Maria Z. Vathis, President

Maria Vathis has been a dedicated and active member of the FBA since the beginning of her legal career. In 2002, she became a member of the Chicago Chapter’s Board of Directors. In 2004, she received the “Outstanding Service and Dedication Award” from the local chapter, and she served as editor of the Chicago Chapter’s newsletter, which won an award from FBA National in 2005 for “Outstanding Newsletter.” She also introduced a charitable component to the Chicago Chapter by organizing a cell phone drive to benefit victims of domestic violence and senior citizens in the Chicago area.

In 2006, she was elected Treasurer of the Chicago Chapter, and, in successive years, served as Secretary, Second Vice President, and First Vice President. In 2010, she had the honor of becoming the youngest person to serve as President of the Chicago Chapter. The Chicago Chapter hosted a successful Annual Meeting and Convention during her term as Chicago Chapter President in 2011.

Maria’s service to the FBA includes serving as a Board Member from 2012-2015, serving two terms as one of the Vice Presidents of the Seventh Circuit, chairing the National Essay Contest for the last two years, chairing the Audit Committee and Convention Committee, and being an active member of the Second Annual Women in the Law Planning Committee, the Nominations and Elections Committee, the 100-Year Anniversary Planning Committee, the Bench/Bar Committee, and the Task Force on Conventions. She looks forward to chairing the Social Events Committee for the 100-Year Anniversary Celebration.

Maria is a frequent speaker on FBA panels including several Chapter Leadership Training Programs and the Women in the Law Panel at the Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico in 2013. Recently, Maria has appeared on the television show “Politics Tonight” on WGN-CLTV and on several radio shows to discuss the FBA’s mission. Maria is an attorney in Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP’s Office where she is a litigator representing corporate clients in business disputes and class actions involving statutory violations. She represents Fortune 500 companies and retailers in the United States and Europe.

Maria is a frequent speaker at fashion law conferences, including FBA conferences, in New York, Chicago, and Paris, France. Maria is very active in the community, holding positions including President of the Hellenic Bar Association of Illinois and board member of the American Cancer Society’s Associate Board of Ambassadors. She received the “Lawyer of the Year” award from the Hellenic Bar Association in 2017. She was also selected for inclusion in Chicago Magazine’s Super Lawyers - Rising Stars list from 2009-2011 and selected as one of The National Trial Lawyers’ Top 100 Lawyers in Illinois for 2011. She looks forward to many more years of service to the FBA.