Rend Al-Mondhiry is Senior Counsel at Amin Talati Upadhye LLP in Washington, DC. She advises clients in the dietary supplement, food, and cosmetic industries on a broad range of FDA and FTC compliance matters, with a focus on helping companies navigate the rapidly evolving regulatory landscape for hemp and CBD products at both the federal and state level. She is committed to helping her clients responsibly develop and market products, drawing on her years of experience advising the nation’s leading dietary supplement and food companies on complex labeling, advertising, and ingredient issues. In her previous role as Associate General Counsel at the Council for Responsible Nutrition, Rend advocated on the industry’s behalf numerous times before FDA, FTC, Congress, and state attorneys general. She has assisted companies with FDA import alerts and detentions, International Trade Commission matters, and Proposition 65 compliance, and has substantial experience initiating and defending challenges before the Council of Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division.
As a member of RILA's Government Affairs team, Evan Armstrong leads advocacy efforts related to workforce and employment issues before Congress and federal agencies, including the Department of Labor (DOL), the EEOC and NLRB. In addition, Evan explores how the evolutions in the future of work impact the retail industry and develops policy strategies to build the 21st Century Retail Workforce.
Prior to joining DSA in June 2014, he worked in primarily federal administrative and regulatory law.
With more than ten years in Washington spanning private law firms as well the federal government, he brings a wide array of legal experience to DSA. Originally from Los Angeles, California by way of Cleveland, OH, Joseph resides Washington, D.C. Joseph obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Juris Doctor from the Catholic University of America where he was a member of the Journal of Communications Law.
He is admitted to Maryland and District of Columbia bars and serves as a member of public service committee for the Hispanic Bar Association for the District of Columbia.
In this role, Brian directs and coordinates the government relations and legal teams in DSA’s federal and state lobbying efforts. He determines legislative priorities, and has lead operational responsibility for state and federal government affairs activities and overall operation of the Government Relations department. In this capacity, Brian also coordinates with the communications, ethics, and legal teams in support of DSA’s advocacy efforts.
Prior to joining DSA, Mr. Bennett held a variety of roles working in the federal government and at a national party with primary focus on electing state candidates.
Mr. Bennett received his J.D. from The Catholic University of America: Columbus School of Law and his B.A. from James Madison University. He lives in Maryland with his wife, son, and dog.
Noah Bryson has a B.A. in History from Brigham Young University, a J.D. from The University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and 14 years of experience as Associate General Counsel at Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc.
Carl has dedicated more than 25 years to advocating for the independent workforce. As President and CEO of Kelly Services, a Fortune 500 workforce solutions firm, he spent his career creating opportunities and seeking justice for independent workers; challenging government, business leaders, and educators to adapt to the future of work; and serving on boards for the Federal Reserve, the Committee for Economic Development/The Conference Board, multiple universities, and numerous think tanks. In 2017 he assembled industry leaders, House members from both parties, and association leaders for an exclusive D.C. event (“Advancing the Social Contract For Gig Economy Workers”) that became the genesis for iPSE-U.S.. Before joining the corporate world, Carl was a tenured college professor, and started and sold his own marketing research firm.
Bernadette Chala joined the Arbonne team in 2012 and is now the Chief Legal Officer/General Counsel supporting the entire organization across seven countries. Chala’s responsibilities include overseeing Arbonne’s day-to-day legal affairs, government relations and direct sales compliance, managing Arbonne’s intellectual property estate, overseeing marketing compliance and supporting Arbonne’s regulatory team and global product compliance and expansion.
Before joining Arbonne, Chala served as the General Counsel of American Sporting Goods/AVIA, a leading manufacturer and supplier of footwear and apparel, where she oversaw that company’s entire legal affairs and compliance efforts. She earned her Juris Doctor from UCLA School of Law and is an active member of the State Bar of California. She loves working at a company where she happily uses its products every day and would like to remind you that you are only as old as your skincare regimen.
