Insider Most Commented: Wechsler out as part of wholesale leadership shake-up

As part of an extraordinarily ill-timed leadership shake-up, ILTA, led by newly-appointed CEO Dan Liutikas has exited long term programme director Peggy Wechsler with now just a week to go before the organisation’s flagship annual conference, leaving many vendors and ILTA aficionados seething.

Others exited as part of the shake-up are conference lead and former ILTA IT director Clay Gibney, as well as director of learning Deb Himsel.

Legal IT Insider last week on two occasions contacted Liutikas, who has been dealing with press enquiries direct, for comment on the departures – on Wednesday 2 August over LinkedIn and on Friday 4 August over email – and received no response. However, at 23.45 on Friday GMT, we received a widely-distributed press release announcing a newly-elected board of directors and an executive leadership change, which is listed in full below.

We learned of the exits of Wechsler, Gibney and Himsel early last week, after a well-known legal industry expert contacted us saying: “Don’t know if you guys are in the loop but there are some seriously upset dedicated ILTA geeks. The new CEO, Dan, has cleared house. They fired some long-time ILTA people, including Peggy Wechsler, and people are pissed. There is no communication going on (other than on Facebook and in other private forums).”

In later email correspondence, he added: “I think it’s the complete lack of communication and timing that are adding some serious insult to injury.”

Wechsler has worked at ILTA since 1998 and for many has long been the face of the volunteer-led networking organisation. Those discussing her exit in the run up to ILTACON in Vegas assume it is either the result of a lack of understanding of the regard with which she is held in the market or of a fall-out of old guard versus new behind the scenes.

Liutikas was appointed to CEO in March 2017, taking over from Randy Mayes, with a mandate to drive change. Most recently, he served as the chief legal officer and corporate secretary of CompTIA and during his tenure, CompTIA’s legal department was recognised by Inside Counsel magazine as one of the most innovative adopters of technology for legal efficiency in the United States.

At the time of his appointment, then ILTA president Meredith Williams – who has been replaced by Angela Dowd (see below) – said: “Dan has a strong track-record of innovative thought, program development and driving strategies to benefit members and the industry. We are delighted he will be leading ILTA into the next leadership evolution.”

Legal IT Insider has still not been contacted in response to our request for comment. We spoke last week (4 August) to ILTA press officer Kristy Cole, who said that Liutikas has been dealing directly with press enquiries direct and at the time was not briefed on the leadership shake up.

The new board and executive leadership are as follows:

Angela Dowd, President:

Director of Practice Innovation at Burns & Levinson, LLP, Angela has volunteered with ILTA for 10 years. She is continuing on ILTA’s Board of Directors after serving as Secretary from 2015-2017

Chris Boyd, Executive Vice President:

Chris is the Senior Director of Professional Services at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC and has volunteered with ILTA for 11 years. Recently he has served as one of ILTA’s Knowledge Advisors.

Catherine Monte, Treasurer:

Catherine is the Chief Knowledge Officer at Fox Rothschild LLP and has volunteered for ILTA for about 13 years. Recently she has served as a Co-Chair of the Women Who Lead affinity group and the Strategic Relationship Liaison with Thomson Reuters Practice of Law.

Ginevra Saylor, Secretary:

Ginevra is the National Director of Knowledge Management, Dentons and has volunteered with ILTA for about 15 years. She has been actively volunteering in many capacities with ILTA recently including as ILTA KM White Paper coordinator and 2017 Conference Committee member.

Kate Cain, Director at Large:

Kate is the Director of Market Intelligence at Sidley Austin LLP and is a longtime ILTA volunteer. She is continuing on ILTA’s Board of Directors after serving as Executive Vice President from 2015-2017.

Rick Krzyminski, Director at Large:

Rick is the Knowledge Management Director at Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz and has volunteered with ILTA for 10 years. Recently he has served as ILTACON Committee Co-Chair in 2015 and 2016.

Skip Lohmeyer, Director at Large:

Skip is the Chief Information Officer at Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP and is a longtime ILTA volunteer. He is continuing on ILTA’s Board of Directors after serving as Treasurer from 2015-17.

Executive leadership

TJ Johnson, an ILTA veteran, has been promoted to Vice President of Events and Conferences “to provide strategic vision in continuing to build best-in-class events for our members.”

Susan McClellan has been promoted to Director of Membership “focusing her attention on creating consistent engagement at various touchpoints with each of our member segments to ensure we are providing exceptional value and a tremendous membership experience.”

Corey Simpson has been appointed Chief Technology Officer “focused on ensuring that ILTA’s technology platforms support deep member engagement, collaboration and content consumption.”

Jason Stookey has been appointed Vice President of Partner Development “where he assumes responsibility for developing and expanding relationships with ILTA’s business partners.”