2023 Gala

Gala Fundraiser

Each year, NELA honors members of our community for their distinguished service, inspiring leadership, and strong commitment to the cause of justice for workers. The Awards Ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 29 at 5:15 p.m. and is included in Convention registration. On Friday, June 30, beginning at 8:00 p.m., we will gather for the Gala celebration to toast the accomplishments of all NELA lawyers, including our honorees, and dance the night away. The Friday evening event is a separate ticketed event. Each Gala attendee will receive two complimentary drink tickets courtesy of Dundon Advisers LLC.

NELA is pleased to honor five of your colleagues, including three well-known and highly respected leaders in the field of plaintiffs’ employment law: Katherine L. Butler (TX), David L. Lee (IL), and Robin B. Potter (IL). We are also delighted to present both Chiquita Hall-Jackson (IL) and Lauren A. Khouri (DC) with the NELA Spotlight Award, which celebrates NELA leaders who represent our future.

Katherine L. Butler


The NELA community has benefited greatly from the strong commitment and dedicated involvement of Kathy Butler, whose inspiring leadership in NELA and the Texas Employment Lawyers Association (TELA) extends well beyond the many official roles she has held. She served on the NELA Board for six years, including terms as Secretary and Treasurer; has been a longstanding member of the NELA/Institute Joint Fundraising Committee and NELA’s Judicial Nominations Committee; and previously served on the Amicus Advisory Council. Kathy is also a past president of TELA, Houston NELA, and the State Bar of Texas’ Labor and Employment Law Section. She founded and then planned TELA’s annual south of the border seminar for more than twenty years. For decades, she had an active employment law practice in Houston and wrote and lectured extensively on trial and appellate practice, particularly in the area of employment law. She is a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and is board certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Kathy is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Houston School of Law. She has recently retired from the practice of law. If you are ever in Houston, give her a shout!  

David L. Lee

Law Offices of David L. Lee, Chicago

For many NELA members, David Lee may be best known as one of the most helpful expert voices on The NELA Exchange, exemplifying one of NELA’s core values—generously providing assistance and advice to other plaintiffs’ employment lawyers. David’s commitment to the NELA community also is evidenced by his strong record of leadership, including ten years on the NELA Board, including two years as President (2013–2015). He was co-chair of the Affiliate Relations Committee for four years and still participates on NELA’s Membership Committee. He also is a past president of NELA/Illinois. David has spent most of his forty-six-year legal career concentrating on representing employees. Among many other accolades, David is a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He was a full-time clinical professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law’s nationally recognized clinic on employment discrimination from 1984 to 1991. From 1992 to 2015, David was a Hearing Officer for the Cook County Commission on Human Rights. He writes and speaks frequently on employment law, including at NELA events. David earned his BA and JD from Northwestern University.

Robin B. Potter

Fish Potter Bolaños, PC, Chicago

Robin Potter is a pioneer in representing unions and workers and advancing workers’ rights. From a working-class family and raised in a New York housing project, Robin has devoted her life to serving the people. A founding member of NELA and NELA/Illinois, she has remained unwavering in her commitment to our community. Robin has been a frequent speaker for NELA as well as other bar associations, unions, and rank and file labor groups. In her forty-five-year career, Robin built a successful practice litigating cases involving labor and employment, discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblower, wage and hour, and under the False Claims Act in individual, class, and collective actions. She has served as counsel to the Chicago Teachers’ Union, United Steelworkers of America, Teamsters for a Democratic Union, the Association for Union Democracy, and the brave and visionary union members and leadership working to reform their unions and create democracy, equity, and justice in the workplace. Robin and her client Helen Brooms testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Labor to amend Title VII and usher in the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Robin stands on the shoulders of giants who are her mentors, including NELA Founder, Paul Tobias, founding member Mike Leech, former Executive Director Teri Chaw, her late husband Pete Camarata, family and friends, her law partners and everyone at her firm, and the NELA members and other folks who fight every day for a better world. She is a graduate of the City College of New York (CCNY) and University of Iowa Law School (1977).

Chiquita Hall-Jackson

Hall-Jackson & Associates, PLLC, Chicago

Chiquita Hall-Jackson was selected to receive a NELA Spotlight Award because of her fierce commitment to the rights of individuals in the workplace and her dedicated service to the NELA community. She is the founder of Hall-Jackson and Associates, PLLC, an employment law firm in Chicago, and current President of NELA/Illinois, the first black woman to hold the position. After facing race and gender bias in her own career, Chiquita has used her personal experiences to power her professional purpose as an advocate for marginalized employees, speaking up for those whose voices have been silenced by workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. She has devoted her life’s work to ensuring minorities are seen, heard, and respected from the backroom to the boardroom. Chiquita is also an adjunct law professor with a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University. She earned her BA from Northern Illinois University and her JD from Southern University Law Center.  

