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As a kid, Alan Chang idolized the New York Yankees. He became their deputy general counsel by never giving up



Legal Spotlight

PROFILE

Meet the Legal Leaders

In our annual legal spotlight, the top general counsel in the country share their experience and expertise in making the legal department a focal point for any business’ success

Cover: Gillian Fry

Michael Kaminer

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Craig Cook

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Domenick Di Cicco

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David Adams

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Chip Wheelock

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Bill Rainey

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Mark Pasko

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Brian Farley

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Jeffrey Simmons

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Steve Scheinthal

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Ricardo NuĂąez

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S T R AT E G Y

Virginia MacSuibhne’s MacGyver Moments Like the TV hero, Roche Molecular Solutions’ chief compliance officer finds ingenious ways to solve any issue

Shifting Gears As the head of Volkswagen Group of America’s human resources department, David Bruce helps steer the company into the future by adapting to industry trends

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Retail Refresh Kirkland’s COO, Mike Cairnes, is helping to shape the retailer’s 2022 vision for success by drawing from his background

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Patrick Pho (Volkswagen Group of America), Sarah Sher (Roche Molecular Solutions), Caroline Sharpnack (Kirkland’s)

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First-Rate Freight Jeffrey Simmons, general counsel at GlobalTranz Enterprises, is using his legal expertise to help expand the company’s international presence

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One-Company Harmony Discover how Tracy Bargielski unites Yamaha’s departments to create a warm, collaborative, and supportive culture

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Promised Demand How essential oil producer and distributor doTERRA and CFO Corey Lindley worked to gain farmers’ and producers’ trust around the world

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A Servant Heart Sonny Terrill shares what it takes to be a leader at the mission-driven human services business, ResCare

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Addressing the Gender Gap From creating the Women in Leadership program to internal resource groups, Teresa Tanner is helping Fifth Third Bank’s employees break the glass ceiling

Gillian Fry (Encompass Health), Robb Hanks (doTERRA)

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Turning Over a New LEAF

Encompassing the Best Talent Acquisition

Heath Holtz of Nissan North America is helping the company adapt to consumer trends by prepping for hybrid vehicles

Brooke Glennon uses new technology and a long-standing internal passion to ensure Encompass Health has the medical professionals it needs to succeed

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CREATIVE

PUBLISHING

VP of Creative Sean Conner

Guerrero, LLC

Editorial Director Megan Bungeroth Senior Editor Danny Ciamprone Editors Joe Dixon Frannie Sprouls Jonas Weir Design + Photo Director Caleb Fox Senior Designers Jany Zhang Anna Jo Beck Designers Juliet Desnoyer Greer Mosher

CEO Pedro Guerrero

Managing VP Marc Jerbi Executive Assistant Jaclyn Gaughan Client Services Director Cheyenne Eiswald Senior Client Services Manager Rebekah Pappas Client Services Managers Skylar Garfield Katie Richards Director of People Kathy Kantorski

Photo Editors & Staff Photographers Cass Davis Gillian Fry

Recruitment Director Elyse Schultz

SALES EVP of Sales Katie Else

Director of Network Engagement Vianni Busquets

VP of Sales Kyle Evangelista

Director of Finance Nichole Roiland

Sales Director Kim Harrington

Reprints & Circulation Director Stacy Kraft stacy@guerreromedia.com

Director of Sales Operations Philip Taylor

Office Manager Megan Thorp

Director of Executive Success Anna Jensen Enterprise Relationship Managers Erin Malone Jenny Vetokhin

Subscriptions + Reprints For a free subscription, please visit profilemagazine.com /subscribe. Printed in China. Reprinting of articles is prohibited without permission of Guerrero, LLC. For reprint information, contact Stacy Kraft at 312.256.8460 or stacy@guerreromedia.com. Profile® is a registered trademark of Guerrero, LLC.

Success is such a subjective concept that many of us struggle to define it. Some may say it’s about money and power, others say achieving peace of mind, providing the best for your family, or something more definitive, like reaching that dream job you’ve been chasing. Personally, I can’t define it yet, because I’m afraid to. If I told myself that I had become successful, then I would grow complacent. It’s that feeling of not needing to achieve the next thing that is terrifying. That’s not to say I haven’t thought about it, though. And when I do, I often think about retired professional athletes. Since they face retirement at a young age, athletes are sometimes left in a place of forced complacency. No longer are they putting in the hours to make the championship game, or entertaining thousands of fans during the season. Now, they have to redefine success. There’s a trend I see when athletes retire. Unless asked directly, rarely do they talk about the plays they made on the rink, court, or field. Instead, they talk about how they gave it everything they had. They were proud of how they came together with their teammates, how they set their mind to what they wanted to achieve, and how they emptied the tank every time they needed to when competition was underway. But you can substitute “athlete” with any profession, and that gives me the most direction in defining success: a general counsel/CHRO/supply chain vice president/doctor/teacher/playwright gave it everything they had, collaborated with their colleagues, and inspired their team to achieve anything they set their minds to. Whether they won or lost, they knew that they gave it everything they had. Once you can say you’ve accomplished that, whether you were “successful” or not is arbitrary. As the executives in our Feature section share, the chase for greatness is never-ending. Whatever your goals are, you need to have determination, grit, and a willingness to define success for yourself—no matter how scary that may be. However you define success, whether that’s in dollars or personal achievements or promotions, the concept of success is vague for a reason. It’s about discovering how you want to define it and not letting others define it for you.

Danny Ciamprone Senior Editor

Guerrero

Content Advertising Managers Kelly Alexander Christina Brown Evan Handler Brandon Havrilka Sarah Jameson Ben Julia Ben Keller MG Morgese Angela Reeves Nikki Thayyil Juanita Vivas Ashley Watkins

There’s a Retired Athlete in All of Us

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Returning to the Cloud Paul Maher’s experiences come to bear in his new role as head of the Industry Experiences team at Microsoft Words by J O N A S W E I R

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Photos by G I L L I A N F R Y


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Paul Maher has spent much of his career working in the cloud. After earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Sheffield, he commenced his working life at a local software company in his hometown of Liverpool. Maher next joined KPMG UK as a developer and went on to lead the product engineering team responsible for delivering healthcare solutions to the UK and Scandinavian markets. Maher’s career continued into roles leading research and development at JMC Airlines and Torex Retail before joining Microsoft UK in 2005, where his career migrated to the cloud. He left Microsoft to help build one of the biggest solutions on the Microsoft Azure cloud at the actuarial and consulting firm Milliman. But in late 2017, Maher rejoined Microsoft to take on one of the biggest and most exciting challenges of his career. As the general manger of Industry Experiences, Maher is building an entirely new team from scratch. As the team’s name suggests, Maher is assembling a team that aligns Microsoft’s cloud solutions and services with industry needs—something that he understands firsthand from his previous roles. “We want to ensure that Azure is the cloud of choice for industry,” Maher says. “So, we’re hiring a team that has a customer obsession—a customer-first approach.” Currently, the Industry Experiences team is focusing on building out the team, hiring experts with industry and cloud experience. The team will connect and engage with industry, everyone from influencers to architects to developers, focused on building industry relations and providing technical expertise to help businesses be successful using the Azure cloud to deliver to their digital transformation needs. The team is initially focusing on the following industries: financial services, manufacturing, retail, and healthcare. Maher is the right person to lead the team as he has years of industry experience—in particular in financial services, retail, and healthcare—as well as a long tenure at Microsoft. He is also proud of his recent achievements as CTO at Milliman, where he and his team worked directly with Microsoft to build a market-leading solution on Microsoft Azure for actuarial modeling and reporting. “I’ve come from industry. My proudest moment is having built one of the biggest things that exists on Azure today while at Milliman,” Maher says. “Having that deep, technical understanding and in-depth industry knowledge in the Industry Experiences team allows us to not only have an effective and engaging conversation with industry customers, but to also have those conversations internally with the engineering teams.” Maher is also excited to be able to help the Azure engineering team. He had worked with the team in his previous roles at Microsoft, but the Industry Experiences team is actually embedded within the engineering Paul Maher team. Additionally, Maher is following General Manager of in the path of leaders he believes in, Industry Experiences specifically former executive vice president of cloud and enterprise group and Microsoft Corporation current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, as

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well as Scott Guthrie, the current executive vice president of cloud and enterprise group, who asked Maher to head the Industry Experiences team. Above all, though, the new role is a chance for Maher to use his industry background to help shape Microsoft’s cloud offering. “Ultimately, one of the big goals of the team is to provide feedback and industry insights to Azure engineering, the folks that are building out the Microsoft Azure cloud, and associated services,” Maher explains. “We are providing a real-world understanding of how the cloud is being used, what the digital transformation needs are across industry, which will help us continue to evolve our Azure cloud platform to meet the needs of industry.” The Industry Experiences team plans to gain those insights in part by working directly with customers and partners. In fact, the team is already driving initiatives in financial services, retail, and manufacturing. They are engaging in a variety of ways, such as deep technical engagements, as well as community focused activities such as events, industry institution memberships, and advisory boards. And while Maher is already actively executing on the team’s mission, he is still in the process of building the team. To put the right people in the right seats, he’s drawing on the vast network that he’s built over his career and looking to surround himself with a group of bright people with diverse backgrounds, skill sets, and industry experience. “If you surround yourself with smart people, then you can achieve anything,” Maher says. In addition to identifying those people within Microsoft, Maher has stayed in touch and connected with previous coworkers and new people via LinkedIn and at industry events. In fact, the connections he made during his first nine years at Microsoft are part of the reason he decided to return to the company. “My relationships have offered me a variety of advantages,” Maher says. “I already know everyone at Microsoft, so I’ve known where to go and where to connect to start kicking off these initiatives. In addition, I’m obviously

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“I’m excited to be on the Azure cloud team because we see the cloud as the future for Microsoft and for the industry. We’re at the center of the digital revolution.” PAU L M A H E R

hiring people through my networks, people I value and respect.” Maher is so personally in tune with the culture and new direction at Microsoft that he often draws from Nadella’s playbook for his own leadership skills. Nadella’s approach to innovation and continual transformation, which he details in his book Hit Refresh, guide Maher in building and leading his new team. And although Maher often quotes or references Nadella’s book, he has also developed his own philosophies on leadership. “My leadership approach is to learn from experience, to make sure that you learn from your mistakes, evolve, and mature,” he says. Now, all of Maher’s experiences are coming to bear as he gets to build an entirely new team from scratch and put all of his industry knowledge outside Microsoft to work. “The opportunity to be part of the transformation and build an industry-led team within an engineering-led business group is really exciting,” Maher says. “I’m excited to be on the Azure cloud team because we see the cloud as the future for Microsoft and for the industry. We’re at the center of the digital revolution.”

