Member Spotlight

WHF is pleased to feature the WHF Member Spotlight. Each month we will feature a different WHF member.


WHF Member Spotlight – September 2020
Partner, Chair, Financial Services Practice, Venable LLP


Washington, D.C.

What do you love most about what you do? 
I love helping my clients solve their most difficult problems, figure out interesting ways to solve those problems and to manage risk as they grow and develop new business lines, products and services.  I also really love going to trial and arguing appeals. 

I have been a runner since high school, so that must count as a hobby.  I love to cook.  I love theater and live music (when there isn’t a pandemic). I also love to travel and I love planning my vacations.

How long have you been a member of WHF?
I have been a WHF member for more than 7 years.

Please describe your involvement with WHF.
I have had the good fortune of sitting on the WHF Foundation Board for the last two years. 

What have you gained from being a member?
I have met interesting, dynamic and smart financial services professionals in D.C.  I also have really enjoyed being a member of an organization with a mission of empowering women in the financial services world (not to the exclusion of men, of course!).

How do you make the best use of your day? (think techniques to enhance productivity, time management, time out, meditation/prayer, etc.)
My mornings set the tone for the rest of my day:  My two young sons wake me up each day when I am not on the road traveling.  Their wake-up calls are the best possible way to start the day – a way to count blessings, practice gratitude and remember what matters most.  I then read work emails, make a mental list of what I must accomplish that day, make scrambled eggs for my family, coffee for me and my husband, and then, go on a run a few times a week.  

Who or what inspires you?
My mother inspires me.  She has been an investment broker my entire life, and she was among the first women of her generation to work in finance. 

When I was a young girl, my mother taught me what all girls need to know:  how to understand the markets, which used to involve reading newspaper listings of stock prices (before the Internet). 

And it wasn’t until I was much older – in college really – that I realized how my mom had inspired me to be my own person.  She had a job that most mom’s didn’t have in the 1970’s and 1980’s when I was growing up.  I have watched my mother have this amazing career in financial services, which she has found to be tremendously engaging.  But she also has been an amazing mom.  More than anyone I know:  she has inspired me to have an intense career that I really love but also to balance that with being a mother to two wonderful little boys. 

My mom’s life lessons that I carry with me:  First, your family is always first, no matter what.  Second, love what you do and it will never feel like work.  Three, women should always understand money and control their financial lives. 

What is the best advice you have ever received?
A few things, really: 1.  Take people as you find them.  2.  If you can be anything, be kind.  3.  How someone treats you when that person doesn’t think you can help them is a measure of that person’s integrity.    



August 2020 - Katie Wechsler, Partner, Barnett Sivon & Natter, P.C. and Of Counsel, Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP.

June 2020 - Sydney Garmong, Partner in Charge of Regulatory Matters & Office Managing Partner, Crowe LLP

April 2020 - Donna Howell, SVP, Customer Success, Ampcus

March 2020 - Julia Tishman, Director, Federal Government Relations, TIAA

February 2020 - Tim McTaggart, General Counsel, Forethought Advisors LLC & Partner, McTaggart Law Office 

January 2020 - Elizabeth M. Young LaBerge, Senior Regulatory Compliance Counsel at the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU)

November 2019 - Peggy Twohig, Assistant Director for Supervision Policy, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 

October 2019 - Peter Judge, Manager of Government Relations, Crowe LLP

September 2019 - Kris Kully, Partner, Mayer Brown 

July 2019 - Kristin McGovern, Managing Director, Fannie Mae

June 2019 - Jenny Menna, Senior Vice President, Business Security Solutions, U.S. Bank

May 2019 - Nancy Weissgold, Partner and Co-Leader of the Consumer Finance Team, Alston & Bird, LLP

April 2019 - Chastity Abrom, Mortgage-Backed Securities Specialist, Ginnie Mae, Office of Securities Operations

March 2019 - Gisele Roget, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Single Family Housing, Federal Housing Administration

February 2019 - Monda Raquel Webb, Consultant, Monda Media LLC 

January 2019 - Jonice Gray Tucker, Partner, Buckley Sandler LLP 

December 2018 - Alma Angotti, Navigant, Managing Director, Co-Head of Global Investigations and Compliance

November 2018 - Michele Lieber, President, BluePoint DC

October 2018 - Dionne Joemah, Deputy General Counsel, District of Columbia Department of Housing and Community Development

September 2018 - Lindsey Johnson, President, U.S. Mortgage Insurers (USMI)

August 2018 - Bernadette Kogler, Co-founder & CEO, RiskSpan; Co-founder, SmartLink Lab

July 2018 - Lawrence Kaplan, Chair, Bank Regulatory Practice, Paul Hastings LLP

April 2018 - Dina Ellis Rochkind, Of Counsel, Paul Hastings LLP

March 2018 - Marti Tirinnanzi, President and CEO, Financial Standards, Inc.

February 2018 - Janis Smith, Board of Governors, National Housing Conference

November 2017 - Mary Pat Denney, Managing Director, Risk Initiative Vertical, The Oakleaf Group

September 2017 - Joanna Girardin Shapiro, Managing Director, Global Client Management, Bank of New York Mellon

July 2017 - Mary Martha Fortney, President, The Fortney Group

June 2017 - Kris Kully, Partner, Mayer Brown

May 2017 - Lee Ann Hoover, Financial Services Advisory and Compliance, Navigant Inc.

April 2017 - Faith Arnold Schwartz, Chairman, HLP, Principal, HFSS, LLC, Advisor to Accenture Credit Services

March 2017 - Debbie Matz, Board Member, Mutual of Omaha Bank; Advisory Board OpenDoor Trading LLP