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Candidates for Board of Governors

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Back to State Bar 2021 election information.

The following names were submitted by nomination petition for election to the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors is the State Bar's policymaking body. Governors serve two-year terms.

Districts 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15 will elect governors in 2021. District 2 (Milwaukee) elects seven; District 9 (Dane) elects three; and all other districts elect one.

All State Bar elections (including for State Bar divisions and sections) will be held via an electronic ballot in 2021. Ballots are emailed by the second week in April, and the election closes at noon Central time on April 23, 2021.

Persons elected will take office July 1, 2021.​

District Map | View Officer Candidates

District 1 (one vacancy)

District 2 (seven vacancies)

District 3 (one vacancy)

District 5 (one vacancy)

  • Emily G. Loe, Hale, Skemp, Hanson, Skemp & Sleik, La Crosse, Marquette 2019

District 6 (one vacancy)

  • John P. Macy, Municipal Law & Litigation Group SC, Waukesha, Marquette 1980

District 7 (one vacancy)

District 9 (three vacancies)

District 11 (one vacancy)

District 13 (one vacancy)

District 15 (one vacancy)

District 1

Joseph Cardamome JOSEPH M. CARDAMONE III of Kenosha. Education: University of Wisconsin Law School, 1998. Current employment: Kenosha County Corporation Counsel, 2015–present. Member, International Municipal Lawyers Association. Past President, State Bar of Wisconsin Government Lawyers Division. Former member of: Board of Governors, Strategic Planning Committee (Chair), CLE Committee, Public Image Committee, Communications Committee, Convention Committee. Previously served as President of Young Lawyers Division, member of Executive Committee; Former President and current member of Kenosha County Bar Association. Employment history: Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney, 1999-2000; Associate, Gagliardi, Nelson & O’Brien, 2000-2005; solo practitioner, 2005-2008; Kenosha County Assistant Corporation Counsel, 2008-2012; Kenosha County 1st Assistant Corporation Counsel, 2012-2015.

District 2

Elizabeth Townsend Bridge ELISABETH TOWNSEND BRIDGE of Milwaukee. University of Nebraska, 1981 J.D. Undergraduate Degree, BA, Purdue University, 1978. Partner, SmithAmundsen LLC since 2016. Member, State Bar of Wisconsin; Former Chair and Current Committee Member, Local Bar Relations Committee, State Bar of Wisconsin; Former Chair and Board Member, Intellectual Property Practice Section Board, State Bar of Wisconsin; Former Chair and Current Board Member, International Practice Section Board, State Bar of Wisconsin; Former Chair and Current Member, Wisconsin Intellectual Property Law Association; Former Commodore and Current Board Member, North Lake Yacht Club Board; Current Board Member, Christ Church Episcopal Whitefish Bay Endowment Board; Honorary Consul for Belguim in Wisconsin.

Elisabeth Townsend Bridge Campaign Statement

To the members of District 2, State Bar of Wisconsin:

I moved to Wisconsin in 1981 after accepting a job offer with a law firm in Milwaukee. I have now practiced law for almost 40 years in the State of Wisconsin, always in private practice, and have witnessed the many changes and challenges to our profession over those years.

When I graduated from law school, only 15% of my graduating class were women and we had no law students of color. I was one of the first female attorneys at the corporate practice firm I joined after graduating, as well as the first woman attorney to have a baby before maternity leave policies for attorneys were implemented at that firm. Being an intellectual property attorney, I also attended engineering school where I was often the only woman or among very few women in each of my classes. These experiences have helped me understand and emphasize with others who are a minority in a professional setting and perhaps don’t have the benefit of mentors to help guide them through their professional growth and development.

