People: Anita J. Ponder, Partner

Photo of Anita J. Ponder, Partner

Anita J. Ponder

Partner

Chicago
Direct: (312) 460-5671
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Anita Ponder is a partner in the Chicago office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP where she concentrates her practice in government contracts, government procurement and government relations. Ms. Ponder represents major corporations, small and mid-sized businesses as well as government agencies.

Her practice focuses on advising bidders and contractors on government regulations, laws, policies and legislation; preparing responsive bid proposals, small business subcontracting plans, bid protests and equitable contract claims; drafting and negotiating contracts; resolving contract disputes; obtaining contract payments; facilitating contract compliance, including assisting clients to meet contract participation goals for small businesses; representing contractors in suspension and debarment proceedings; and structuring competitive strategic alliances and relationships between majority- and minority-owned businesses.

Ms. Ponder has delivered speeches on these issues to major corporations, business organizations, bar associations and government agencies throughout the country. She has been interviewed frequently by both print and broadcast media, including articles in Today’s Chicago Woman (September 2008) and Chicago Lawyer (July 2008 and August 2008), as well as in several radio and television appearances, most recently on “Cosmo Connect” (Chicago Access Network Television, September 2008). 

Ms. Ponder has received several awards for her significant contributions to the business community, including the distinguished Sage Award from Mayor Richard M. Daley and the Chicago Commission on Human Relations Advisory Council on Women for Excellence and Leadership in forging the advancement of women in business, government and economic development. She was also honored as a 2009 Business Leader of Color by Chicago United. Anita is a past recipient of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s “Woman in Business Advocate of the Year” Award.

Anita Ponder is a partner in the Chicago office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP where she concentrates her practice in government contracts, government procurement and government relations. Ms. Ponder represents major corporations, small and mid-sized businesses as well as government agencies.

Her practice focuses on advising bidders and contractors on government regulations, laws, policies and legislation; preparing responsive bid proposals, small business subcontracting plans, bid protests and equitable contract claims; drafting and negotiating contracts; resolving contract disputes; obtaining contract payments; facilitating contract compliance, including assisting clients to meet contract participation goals for small businesses; representing contractors in suspension and debarment proceedings; and structuring competitive strategic alliances and relationships between majority- and minority-owned businesses.

Ms. Ponder has delivered speeches on these issues to major corporations, business organizations, bar associations and government agencies throughout the country. She has been interviewed frequently by both print and broadcast media, including articles in Today’s Chicago Woman (September 2008) and Chicago Lawyer (July 2008 and August 2008), as well as in several radio and television appearances, most recently on “Cosmo Connect” (Chicago Access Network Television, September 2008). 

Ms. Ponder has received several awards for her significant contributions to the business community, including the distinguished Sage Award from Mayor Richard M. Daley and the Chicago Commission on Human Relations Advisory Council on Women for Excellence and Leadership in forging the advancement of women in business, government and economic development. She was also honored as a 2009 Business Leader of Color by Chicago United. Anita is a past recipient of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s “Woman in Business Advocate of the Year” Award.

Education

  • J.D., University of Florida
  • B.A., Fisk University

Admissions

  • Illinois

Courts

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

1The Supreme Court of Illinois does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and no certificate, award or recognition is a requirement to practice law in Illinois.

 

 

 

Affiliations

  • Former member, Women’s Affairs and Minority advisory committees under Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias
  • Windows of Opportunity, an affiliate of the Chicago Housing Authority (Board Member)
  • Office of the Illinois Attorney General, Business Advisory Council
  • Chicago Women in Government Relations
  • Chicago Area Public Affairs Group (Board Member)
  • Illinois Super Lawyer
  • Leading Lawyers Network
  • Chicago Urban League
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
  • Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) Democratic Presidential Power Team/Business Women for Obama
  • National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) (Former Board Member)
  • Women’s Business Development Center (Former Vice President and Board Member)
  • State of Illinois Business Enterprise Council (Former Board Member)

Representative Engagements

  • Consultation to bidders/contractors, government agencies and major corporations regarding government procurement regulations, laws and policies.
  • Preparation of responses to Request for Qualifications (RFQs) and Requests for Proposals (RFPs).
  • Preparation of subcontracting plans specifying the commitment of government bidders to subcontract with businesses in designated contract groups including small business owners, women, minorities, veterans, and/or persons with disabilities.
  • Interpretation, negotiation and drafting of government contracts, contract modifications, subcontract agreements and termination settlements.
  • Representation of disadvantaged, women and minority business enterprises (D/W/MBEs) to obtain certification eligibility in connection with D/W/MBE contract participation requirements.
  • Preparation of D/W/MBE certification applications, Small Business Administration 8(a) applications, Small Disadvantaged Business applications and appeals of certification eligibility decisions.
  • Preparation of bid protests challenging decisions in connection with government solicitations and contract awards.
  • Representation of government contractors and subcontractors in the contract payment process
  • Preparation of equitable adjustments and claims in connection with government contracts.
  • Representation of government agencies and businesses in connection with their communication strategies and legislation involving government agreements and contracts, procurement policies and procedures, capital plans, bond financing and tax increment financing.
  • Consultation to bidders/proposers in connection with the formation of strategic contracting alliances, identification of prospective bidding opportunities and business development resources.

Presentations

  • “Best Practices in Government Supplier Diversity Programs,” ABA Conference, Washington, DC (April 19, 2012)
  • “An Introduction to Federal Government Contracting,” Chicago, IL (January 19, 2011)
  • “Minority and Women Business Governmental Disparity Studies,” Chicago, IL (October 20, 2009)
  • “Chicago Central Area Action Plan,” Chicago, IL (September 24, 2009)
  • Cook County Contract Management Ordinance, Chicago, IL (September 9, 2009)
  • “The State of Illinois Capital Bill,” Chicago, IL (August 8, 2009)
  • “Chicago 2016,” Chicago, IL (July 10, September 9 and September 24, 2009)
  • “Procurement Policies & Diversity Initiatives of Educational Institutions,” Chicago, IL (June 19, 2009)
  • “Illinois Reform Commission Report,” Chicago, IL (May 21, 2009)
  • “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,” Chicago, IL (March 20, April 29, May 21, June 29, August 8, September 9 and September 24, 2009)
  • “The Basics of Doing Business with the Federal Government,” Chicago, IL (February 10, 2009)
  • “M/WBE Programs: Innovative Policies and Procedures,” Illinois Diversity Action Committee, Chicago, IL (August 20, 2008)
     

Publications

Accolades

  • Chicago United, 2009 Business Leader of Color National Forum for Black Public Administrators, Corporate Leadership Award
  • Super Lawyers, "Illinois Super Lawyer" in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009, Government, City and Municipalities law
  • Chicago Commission on Human Relations Advisory Council on Women, Sage Award
    Coalition for United Community Action, “Woman of the Year” Award
  • U.S. Small Business Administration “Woman in Business Advocate of the Year” Award
  • Leading Lawyers Network — The Top Lawyers, Member, Governmental, Municipal, Lobbying & Administrative Law, Public Finance Law
  • Crain’s Chicago Business, included in Chicago’s “100 Most Influential Women”
    AWBC Magazine, 2008 Justice Award
  • N’Digo Newspaper, named among “Who’s Who of Influential Chicagoans”
  • U.S. Customs Service, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Public Health, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Certificates of Appreciation