Thomas Cohn is Director and Senior Counsel, Sales, Marketing & Government Affairs at New Avon Company in New York City. Mr. Cohn graduated from Yale College and Boston University School of Law, and he was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1999. He is a former Northeast Regional Director of the Federal Trade Commission and a Board Member of ICMAD and the BBB Serving Metro New York.
Mr. Cohn is responsible for providing legal advice on Avon’s sales, marketing, advertising, social media, promotions, merchandising and pricing, including all TV, print, brochure, and online marketing. In addition, he is responsible for claims substantiation and challenges, product labeling and packaging review, and contract drafting. He also advises on product innovation, as well as ensuring compliance with all regulatory requirements, including the FTC, FDA and other federal and state regulatory agencies.
Mr. Cohn also advises on direct selling compliance issues, such as FTC/state laws and regulations on multi-level marketing, earnings opportunity, and incentive programs.
Mr. Cohn also coordinates Avon's governmental affairs, working with national trade associations such as ICMAD, DSA and CRN, and served on the task force creating DSA's new self-regulatory program with the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
Matthew Dorny was appointed vice president and general counsel for Nu Skin in 2003. From 1998 to 2003, Dorny served as the Assistant General Counsel for Nu Skin Enterprises. Prior to joining Nu Skin, Dorny was a securities and business attorney in private practice. Dorny received a B.A., M.B.A. and J.D. degree from the University of Utah.
Becky Dreier currently serves as General Counsel for Regal Ware, Inc., a Wisconsin-based cookware manufacturer. Among Regal Ware’s offerings are direct sales brands, including Saladmaster, several cookware collections available online and at gourmet retailers, and premium coffee and tea presses. Becky joined Regal Ware as the head of the legal department in 2014. In her current role, she provides legal support to all aspects of the organization and manages the compliance function. Prior to joining Regal Ware, Becky worked in private practice in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, handling transactional and litigation matters. She received a B.A. degree in Political Science and Ethics and her J.D. from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Jane Fergason focuses her corporate law practice on helping companies in the United States and abroad with comprehensive business needs, such as mergers, acquisitions and dispositions of companies, franchise, direct sales, distribution, retail, sweepstakes and advertising. She works with well-established global organizations and startups. Jane is praised by clients for being a good listener and knowing how to make the transactions successful. She has earned a national reputation for litigation involving direct sales.
Her client work frequently includes:
Structuring and documenting direct selling, franchise and distribution programs, including agreements and collateral documents.
Advising companies on structuring direct selling, franchise and distribution relationships that comply with or avoid regulation under state or federal franchise disclosure, business opportunity or other dealer laws.
Advising clients on special industry laws regarding the sale and distribution of motor vehicles, liquor, beer and wine, farm and heavy equipment, and motor fuels.
Preparing disclosure documents, and state registration of franchise offers and counseling on compliance with all elements of federal and state disclosure regulations and franchisee recruitment.
Structuring advertising and marketing programs and materials in compliance with federal and state laws.
Addressing franchisor / franchisee, independent contractor and supplier / distributor relationships and related issues.
Advising on sweepstakes advertising and promotions.
Drafting manufacturing agreements.
Advising on tax issues related to direct selling.
Jane is a popular speaker and writer on direct sales issues and trends. She is also an active leader in the Firm's Dallas office, chairing Foley Gardere's Women's Council and co-chairing the Foley Gardere Alumni Relations Team.
Joshua Foukas is executive vice president of legal and investor relations at USANA Health Sciences, Inc. In this role, he is responsible for managing USANA’s corporate legal and investor relations departments. This includes overseeing USANA’s SEC reporting and corporate governance matters, mergers and acquisitions, international legal matters and business development activities. His oversight of the investor relations department includes managing the company’s information disclosure process and relationship with sell-side analysts and institutional investors. Foukas has also served as vice president of finance at USANA.
Prior to joining USANA, Foukas served as corporate counsel at NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company. He began his career as a corporate securities attorney at a large regional law firm in Salt Lake City.
