Wonder Woman in Business, Kim Stuart

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Kim Stuart

CEO of Key Group

Kim Stuart, Founder and CEO of Key Group, is a strategic advisor for professional services firms, non-profit organizations and business executives. She has more than 20 years of experience in constructing and advancing business development initiatives and marketing strategies.

Kim also serves as Senior Advisor and Faculty Member for Ackert Inc., the company behind the award-winning business development training platforms. Kim has personally facilitated hundreds of training sessions with lawyers at both the senior associate and partner level. Kim led the development and implementation of the Managing Partner Institute a comprehensive professional development program that provide the insights, management principles, and framework essential for effective law firm leaders. 

A passionate advocate for cultivating and supporting the advancement of women and diverse leaders, Kim co-founded the Diversity in Leadership Forum, formerly the Women Leaders Forum, a leadership and management development program and peer-group network of female and diverse legal leaders. The Forum brings managing partners and other law firm leaders together to address and overcome management challenges, leverage market dynamics, and target key business opportunities. She also develops formal women’s initiatives focused on professional, business and client development,

community and culture and executive branding. Her programs garner multiple industry awards and lead to new and enhanced client relationships as well as internal professional development and talent retention.

Kim and her kiddos enjoyed a recent summer getaway in New YorK, walking the Brooklyn Bridge and visiting Lady Liberty.



Website: Key-Grp.com

Wonder Woman in Business, Alycia Sutor

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Alycia Sutor

Managing Director, Growth Play

Alycia Sutor leads the Professional Services team and has more than twenty years’ experience helping lawyers and executives accelerate sales performance and revenue growth. She is particularly passionate about helping individuals create greater impact in how they lead, work, and sell by unlocking strengths and research-based insights to power individual, team and organizational growth. 

Prior to her current role, Alycia oversaw the business development and marketing functions at Goldberg Kohn and McDermott Will & Emery. Alycia is also passionate about elevating the profession of law through various volunteer leadership roles, including with the Legal Marketing Association (LMA), currently serving as the co-chair of the Talent Development Committee. She also served as LMA’s President of the International Board of Directors, as well as the Board President for the Midwest Region and has served on the advisory board of the Legal Sales and Service Organization. Alycia is a frequent speaker on business development topics, which includes guest teaching appearances at Chicago-Kent School of Law. 

Clients often remark that working with Alycia feels like they have been to the gym, the spa and the therapist all at the same time. 

Alycia received her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and her BA from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. Alycia chairs the board of the Inclusive Collective, a campus ministry group at UIC. She resides in Oak Park, IL and, when not with clients, can often be found on the sidelines of a sports game for one of her two teenagers. She’s an avid bookworm and it’s always worth asking about her current favorite read. 

Link to a video from the 2010 LMA Annual Conference…the message is relevant for those of in the legal space.

Alycia Sutor

Connect with Alycia

LinkedIn: in/alyciasutor

Phone: 708.369.5408

Email: asutor@growthplay.com

Growth Play Locations

Chicago (Headquarters)
121 W. Wacker Drive
Suite 1750
Chicago, IL 60601

3123 Research Blvd.
Dayton, OH 45420

Wonder Woman in Business, Susan Kostal


Susan Kostal

Stet Consulting

About Susan:

Editor, writer, and business development strategist with over 25 years experience on the beat and in the C-Suite. Expertise includes legal industry trends, public relations and marketing, and pithy commentary on the state of affairs in law and tech. Based in San Francisco, with work published in San Francisco Magazine, San Francisco Attorney, The ABA Journal, Forbes ASAP, California Lawyer, and the Daily Journal. My monthly column on Attorney at Work is Content Under Pressure; with additional content on JD Supra. Private clients range from individual professionals to domestic and international law firms with 2 - 1,000+ employees. Susan also provides limited pro bono counsel and marketing consulting to women returning to the practice of law.

I asked Susan to name three things that potential clients misunderstand about her services and to set the record straight:

1. Some clients are convinced that no one can write about their practice area as astutely as they can. That may be true if we are talking about a law review article, but it’s generally never true when we’re talking about content designed for clients. They are people, and busy ones at that, and want information is the most useful, digestible form. A professional writer studies that, studies your “content competition,” and delivers content that sets you apart. No successful (read: busy) lawyer has the time to do that. And given their utilization goals, it’s not a good use of their time and financial resources to do so. It’s almost always more efficient and affordable to hire that out.           

