Brad GroffGardner Groff Greenwald & Villanueva, PC
Charles ManeyNCR Corporation
Charles ThimmeschTroutman Sanders
Cheryl NajaAlston & Bird
Chris LightnerAlston & Bird
Ellen LailPure Storage
Karen MillsMills Law Associates, LLC
Kimberly KnightGeorgia Department of Economic Development
Laura FrittsEmory University Office of Technology Transfer
Matthew WarenzakSmith, Gambrell & Russell
Nicole MorrisEmory University School of Law
Sharad BijankiParker Poe
Stephen DewKilpatrick Townsend & Stockton
Brad is a frequent speaker at professional programs and law schools as well as a mentor to many younger attorneys. Prior to his legal career, Brad was a mechanical engineer in the nuclear materials field. He is a named inventor on two patents and a published author. Brad devotes considerable time and resources to his community, serving in several civic organizations. His pro bono efforts include the legal representation of a faith-based youth leadership organization, trademark work for churches and church programs, and legal work for a clean drinking water initiative in Haiti.
In addition to a JD from the Western New England University School of Law, Charlie has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. When he’s not working, Charlie enjoys spending time with his friends and family on Martha’s Vineyard or wherever else he may find them.
In law school, Charles worked full time at the International Trade Commission for Chief Administrative Law Judge Charles E. Bullock. He gained additional experience working in-house at Eastman Chemical Company. His scholastic achievements include the Georgia Law Review and Moot Court Board. He graduated magna cum laude and was inducted into the Order of the Coif. Prior to law school, Charles worked in pharmaceutical drug development after studying biochemistry.
Chris is active not only on the Georgia PATENTS Advisory Board, but also in leadership in the Intellectual Property Owners Association, on the Board of Directors for the Atlanta Bar Association, and in the IP Section of The State Bar of Georgia. For his ongoing local bar association and community service leadership efforts, Chris has been awarded the Georgia PATENTS Program’s Volunteer of the Year Award (2015 and 2016), and the Atlanta Bar Association’s Celebrating Service Award (2015). He will also in October 2017 receive Georgia State University College of Law’s IP Community Service Award. Chris routinely speaks as a panelist at local and state bar association CLE events; in his free time he goes to the park, swimming, camping, or the Tellus Museum with his seven children.
Prior to joining Pure Storage, Ellen held various sales leadership, business development and alliance roles at Cisco and BellSouth Business Systems. She also and led the Mid-Atlantic/Southeast and Federal Teams as Divisional Vice President of sales for VCE (Virtual Computing Environment). In addition to her position on the Georgia PATENTS advisory board, Ellen enjoys volunteering as mentor for both Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), Women Unlimited, a Women’s Leadership Development Organization and serving on the Open Doors and Red Carpet committees of Saint Mark United Methodist Church’s membership outreach programs.
Ellen and her husband, Mike, reside in Midtown Atlanta, Georgia where they enjoy all the city of Atlanta has to offer from it’s fabulous restaurants, music venues and museums to its beautiful weather where they enjoy biking, hiking and tennis.
Earlier in her career, Karen was an electrical engineer with an electric utility corporation where she designed electrical distribution systems and later managed the organization’s Transmission Line Lightning Reliability Improvement Program. She is also a registered Professional Engineer, the profession’s highest designation.
Karen is also founder of KVM Enterprises, LLC (dba Miss Jenny’s Treats), a food products company which was launched in June 2016.
She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Before joining Emory, Laura represented branded and generic pharmaceutical companies in Abbreviated New Drug Application (“ANDA”) litigation arising under the Hatch-Waxman Act. She has been recognized by Chambers USA, by Managing IP in the “Top 250 Women in IP” and as an “IP Star,” and by LMG Life Sciences as a “Life Sciences Star.”
Matt is an active member of the Intellectual Property section of the Georgia Bar and the Atlanta IP Inns of Court. In addition to his full-time legal practice, Matt is an Adjunct Professor of patent law at the UGA School of Law. He is also recognized as one of the top attorneys in his practice area, repeatedly selected as a Georgia “Super Lawyers’ Rising Star” in intellectual property law and named to Georgia Trend’s “Legal Elite.”
Matt is also very active in his local community. He is a recent graduate of Leadership Buckhead, and an active supporter of the arts in Atlanta. In his free time, Matt enjoys spending time with his wife Tori and their son Cal, reading, biking through the city, and cheering on his local professional and collegiate sports teams.
Prior to joining the Emory faculty, Nicole was the former Managing Patent Counsel at The Coca-Cola Company and was responsible for the development and implementation of the Company’s global patent strategy and providing day-to-day advice and counseling to business stakeholders.
Nicole received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern, her M.S. in Chemistry from University of Michigan, her law degree from the University of Minnesota, and is a registered patent attorney. She has over twelve years of experience practicing patent law in large and mid-sized law firms and has represented clients in patent and trademark litigation matters, as well as patent prosecution matters. She also worked as an engineer for six years with 3M and Eli Lilly and has over twenty years of experience working with consumer products and technology commercialization.
Nicole is a frequent speaker on innovation, technology commercialization, and patent law topics including patent strategy, IP licensing, and the role of corporate counsel in patent transactions. She is heavily involved in the IP community as a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), Atlanta IP Inn of Court, Atlanta Bar Association, National Bar Association IP Section, a board member of Georgia Lawyers for the Arts, and Minority In-House Counsel Association. In 2013, Professor Morris was awarded the 2013 “Rising Star Corporate Counsel Award from the Atlanta Business Chronicle and featured in the August 2013 issue of Corporate Counsel magazine.
Scott received his Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech, and his Law Degree and Masters in Business from Georgia State University. He is heavily involved in many IP groups, including the being Chair for Georgia State University’s Intellectual Property Advisory Board.
Scott lives in Atlanta, Georgia and is married with four children.
Prior to joining Parker Poe, Sharad served as an out-of-chambers clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. While earning his law degree at the University of Iowa College of Law, he was president of the Intellectual Property Law Society and was awarded the ABA/BNA Award for Excellence in the Study of IP. In addition to serving on the Georgia PATENTS Advisory Board, Sharad also has an active pro bono practice representing clients with civil legal disputes through the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation.
Before becoming an attorney, Stephen worked for over a decade in various engineering roles at small and large organizations. In those roles, he enjoyed traveling abroad to diverse places such as Korea, Japan, Israel, and Europe to provide technical training and assist with sales efforts.
Stephen is committed to protecting the rights of innovators and artists. In 2017, he received a USPTO Patent Pro Bono certificate for his work with solo inventors. Stephen is also active in education-related causes. During the 2017-2018 school year, he co-taught advanced placement computer science at a high school in Atlanta. As a naturalized U.S. Citizen, Stephen is passionate about immigration policy and focuses his pro-bono practice on immigration matters. Stephen is also an Eagle Scout.
Stephen received his law degree from the University of North Carolina, a M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a B. Eng. from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom. Stephen and his wife live in Decatur with their three children.