New Leadership Named to Oversee Ulmer’s Diversity Initiatives

January 31, 2023 – Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce new leadership of the firm’s diversity initiatives. Ulmer Partner Alvin E. Mathews, Jr. has been appointed Chief Diversity Officer, Counsel Yvette R. Simpson has been appointed Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, and Partner Daniela Paez has been appointed Chair of Ulmer & Berne’s Women in Law and Leadership Group (UB WILL).

“Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are core values at Ulmer, and we are confident that Alvin, Yvette, and Daniela will help us build on our achievements and ensure we continue to champion these values in all aspects of firm life,” said Scott P. Kadish, Managing Partner. “We are a firm that is proud to celebrate our differences, because they help us grow, open us up to new ways of thinking, and enable us to see complex issues from every angle.”

In his new role, Mathews is charged with leading the firm’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) Committee, increasing Ulmer’s internal and external DEIB programming and community involvement, and overseeing its implementation and execution. A committed champion of diversity, Mathews has served on Ulmer’s DEIB Committee since joining the firm in 2019. He has been a critical member of the planning team, organizing DEIB events on important topics including a recent webinar entitled, “Understanding Race and Racism,” as part of Ulmer’s DEIB series, “Unapologetically Into Action.” In 2021, Mathews was honored by Profiles in Diversity Journals as a Black Leader Worth Watching. He succeeds former Chief Diversity Officer Timothy J. Downing who retired from Ulmer this past December.

Yvette R. Simpson Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and BelongingAs Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, Simpson will work closely with Mathews to prioritize diverse initiatives within the firm through the planning of ongoing programming, a focus on diverse recruitment and retention, and by actively championing the firm’s values and culture both internally and externally. As a national commentator, speaker, trainer, and executive strategist, Simpson has provided companies of all sizes training and strategic consulting on leadership, DEIB, and government relations. She currently serves as Board Chair of the Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses in Cincinnati and as a Board Member for MORTAR, a business development nonprofit founded in Cincinnati to help train budding entrepreneurs to build and establish small businesses. She has been consistently honored for her professional achievements and community commitment throughout her career, receiving the 2022 Black Lawyer Making an Impact Award from the Cincinnati Bar Association, the Woman of Distinction Award from Girl Scouts of Greater Southwestern Ohio in 2020, and the Theodore M. Berry Award from Cincinnati NAACP in 2019.

Daniela Paez Chair of UB Will Ulmer & Berne Women in Law and LeadershipAs Chair of UB WILL – Ulmer & Berne’s Women in Law and Leadership Group, Paez will spearhead efforts to attract and support female lawyers, and to promote the success and advancement of our female attorneys and clients. An active supporter of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts, Paez is a member of Ulmer’s DEIB Committee and serves as the firm’s liaison to the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s (CMBA) Minority Clerkship Program, which provides the opportunity for qualified minority law students to work as law clerks during their 1L summers. Paez has also taken on the role of mentor to younger attorneys, training and supporting them, and helping them to hone their legal skills. Additionally, Paez is a dedicated community advocate, serving on the Board of Directors of Stella Maris, Inc., a nonprofit long-term care facility that provides addiction recovery and mental health services, and she is also a member of the board of the Cleveland chapter of Facing History and Ourselves, a global educational organization that uses lessons of history to challenge teachers and their students to stand up to bigotry and hate. Paez has been consistently recognized for her professional achievements. Recently, she was selected by Bloomberg Law as a 40 Under 40 honoree and by the National LGBT Bar Association as a “Best LGBTQ+ Lawyers Under 40” honoree. She succeeds former UB WILL Chair and current Ulmer Partner Jennifer Lawry Adams.

Ulmer believes true diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging should extend beyond the walls of the firm. In addition to recruiting, retaining, and advancing attorneys from diverse backgrounds, Ulmer puts its commitment into action by supporting charities and events that serve as a platform for diverse people and ideas, using diverse vendor programs, and engaging in community outreach through a network of diverse organizations. To learn more about Ulmer’s DEIB program, please visit