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Louise Kennedy Honored as a 2024 WBE Star by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)

26 February 2024

The WBE Star Award is the nation’s premier award for women’s excellence in business leadership

Louise Kennedy, Founding Attorney at West Hill Technology Counsel, has been recognized as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Star by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the nation’s largest certifier of women-owned businesses and leader in women’s business development. The WBE Star Award is the nation’s top recognition for excellence among women-owned businesses, honoring 14 women who are leaders in their local business communities and respective fields from across the country within each Regional Partner Organization. Louise was nominated by the Northeast regional partner, Center for Women and Enterprise (CWE). CWE serves the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

The 2024 WBE Stars will be honored during the 2024 WBENC National Conference, the largest event of its kind for women-owned business entrepreneurs and business leaders taking place March 19-22, 2024, in Denver, Colorado.

Honoring Women in Business

“West Hill has been a long-time supporter of CWE, hosting and participating in events and encouraging other woman-owned businesses to apply for WBENC and SBA Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) certifications. West Hill was founded in part to address inequality in the legal workplace as described in the West Hill Vision and Mission. Our work with CWE is an extension of this.” said Louise Kennedy. 

“We could not be prouder of our 2024 WBE Stars,” says Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC. “Each one of them exemplifies the vital role women-owned businesses play in our economy. They are outstanding leaders, mentors and innovators, and we look forward to honoring them in March and throughout the year.”

“This year we sought to recognize and celebrate WBEs who embody the spirit of “AMPLIFY” – having grown their business, strengthened a challenging area, expanded to new products and services or markets, heightened performance with development of talent, leadership, relationships, or accelerated business impact and results. Louise Kennedy, Founding Attorney and CEO of West Hill Technology Counsel has certainly done that and is an inspiration for the entire WBENC network.”

Pamela Prince-Eason

Tap Into WBENC

“Being recognized as a 2024 Women’s Business Enterprise Star by WBENC and my Regional Partner Organization, Center for Women and Enterprise, is an incredible honor. Our WBENC Certification has unlocked countless opportunities that we take advantage of continuously. WBENC is truly the leading women’s business development organization and I encourage all current WBEs and other women-owned small businesses to tap into the limitless potential of the WBENC network.” said Louise Kennedy.

2024 WBE Stars

Top left to right: Cate Heaman, Prelude Solutions, Paula Edwards, Lexair Electronics Sales Corporation, Heather Cox, Certify My Company, Mary Fehlig, The Fehlig Group, Barb Smith, Journey Steel, Inc., Gwen Hale, Reagan Mechanical LLC, Louise Leduc Kennedy, West Hill Technology Counsel, Inc., Sue Bhatia, Rose International, Inc., Linda A. Hamilton, Grow Profit Sale LLC, Brenda Boral, Boral Agency.
Front Left to right: Ashwini Vasudeva, Astute, Patricia Thomasson, Thomasson Company, Kathleen Hunt, Personalized Payroll Services, and Michele Adams, Levy Recognition.

“We applaud Louise Kennedy’s accomplishments and congratulate her on the selection to receive our highest achievement award for WBEs.”

Gaby King Morse, President and CEO, Center for Women and Enterprise

About WBE Star Award

Learn more about the WBE Star Award at https://www.wbenc.org/about-wbenc/awards/wbe-star-award/

About the 2024 WBENC National Conference

Register or find out more about Amplify, the WBENC National conference at https://www.wbenc.org/conference/.

About WBENC

WBENC is the nation’s leading advocate of women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs, supported by more than 540 Corporate Members that value our world-class standard of certification to women-owned businesses throughout the country. Throughout the year, WBENC provides professional development, business development, and outreach opportunities for more than 18,000 WBENC Certified women-owned businesses, Corporate and Government Members, and the national WBENC network. Partnering with 14 Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs), WBENC is the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned, controlled, and operated by women in the United States. Learn more at www.wbenc.org.

About West Hill

West Hill Technology Counsel is a boutique business and technology law firm. Providing pro-active, practical legal advice to help IP-focused businesses grow, assess risk, and plan for and execute a successful exit.

Meet the Team: Jennica Holoquist

6 March 2024

In this series, we are introducing the West Hill Law team. We’re starting with Jennica Holoquist, a Business and Transactions Attorney who joined our team after graduating from Suffolk University Law School.

What areas of law are you most interested in?

In law school I was most interested in intellectual property, mainly trademarks and copyright, but since coming to West Hill, my interest and focus now includes business transactions and data privacy.

What drew you to West Hill?