A lifelong entrepreneur, Hollie brings over 25 years of experience to the world of independent work. She is an expert advisor to national associations and serves as a trustee for the Committee for Economic Development (CED) and is a leading member of the Coalition for Workforce Innovation (CWI). As a tireless advocate for common-sense reform, Hollie brings her fight for the rights of independent workers to the halls of Washington, DC and the board rooms of Fortune 500 companies. Hollie launched iWorker Innovations to meet the unique needs of the independent workforce; iWorker Innovations partners with national firms and associations to provide bundled portable benefits and services such as financial education that create a business and social safety net for independent workers. Hollie is passionate about creating equality for those who do not have a consolidated political voice and encourages government, organizations, and businesses to include ‘the people’ in the conversation.
Ryan joined RAM in February 2011 as General Counsel for the association. As member of the Massachusetts Bar Association and a registered Massachusetts lobbyist, Ryan is responsible for advocating on behalf of RAM members before all levels of state government as well as ensuring association compliance with state statutory and regulatory requirements. Focus areas include loss prevention, labor issues (minimum wage, overtime, leave requirements, and child labor), food/restaurant, public safety, and alcoholic beverages/tobacco/lottery. Ryan is also responsible for the management of the association’s small business health insurance cooperative and serves as the staff representative on the association’s Loss Prevention Committee.
Before coming to RAM, Ryan spent five years working for the Joint Committee on Financial Services Committee within the Massachusetts Legislature. He joined the committee staff in 2006 as a policy analyst specializing in property/casualty and life insurance issues.
Ryan attended Suffolk University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and studied law at Suffolk University Law School, graduating in 2009 with a Juris Doctor degree. Ryan resides in Somerville, MA with his wife Meghan, daughters Bronwyn and Greta, and dog Simon.
Alison (Ali) Kilmartin is Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy (OASP). Kilmartin recently served as Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the Secretary and as Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel in OASP. Before joining the Department in August 2018, Kilmartin was a Senior Career Associate in the Supreme Court and Appellate practice group at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP and an Associate in Business and Tort Litigation at Jones Day. Kilmartin holds a Juris Doctor from The Pennsylvania State University—Dickinson School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Grove City College.
Brent Kugler is a prominent attorney in the direct sales industry, with more than 19 years’ experience as both in-house and outside legal counsel for direct sales companies. Kugler is one of only a few litigation attorneys with a nationwide practice focused on the representation of direct sales companies in federal and state court lawsuits, arbitrations and regulatory matters. Kugler has represented direct sales companies throughout the U.S. in distributor termination cases, solicitation and raiding disputes, theft of trade secret claims, regulatory enforcement actions and challenges to independent contractor status. Kugler also advises established and start-up direct sales companies on federal and state regulatory compliance, distributor agreements, independent contractor issues, social media policies and distributor compensation plans.
Tommy Leander is on the Federal Policy team for Lyft in Washington, DC. In this capacity, he focuses on tax, labor, and the future of the workforce. Tommy joined Lyft in 2017, helping spearhead the company through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
Previously, Tommy worked for Congressman David Schweikert, who represents the 6th district of Arizona. While with the Congressman, committees of assignment were the Financial Services Committee, and the Ways and Means Committee. Included in Tommy’s portfolio for the Congressman were issues such as labor, transportation and infrastructure, the new economy, energy and natural resources, and related tax policy.
While working in Congress, Tommy was the staff Chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, working to establish standards for government applications for blockchain technology.
Sharon serves as the Senior Advisor for Policy to the Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response. In this position, she oversees and manages significant policy initiatives related to food safety. Among other issues, Ms. Mayl is the lead for the foods program on issues related to cannabis and co-chairs the Marijuana Working Group at FDA. She also focuses on implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). She has led the implementation of the import provisions of FSMA since its passage in 2011. In that role, she oversees the development of rules and guidance documents related to the Foreign Supplier Verification Program, Voluntary Qualified Import Program, and Accredited Third-Party Certification Program. She has also served as the co-lead to establish the operational aspects of these new programs, including the development and implementation of regulator training, compliance strategies, inspections and work planning, and outreach and education. Ms. Mayl is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School. Prior to joining the agency, she worked first in private practice and then for a public interest advocacy group on foods issues.