2. “I have plenty of work. I don’t need to write.” These days, everyone is a legal publisher, and if you don’t have a body of work, even a modest one, you look suspect, disengaged and less desirable. Clients want to see you interact with their issues, and the best way to show you are engaged is through content—writing about what means the most to them, in a way they find meaningful, on their own time and their own terms. So while speaking engagements are terrific, and nothing beats one-to-one interaction, it’s not always possible. Content works for you while you sleep. It works for you while you are on vacation or in trial. Your firm’s social media and BD teams will have something they can work with to promote you. It’s amazing in an RFP, where you can show, not tell, that you have already been obsessing about your client’s issue long before it arrived on their desk.      

3. “Writers aren’t really ‘value-adds.’ They are just scribes.” If that were true, the market for talented writers would look very different. The market for average writers continues to find its lowest common denominator. But a writer with whom you have a longterm relationship studies your field, and reads the news and professional publications with you in the back of their mind. They bookmark articles with important ideas, and tag conversations you should be a part of. A talented content strategist and ghostwriter reserves a portion of their brain for you. And when they take in the world of ideas, they filter it based on your needs. Then, they bring that intellectual capital back to you in the form of suggested post topics, context, currency and a keen understanding of the marketplace of ideas and where you fit in that.       

Susan’s webinars & presentations include the following:

  • June 13, 2019, LMA Bay Area Chapter, "Data-Driven or EQ: What's Best for your Content"

  • Feb. 2018, LMA Tech West panel, "By the Numbers: Using Data Analytics to Build Smarter Content Strategies"

  • Dec. 2017, LMA Webinar, "The Clout of Content and the Power of PR"

  • Sept. 2017, Association of Intellectual Property Firms (AIPF), "Social Media & Personal Branding Essentials"

  • Sept. 2017, LMA SF Chapter, "Create and Convey Content That Clients Count On"

  • March 2017, LMA National Conference, "Breakthroughs in PR, Content & Communications"

  • July 2016, Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) Pathways Conference, "Leveraging Social Media Platforms to Get Noticed, Published, and Get the Next Job Opportunity"

  • May 2016, LMA Webinar, "Creative Juices: Overcoming Obstacles in Getting the Content You Want"

  • Oct. 2015, Silicon Valley Association of General Counsel (SVAGC) All Hands Meeting, Keynote Q&A with David Anderman

Susan Kostal

Contact Susan:

Twitter: @skostal

Website: www.susankostal.com

Susan’s monthly newsletter: http://bit.ly/2rdBIJa

Wonder Woman in Business, Amy Nouri

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Amy Nouri


About Amy

After earning her B.S. from Journalism School at the University Kansas, Amy went to work at Lathrop & Gage (now Lathrop Gage) for Katie Hollar Barnard. While there she managed public relations and advertising tactics in local markets and nationwide; she maintained firm social media accounts and website content; she coordinated production of firm marketing materials; and she handled numerous nominations and submissions for legal awards and rankings.

Amy then moved to Garmin International where she married her work life with her personal love of fitness, leading global public relations campaigns for the company’s fitness (running, cycling, multisport and swim) and wellness (activity trackers) products. She left Garmin and went to work on the brand public relations and social media team at Hallmark.

After about two years at Hallmark, Amy reconnected with Katie, joining her at her agency, Firesign, as vice president. At Firesign, she develops strategic communication plans for legal industry clients and coordinates the agency’s marketing and social media efforts.

Amy also coordinate marketing for their amazing educational program, "Ellesquire," and leads weekly coaching sessions with participants. This is something Amy is particularly proud to work on as it was a true passion project of Katie’s and clients love the program.

Amy feels very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with women, empowering them in their careers. As a working mom of two very active little boys (ages 3.5 and 1.5), she particularly loves this part of her job.

About Ellesquire

Ellesquire is a six-week business development program designed for the realities of being a working woman attorney. It’s designed for women by women, to give them the tools and confidence to build their book of business their own way. Participants receive three action-oriented lessons, delivered via video so participants can watch it on their own time, and a one-on-one coaching session every week.

For whom is Ellesquire designed?

Ellesquire is best suited for women attorneys at the senior associate, of counsel or junior partner level. Our content is most relevant to lawyers who know their specialty, have a solid footing of legal knowledge and have had some direct exposure to clients (their own or other lawyers’).

Who is behind Ellesquire?