A combination of the firm’s focus areas and company culture. I was excited that West Hill does IP work, which was my concentration at school. In addition, it handles other practice areas so I could expand my skills and knowledge base. I loved that the firm was a women owned business as I have always felt more comfortable and encouraged when being around women. As a young attorney, I was looking for the opportunity to be supported in my growth. I also really respected the mission of West Hill which is to provide effective and enthusiastic legal services to all our clients at competitive rates while respecting the needs of the legal staff.

How would you describe working at West Hill to a friend?

I often describe West Hill as a very collaborative work environment. The whole team is open to working together to put out the best work possible for all the clients. There is a good balance between having the space to bunker down and do the work on your own but also to run to a colleague and get their perspective on any issues. I would describe West Hill as open, dedicated, and encouraging.

What makes West Hill unique? 

The company culture makes West Hill unique. For example, I am someone who has struggled with asking for help which has the ability to hinder growth or efficiency.  At West Hill, that is not something I have to worry about. I can ask anyone here questions and they will be treated with understanding and responded to with care. In the short amount of time that I have been here, this has allowed me to grow as a lawyer and improve my client work. I will also add that the way West Hill cares about the clients is unique. Here you are not just another name on a file. West Hill does a great job of communicating with clients and really understanding both short and long term goals. The team helps clients plan for the best and most efficient way to reach those goals.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love to dance, I did many different types of dance all the way through college. It’s something that brings me a lot of joy. I spend a lot of time with my dog Macfarlane mainly playing fetch (sometimes even in the house). I am also a big movie and television fan so I am always looking for something new to watch.

Why did you decide to become a lawyer?

From a very young age, I wanted to be able to support others who did not have the ability or the knowledge to do something on their own. I would say that is another reason I really like working at West Hill, especially with start-ups. I get the chance to help people grow their businesses or protect their work in a way that they might not be able to without that guidance and support.

Contact Jennica Holoquist

Click here for more information and contact info for Jennica.

West Hill Reading List: Non-Fiction Edition

21 February 2024

As a women-owned law firm and business, uplifting women and championing their rights and success is immensely important to us. 

To celebrate women, we’ve curated a special reading list with some of our favorite non-fiction books that focus on the empowerment of women and girls. Consider this blog post your official invitation to join our informal book club. 

West Hill’s Non-Fiction Favorites

A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell 

Untamed by Glennon Doyle 

The Heart of a Woman by Maya Angelou 

Wild by Cheryl Strayed 

Women Mean Business: Over 500 Insights from Extraordinary Leaders to Spark your Success by Edie Fraser, Robyn Freeman Spizman, and Andi Simon, PhD 

Bossypants by Tina Fey 

Finding Me by Viola Davis 

You are Only Just Beginning by Morgan Harper Nichols 

If you think there’s a book missing from this list, let us know! 

Feel free to comment on this post or tag us on LinkedIn to share the book you’re currently reading. Let’s start a conversation! Which book are you reading first? 

Pushing Edges. Innovative Women on a Mission: Technology for the Greater Good

24 October 2023

On Thursday, October 19th, at the Ferncroft Country Club in Middleton, the North Shore Technology Council (NSTC), held its Second Annual Women in Technology Forum: Women on a Mission –Technology for the Greater Good. Louise Kennedy, West Hill’s Founding Attorney, moderated the panel of inspiring women who discussed their entrepreneurial journeys and mission-driven technology businesses.

The Speakers and Their Missions

The evening started with an inspiring keynote from Erika Ebbel Angle, CEO of Ixcela focused on “Pushing Edges” with stories from her personal and professional journeys. “The combined energies that you spend pushing your edges will help you gain the confidence that it takes to do other things. You set your standards and push your limits, and those will end up defining your edges.” By pushing her edges, Ms. Angle founded Science from Scientists, became Miss Massachusetts, and started Ixcela, a biotech company that creates personalized wellness programs focused on gut microbiome health.

Louise Kennedy introduced the panel and told the story of the West Hill Mission. Part of the West Hill Mission is disrupting the status quo by challenging the traditional hallmarks and metrics of law firm and attorney success. “The firm remains committed to supporting and elevating women in the legal community and the technology businesses we work with,” said Louise. 

The packed room was buzzing as the panel answered questions and told their own stories of disrupting the status quo and pushing their edges. The panel included: Kathleen Connors, Founder and President of Voltrek, Ioana Knopf, CEO and Founder at Arrakis Materials, Kerry Love, CEO/President of Sunflower Therapeutics, and Donna Brezinski, CEO of Little Sparrow Technologies.

