RALEIGH — Campbell Law School alumni Anna B. Hedgepeth ’13 and Jeffrey M. Kelly ’13 are the recipients of the Triangle Business Journal’s “40 Under 40 Leadership Award” for 2023.
For the 23rd year the TBJ will recognize 40 of the Triangle’s best and brightest business and community leaders who are making their mark and promising to do even more before the age of 40. Their accomplishments will be celebrated at an invitation-only event on Thursday, June 29, at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater in Raleigh.
Hedgepeth currently serves as the Director of Strategy & Business Development for Cranfill Sumner LLP, where she advises the firm’s Management Committee on the firm’s strategic position while also leading the strategic planning committee and business development and marketing team. Over the years, she has held multiple positions at Cranfill Sumner LLP. Most recently she served as the Director of Business Development and was responsible for developing and implementing the firm’s core values, business development coaching programs, and various client value-add programs, including client training programs.
According to her firm’s website Hedgepeth is passionate about the business side of law and combines that passion with her legal education, development and marketing experience to maintain a client-focused, teamwork strategy for the firm. Her career has been driven by understanding the dynamic between business development and strategic growth. The cornerstones of her career have been taking ideas and turning them into actions that result in both growth and positive cultural shifts.
Hedgepeth is actively involved in both her professional and local communities. She has served as the Chair of the Legal Marketing Association’s Raleigh City Group and on the advisory board. She currently serves on the Helton Scholar Endowment Fund Committee for the WakeMed Foundation. She is a member of The Circle, a leadership training and development program for top-tier legal marketing professionals from firms nationwide. The goal of the program is to help enhance leadership and collaborative skills among participants and offer a support network for personal and professional growth. She is a former Board Member of the Triangle Literacy Council where she was involved in legislative efforts to secure state funding for the expansion of the Juvenile Literacy Program. In addition, she has served on the advisory board for a local business with multiple locations across the state and on the advisory council for the legal clinics at Campbell Law School.
In 2022 she received the Cranfill Sumner Core Value award, which recognizes employees who exhibit the firm’s core values of teamwork, client service, and reputation. In 2014, she was recognized with a “Your Honor Award” by the Legal Marketing Association Southeast Chapter (comprised of 10 states across the Southeastern United States) as the Member of the Year. In 2016 she received her second “Your Honor Award” in Social/Interactive Media for an internal business development initiative at Cranfill Sumner that she helped create and lead.
In law school, Hedgepeth served as Student Bar Association president and received the David Roy Teddy Innovative Leadership and Service Award and the Student Bar Association’s Service Award for her dedication to making the Campbell Law community a better place. She also served as a Webster’s Scholar for Webster’s Real Estate Law in North Carolina.
As a partner at Nelson Mullins, Kelly focuses his practice in areas of emerging technology, particularly in areas involving data analytics, digital assets and FinTech, according to his firm’s website. “Since technology is central to so much of what we do, I care deeply about whether new technology benefits the public interest,” he wrote on his LinkedIn profile. “I have served in multiple leadership and advisory roles for regulators and professional associations on issues related to law and technology. I also work closely with innovation and entrepreneurship programs at multiple law schools and regularly volunteer on access to justice initiatives.”
Kelly works closely with entrepreneurs and companies to effectively navigate changing regulations, government investigations and complex corporate and securities law challenges. He also represents clients before tribunals and agencies that concentrate on regulating new technology and protecting trade secrets, including the North Carolina Business Court, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and federal courts.
“I am a pragmatic attorney with 9+ years of experience advising businesses on emerging technology issues and disputes, particularly involving data analytics, artificial intelligence, digital assets and FinTech,” he writes on his LinkedIn profile. “I work with clients to make risk-informed decisions about the current framework for digital assets issuance and governance under United States laws. This ranges from structuring DAOs; creating and issuing cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and other tokens; and providing guidance on developing decentralized business and gaming models.”
While at Campbell Law, Kelly served as the interim Executive Editor and as a staff writer for the Campbell Law Review and as a Legal Writing and Research Scholar. He graduated from North Carolina State University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.
He currently serves on the board of directors for Legal Aid of North Carolina, the American Bar Association’s Center for Innovation’s Governing Council and as a fellow for Duke Law School’s Center on Law and Tech (DCLT), where he works to help facilitate multiple projects leveraging technology and design to serve unmet legal needs, with a particular emphasis on North Carolina communities and initiatives. He also serves as a special advisor to the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission. He is the immediate past chair of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Future of Law Committee.
ABOUT CAMPBELL LAW
Since its founding in 1976, Campbell Law School has developed lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion and professional competence, and who view the law as a calling to serve others. Among its accolades, the school has been recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA) as having the nation’s top Professionalism Program and by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers for having the nation’s best Trial Advocacy Program. Campbell Law boasts more than 4,800 alumni, who make their home in nearly all 50 states and beyond. In 2023, Campbell Law is celebrating 45 years of graduating legal leaders and 14 years of being located in a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of North Carolina’s Capital City.