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Speaker Biographies


Benjamin D. Briggs

Benjamin D. Briggs, Esq.

Briggs is a partner in the labor and employment department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and serves as co-chairman of the firm’s workplace safety and health practice group. His practice focuses on employment-related litigation and compliance counseling involving federal and state statutes that govern employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation, wage and hour issues, employee leave issues, and workplace safety and health. Briggs represents and counsels clients in matters involving the protection of trade secrets and the enforcement of noncompete agreements and other restrictive covenants. He has successfully represented employers in a wide range of industries, including staffing, building and consumer products, technology, retail, automotive, distribution, utilities, insurance services, construction, and media in federal and state courts throughout the U.S.


Pamela Devata

Pamela Devata, Esq.

Devata is a partner in the labor and employment practice group of the law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP. She specializes in all aspects of employment defense, including counseling, training, and litigation. She also has extensive experience with employment litigation in administrative agencies, as well as the Fair Credit Reporting Act and state laws affecting background screening. Devata counsels both employers and providers (resellers and consumer reporting agencies) on compliance requirements under FCRA and related state laws, and has been involved in litigation regarding these issues.


Stephen C. Dwyer

Stephen C. Dwyer, Esq.

Dwyer, general counsel of the American Staffing Association, is a leading authority on the legal and public policy aspects of staffing. He engages in and coordinates the association’s legal and public affairs activities and advises the staffing industry on labor and employment law and policy issues. He has testified before legislatures and regulatory bodies regarding, and written extensively and spoken widely on, the staffing industry. Before joining ASA, he was associated with the New York multinational law firm Chadbourne & Parke, as well as De Forest & Duer, a 100-year-old Wall Street firm. Dwyer is a member of the New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Virginia, and District of Columbia bar associations.


James Essey

James A. Essey, CSP

Essey is president and chief executive officer of the TemPositions Group of Cos. In addition to office support personnel, the company provides staffing in information technology, accounting, human resources, legal, hospitality, light assembly, education, and health care. Essey served five terms as president of the New York Staffing Association. He was ASA chairman in 2004; has chaired the chapter relations, member education and certification, political action, and industry best practices committees; and currently serves on the ASA board of directors. He currently chairs the legal and legislative committee and the public policy advocacy taskforce. Essey received his bachelor of arts degree from Trinity College and master of business administration degree from Harvard University.


Marc D. Freedman

Marc D. Freedman, Esq.

Freedman is owner of the Law Offices of Marc D. Freedman with a focus on business and corporate law; corporate acquisitions; employment law; representation in U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Internal Revenue Service, and other government audits; and litigation. He specializes in providing legal and consulting services to business executives primarily in the staffing industry. He also has authored legal articles for Staffing Success magazine, published by ASA for its members. Freedman currently is general counsel for the New Jersey Staffing Alliance.


Diane J. Geller

Diane J. Geller, Esq.

As a partner in the law firm Fox Rothschild LLP, Geller provides strategic general counsel services to a wide array of private and public companies, both large and small, offering informed and experienced guidance on business and employment law issues that arise as a matter of operations. A former general counsel for a major public company in the staffing and funding industry, Geller is a seasoned practitioner who helps clients stay compliant with the everchanging federal and state regulations governing the workplace. She also has authored legal articles for Staffing Success magazine, published by ASA for its members.


Joel A. Klarreich

Joel A. Klarreich, Esq.

Klarreich is a partner in the law firm Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP and chairs the firm’s staffing industry and corporate departments. He specializes in business and corporate law with a distinctive focus on the staffing industry. For more than 40 years, Klarreich has been representing staffing firms—including temporary help service firms, employee leasing companies, search firms, permanent placement agencies, and home health care providers, as well as franchisors of staffing organizations. He has represented numerous buyers and sellers of staffing firms in mergers and acquisitions and in public and private stock offerings. Klarreich has served as executive vice president and general counsel of an AMEX-listed staffing company. He is currently general counsel to the New York Staffing Association, was general counsel to the Association of Personnel Consultants of New York, and was associate general counsel of the National Association of Personnel Services. A frequent speaker on legal issues affecting the staffing industry, Klarreich was selected for inclusion in the New York Super Lawyers list from 2006 to 2015.