Ellesquire was created by the founder of Firesign | Enlightened Legal Marketing, an agency that specializes in helping law firms and legal technology clients attract, win and retain business. It incorporates battle-tested marketing tips gathered from her experience at two AmLaw 200 firms – and as a boots-on-the-ground entrepreneur. Learn more about the Ellesquire team here.

What is the total time investment?

For six weeks, you will receive three business development lessons to watch online on your time. Each lesson is about 10 minutes; most are less. Some of the lessons include homework assignments. These are straightforward and will feed directly into your business development plan.

You also will have a weekly coaching session with a member of the Ellesquire team. Conducted by video, these sessions are typically 15 to 30 minutes and provide you an opportunity to ask questions, get help or brainstorm.

Where do I take classes?

Courses are delivered online; you can watch from your desk or even your phone 24 hours a day. Coaching sessions are conducted by Zoom, so we can catch up anywhere you have a wireless signal.

Can our firm deploy this for a group?

Group packages are available; contact us for more information.

What can I expect when I graduate?

While every lawyer, like every case, is different, you can expect a more professional profile, a comprehensive business development plan and – with hustle and action – measurable progress toward attracting, winning and retaining the business you want.

How do I start?

Book a call with one of our team members today. We will talk through your business development efforts to date and see how Ellesquire might help you. If you enroll, we will find a weekly coaching spot that works for you, and you will receive your first lesson that day.

Over 6 weeks, the curriculum covers the following:

  • Defining a personal brand and niche

  • Presenting that brand through biography, case studies and social media

  • Getting visibility through PR and a saner approach to networking (when all day golf and happy hours don’t work because you’re the pickup parent)

  • How to pitch and close business more effectively

  • How to keep and grow business through smart client retention tactics 

Ellesquire created a promotional video:


Additional Resources:




Contact Amy:

Amy Nouri, Vice President – PR & Programming  

Firesign | Enlightened Legal Marketing

p: 913.225.7707 

w: www.firesignmarketing.com   

e: ahn@firesignmarketing.com 

Wonder Women in Business, Sarah Noyes

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Sarah Noyes

CEO, Noyes Works

Sarah is a Change Management Professional, Recruiter and Behavioral Mapper. She has a MA in Organization Development, is a certified Career Coach from the Baraka Institute and has a certification in Change Management from Prosci with 3000+ hours of Change Management experience. She routinely stays abreast of best practices in order to follow her credo of ‘listen, learn and adapt.’

And since 2005, she's put this knowledge behind her passion for the world of work -- whether it be recruiting, mapping leadership opportunities or facilitating groups through change. Her aim is to build better work environments for everyone. She's worked with burgeoning nonprofits focused on systemic change to exciting tech startups in Silicon Valley, yet is most familiar with the Social Enterprise sector: nonprofits or for profits that benefit the common good.

When she's not working, she's reading ferociously, cooking (Chinese food) or dancing Casino de Rueda, Kizomba and Salsa.

Go here to learn more about Noyes Works.

Sarah is quite undeniably genius and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. You will too.

Sarah Noyes

Contact Sarah:


(415) 713-4155

Wonder Woman in Business — and Politics — Joni Wickham

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Chief of Staff, Kansas City

Joni Wickham

Joni is all about grit, grace, and getting things done. A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Joni and her indisputable southern accent arrived in Kansas City almost 10 years ago after leading initiatives within state and federal government as well as advocacy organizations. In her eight years with the mayor’s office—the majority of them spent as Chief of Staff—Joni has proven herself as an accomplished political strategist, communications expert, and organizational leader. She directed public policy initiatives, communications tactics, and administrative decision-making during her tenure, all while promoting women’s leadership and empowerment issues. An artful negotiator, Joni helped steer Sly’s major development projects in Kansas City while raising the city’s profile at the national and international levels. Her front-row seat at City Hall shed light on how local government is still very much a man’s world, and this motivated her to create a first-of-its-kind women’s empowerment initiative, which has been implemented in several major cities.

Prior to her time at city hall, Joni worked with the American Federation of Teachers, the Missouri Department of Transportation, and in the office of Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan. While a student at Meredith College, where Joni received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies, she studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia. An accomplished alumnus of University of Missouri where she earned her Masters of Arts in Political Science, Joni was the recipient of the 2019 University of Missouri Truman School of Public Affairs Mel Carnahan Public Service Award.  


“New study shows lack of women in local government.”

Connect with Joni Wickham:








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