It is critically important to our profession to adequately support our members by providing mentoring programs to build gender and racial equity and equal opportunity in our profession. It is also important to address the needs both of our highly specialized in-city Bar members and the needs of practitioners in our rural communities, who often are necessarily generalists to adequately serve their communities and build a practice. Supporting our State Bar and local bar association mentorship programs can also help new attorneys throughout Wisconsin during these challenging times, since many of these new graduates, working remotely, have not reaped the benefits of in-office and communitywide networking and CLE opportunities available in pre-pandemic times. Such personal networking experiences are crucial in an attorney’s development as a lawyer and as a community leader.

Catarina Colón CATARINA A. COLÓN of Milwaukee. University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D., 2019. Husch Blackwell LLP, Labor and Employment Associate and HB Latinx Affinity Group Co-Chair, Milwaukee. Member and Board of Governors Bridge Liaison, Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association, Strategic Planning Committee, 2019 to present. D&I Implementation Team, WisLAP Committee member, 2020 to present.

 

 

Jennifer Johnson JENNIFER L. JOHNSON of Milwaukee. Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, J.D., 2014. Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. (LAW). Board Member: Public Interest Law Section; Chair- Nominations Committee. Member State Bar’s Communications Committee (Editorial Board for Wisconsin Lawyers Magazine), Legal Innovations Subcommittee; Wisconsin Association of African American Lawyers (WAAL).

Jennifer L. Johnson Campaign Statement

I started my professional legal career at LAW in 2016 as a staff attorney working to remove barriers to employment facing my clients of very limited means. In late 2018 I transitioned to my full-time position as the firm’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion and Racial Justice Legal Work. Since that time, the firm has increased diversity (in many divisions) among its staff, formed affinity groups for which staff are permitted to use work time to fellowship with similarly identified colleagues, and joined the State Bar’s Diversity Clerkship Program as an Employer participant; that list is not exhaustive, but an example of the ways in which I’ve worked to raise our firm’s cultural intelligence and help lead us on the path to true race equity. It’s been my goal to do the same with the Board of Governors.

I currently serve on BOG’s Policy Committee where I have been able to voice my opinion on issues such as police reform. I’ve always strongly believed it is extremely important to not only have a seat at the important tables as a Black woman, but to also take advantage of the opportunity by being a voice for the voiceless.

A couple year ago when I ran for my current BOG seat, I said that I could “contribute to the Board of Governors with both my ideas and unique perspectives as a ‘young,’ Black, female attorney.” That remains true today. I ask for your support, again, to continue to represent District 2 on the Board of Governors.

Rochelle Johnson-Bent ROCHELLE JOHNSON-BENT of Milwaukee. University of Wisconsin, J.D., 2010. Rochelle currently serves on the Board of Governors, representing Milwaukee (District 2), since September 2018, and sits on the Policy Committee. Rochelle is a Contract Law Specialist/Risk Management at Milwaukee Public Schools. Prior to that, Rochelle was the Director of Compliance at Boys & Girls Clubs of Milwaukee from 2018-2020; Supervising Attorney at Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee from 2013-2018, and Associate Attorney at Laster and Associates, LLC from 2011-2013. Currently, Rochelle serves as the Vice President of the Board of Director at Highland Community School, as well as co-chair of the Governance Committee (2019-2021). Rochelle is a member of Wisconsin Associate of African American Lawyers; Wisconsin Family Law Section; Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics; Wisconsin Young Lawyers Division and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Rochelle was named the Young Lawyer’s Division 2017 Outstanding Mentor and a 2015 State Bar of Wisconsin Leadership Development Summit participant. Rochelle graduated undergrad from North Carolina A&T State University, majoring in Political Science. Rochelle lives in Milwaukee County with her children, Seanna (6) and Winston (4).

Thomas Pienkos THOMAS J. PIENKOS of Milwaukee. The University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D., 1999. Partner, SmithAmundsen LLC., Milwaukee, and Member of IP, Data Privacy & Security, and Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Fin Tech Groups. Member, State Bar of Wisconsin. Registered as a Patent Attorney before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Past Member, IP Section Board of the State Bar and Planning Committee Annual Door County IP Academy. Past President, Wisconsin IP Law Association; Past Member and Co-Chair of the Licensing Executive Society International, Wisconsin Chapter. Selected to the Best Lawyers in America in Patent Law: 2020-21. Current Member, Intellectual Property Owners Association®, with active participation on its Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Husband to Lisa and father of three daughters, Anna (14), Nora (11), and Mary (2).

