Business as usual ended in January 2020, when the first cases of COVID-19 were reported. Now, as we try—simultaneously—to develop treatments and cures, tackle the challenges of racial inequality, and restart the global economy, we’ll need more grit and ingenuity than ever before. Welcome to Business Better, a podcast designed to help businesses navigate the new normal.


Episode 17 - What to Expect from a Biden-Harris Administration in the Area of Labor and Employment Law

Ballard Spahr Labor attorneys Meredith Dante, Steve Suflas, and Chris Kelly discuss what a Biden-Harris administration means for employers in the area of labor and employment law. The team discusses what they expect to see from a new administration regarding: potential changes to the National Labor Relations Act; the priorities of a new National Labor Relations Board; wage and hour impacts, and worker classification, at the federal level; and evolving equal employment opportunity, and equal pay, issues.

Episode 16 - Mergers & Acquisitions of Distressed Businesses During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Chad Stewart leads a discussion on mergers & acquisitions activity involving distressed businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ballard Attorneys George Singer and Karen McConnell join to discuss what they’re seeing in the market, considerations for buyers and sellers of distressed businesses, a breakdown of relevant processes, and put historical context around the economic downturn caused by the pandemic and how it may differ from economic downturns of the past.

Episode 15 - The Main Takeaways from the Recent FTC Settlement with Zoom

Ballard Spahr Partner Kim Phan joins to discuss the settlement the Federal Trade Commission recently announced with Zoom Video Communications, Inc. to resolve allegations that Zoom had engaged in unfair and deceptive acts with regard to its video conferencing services. Topics include: the terms of the settlement, the extensive security measures required of Zoom under those terms, the implications for Zoom and others, and what the settlement suggests may be the focus of future FTC scrutiny.

Episode 14 - Vaccines in the Workplace: To Mandate or Not to Mandate

On today’s episode we discuss a key issue presented by the coming COVID-19 vaccines: whether employers can or should mandate vaccination, what limitations might exist on an employer’s ability to do so, and other considerations that an employer might take into account when thinking about a vaccine mandate. Leading the discussion is Brian Pedrow, Chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice. He is joined by Ballard Spahr attorneys Shannon Farmer and Jessica Federico.

Episode 13 - The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Social Justice Issues on Companies

Brian Garish, President of Banfield Pet Hospital, the largest veterinary practice in the United States; and Kenny Beck, Co-Founder & CEO at CEO Connection, the only membership organization exclusively for mid-market CEOs, join today’s episode led by John Kerkorian, the firm's Strategic Planning Partner. Brian and Kenny discuss their backgrounds and career paths, how they see the pandemic and social justice issues affecting the companies they work with, and the challenges that lie ahead for businesses in planning for the current uncertain times.

Episode 12 - A Conversation with Molly Shepard, President of The Leader’s Edge

This episode features a conversation with Molly Shepard, Founder and President of The Leader’s Edge, which provides leadership development services to executive and high-potential women and men to enhance their effectiveness as senior leaders. Ms. Shepard talks about her career path, the nature and benefits of executive coaching, stakeholder relationships and how they’re built, the benefits of 360 reviews, and her written work. Emilie Ninan, Co-Chair of Ballard Spahr’s Finance Dept., leads the dialogue.

Episode 11 - A Discussion on the New SEC Disclosure Rules

In this episode we discuss final rules recently adopted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to modernize the description of business, legal proceedings, and risk factor disclosures required in SEC registration statements and periodic reports. We review the key changes made, their significance, some open questions left by the rules, and how companies might best go about responding to the changed disclosure requirements. Ballard attorneys Mary Mullany and Naz Jalali join the conversation.

Episode 10 - What You Need to Know for the Upcoming LIBOR Transition: Best Practices and Guidance

In this episode we’ll be discussing the upcoming transition from the use of LIBOR as the principal benchmark interest rate in lending transactions. We’ll look at the emerging alternatives, their implications and consequences, and the actions that should be considered by the many affected market participants to manage through the transition.

Our guest is Joyce Frost, Co-Founder and Partner at Riverside Risk Advisors LLC, an independent advisory firm with expertise in interest rate, currency, equity and structured credit derivatives. Within Riverside, she is also the Founder of LiborXchange, which helps clients navigate the LIBOR transition, strategically and defensively. Leading this discussion is my Ballard Spahr colleague, Joyce Gorman, Senior Counsel in the Firm’s Washington, D.C. office and a member of the Firm’s Finance Department.

