40th Gala Honorees

Jurist of the Year – Hon. Rowan D. Wilson

Hon. Rowan D. Wilson

Rowan D. Wilson, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, was born in Pomona, California in 1960, and grew up in Berkeley, California. He received his A.B. degree from Harvard College in 1981, and his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1984. He was admitted to the bar of the State of California in 1985, and the bar of the State of New York in 1987. From 1984 to 1986, he served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable James R. Browning, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco, California.

In 1986, he joined the firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York City as an associate, and was elected to partnership there in 1991, in which position he continued until February 2017. On January 15, 2017, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo nominated Judge Wilson to serve as an Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals, and the New York State Senate confirmed his nomination on February 6, 2017. On April 10, 2023, Governor Kathy Hochul nominated Judge Wilson to serve as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and the State of New York. The New York Senate confirmed his nomination on April 18, 2023. While in private practice, Judge Wilson served on the boards of several charitable and not-for-profit organizations and handled numerous pro bono matters.

Public Servant of the Year – Hon. Sylvia Hinds-Radix

Hon. Sylvia Hinds-Radix

Honorable Sylvia Hinds-Radix was appointed as the 81st Corporation Counsel of the City of New York on February 25, 2022.  In this role, she is the attorney for the City of New York, the Mayor, the City Council and all City agencies – both Mayoral and non-Mayoral.  Prior to her appointment as Corporation Counsel, Honorable Hinds-Radix served as an Associate Justice of the NYS Appellate Division, Second Department from 2012.  In December of 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo designated Justice Hinds-Radix as a member of the NYS Constitutional Bench.  Before joining the Appellate Division, she served as Administrative Judge for Civil Matters in the Second Judicial District for three and a half years.  In her capacity as Administrative Judge, Justice Hinds-Radix oversaw both the New York State Supreme Court, Civil Term and the New York City Civil Court, which also encompasses the Housing Court of the City of New York.  Justice Hinds-Radix was elected to the Supreme Court, Kings County in November of 2004 and served as a New York City Civil Court Judge, from 2002 through 2004, spending her first year in the Criminal Court of Kings County.  Read full bio.

Trailblazer of the Year – Breon S. Peace

Breon S. Peace

Breon Peace, appointed by President Joseph Biden, is the 48th United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.  As U.S. Attorney, Mr. Peace leads an office that is responsible for all federal criminal and civil cases in a district comprised of more than 8 million people in the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, and in Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island.  Mr. Peace now supervises a staff of approximately 160 Assistant United States Attorneys and 120 professional staff.  In October 2023, Mr. Peace was appointed to serve on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC) which advises the Attorney General on matters of policy, procedure, and management impacting the Offices of the U.S. Attorneys. Additionally, Mr. Peace also serves as the Chairperson of the White Collar Fraud subcommittee for the AGAC, playing a key role in making recommendations to the AGAC to facilitate the prevention, investigation and prosecution of various financially motivated, non-violent crimes including mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, health care fraud, tax fraud, securities and commodities fraud, and identity theft. Read full bio.

Trailblazer of the Year – Damian Williams

Damian Williams

Damian Williams is the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.  Nominated by President Biden in August 2021 and confirmed by the United States Senate in October 2021, Mr. Williams is the chief federal law enforcement officer for the District, which was established in 1789 and encompasses the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx in New York City, along with Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, and Westchester counties.

As United States Attorney, Mr. Williams supervises the investigation and prosecution of all federal crimes and the litigation of all civil matters in which the United States has an interest.  He leads a staff of approximately 450 lawyers, special agents, paralegals and other support professionals.  Mr. Williams also serves as Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC), a select group of United States Attorneys who advise the Attorney General on matters of policy, procedure, and management. Read full bio.

Corporate Counsel of the Year – LaTanya Langley

LaTanya Langley

LaTanya Langley serves as the Chief People and Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary at Edgewell Personal Care, where she leads the Human Resources and Legal functions. In this capacity, she is responsible for overseeing the company’s litigation and disputes, intellectual property, contracting, compliance program, and providing legal counsel relating to all regulatory, sales and marketing. As the head of the global HR function, she leads a strategic agenda that supports the company’s global employees by driving growth, building, and developing capabilities, leading through change, nurturing culture, and delivering innovative people solutions.

LaTanya has a proven track record as a dynamic team leader and brings more than 20 years of experience and considerable depth in global consumer goods to Edgewell. Most recently, she served as General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Compliance Officer of BIC® Corp. In that role, she led a team with global responsibility for legal strategy and execution, in addition to global transactions including complex litigation management, human resources/employee relations, crisis management, commercial transactions, compliance and corporate governance. Read full bio.