Peter C. Marinello is the Director of the Direct Selling Self Regulatory Council (DSSRC) and a Vice President of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. Peter has over twenty-five years of experience in advertising self-regulation starting as a staff attorney at the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc., (NAD) in March of 1993, later becoming NAD Associate Director in 1998. In 2004, Peter was asked to direct a new advertising self-regulatory program for the direct response industry called the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP). Peter has written over 1,500 self-regulatory decisions on various advertising topics and products including earnings claims, online advertising, negative option offers, dietary supplements, nuclear energy and financial services and has spoken on behalf advertising self-regulation at trade conferences and workshop seminars throughout the country. He has also been the author of a number of articles regarding advertising self-regulation in various trade publications. Prior to joining NAD, Peter practiced law for six years at a general litigation firm in New York City. He has appeared in court in each of the five boroughs of New York as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties and is also admitted to New York’s Southern and Eastern District Courts of the United States. Peter received his bachelor’s degree at New York University and is a graduate of St. John’s University School of Law. Peter has been a member of the New York State Bar since 1988.
Nazak Nikakhtar was nominated by President Donald J. Trump to become the Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 19, 2018. Ms. Nikakhtar serves as the Department's primary liaison with U.S. industry and trade associations to help address industry concerns and support American competitiveness. She advises the Under Secretary and the Secretary on trade and investment policy and issues impacting the global competitiveness of U.S. businesses. She also heads the division that conducts research and analysis on manufacturing, services, travel and tourism, textiles and apparel, global trade, investment, and economic trends that impact the International Trade Administration's mission.
Ms. Nikakhtar is returning to the International Trade Administration after several years as a partner at the international trade law firm of Cassidy Levy Kent LLP. While in private practice, Ms. Nikakhtar represented clients international trade law matters, including antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings, export controls, international and bilateral trade agreements, customs matters, trade policy, and World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement. Ms. Nikakhtar has also served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center.
During her previous tenure at the International Trade Administration, Ms. Nikakhtar worked in what is now called ITA’s Enforcement and Compliance Unit in the China/Non-Market Economy Office. In that position, Ms. Nikakhtar led numerous complex antidumping cases, advised on legal and regulatory matters related to the enforcement of U.S. trade laws, and participated in bilateral negotiations on trade issues between the United States and China. She received several award medals from the Department for her work on behalf of U.S. industries.
Ms. Nikakhtar has also served at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security as an industry analyst, where she performed key statistical analyses for the U.S. government’s first official survey of the U.S. biotechnology industry.
Ms. Nikakhtar received her JD and Master of Economics degrees from Syracuse University and her Bachelor’s Degree in French and Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. She worked for the Honorable Ronald S.W. Lew in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
Ms. Olsen provides legal counsel and advice to CRN’s staff and members in the areas of legislation, regulatory compliance and advocacy, and international policy development. In addition, she works with CRN’s science department to prepare challenges to dietary supplement advertising through CRN’s Advertising Review Program with the National Advertising Division (NAD). Prior to joining CRN, Ms. Olsen held the position of special counsel for Wiley Rein LLP in Washington, D.C. and was senior counsel for Walgreens.
Justin advises Isagenix on a wide variety of legal and business matters and is striving to ensure that Isagenix leads the industry with its responsible business practices. In addition to managing the Legal department, Justin is responsible for global compliance, human resources, and public relations. He also supports various operational aspects of the business, including international expansion. In 2013, he earned an award for Excellence in Member Services, and in 2014, he received the prestigious CEO’s Award for Global Achievement.
Prior to joining Isagenix in 2012, Justin served as in-house counsel for another global health and wellness company that he helped grow to over $1 billion in annual sales during his tenure there. He began his legal career in 2002 in New York City with the international law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell. Justin holds bachelor’s degrees in communications and political science from the University of Utah, where he graduated magna cum laude in both majors. He earned his law degree with honors from Cornell Law School and served as Managing Editor of the Cornell Law Review. Justin is married with three children.
