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Member Spotlight: Who Is the Biggest Inspiration in Your Career

By Jeffery Leon

January 26, 2017

In February's Washington Lawyer, the D.C. Bar asked members who the trailblazers have been throughout their careers. Below, Gwendolyn Renigar of Steptoe & Johnson and Scott Lee of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission speak about the people who have served as their biggest inspirations.

Gwendolyn Renigar, Photo courtesy of Steptoe & JohnsonGwendolyn Prothro Renigar
Partner and General Counsel, Steptoe & Johnson LLP 

The arc of anyone’s career has certain inflection points. Toni Ianniello, Steptoe’s litigation department chair, has been there for me at each one. She accompanied me to my first depositions, without billing her time, to give me support and plenty of constructive criticism. She pushed me to pursue promotions and do the hard work to get them. She’s generous with her time with everyone — cheering, lifting, opening doors, encouraging grit, leading by example, and reliably administering tough medicine when needed. There is not one way to be a woman leader, but the trail she has blazed is a great one to follow.

Scott Lee, photo courtesy of Ashley PalmerScott Lee

Special Counsel, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission 

My father, Bing, fought in Korea with the U.S. Army and worked in the restaurant industry. He emphasized that the keys to success were being on time, having a strong work ethic, putting forth a good effort, having a positive attitude and a willingness to learn, being coachable, and being prepared. He stressed the importance of humility, taking the long view, standing up for what is right, and giving everyone the benefit of the doubt at least once. He taught me that there are three sides to a story, and that the truth is somewhere in the middle. My career has benefited from his guidance. I am fortunate to have worked for FINRA, the U.S. Congress, Credit Suisse, Alston & Bird, and the CFTC.