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Women Lawyers Association of Michigan (WLAM) held elections at their 99th Annual Meeting. WLAM is proud to present the following outstanding attorneys serving as Officers in 2017-2018: Julie Gafkay, President; Donna MacKenzie, President-Elect; Alena Clark, Vice President; Roquia Draper, Treasurer; Ryan Kelly, Secretary; and Suzanne Sukkar, Immediate Past-President.
WLAM President Julie Gafkay
President Julie Gafkay is a partner at Gafkay Law, PLC which is a statewide practice located in Frankenmuth, Michigan and specializes in employment law including gender discrimination, race discrimination, disability discrimination, retaliation, civil rights and wrongful discharge. Ms. Gafkay graduated with honors from Whittier Law School in 1995. She is a past-President of the Saginaw County Bar, serves on the Board of Governors for the Frankenmuth Community Foundation, serves on the Board of the Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce, serves on the Board of the Frankenmuth Farmers Market, and is past-President of WLAM’s Great Lakes Bay Region. She was one of the Top 20 Women in Law in 2012 and has been designated a Michigan Super Lawyer 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.
WLAM President Elect Donna MacKenzie
President Elect Donna M. MacKenzie is an attorney with Olsman MacKenzie & Wallace and she specializes in representing individuals injured as a result of nursing home neglect and abuse and medical malpractice. She is the author of a number of legal articles, and a featured speaker at seminars presented by the Institute for Continuing Legal Education, State Bar of Michigan, American Association for Justice, and Michigan Association for Justice. Ms. MacKenzie’s honors include recognition as a 2010 Up & Coming Lawyer by Michigan Lawyers Weekly, a four-time Super Lawyer “Rising Star”, a 2013 Super Lawyer, and a Pacesetter by the Michigan Association for Justice. Ms. MacKenzie was selected to the dbusiness magazine Metro Detroit Top Lawyers 2014 list. Ms. MacKenzie is on the Executive Board for the Michigan Association for Justice. She also serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice.
WLAM Vice President Alena Clark
Alena M Clark currently serves as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for the County of Saginaw. She practices criminal law in the 70th District Court, 10th Circuit Court as well as the 10th Circuit Juvenile Division. She handles cases ranging from misdemeanors such as Domestic Violence and OWI to felonies including Armed Robbery and Felonious Assault. Prior to joining the Prosecutor’s Office under Prosecutor John McColgan, Alena served as Judicial Staff Attorney for the Honorable Daniel A. O’Brien of the Oakland County Circuit Court Probate Division, and as a Judicial Staff Attorney for the Honorable Charlene M. Elder of the Wayne County Circuit Court Family Division. She also served a year with the City Attorney’s Office for the City of Dearborn as a Law Clerk.
Alena is a member of several nonprofit organizations and serves on their executive boards. Currently she serves as the Vice President of the Great Lakes Bay Region of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, as well as Vice President for the State Executive Board of the Women Lawyers Association. In 2013 she was recipient of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan Regional Leadership Award.
Alena received her Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 2009. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Western Michigan University in 2006, which included a semester of study at the Universidad Autónoma de Quetéreo in Quetétaro Mexico. Her primary areas of focus at WMU were Spanish and History.
WLAM Treasurer Roquia Draper
Treasurer Roquia Draper is an associate attorney with the all-specialty law firm of Warner Norcross & Judd LLP. Ms. Draper specializes in the area of family law litigation , which includes pre- and post-nuptial agreements, divorces, custody and parenting time disputes, child support issues, and stepparent adoptions. Ms. Draper graduated magna cum laude from Wayne State University Law School in 2011, and is a member of the Order of the Coif and the Phi Betta Kappa Society. She is also a member of multiple Local, State and Federal bar associations, and is particularly active in the Oakland County Bar Association. She additionally serves on the Executive Board and is a active member of the Oakland County Inns of Court. She has been named as a Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Star for 2015 and 2016..
WLAM Secretary Ryan Kelly
Secretary Ryan Kelly is a partner at Kelly & Kelly, P.C., in Northville, Michigan. Her practice focuses on all aspects of family law, including divorce, child custody and support issues. In particular she handles high conflict family law matters for professionals. Ryan is active in several organizations including as a Past President for the Women’s Bar Association of Oakland County. Ryan is also Secretary of the Women’s Lawyers Association of Michigan, a member of the Wayne County Family Law Bar Association and Northville’s Main Street League. Ryan received her undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and attended the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, graduating cum laude. She serves on the Family Law Advisory Board and is a past member of the Young Lawyers Advisory Board for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE). She has been a speaker at ICLE’s Family Law Institute on three occasions and in 2012 she received a Certificate of Completion from the Family Law Certificate Program. Her achievements have been noted by Super Lawyers Magazine in naming Ryan as a “Michigan Rising Star” seven times (2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017) and in 2014 she was named as one of the Top Lawyers in Michigan for the area of family law by Detroit Business Magazine. Ms. Kelly has also been named a Michigan Top Lawyer in family law for 2015, and a Top 10 Under 40 in the area of Family Law by the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys.
WLAM Past President Suzanne Sukkar
Immediate Past President Suzanne Sukkar is a U.S. Business Immigration Attorney at the law firm of Dickinson Wright PLLC based in its Ann Arbor, Michigan office. Her practice focuses on global workforce mobility, employment-based sponsorship and visa matters, immigration audit and compliance for corporate and individual clients across a vast array of industries. Suzanne renders expert strategic and tactical counsel to a broad clientele base including visa matters for client’s employees at all levels of the corporate organizational structure, from the highest level executives, to the entry-level business professional, investors, extraordinary ability workers, outstanding researchers and professors, musicians, artists and athletes, and more. She developed a niche expertise in the area of E treaty trade and investor visas, consular processing, and start-up ventures. Through strategic planning and by offering creative solutions, she has assisted with the seamless transfer of numerous workers world-wide. She is also an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
Ms. Sukkar’s honors include being named Best Lawyers of America in Immigration Law since 2015, as well as, Super Lawyers in Immigration Law since 2012, DBusiness Top Lawyers, and Leading Lawyers 2018. In addition, she has been selected as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and Michigan State Bar Foundation, where membership is limited to only 1% and 5% respectively of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction. In June 2015, she was appointed to the State of Michigan’s Commission on Middle Eastern American Affairs by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. Since 2005, Ms. Sukkar has served on the WLAM state and regional boards. She also serves on the Board of the American Arab Chamber of Commerce.
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