May 24, 2018 at 5:59 pm EDT | by Peter Rosenstein
Comings & Goings
National LGBT Bar Association, Comings & Goings, gay news, Washington Blade

The ‘Comings & Goings’ column chronicles important life changes of Blade readers.

The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at

Congratulations to all the 2018 recipients of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 Awards recently announced by the National LGBT Bar Association.

Some from the local area include Sarah B. Pitney, an associate with Benach Collopy, LLP.  She said, “I am honored to be recognized as one of the National LGBT Bar Association’s 2018 Class of Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40. Representing LGBT immigrants in obtaining lawful status in the United States is one of my greatest joys and I am humbled every day by the stories my clients have to tell. From trans women fleeing violence in El Salvador to gay couples seeking family-based green cards, I feel the connection every day to our global LGBT community.”

Sarah Pitney

Another is Madeline H. Gitomer an associate with Hogan Lovells LLP. She said, “I am thrilled to receive this recognition. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to work on behalf of the LGBT community through my work at Hogan Lovells and am honored to be included with such a distinguished group of lawyers.”

Gitomer previously served as a professional staff member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Subcommittee on Children and Families from the Office of Sen. Christopher Dodd. She is co-chair, Lambda Legal DC Young Professionals Network and a board member of Custody and Support Assistance Clinic.

Madeline Gitomer

Also honored was Thomas N. Saunders, assistant United States Attorney with the United States Attorney’s Office, District of Columbia. Thomas was an international human rights attorney with Cohen, Milstein, Sellers and Toll PLLC and Law Clerk for the Honorable Laura Swain, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. He said, “I am honored to receive this recognition, and humbled to be named alongside such an impressive group of attorneys from across the country.”

Thomas Saunders

Congratulations also to Andrew McCarty of Baltimore, elected the new president of Brother Help Thyself. McCarty has deep roots in Maryland in both the local and national LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS communities. McCarty neatly ties his professional day job as a hair stylist with more volunteer work at Helping Up Mission by cutting hair for that organization’s clients: men fighting addiction and homelessness.

Andrew McCarty

Congratulations also to Chef Mikko Kosonen and his business partner and husband Rob Wing who recently opened a Nordic café in Dupont Circle called “Mikko—Nordic Fine Food.” The café is at 1636 R St., N.W., just east of 17th Street. It features Danish-style open-faced sandwiches, homemade Finnish-style soups, house-smoked salmon, and traditional Nordic pastries like cinnamon rolls and cardamom buns. Chef Mikko expects to start offering daily lunch and dinner specials and we should be on the lookout for special events like tasting menus, Nordic-food cooking demonstrations and guest chefs. The townhouse the Café is in is painted the blues and reds of the Nordic country flags.

Chef Mikko has been a fixture of the Washington food scene for more than 21 years. He served 15 years as the chef to the Finnish ambassador. He has been running his own high-end catering firm for the past five years. His current list of clients includes ambassadors and other members of D.C.’s diplomatic corps. He has cooked for presidents and princesses. Now he is excited to introduce Nordic food to all Washington. Chef Mikko started cooking at 13 at his family’s restaurant Cassi in Stockholm, Sweden. He trained at the prestigious Helsinki Culinary School and honed his skills at the Havis Amanda restaurant in Helsinki.

Mikko Kosonen

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