REQUIRED READING Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft's Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone By Satya Nadella With a foreword from Bill Gates, Hit Refresh represents a passing of the torch of sorts at Microsoft. Written by current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the book touts a cultural change at Microsoft that centers on building more empathy with customers. It’s a message that Paul Maher identifies with while he leads the new Industry Experiences team. The message that Maher hears is that the Azure cloud engineering team needs to identify with industry needs rather than retrofitting the tech.

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The Fast Track to Mentorship

Irvine Company’s Gino Bianchini models his team after his mentors in tax and real estate By J O S E P H K AY

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Roger Clay

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Gino Bianchini was learning a great deal from his internship in a criminal defense firm, but the foremost lesson for this young law student was that he did not want a career in criminal defense. Picking through job listings, he noticed one that seemed worth a shot: an opening at Fred Daily’s one-man tax practice located in San Francisco. Catching Bianchini’s attention, the notice read: “Must love tax law.” Bianchini didn’t love tax law necessarily, but he’d been something of an entrepreneur as an undergraduate at the University of San Diego, and he had enjoyed his studies in business law so far. The position was also likely to suit him better than criminal defense. “It combined statutory, regulatory, and common law analysis, and it was generally

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intertwined with business, which is where I originally thought my legal career would be focused. So, I got the best of both worlds,” he says. Though he discovered that the one-person practice wasn’t exactly for him, Bianchini developed the diligence and propriety that continue to support his professional approach today. “I learned to be an advocate, yet stay respectful,” he says. “I start from that position, try to understand where my adversary is coming from, and treat them with respect, until it’s clear that is not in the best interest of my client. Then, the gloves come off.” Plus, over time, he found that he did love tax law: he was having fun, he was learning, and he was coming to be valued by clients and colleagues alike. Bianchini left in 1997 to join Ernst & Young (now EY) Kenneth Leventhal Real Estate Group. In 2001, he got the opportunity to rotate through the EY National Tax Department in Washington, DC, which is where Bianchini quickly realized he wasn’t yet the tax wizard he had

Gino Bianchini SVP, Tax Counsel Irvine Company

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thought. The excellence, exactitude, and high degree of scrutiny at the organization quickly humbled him, prompting a sink-orswim moment. “I just dug in,” he recalls. “The level was so high, and I didn’t want to the be the young professional who missed something because I hadn’t done enough research, so I plowed into research and wrote and wrote.” Bob Shachat, one of the most highly respected real estate tax lawyers in the country, and something of a personal idol for Bianchini, took the emerging associate under his wing. “I think he thought I needed help,” Bianchini recalls with a laugh. Shachat opened the door on panel appearances, which helped Bianchini develop stage-worthy confidence and intellectual agility. Most of all, he provided an example of the legal professional that Bianchini wanted to be. Sophisticated, agile, and personable, Shachat was also a leader who shaped the workplace experience for his colleagues and created a team subculture that supported the larger organization’s pursuit of excellence. “That was one of the big things I learned from EY: the importance of culture for getting the best results for clients. There’s no such thing as an accidentally strong culture. They’re built on purpose, with clarity and direction,” Bianchini says. Among his own team, he leverages levity and personal connection to create an organization of invested actors. If they know each other and care about each other—if the team’s mission has a personal element—then they’ll support each other and deliver when it counts. In other words, tax law is supposed to be fun. As a service-oriented leader, he takes time to learn and understand his team’s individual career goals. While he arranges his team to serve the needs of his clients or the organization, he also considers how he can support his colleagues’ professional ambitions. “We codevelop key roles and responsibilities for every member on the team,” he says. “They’re taking responsibility for something that helps the team achieve the larger objective.” Bianchini’s dedication to mentorship has been noticed by the business partners he works with regularly. “As long as I have known Gino, as a colleague and friend at Greenberg Traurig and now as a client, his dedication to quality and service is apparent in everything he does,” says Dennis Block, senior chairman of global M&A at law firm Greenberg Traurig. “He

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“I have a great team and, as a leader, I need to provide the race track for them to show off their skills. We built that track, and now I just have to hang on.” G I N O B IAN C H I N I

embodies the spirit of leadership, positively impacting the many people he works with. It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with him for all these years.” When roles, goals, and mission align, the team can fire on all cylinders. “If you have a Ferrari on a busy New York street, you’ll never see what that high-performance car can really do,” Bianchini explains. “Similarly, I have a great team and, as a leader, I need to provide the race track for them to show off their skills. We built that track, and now I just have to hang on.” Where his judgments and their aims mismatch, Bianchini will also try to provide the guidance that will help them be successful, even if that means they should consider another track or even another organization. As he discovered between the end of his professional baseball ambitions—a short-lived childhood dream—and the beginning of his tax law career, it’s as important to do what you’re good at as it is to do what you love. That approach extends to his own concept of mentorship. Grateful to a number of his own mentors, Bianchini knows the importance of paying that relationship forward, so he has a number of formal and informal mentees. He also knows that the mentor is

just one tool in a young professional’s kit, and how much is learned from one’s mentorship is the responsibility of the mentee. “If I have a successful mentee, it’s likely not due to anything I have done,” he says. “It’s up to the mentee to find a mentor and determine what they want to learn from them. I try to set an example, and if I can help them learn even one new skill, then I have been a successful mentor.” One of Bianchini’s former students from Chapman University School of Law served as his intern at EY. A job offer was extended but not accepted, as the student went on to pursue a master’s program. About ten years later, their paths crossed again and now the student works with him as associate tax counsel. The moral, he says, is that “you never know where a professional relationship will take you—or when it will take you there.” As he reminds his young associates, the rewards won’t reveal themselves immediately: the interns won’t be driving deals and meeting clients, but they will function as part of the team that does. Getting a spot at the firm only means you have an opportunity. The trial and the journey are still to come, so dig in, be diligent, do what you’re good at, and be good at what you do.


ANNIVERSARY

2 0 0 0 AT TO R N E YS | 3 8 LO C AT I O N S W O R L D W I D E ˚ | W W W.G T L AW.CO M

Leadership. Vision. Dedication. Congratulations to our friend, client, and former colleague,

Gino Bianchini of The Irvine Company. Your vision and leadership has made a lasting impression on all that have worked with you. We applaud your accomplishments and look forward to continuing our relationship.

DENNIS J. BLOCK | SR. CHAIRMAN GLOBAL M&A GREENBERG TRAURIG, LLP | METLIFE BUILDING | 200 PARK AVENUE | NEW YORK, NY 10166 | 212.801.9200 ASIA | UNITED STATES | LATIN AMERICA | EUROPE | THE MIDDLE EAST Greenberg Traurig is a service mark and trade name of Greenberg Traurig, LLP and Greenberg Traurig, P.A. ©2017 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved. Attorney advertising. °These numbers are subject to fluctuation. 30035


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Thriving in Structure Amy Corbin explains how her strong upbringing and love of complexity have blended perfectly to help her lead the finance organization at Surescripts By D A N N Y C I A M P R O N E

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Amy Corbin Mark Finkenstaedt

CFO Surescripts

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After growing up in a military family as the youngest of seven children, Amy Corbin was used to structure. The five girls and two boys were led with consistency and high expectations, especially from their father, who served in the US Army, Navy, and Air Force. There were room inspections, chores, and set schedules. It became part of a daily routine that drove Corbin and her siblings to be strong both in their personal and professional lives, shine under pressure, and have the mind-set that no task was too tall. “I thrived in it,” Corbin recalls of her structured upbringing. “It was almost as if my parents were running a little squadron. It was a really strong, happy upbringing.” Today, that same structure and attention to detail drive Corbin in her role as chief financial officer for Surescripts, a health technology company that operates a nationwide health information network that delivers actionable intelligence, including prescription information, clinical information, and full medical records to enhance prescribing and inform care decisions. She still carries with her that same set of values from her upbringing—integrity, honesty, responsiveness—as well as a love for structure and complexity, both of which she has found in the field of finance. Before joining Surescripts, Corbin earned her opportunity to solve some of the most complex issues during her twelve-year tenure at Deloitte. The company aligned perfectly with her background, and she found the structured, high-pressure environment and intense expectations comforting. But it also presented exposure in a diverse array of challenges. “One week I might be auditing a bank and checking customer balances or loan covenants, and then the next week I might be at a railroad company tracking inventory that’s somewhere out on the rails,” Corbin says. “My background, integrity, and openness throughout remained essential qualities, and I didn’t always know what the next challenge would be. But I always willingly jumped in, regardless of the complexity of the task.” After Deloitte, Corbin joined Genworth, where she spent thirteen years honing her problem-solving skills as global controller, division CFO, and head of investor relations. This role had her completing a multitude of transformational initiatives, such as leading a major finance restructure, eliminating redundant work, increasing efficiency, and reducing overall spend. As in her previous role, Corbin faced these diverse challenges head on.

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A new challenge awaited her at Surescripts. The organization’s unique business model focuses on improving patient safety by connecting doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies to safely provide actionable patient intelligence to inform healthcare decisions. Surescripts is a relatively young company that has grown exponentially over the years. As a result, a major focus for Corbin, her team, and CEO Tom Skelton has been to improve the operational effectiveness across the company to match the pace and complexity of the growing business. For Corbin, that started with a major undertaking in restructuring the finance organization. She needed to ensure that the finance operations were effective, efficient, and accurate. Additionally, she needed finance to be seen as an essential business partner. “I want this finance organization to be a sought-out resource by the business— one that provides the right information at the right time to support decision-making,” Corbin explains. To kickoff the multiyear restructuring of the finance organization, Corbin knew the finance service model had to be redefined and the rebuild must include input from all stakeholders, identify all impacted processes, and take technology into account to be successful. She and her team started by interviewing stakeholders both internally and externally to find out what their needs and expectations were, which initially led to substantial changes in the structure and size of the finance organization. Then, in 2017, Corbin and her team tackled the new service model. “In order to do that, we had to take a hard look at all the product portfolios and


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“ EY would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Amy on this outstanding career recognition.”

“Being from a military family, you learn the value of service. Providing exceptional service is really important and is a big thing that I push for, in addition to ensuring my team is building strong business partnerships.”

