January 29, 2021
Kelley Drye has named Denise Smith
as the Firm’s new Director of Diversity and Inclusion
. Denise joined the Firm in 2004, and most recently has served as a co-chair of the Kelley Drye Task Force on Racial Equality. In her new role, Denise will lead the Firm’s commitment to diversity and to encouraging and supporting increased diversity in the legal industry.
“Having practiced law at Kelley Drye for well over a decade, I know that the Firm values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of Firm life,” said Smith. “I’ve seen firsthand the Firm’s commitment to recruiting, retaining, and promoting women attorneys and attorneys from underrepresented groups, allowing Kelley Drye’s legal teams and clients to benefit from the diversity of experiences and perspectives that can lead to more creative and effective solutions. And I’m proud that Kelley Drye fosters a Firm culture where every member of the Kelley Drye community is valued and respected.”
Denise replaces Venetta Amory, who recently announced her decision to step back from her role as Director of Diversity after serving in the position for nine years. Under Venetta’s leadership, diversity and inclusion has become a central facet in all the firm’s operations. Venetta’s accomplishments include the formation of affinity groups, the creation of a Diversity Speakers Series, and the creation of pipeline programs that have been crucial in promoting a diverse workplace and strengthening the firm’s inclusion efforts.