The unique design of our Rising Star® program serves to distinguish Holland & Knight from other law firms. The goals of this year-long program are to help prepare participants for leadership opportunities, elevate their profiles within the legal profession and community, and increase their success in business development.

Each year Holland & Knight selects a group of talented and dedicated women lawyers to participate in Rising Star® – a dynamic and intensive program of leadership, marketing, management and professional skills development, professional mentoring and experiential learning. To be eligible, Rising Stars candidates must be in at least their seventh year of practice and have been affiliated with Holland & Knight for at least two years. Other selection criteria include professional experience, community involvement, motivation to be a leader, and the ability to invest the time and effort necessary for success. Program applications are generally solicited each fall for participation in the following year.

Class of 2023

Alexis Alonzo
Alexis Alonzo
Century City
Real Estate


Kyla Baker headshot
Kyla Baker
Real Estate


Agnes O. Doyle
Agnes Doyle


Marie E. Larsen
Marie Larsen
New York


Laura Lewis Headshot
Laura Lewis
New York
Asset Finance


Emily Martinez Lieban
Emily Lieban
San Francisco
West Coast Land Use and Environment


Jen Lowndes


Megan Raker Headshot
Meg Raker
Washington, D.C.
Real Estate


Meghal B. Shah
Meghal Shah
Tax Credit Transactions


Parker Young
Parker Young
Financial Services


Anne-Mette Andersen (2011)
Business  |  New York, NY

Kristin Asai (2019)
Litigation  |  Portland, OR

Kristina Azlin (2013)
Litigation  |  Los Angeles, CA

Leila Batties (2008)
Real Estate  |  Washington, D.C.

Jenna Bigornia (2015)
Business  |  Boston, MA
Ms. Bigornia is currently commercial counsel at Biogen.

Cynthia Burnside (2012)
Litigation  |  Atlanta, GA

Lynn E. Calkins (2004)
Litigation  |  Washington, D.C.

Renee Covitt (2020)
Real Estate  |  New York, NY

Allison Dyer (2020)
Business  |  Atlanta, GA

Susan Eichler Edlein (2006)
Litigation  |  Atlanta, GA
Ms. Edlein is currently serving as the Chief Judge in the State Court of Fulton County (Georgia).

Jessica Early (2017)
Litigation  |  Boston, MA

Nicole Elliott (2022)
Government/Tax  |  Washington, D.C.

Cheryl Feeley (2015)
Litigation  |  Washington, D.C.

Rachel Fink (2022)
Business  |  Atlanta, GA

Carrie Friesen-Meyers (2018)
Structured Finance  |  San Francisco, CA

Annie Gamez (2017)
Litigation  |  Miami, FL 

Marjorie Gannett (2018)
Real Estate  |  Washington, D.C.
Ms. Gannett is currently deputy general counsel at Combined Properties.

Colleen Leonard Gans (2011)
Real Estate  |  San Francisco, CA
Ms. Leonard is currently senior counsel in Real Estate at Apple.

Steffanie Garrett (2012)
Litigation  |  Chicago, IL
Ms. Garrett is currently general counsel at the Department of Healthcare and Family Services for the State of Illinois.

Christine Gay (2016)
Litigation  |  Miami, FL

Suzanne E. Gilbert (2003)
Litigation  |  Orlando, FL

Stacie Andra Goeddel (2009)
Real Estate  |  San Francisco, CA

Kerry Halpern (2020)
Business  |  Philadelphia, PA

Shannon Hartsfield (2003)
Healthcare  |  Tallahassee, FL

Janene Jackson (2017)
Government  |  Washington, D.C.

Naomi F. Katz (2008)
Labor and Employment  |  Chicago, IL
Ms. Katz is currently senior counsel in Employment at Ulta Beauty.

Bonni F. Kaufman (2007)
Environment  |  Washington, D.C.

Joanie Kim (2004)
Public Companies and Securities  |  Seattle
Ms. Kim is currently managing director and corporate counsel of Global Strategy and Corporate Development at Starbucks.