- Don Rogers, Global Client Service Partner www.ey.com

AMY C O R B I N

understanding the financial commitments and expectations that were derived from our business model,” Corbin explains. Corbin and her team also broke down all of the financial commitments and contracts. Then, they rebuilt the process and defined what the company needed from technology to be successful. After accomplishing the yearone goal of restructuring the finance team and the year-two goal of evaluating financial expectations and commitments, Corbin and her team are now perfectly set up in 2018 to finish product line evaluations and build out the necessary technology. Those efforts over the past two years have not only helped improve processes and raise the stature of the team, but they’ve also invoked the importance of serving—something Corbin is more than accustomed to. “Being from a military family, you learn the value of service,” she says. “Providing

exceptional service is really important and is a big thing that I push for, in addition to ensuring my team is building strong business partnerships. In finance, we are in a supporting role, we enable the business to look forward, and we help them make decisions.” Corbin notes that her upbringing has given her a natural tendency to jump into any situation and help make a meaningful impact. And it’s safe to say that’s been a cornerstone to the pace and success she has seen to date on her journey to restructure the finance organization at Surescripts. “I’ve learned a lot about the organization, my team, and myself in the short amount of time I’ve been with the company,” Corbin says. “We are seeing the benefits of our work but know we’ve got much more to do, and we believe we’re on the right path to getting it done.”

In today's business world, staying competitive means striking the right balance between risk and reward. © 2017 EYGM Limited. All Rights Reserved. ED None.

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Finding a Home In-House After beginning a career in private practice, Michael Kaminer has found his niche as in-house counsel for Bluegreen Vacations Corporation

by Joe Dixon

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Michael Kaminer had always thought of himself as a lawyer, not a businessman. As a private practice lawyer, Kaminer had become accustomed to how lawyers behave, speak, and prioritize. However, that mindset needed to change when he joined WCI Communities in 2003 as vice president and associate general counsel. “I had to start interacting with people business-wise, but I also had to become their peers and their friends and their associates on a different level depending on what their interests and needs are, which is quite different from dealing with lawyers all day,” Kaminer says. But Kaminer also says that the transition was made easier because he modeled himself after WCI’s general counsel and learned what it took to be a successful in-house lawyer. “I learned how to make sure the work you do and the advice you give is sufficient from a legal standpoint, but that it’s in a business format that leaders can easily understand,” Kaminer says. Another major adjustment for Kaminer was learning how to keep his briefs, emails, and memos short and focused. Lawyers, he says, often want to outline every possibility, scenario, and outcome of a given situation, but businesspeople often only want to hear about the options most likely to affect the business. Today, Kaminer is using the lessons he learned at WCI and applying them as the

senior vice president, general counsel, and assistant secretary for Bluegreen Vacations Corporation. Joining as assistant general counsel in 2007, Kaminer was promoted to his current position in 2010. Upon joining the company, he faced a new slew of professional challenges. Bluegreen is a provider of vacation experiences through strategic partnerships with companies such as Bass Pro Shops and Choice Hotels, as well as through its Bluegreen Getaways program. However, Kaminer had no prior knowledge of the industry before coming on board with the company, which meant he had to work quickly to acquire the technical knowledge necessary to do his job effectively. “I think my biggest advantage was being able to rely on a couple of outside counsel who had good relationships with Bluegreen at first,” Kaminer says. While deepening his knowledge of the industry, Kaminer also had to focus on being an effective leader for his legal team. One strategy he has for doing that is adopting a hands-on style to help train new recruits, and once they understand their role, rarely interfering with their work. “If I’m going to be evaluating someone on how they’re doing their job, then I owe it to them to tell them how I want it to be done,” he says. “If I don’t tell them how to do something and then criticize them, then


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“The legal department doesn’t just have to follow rules and regulations like we always have, but we need to do it in a way that makes sure the public has confidence in us and in our company.” Michael Kaminer

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that’s as much my fault as theirs because I didn’t show them how to do it.” Having everyone on his team understand their roles would become more important than ever as Bluegreen embarked on its initial public offering (IPO) in 2017. What made this unusual is that it would be the second time Bluegreen would become a public company. When Kaminer arrived at Bluegreen, it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), but leadership decided to take the company private in 2012. Five years later, they decided to go public again. As a result, Kaminer had to help his team manage SEC filings and NYSE requirements, as well as adopt public accounting practices and many other tasks to successfully take the company public. But there is another, less tangible, need that Kaminer also had to impress upon his team. “The legal department doesn’t just have to follow rules and regulations like we always have, but we need to do it in a way that makes sure the public has confidence in us and in our company,” Kaminer explains. Now that Kaminer and his team have successfully taken Bluegreen public once again, he is looking toward the future of the company and the legal team. The first goal Kaminer has is to streamline the legal team’s internal rules and procedures. This will help make work coming out of the department more consistent, because there will be a simple set of rules and processes for each team member to follow. “As much as possible, no matter who you ask in the legal department, we want someone to get the same basic answer,” Kaminer says. “Because the company has become bigger, we have a lot more people coming to us for answers, and I want to make sure everyone has the same knowledge to give back the same answer.” Secondly, Kaminer is focusing on making the legal department as cost-effective as possible. Another element of being a public company is thinking about shareholders, who want to ensure the company continues to be profitable, he says. “We’re not going to sacrifice quality to save money, but we are going to do what we can to provide our work and our services with an eye on budgets more than ever,” he says.

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built for

RESULTS

The leisure and hospitality attorneys at Taylor English are honored to be a trusted partner and counselor of Bluegreen for more than 20 years. We salute Michael Kaminer and the entire Bluegreen executive team for their industry-leading innovation and wish them continued growth and success.

www.taylorenglish.com


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You’ve Built It Now Share It American Builders Quarterly highlights leaders and projects on the cutting edge of today’s US building industry. For editorial consideration, contact info@americanbuildersquarterly.com

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When Inspiration Strikes, Edward Dunlap will be There Trojan Battery Company’s CFO explains how taking a break can lead to unexpected breakthroughs

Michael Mittelstaedt

By R U S S G A G E R

Many people get epiphanies in the shower. For Edward Dunlap—senior vice president and chief financial officer of Trojan Battery Company—mountain biking, body surfing, working out in the gym, and reading provide him with unexpected benefits and sudden moments of inspiration. “An idea will just spring to mind, and for me, those breaks from work give you a chance to relax your mind,” Dunlap says. “By relaxing your mind, invariably it comes back to work, and you do come up with some ideas you then share with work. That does happen with some frequency.” Those epiphanies are crucial for Dunlap as he enters his fifth year with Trojan Battery, which is based in Santa Fe Springs, California. In his current role, he handles all the responsibilities of a CFO in addition to setting global prices and procuring commodities, such as new and recycled lead that the company uses in its deep-cycle flooded, absorbent glass mat,

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and gel batteries. The batteries are used in everything from aerial work platforms and marine vessels to golf carts and other recreational vehicles. His work with pricing involves researching the value of Trojan Battery’s brand so that prices can be set without over- or undervaluing the product. “You have to find that right balance,” he says. Dunlap also supervises roughly forty employees across the financial accounting, tax and treasury, financial planning and analysis, IT, and commodities-buying departments. Outside of ensuring that the company remains competitive and financially successful, Dunlap is also passionate about mentoring employees and moving them into additional responsibilities. Edward Dunlap H i s m e n t o ring efforts have SVP, CFO been fruitful at Trojan Battery Tr o j a n B a tt e r y, Company which has been

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family-managed for more than ninety years and family-owned until 2013. “I’ve seen people that worked for me progress not only in the organization that we both work for, but also progress onto greater levels of responsibility,” Dunlap says. “We do a lot of promoting from within and moving people around, whether those are people we feel we can stretch into new assignments or who may be struggling in an assignment.” Dunlap cites a recent example of an employee who was shifted into another area. “He’s really exceeded our expectations once we go him in the right job,” Dunlap says. “On any team, it’s putting people in the right spots. Whoever fields the best team wins.” Earlier in his career, Dunlap says he had mentors guide him on the path to leadership. “I’ve had a few mentors that have helped me broaden my perspective and taught me some of the essentials with regard to leadership,” he says. “They just gave me a broader perspective on what is important to success in business.” With his mentors’ help, Dunlap progressed in his career from his start as an intern at BFGoodrich. He chose to work at the company because he wanted to pursue finance and operations in the manufacturing industry. From there, he moved on to a successful career at PepsiCo, where his work responsibilities spanned more than sixty countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Specifically, he worked to build up PepsiCo’s China business and helped the company re-enter the Indian market. The experience was invaluable. “They do a very good job building future leaders,” he says. During his time at PepsiCo, Dunlap learned a variety of leadership skills. He

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“By relaxing your mind, invariably it comes back to work, and you do come up with some ideas you then share with work.” E D WAR D D U N L A P

learned to set a clear direction for employees, the importance of employee buy-in work, and getting out of his team members’ way. Dunlap also honed his skills in making tough decisions, challenging people’s abilities in a constructive way, setting goals for them, pushing their thinking, and integrating new ideas into the process. Leadership also includes what Dunlap calls “teachership,” which he takes to mean providing the training and background employees need to achieve their goals. Making employees accountable for their performance, having them take ownership of the goal, and keeping them aligned on it are crucial to leadership success, according to Dunlap. “The process is one where you constantly communicate what you are trying to achieve, the direction that you are heading in, and your progress against that strategic goal,” Dunlap explains. “It’s a crew of rowers. If everyone is not aligned and sequenced in the right way, then you can still move along but not as effectively or as fast.” Today, Dunlap’s career has come full circle with his return to manufacturing, and the international experience he gained at PepsiCo is coming in handy. That international experience taught him how to enter new markets, grow the business at high rates, and develop the infrastructure to support those efforts. Today, Dunlap is applying his international experience to Trojan Battery’s efforts to expand about 37 percent of its international sales to markets in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Dunlap also is involved in Trojan Battery’s efforts to implement lean process initiatives, such as continuous improvement. “The idea is to maximize customer value with fewer


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Houlihan Lokey is proud to congratulate

Ed Dunlap for his exceptional accomplishments and service as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Trojan Battery Company resources while minimizing waste,” Dunlap says. “We’re in the very early stages of implementing lean initiatives, and we’ve already identified millions of opportunities for us to improve and return more to our customers and shareholders. We can seek more market share without having to spend capital to get it, and you can wring a lot of savings out of your direct and indirect materials cost.” Achieving that impact is one of the reasons why Dunlap returned to manufacturing. “It creates more opportunities for someone like myself who is more of an operating CFO to add value in a variety of different ways,” he says. “One of the things that you want to look for anytime you get involved in a business is where you can add value—where you can move the business forward.” Based on his own experience, Dunlap advises against overplanning a career. “It is a journey, and that journey is more enjoyable if you’re inquisitive,” he says. He also stresses that having intellectual curiosity is key to success along with asking the right questions, achieving informed points of view, and developing the ability to express them. “If you can do that as well as some of the other things and just focus on doing your current job, then your career will follow, in my view,” he says.

Houlihan Lokey (NYSE:HLI) is a global investment bank with expertise in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, financial restructuring, valuation, and strategic consulting. The firm serves corporations, institutions, and governments worldwide with offices in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and the AsiaPacific region. Independent advice and intellectual rigor are hallmarks of the firm’s commitment to client success across its advisory services. Houlihan Lokey is ranked as the No. 1 M&A advisor for all U.S. transactions, the No. 1 global restructuring advisor, and the No. 1 global M&A fairness opinion advisor over the past 20 years, according to Thomson Reuters. For more information, please visit www.HL.com.

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KMiles@HL.com

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Houlihan Lokey values our longstanding relationship with Ed Dunlap and Trojan Battery, and we look forward to continuing to provide premier advisory services. Houlihan Lokey (NYSE:HLI) is a global investment bank with expertise in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, financial restructuring, valuation, and strategic consulting.

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Woodruff-Sawyer commends Ed for his dedication & outstanding leadership.

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Driving Volkswagen into the Future David Bruce never stops looking for ways to meet the auto industry’s unprecedented new challenges By J E F F S I LV E R

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Patrick Pho

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David Bruce VP of HR Volkswagen Group of America Inc.

Patrick Pho

Ever since studying business administration in college, David Bruce has been fascinated by how much a company’s success is impacted by having the right people with the right training in the right positions. As vice president of human resources at Volkswagen Group of America Inc. (VWGoA), Bruce must rely on that mind-set to navigate an industry going through transformative changes. “In an age of adapting to everything from battery-powered vehicles and autonomous driving to ridesharing services, we have to clearly identify what new capabilities are required,” Bruce says. “That’s true not just for addressing customer demand, but also for new technologies that are driving the changes.” That means VWGoA is competing with software innovators such as Google and Apple in addition to traditional rivals such as GM and Toyota. As a result, Bruce focuses on developing competitive offerings and prioritizing employee engagement and satisfaction. He began creating innovative HR strategies when he worked at the Henry Ford Health System. The healthcare industry has always faced critical talent shortages. As a result, Bruce helped develop new approaches to recruitment, retention, compensation, and reward strategies, such as hiring bonuses, shift premiums, and flexible contracting— options that were unusual at the time. That experience has helped Bruce foster a more flexible workplace and create new hiring models at VWGoA. Departments are given more autonomy on how and when work gets done, which allows for flexible schedules. Benefits now include more comprehensive healthcare and work/life balance benefits, such as paternity and adoption leave and emergency day care. The company’s hiring function is also using social media more. Candidates who are not active job seekers and currently working


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for nonautomotive companies might be proactively contacted through the platforms about opportunities at VWGoA. Within the HR department, Bruce is also leading an initiative to shift toward a more consultative role in which HR teams act more as partners to the business. “By shifting some of the more traditional transactional HR activities to specialists in areas like payroll and benefits management, we’ll be free to solve other business issues by leveraging talent solutions and improving employee engagement and satisfaction,” Bruce explains. In one instance, HR held team action-planning sessions that resulted in customized training and professional development strategies for members of a product strategy team. “Working directly with the clients let us identify issues and develop action plans that targeted the specific topics that were negatively impacting employee engagement,” Bruce says. “It also helped us offer more strategic support and drive more value for the business.” He has also helped promote other changes across the enterprise. Four years ago, Bruce introduced an employee survey program. Common among the most successful Fortune 500 companies, these surveys help to increase performance levels and commitment and motivation among employees. At VWGoA, however, the surveys presented a fresh tool to create an open, positive, and inclusive environment. The company has made numerous, meaningful improvements since the surveys were introduced. The survey results have led to initiatives such as the People-First model of leadership, which is based on three core elements: communication—listen first, speak last; collaboration—work toward common goals; and consideration—make their day better. These results also helped improve a comprehensive suite of leadership development programs that have increased the number of internal promotions. Bruce points out that survey results are useful as well in areas where scores may have been flat or declined. “Even poor survey results provide value because they help us better understand where needs are and what people view as barriers to creating a more positive culture,” he says. “Once we can identify what they are, we can effectively address them.” Throughout his career, Bruce has believed that developing the broadest possible perspectives and capabilities are essential parts of his HR expertise. As a result, he’s defined and redefined himself on numerous occasions in order to address organizations’ most pressing strategies and priorities. At PCG Campbell, for example, he had to quickly develop expertise on total rewards planning, HR technology, benefits administration, and program management. That knowledge

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“In an age of adapting to everything from battery-powered vehicles and autonomous driving to ridesharing services, we have to clearly identify what new capabilities are required.” DAVI D B R U C E

Look again: Disruption ahead

helped expand his reputation throughout the company and led to new opportunities later in his career. “When I came to Volkswagen Group, a lot of changes were underway in the benefits programs,” Bruce recalls. “Because of my previous experience, I could speak to those from a business perspective, which strengthened my credibility, made me more effective in my job, and led to more opportunities.” When it comes to developing his own staff, Bruce pursues a strategy of engaged problem solving and participatory management. He likes to leverage employees’ existing talents and abilities, which leads to results he characterizes as being greater than the sum of their parts. For example, when Bruce asked a project team to develop new roles and align responsibilities for HR business operations, the team ultimately created an expanded approach that also included assessing potential skills gaps and a comprehensive change management strategy. “I’ve been amazed at the level of creativity and innovation that comes out of this type of approach,” Bruce says. “I can’t tell you how many times the results are well beyond the scale and scope of what I could have come up with on my own.” Looking ahead, he is exploring implementing data analytics and other new strategies and methodologies. In essence, he is applying his personal philosophy to the benefit of VWGoA: “Never be satisfied with your existing skill set,” he says.

BarPellam is a leading Managed Services Provider (MSP) specializing in Contingent Workforce Solutions. Leveraging proven processes, technology and supply chain strategies, BarPellam enables Volkswagen to attract and retain experienced talent and improve quality while mitigating cost and risk. BarPellam is certified by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC).

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“Some people buy a Harley. I went into higher education.” How Craig Cook transitioned from a lengthy career at IBM to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

by Will Grant

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Craig Cook was twenty years into a career at IBM, and he showed no signs of slowing down. The job had offered him a variety of positions in three different states during his tenure. He had fourteen lawyers reporting to him, and staying there would have been the easiest choice at that point in his career. But a period of introspection challenged Cook to change gears. “I don’t want to call it a midlife crisis,” Cook says. “It was more of a midlife awakening.” As a result, Cook assumed general counsel and secretary roles for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in mid-2016, and his wealth of private-sector experience is paying off. Cook’s jump to the New York-based research university wasn’t a blind one. RPI and IBM developed strong ties during Cook’s time at the tech company. Two Rensselaer alumni, whom Cook supported as lead attorney for IBM’s research division, led the Watson computer project—a memorable IBM venture because of its winning appearances on television’s Jeopardy!

Additionally, RPI announced that it would be the first institution of its kind to receive a modified version of the Watson system that faculty and students would use to find new uses for Watson and deepen the system’s cognitive capabilities. The IBM-RPI collaboration has continued to grow, with joint research in the areas of healthcare analytics and artificial intelligence. Developing those partnerships is exactly what Cook has in mind for RPI’s future. “If you look at the universities who are going to be successful moving forward, then I think collaboration with business is going to be critical,” Cook says. “I feel like I had a leg up in really understanding what those businesses that want to partner are looking for in a collaboration.” Cook’s IP background can be especially helpful in navigating those partnerships and expectations. One of IBM’s strengths, Cook says, is its ability to drive significant business out of its licensing of software, patents, and other intellectual property. “I see the

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Craig Cook General Counsel, Secretary

Kris Qua

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti “I don’t want to call it a midlife crisis. It was more of a midlife awakening.” Craig Cook

universities—including Rensselaer—as a treasure trove of intellectual property that still has yet to be tapped to its fullest potential in terms of commercialization,” he says. Unlike most tech companies or pharmaceutical companies, universities don’t have to be as secretive about their IP because they don’t face the same cutthroat competition. “Frankly, we want all of our intellectual property to be commercialized by companies out there,” Cook says. “So there aren’t those things that we’re holding back and saying, ‘No, this is only for our products.’” Although developing partnerships with both large and small businesses is one of Cook’s key priorities, he has spent a good deal of time adjusting to the sheer breadth of additional complexities that a general counsel position in higher education includes. Those include issues pertaining to employment; student discipline; gifts, tax, and other nonprofit issues; regulatory compliance; real estate; cybersecurity; privacy; risk management; and more.

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“You have the entire spectrum of legal matters that you would deal with in a business,” Cook says. “They all come here. On top of that, you have all of the things that are unique to higher education. It can be daunting, but it also keeps things very interesting.” To manage these issues, Cook—the sole in-house attorney at RPI—relies on a trusted network of outside counsel, nonlawyer experts, and trusted RPI staff. He praises his colleagues and team for helping him navigate such a wide array of complex issues on a daily basis. He’s currently in the process of developing a model that might serve to bring more of that task management in-house. As secretary of the institute, he works with RPI’s board of directors. Cook says that he’s been inspired by not only RPI’s president, Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, but also by a board that has a personal investment in the university. “We have a very active and engaged board of real luminaries in their fields,” Cook says. Most of the board are alumni, and Cook says they all take a hands-on approach to make RPI the best it can be. Although the secretary role is new for Cook, he says that Jackson’s leadership has influenced him greatly. Cook and his colleague at Rensselaer are currently focused on its fundraising initiative called Transformative: Campaign for Global Change. The institute announced the effort in October 2017, seeking to raise $1 billion for student scholarships, faculty support, and campus enhancements. For Cook, the project offers the opportunity to support the effort by working with the philanthropic arm of RPI in areas such as gift agreements, trusts, and estates. Although crossing over from the private sector has meant learning to flex a whole different set of muscles, Cook says it has been an easier transition than he thought. His midlife awakening has offered much more than any midlife crisis. “It certainly is exhilarating,” he says. “Some people buy a Harley. I went into higher education.”

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is inspired by

CRAIG COOK of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who accepts no boundaries in the pursuit of excellence.

