The Bond Torchbearer Spotlight with Mara D. Afzali
The Bond Women’s Initiative continues its Bond Torchbearer Spotlight series with Albany Associate Mara Afzali on June 9, 2021. The spotlight focuses on women attorneys formerly or currently at Bond in all stages of their careers. The Torchbearer Spotlight showcases the many ways Bond women lead and inspire others in their law practice, private life, community service and/or educational experiences. Bond women light the way – and we want to applaud and honor those efforts.
2021 Women's Initiative Retreat: Bonding to Win
This year's internal retreat was hosted virtually. The women got together four times for shared experiences and meaningful interactions across four days.
Her Seat at the Table: Women in Negotiation and Self-Advocacy on May 5, 2021 was presented by Columbia Law Professor Alex Carter. After viewing the taped presentation, the women broke into small groups to discuss the concepts and how they can be applied at Bond.
Inside Baseball on May 12, 2021 discussed the inner-workings of the firm, for example how you get leadership roles, how the compensation system works and the succession planning process for retiring members.
Hey Superwoman – What’s Next? on May 18, 2021 was hosted by legal industry and workplace expert, Debbie Epstein Henry, who discussed ways to maximize opportunities, maintain productivity and navigate our way in times of transition, as well as explore how to delegate, relinquish control and support each other to prioritize what really matters.
Social Hour on May 20, 2021 wrapped up the retreat with cocktails and casual conversation as a fun bonding experience.
The Bond Torchbearer Spotlight with Monica C. Barrett
The Bond Women’s Initiative kicked off it's Bond Torchbearer Spotlight series with NYC Member Monica Barrett on April 15, 2021. The spotlight focuses on women attorneys formerly or currently at Bond in all stages of their careers. The Torchbearer Spotlight showcases the many ways Bond women lead and inspire others in their law practice, private life, community service and/or educational experiences. Bond women light the way – and we want to applaud and honor those efforts.
Social Hour and Virtual Beer Tasting
The Women's Initiative hosted it's first internal virtual beer tasting on March 25, 2021 in collaboration with North Syracuse brewery Full Boar, who chose a selection of beers for us to sample together under the tutelage of the brewery owners. Each attendee was provided with three beers and a cider to sample. The owners joined the Zoom chat and walked through the provided beers and discussed the background of the brewery and answered questions about the beers and brewing process.
Women's Initiative Book Club Virtual Meeting
The Women’s Initiative Book Club selected the award winning second novel by Britt Bennett, “The Vanishing Half” as its first book of 2021. Casey Frank, owner of The Golden Bee Bookshop in Central NY facilitated the final virtual discussion on February 10, 2021.
Working During Unprecedented Times: A Roundtable Discussion
The Women’s Initiative and the Well-Being Committee sponsored a facilitated and supportive conversation hosted by HelpPeople EAP clinicians in January 2021 for staff, associates, counsel and members. They discussed common concerns, while learning coping strategies, obtaining working tips and resources and taking part in an exchange of ideas with others on navigating the most challenging circumstances during COVID-19.
Women's Initiative Virtual Holiday Happy Hour
The Women's Initiative held another happy hour to inspire good tidings and cheer during the holiday season. The women broke the ice with trivia, followed by an ugly holiday sweater contest and a judging for the best Zoom holiday ambiance.
Well-Being During Uncertain Times: Strategies for Law Firm Team Members
The Women's Initiative sponsored this program in December 2020 to highlight the importance of well-being and mental health to our overall health. The program was held in three groups; one for staff, attorneys and upper management and highlighted popular topics for each group to cope with the added stresses and concerns presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Women's Initiative Book Club Virtual Meeting
In furtherance of the firm’s commitment to the promotion of anti-racism and intentional diversity, for it's second book, the Women's Initiative Book Club chose “Black is the Body” by Emily Bernard, a nuanced and powerful memoir, told in 12 separate essays. The final virtual discussion was led by Jennifer Brice on October 14, 2020. Professor Brice teaches in the English Department at Colgate University.
Women's Initiative Virtual Wellness Retreat
The Women's Initiative hosted a virtual wellness retreat on September 17, 2020 with the goal of building our community by sharing common experiences. The retreat included virtual meditation, a Ted Talk discussion on "How to Succeed? Get More Sleep," a wellness workout, hobby breakout sessions, trivia and finished with a virtual social hour.
Women’s Initiative Happy Hour With Special Guest Shelley Kehl
Women's Initiative hosted another happy hour on July 30, 2020. This time they began the evening with a brief send-off to Bond NYC attorney Shelley Kehl, thanking her and wishing her well as she and her husband Jeff retired to Maine. Later they broke up into smaller groups for some pleasant and enlightening conversation.
Women's Initiative Book Club Virtual Meeting
The inaugural Women's Initiative book discussion was held July 7, 2020, led by Leah Hambridge, co-owner of A to Z Books, a women owned bookshop in Orchard Park, N.Y. Women attorneys from across the firm discussed the novel "Untamed" by Glennon Doyle. From its success, the Women's Initiative decided to host the book club throughout the year to bring women attorneys together. The club strives to have the books be timely, meaningful, relevant and overall good reads. It is also a goal to spotlight a woman and minority owned businesses or scholars to lead us in our discussions.
Women's Initiative Happy Hour
The Women's Initiative was ready to hit pause on all the "pause talk" of COVID-19 and hosted an hour of camaraderie, commiseration and chat via internal Zoom happy hours on June 4 and again on June 30. The no agenda, BYOBeverage and come as you are atmosphere allowed the women to get comfy and chat freely in a judgment-free zone.
