In a surprise presentation, the NBA Entertainment Sports and Arts Section presented BESLA Chairwoman, Elke Flores Suber with the 2017 NBA Entertainment Lawyer of the Year Award. Suber is a senior executive and leader with a passion for issues related to technology, intellectual property, and diversity. As the Assistant General Counsel for Microsoft Stores and its Media and Entertainment division, Elke leads a global legal team that supports Microsoft's physical and digital stores around the world, and its relationships with partners like Dell, HP, Lenovo, and the National Football League, and digital content providers like Disney, Sony Music, Universal Music, HBO, Spotify, and Netflix. At Microsoft, she has served in a variety of roles, including counsel for several of the company's leading consumer products, and lead copyright lawyer for Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, including Xbox.
Suber is the first African American woman to ascend to the position of Assistant General Counsel at Microsoft. She is the second woman to serve as chair of the board of directors of the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association - the first from a corporate background. Elke's other professional affiliations include the National Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the American Law Institute. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law Board of Visitors.
This year's reception was chaired by Emily M. Dickens, BESLA board secretary and senior vice president and general counsel, Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The planning committee included Suber, and BESLA board members Brian Broughton, vice president and associate general counsel, BET Networks and Samantha C. Grant, partner at Shepard Mullin Richter and Hampton LLP.