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Grit and Grace in the Workplace As Yum! Brands undergoes a business transformation, Tracy Skeans leads with equal parts heart and tenacity—an approach that exemplifies the company’s unrivaled workplace culture By R A N D A L L C O L B U R N

It has been more than a year and a half since Yum! Brands embarked on the largest strategic initiative undertaken by the company in its twenty-year history: spinning off its successful China business into a separate public company and returning $6.2 billion to shareholders. During that time, Yum! also launched a multiyear transformation plan to become what chief transformation and people officer Tracy Skeans calls a more focused, more franchised, and more efficient company that has improved profitability, reduced volatility, and accelerated growth of its KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell brands worldwide. With more than 44,000 restaurants in more than 135 countries, the initiative includes the goals of being at least 98 percent franchised by the end of 2018 and reducing general and administration costs to 1.7 percent of system sales. It also includes achieving a run-rate capital expenditure of $100 million by the end of 2019. As Yum! Brands executes the plan, Skeans is playing a key role in helping to lead the company’s business transformation and people strategies to build powerful brands and fuel sustainable results. “Undergoing an enterprise-wide transformation is never easy,” Skeans says. “In the beginning, we had to figure out how to work differently across functions and reinvest in certain things while making reductions in some areas. We’ve realigned our global organization around a renewed focus and an evolved vision.”

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Tracy Skeans Chief Transformation and People Officer Yum! Brands

Skeans is helping to oversee the journey toward a new Yum!, which she says is centered around four key growth drivers that now govern every decision and action the company takes: distinctive, relevant, and easy brands; unmatched franchise operating capability; bold restaurant development; and unrivaled culture and talent. Skeans explains that the company’s transformation includes accelerating growth and building on the success of its brands through product innovation, digital initiatives, partnering with exceptional franchisees, giving franchisees the tools to succeed, and growing the company’s culture and talent to strengthen the customer experience and overall performance. “We believe that the more we can focus our organization on the things that will ultimately drive growth for our brands, the more it will pay off for our employees, franchisees, and shareholders,” she says. As chief transformation and people officer, some of her responsibilities include leading the global strategy around sharing and adopting best practices within Yum!


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At Yum! Brands, we’re passionate about investing in our unrivaled culture and talent to fuel results. To learn more, visit yum.com/careers.

and converting them into repeatable models that will drive same-store-sales growth for its markets around the world. “We’re making a lot of progress developing repeatable models of best practices on everything from restaurant operations to marketing that we’re cascading across our system and sharing with franchisees to help increase innovation and efficiency,” Skeans says. While these are the company’s growth drivers, they’re also consistent with Yum!’s core values. Yum!’s brands are customer-facing, and the company itself works closely with its franchisees. As such, Skeans emphasizes that a heart for the business is as important as a mind for it. Interwoven with each of the growth drivers is Yum!’s desire to develop talent, foster relationships, and provide a quality customer experience. “There’s not a single value at our company that I wouldn’t teach my children,” she says. “They’re the types of values that encourage people to deliver results, stay focused, recognize people’s wins, and make the world better.” Heart matters in a business that’s so centered around people, as does courage and ambition. “At Yum!, we believe that our leaders must be smart with heart and have the courage to make the big decisions that will drive our business forward,” she says. “Successful leaders in our company lead with their hearts first, but they’re also courageous enough to take risks and not fearful of running too fast.” These traits are wrapped up in Skeans’s own leadership style, which she describes as embodying both “grit and grace.” For her, grit represents perseverance and tenacity, and grace relates to kindness and patience. “That combo for me has always been important,” Skeans says. “You have to work really hard, and you have to be good to people while you do it. A lot of potential can be unlocked this way.” And potential becomes easier to unlock in a workplace that knows how to balance hard work with an open heart. That’s why Skeans has such a passion for cultivating the right workplace culture at Yum!—one that ensures every employee can take pride in the fact that their piece of the puzzle really matters as they work with the team toward common goals.

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“In our opinion, it’s important that you structure an organization very deliberately so that everyone understands how they fit in,” she says. “It’s not just about understanding your job, but it’s also about knowing how your job impacts your ability to push and influence our growth drivers.” Skeans describes herself as a champion of Yum!’s culture, emphasizing that Yum!’s culture is one she feels needs to be constantly curated as the business evolves. “Our people and our unique culture remain our biggest competitive advantage,” she says. “I want to fiercely protect it, and I feel a huge responsibility to ensure that I personally cast the right shadow.” That’s why Skeans has been teaching a training program to employees and franchisees worldwide with Yum! Brands’ CEO Greg Creed called Leading Culture to Fuel Results. The training centers around the idea that, by using culture as a foundation for establishing strategy and structure, the company creates an atmosphere for successful results. “Financial performance is not enough,” Skeans says. “Leading Culture to Fuel Results is about inspiring employees and franchisees around the world to innovate, to work dynamically, and to be forwardthinking. A company’s culture should be something people can talk about. Our values are something they can describe, that they can live by. That kind of culture enables people to be able to fuel the business.” By continually reminding employees of their value to the organization, Yum! has helped ease the jitters that tend to accompany any major transformation within a company. “It was really the first significant set of changes that we’ve had in many years,” Skeans says. “But we’re seeing people be very engaged on every step of the journey so far.” As Yum! transforms into a more growth-focused brand builder and global franchisor, Skeans wants to ensure that the environment she’s been working to cultivate only continues to blossom. “You can have all the quantitative results, and that’s a win,” Skeans says. “But if you can add a culture that has been growing and is felt by everyone on top of that, then that to me is a bigger win.”


Legal Spotlight

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Only as Good as Your People Through hard work and professionalism, global general counsel Domenick Di Cicco and his team of legal experts have positioned themselves as Cunningham Lindsey’s trusted advisors

by Porcshe N. Moran

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Time is usually not on Domenick Di Cicco’s side. As the global general counsel for Cunningham Lindsey, Di Cicco manages fifteen professionals who handle all legal representation for the loss adjusting, claims management, and risk solutions firm. The corporation has more than six thousand employees and offices in more than sixty countries. Accordingly, Di Cicco and his team are often racing against the clock. “The legal function is a small group at a global company that isn’t quite big enough to have a large staff but still demands a lot to comply with the needs of the business,” Di Cicco says. “My team is very professional, thorough, hard-working, and focused on solutions. You are only as good as your people, and I am very fortunate to have great people.” To keep up with the heavy workload, Di Cicco sets clear expectations and holds his team accountable. He helps them succeed by making sure that they have the tools and skills they need for the job. Di Cicco delegates tasks and puts a premium on preserving effort and energy. For instance, he prefers to exchange information over the phone rather than digitally.

“Once I trust my staff and I feel confident that I have the right people in place, I give them a lot of responsibility,” Di Cicco says. “I also try to guide the other executives in the firm in how best to communicate with the legal department. I tell them that if they have a question that isn’t too technical, it is much more efficient to just pick up the phone and call me rather than send an email.” Di Cicco can make do with a lean staff, but more resources may be right around the corner. As part of the M&A team, Di Cicco and his team worked hard to sell the company to Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc., a risk and benefits solutions provider. Under the Sedgwick umbrella, Cunningham Lindsey can offer end-to-end service solutions to its international roster of clients. “The combined enterprise will be able to offer its clients unparalleled service and geographic reach,” Di Cicco says. “Innovation will give us incredible advantage, and our competitors will have to catch up with us.” Di Cicco joined Cunningham Lindsey in June 2015 after three years as the head of litigation management at AIG. He has held several global roles, including general

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Domenick Di Cicco Global General Counsel

counsel, leadership, and strategy posts at Xchanging, CNA Insurance, Zurich Financial Services, and Alexander Gallo Holdings. He says he was attracted to the global aspect of the general counsel position at Cunningham Lindsey. Furthermore, he was excited to have the opportunity to work with people he had interacted with throughout his career. “When I came to Cunningham Lindsey, it was a company that needed to realize its full potential, but it wasn’t quite there yet. I wanted to help do that,” Di Cicco says. “I also find it very exciting to deal with different markets, regulations and jurisdictions.” Initially, the role was M&A focused. As the business needs changed, so too did the role of the general counsel. Although the enterprise’s legal issues and challenges are now his primary domain, Di Cicco emphasizes how important it is that he and his team are knowledgeable about the business operations at Cunningham Lindsey. He says he starts all of his department meetings with a business-focused discussion that covers the economic environment, opportunities, and strategies. “In my opinion, understanding the business on a deep level is the only way to help the company succeed in both solving legal issues that arise and executing objectives,” Di Cicco says. “I’d like my team to be more deeply integrated into the businesses. I’d like certain people to specialize in specific geographic regions. The company is growing enough that this will happen soon.” Di Cicco says his role covers the traditional duties of a general counsel, such as contract review, litigation management, corporate governance, and compliance. He also has some atypical responsibilities, though, including being involved in—and having influence over—business decisions, such as mergers and acquisitions. Overseeing the human resources function, in conjunction with the head of the department, is another part of the job.

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Fred Glasser

Cunningham Lindsey


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“When I came to Cunningham Lindsey, it was a company that needed to realize its full potential, but it wasn’t quite there yet. I wanted to help do that.” Domenick Di Cicco

“I thrive on the variety of my job,” Di Cicco says. “It is intellectually challenging, and it doesn’t get stale. It has been educational and rewarding for me to get to see the business at a much more granular level than I was able to when I worked at larger companies.” While Di Cicco continues to grow as a legal and business advisor, he makes it a point to give back to the next generation of attorneys. He spearheaded a legal internship program at Cunningham Lindsey to give law school students exposure to the many diverse areas of corporate law. He also serves as a mentor to his staff members. Di Cicco says understanding his mentees’ interests, expectations, and goals are key to being effective. “I am at the stage in my career where I’ve acquired a lot of experience and skills,” Di Cicco says. “I feel obligated to help develop the upcoming professionals. My goal is to expand their horizons and figure out ways to help them gain more confidence where they have weaknesses. Sometimes that could be taking a class or watching a video. I’ll even bring them to meetings with me to show them it isn’t as scary as it might seem.” Di Cicco says the most valuable piece of advice that he can pass on to his younger colleagues is this: “You are going to make mistakes, but the important thing is to learn. How you handle challenges and grow from them is what matters,” he says. “You gain wisdom as you gain experience. I’ve learned to be calm and to understand that nothing is catastrophic. There is always a solution.”

Cozen O’Connor is proud to work alongside Domenick Di Cicco, Global General Counsel, Cunningham Lindsey. We congratulate Domenick for his exemplary and innovative leadership and many accomplishments.