Thomas J. Pienkos Campaign Statement

I write to express my strong interest in becoming a member of the Board of Governors. In addition to my professional experience, I believe the arc of my personal life and experiences can add a unique perspective. I am a husband and parent of three daughters (ages 14, 11, and 2), one of whom has profound special needs. My wife Lisa and I are striving to raise our daughters to achieve their fullest potential, based on their respective interests and abilities, and always with deep respect and appreciation for the unique and diverse backgrounds, qualities, and needs of others. If elected, I commit to listening to and then working constructively and respectfully with others to increase opportunities in the legal profession, especially for those who are or have been disadvantaged, including those who have a disability. Thank you for considering this statement and it would be an honor and a privilege to serve on the Board of Governors.

Amber Raffet August AMBER RAFFEET AUGUST of Milwaukee. Raffeet August graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2013. Raffeet August works as a staff attorney in the Guardian ad Litem division of the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee. Prior to this position, Raffeet August was an immigration and family law attorney at RISE Law Center, a project of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin from 2015 to 2018 and an associate attorney at Grzeca Law Group, S.C. from 2013 to 2015. Raffeet August currently serves on the Board of Governors for District 2 and as the Board of Governors Liaison to the Legal Assistance Committee. Prior to this role, Raffeet August was the Building Bridges Liaison to the Board of Governors for the Wisconsin Association of African American Lawyers (WAAL) from 2018 to 2019. At present, Raffeet August is the President-Elect of WAAL and previously served as WAAL’s Director of Community Outreach from 2017-2020. Raffeet August has been a member of Women In Focus, Inc., a Dane County nonprofit dedicated to promoting and supporting the education of youth of color from 2014 to present.

Mary Schanning MARY L. SCHANNING of Milwaukee. Atty. Schanning works for the City of Milwaukee’s Department of City Development as its Real Estate Compliance Liaison Officer and was previously a Milwaukee Deputy City Attorney. She received her J.D. in 1997 from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA. Atty. Schanning served on the State Bar’s Government Lawyers Division (GLD) Board from 2009 to 2019 serving as its President, Treasurer and a member of its CLE, Nominating and Career Paths Committees. She previously served one year on the State Bar’s Board of Governors and its Executive Committee in 2017-18 as the representative of the GLD. She is currently a member of the Supreme Court’s Appointment Selection Committee.

 

Mary L. Schanning Campaign Statement

After 10 years of service on the Government Lawyer’s Division Board I found myself wanting to continue my service to the Bar and its members. I hope to do so by representing the attorneys of Milwaukee County on the Board of Governors. During my previous term on the Board of Governors as GLD President, I became very interested in the State Bar’s efforts to increase diversity and realized that there is much work yet to be done in that endeavor. If elected, increasing diversity and inclusion in State Bar leadership positions is a high priority for me as is encouraging young people of color to pursue legal careers. Other matters of importance to me include: supporting and encouraging continuation of remote law practice options post-pandemic, searching for ways the State Bar can assist new lawyers facing large student loans and a difficult job market due to the pandemic, educating all State Bar members on the benefits available to them through the State Bar and looking at cost saving measures to avoid increases in State Bar membership dues.

My professional background includes working for the City of Milwaukee since 2011 in the City Attorney’s Office and now in its Department of City Development. My work for the City is transactional in nature and includes handling complex real estate development. I worked on notable projects including the Fiserv Forum, the Lakefront Gateway Project, the Northwestern Mutual office tower, the Couture residential tower (breaking ground in spring 2021), tax incremental financing for the Milwaukee Streetcar, the City’s efforts to get the 2020 Democratic National Convention and many others. Prior to working for Milwaukee, I was the City Attorney for West Bend, Wisconsin for over 10 years. In West Bend, I handled all aspects of municipal law including eminent domain, land use and development, public construction, citation prosecution, employment law, open meetings and public records. I also have prior experience doing civil litigation in a private, insurance defense law firm.

