Board of Advisors

At Society 54, we know that it takes a village to be successful which is why we have assembled an amazing group of individuals to serve on our Board of Advisors. Each person has a unique background and brings their own set of skills and ideas to each meeting to help us build our company one fantastic step at a time.

Meet our Board:

Ashley Howerton Smith, Recruiting Director, Carolina Legal Staffing
Ashley Smith is the Recruiting Director for Carolina Legal Staffing and has worked to recruit attorneys to law firms across the Southeast for the past 18 years. She specializes in permanent placement of lateral partners, partner groups and lateral associates. Ashley has served on Boards at Pats Place, Lose the Training Wheels and First Presbyterian Church. She is married with 3 kids, 2 dogs, a hamster and a fish who lives in squalor.


Chris Lam, Member, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP
Chris is an attorney with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings. He is a skilled business litigator with particular experience in disputes involving contracts, trade secrets, earn outs, product liability, and defamation. He is active in professional and civic organizations, including Secretary of Mecklenburg County Bar, Board of Visitors at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy, Elder at Covenant Presbyterian Church, International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC). Chris is married with two young daughters. He grew up in Southern Pines, NC and loves to play golf.


Danielle Gier, Counsel, Accenture
Danielle is Corporate Matters Counsel at Accenture, supporting Accenture’s global Treasury operations. Accenture (Fortune Global 500) is a leading global professional services company, serving clients in over 120 countries. Prior to joining Accenture, Danielle was an attorney at Moore & Van Allen PLLC, focusing on structured finance transactions and prior to joining Moore & Van Allen, she worked at Bank of America in both its Legal and Finance functions. Danielle enjoys running, traveling, reading and spending time with her dog Willow, a very needy Weimaraner!


Stephanie Hinrichs, Director of Client Services, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP
As Director of Client Service, Stephanie initiates and builds client relationships, and works with Womble Carlyle attorneys to provide the highest quality client service. Stephanie brings more than a decade of experience in marketing and sales, specifically in the legal, economic development, airline, and transportation industries. Her prior experience includes global organizations such as Littler Mendelson, P.C., Lufthansa German Airlines, and DHL Express.


Kristen Leis, Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer, Parker Poe
Kristen is the Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer of Parker Poe.
Prior to joining Parker Poe, she held senior positions with McGuirewoods and Stoel Rives. In her current role, Kristen draws on the practical application of the business of law to directly impact client development and marketing strategy for the firm’s client relations and business development training, coaching and planning; competitive and business intelligence, and marketing communications programs. A frequent speaker on related topics, she maintains a niche focus on business development programs and coaching, client feedback initiatives, process improvement, and team building.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending quality time with her family.


Marc Gustafson, Partner, Essex Richards
Marc has been litigating for 14 years and has represented individuals, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies in employment matters, contract disputes, and a variety of business matters.He also has experience as an in-house attorney for a publicly traded company. He is active in the community, serving on the Board of the Arts and Science Council, as the Chair of the Public Art Commission, and on the Board of the Common Grounds Farm Stand. Marc is also the Executive Director of Charlotte Viewpoint, a non-profit arts publication. Marc and his wife, Jane, have two young boys, Knox and William.


M. Scott Mansfield, VP and State Underwriting Counsel, Chicago Title
Scott is Vice President and State Underwriting Counsel at Chicago Title where he focuses on commercial and residential business development. His prior experience in private practice had a concentration in debt finance and general corporate representation. Scott is married with 2 kids and a dog and is an avid fan of the Tarheels.