Private Practitioner of the Year – Patrick Michel

Patrick Michel

Patrick Michel is a partner in the Investment Funds group. Patrick has a wide range of experience advising investment managers and advisers of a variety of investment funds, including real estate funds, private equity funds, and hedge funds, as well as on commercial and regulatory issues. He has represented limited partners in connection with their investments in real estate funds, private equity funds, and hedge funds. He also has experience in co-investment transactions, secondary transactions, private equity investments, finance transactions, and real estate acquisitions.

Patrick regularly acts as counsel to corporate, tax-exempt, pension fund, and sovereign institutional investors in connection with their investments in investment vehicles and co-investments with sponsors. Read Full Bio.

40th Anniversary Impact Award – Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is a premier firm of more than 1,000 lawyers with diverse backgrounds, personalities, ideas and interests who provide innovative and effective solutions to our clients’ most complex legal and business challenges. The firm represents many of the world’s largest and most important public and private corporations, asset managers and financial institutions, as well as clients in need of pro bono assistance.

Paul, Weiss is widely recognized as having market-leading practices in public M&A, private equity, litigation, white-collar & regulatory defense, and restructuring, along with equally strong practices in executive compensation, intellectual property, personal representation, real estate and tax law.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Darrell S. Gay

Darrell S. Gay

Darrell focuses on assisting his clients with compliance with national and local labor and employment laws and the institution of management best practices to avoid operational problems proactively. With the workforce world changing dramatically during the pandemic and the ever-evolving use of technology and remote work, Darrell assists his clients with navigating the legal and operational requirements due to these changes. Darrell has developed and provided client unique training to the management teams of his clients on issues ranging from “Management Techniques – Enhancing Employee Performance,” “Conducting Internal Investigations,” “Navigating Leave Laws,” and “Sexual Harassment Training.” He has also worked with his clients to ensure they have the proper personnel policies to satisfy statutory requirements and best practice management standards.

On behalf of management, Darrell handles employee-related issues, discrimination matters, traditional labor and management relations, diversity, workplace training, privacy, restrictive covenants, wage and hour, and issues related to international labor and employment concerns. In addition, Darrell is frequently called upon to conduct high-profile and sensitive internal investigations. Read full bio.

Presidential Award – Wayne S. McKenzie

Wayne S. McKenzie

Wayne S. McKenzie is an Executive Assistant District Attorney and Chief of the Pathways to Public Safety Division in the New York County District Attorney’s Office (Manhattan, NY). The Division is dedicated to improving public safety by identifying, as early as possible, individuals accused of crime, including violent felonies, who would benefit from diversion or alternatives to incarceration and supportive programming, while closely monitoring their progress throughout-ensuring accountability instead of a revolving door; and without jeopardizing community safety. Mr. McKenzie oversees prosecutors and professional staff engaged in specialized court parts including the Felony and Misdemeanor ATI, Drug, Mental Health, Emerging Adult and Veterans Treatment Court Parts; pre-arraignment diversion; restorative practices; reentry and the Reentry Task Force.  The Division is also involved in gun violence prevention efforts in collaboration with community partners. Read full bio.

Co-Members of the Year Award – Madjeen Garçon Bonneau

Madjeen Garçon Bonneau

Madjeen Garcon-Bonneau, a first-generation Haitian American attorney and proud Brooklyn native, currently resides in New Jersey and practices law in both New York and New Jersey. She holds a distinguished position at Wilson Elser, specializing in general liability defense with a keen focus on complex torts, sexual abuse, employment law, harassment, and commercial disputes. Fluent in Haitian Creole, Madjeen adeptly represents management, conducting thorough handbook reviews and skillfully managing complex employment litigation. Her innovative strategies and proactive case management consistently ensure successful outcomes.

Madjeen earned her J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law in 2018 after graduating from Binghamton University in 2015. She is licensed to practice in New York and New Jersey and holds admission to the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York and the District of New Jersey. Read full bio.

Co-Members of the Year Award – Alexis Stanley

Alexis Stanley

Alexis Stanley serves as Associate Counsel for the United Federation of Teachers (“UFT”) where she represents over 200,000 members in both the public and private sector. At the UFT she advises union representatives on grievance arbitration, organizing issues, unfair labor proceedings, and on discipline and discharge issues. Alexis also negotiates and drafts collective bargaining agreements on behalf of NYC public and charter school educators.

Prior to joining the UFT, Alexis worked as an associate attorney at union-side labor law firm Levy Ratner where she represented unions and individuals across various industries. While at Levy Ratner she counseled union leadership through contract negotiations, duty of fair representation charges, representation elections, dues enforcement proceedings, strike issues, represented workers in arbitrations, and represented unions before administrative agencies. Read full bio.