Speaker Biographies


The ASA legal team will be among the impressive lineup of industry experts participating in the upcoming ASA Staffing Law Conference. Additional speaker profiles are coming soon.

Neil M. Alexander

Neil M. Alexander, Esq.

Alexander is co-chairman of the staffing, independent contractors, and contingent workers practice group in the law firm Littler Mendelson PC. He is a trial attorney who regularly defends companies against claims involving wrongful termination; unfair competition and trade secret violations; noncompetition agreements; whistleblower and retaliation; harassment and discrimination; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Americans With Disabilities Act; and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Alexander’s practice includes counseling clients on employment risk management for employee workforce or individual employee decisions, workforce design, and maximizing contingent worker options while ensuring compliance, contingent workforce co-employment exposures, compliance with the ADA and the FMLA, and other legal issues. Alexander also regularly contributes to articles in newspapers and magazines and authors publications for national trade association newsletters. He is a frequent keynote speaker for national and state trade associations, contingent workforce issues, and employment law compliance-related topics.

Katharine Beattie

Katharine Beattie, Esq.

Beattie is a member of the law firm Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC. Her work primarily involves litigation and counseling on federal and state labor and employment matters, including issues involving discrimination and harassment, leaves of absence, wage and hour disputes on an individual and class-wide basis, employee classification, wrongful termination, trade secret protection, and the enforcement of noncompetition and nondisclosure agreements. Beattie frequently provides employment and labor guidance on corporate merger and acquisition transactions, and regularly negotiates and drafts executive employment, separation, and related agreements on behalf of both publicly and privately held companies. In her labor practice, she advises clients on a range of collective bargaining issues and represents clients before the National Labor Relations Board with respect to unfair labor practice charges and union election proceedings.

Daniel S. Blynn

Daniel S. Blynn, Esq.

A partner in the advertising and marketing practice at Venable LLP, Blynn focuses his practice on false advertising litigation and complex consumer class actions in both federal and state courts. He also represents clients in advertising substantiation investigations and inquiries from the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general, and provides counseling on a variety of advertising and telemarketing-related matters. He has represented a wide range of clients including trade associations, Fortune 100 companies, a national fast-food chain, numerous dietary supplement companies, energy companies, home security companies, and a number of other large and small businesses in false advertising litigation brought under the FTC Act, Lanham Act, and state consumer protection laws. He also defends putative consumer class actions seeking certification of nationwide and statewide classes. Blynn has extensive experience with electronic discovery and has successfully argued in favor of narrowing of civil discovery and investigative demands from regulators..

Jillian M. Collins

Jillian M. Collins, Esq.

Collins is an associate and litigation lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. She focuses her practice on counseling employers and litigating employment disputes on a broad range of labor and employment issues under federal and state law, including wage and hour compliance, noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreements, discrimination and sexual harassment complaints, medical leaves and disability accommodations, trade secret protection, and workplace health and safety. With a presence in both the Washington, DC, and Boston offices, Collins regularly assists in-house counsel and human resources professionals across a broad swath of industries in handling complex employment matters, including leaves of absence, independent contractor and employee classification, internal workplace investigations, reasonable accommodations, terminations and reductions in force, employment and separation agreements, and employee handbooks and company policies and procedures.

Charlie Cook

Charlie Cook

Cook is editor and publisher of the Cook Political Report. Widely regarded as one of the nation’s leading authorities on U.S. elections and political trends, he has appeared on the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news programs, as well as on “Good Morning America,” the “Today Show,” “Nightline,” “Meet the Press,” and “This Week.” He has also appeared many times on CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, C-SPAN, and NPR. He is the political analyst for the National Journal Group, where he writes weekly for National Journal magazine and “CongressDailyAM.” Cook also writes a regular column for The Washington Quarterly, published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and is a political analyst for NBC News.

