Forum of Alabama Businesswomen 2018 Newsletter, Volume I


We are excited to launch the first edition of the FAB Newsletter! The Women’s Initiative at Maynard Cooper endeavors to, among other things, recognize and celebrate women throughout the year. This newsletter will not only keep you updated on the activities, honors and initiatives of the women at Maynard Cooper, but we hope to also inspire you with stories of some incredible women.

FAB Luncheon & Panel Discussion

We hope you can join us for the 2018 Forum of Alabama Businesswomen Spring Luncheon & Panel Discussion on May 9th! The theme for 2018 is "Squad Goals: Building Your Best Network". Click here for more details and registration information.

Networking: Expert Tips from Former FAB Panelists

  • "When introduced to someone - look them in the eye, call them by name. Write a personal (not form) thank you note, real mail not email." - Tricia Kirk, President & CEO, The Exceptional Foundation
  • "No one, especially a woman, can succeed personally and professionally without an exceptional Team! Most important is your Home Team, made up of your spouse/partner, friends and talented helpers for your kids, home and life. Second, is your Work Team consisting of individuals in your organization and community network that help you win. Constantly ask yourself: Do I have all the positions on my Home and Work Team filled with A Players? Do I trust each player’s ability to execute our plays and exercise sound judgment when the game changes? If the answer is no to either, act quickly and swiftly to find a new teammate! If the answer is yes, recognize and reward those teammates so they realize how important and special they are to you and your continued success!" - Patricia Wallwork, CEO, Milos Tea
  • "I rarely - if ever - think about networking as a stand-alone activity. (In fact “networking” is not a word I use much at all.) Instead, I look forward to creating opportunities for conversation and spaces for the exchange of ideas, active listening and finding points of common interest. This is more stimulating, memorable, organic and fun. For me, that is what relationship building is all about." - Myla Calhoun, President, Alabama Power Foundation

Women's Initiative

The Maynard Cooper women are headed to TopGolf Birmingham for our 2018 half-day retreat! Organizational psychologists Julie McDonald and Lisa Graham with McDonald Graham, LLC, will be conducting an approximately three-hour leadership development workshop broken into two complementing segments: “Respect Your Personal Bandwidth” and “Flourish Through Strengths.” During the workshop participants will:

  1. Deepen their understanding of psychological obstacles that get in the way of productivity and life satisfaction;
  2. Recognize the benefits associated with harnessing their own resources to the fullest potential (rather than constantly comparing themselves to others or trying to prove themselves over and over);
  3. Identify their signature strengths and develop a process for more fully utilizing these elements in their lives, both at work and outside of work; and
  4. Learn how to operate within their personal bandwidth and utilize their strengths to create a more sustainable, effective, and productive work life.

The Women’s Initiative members will finish out the day with some friendly competition and socializing at TopGolf.

Attorney Spotlight

Sasha G. Rao | Partner | San Francisco

What types of clients do you represent?

In San Francisco and Silicon Valley, we are fortunate to be in the midst of a continuing boom in the tech sector that is revolutionizing traditional industries like financial services, aviation, hospitality, and even legal services. I represent clients on the leading edge of developments in areas such as FinTech (Square), personal aerial vehicles (A3 by Airbus), and the sharing economy (Airbnb), as well as more traditional tech clients like HP.

What type of matters do you work on most often?

The core of my practice has traditionally been patent litigation, which is still my bread and butter for clients like HP, Square and Hawaiian Telcom. But I also counsel clients on overall IP strategy and patent portfolio development for clients such as Square and Airbnb. More recently, I have broadened my focus to provide high level strategic legal advice to Silicon Valley start-ups. For example, since the departure of the general counsel last year, I’ve been serving as chief outside counsel to A3 by Airbus, the Silicon Valley branch of Airbus Group, and am responsible for high level strategic legal advice on the company’s new technology projects.

What previous experiences, prior to your work at Maynard, influence your practice?

I was born in India and came to the U.S. for the first time in 1990 to attend college at Randolph-Macon College – a small liberal arts school in Virginia. My parents sacrificed to send me to school in the U.S. I arrived alone, far from friends and family, with $40 in my pocket. It was a scary and challenging experience, but taught me to be both self-reliant and unafraid to accept help and kindness from others. I had tremendous support from the faculty and fellow students at Randolph-Macon, which continued after graduation when I went on to law school at NYU. With a background in the sciences I gravitated toward patent law and joined one of the oldest and most respected patent firms in the country, Fish & Neave, after graduation. Ed Bailey, now Of Counsel here at Maynard, was Managing Partner of Fish at the time and took me under his wing. Ed has been a great friend and mentor ever since.

What do you find most exciting about your work?

It's very exciting to be working at the cutting edge of new industries. As part of my role at A3, I’m handling legal issues relating to urban air mobility for Vahana, a self-piloted Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) passenger-carrying aircraft (called by some a “flying car"). A3 is a competitor in the race to get the first personal aerial vehicle into production and use, I am working closely with the company on legal and regulatory strategy for an industry that seems poised to revolutionize urban transportation as we know it. This is a very exciting project and I had the opportunity to attend the first test flight of the vehicle in January at an air base in Eastern Oregon!

What do you see on the horizon in your area of practice/trend in your industry?

We are entering an age where robotics and artificial intelligence are increasingly coming into play and will have a profound impact on how we live and work and do business. Self-driving cars. Personal air vehicles. Artificial Intelligence driven legal research. Revolutionary currencies and payment systems. It’s all happening. I see a great opportunity for Maynard to be part of it.

What do you like to do when you’re not working? How do you like to network with others? How are you involved in your community?

I don't really separate my work and social life. Many of my best friends are or have been clients or colleagues in the past. I live in a very lively and supportive community of peers. We have a lot of fun together – going out to dinner, attending concerts, even getting away from urban life and hiking when I have a chance.

Legal Update

The recent Cambridge Analytica/Facebook privacy scandal and the Equifax data breach have heightened concerns for business leaders who want to ensure that their companies do not end up in the headlines for the wrong reasons. There have been a number of recent updates to privacy and data security laws that impact companies across industries, and understanding these requirements is key to protecting a business’ reputation. Two Maynard Cooper attorneys, Starr Drum and Sarah Glover, presented an update on these privacy and cybersecurity regulations on behalf of the Women Lawyers Section of the Birmingham Bar Association on April 17, 2018 and they will provide another in-depth overview during the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Alabama State Bar on June 27-30, which will include information about Alabama's new data breach law. Sarah Glover is also presenting a live CLE webinar, "Practice Strategies for Mitigating Data-Breach Risk and Liability," on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. Click here to learn more.

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