The NSTC and the Event Sponsors

The evening concluded with the NSTC President, Gene Wong, recognizing and paying tribute to, past NSTC President, Tracey Curley, who is currently CEO at iSpecimen. For more information on the North Shore Technology Counsel please follow the NSTC on LinkedIn and visit NSTC.org.

West Hill Technology Counsel is a proud supporter of the NSTC along with the following sponsors of this event: Endicott College School of Science & Technology, Colin & Erika Angle Center for Entrepreneurship, Cohn Reznick, Applied Materials, Bond Building, and Green Path Strategies.

  • NSTC Women in Technology Forum Panel
    NSTC Women in Technology Forum Panel
  • Ferncroft Country Club NSTC Women on a Mission Oct 2023
    Ferncroft Country Club NSTC Women on a Mission Oct 2023
  • Shehla Syed, Wendy Sabin, Kathleen Shaffer and Kim Biggs from West Hill
  • Louise Kennedy, Kathleen Shaffer, Shehla Syed, Wendy Sabin, Kim Biggs, Brendan Kennedy and Tom Kennedy at the West Hill table.
    Louise Kennedy, Kathleen Shaffer, Shehla Syed, Wendy Sabin, Kim Biggs, Brendan Kennedy and Tom Kennedy at the West Hill table.
  • Erika Angle, Keynote
    Erika Angle, CEO of Ixcela, delivering the keynote
  • Erika Angle, Keynote on Pushing Edges
    Erika Angle, Keynote on Pushing Edges
  • Louise Kennedy hosting and introucing the panel
  • Louise Kennedy introducing the panel
  • Louise Kennedy, Founding Attorney, West Hill Forum Host
    Louise Kennedy, hosting the NSTC Women in Tech Forum
  • Ioana Knopf, CEO and Founder at Arrakis Materials,
    Panelist: Ioana Knopf, CEO and Founder at Arrakis Materials,
  • Kathleen Connors, Founder and President of Voltrek
    Panelist: Kathleen Connors, Founder and President of Voltrek
  • Kerry Love, CEO/President of Sunflower Therapeutics,
    Panelist: Kerry Love, CEO/President of Sunflower Therapeutics,
  • Panelist: Donna Brezinski, CEo of Little Sparrow Technologies
  • Louise Kennedy, Founder and CEO of West Hill introducing the NSTC Women in Technology Forum Panel
    Louise Kennedy, Founder and CEO of West Hill introducing the NSTC Women in Technology Forum Panel
  • Panelist: Kathleen Connors
  • Andrew Noble and Brendan Kennedy at the West Hill table
    Andrew Noble and Brendan Kennedy at the West Hill table
  • Gene Wong NSTC President honoring past president Tracey Curley
    Gene Wong NSTC President honoring past president Tracey Curley
  • Tracey Curley, current CEO at iSpecimen.
    Tracey Curley, current CEO at iSpecimen.
  • NSTC Women in Technology Forum Women on a Mission Technology for the Greater Good
    NSTC Women in Technology Forum Women on a Mission
  • Tracey Curley, iSpecimen CEO
    Tracey Curley, NSTC Past President and current iSpecimen CEO
  • NSTC Women in Technology Forum
    NSTC Women in Technology Forum
  • North Shore Technology Council Women in Technology Forum
    North Shore Technology Council Women in Technology Forum
  • West Hill Mission
  • West Hill Program Guide Ad

Attorney Spotlight: Shehla Syed named to Super Lawyers 2023 edition

18 October 2023

About Super Lawyers

West Hill is pleased to announce that Shehla Syed was recognized by Super Lawyers® for Intellectual Property. Super Lawyers is an exclusive list of top-rated attorneys in specific practice areas who were selected after a thorough evaluation of numerous criteria. No more than five percent of attorneys in a state are named Super Lawyers.

“I appreciate the honor of being named a ‘Super Lawyer’, and congratulate my peers also recognized on this year’s list,” said Shehla Syed.

This marks the fifth consecutive year Shehla has been selected as an honoree in Massachusetts since 2019. Super Lawyers select attorneys using a patented multiphase selection process. Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with independent research.

This marks the fifth consecutive year Shehla has been selected as a Super Layers honoree in Massachusetts since 2019

About Shehla Syed

Shehla is a West Hill Shareholder and IP Strategist specializing in Intellectual Property, Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Ms. Syed counsels clients on all aspects of their intellectual property – trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets – to help them maximize the value and enforceability of their content, brands and technology.

