as Chair of Nyemaster's Litigation Department and serve on the Executive Committee, recognizes this shift as a sign of the times. "It's not about male versus female, but about recognizing and championing talent," West said.
Coreen Sweeney practices primarily in workers' compensation and general litigation matters. Coreen has practiced in the areas of workers' compensation and insurance defense litigation since 1991. Coreen has is active as a member of the Iowa Association of Workers' Compensation Attorneys and is currently serving on its Board of Governors as Past President. She is also serving as Co-Chair for the Iowa Self-Insurers Association seminar and has served on the board of directors for the Riverfront YMCA since 2004.
Angie Brick practices primarily in employee benefits, focusing on retirement plans, both qualified plans and nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements, and health and welfare benefit plans. Her practice experience in these areas extends to consulting, design, plan drafting, implementation and compliance, and includes extensive experience in ESOP matters and transactions, analysis of employee benefit plans in mergers and acquisitions, and Internal Revenue Code and ERISA compliance matters for employee pension and welfare benefit plans. Angie represents sponsoring employers, fiduciaries, plan administrators and service providers.
Hallie Still-Caris practices primarily in commercial real estate finance, in which she represents a number of insurance company lenders. She also advises businesses on compliance with environmental laws. In addition, Hallie prepares filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, which are required for certain transactions that have the potential of creating antitrust concerns. Her practice also includes other more general real estate and business matters for corporate clients. Hallie currently is a member of the Iowa State Bar Association's Environmental and National Resources Law Council. She also previously served on the Greater Des Moines Partnership and the board of the United Way of Central Iowa.
Mary Funk handles primarily employment and labor matters. She litigates issues related to employment contract disputes; sexual harassment; race, sex, age, national origin and disability discrimination; wrongful termination; Family and Medical Leave Act; Fair Labor Standards Act; non-compete agreements; and unemployment. In addition to litigating cases, Mary proactively counsels clients on employment and labor issues. She is active in the Iowa State Bar Association's Employment and Labor Committee and is co-chairing that committee's 2011 annual CLE. She is also a member of the Iowa Defense Council, the Central Iowa SHRM Chapter, the Iowa Society of Healthcare Attorneys, and the American Health Lawyers Association.