CHARLESTON -– Jackson Kelly PLLC has been awarded "Gold Standard Certification" by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF), a designation for law firms that have integrated women in top leadership positions.

According to an article by The National Law Journal, the certification process went beyond simply looking at the percentage of women employed at law firms. It focused on whether they are significantly represented in positions of power and among the top-earning attorneys.

Jackson Kelly has a long reputation of including women in leadership roles ranging from Laura E. Beverage's charge to establish the firm's Denver office nearly 20 years ago as well as her role as the leader of the Occupational Safety & Health Practice Group to the placement of Gretchen M. Callas as the firm's Assistant Managing Member from 2007 - early 2011 to Ellen S. Cappellanti's role of the Vice-Chair of Jackson Kelly's Executive Committee and leader of the firm's Corporate and Business Practice Group. Other female leaders include: Lynn O. Frye, a member of the Executive Committee and assistant practice group leader of the Pharmaceutical, Toxic Tort and Product Liability Practice Group as well as Kathy G. Beckett and Shayne M. Madsen who are leaders of the Environmental and Legislative Services Practice Groups, respectively.

Laura E. Beverage manages the firm's Denver, Colorado, office as well as the firm's nationally-recognized Occupational Safety & Health Practice Group. Beverage represents general industry, construction and mining clients in compliance issues, policy, legislative and regulatory matters, and civil and criminal enforcement issues, accident investigation and whistleblower claims on both state and federal levels. Beverage has served as lead counsel in numerous serious and catastrophic accident investigations through conclusion of the investigation and subsequent litigation.

Kathy G. Beckett is the leader of the Environmental Practice Group. She focuses on the representation of members of the business community and natural resource entities on environmental and energy matters. She has experience in state and federal regulatory advocacy in each of the primary environmental and energy programs. In addition, Beckett has been intimately involved in both statutory and regulatory program developments on both a state and federal level. Beckett is also a member of the Board of Directors for the United States Chamber of Commerce and was elected to the organization's nominating committee this month. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

Gretchen M. Callas was named Assistant Managing Member of Jackson Kelly in 2007, a role she served in until earlier this year. Her practice is focused on defending employers in litigation relating to workplace injuries and defending product manufacturers. Callas is also one of only three members from West Virginia in the national Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC).

Ellen S. Cappellanti serves as the Vice-Chairman of the firm's Executive Committee and is the leader of the firm's Corporate and Business Practice Group. In her practice, she assists clients in a wide variety of commercial transactions, including financings, leasings, acquisitions and real estate development projects. She also regularly represents debtors, creditors and trustees in business bankruptcies and out of court restructurings.

Lynn O. Frye is the assistant practice group leader of the Pharmaceutical, Toxic Tort and Product Liability Practice Group and is also a member of the Executive Committee. Her broad range of legal experience includes class actions and mass litigation involving injuries alleged by consumers of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and other products; class actions arising out of chemical spills, fires and tanker explosions; and individual and mass lawsuits involving acute and/or chronic chemical exposures alleged by plant workers and/or members of the community.

Shayne M. Madsen is the leader of the Legislative Services Practice Group and practices in public policy and government affairs, with an emphasis on election and campaign finance law, and in the real estate development area including the negotiation of economic development incentive packages with local government entities. She is widely recognized as an effective on-the-ground lobbyist with a track record of success and focuses on issues concerning alcoholic beverages, pari-mutuel racing, consumer data regulation, mining and water supply.

Jackson Kelly PLLC is a national law firm representing leading global corporations, national companies, entrepreneurs and individuals in areas of law such as environmental, business, labor and employment, federal and state workers' compensation, civil litigation and occupational safety and health. The firm has offices in Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

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