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** 2017 Legal Sales and Service Award Winner**

  • Sales & Service Team of the Year Award – the team of Benesch for their Team Everest: The Peak Performers' Summit
          Read more about Benesch's Winning initiative
  • Sales & Service Executive of the Year – Iris Jones, Chief Business Development & Marketing Officer at McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
          Read more about Iris Jones

Congratulations to all the finalists
  • Katy von Treskow, Winston & Strawn LLP
  • The team from Parker Poe
  • The team from Bass Berry Sims
  • The team from McNees Walace & Nurick LLC

Submit a nomination for the 2018 LSSO Awards Program

2017 Award Winners' Initiatives

Sales & Service Team of the Year Award - the team of Benesch


Benesch launched Team Everest: The Peak Performers’ Summit in April 2016 to recognize attorneys who have worked hard to develop business, increase revenue and advance the firm’s footprint in its practice/industry areas and in the geographies where Benesch serves – while also getting the firm’s rainmakers together in one group to focus on growing top line revenue as well as enhancing client service and creating new product offerings.

The inaugural year of Team Everest was met with much enthusiasm and Benesch conducted a second annual Summit in March 2017. The Marketing & Business Development Department played an integral role in planning and facilitating the Peak Performers’ Summit and is the driving force behind implementing the action items that came out of the Summit.


Team Everest has proven to be a powerful program rewarding Benesch’s core group of business development and client service partners and serving as a motivation to attorneys to retain or earn a spot in the group. It has been an avenue for collective thought, positivity, excitement about the future and collaboration on successful service and processes that has resulted in new business and underscored the firm’s commitment to being client-service focused. The formation of Team Everest has helped the firm build a cooperative network of top business development and client service attorneys across offices and practices.

Team Members:

  • Jeanne Hammerstrom, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Julie Gurney, Director of Marketing & Communications
  • Liz Boehm, Director of Business Development
  • Megan Pajakowski, Senior Client Services Manager
  • Michael Montagna, Marketing Communications Coordinator
  • Janet Speno, Marketing & Business Development Executive Assistant

Sales & Service Executive of the Year - Iris Jones


Iris Jones created the Strategic Collaboration Program for Summer Associates to provide law students with hands-on strategic business development training, including how to identify and target actual clients or prospects, how to research and analyze data by using competitive and business intelligence tools, and how to build relationship intelligence through CRM prior to pursuing new business. The program included training and coaching on effective communications, teamwork and how to make powerful presentations.  The law students were divided into teams and each team was assigned a client target. The teams then developed and presented detailed strategies and recommendations for retaining and expanding current business or how to capture the prospective client to firm management, practice group leaders, Members, Of Counsels and Associates.


This training on how to expand client business and acquire new clients through collaborative efforts has resulted in the 2017 firm-wide launch of a formal client team program.

All of the participating summer associates were offered and accepted positions at the firm. They were able to see the value of this program and experienced first-hand how committed the firm is in delivering excellence to our clients and well as its attorneys and staff.

The firm has been successful in expanding our firm’s client target base and have actually acquired new clients through this educational and strategic collaboration program. The program demonstrated to everyone that using the strategic and analytical methodology for targeting, expanding client relationships and capturing new business is far superior to taking shots in the dark or committing “random acts of lunch”.

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