Laureen E. Seeger, Carol Bellamy, and Yanki Tshering honored for community service leadership

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 10:43

On May 19, 2016, more than 400 leaders from the legal, financial, and nonprofit sectors will gather at Gotham Hall in Manhattan for Lawyers Alliance for New York’s 2016 Business Law & Leadership Gala.  This event is the largest annual charitable gathering of business and transactional lawyers committed to pro bono legal services for nonprofits that are strengthening New York City communities.
This year’s distinguished honorees are:
Laureen E. Seeger, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, American Express Company
Ms. Seeger leads American Express Company’s legal, compliance and ethics, corporate secretary, and federal and state government affairs departments.  She is a member of the company’s Operating Committee. Ms. Seeger and American Express Company have a longstanding commitment to strengthening nonprofits and communities through leadership development, community service, and advising nonprofits that support small businesses and economic development.  Her legal team shares the conviction that nonprofits, and those who lead them, are an essential element for positive change in underserved communities. For more than ten years, American Express has worked with Lawyers Alliance to provide high quality pro bono legal services to multiple nonprofits that benefit children, families, new immigrants, and other low-income New Yorkers.  Recently, volunteers from the American Express legal department conducted “Understanding Contracts: A Nonprofit Hands-On Clinic with Legal Practitioners,” for Lawyers Alliance nonprofit clients. American Express regularly encourages employees to participate in its Serve2Gether Consulting initiative, whereby teams of employees provide pro bono consulting to nonprofits to build the organizations’ marketing, technology, and strategic capabilities.  Ms. Seeger has extensive corporate and law firm experience.  She serves on the Board of FTI Consulting Inc.  She is a former member of the Board of the California Chamber of Commerce and of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, and is a former Board Chair of the Bay Area American Heart Association.
Carol Bellamy, Former Executive Director, UNICEF
Ms. Bellamy has had a distinguished career in the public and private sector.  She is currently Chair of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund Board of Directors and served ten years as the Executive Director of UNICEF.  In 1969, she helped found the Council of New York Law Associates (Lawyers Alliance's original name), and was a member of the Steering Committee from 1969 to 1972, and the organization’s first Treasurer. Ms. Bellamy currently serves on Lawyers Alliance's Board of Advisors, providing continued input on organizational strategy.  Ms. Bellamy also served as the Chair of the Global Partnership for Education, President and CEO of World Learning, and Director of Peace Corps.  She worked in the private sector at Bear, Stearns & Co., Morgan Stanley, and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.  Ms. Bellamy spent 13 years as a public official, including five years in the New York State Senate.  In 1978, she became the first woman elected to citywide office in New York City when she was voted President of the New York City Council, a position she held until 1985.
Yanki Tshering, Executive Director, Business Center for New Americans
As founder and Executive Director of Business Center for New Americans (BCNA), Ms. Tshering has developed and implemented economic development programs in New York City for more than 20 years.  BCNA was formed with a $15,000 grant from the American Express Foundation to start a program to provide advice to refugees interested in starting businesses.  Lawyers Alliance staff and volunteer attorneys have provided BCNA with pro bono legal services on 14 separate matters over the past seven years.  BCNA has received national recognition for its creative and practical asset development programs for low- to moderate-income refugees and immigrants in New York City.  BCNA has made over $15 million in micro-loans to date and over 1,500 refugees and their families have graduated from the Center’s Individual Development Program for Refugees, investing over $24 million in assets such as home ownership and small businesses.  Ms. Tshering is also a Board member of Credit Builders Alliance. 
Aric Press, Partner, Bernero & Press, will serve as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies for the third year.  Mr. Press has a wealth of experience in the media covering the business of law.  In 2015, after serving as Editor-in-Chief of ALM, he formed Bernero & Press, a consulting company dealing with client feedback and strategic positioning for law firms and legal departments.
Lawyers Alliance Board Chair Ariel J. Deckelbaum states, “This year’s Business Law & Leadership honorees demonstrate a strong commitment to those in need.  Laureen, Carol, and Yanki and their respective organizations have spent years working to improve our communities.  These efforts, along with those of Lawyers Alliance’s volunteer attorneys, illustrate a dedication that translates into a direct impact on those served by nonprofit organizations.”
For event details, visit

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