Tammy L. Knight (2005)
Public Companies and Securities  |  Fort Lauderdale

Sarah Korapaty (2016)
Litigation  |  New York, NY

Lisa Kpor (2022)
Litigation  |  Chicago, IL

Chelsea Maclean (2013)
Government  |  San Francisco, CA

Jennifer A. "Jenn" Mansfield (2009)
Litigation  |  Jacksonville, FL

Nicole Maron (2022)
Public Companies and Securities  |  Fort Lauderdale, FL

Louise McAlpin (2006)
Litigation  |  Miami, FL

Allison McCarthy (2010)
Real Estate  |  Fort Lauderdale, FL

Chelsea Ashbrook McCarthy (2019)
Litigation  |  Chicago, IL

Taite McDonald (2019)
Government  |  Washington, D.C.

Mia McKown (2013)
Litigation  |  Tallahassee, FL

Rebecca Mendez (2016)
Real Estate  |  Miami, FL

Katharine Menendez de la Cuesta (2019)
Litigation | Miami, FL

Judith M. "Judy" Mercier (2004)
Litigation  |  Orlando, FL

Elizabeth M. Mitchell
Litigation  |  Boston, MA
Ms. Mitchell is currently Global Litigation and Investigations Counsel at Smith & Nephew.

Valarie Ney (2020)
Business  |  Tysons, VA

Kathryn W. Oberto (2005)
Real Estate  |  Orlando, FL

Jennifer Oosterbaan (2004)
Litigation  |  Chicago, IL
Ms. Oosterbaan is currently in-house counsel at Abbott Labs.

Barbra Rachel Parlin (2006)
Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights  |  New York, NY

Christin Petroski (2016)
Business  |  Orlando, FL

Rebecca Plasencia (2020)
Litigation  |  Miami, FL

Ashley Plemons (2018)
Corporate  |  Atlanta, GA

Danielle Price (2011)
Business  |  Miami, FL

Laura Renstrom (2022)
Litigation |  Jacksonville, FL

Trisha Rich (2014)
Litigation  |  Chicago, IL

Lara Rios (2020)
Business  |  Miami

Catherine Rowsey (2022)
Litigation  |  Dallas, TX

Caitlin Saladrigas (2022)
Litigation  |  West Palm Beach, FL

Susan Santana (2004)
Government  |  Washington, D.C.
Ms. Santana is currently vice president of Legislative Affairs at AT&T.

Tara A. Scanlon (2003)
Real Estate  |  Washington, D.C.

Christina Schwing (2012)
Litigation  |  Jacksonville, FL

Megan Schmid (2022)
Litigation  |  Houston, TX

Sarah Seedig (2022)
Corporate/Mergers and Acquisitions  |  Denver, CO

Ashley Shively (2020)
Litigation  |  San Francisco, CA

Tracy Slavens (2011)
Real Estate  |  Miami, FL

Ilana Strickon (2012)
Real Estate  |  Miami, FL

Marisa C. Terrenzi (2009)
Corporate/Mergers and Acquisitions  |  McLean, VA

Natalie P. Thomas (2008)
Litigation  |  Tampa, FL
Ms. Thomas is currently the Senior Associate General Counsel for Global Litigation at Jabil.

Vivian Thoreen (2010)
Business  |  Los Angeles, CA

Antonia Tzinova (2013)
Business  |  Washington, D.C.

Aymee Valdivia (2017)
Business  |  Miami, FL

Tara L. Vance (2008)
Corporate/Immigration  |  New York, NY

Christine Walz (2016)
Litigation  |  Washington, D.C.

Theresa Wanat (2018)
Litigation  |  Houston, TX

Stacey Wang (2014)
Litigation  |  Los Angeles, CA

Lisha Wheeler (2003)
Public Law  |  Washington, D.C.
Ms. Wheeler is currently commissioner at the Housing Authority of New Orleans.

Kwamina Thomas Williford (2008)
Litigation  |  Washington, D.C.

Kendall Wilson (2022)
Business  |  Tampa, FL

Melissa Wong (2019)
Healthcare  |  Boston, MA

Victoria Zerjav (2019)
Corporate  |  Stamford, CT 

Other former Rising Stars include: Robyn Axberg, Cindy Basham, Tamara Carmichael, Kelli A. Edson, Michele Sibley Gonzales, Demrie Graham, Patricia Harris, Claudia Hinsch, Ani Hovanessian, Lauren Jenkins, Paula Kirlin, Tamara Kolz, Robin Main, Esther L. Moreno, Christine Quigley, Heather Pinder Rodriguez, Erika Royal, Ann-Therese Schmid, Jennifer A. Short, Jane K.P. Tam and Angelique Waddell.