Lauren A. Khouri

Correia & Puth, PLLC, Washington, DC

NELA is honoring Lauren Khouri with a Spotlight Award because her dedication to the civil rights of individuals in the workplace and leadership within the NELA community have been and will continue to be essential to our mission. Lauren is a Partner at Correia & Puth, PLLC in Washington, DC, the current President of the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association, and a frequent speaker at NELA CLE events. Her practice includes fighting employment-based discrimination and retaliation of all kinds. Lauren also litigates a broad range of cases under Title IX. Since 2019, Best Lawyers has recognized her as a leader in civil rights law, and Superlawyers has recognized Lauren as a Rising Star in Employment Law. Before joining Correia & Puth, Lauren was a fellow at the National Women’s Law Center. She received her law degree from American University Washington College of Law.  

Please join us in celebrating our outstanding honorees by sponsoring NELA’s 2023 Gala. We are pleased to offer a range of sponsorship opportunities beginning at $150, including recognition in NELA’s 2023 Convention Program Guide, on NELA’s website, and on the Gala Sponsor Board at the Convention. Table sponsorships start at $3,000. Pre-event sponsors will be listed in the event invitation if your pledge is received by April 25, 2023.

For more information contact Leah A. Hofkin, NELA’s Director of Development (Tel: (415) 625-5421; Email: lhofkin@niwr.org).

Thank You to Our Generous 2023 Gala Sponsors

Drink tickets graciously provided by

Champions of Justice


Community Leaders

Founder’s Circle

President’s Cabinet



AARP Foundation Litigation Attorneys: Ben Davis & Dan Kohrman
Accountability Ignited/Paula Brantner
Arizona Employment Lawyers Association (AzELA)
Irene Bassock
Betz + Blevins
Buchanan Angeli Altschul & Sullivan LLP
Cashdan & Kane, PLLC
Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, PC
Eisenberg & Schnell, LLP
Green Savits, LLC
Lorna Griffin Law Offices, PLLC
Henrichsen Law Group, PLLC
Holland & Associates, PC
Hynes & Kreuser, SC

Law Office of Deborah H. Karpatkin
Messing, Rudavsky & Weliky PC
Oklahoma Employment Lawyers Association
O’’Malley & Madden, PC
Nina T. Pirrotti
Poncio Law Offices, PC
The Popham Law Firm, PC
Renaker Scott LLP
Mark Risk, PC
Law Offices of Kell A. Simon
Swain Law, LLC
Zipin, Amster & Greenberg, LLC
Zuckerman Law


Altshuler Berzon, LLP
Richard K. Blundell Law Firm
Bracker & Marcus LLC
Brown & Curry, LLC
Center For Employment Law
The Coffey Law Office, PC
Sean W. Cook, Esq.
Dow Golub Remels & Gilbreath, PLLC
Federal Practice Group
Gaul and Dumont
Golden Law, LLC
Law Office of Steven Granberg, PA
Charles E. Guerrier
Janet Hill
Hommel Law Firm
Horne Daller LLC
Law Office of Douglas B. Janney III
Law Office of Susan Jewell
Robert B. Landry, III, PLC
Dolores Y. Leal
Chet Levitt Fund for Employment Law

David Lichtenstein
Lieber Hammer Huber & Paul, PC
Lubin & Enoch, PC
Law Offices of Glen D. Mangum
Jonathan J. Margolis
Robert E. McKnight
Mensing Law LLC
O’Brien Coleman & Wright
Olivier & Schreiber LLP
Rosemary Orsini
Pontikes Law LLC
Law Offices of Carol G. Silverman
Law Offices of Jason Smith
Tran Law Firm, LLP
Pedro A. Valverde
Venick Austin & Rosen, PLLC
John A. Wenke – Attorney at Law – El Paso, TX


Allen Law Firm
Isaacs Bernstein, PC
Joyce L. Collier, Esquire
Patrick Cowlin
DeGolia Law LLC
Brian East
Fair Labor Law
Law Office of Lenore C. Garon, PLLC
Karla Gilbride
Donna Lenhoff Associates
Law Offices of Colleen M. McLaughlin
Merrick Law Firm, LLC
Jennifer Morton Law, PLLC
Gregory A. Rich
Colin Walsh
Ashley O. Westby & Sean P. McKee

As of May 22, 2023