I would like to serve and represent the lawyers of Milwaukee County and I would certainly appreciate your vote. Thank you.

District 3

Renee Read RENEE A. READ of Greenville. Saint Louis University, J.D., 2004. Remley Law, S.C., Neenah (f/k/a Remley & Sensenbrenner, S.C.). Member of the Winnebago County Bar Association. Member and Chair of the Scholarship Committee for the Outagamie County Bar Association. Fellow, Wisconsin Law Foundation, 2020. Member of the State Bar Leadership Development Committee 2018-present. Member of Family Law Section and Bankruptcy, Insolvency and Creditor’s Rights Section. Recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Member and past Board member of the Fox West Chamber of Commerce. Past member and Past President of the Fox Cities Morning Rotary Club.

 

Renee A. Read Campaign Statement

My goal in pursuit of a second term on the Board of Governors remains the same – to achieve for myself and other members connectedness, understanding, support and knowledge. Membership in the State Bar should provide each of us with these benefits, made available through various mechanisms consistent with our diverse membership.

One of the State Bar’s objectives is to have leadership with diverse backgrounds. I come from a very large family and grew up on a farm in Iowa. Along with a few of my siblings, I am the first generation in my family to attend college. My path to practicing law was nontraditional; I have a science background and worked in microbiology research before going to law school. I attended law school out-of-state, and as a result took the Bar exam. Furthermore, although my practice is now specialized, I spent the first half of my career engaged in general practice at a small firm. Therefore, I have insight into several fields of law and know the challenges faced by practitioners. I believe my personal and professional background gives me a unique perspective that adds value to the Bar. Given the intrinsic difficulties of our profession, it is important that membership in our State Bar offers opportunities to improve both our work and lives. I will utilize my time and voice on the Board of Governors with that objective.

District 5

Emily Loe EMILY G. LOE of La Crosse. Marquette Law School, J.D. 2019. Hale, Skemp, Hanson, Skemp & Sleik, La Crosse. Member State Bar of Wisconsin, La Crosse County Bar Association. Previously employed for nearly a decade at the Wisconsin State Legislature. Board Member: Coulee Region Humane Society. Volunteer: Wills for Heroes, Great Rivers United Way, and Alzheimer’s Association Wisconsin Chapter.


 

 

District 6

John Macy JOHN P. MACY of Waukesha. Marquette University, J.D., 1980. Carroll University, B.A., 1977. Municipal Law and Litigation Group, S.C. (Arenz, Molter, Macy, Riffle, Larson & Bitar). I have been involved in Local, State and National Bar Association work for over 40 years: American Bar Association General Practice, House of Delegates from 1996 through 2002 and 2006 through 2012, Solo and Small Firm Division, numerous offices held including Chair of the Division and other ABA positions. State Bar of Wisconsin, Board of Governors from 1992 through 1996, 2003 through 2008, 2018 to date as well as in numerous other positions including Chair of the Board of Governors, Chair of the Finance Committee, and a member of the Executive Committee. Waukesha County Bar Association, where he has served as President as well as in many other positions including Membership Chair and Entertainment Chair. Board member for the Citizens Bank of Mukwonago, past Chair of the Waukesha County Community Foundation, President of the Carroll University Delta Rho Upsilon Alumni Association, and involved in numerous professional, civic, and nonprofit organizations.

John P. Macy Campaign Statement

I have been involved in Local, State and National Bar Association work for over 38 years. I do so because I believe that the legal profession and more importantly that both the members of the profession as well as those who are served by the same, need conscientious and hardworking people to volunteer their time and talents. I hope that my past work has shown that I am one of those people.