John J. McDonough Cunningham Lindsey is a global loss adjusting, claims, management, and risk solutions firm with a one hundred year track record. On a daily basis Domenick Di Cicco and everyone at Cunningham Lindsey work with corporations and individuals who find themselves in highly stressful situations. No matter how complex, stressful, or critical the undertaking, the attorneys of Cozen O’Connor stand ready to support the legal needs of Cunningham Lindsey and its clients. We are aimed at one simple goal: getting the right result for our clients.

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Turn and Face the Change From the airline industry to print journalism, Cindy Ballard has built her HR career on championing change evolution By J O N A S W E I R

In 1995, the now defunct Midway Airlines announced it would be leaving its hub in Chicago for Raleigh, North Carolina. Scheduled to open by March 2 of that year, the airline had its work cut out. And for Cindy Ballard, a human resources generalist for the company, that meant hiring more than one thousand people in the RaleighDurham area—in just ninety days. “We were hiring everyone from flight attendants and pilots to operations agents and headquarters staff,” Ballard recalls. “And back then, we didn't have LinkedIn or the internet or any of those resources.” So, Ballard and the HR team did everything from partnering with the local chamber of commerce to buying radio ads to having an on-site job fair in a hangar at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. And it worked. By March 2, Midway was fully staffed to operate an airline. There was only one issue. In an ironic twist of fate, Raleigh—where March weather typically brings temperatures in the mid to high fifties—was hit with an unexpected ice storm, something you might see in Chicago in March, but certainly not in North Carolina. “Let's just say we didn't fly on March 2,” Ballard says. “But we flew on March 3, and it went off without a hitch.” That moment proved to be one of many pivotal moments in Ballard’s HR career—a career that would continually be marked by change. Ballard, however, did not always know she wanted to be a human resources professional. Upon graduating college from Northwood

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University in Midland, Michigan, she entered the management training program for the department store chain Dillard’s. While there, as a regional manager, Ballard gained experience working with people and managing sales staff. That’s when she also realized how much she enjoyed managing people. She liked developing others by providing developmental feedback and giving performance reviews. She decided to pursue a career in HR, but Dillard’s offered no room for growth. That’s when fate struck. While on a flight to Chicago, Ballard found herself sitting next to the CEO of Midway Airlines. The two got to talking, and a few months later, he offered Ballard her first human resources job. “That’s my story,” Ballard says. “You never know who you're going to meet on a plane.” Midway Airlines proved to be the perfect training ground for the young HR leader. She gained general experience compensation, payroll, benefits, employee relations, and just about any other task that would fall under HR’s purview. She eventually moved into senior HR positions at Borders Group, where she introduced


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Kevin Bonny Photography

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the company ’s first recruitment technology that used an analytic approach to evaluate quality of hire, cost per hire, and time to fill. Then, at Initiative Media, she decreased turnover by about roughly 28 percent, increased productivity by 20 percent, and reduced overhead expenses by roughly 48 percent. And after joining Infotrieve Inc., she decreased employee turnover to less than 5 percent and increased employee satisfaction by 5.2 percent. But she honed her true leadership skills when she joined 20th Century Fox in 2007 as the company’s vice president of worldwide human resources. In that role, she helped spearhead global human resources initiatives that supported 2,500 employees in thirty-one countries across theatrical, enterprise operations, television distribution, and home entertainment divisions. When Ballard joined the company, the $3 billion enterprise did not have an international HR capability. So, she built technology-driven HR systems from the ground up—including performance management, payroll, benefits, compensation, compliance, and timekeeping—transforming

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thirty-one disparate operating processes into one streamlined process and system. “I got to turn a very, quite frankly, not progressive HR foundation into a really in-depth, well run HR function internationally,” she says. “It was really an exciting time for me.” Additionally, being that her first role focused on international HR, Ballard learned to work across borders and learn diversity and inclusion from a global perspective. “Diversity and inclusion for me is about having a mutually respectful culture and making sure that someone belongs and feels comfortable conveying their point of view,” Ballard says. “We are making sure that we are very inclusive in everything we do and making sure that we're checking our biases at the door. A key component of that is to understand, appreciate, and be able to flex to somebody else's culture.” While building out HR functions Cindy Ballard internationally was CHRO an invaluable experience, her time there Tronc Inc. was also marked by

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a seismic shift in the entertainment industry. During Ballard’s tenure at the company, the entertainment industry started shifting away from physical movie and TV sales (in the form of DVDs and Blu-ray) and toward streaming services. As with any major change, there were growing pains among the employees. Ballard, however, was ready to take on the challenge. “I don't mind change,” she says. “I actually thrive in change. It gets me energized.” These changes caused needed transitions in the skill sets required by staff to succeed. Ballard, however, was equipped to train existing staff and recruit new talent where needed. During that time, she developed the idea of change evolution. In the past, Ballard says change management was something viewed as an asset that companies temporarily needed to guide them through periods of transformation. Ballard, however, realized that wouldn’t work for the modern workforce. “I think we’ve gone from the likes of change management to a change revolution to a change evolution,” she says. “The reality is that there is change in every industry, in every position, in every company right now. It’s an evolution because it’s going to continue to evolve by the second, by the minute, by the hour, by the day. Change management now needs to be a foundation of an HR function.” In 2015, with that concept of change evolution in mind, Ballard took on an industry facing some of the greatest challenges in recent history: print journalism. As the chief human resources officer of Tronc., which publishes the Chicago Tribune and local newspapers throughout the United States, Ballard built an HR function that was agile enough to respond to the business’ ever-changing strategic agenda. It was a challenging time for the company, as Tronc had just created the spin-off Tribune Media,

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“I think we’ve gone from the likes of change management to a change revolution to change evolution. The reality is that there is change in every industry, in every position, in every company right now.” C I N DY BA L L A R D

which meant Ballard had to rebuild and refocus the HR function. Additionally, the company was marred with constant change in leadership. Still, Ballard succeeded and thrived in that change, even when it came to onboarding a new executive team in line with the new CEO’s vision for the company. And her success in those realms did not go unnoticed. “Cindy is a wonderful business partner who I feel lucky to now call a close friend,” says Nick Gialamas of HUB International. “She is an inspirational leader and role model to those around her.” In fact, while facing the massive challenge of shifting the organization from a print mind-set to a digital mind-set, Tronc CEO Justin Dearborn nominated Ballard for Committee of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Human Resources Association’s Human Resources Executive of the Year. In his nomination, he praised Ballard for her leadership and HR initiatives, such as launching a flexible time policy. Above all, though, he cited her ability to adapt and thrive in change. “Cindy is a fearless leader, which is one of her strongest attributes as we operate in a highly disrupted, rapidly changing business environment,” Dearborn wrote. “Cindy provides a stabilizing influence during periods of change.” Now after thriving at her first CHRO role at a public company, Ballard is looking for opportunities that will further expand her skill set, yet also allow her to focus on what she’s loved since she decided HR was the career path for her. It doesn’t matter if that’s for an airline, an acclaimed entertainment company, or for a major media corporation. At the end of the day, her focus always remains the same: deliver impactful human resource capabilities that drive profitable organizational results while leading and developing people.


Insurance for your every need. Congratulations to our friend and client Cindy Ballard, of tronc. We applaud her many accomplishments and wish her continued success. Your world is complex. Let us make it simple. Put yourself at the center of our network and get a tailored insurance solution.

Nick Gialamas, Area President (847)482-9240 ntg@hubinternational.com hubinternational.com

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When the Right Thing is the Profitable Thing Ed Attanasio, a top lawyer at Sanmina Corporation, is helping the manufacturer navigate the rocky landscape of multinational laws, regulations, and ethics Words by R U S S K L E T T K E

Photos by W I N N I W I N T E R M E Y E R

From a legal and compliance perspective, it’s a daunting and complicated task to run a global business. Not only do other countries have rules and regulations that do not necessarily sync with the country where a company is headquartered, but there are also employees, business vendors, and consumers in those countries who have a diverse range of needs and interests. Someone intimately familiar with this is Ed Attanasio, vice president of legal and compliance at Sanmina Corporation. The publicly traded company—based in San Jose, California—provides electronics manufacturing services from eighty sites located in twenty-seven countries on six continents, employing sixty thousand people. The company manufactures a broad variety of components for customers in aerospace, defense, communications, medical (devices such as glucose meters, MRI machines, molecular diagnostics, blood separation and handling equipment, and more), clean energy technology, computing and storage, oil and gas, and automotive industries. Sanmina makes electronics for elevators, in-flight entertainment, sound equipment, and other large, sophisticated systems. Broadly speaking, Attanasio is the head of litigation and compliance, managing everything related to human resources and internal investigations. But he also serves as a member of the compliance committee and advises management on corporate functions, including finance, HR, and sales. He is Sanmina’s primary legal advisor for

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Ed Attanasio VP of Legal & Compliance Sanmina Corporation

Asian operations in Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India, which includes collective bargaining in those countries. Despite all of that complexity, Attanasio is able to boil down his approach to the job into simple terms. “What we do legally is in line with our sense of social responsibility,” he says. “A lot of that is driven by customer pressure, because most regulation reflects the will of the people, which includes our customers and, just as importantly, their customers.” Those pressures can relate to environmental and human rights considerations. He cites how conflict minerals have become an issue among multinational manufacturers, as well as labor sourcing and human trafficking. What might be acceptable in one country is not necessarily elsewhere. Managers at companies such as Sanmina have to take it all into account and act accordingly. “Our customers are concerned with the entire supply chain,” Attanasio says. Consider also how Sanmina’s many and varied customers have separate and detailed federal regulatory requirements: the


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Food and Drug Administration for medical devices; the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Defense for complex mission-critical avionics, communications, control, and security systems; the Environmental Protection Agency for circuit board production, and product design, assembly, machining, repairs, maintenance work in the company’s oil and gas sector; and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s jurisdiction over Sanmina’s sizable US workforce, which also includes factories in California, Alabama, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin. But the real driving forces for most of Sanmina’s compliance, much of it under the eyes of Attanasio, are the companies that buy its products. “Customers need us to not have problems,” he says. “For example, with Defense Department work, there are executive orders that must be followed. But where customers insist on something, it’s a more powerful motivator than the regulators.” Over the years, Attanasio has mastered this customer-centric approach, creating long-lasting business partnerships in the process. “When Ed calls, I know we’ll be working with him and not just for him. The result is a more informed analysis, with sound decision-making, and ultimately, a better outcome,” says Mike Lieb, partner at Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP. Although regulatory agencies are able impose crippling fines, it’s how customers respond—by renewing or canceling contracts—that have a major impact on business, Attanasio says. “My job is to educate executives on this point,” he says. “We have to look at what is in our best topline interests. More and more, that’s become, ‘Are we complying with government regulations and industry standards?’” Attanasio doesn’t come into this role as lawyer-salesman-PR person by accident. He has a résumé that informs his sense of ethics, of business, and of where things can go wrong. “I started out as an ethicist in my first firm,” he says of his work in a Los Angeles-based law firm where he worked thirty years ago. The firm handled litigation of securities fraud and accountants’ liability, something that prepared him for assignments a few years later with EOTT Energy Corporation, where he was the senior corporate counsel of the publicly traded energy pipeline company.

