Anthoula Pomrening's career showcases the values that are important to her: helping those around her, giving back to her communities, and building a strong network. Anthoula currently serves as Intellectual Property Counsel at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab ("SRAlab"), whose mission—to provide the best patient outcomes through high quality patient care, translational research, scientific research and education—is one she believes in and is excited to support through her role. Prior to that, she was a partner at McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP (“MBHB”). Anthoula is also actively involved in INTA, for which she is finishing up a term as the North American Subcommittee Chair of the Unreal Campaign Committee, and, of course, ChiWIP, for which she serves on the Community Outreach Committee as well as the In-House Advisory Committee.
Anthoula's network has connected her with some of the most important opportunities in her career. For example, she learned of her most recent position at SRAlab through a former colleague from her time as a patent agent. Because her network has been so integral to her success, helping to connect and advance others is always at the forefront of her mind.
After graduating from engineering school, Anthoula was a patent examiner at the USPTO for 5 years. She began her legal career with a focus on patent prosecution because of this background, but quickly got involved in litigation, as well as trademark work. In litigation, "you become very knowledgeable in the subject matter you're litigating," says Anthoula. Her expertise through these experiences on a wide range of intellectual property issues and technologies is particularly useful now in her role as IP Counsel at SRAlab, as the Office of General Counsel fields questions on a broad array of topics.
During her nearly 21 years at MBHB, in addition to co-founding the Women's Initiative, Anthoula established a reduced-hours policy at the firm after having her older daughter. She then impressively earned equity partnership and set the path for other working mothers to follow suit. She also sat on the Management Board and served as the Hiring Chair.
Protecting and defending products that benefit the public and better people’s lives is one of the aspects she loves about her career in intellectual property. One of the most meaningful cases in her career involved getting a life-saving product onto market. Fortunately, she is able to continue focusing on this aspect with her present role at SRAlab.
Finally, Anthoula takes pride in the many mentoring relationships she has fostered over the years, both formally and informally.
Promoting the Success of Women
Recently, Anthoula developed a relationship with a legal fellow and tried to help her in the ways Anthoula herself had been helped in her career—through getting to know her and making introductions to people and organizations. After the fellow accepted a full-time position, she wrote Anthoula a heartfelt thank you note, explaining how much her support had meant. "I didn't think I was doing anything above and beyond," Anthoula says, "but you never know the impact you make on someone." That and other similar experiences reinforce Anthoula’s belief that it is important to take every opportunity to help people, however small it may seem to you.
Anthoula is actively involved with the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, the philanthropic arm of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. She also stays busy with her two daughters, a freshman at Mizzou and a junior at Lyons Township HS. She loves fitness, especially Cycle Bar classes, and staying active.
Meet some of our other ChiWIP members here!
Do you have someone you would like to nominate for a member spotlight? To nominate or to share your own success story, please fill out the form here.