While staying involved in State Bar committee work the entire time, I took a 10-year absence from serving on the Board of Governors. When an opportunity arose to again serve, I accepted. Great changes have occurred at the Bar in my absence mainly because many good people “stepped up to the plate,” donated their time and talents, and worked hard. Of particular significance is the great strides made to have a diverse organization. Many of the voices missing from the table in the past are now present.

That being said, some of the same issues face the profession today that faced the State Bar 10 years ago. Prioritization of programs, budget issues, planning for the future, governing today are all still being discussed. I believe that my past experience as well as bringing a new face to the current discussions will be helpful.

My overriding philosophy which controls my thinking and actions is that these organizations should first and foremost exist to serve the needs of the members. The State Bar does so in many ways. This is not to say that there is not a lot more to do; there always is. Since being appointed I have endeavored by the District 6 reports to provide to the members in more detail, hopefully without overburdening them, a comprehensive report on the goings-on of the Bar. Please take moment to read through the same when they are emailed to you.

My passions are the finances of the association and in particular making sure that your dues money is spent wisely as well as programs that are available to every member as a benefit at no cost such as WisLAP, the Ethics Hotline, Practice 411, and the Wisconsin Lawyer magazine.

With your vote, I hope to continue to serve you and the profession. I will vigilantly watch that the State Bar is always working for you. I will be your conscience, your voice, if re-elected. I ask for your vote. Thank you for your consideration.

District 7

Stephen Sawyer STEPHEN W. SAWYER of Stevens Point. University of Notre Dame Law School, J.D. (cum laude) 1996. Law Offices of Stephen W. Sawyer, Stevens Point. Member National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, State Bar of Wisconsin, Portage County Bar Association (current Vice President). Board member: Portage County Legal Aid Society, Inc.




District 9

Marisol González Castillo MARISOL GONZÁLEZ CASTILLO of Madison. University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D., 2018. Associate at Hawks Quindel, S.C. Member of the Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association, Wisconsin Association of Worker’s Compensation Attorneys, and Wisconsin Association for Justice. Board of Directors member of New Leaders Council and Latinos United for College Education Scholarships. Past Board of Governors activity: Board of Governors member-Milwaukee, Leadership Development Committee Member, and BOG liaison for the children and the law section 2019-20.



Alison Helland ALISON E. HELLAND of Madison. Alison is a Partner at Boardman Clark in Madison, focusing her practice on tax law, business law, and estate planning. She received her J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2005, and her LLM in Taxation from Northwestern University School of Law in 2006. Alison is an active member of both the American Bar Association and the State Bar of Wisconsin, and has organized and presented at multiple CLE programs for both organizations. She is currently the Chair of the State Bar of Wisconsin Section Leaders Council, a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin Joint Review Committee, a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin Taxation Law and Business Law Sections, and a Fellow of the Wisconsin Law Foundation. She previously served as a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin Taxation Section Board, and chaired the Taxation Law Section from July 2014 to June 2016. In addition to her service to the State Bar of Wisconsin and the American Bar Association, she currently serves on the board of Downtown Madison, Inc., and has previously served on the boards of Dane Buy Local and Madison Magnet.

Corey Lorenz COREY G. LORENZ of Madison. DePaul University College of Law, J.D., 2011; University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.A., 2008. Corey is a shareholder at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.®. Her primary practice area is personal injury, and over the years she has litigated cases involving individual plaintiffs and numerous complex product liability matters in both state and federal court. In doing so, Corey has worked to represent clients throughout Wisconsin and across the country. She is a member of the American Bar Association, American Association for Justice, State Bar of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Association for Justice, and Dane County Bar Association. Corey currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Dane County Legal Association for Women, promoting women’s interests in the legal profession. She is seeking reelection for a second term on the Board of Governors.