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Ervin Cohen & Jessup congratulates Ed Attanasio on his success, and is honored to work with Ed and the entire Sanmina in-house legal team.

Meeting our clients’ needs with experience, expertise and an unbreakable commitment to success. Litigation Business & Corporate Employment Law Real Estate, Land Use & Environmental Tax

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# De Gaulle Fleurance & AssociĂŠs #FrenchTouchOfLaw

Headquartered in Paris (France), we are an integrated IXOO VHUYLFH ODZ ÂżUP offering a complete counselling and litigation service to our clients. We represent leading international FRPSDQLHV LQ WKH WHFKQRORJ\ PDQXIDFWXULQJ HQHUJ\ VHUYLFHV DQG ÂżQDQFH LQGXVWULHV LQ WKHLU VWUDWHJLF EXVLQHVV GHDOLQJV DQG KLJK VWDNHV litigation.

Jackson Lewis P.C. joins Profile Magazine in recognizing the accomplishments of

EDWARD ATTANASIO

and congratulates him along with

SANMINA

for the well-deserved feature!

With 800 attorneys in major locations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, Jackson Lewis provides the resources to address every aspect of the employer-employee relationship.

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EOTT was the general partner of a master limited partnership affiliate of Enron Corporation, the energy and commodities company that famously filed for bankruptcy after it was found to have engaged in systematic and creatively planned accounting fraud. He observed that while Enron was doing things poorly, it was also doing a lot of things right. “Enron was very good at environmental and human resources compliance,� he says. “The bad actors were in finance.� It was that laxity and fraud, on a grand scale, that also led to the federal set of rules now known as Sarbanes-Oxley. This legislation affects financial decisions made by every publicly traded corporation. It also provides Attanasio with a philosophy that has guided his work ever since. “If a lawyer wants to avoid problems, he or she needs to get ahead of it to prevent trouble from happening in the first place,� he says. That is not at odds with the way most people and companies work, he acknowledges. But the problem takes on a different cast when the lawyer becomes a “Dr. No,� as he describes it. “I have to convince people I’m not just about compliance,� he says. “As business lawyers, we have to figure out what is acceptable risk based on experience and data, quantitative and qualitative.� Attanasio says the smart thing is to get such decisions out of the gray area. “Ninety-nine percent of decisions should be based on probabilities,� he says, adding that costs can be factored into that equation. “I always want to show the benefit of doing something, like how much money we save when we do what’s ethical.� That usually requires assessing a complex set of factors. But the end goal—and what motivates it—is fairly straightforward. It’s doing the right thing.

Anker Sorensen, partner at De Gaulle Fleurance & AssociĂŠs, congratulates Ed Attanasio for his creative and pragmatic contributions to solving Sanmina’s complex legal issues in France. “We are proud to serve as counsel to Ed and Sanmina.â€? Jackson Lewis P.C. values our relationship with Edward Attanasio, and we congratulate him on his well-deserved recognition. We are proud to have been of service to Sanmina during its period of growth and expansion. Like Sanmina, Jackson Lewis has built its reputation by providing excellent service to our clients.

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A (R)evolution Scott Essex watched from a front-row seat as compliance emerged from the shadows. Now, he’s building an effective and modern program that’s helping a newly independent bank succeed. By Z A C H B A L I VA

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In 2015, Citizens Financial Group had a pivotal year. That’s when the bank—which traces its origins back to 1828 and was officially established in 1871—became a standalone, publicly traded company. Now, after the largest commercial bank IPO in American history, Citizens is set up to become a major regional player. Since the global financial crisis, leaders at Citizens Financial Group have worked together to make several important changes. They’ve grown business across commercial and consumer sectors, focused on the customer experience, invested in technology and digital channels, and improved risk management. Additionally, they’ve assembled a hybrid team of financial experts and thought leaders from across industries to help drive performance and to deliver better outcomes through calculated growth steps and improved financial measures. Scott Essex is one of those leaders. He joined Citizens in 2014 and became the organization’s chief compliance officer in 2016. In that time, he has been instrumental in building an effective compliance program that supports the growing bank’s strategic objectives. Essex is a well-respected compliance expert with two decades of experience in financial services and management consulting. But he actually began his career as an architect and engineer. “I’ve ended up far from the actual disciplines of building design and construction, but I’m using the same approaches to problem-solving to build effective systems and structures in finance,” Essex says. Those systems are key for Citizens Financial Group’s new era as an independent bank. From 1988 to 2015, the organization operated as a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Essex helped build—and is now running—a compliance system designed to do more than protect against risk, liability, and penalty. He believes it can help Citizens compete. “Compliance today is totally different than it was when I started my career,” he says. “We’ve seen it change from a legal necessity into a strategic objective.” Essex

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has had a front-row seat to that evolution and is looking to use the lessons he’s learned along the way. After redeveloping airports and leading billion-dollar projects for major consulting firms such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Essex wanted more stability in his professional life. That led him to a role at Bank of America, where he first encountered compliance while running change management for the consumer real estate division. Although finance was a new area for Essex, he discovered that Bank of America was the perfect training ground. “They had talented minds from many industries,” he says. “I really took advantage of the opportunity to learn from the best and brightest.” Soon, Essex accepted a position as a compliance executive. That was in 2004, and compliance was migrating out of legal’s back office into a standalone risk discipline. “The scale of business was going up, and compliance became more process based,” he explains. “Subject-matter expertise was important, but I also saw the chance to apply some of the analytical thinking and creative problem-solving that I learned from my training as an architect and engineer.” Essex started working on a different blueprint—one for a comprehensive compliance program that could have a major impact on a business. He was interested in more than preventing a compliance failure. Essex wanted to merge the leading legal, financial, and operational expertise into a new compliance capability to meet customer needs and regulatory requirements, reduce costs, uncover growth opportunities, and outpace competitors. After six years at Bank of America, Essex left in 2008 for new compliance-related opportunities at Wachovia, which was acquired by Wells Fargo shortly after he was hired. During that time, compliance changed dramatically in the wake of the global financial crisis. Legislation such as Dodd-Frank in the United States and similar laws elsewhere made compliance front and center. “The amount of data coming at banks increased along with the globalization of business and the growing requirements around privacy

Scott Essex EVP, Chief Compliance & Ethics Officer Citizens Financial Group


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Thomson Reuters is proud to support

Scott Essex

“Compliance today is totally different than it was when I started my career. We’ve seen it change from a legal necessity into a strategic objective.”

as a pioneer in Compliance and Risk Management

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and transparency,” Essex says. “Compliance became a huge expense, and that made it even more of a strategic imperative.” In 2011, Essex accepted a job with Toronto-Dominion Bank Group, where he managed the development of a cross-border, international compliance program. There, he started to introduce new technologies, tools, and analytics designed to handle compliance matters at the post-crisis pace. Today, Essex continues to implement similar measures at Citizens that are helping the bank make up ground in its new structure. “You simply can’t do compliance today the same way it was done before the financial crisis,” Essex says. “A modern compliance program has to do so much more, and that’s especially true for Citizens during this new part of our history.” Citizens wants to avoid any missteps on the journey to becoming a top performing regional bank and helping customers achieve their potential, Essex says. To help Citizens comply with laws and regulations while providing fair and responsible services to customers, Essex has established process automation and leveraged robotics, computer analytics, and other tools. Through its compliance program, Citizens Financial Group has taken several important steps. The organization monitors thousands of transactions in real time to uncover inconsistencies that point to financial crime. It

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also mines customer complaints to look for compliance concerns, and it monitors and reconciles conflicts on complex business transactions. Each improvement that Essex can build into the process mitigates risks, prevents compliance failures, and enables employees to focus on customer and client needs while meeting regulatory expectations. Although Essex pivoted from his expected career path, compliance more than satisfies his inquisitive mind. “I’m still taking a design-thinking approach toward a solution. There’s an ultimate vision, operating plan, testing, iterations, and continuous improvements,” Essex says. “It’s something new every day.” As Essex and his counterparts across the organization move forward, they have Citizens positioned for success by running the bank better.

KPMG LLP congratulates Scott Essex and Citizens Financial Group! Congratulations on your impressive career and accomplishments in compliance within the financial services industry. We look forward to continuing our strategic relationship with you and Citizens. Connect with KPMG LLP Visit us advisory.kpmg.us Follow us Twitter: twitter.com/kpmg_us LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/kpmg-us

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Thomson Reuters Enterprise Risk Solutions is dedicated to improving efficiencies for our customers and mitigating the risk of regulatory failure.

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Legal Spotlight

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Acquiring a Legacy Kaplan Higher and Professional Education’s David Adams looks beyond the legal pad in guiding his team to contribute at their very best

Words by Joseph Kay

Portrait by Caleb Fox

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David Adams General Counsel & SVP — Legal, Regulatory & Government Affairs Kaplan Higher and Professional Education

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David Adams, general counsel and senior vice president of legal, regulatory and government affairs at Kaplan Higher and Professional Education, likes to say he had to try everything else before he committed to law. With a father and older sister in the legal profession, he was exposed to it early and often—but he attended Michigan State University on a gymnastics scholarship and bounced through a handful of majors before finally settling on a course for law school. “I wanted to do criminal defense, so I was going to be Perry Mason: defend the wrongfully accused, make stirring arguments, and that kind of thing,” he says. As a young associate, he started down that track, but he quickly realized that he wasn’t going to be in the courtroom righting wrongs every day. He spent a great deal of time reading, writing, and analyzing, and eventually decided to send his career in a less-televised direction. As an associate at Schiff Hardin, then at Canel, Davis and King, he worked in construction, insurance, and civil rights litigation. After a colleague invited him to a gubernatorial campaign fundraiser in 2004, Adams began to pursue a growing interest in politics by contributing to campaigns as a policy advisor and as a volunteer. Encouraged by the camaraderie in that world, and propelled by that same noble sense of purpose, he eventually landed a job with the Illinois Attorney General’s office. At that time, Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan was exploring the use of the office as an instrument of consumer protection. She started a team, and Adams became a senior member. By the end of his four years there, that team would grow to twenty prosecutors. In 2008, Adams served as lead state prosecutor against Amerigroup Corporation, a health insurance provider accused of defrauding the Illinois Medicaid program. Amerigroup was compelled to provide coverage to all applicants—and received reimbursements from the state as though they were—but they denied some applicants with expensive-to-treat pre-existing conditions. In

