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Stephanie N. Willson Receives 2014 PDC Richard Pearson Award


PDC Media Contact: Amy Lotz
(703) 506-2027 |

December 4, 2014 (McLean, VA) The Professional Development Consortium (PDC) is pleased to announce the first recipient of the PDC Richard Pearson Award, Stephanie N. Willson, BA, LL.B, CHRP

Chief Professional Resources Officer, McCarthy Tétrault LLP. This award was established this fall in memory of Richard Pearson, long-time PDC member and stalwart in the legal professional development community. The award was presented yesterday at the 2014 PDC Winter Meeting held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC.

Richard, whose previous positions included serving as Chief Learning & Development Officer at Davis Wright & Tremaine LLP in Seattle, died suddenly last March while rowing, one of his passions. Richard left behind an impressive legacy of innovation and collaboration as a legal PD professional and leader. He served on the PDC Board from 2011 through 13.

The inaugural award recognizes Willson, a long-standing PDC member, who exemplifies the wonderful qualities that Richard brought to the PDC: an innovative spirit, a demonstrated commitment to teaching and mentoring, and a passionate, life-long love of learning. As Chief Professional Resources Officer at McCarthy Tetrault in Toronto, Stephanie has introduced cutting-edge systems and approaches to talent management and education. She works beyond the walls of her office within Canada. Just this year, she was one of only three women of the Canadian Bar Association Futures Team which issued a report with 22 recommendations focused on legal education.

Stephanie is a frequent speaker, including at the Justicia Symposium of the Law Society of Upper Canada in Toronto and at last summer’s PDC Conference in Montreal. In addition to her CHRP, Stephanie has completed her certificate in Organization Development at Queen’s University’s School of Industrial Relations and the Human Capital Strategist designation though the Human Capital Institute.

“We’re so pleased that the PDC created this award to celebrate Richard’s lasting legacy within our profession. At the same time, we’re delighted to honor Stephanie for her admirable (and prolific!) accomplishments and contributions,” said James Lovelace, PDC Chair.

“It is humbling to be honored by my colleagues at the PDC, given the wonderful work of so many in the organization who advance talent development in law firms. Helping people to reach their potential is a genuine passion. I am inspired by this vibrant community of colleagues and I’m fortunate to work at a firm that embraces innovation and am grateful for an amazing team,” said Stephanie Willson. For more information about PDC, Richard Pearson, or Stephanie Willson, please contact Amy Lotz, CAE, PDC Executive Director, at or 703-506-2027.

About the Professional Development Consortium (PDC):
The PDC is a group of individuals working at law firms, law schools, government agencies and corporations who are responsible for creating and managing training and continuing professional development for lawyers and future lawyers. For more information, visit