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The Talent behind The Remix: Meet the 2021 PDC Summer Conference Planning Committee

June 23, 2021

By Christelle Dorcil

It's January 2021 and the world remains in the throes of a global pandemic.  You're reeling from a recent assault on the nation's capital and wondering what it means for the upcoming inauguration of a new President. Between reeling and wondering, you've just returned to work after a holiday season where you may not have been able to celebrate with loved ones or carry out time-honored traditions. It barely feels like you had a break because you're dealing with law students unsure how to navigate another virtual semester, onboarding new associates at an unusual time or trying to keep the wheels of state government running smoothly – all while being asked to remain at home.  Perhaps you're growing lonely from a year of isolation or secretly wishing for a single moment apart from your housemates.  Amidst all of this, another email arrives, or maybe it's a phone call. Regardless, it is another request of you – "Hello there, would you be willing to donate your time, energy, enthusiasm and creativity over the next six months to planning a conference? We have no idea whether it will be virtual, hybrid or in-person, in a state where you do not reside." How do you respond?
If your gut reaction was to fling your imagined device across the room, I don't blame you at all. However, if a part of you, however tiny, felt the urge to respond in the affirmative, then you understand the commitment to our community that fuels every member of this year's PDC Summer Conference planning committee.  They were all faced with the circumstances above when asked to serve and yet willingly took on another challenge in a season full of unprecedented challenges. 
It's easy to casually glance over a conference agenda and forget that it is a reflection of months of work put in by your colleagues, with the unyielding support of Becca Sechrist and other members of the PDC administrative team. Since January, the PDC members listed below have volunteered their "spare" time to review proposals, liaise with speakers, attend extra Zoom meetings and otherwise work diligently to organize a virtual conference experience that is worthy of your time and investment.  This year's conference programming reflects the decades and diversity of PD experience they bring to the planning process, as well as a glimpse into their creative capabilities. Your decision to register for this year's conference isn't just the best professional investment you'll make this summer, it's also a vote of confidence and recognition of their hard work.
I am honored to introduce you to the 2021 PDC Summer Conference planning committee:


Christelle Dorcil (Chair)                                                                                       Don Smith (Board Liaison)
Global Manager of Associate Engagement                                                       Chief Talent & Inclusion Officer
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (New York)                               Crowell & Moring LLP (Washington, D.C.)

Andrea Yang                                                                                                                         Kelly Druten Green
Associate Director of Career Development                                                       Director, Professional Development
Pepperdine University School of Law (California)                                          Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. (Missouri)

Cristina Arceo                                                                                                                     Justine Lewis
Senior Manager, Professional Development                                                   Senior Manager, Professional Personnel and Compliance
Dentons (New York)                                                                                               Dykema (Illinois)

Laurie Lyte                                                                                                                             Reva Pollack​ 
Director, Professional Development & Planning                                              Director of Attorney Development
Office of Attorney General for State of Maryland (Maryland)                     Ice Miller LLP (Ohio)

Stephanie Felder                                                                                                                Tamesha Keel
Director of Attorney Training and Professional Development                     Manager of Talent Development & Diversity
McGuireWoods LLP (Virginia)                                                                              Stoel Rives LLP (Oregon)

Kimberly Zafran
Senior Professional Development Manager
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (New York) 


As chair of the committee, I am continuously humbled and inspired by this group's collective enthusiasm and determination to make this conference the best that it can be. They have given me a master class in relentless optimism and put together a "Remix" of programs that you will definitely want to catch live and (for the first time in PDC Summer Conference history) replay on-demand! 

Feel free to reach out to any member of the planning committee with conference-related questions or find us on LinkedIn and PDC Connect -we look forward to welcoming you to the 2021 PDC Summer Conference.