Shehla is a member of the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts, the Boston Patent Law Association and the New England Muslim Bar Association, for which she was one of the founding members. Shehla has also served on the Community Ethics Committee at the Division of Medical Ethics of the Harvard Medical School which provides ethics feedback to Harvard teaching hospitals.

About West Hill

West Hill Technology Counsel is a boutique business and technology law firm. Providing proactive, practical legal advice to help solve problems before they arise. Our clients are new and growing businesses that create or leverage technology as a core part of their business model.

About Super Lawyers

For more information on Super Lawyers, a part of Thomson Reuters, click here.

West Hill Proudly Supports the Million Dollar Women Symposium

10 October 2023

The Enterprise Center at Salem State University hosted the Million Dollar Women Symposium at the Hawthorne Hotel on September 29th. West Hill Technology Counsel is a legacy sponsor of this event that celebrated 15 years of spotlighting women entrepreneurs who have achieved a million dollars in revenue per year on the North Shore. 

Million Dollar Women Panelists

As a past Million Dollar Woman panelist, Louise Kennedy was invited to introduce the panel of four honorees. The panel included: Rajia Abedelaziz, CEO of invisaWear, Natalie Blue and Madelene Pario, Co-Founders of the Artful Life Counseling Center & Studio and Jeysi Zuniga, President and CEO of Synergy Contracting, Inc.

Abdelaziz’s company sells smart jewelry and accessories with safety technology hidden inside. Her mission is to prevent sexual assault, as currently one in five women are sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetimes.

Blue and Pario’s center, The Artful Life, is a unique mental health counseling practice and studio in Salem. They utilize expressive-arts therapy and other holistic interactive methods as an affordable alternative to traditional mental health counseling.

Zuniga’s Lawrence-based company provides environmental remediation, demolition, painting, and construction services. She has worked in a variety of fields including real estate and biotechnology.

Keynote

The keynote speaker was Rhonda Kallman, Founder & CEO of Boston Harbor Distillery. Kallman has nearly four decades of experience in the alcoholic beverages industry. She is widely considered one of the a national thought leader in this traditionally male-dominated industry.

About the Enterprise Center

Laura Swanson, the Executive Director of the Enterprise Center and also the North Shore Alliance for Economic Development, and her team organizes the event annually to spotlight successful women business owners and inspire future women entrepreneurs in and around Boston.

  • Louise Kennedy from West Hill Moderating Panel at Million Dollar Women Symposium
    Louise Kennedy from West Hill introducing the Million Dollar Women Symposium panel.
  • Shehla Syed, Louise Kennedy, Jennica Holoquist, Wendy Sabin, Suzanne Turcotte and Kathleen Shaffer at the West Hill Table for the Million Dollar Women Symposium
    Shehla Syed, Louise Kennedy, Jennica Holoquist, Wendy Sabin, Suzanne Turcotte and Kathleen Shaffer at the West Hill Table for the Million Dollar Women Symposium.
  • Louise Kennedy Million Dollar Women Symposium Panel Moderator
  • West Hill Sponsors Million Dollar Women Symposium
  • Wendy Sabin and Louise Kennedy from West Hill and entrepreneur Jessica Moody from Moody's Gifts at the Million Dollar Women Symposium
    Wendy Sabin (West Hill), Jessica Moody (Moody’s Gifts), and Louise Kennedy (West Hill)
  • Louise Kennedy, Mabelyn Lopez, Laura Swanson, Jeysi Zuniga, Nathalie Blue, Madelene Pario, Rajia Abedelaziz and Alvania Lopez


ATTORNEY SPOTLIGHT: Louise Kennedy Speaking at the Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

20 June 2023

Louise Leduc Kennedy has been invited to speak at the Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation F3 Summer Conversations in Entrepreneurial Leadership series at the University of Connecticut. She is an alumna of the University of Connecticut School of Law and will address the cohort of First Year Female Founders.  

The Werth Innovator F3 Cohort pilot launched in 2020 to address the gender gap that exists in the business world when it comes to female-founded ventures. This cohort of Werth Innovators was selected at the beginning of the fall semester from a pool of first-year female-identifying students. The program focuses on building self-confidence through mentorship and peer networking at the beginning of their college career. 

The most dangerous phrase in the language is, “We’ve always done it this way.” 

