“I went in house so I could capture that experience, to be part of a team that was accomplishing something real and valuable in the world,” Paul Abel, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary for Suburban Propane, said as he accepted the 2019 NJBIZ General Counsel of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award.
Speaking Wednesday at the annual award ceremony at the DoubleTree by Hilton Somerset Hotel, Abel touched on a theme that stretched throughout the program, which honors in-house counsel and chief legal officers for their personal accomplishments and contributions to their companies, communities and the legal profession.
Six additional attorneys were presented with awards at the event:
Health Care Organization – Audrey Murphy, executive vice president, chief legal officer, operations, Hackensack Meridian Health
Nonprofit or Government Organization – John Hoffman, senior vice president and general counsel, Rutgers University
Public Company – Jay Kooper, vice president, general counsel and secretary, Middlesex Water Co.
Private Company with Revenues up to $500 million – Tamara Barnes, vice president, general counsel and secretary, Mathematica
Private Company with Revenues over $500 million – Cyndi Bleier, senior vice president and general counsel, Amboy Bank
Rising Star – July Wong, general counsel, corporate, Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corp.
Following a nomination process, submissions were reviewed and scored by a panel of independent judges, including Catherine Kiernan, vice president and general counsel, Seton Hall University; David Mebane, executive vice president and general counsel, RWJ Barnabas Health Inc.; Brenda Stafford, chief business officer, Total Media Authority; and Melissa Wheatcroft, general counsel, Rowan University.
This year’s presentation was supported by major sponsors Archer & Greiner, Gibbons PC and K&L Gates LLP. Supporting sponsors included Cobblestone Software, Connell Foley, Insmed, Kennedys CMK and Princeton Legal Search Group LLC.
A full supplement to the event, with more information about all the 2019 winners and honorees, will be included in the June 3 issue of NJBIZ.