In 2006, the Forum initiated the Magna Stella® Awards program to recognize in-house excellence in Texas corporations, organizations and government agencies. The name “Magna Stella” means great, or magnificent star. Stella winners are shining examples of the type of leadership the Forum strives to exemplify in its membership.
Recognizing In-House Leadership & Excellence
About Our 2020 Winners
A. Lynne Puckett
SVP and General Counsel of Celanese Corporation
A. Lynne Puckett joined Celanese Corporation in February 2019 as Senior Vice President and General Counsel. Prior to Celanese, Ms. Puckett was Senior Vice President‚ General Counsel, and Secretary of Colfax Corporation since 2010. Prior to Colfax‚ she was a Partner with the law firm of Hogan Lovells. Her experience includes a broad range of corporate and transactional matters‚ including mergers and acquisitions‚ venture capital financings‚ debt and equity offerings‚ and general corporate and securities law matters. Before entering the practice of law‚ Ms. Puckett worked for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and a major U.S. defense contractor.
Ms. Puckett holds a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law and a B.S. degree from James Madison University.
Lanesha T. Minnix
Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, Flowserve Corporation
Lanesha Minnix currently serves as Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary at Flowserve Corporation (NYSE: FLS), an S&P 500 manufacturer of engineered and industrial pumps, seals and valves operating in more than 50 countries. As Chief Legal Officer, Ms. Minnix is a member of the Executive Leadership Team and oversees all legal, governance, compliance, and regulatory affairs globally for the company.
Prior to joining Flowserve, Ms. Minnix served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for BMC Stock Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: BMCH), a Fortune 700 provider of diversified residential building products. As General Counsel, she was responsible for all legal matters of the company as well as the risk management function.
Prior to joining BMC, Ms. Minnix was Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for ABM Industries Incorporated (NYSE: ABM), a Fortune 500 facility solutions company with 100,000 employees worldwide. Before her tenure with ABM, Ms. Minnix held significant legal leadership roles at Royal Dutch Shell/Shell Oil Company including roles in the downstream business and an expat role based in Qatar. Ms. Minnix began her career as a corporate associate at the law firm of K&L Gates and then as Corporate Counsel for Sprint Corporation.
Ms. Minnix earned her Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration from the University of Tulsa and Bachler of Science from St. Louis University. She serves on the Board of Directors for Minority Corporate Counsel Association and previously served on the Board of Trustees and for the National Urban League and the Girls Scouts of San Jacinto Council in Houston. She is a member of the Texas and Pennsylvania Bars.
Kevin M. McDonald
Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer & General Counsel, NexTier Oilfield Solutions
Kevin M. McDonald serves as Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel for NexTier Oilfield Solutions. He joined predecessor Keane Group, Inc. as Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary in November 2016.
Prior to joining NexTier, Kevin served in leadership roles at Marathon Oil Corporation from 2012 to 2016, including as Deputy General Counsel of Corporate Legal Services and Government Relations and Deputy General Counsel of Governance, Compliance & Corporate Services. Kevin also practiced as a partner at the international law firm Fulbright & Jaworski LLP (now Norton Rose Fulbright LLP), served as the general counsel and chief compliance officer for an S&P 500 company, Cooper Industries (now Eaton) and held leadership positions at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and Valero Energy Corporation.
Kevin is involved in charitable and community organizations. He is a member of the Texas A&M 12th Man Foundation Board of Trustees on which he serves as Chair of the Legal & Governance Committee. He also serves on the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Corporate Development Committee and the Board of Directors for Arms of Hope.
Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University and a Juris Doctor from The University of Texas School of Law.
Jeffrey E. Lewis
General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, & Corporate Secretary, Pinnacle Propane, LLC, Alliant Gas, LLC
Jeff Lewis is General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, and Corporate Secretary of Pinnacle Propane, LLC; Alliant Gas, LLC; and Alliant Arizona Propane, LLC, together a leading supplier and distributor of propane gas (LPG) in the U.S. and part of a global group of LPG companies owned by the Dutch company SHV Energy, the largest global dedicated global LPG distributor.
Jeff manages all areas of Pinnacle’s legal, compliance, and risk matters, including M&A activity, regulatory matters, commercial negotiations, labor-issues, internal investigations, litigation and resolution of disputes, data protection, privacy, and risk (insurance coverage). Jeff also manages Pinnacle’s comprehensive Compliance Program, as well as its Risk (Insurance) Program.
Prior to joining Pinnacle, he held a series of senior legal positions at AT&T, including the Senior Managing Legal Counsel to AT&T’s $22B Consumer Wireline/Internet/TV business unit. And as a Senior Vice President-Compliance, Jeff led a 100+ person organization where his team implemented transformative changes in compliance through the predictive technology, artificial intelligence, cyber security, robotics, and data analytics to prevent data security breaches.
Jeff legal experience also includes: Partner at Gordon & Glickson, a Chicago-based law firm specializing exclusively in technology transactions; Senior Vice President -International Legal at the Chicago Stock Exchange, where as senior international technology counsel, he negotiated technology agreements with emerging market stock exchanges on 4 continents; Enforcement Attorney with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission; and Assistant District Attorney with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in New York.
Jeff holds the following degrees: Southern Illinois University (B.A.); Rutgers University (J.D.); and New York University (LLM in Corporations Law).
