After six years of groundbreaking leadership on Thompson Coburn’s Diversity Committee, Tony Anderson will step down as co-chair of the committee on March 15, 2022. St. Louis litigation partner Amanda Hettinger will serve as co-chair with Judge Booker T. Shaw.
Tony has served on the Firm’s Diversity Committee since its inception. Over the past two decades, the committee has helped the Firm launch sweeping diversity and inclusion initiatives that have received national recognition from Bloomberg Law, the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. Tony led the Firm’s early efforts to adopt supportive policies for LGBTQ+ employees. He was also instrumental in the hiring of Norma Jackson, the Firm’s first director-level diversity professional, and in Norma’s promotion to the Firm’s C-Suite in February 2021 as Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer.
“Perhaps the best word to describe Tony is ‘pioneer,’” said Thompson Coburn Chair Roman Wuller. “As a gay African American man starting his legal career in the early 1980s, Tony was and is a pioneer in our profession. Within our Firm, he has been a singular voice in pushing us to hire, develop and support diverse attorneys and other legal professionals.”
“Tony knew from the start that diversity is an engine that drives innovation and leads to better results for our clients. Because of his commitment and thoughtful leadership, diversity became a core value of Thompson Coburn and today is an essential pillar of our Firm that we continually invest in, just like technology or marketing. We need it and we’re better for it, and that mindset is in large part due to Tony.”
Added Roman, “I’m also proud to announce that we are launching an internal award for attorneys who participate in our new Personal Diversity Initiatives. Select attorneys who demonstrate an exceptional personal commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts throughout the year will be recognized as Anderson Diversity Champions, in honor of Tony.”
Thompson Coburn’s Diversity Committee is a 27-member group made up of senior staff and attorneys from all offices. The committee oversees the Firm's diversity initiatives with the goal of ensuring a positive and supportive environment for every individual at Thompson Coburn. Members of the Committee also help guide firmwide recruitment, retention and development activities.
“Tony has been a leader, a champion and a kind and reliable sounding board for me in our diversity and inclusion efforts,” said Norma Jackson. “He helped us set a high standard for ourselves and I’m excited to continue to meet and exceed that standard as we move forward with Judge Shaw and Amanda Hettinger. Amanda has served on the Diversity Committee for many years and has a keen sense of what we want to accomplish in the months and years ahead.”
About Amanda Hettinger
Amanda is a litigator and a highly experienced litigation trial team leader for Fortune 500 companies facing class actions and complex business disputes. She has spent her entire career helping companies effectively respond to class actions related to complex tax issues and consumer fraud allegations. Amanda is a vice chair of Thompson Coburn’s Business Litigation group and a co-chair of the Firm’s Class Action practice.
She is also a member of the Firm’s Associate Review Committee and a leader of other internal committees, including associate mentoring and charitable contributions. For five years, Amanda has led fundraising efforts for the Firm’s leadership in the annual giving campaign of the United Way of Greater St. Louis. She is a longtime member of Thompson Coburn’s Total Commitment® Women’s Initiative, and has served on the Diversity Committee for more than a decade.
Said Amanda, “I’m honored to co-chair our Diversity Committee with Judge Shaw as we continue to look for new ways to support diverse professionals, address and eliminate bias, and invest in diversity and inclusion-related initiatives, programs and events across the country.”
About Tony Anderson
A past co-chair of Thompson Coburn’s Federal Practice Group, Tony has served as a legal advisor to many of the nation's largest transit systems. He provides guidance on project development, proposal review, bid protests, contract negotiations, Section 13(c) issues, transportation financing, and contract disputes. In addition, Tony helps clients understand and meet the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Since 2016, Tony has served on the board of trustees for his alma mater Johns Hopkins University, where he was one of the first alumni to participate in the Baltimore Scholars Program, a Hopkins scholarship program for students from Baltimore City Public Schools. He currently serves as vice chair of the Hopkins Board of Trustees.
Tony is a 2018 Business of Pride Award honoree from the Washington Business Journal. He is also a longtime board member of Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders (SMYAL) and a supporter of Team DC, two nonprofits that provide leadership training and resources to LGBTQ youth in our nation’s capital.
“To me, all of our efforts inside and outside of the Firm are about making folks who too often were excluded in our communities feel welcome, appreciated and supported,” said Tony. “As a black man and a gay man, I felt that ‘otherness’ throughout my life. But I also felt the support of friends and colleagues who saw what I could bring to the table. I’m proud that through our internal programs, scholarships and training, we’ve extended that same support to hundreds of diverse professionals who have gone on to excel at Thompson Coburn and beyond. That is a legacy we can all be proud of.”
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