Episode 9 - Conversations with Women Leaders in Finance, with Special Guest Diana Hoadley of Goldman Sachs

For this series within the Business Better Podcast, we talk to, and profile, women in finance to learn about their leadership roles in financial services and capital markets, and discuss trending topics within the industry. In today’s episode we are joined by Diana Hoadley, Vice President and Head of the Higher Education and Non-Profit Group at Goldman Sachs, who will talk about her career path in public finance, the obstacles she confronted, the development of ESG financings, and her thoughts on shaping one’s career. Leading the discussion is Kim Magrini, a Partner-Elect and member of the Firm’s Finance Department.

Episode 8 - A Conversation with Dr. Lois Frankel, Bestselling Author and Executive Coach

We are joined by Dr. Lois Frankel, President of Corporate Coaching International, bestselling author, executive coach, and internationally-recognized expert in the field of leadership development for women. Dr. Frankel talks about her career path and important tactics and takeaways from her books, including framing messages, executive presence and managing feedback. She’ll also discuss her work to coach future female political candidates. Emilie Ninan, Co-Chair of Ballard Spahr’s Finance Department, leads the discussion.

Episode 7 - Conversations with Women Leaders in Finance, with Special Guest Vivian Altman of Janney Montgomery Scott

For this series within the Business Better Podcast, we talk to, and profile, women in finance to learn about their leadership roles in financial services and capital markets, and discuss trending topics within the industry. In today’s episode we are joined by Vivian Altman, Head of Public Finance at Janney Montgomery Scott, who will talk about her career path in public finance, her participation in efforts to increase diversity and promote inclusion in finance, and what she sees in the work environment after the pandemic. Ballard Partner and Finance Department Co-Chair, Emilie Ninan leads the discussion with Vivian.

Episode 6 - Conversations with Women Leaders in Finance, with Special Guest Stephanie Lom of Raymond James

For this series within the Business Better Podcast, we talk to, and profile, women in finance to learn about their leadership roles in financial services and capital markets, and discuss trending topics within the industry. In today’s episode we are joined by Stephanie Lom, Director in the Public Finance Department at Raymond James, who will talk about the role ESG considerations are playing in public finance, the efforts of Raymond James to increase the participation of women in public finance, her own career path, and her experience with the COVID-19 pandemic. Ballard Partner and Finance Department Co-Chair, Emilie Ninan leads the discussion with Stephanie.

Episode 5 - Conversations with Women Leaders in Finance, with Special Guest Karen Sunderam of UBS

For this series within the Business Better Podcast, we talk to, and profile, women in finance to learn about their leadership roles in financial services and capital markets, and discuss trending topics within the industry. In this episode, we are joined by Karen Sunderam, Head of Strategy and Business Development (Public Finance) at UBS. Karen discusses her career path to finance, reentering the workforce after a career break, and her involvement in efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the finance industry with Ballard Partner and Finance Department Co-Chair, Emilie Ninan.

Episode 4 - The State of Distress in the Health Care Industry

On today’s episode we’ll be discussing the current state of distress in the health care industry, and the value opportunities for acquisition and consolidation that may arise as a result. We’ll explore the drivers of distress and current trends, and how bankruptcy law can be used as a tool for facilitating distressed acquisitions and realizing upon opportunities for post-pandemic health care.

Episode 3 - ESG Investments and the Impact of Recent DOL Proposed Regulations on Retirement Plans

On this episode we discuss the new set of proposed regulations from the Department of Labor (DOL) providing guidance to retirement plan fiduciaries about investing plan assets in ESG Investment Vehicles. The group discusses what ESG investment are, what’s different about considering them for retirement plans, and what the DOL’s proposed regulations will do and what they wouldn’t. Finally, we talk about the reaction to the rules, how they impact retirement plans, and next steps for plan fiduciaries.

Episode 2 - CARES Act Compliance and Enforcement

The CARES Act was enacted to provide several forms of relief for individuals and businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this episode, we cover the general requirements for complying with the act, unpack how the government is likely to enforce the requirements, examine what can be learned from the government’s enforcement of TARP in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, provide best practices for CARES Act compliance, and detail how to mitigate the risk of enforcement actions.

Episode 1 - How the COVID-19 Pandemic has Changed the Physical Workplace

In this episode we are joined by Debra Moritz and Antonia Cardone from Cushman & Wakefield, a leading commercial real estate services firm to discuss the changing workplace caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics include: how the workplace was evolving before the pandemic; key learnings from a Cushman & Wakefield study on the current work from home environment; the short-and-long-term impacts on the workplace; and what businesses need to know to succeed in the new Total Workplace Ecosystem.

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Hosted By

John B. Wright, II
Senior Counsel
wrightj@ballardspahr.com