Jeff is a certified privacy professional with the International Association of Privacy Professionals. His Board membership includes: Dallas Historical Society; Suicide and Crises Center of North Texas and Society of St. Vincent DePaul National Foundation.
Vice President for Commercial Litigation, NTT DATA Services, LLC
Christopher T. Stidvent is the Vice President for Commercial Litigation at NTT DATA Services, LLC, where he manages the company’s global commercial litigation function. Prior to joining NTT DATA, Chris spent more than ten years as a Legal Director for Litigation at Dell Technologies. In these roles, Chris has managed all types of complex commercial and intellectual property litigation matters. He also has served as a client representative at more than 40 mediations and received his Mediator Training Certificate from the Dispute Resolution Center in Austin, Texas, in 2014.
Chris graduated with a JD and MA degree from Duke University School of Law in 1999 and summa cum laude from Texas A&M University with his undergraduate degree in English and Philosophy in 1996. He worked as Senior Counsel for Enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington DC, and at Baker Botts as an associate in the litigation department before joining Dell in 2006. Chris also clerked for the Honorable A. Joe Fish, U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Texas, from 1999 to 2000.
Chris has worked pro bono to represent several refugees in their applications for asylum. Chris received the Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award from American Gateways in May 2013, and the Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Award from the Texas Access to Justice Commission in June 2014.
Chris and his wife live in Austin with their four children.
Deputy General Counsel, Assistant Corporate Secretary, & Director of Supply Chain, Callon Petroleum Company
Brian Bowen serves as Deputy General Counsel, Assistant Corporate Secretary, and Director of Supply Chain at Callon Petroleum Company, where he works closely with executive management and all functional groups of the company. Brian is directly responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the Legal Department and its employees. Additionally, Brian manages Callon’s Supply Chain Department and its employees, which has significantly reduced Callon’s costs in 2020.
Prior to joining Callon, Brian worked as Vice President and General Counsel at Cobalt Ventures LLC, and prior to that as Senior Legal Counsel at Marathon Oil Company and CARBO Ceramics Inc. At Marathon, Brian developed the regulatory compliance legal group and handled a wide array of legal issues, including royalty matters and the negotiations of portfolio asset divestitures. At CARBO, Brian was responsible for overseeing a wide range of legal matters associated with domestic and international operations and served as chief counsel for CARBO’s largest domestic subsidiary. He practiced law in the Houston office of Locke Lord LLP from 2006 until joining CARBO in 2010. Brian holds a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education (Mathematics and Spanish) from Kansas State University and a juris doctorate degree from the University of Texas School of Law.
Chief Legal Officer, Seabed Geosolutions B.V.
Mr. Mitchell is an experienced in-house lawyer having served as General Counsel for three companies (both public and private), and currently serves as Chief Legal Officer for Seabed Geosolutions, a global oilfield services company. He started his legal career as a litigator and has more than 10 years of experience as an attorney, general counsel, and executive across industries including energy, transportation, engineering, and technology. Before practicing law, Mr. Mitchell was a professional mariner serving as an officer on commercial and military vessels, including Captain of an offshore supply vessel. Mr. Mitchell provides solutions-based legal advice in managing complex litigation as well as advising on contracts, M&A, joint ventures, securities, and financial transactions. He is also experienced in leading corporate governance initiatives and managing intellectual property, compliance, and enterprise risk management / insurance programs.
Mr. Mitchell holds a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Vanderbilt University; a Juris Doctor in Common Law and Graduate Diploma in Civil Law from the Louisiana State University Law Center; and a Bachelor of Science (with honors) as a Kings Point Scholar of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. He also completed graduate business coursework in accounting-based valuation and financial statement analysis at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business. In 2015, the Maritime Law Association named Mr. Mitchell “Proctor in Admiralty.”
Mr. Mitchell married Katherine Kincaid Butler (a Rice MBA and Strategy Consultant at Phillips 66) at St. Paul’s Knightsbridge in London. They reside in Houston, Texas with their son – James David de Cordova Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell is a dual citizen of the United States and the Kingdom of Spain.
General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Alcon
Mr. Bedward is a General Counsel and business executive with experience in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, and medical device fields, with deep expertise in M&A, securities, litigation, regulatory & compliance matters.
Mr. Bedward is the Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary of Alcon in Fort Worth, Texas, where he leads a global legal & compliance department and serves as a business executive on the company’s Executive Leadership Team and advisor to the Board of Directors. He recently led Alcon’s spin-off from Novartis.
Prior to joining Alcon, he was Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary for Hospira, a global leader in generic drugs and medical devices. An advisor to Hospira’s CEO and Board, and a member of the Company’s Senior Leadership Team, Mr. Bedward was a guiding force for the $4.2B (sales)/$17B market cap healthcare company, including its major turnaround. He negotiated Hospira’s $17B acquisition by Pfizer in 2015. Mr. Bedward joined Hospira in 2004, after successfully leading the company’s spin-off from Abbott Laboratories.
Upon receiving his JD, Mr. Bedward served as an Associate and then as an equity partner with Jenner & Block, and later served as Senior Counsel, Litigation at Abbott.
He has a B.B.A. from Saint Norbert College, and a JD Magna cum Laude, Order of the Coif from the University of Illinois, where he was Lead Articles Editor for its Law Review.