State Bar Association Announces 2022-2023 Leadership Academy Scholars




The New Jersey State Bar Association is proud to announce a class of talented fellows for its 2022-2023 Leadership Academy.

The academy, which kicks off this month, offers a year of programming that helps fellows develop their leadership skills. The program includes a wide range of courses on topics such as improving communication skills, the legislative process, public sector law, issues facing the profession, New Jersey’s business landscape, and more.

The 18 Fellows selected for this year represent an accomplished assemblage of lawyers, spanning diverse areas of practice in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Jeralyn Lawrence. (File photo)

“I was thrilled to be part of this year’s Scholars selection committee, and I can honestly say that I was amazed by the depth and breadth of talent and experiences of the nominees,” said the President. of the NJSBA, Jeralyn Lawrence. “I am thrilled that the next generation of leaders in the profession will benefit from the invaluable career planning, networking and training experiences that the Leadership Academy will provide. »

The class is scheduled to graduate in May at the NJSBA’s annual meeting and convention in Atlantic City.

The 2022-2023 NJSBA Leadership Academy Scholars are:

  • Christophe Asakiewicz, Director of Ethics, Risk and Compliance at Novartis. Asakiewicz has held positions in the healthcare industry through various aspects of laboratory science development, clinical trials and portfolio strategy.
  • Michael Burke, Assistant District Attorney for the Essex County District Attorney’s Office. Since 2016, Burke has tried more than 10 jury trials involving violent crimes. He also has experience prosecuting federal cases, having worked as a special assistant US attorney for the US Department of Justice in Newark.
  • Como Diamantis, Director of Community Development for the Township of Cherry Hill. In this role, Diamantis oversees all functions related to the implementation of the township’s master plan, the review and processing of all municipal development applications to planning and zoning boards.
  • Samantha Diorio, partner at Connell Foley LLP. Diorio focuses his practice on commercial litigation, including aviation, premises liability, construction accidents and toxic torts. Diorio also has experience in commercial bankruptcy cases and has appeared in state and federal courts in New York and New Jersey.
  • Veronique Finkelstein, Assistant US Attorney at the US Department of Justice in Philadelphia. Finkelstein handles a variety of affirmative and defensive civil cases, as well as criminal child exploitation cases. She has tried numerous civil cases through to defense verdicts, including torts, labor law, and medical malpractice cases.
  • Aiyana Goldberg, Partner in the Real Estate, Development and Land Use Group of Chiesa, Shahinian & Giantomasi. She focuses her practice on real estate, land use and related transactional matters. She has represented developers, real estate investment trusts and several other private companies in connection with acquisitions and dispositions of commercial real estate, including development, leasing and financing transactions.
  • J. Christopher Henschel, an associate of Connell Foley. Henschel represents companies and individuals in high-stakes litigation in a variety of forums. He also represents national and international insurance companies regarding insurance coverage.
  • Chelsea Jasnoff, partner at Chiesa, Shahinian & Giantomasi. Jasnoff practices complex commercial litigation, including shareholder disputes, contractual matters, commercial torts and commercial real estate litigation. She has experience defending public and private employers against wages and hours, discrimination and wrongful dismissal claims.
  • Sonia Johnson, a private attorney working as a pool attorney with the Office of the Public Defender. Johnson has been in private practice and has worked as a pool attorney with the Office of the Public Defender, representing parents in child protection cases, since 2016. She has also represented parents of children with disabilities in education cases. special in Burlington and Mercer counties.
  • Alexandra Kilduff, a New Jersey program staff attorney from the Pro Bono Partnership legal services organization. Kilduff represents a wide range of nonprofit clients. Prior to joining Pro Bono Partnership, she was in private practice specializing in commercial and construction litigation and corporate governance.
  • Andre Marin, partner at Gibbons. Marino’s practice includes a diverse set of complex commercial and criminal litigation before federal and state courts in New Jersey and New York. He has experience drafting landmark motions, conducting legal research and overseeing discovery. He has also participated in government investigations.
  • Elisabeth Matecki, counsel to iCIMS, a technology company based in Holmdel. Matecki’s role supports various areas of the business, including commercial contracts, customer and supplier negotiations, product development and operations. Prior to joining iCIMS, she began her legal career as a civil attorney at McOmber, McOmber & Luber PC
  • Telge Peiris, assistant attorney general of the Banking and Insurance Section of the Law Division of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office. As Deputy Attorney General, Peiris is a defender of justice and is fully committed to protecting the real estate, banking and insurance industries from unscrupulous actors.
  • Na Sheena Porter, Assistant Attorney General in the Insurance Fraud Attorney’s Office. Prior to serving in the Attorney General’s Office, Porter was an Assistant Attorney and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at the Union County Attorney’s Office. In this capacity, she prosecuted criminal cases in the Special Victims, Appeals, Domestic Violence and Trial Team units.
  • Michel Rolek, partner at Connell Foley. Rolek is a versatile lawyer at Connell Foley LLP, who focuses his practice on commercial litigation and corporate and business law. As a litigator, he has represented a wide range of clients in state courts, federal courts, and arbitrations across the county. Its clients include asset management companies, commercial and residential real estate developers, general contractors, insurers, national non-profit organizations, public entities and high net worth individuals.
  • Alexa Salcito, partner at Connell Foley. Salcito represents and advises clients in a variety of business and employment disputes, insurance coverage matters and white collar crime investigations. She is an established litigator with extensive experience in all aspects of the litigation process, from pre-suit through the conclusion of the discovery phase.
  • Iman Wells, a partner of Nukk-Freeman & Cerra. Wells focuses her practice on executive-side employment litigation and counsel. She defends employers in state and federal courts and regularly advises employers on a wide range of employment law issues, and provides training on anti-discrimination/harassment, unconscious bias, and honest employee conduct. employees.
  • renada williams, associate general counsel of the Vitamin Shoppe. Williams provides advice and guidance to The Vitamin Shoppe’s marketing, human resources and private label business partners. She also manages the trademark portfolio, commercial contracts and litigation across the company.






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