Grape, who returns to the firm after nearly a decade with Portico Benefits Services, draws upon private practice and in-house experience to advise for-profit and nonprofit clients on compensation and benefits issues.
Leonard, Street and Deinard today announced that Jewelie A. Grape has joined the firm as a shareholder in the employee benefits and compensation practice group.
Drawing upon her experience in private practice as well as in-house, Grape advises both for-profit and nonprofit clients on a wide range of compensation and benefits issues such as ERISA compliance, health care reform and compliance with other benefits-related state and federal laws, including HIPAA. She helps clients design, implement and maintain defined benefit plans, defined contribution plans, nonqualified deferred compensation plans, stock option plans, health plans and cafeteria plans.
Grape has extensive experience with benefits plans not governed by ERISA and advises church benefit and other organizations on a variety of board governance, general corporate, tax, and employee benefit (including 403(b) and 457(b) and (f) plan) issues. She also has experience concerning the impact of health care reform on not-for-profit organizations. Grape provides general counsel services to a local nonprofit organization, managing its day-to-day legal issues and overseeing complex litigation matters.
Grape returns to Leonard, Street and Deinard, where she worked from 1998 through 2003, first as a law clerk and then as an associate attorney.
For the past nine years, Grape served as associate general counsel, and then rose to the rank of general counsel, for Portico Benefits Services (formerly known as the Board of Pensions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). The organization, with approximately $7 billion in assets, partners with nearly 11,000 congregations, synods, seminaries and churchwide units to provide health and related benefits and services to nearly 50,000 ELCA pastors, rostered laypersons, employees and their families nationwide.
“We are delighted that Jewelie has chosen to return to Leonard, Street and Deinard at this point in her career,” said Angela M. Bohmann, a shareholder of the firm and co-chair of its employee benefits and compensation practice. “Her experience in both private practice and as in-house counsel will benefit the firm’s for-profit and nonprofit clients as they navigate the complexities of compensation- and benefits-related issues in their respective businesses.”
Grape is an active member of the Hennepin County Bar Association, where she served as president from 2011 to 2012 and led the search for a new executive director. She is a member of the board of directors and an ESL volunteer instructor for the Minnesota Literacy Council, Inc. She serves on the board of directors of the William Mitchell College of Law Alumni Association and as a member and committee chair of the City of Lakes Rotary Club.
Grape earned her law degree, cum laude, from William Mitchell College of Law; master’s degree in industrial relations from the University of Minnesota; and bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota.