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Got questions? Every business does. Bring yours to this lively and informative Q&A discussion featuring an attorney, a CPA, an HR professional, insurance broker and IT whiz. Learn about best practices and considerations from each of these industry experts.
Speakers: Louise LeDuc Kennedy, Darren Ambler, Kristine Fitzgerald, Marc Slafsky, Patrick Agostino, Mike Adamson
Louise Leduc Kennedy
Louise Leduc Kennedy is a business law attorney with extensive experience advising technology companies on strategic and commercial matters including: software commercialization, cloud computing, strategic alliances and all aspects of on-line business and contracting. She has advised start-ups, mid-sized private and public companies as well as Fortune 100 enterprises in a variety of matters that also include mergers and acquisitions, employment law issues and open source software strategies.
Louise particularly enjoys working with small and medium-sized entrepreneurial businesses. Advising highly creative professionals who are excited about their products and services is, quite simply, fun. Before launching West Hill, Louise determined that these were the types of companies that were most in need of her unique skills.
Under her leadership, West Hill is dedicated to advancing work-life as a business strategy by integrating work, family and community into its definition of success. Accordingly, the firm offers vast business and legal experience at reasonable rates and with innovative billing arrangements in exchange for the opportunity to work with these exciting companies on a flexible schedule.
Prior to forming the firm, Ms. Kennedy worked as in-house counsel at IBM Corporation for 9 years. During this time she supported the Global Sales and Distribution Group, IBM Business Consulting Services as well as the Lotus brand within IBM Software Group. Her responsibilities included the structure and negotiation of complex e-marketplace offerings as well as supply-chain management and e-procurement software alliances.
At Lotus, Louise served as brand counsel for Lotus Notes, Domino, Sametime and Lotus Live Engage, IBM’s debut Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) enterprise collaboration offering. She provided general legal guidance and support for all aspects of product development, licensing, marketing and strategic relationships including complex deals with AOL, Yahoo! and Google.
Before joining IBM, Louise worked at Robinson & Cole LLP in Boston as member of their Trial & Appellate practice group. Her practice focused on complex civil litigation and, more specifically, issues related to discovery of electronic information in a variety of formats.
Ms. Kennedy is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts in Massachusetts as well as the state courts of Connecticut and New York. She received her B.A. in Economics from Smith College and her J.D., with honors, from the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she was an associate editor of the Connecticut Law Review. She is a member of the Women’s Bar Association and the Boston Bar Association.
Patrick Agostino founded Resolve I.T. with his business partner, Jason Bowen, in 2005. Resolve I.T. has 10 employees and we are currently hiring and expanding. Pat served in the US Army Reserves as a Communications and Signal Corp Specialist. He earned a BSBA from Northeastern University in Management and Information Systems (MIS), with the distinction of magna cum laude. In addition, he has certifications in CompTIA A+, Network+, Linux+, Project + and Microsoft MCT.
Pat is married to Suzanne and is the father of three busy children, who are involved in tennis, theatre, lacrosse, baseball, football, and hockey.
He has been involved in the community and currently is a Board member of the Greater Beverly Chamber of Commerce, a member of Beverly Rotary, Danvers BNI and is the Founder of the annual Bootstraps BBQ fundraiser
Kristine K. Fitzgerald, JD, CPA – Partner
Kristine joined the Firm in 2005. She received her Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Kristine has over twenty years of experience working in local, regional and Big Four public accounting firms. She is the head of the firm's Tax Department which oversees the firms's compliance with federal and state laws and regulations. She regularly provides tax consulting, state and federal audit representation, and compliance services to clients which include entities and individuals. Her client base is varied and includes professional service companies, real estate companies, wholesalers and manufacturers. Kristine has extensive expericence advising clients of their multistate tax filing requirements and is the lead on the firm's State and Local Tax (SALT) concentration. She was admitted as a partner in June, 2013.
Kristine is a member of the Massachusetts Bar.
She is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
She is also a member of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants.
She is also member of the State Tax Committee of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Marc is a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) with a thirty year history of success in commercial insurance. Having built up a substantial portfolio of long standing commercial clients, in 2009, Marc’s book of business was acquired by Stoneham Savings Bank and New England Heritage Insurance Agency with Marc serving as Vice President. New England Heritage Insurance Agency is now Salem Five Insurance.
Marc is an alumnus of Bentley College, married with two grown children and a long time resident of Wakefield, Massachusetts.
Darren J. Ambler
Managing Director, Insight Insurance Agency
Darren has more than 15 years of experience in the employee benefits and human resource consulting marketplace. As the Director for the employee benefits arm of Insight Performance, Darren provides brokerage and advisory services in the areas of health & welfare benefits, voluntary benefits, and executive benefits. Darren formerly served as the Senior Vice President of Eastern Benefits Group. Under Darren’s sales leadership, Eastern Benefits Group grew to become one of the largest employee benefits brokerages in the Northeast representing more than 1,000 employer groups. Darren specializes in working with employers in all areas of employee benefit plan structure including: plan funding and administration, cost effectiveness, employee communications, compliance, and employee wellness programs.
As a recognized leader in the benefits marketplace, Darren has held seats on the Broker Advisory Council’s of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Fallon Community Health Plan and the Massachusetts Health Insurance Connector. He is also active with the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), Massachusetts Association of Health Underwriters, New England Employee Benefits Council (NEEBC), and the Small Business Association of New England (SBANE).
Darren currently serves on the Board of Directors for the North Shore Chamber of Commerce and The Plummer Home for Boys. He also serves as a panelist for Sun Life’s Rising Star education grant-making program. In addition, Darren has been appointed to the North Shore Chamber’s Affordable Care Act Task Force, a group charged with being an information resource on National Health Care Reform for employers.
Darren is a graduate of Widener University and holds his Bachelor’s degree in Government and Politics. Darren resides in Salem, MA with his wife and twin daughters.
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