Pamela Q. Devata

Pamela Q. 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 A. Essey, CSP

James A. Essey, CSP

Essey is president and chief executive officer of the TemPositions Group of Cos., which operates in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and California. He served five terms as president of the ASA-affiliated New York chapter. Essey was elected ASA chairman in 2004—exactly 30 years after his father, Dick, served in the same role—and has chaired the chapter relations, member education and certification, political action, and industry practices committees. He currently chairs the legal and legislative committee and the public policy advocacy taskforce.

Catherine Farr

Catherine Farr

Farr is a senior director at New York-based research, training, and consulting firm maslansky + partners, which participated in the ASA-commissioned research project that resulted in The New Language of Staffing: Handbook for Communicating Your Company’s Value to Job Seekers. She first presented on the handbook’s findings at Staffing World® 2017, where workshop participants gave the session high marks for its quality information and value. Farr joined m+p in 2014 and has worked across several industries, including staffing, agriculture, financial services, and health care. She has helped clients translate what they know and love about their companies into compelling stories that really resonate. Prior to m+p, Farr worked at Omnicom media agency OMD as a strategic media planner, with a focus on content marketing and native advertising.

Stephen R. Freeland

Stephen R. Freeland, Esq.

Freeland is counsel in the national advertising and marketing practice at Venable LLP. His practice focuses on solving complex litigation challenges that businesses face in the areas of advertising, consumer protection, telemarketing, telecommunications, intellectual property, and antitrust in both business-to-business disputes and consumer class actions. He has represented major consumer product companies, retailers, online merchants and service providers, affiliate marketers, telecommunications companies, and trade associations, among others, and has litigated cases in federal and state courts across the country and before the Federal Communications Commission and the International Trade Commission. Freeland provides ongoing counsel to numerous clients in the areas of website advertising, testimonials, terms and conditions, and privacy policies, as well as compliance with the Restore Online Shoppers Confidence Act (ROSCA), Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), and state telemarketing laws.

Marc J. Gerson

Marc J. Gerson, Esq.

Gerson is the chairman of Miller & Chevalier. His practice focuses on federal tax policy, providing strategic advice and representation to clients before Congress, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. He also maintains a sophisticated domestic and international tax planning and controversy practice. Prior to rejoining Miller & Chevalier, Gerson served as majority tax counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means. He provided policy and technical analysis with respect to the development and evaluation of tax legislation. He counseled the Committee on Ways and Means on issues relating to international taxation, corporate taxation, tax shelters, financial services taxation, taxation of passthrough entities, tax-exempt bond financing, and tax accounting methods. Gerson acted as the staff liaison to Committee on Ways and Means members, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, the Joint Committee on Taxation, and the Treasury. He served as counsel on all major tax legislation enacted in the 109th Congress, including the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005, the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005, and the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006. Prior to joining the Committee on Ways and Means staff, Gerson worked as segment tax counsel for Textron Inc., a Fortune 200 multi-industry company, where he was responsible for all tax functions of its fastener and industrial product business segments.

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.

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 of 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.

Nina K. Markey

Nina K. Markey, Esq.

Markey is co-chairman of the staffing, independent contractors, and contingent workers practice group in the law firm Littler Mendelson PC, where she represents and counsels employers in all aspects of employment and labor law, including discrimination, retaliation, and harassment; wrongful termination; wage and hour; unfair competition and trade secret violations; arbitrations; unfair labor practice proceedings; and representation elections. Markey practices before state and federal courts, as well as before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, and the National Labor Relations Board. She regularly conducts EEO and other compliance training sessions for employers and has taught courses on employment law and legal writing at Rutgers University School of Law.

George M. Reardon

George M. Reardon, Esq.

Reardon has devoted his entire working life to employment-related professions—as a businessman in the group employee benefits business, an officer in the U.S. Army’s Adjutant General Corps, a private law practitioner, and—for the past 20 years—as general counsel for three national and international staffing firms. His many years of involvement and leadership in staffing industry organizations give Reardon broad understanding and problem-solving ability for dealing with the temporary and contract workforce and the issues that arise in connection with it. He is a frequent writer and speaker on staffing and employment subjects.

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.

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