The unique design of our Rising Stars® 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 Stars® – 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.

The Rising Stars program was an incredible experience for me. Not only did I meet amazing women and create friendships with colleagues I may never have met otherwise, but they helped me build my confidence in business development. In fact, this week I implemented the first part of my business development plan that I prepared during my time in the program. I think the confidence I gained from participating in Rising Stars helped me put business development ideas into action. I am starting to realize that the Rising Stars network extends beyond the one formal year, so I really look forward to continuing building relationships with fellow Rising Stars.

- Partner Claudia Hinsch (Class of 2018)

Class of 2020

Renee I. Covitt
Renee Covitt 
New York City 

Allison S. Dyer
Allison Dyer

 Kerry L. Halpern
Kerry Halpern 

 Valarie M. Ney
Valarie Ney

 Rebecca M. Plasencia
Rebecca Plasencia

 Lara M. Rios
Lara Rios

Ashley Shively
San Francisco


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 

Cynthia Burnside (2012)
Litigation  |  Atlanta, GA

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

Susan Eichler Edlein (2006)
Litigation  |  Atlanta, GA
Ms. Edlein was appointed as a Judge to the State Court of Fulton County (Georgia) in 2008.

Jessica Early (2017)
Litigation  |  Boston, MA

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

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

Annie Gamez (2017)
Litigation  |  Miami, FL 

Steffanie Garrett (2012)
Litigation  |  Chicago, IL
Ms. Garrett joined as a consulting attorney for the United Nations in the Khmer Rouge investigations and trials in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Christine Gay (2016)
Litigation  |  Miami, FL

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

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

Shannon Hartsfield (2003)
Healthcare  |  Tallahassee, FL

Claudia Hinsch (2018)
Corporate  |  Tysons, VA

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

Naomi F. Katz (2008)
Labor and Employment  |  Chicago, IL
Ms. Katz joined Bridgestone Retail Operations as in-house counsel in 2009.

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

Joanie Kim (2004)
Public Companies and Securities  |  Seattle, WA
Ms. Kim joined Nintendo as in-house counsel in 2006.

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

Colleen Leonard (2011)
Real Estate  |  San Francisco, CA
Ms. Leonard joined Apple as in-house counsel in 2013.

Chelsea Maclean (2013)
Government  |  San Francisco, CA

Jennifer A. "Jenn" Mansfield (2009)
Litigation  |  Jacksonville, 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 (2007)
Litigation  |  Boston, MA
Ms. Mitchell joined Smith&Nephew as a litigation & investigations senior counsel in 2017.

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

Jennifer Oosterbaan (2004)
Litigation  |  Chicago, IL
Ms. Oosterbaan joined Abbott Labs as in-house counsel in 2006.

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

Sarah Passeri (2016)
Litigation  |  New York, NY

Christin Petroski (2016)
Business  |  Orlando, FL

Ashley Plemons (2018)
Corporate  |  Atlanta, GA

Danielle Price (2011)
Business  |  Miami, FL

Trisha Rich (2014)
Litigation  |  Chicago, IL

Erika Royal (2007)
Labor and Employment  |  Fort Lauderdale, FL

Susan Santana (2004)
Government  |  Washington, D.C.
Ms. Santana joined AT&T as in-house counsel in 2005.

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

Christina Schwing (2012)
Litigation  |  Jacksonville, FL

Jennifer A. Short (2005)
Litigation  |  McLean, VA
In 2010, Ms. Short became an Assistant U.S. Attorney.

Tracy Slavens (2011)
Real Estate  |  Miami, FL

Ilana Strickon (2012)
Real Estate  |  Miami, FL

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

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 joined Fannie Mae as in-house counsel in 2004. 

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

Melissa Wong (2019)
Corporate  |  Boston, MA

Victoria Zerjav (2019) 
Corporate  |  Stamford, CT 

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