District 11

Johanna Kirk JOHANNA R. KIRK of Superior. Johanna has practiced law in Superior since 2006 after graduating from Hamline University School of Law. Johanna opened a solo practice in 2013 and focuses in the areas of estate and elder planning, probate, real estate, guardianships, and representing business owners. Johanna also serves as guardian ad litem in CHIPS, JIPS, TPR and guardianship cases. Johanna’s past Bar involvement includes the Solo Small Firm Conference Planning Committee, the Solo Small Firm and General Practice Section Board, Local Bar Relations Committee, LOMAP Advisory Committee, New Lawyers Task Force. Johanna is a mother of two and very active with other groups and organizations in her community.

District 13

Robert Barrington ROBERT G. BARRINGTON of Beaver Dam. University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D., 2007. Managing Attorney, Dodge County District Attorney’s Office, Juneau. Member State Bar of Wisconsin, Dodge County Bar Association, Wisconsin District Attorney Association (WDAA) (2007 to present), WDAA IT Committee (2009 to present, currently chairperson), Department of Transportation Uniform Citation Council (2010-2013), State Bar of Wisconsin Board of Governors (2016-2017, 2018-2021), State Bar Board Executive Committee (2016-2017, 2020-2021) Government Lawyers Division Board (2014-present, President 2016-2017), Wisconsin Court Records Management Committee (2018-present).


Robert G. Barrington Campaign Statement

Colleagues,

I presently represent District 13 on the State Bar of Wisconsin Board of Governors. I would like to continue serving you in this role and would greatly appreciate your support in the upcoming election.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and I would like to tell you why I’m qualified to remain your representative. I am the Managing Attorney in the Dodge County District Attorney’s Office, a position I’ve held for over 14 years. I earned my Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin and my Bachelor’s degree from Ripon College. Throughout the past several years, I have been very active in State Bar issues and affairs. For example, I previously served on the State Bar Board of Governors as the District 13 Representative and also served as the Government Lawyers Division (GLD) Representative. Currently, I am on the Board of the GLD and have also served as its president. Additionally, I served on the Board of the BOG Executive Committee as well as its Policy Committee. It was a pleasure to contribute to a special committee that formulated and implemented the WisBar Paralegal Certification Program. Likewise, the National High School Mock Trial competition was held in Wisconsin and I enjoyed serving on the planning committee. In addition to the State Bar Board of Governors and Board of the GLD, I am a member of the Criminal Law Section.

Throughout my career, I have been particularly interested in systems and efficiencies. Currently, I serve as the State DA IT Advisory Committee’s chairperson and have been a longstanding member. I spearheaded the first “paperless” District Attorney’s Office in Wisconsin in 2009. In fact, Dodge County District Attorney’s Office now serves as the best-practices model for the entire State. Moreover, I worked closely with the Wisconsin Department of Administration and Court Operations to develop and implement criminal electronic filing statewide. Dodge County was the first District Attorney’s Office to electronically file, which we have been doing since 2014. It was a great honor to receive a State Bar “Legal Innovator” award in its inaugural year.

Finally, I previously served on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Uniform Citation Council and I am currently a member of the State Court System’s Record Management Committee. Teaching has also become a passion of mine. I have been an adjunct faculty member at the Madison Area Technical College and taught Criminal Law, Civil Law, and Introductory Paralegal courses.

It would be a privilege to continue serving you as the District 13 Representative. I would appreciate your support.

District 15

Brian Dimmer BRIAN P. DIMMER of Racine. Marquette University, J.D., Cum Laude, 2009. Richards & Dimmer, S.C. Racine 2012-Present. IT Specialist Board Officer of the Racine County Bar Association 2014-Present. Member of State Bar of Wisconsin, Racine County Bar Association, 2012-Present. Mock Trial Attorney Coach, Saint Catherine’s High School, 2017-2019.

Brian P. Dimmer Campaign Statement

Bar Associations, local and statewide, stand at a crossroads. As technology and communities change, these Associations struggle to find their place and provide value to members. As the Racine County representative, my goal is to provide a voice to the concerns of our members at the State level. In turn, my responsibility is to educate our local attorneys of how the State Bar provides continued value and opportunities to members.

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