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Woods Oviatt hosts third signature women’s event

Numerous women-owned businesses were on hand for guests to do a little shopping.

Numerous women-owned businesses were on hand for guests to do a little shopping.

Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP lists 24 women attorneys in its Rochester office, which consists of around 90 attorneys in all. With the firm since 1993, Kelly Ross Brown plays an important role on the firm’s Associates Committee, where she is responsible for the development and mentoring of firm associates.

Brown and fellow partner Lorisa LaRocca hatched the concept of a woman’s professional and personal tool box a few years back, and both were on hand to welcome 125 guests to a fun evening of shopping and networking, with complimentary food and beverages, at the Memorial Art Gallery on Thursday.

Lisa Coppola, an attorney from Buffalo who has been recognized multiple times for her pro bono work, gave a talk titled: #TakeAMoment. She reminded the audience that despite our hectic schedules that seem to swirl with multiple responsibilities, it’s possible to take 15 seconds to just shut out the “noise” of the moment and think of something that will bring you joy.

“You could be in line at Wegmans or alone in the elevator, just think of something you love,” Coppola suggested. “Taking that moment once or twice a day to bring your attention to something you love, will bring those things into your path. You don’t need money or a lot of time to create joy.”

The second presentation was by Sandra Gault, CEO and founder of True Gault, shoe and boot designer and manufacturer that uses 3D technology to design shoes that fit. “Running a Business in High Heels” was the title of her talk, which included her insights on becoming a successful entrepreneur.

“I’m a geek in high heels,” Gault joked. “I figured out how to apply imaging technology to customize high-fashion shoes made of the highest quality materials. My business was born in Rochester, but is based in New York City, with our manufacturing facility in Spain.”

At the conclusion of her talk, 11 lucky women were selected to receive a pair of custom-fit Gault shoes.

In addition to True Gault Shoes, more than a dozen other women business owners were on hand with displays of chocolates, jewelry, purses, clothing and spices.

– Photos by Nora A. Jones


Renee LaLonde of HSBC checks out the True Gault shoe display with hundreds of leather samples customers can select from when ordering their own pair of custom-fit shoes.


Rachel Bandych, co-owner of Massage Envy, chats with long-time friends Frances Cafarell, Clerk of the Appellate Division Fourth Department, and Kelly Ross Brown, partner at Woods Oviatt Gilman.


Sandra Gault, founder of True Gault Shoes, is often referred to as “the shoe lady.” Here she pauses with Eileen Semmler, CPA from Bonadio Group and Christen Bruu from Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP.


Natalie Grigg, Lorisa LaRocca and Jennifer Schauerman are all attorneys at Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP.


From left are Laura King, Ramona Green, Amy Boyd and Lynn Carlton, all from Canandaigua National Bank.


Lisa Coppola talked to the group about bringing joy into each day by “taking a moment” to think of something pleasant.


From left: Natalie Grigg (Woods Oviatt), Wende Knapp (Xerox), and Alyssa Whitfield (Rochester Dress for Success).


Laura Rivers, CPA with DeJoy Knauf & Blood, catches up with Lisa Neilans of Woods Oviatt.


Amanda Heeler from Pictometry chats with Woods Oviatt attorneys Aleksandra Fugate and Miranda Sharlette.


Kelly Ross Brown kicked off the program, noting the importance of networking.


Deb Husted and Trisha Leaf from Woods Oviatt enjoy hors d’ouerves with Deborah Lemke, CPA with Fredericksen & Sirianni.