Effective Communication at a Social Distance CLE
The Women's Initiative hosted a professional development and ethics CLE on May 6, 2020 for Bond clients and attorneys. Columbia Law School professor, negotiation trainer and author of Ask for More, Alexandra Carter presented on virtual lawyering and confidentiality during extraordinary times. Alexandra, along with a panel of Bond attorneys, discussed practical advice on how attorneys can effectively and ethically lawyer at a social distance.
Remote Work: Finding Your Balance
The Women's Initiative hosted an internal professional practice CLE on April 17, 2020 to give practical tips and best practices on managing the competing priorities, stress and distance that arose from the 2020 remote work environment.
Networking and Spa Day
The Buffalo Women’s Initiative hosted a networking and spa day event on December 4, 2019. Bond attorneys and guests enjoyed lunch followed by networking, cocktails, desserts and spa treatments.
Women in Leadership at Bond: A Panel Discussion
The Women's Initiative held an internal diversity, inclusion and elimination of Bias CLE on October 30, 2019. Four female Bond members discussed their personal experiences and answered questions about achieving leadership positions within the firm, ways to increase the number of women in leadership roles here at Bond, and how the Women’s Initiative can provide more support to female attorneys in that endeavor.
Young Professionals Networking Event
The Syracuse Women’s Initiative hosted a Young Professionals Networking Event at Maxwells restaurant in Syracuse, NY on October 10, 2019. Bond attorneys and guests enjoyed drinks, appetizers and networking.
Whiskey Tasting, Food Pairing & Networking Event
On October 2, 2019, the Rochester Women’s Initiative held a whiskey tasting, food pairing and networking event at Iron Smoke Distillery in Fairport, NY. Bond attorneys and guest had the opportunity to network and connect, while also enjoying great food and spirits.
Networking Luncheon and Ballet
The Albany Women’s Initiative attended the New York City Ballet performance at Saratoga Performing Arts Center on July 18, 2019. Bond women attorneys and other women professionals from the Capital Region had a chance to network at a luncheon at the Hall of Springs Jazz Bar before attending the ballet.
Nevertheless, She Persisted: A Panel Discussion
The Women's Initiative held an internal diversity, inclusion and elimination of Bias CLE on June 17, 2019 where they discussed opportunities and barriers women must consider throughout their careers, ways to manage them and how the Women’s Initiative is uniquely positioned to provide support.
Go Red for Women Luncheon
On Thursday, May 16, women attorneys from the Albany office (and our summer associate, Kat) attended the Go Red for Women Luncheon at the Capital Center to raise awareness regarding women’s heart disease and stroke. The luncheon is an annual event to provide a platform for survivors to share their stories, for women to advocate on behalf of themselves and for others and create a local network of women who know they are not alone when it comes to heart disease and stroke.
Elevating Women in Leadership
The Women's Initiative co-sponsored this event on May 14, 2019. Nola Magno of Lee Hecht Harrison discussed the findings of a joint study with HR People & Strategy on how to elevate women in leadership what is holding female leaders back. Following the presentation, a panel of accomplished women leaders discussed their experiences, insights and the impact of female leaders inside and outside their organizations.
Women’s Leadership and Negotiation
Following the Negotiation Training CLE on April 5, Alexandra Carter hosted a second CLE session for Women's Initiative members where they discussed concrete negotiation skills that form integral parts of successful leadership and self-advocacy for women.
Negotiation Training CLE
The Women's Initiative co-sponsored this internal CLE in Syracuse on April 5, 2019. Alexandra Carter, Clinical Professor of Law and the Director of the Mediation Clinic at Columbia Law School, joined Bond for an interactive workshop to help participants learn three negotiation skills: identifying interests, framing and collaborating for value.
Women to Women Luncheon
The Naples office hosted a luncheon at the Capital Grille in Naples, Florida on Friday, January 18, 2019. Attendees enjoyed lunch, networking and guest speakers imparting wisdom and guidance on women’s health, wellness and beauty topics.
Holiday Party and Spa Day
The Buffalo Women's Initiative hosted a spa day at the Delevan at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens in Depew on December 5, 2018. Invitees relaxed, mingled and decompressed with lunch and networking, followed by a complimentary spa treatment and finished the day with cocktails, dessert and a wellness presentation.
Food and Wine Pairing Networking Event
Bond’s Syracuse Women’s Initiative hosted a networking event at Citronelle in Armory Square on October 17, 2018. Guests enjoyed a five-course food and wine pairings hosted by Dean Vlassis, Citronelle’s Sommelier, who introduced the group to new ideas from the unique pairing experience.
Special Spa and CLE Day
On October 17, 2018, the Rochester Women's Initiative hosted a spa day at the Del Monte Lodge Renaissance Rochester Hotel and Spa. The morning was spent at the spa, where attendees were refreshed by massages, blow outs, facials, manicures and pedicures. Following lunch, they attended a CLE presentation titled “New York’s New Required Sexual Harassment Policies and Trainings.”
Networking Luncheon and Ballet
The Albany Women’s Initiative held a private networking event and luncheon at the Hall of Springs Jazz Bar on July 19, 2018. Attendees were treated to the New York City Ballet at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and had a chance to network with Bond women attorneys and other women professionals from the Capital Region.
Women’s Initiative Retreat
On April 15-16, 2018, Bond hosted a firm-wide Women's Initiative Retreat at the Cranwell Spa and Golf Resort in Lenox, MA. The two day retreat brought Bond’s women attorneys together for a mix of presentations and social events to network while focusing on mentoring, leadership and expanding the Women’s Initiative.