Helen L. Konrad

Helen L. Konrad, Esq.

Konrad is director in the immigration practice group of the law firm McCandlish Holton PC, where she concentrates on work site compliance, defending employers in U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Special Counsel, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigations, as well as employment-based and professional immigration. She has worked directly with the staffing industry for more than 18 years and has shared her extensive expertise with staffing professionals at Staffing World®, through ASA webinars, and at past ASA Staffing Law Conferences. Konrad has regularly been recognized as one of the best immigration lawyers in America.


Cynthia Larose

Cynthia Larose, Esq., CIPP

Larose is a Certified Information Privacy Professional and chairman of the privacy and security practice for the law firm Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC in Boston. Larose has extensive experience in privacy, data security, and information management matters, including state, federal, and international laws and regulations on the use of transfer of information, data security breach compliance and incident response, and data breach incident response planning, as well as data transfers in the context of mergers and acquisition and technology transactions. She also has authored legal articles for Staffing Success magazine, published by ASA for its members.


Edward Lenz

Edward A. Lenz, Esq.

Senior counsel for the American Staffing Association, Lenz is the staffing industry's chief legal and legislative advocate and one of the nation's leading authorities on the legal and public policy aspects of staffing. He joined ASA in 1989 as its first general counsel and has served the association in various leadership positions, most recently as senior vice president for legal and public affairs. As senior counsel, Lenz advises the association on a broad range of regulatory and policy issues, including the Affordable Care Act. Before joining ASA, he was vice president and assistant general counsel for Kelly Services and served as chairman of the ASA legal and legislative committee. Prior to entering the staffing industry in 1982, he served in government and in private law practice in Washington, DC. In 2001, he was inducted as a fellow to the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.


Toby Malara

Toby Malara, Esq.

Malara, government affairs counsel for the American Staffing Association, manages all staffing-related legislation and regulation on behalf of ASA and represents the industry’s interests before Congress and state legislatures. He provides government relations counsel to the association’s affiliated state organizations and regional councils, and directs political fund-raising activities through the ASA political action committee, StaffingPAC. Malara is a graduate of Georgetown University and received his law degree from Catholic University. He is a member of the Maryland bar association.


Eric H. Rumbaugh

Eric H. Rumbaugh, Esq.

Rumbaugh is a partner in the law firm Michael Best & Friedrich LLP and represents management in all areas of labor and employment law. In addition, he is chairman of the firm’s trade secret and noncompetition team. Rumbaugh litigates cases nationwide involving unfair competition, breach of contract, trade secret misappropriation, and other issues involving incoming and departing employees, and business-to-business disputes involving intellectual property, trade secrets, and unfair competition. He also regularly represents users and providers of temporary employees, consultants, independent contractors, and other contingent talent.


Donald W. Schroeder

Donald W. Schroeder, Esq.

Schroeder is a member in the law firm Foley & Lardner LLP and chairman of the firm’s staffing industry working group. He has extensive trial experience in state and federal courts representing Fortune 500 clients on a wide range of employment matters, including restrictive covenant litigation, wage and hour class actions, and single plaintiff discrimination cases. Schroeder is a frequent lecturer and author on a variety of employment law issues, including the Americans With Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, National Labor Relations Board developments, and workplace privacy issues.


Erin Stewart

Erin Stewart, Esq., TSC, CSP

Stewart is general counsel for Pinnacle Group and oversees the company’s legal, human resources, and risk management functions. Her primary professional interests include employment law and human resources management, and she is passionate about working with women-owned enterprises. Stewart initially joined Pinnacle Group in 2012 as associate general counsel to handle intellectual property and software licensing issues following the company’s acquisition of a vendor management system (VMS) tool. In 2014, she was named general counsel and her practice expanded to focus more on employment law, corporate governance, strategic transactions, and client contracts. Prior to joining Pinnacle Group, Stewart spent several years as in-house counsel for a large university system where her practice involved employment, intellectual property, transactions, and litigation. She began her legal career as a commercial litigator with a prominent New York City law firm. Stewart earned her juris doctor from Columbia Law School and is licensed to practice law in New York and Texas. Before attending law school, she completed the honors program at the University of Maryland at College Park and earned a bachelor of arts degree with a double major in history and English language and literature.


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