Anastasia D. Kelly personifies the phrase “Career Accelerant.” As part   of her lifelong commitment to mentoring, she has counseled and guided countless women who have ascended to the highest levels in the legal department, the executive suite, and beyond. In recognition of that lifelong commitment to mentoring women, we are proud to create the  Anastasia  D.  Kelly  Award. Stasia  Kelly  is  currently Co-Managing Partner (Americas) at DLA Piper.

Until  the  end  of  2009 she was Vice  Chairman in charge of global legal, compliance and regulatory functions, government relations, communications, corporate affairs and human resources at American International Group, Inc. (AIG). She joined AIG in 2006 as Executive Vice President, General  Counsel  and  Senior  Regulatory and  Compliance Officer.  Prior  to joining AIG,  Stasia  was  Executive Vice President and  General  Counsel  of MCI/WorldCom where she served  as the  Chief  Legal  Officer in the  company’s restructuring from 2003 until  its acquisition by Verizon in 2006. Prior  to MCI, Stasia was Senior  Vice  President and General Counsel of Sears, Roebuck and Co. Prior to joining Sears, she served  as the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Fannie Mae.

Stasia’s long-term investment in the women she mentors is best  exemplified by  the  impact that Stasia  has  had on  the   career   trajectory of  Carol   Ann   Petren.   Stasia hired  Carol  as her  deputy general counsel and  head  of litigation when the two worked together at Sears. Shortly after being hired  as the  General  Counsel  at MCI, Stasia hired  Carol  as senior  vice  president and  deputy general counsel.  As deputy general counsel,  Carol’s  duties were expanded to include managing litigation, regulatory matters, government affairs,  compliance and legal department operations. In May 2006, Carol was hired  as Executive Vice President and General  Counsel  of CIGNA Corporation. This “Stasia  and Carol”  story is one of many at Fannie Mae, Sears, MCI, and most recently at AIG.


Rick Palmore is the Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Chief Compliance and Risk Management Officer of  General  Mills,  Inc.  Mr.  Palmore joined General  Mills  in February 2008 from Sara Lee Corporation, where he was the Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary.

Prior to his tenure at Sara Lee, Mr. Palmore was a trial lawyer, specializing in commercial litigation and  products liability defense.  He previously was  a partner with Sonnenschein Nath  & Rosenthal in Chicago, which he joined in 1993. He also  was  a partner with Wildman, Harrold, Allen  & Dixon from 1986 to 1993, having joined that firm as an associate in 1982. His prior experience includes working as an assistant United States attorney in the Northern District of Illinois. He began  his career  with the  Berkman Ruslander firm  in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Palmore is a director of  the  Chicago Board Options Exchange and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. He was a Director of Nuveen  Investments during its time  as a public company. Mr. Palmore currently serves on the board of the MacPhail School of Music in Minneapolis. He has been a board member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the United Way  of Metropolitan Chicago, the Legal  Assistance Foundation of Chicago and the Public Interest Law Initiative. He also has been  the  chair  of  the  Association of  General Counsel and has served  on the board of the Association of Corporate Counsel.

In 2004, Mr. Palmore authored “A Call to Action, Diversity in the  Legal  Profession,” urging general counsel to drive diversity by demanding results  in the law firms  with which they  work as well  as in their  departments. More  than  120 prominent general counsel made  the  commitment. The initiative has now  developed into  the  Leadership Counsel on Legal Diversity (LCLD), a collaboration between general counsel and managing partners, which was formed in May 2009. Mr. Palmore was chair of the LCLD board of directors from May 2009-August 2012.

Mr. Palmore received the Corporate Exemplar Award from the  National Legal  Aid  & Defender Association in  2007, the  Spirit of  Excellence Award  from  the  American Bar Association Commission on Racial  and Ethnic  Diversity in 2006, the  Scales of Justice Award from the  Equal  Justice Works Foundation in 2005, and the Excellence in Corporate Practice Award from the Association of Corporate Counsel in 2003. He also has been recognized by The National Law Journal, Inside Counsel  magazine and Corporate Board Member magazine as one  of  the  most influential general counsels in America, including recognition in 2010 by The National Law Journal as one of the 40  Most Influential Lawyers of the Decade.

Mr. Palmore attended Yale University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts  degree in economics. He received a juris doctor degree from the University of Chicago Law School.