Louise has been inspired by this quote from Grace Hopper, a pioneer in computer science and mathematics, and it sums up her approach to creating a unique business and technology law firm.  In her conversation with the F3 cohort, Louise will share her story of stepping off the large law firm/in-house path to launch West Hill. Since its founding, West Hill has sought to retain the best parts of sophisticated legal practice, such as constant learning, deep and practical knowledge in its areas of expertise, and commitment to superior client service. But Louise and her team have also worked hard to replace many parts of the typical law firm that weren’t working. The firm’s vision, mission, and values and a commitment to supporting its team members’ commitments to family, community, and self. Louise will discuss her journey of reimagining her industry for the better and not getting bogged down in the way things have always been done.   

West Hill is a certified woman-owned business, actively redefining the concept of private law practice. Diverse hiring practices are important to West Hill and many of West Hill’s clients either because of a corporate commitment to diversity or because hiring a certified woman-owned business assists them in attaining supplier diversity goals. 

The support and empowerment of women – including young women entrepreneurs — is a critical component of the West Hill’s success.

  

https://entrepreneurship.uconn.edu/wi/

Event Sponsorship: West Hill Sponsors the BIPLA’s 3rd Annual Symposium

28 May 2023

West Hill sponsored the Boston Intellectual Property Law Association’s (BIPLA) 3rd Annual Symposium. The event took place on May 3-4, 2023 at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, One Federal Street in Boston. It was a fun, engaging and educational experience for all. Here is a link to photos from the event: https://lnkd.in/ey999VT8

About BIPLA:
The goal of the BIPLA is to provide educational programs and a forum for the interchange of ideas and information concerning intellectual property (IP) including patent, trademark, trade secret, and copyright laws. Through a volunteer Board of Governors and its various committees, the BIPLA organizes and hosts educational seminars, social events, and other programs. The Association promotes public understanding and appreciation for IP through education of the judicial, executive, and legislative branches of government by providing amicus briefs, regulatory comments, and feedback to policymakers.

About West Hill:
West Hill Technology Counsel is a boutique business and technology law firm. Providing pro-active, practical legal advice to help solve problems before they arise. Our clients are new and growing businesses that create or leverage technology as a core part of their business model.

West Hill is proud to support the BIPLA Symposium
West Hill Proudly Supports the BIPLA Symposium

ATTORNEY SPOTLIGHT: Louise Kennedy Will Judge the 2023 Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs

22 March 2023

Our Founding Attorney and Smith College alum, Louise Kennedy, will judge the annual Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs on April 13-15 at Smith College in Northampton, MA. This competition has been ranked #7 in the Times of Entrepreneurship Top 20 University Competitions.

The Draper Competition is designed to hone skills that undergraduate women need to advance from idea to venture creation. Through multiple rounds of competition, students demonstrate an understanding of a problem, why the problem requires a new venture to address it, and how their idea presents the best solution to the problem.

“This is my 2nd year judging the Draper Competition, and I really look forward to seeing these teams present and answer questions about their entrepreneurial vision,” said Louise Kennedy. “As counsel to several women-led companies and an alumna of Smith College, I am inspired by these young women in STEM who are leading the way for the next generation of women founders.”

West Hill is a WBENC-certified woman-owned business, actively redefining the concept of private law practice. Diverse hiring practices are important to many of West Hill’s clients either because of a corporate commitment to diversity or because hiring a certified woman-owned business assists them in attaining supplier diversity goals.

ATTORNEY SPOTLIGHT: Shehla Syed presents, “What You Should Know About Doing Business Online.”

28 February 2023

Shehla Syed presented a webinar for the Enterprise Center at Salem State University, on February 28, 2023, titled: What You Should Know About Doing Business Online.

Since the pandemic, the shift to more on-line business is everywhere. As beneficial as it is to conduct business online, it is also challenging to navigate the changing landscape, understanding your obligation & responsibilities and legal pitfalls.

This presentation discussed how you can protect your business, avoid the pitfalls, and answer questions such as:

  • How do I work with contractors and use third party content on my website in a way that limits my liability?
  • Can I use the names or logos of other companies on my website?
  • How can website terms of use protect my business?
  • How can I prevent others from copying me?
  • How do I protect my customers information? 

This presentation also provided an overview of intellectual property (patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets) and how you can use these tools to increase your competitiveness and create value in your business. Shehla Syed is an experienced attorney who counsels clients on all aspects of their intellectual property – trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets – to help them maximize the value and enforceability of their content, brands and technology.

The Enterprise Center Salem State University welcomes entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals of all ages and experience levels to come in and learn something new. As an advocate and voice for the North Shore small business community, the Enterprise Center is a leader in helping business start and grow in the region.

This informative workshop was sponsored in partnership with the North Shore Alliance for Economic Development, Salem Chamber of Commerce and the Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD).

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