Corporate Counsel Women of Color 2022 Next Gen Emerging Millennial Leader Award Winners

Corporate Counsel Women of Color

ATLANTA, GA, UNITED STATES, September 8, 2022/ — Hundreds of attorneys, will descend on downtown Atlanta to celebrate the Corporate Counsel Women of Color 18th Annual Career Strategies Conference. This year’s hybrid event hosted by the CCWC showcases the talents of the country’s top legal eagles. Women from across the country will gather in the Peach State from October 5th to October 8th.

During the four-day conference, attendees will glean from seasoned business minds like Hall of Famer Laila Ali, Grammy award-winning musician Common, Chief Diversity Officer for NBC Craig Robinson, Christina Swarns of the Innocence Project, and Shelita M. Stewart, Partner at Hogan Lovells. These headliners mesh the world of entertainment, business, and politics to bring about awareness and societal change.

The Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC) is the leading advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession. Each year the CCWC vets the best and brightest from throughout the country to highlight the tireless work of those in the legal profession who fight to bring a voice to the voiceless. In addition, this fall, CCWC announced its Next Gen Emerging Millennial Leader Award winners. This new award, in its second year, recognizes young attorneys of color who possess outstanding legal talent, innovative skills, and a strong commitment and dedication to serving their communities.

In a time when women of color make up only 10 % of U.S. attorneys, CCWC stands as a beacon of hope for the next generation. In that vein, a committee of senior attorneys from corporations and private law practices selected these winners from a pool of their peers.

The awardees will be honored at CCWC’s 18th Annual Career Strategies Conference in Atlanta on Friday, October 7th. The six winners of this coveted award and their respective employers are:
• Melissa A. Martinez (AmeriSource Bergen) – Holds her J.D. and MBA from Rutgers University. She uses her dual degrees in bankruptcy law.

• Lisa M. Kpor (Holland & Knight LLP) Kpor serves the Windy City as a DEI proponent and is a well-known entertainment and product liability lawyer.

• Ada Okafor (American Board of Surgery), The Nigerian-born attorney who now calls the City of Brotherly home, serves as the General Counsel and Chief Diversity Equity and Inclusion Officer for ABS.

• Heather Benjamin (Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP) A Harvard Law graduate who holds a Jack and Jill of America membership, Benjamin focuses her talents on business succession plans and tax controversies.

• Erica Lai (Northrop Grumman) Former President of the APABA-DC, the largest Asian American and Pacific Islander bar association in the nation’s capital, manages a wide range of litigation matters for Northrop Grumman.

• Lauren Champaign (Foley & Lardner LLP) as senior counsel in the nation’s capital, Champaign focuses on consumer law and complex litigation, garnering several accolades, including the Top 100 Black Lawyers and American Lawyer Young Lawyer of the Year finalist.

CCWC is an organization for Fortune 1000 female attorneys of color, led by Founder, President and CEO Laurie N. Robinson Haden. CCWC was founded to promote advancement and career success for women attorneys of color, as well as to advocate for all aspects of global diversity in the legal workplace and profession. In the past 18 years, CCWC has grown from a group of ten to 5,000 members worldwide all committed to, “being the change [we] wish to see in the world” by developing initiatives to improve education and employment options for diverse individuals in the legal profession.
More than 1,500 attorneys will participate in this year’s conference, which will be in-person in Atlanta at the Hyatt Regency and virtual. The in-person event is sold out; however, tickets may still be purchased for the live stream at

For more information, contact: Laurie N. Robinson Haden – Founder, President, and CEO, Corporate Counsel Women of Color Email: Telephone: (646) 483-8041 or log on to

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