Lewis Retik is a partner in Gowling WLG's Ottawa office, practising primarily in the area of corporate commercial and regulatory law. Lewis' practice focuses on regulatory and commercial issues relating to the commercialization of products, including regulatory licencing, product distribution, manufacturing, advertising, packaging and labelling.
Lewis has extensive experience working with companies of all sizes, ranging from recent startups to large international companies in a variety of specialized industries, including food, natural health products, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and technology. Lewis also addresses regulatory compliance and commercial issues that relate to e-commerce, multi-level marketing, direct selling, consumer protection and products that use the radio frequency spectrum.
He is often responsible for working with clients to develop packaging and advertising designs that are both consumer friendly and compliant. Lewis also provides advice to companies with regulatory compliance issues and the status of their products.
In addressing client issues, Lewis regularly interacts with senior officials of government within such departments and agencies as Industry Canada, Competition Bureau, Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Environment Canada. Lewis is actively involved in a range of community-based initiatives and charitable organizations.
Adam is a partner in the Vorys Cincinnati office and a member of the Vorys eControl team. His practice focuses on helping companies address the problems and harness the opportunities created by ecommerce and online marketplaces. He helps his clients identify and solve their online distribution issues, including pricing, product diversion, counterfeit, unfair competition, and false advertising issues. Adam designs and implements efficient enforcement strategies to identify and remove online sellers that are causing the most problems for his clients. A significant part of Adam’s practice focuses on helping direct seller and network marketing companies manage and contain unauthorized online sales. He helps these companies approach the problem from both an internal business perspective and outside enforcement on the marketplaces.
Andrew Smith is Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. He came to the FTC from the law firm of Covington & Burling, where he co-chaired the financial services practice group. Earlier in his career, Mr. Smith was a staff attorney at the FTC, where he led the agency’s efforts to make several rules under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Mr. Smith has written extensively on consumer protection and financial services issues, served as the Chair of the American Bar Association's Consumer Financial Services Committee, and is a Fellow of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers and the American Bar Foundation. He earned a bachelor's degree in history from Williams College, and a J.D. from William & Mary Law School, where he served as Professional Articles Editor of the William & Mary Law Review.
Prior to joining DSSRC, Howard was a commercial counselor and litigator at Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin and Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP handling complex matters across a broad array of subject matters including false advertising disputes, intellectual property and bankruptcy matters. Howard has substantial ﬁrst and second chair trial experience as well as experience reviewing, analyzing and drafting contracts, license agreements and settlement agreements for a wide variety of commercial clients.
Howard’s notable achievements for varied clients include successfully arguing an appeal to the Second Circuit for a Fortune 200 client, winning two breach of contract trials in New York state court, winning a defense verdict in a two-week jury trial in California state court, obtaining dismissal of all claims against his client in a “bet the company” advertising and trademark dispute, favorably resolving as co-counsel seven litigations arising from real estate investments in excess of $1 billion, and successfully arguing an appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit . Howard also has signiﬁcant experience as an advertising attorney handling advertising disputes before the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council and with consumer perception surveys in both NAD and Lanham Act matters. He has also written and spoken extensively about advertising self-regulation.
Howard received his bachelor’s degree at Vassar College and is a graduate of St. John’s University School of Law. Howard has been a member of the New York State Bar since 2000.
Patricia (“Pat”) Zacharie, whose legal career has spanned more than 25 years, is Vice President, Legal and Regulatory Affairs at Ambit Energy and serves as the General Counsel. Pat advises the C-Suite and other executives at Ambit in all aspects of the company’s operations across the United States, and Canada. Pat also provides legal counsel related to Ambit’s operations in Japan. Pat joined Ambit Energy in 2011, just four years after they began providing retail electricity services in Texas. Pat established Ambit’s first legal and regulatory department and has assisted with Ambit’s growth into 17 states, including over 100 markets domestically and abroad. In her role, Pat oversees the legal, regulatory and compliance departments.
Pat received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin and her J.D. from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.