Melissa is the Co-Founder and Chief Administrative Officer of First Women’s Bank (in organization). She will have primary responsibility for legal affairs, strategy, business development, and human resources, including recruiting, compensation, benefits, training, employee relations, and employment policies. Melissa is an attorney, entrepreneur and executive with over 25 years of business and legal experience. She was a founder and Managing Partner of Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP, a trial and litigation boutique law firm based in Chicago. Functioning as the CEO for seven years, Melissa led the firm from a six-partner start-up to a top tier, nationally recognized law firm with 25 professionals and a roster of Fortune 500 clients. She served as senior litigation counsel for Arthur Andersen LLP, where she counseled senior firm management on legal, regulatory, and risk issues and advised on practice matters involving assurance, consulting, and tax services. Melissa was also a litigation associate at Jenner & Block. Melissa is a long-time board member and former board Chair of Personal PAC, a leading Illinois PAC focused on supporting women. She is a volunteer attorney with the ACLU’s Judicial Bypass Coordination Project, a Trustee of the Jewish Women’s Foundation, and Vice Chair for Domestic Affairs at the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Chicago. Ms. Widen is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Maryland School of Law.
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