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“What makes people really happy is feeling that they’re contributing, that they’re good at their job, that they have a say in where the entity is going and where their career is going.” David Adams

essence, they were receiving payment for coverage they hadn’t provided, and one of their own legal professionals blew the whistle. The jury ruled against Amerigroup. The $334 million award was, at the time, the largest award of its kind in the 140-year history of the False Claims Act. Adams had never felt so rewarded as a legal professional. “We had a very cohesive and congenial group of people who were very close, who all felt like we were working for the good of society, so it was a very satisfying place to work,” Adams says. “It’s difficult, because you’re always thinking, ‘I could be making a lot more money doing something else.’ But it’s worth it, because it’s satisfying to feel like you’re on the right side of things.” Adams has noticed a similar energy at Kaplan, where he’s served since leaving the public sector in 2008. He’s still surrounded by thinkers and leaders who are deeply and earnestly invested in the organization’s mission: “There’s a group of people here who feel like they’re changing higher education


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congratulates

DAVID ADAMS General Counsel and Senior Vice President — Legal, Regulatory and Government Affairs

Off the Clock with David Adams

Kaplan

Each morning, David Adams springs out of bed at 5:00 a.m., retrieves his bicycle, and rides until 7:00 a.m. He usually has a race coming up, so he sticks to his training plan. “If I miss a day, I get anxious. If I miss two, I get really anxious,” he says with a laugh.

on all his career accomplishments and recognition by Profile

While traveling, he looks for rentals or cycling centers, and he primarily trains indoors during Chicago’s winters. Adams has a competitive spirit, and he’s found that cycling is the healthiest way for him to express it. “I’m doing it for the pure enjoyment of it,” he says. “I’m not really a corporate climber type, not competitive at work necessarily, so I think it provides that outlet for me.”

for the better, and who really feel good about being on the cutting edge of higher education service,” he says. Working at the attorney general’s office, he recalls, Adams and his team were usually able to focus on one or two major projects at a time. Here at Kaplan, there are legal challenges of every size and severity demanding his attention at any time, so he’s had to adapt with a new system and a mind-set to get things done. “I’ve got dozens of balls in the air at any one time, and the biggest responsibility is to make sure I don’t drop any of the big breakable ones,” he explains. “I’m going to drop some. The priority is keeping the really important stuff in the air, knowing that I’m never going to get to everything.” One simple ritual has helped Adams develop a new way of accomplishing tasks. Each morning, when he arrives at his downtown Chicago office, he sits behind his desk but doesn’t log into his computer. He clears a space for paper and a pen to list the day’s important tasks—ten, maybe—and designates a block of time for emails and phone calls. Of course, he recognizes that it’s nothing revolutionary, and there are dozens—if not

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thousands—of apps available to facilitate or complicate this task. But these are more than just quick to-dos scribbled on sticky notes: they’re a historical record. He doesn’t throw them out. He reviews each one at the end of the day—and a stack of them every few weeks—to assess his ability to prioritize and produce high-quality work. “People who work for me see how I approach things, and I’m trying to be somebody they want to emulate,” he says. He doesn’t rely on any one leadership style or approach.“You’ve got to cater it to the individual,” he says. Most of all, he aims to lead by example. In conjunction with that, he believes strongly in hiring the right people and providing opportunities for them to prove themselves, pursue their interests, and grow professionally. Adams isn’t a micromanager. He can’t be, because he’s too busy. “There was a big push a few years ago— even at Kaplan—for having game rooms and that kind of stuff in the office, “ he says. “That’s great, but what makes people really happy is feeling that they’re contributing, that they’re good at their job, that they have a say in where the entity is going and where their career is going.”

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www.gibsondunn.com Beijing

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Virginia Lazala tackles patient care and compliance in Canada and Latin America By J O S E P H K AY

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MimaCZ/shutterstock.com

Bridging Cultures,


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Protecting Patients When Novartis transferred its Canadian functions into the Latin American region, LatAm vice president and legal head Virginia Lazala recognized an opportunity. This was a unique chance to build connections and advance the workplace culture. It meant integrating a host of French-speaking Canadians into a team accustomed to speaking Spanish and Portuguese—“Portuñol,” Lazala jokes—and it meant mutual adjustments to differences in style. When the newly consolidated team met for its first regional meeting, the initial step-sibling awkwardness was obvious. “At our regional meetings, the Latino culture is very vibrant,” Lazala explains. “We always have music, and we’re all out on the dance floor. When Canada came in, they were the only people sitting at the tables, not dancing.” But Lazala wasn’t about to let that divide stand. Cultural integration isn’t necessarily a legal function, but her position affords a complete view of the region’s personnel. She interacts with everybody and facilitates connections across teams because it’s her natural inclination to do so. “I’m a connector. As a result, I feel compelled to bring

profilemagazine.com

people into the fold. We just had another region meeting, and everybody was out on the dance floor,” she says. “We’ve made progress. I don’t think the Canadians feel like outsiders anymore.” In addition to cultural differences, Lazala must also be mindful of differences in healthcare law in the different regions. Canada and the Latin American countries offer national universal healthcare, and that means a new treatment takes a different journey to the patient than it would in the United States. In Brazil, for example, a medication can be approved for use before it’s approved for general reimbursement. Essentially, that makes it unavailable for 80 percent of Brazilians using the free national public healthcare system, who would have to pay full price out-of-pocket. For Novartis, the next objective after safety approval is to make an effective case for reimbursement, so that the treatment is as widely available as possible. The organization also faces unique challenges raising local awareness of their products. Because every country has unique regulations on the marketing of drugs, Novartis associates have to develop specific strategies and tactics to raise awareness among caregivers and patients. The market access groups and regulatory affairs groups collaborate with patient advocacy groups and the government to lobby for reimbursement.

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“Legal provides support to those departments, but we also balance the laws and ensure that what we’re doing is compliant. We cannot, in that region, promote directly to patients,” Lazala says. Direct-to-consumer advertising is permitted only in the United States and New Zealand. Raising awareness through workshops and educational functions without advertising can be a challenging maneuver, and should they fall on the wrong side of the law’s distinctions, the consequences might include unpleasant publicity, regulatory fines, and withheld approval. Given the government’s expanded role in the administration of care, the process can be slower than it is in the United States; political corruption and volatility can add complications and further delays, Lazala says. In Brazil, for example, a recent corruption scandal ended the presidency of Dilma Rousseff, resulting in a new administration and evolving public political attitudes. Well-monitored and well-maintained relationships are key to navigating those transitions, Lazala says. “You have to stay involved with the local lawyers and ensure that they’re connected with industry, with health authorities, with reimbursement authorities,” she says. “You have to keep a finger on the pulse.” Another challenge has been the presence of counterfeit medications. Some Korean and Indian outfits produce copies that are not generics but deceptive mimicries, which lack the real prescription’s active ingredients. They then sell the product to local companies, who present it to patients as an approved copy—but lacking an active ingredient— copies provide no actual treatment. Novartis litigates those cases as matters of patient safety as well as intellectual property. But many counterfeiters operate in obscure settings, so they can be difficult for regulators and legal professionals to track down. In the meantime, Novartis also endeavors to keep the public aware. “We work closely with our therapeutic integrity team to educate patient advocacy groups, the government, and the public. The overarching goal is to protect the patient,” Lazala says. Because the mission of Novartis at large is to connect patients with the Virginia Lazala treatments they need, Lazala stays VP and Legal Head, LACan willing to contribute Region and HR and connect across multiple functions. Novartis When she sees an

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“We’re all working toward one goal: getting our treatments to the right patients, and doing it as one team.” V I R G I N IA L A ZA L A

opportunity to share knowledge or initiate a useful relationship, she doesn’t hesitate to act. Most lawyers, she observes, are less inclined to do so. “Most lawyers aren’t that way, but the more successful ones in global and regional functions are,” she says. “I try to impart that on my people and impress upon them our ability to be connectors and provide value due to our position in the organization.” After more than fifteen years in the organization, she’s eager to use her position to help others think big, learn, and move their careers forward. Novartis’ culture supports that. She’s seen stingy, counterproductive talent disputes in other companies. But at Novartis, opportunities are plentiful, and teams are mutually supportive. Everyone owns their own career, and one of Lazala’s duties as a leader is to help her staff develop and move forward. “I try to get my team out of their comfort zones. Being in this role, I know what the possibilities for development within our company are, and I can share that with others. I can help them think bigger.” As for the legal contributions, she reminds herself and her team to prioritize the mission over the daily minutiae and potential obstacles. “I want to have my people step up and be the business partners we should be so we’re all working toward one goal: getting our treatments to the right patients, and doing it as one team.”

WE PROUDLY SUPPORT AND CONGRATULATE HONOREE VIRGINIA LAZALA AND NOVARTIS PHARMACEUTICALS CORPORATION

OVERCOMING OBSTACLES

ACHIEVING RESULTS

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It has been Hollingsworth LLP’s great privilege to work with Virginia on matters related to some of Novartis’s most innovative and extraordinary advances in oncology, and we look forward to many future successes together.

Together with Ms. Lazala and Novartis (since 1996) in matters including In re Aredia and Zometa Products Liability MDL and In re Pamidronate Products Liability MDL

FLORHAM PARK 973-635-6300 NEW YORK, NY 212-308-0700 WWW.MARC.LAW

Q3/18

Hollingsworth LLP celebrates Virginia Lazala’s passion to address the unmet needs of patients and congratulates her for outstanding leadership with Novartis in the Latin America Region and at home.

www.hollingsworthllp.com


DREAMS ARE LIKE STORIES, CRAFTED EXCLUSIVELY FOR US, BUT WITH A CONCLUSION YET TO BE WRITTEN. WE HAVE TO FIND THE DETERMINATION, GRIT, AND TENACITY TO FINISH OUR STORY NO MATTER HOW INSURMOUNTABLE IT MAY SEEM. AND PEOPLE DO, EVERY DAY, BECAUSE PASSION HAS A FUNNY WAY OF TRUMPING ODDS.

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A LIFELONG NEW YORK YANKEES FAN WHO IS NOW A C-SUITE EXECUTIVE FOR THE ORGANIZATION, ALAN CHANG EXPLAINS WHY FOLLOWING HIS PASSION HAS MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE

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cross the street from his parents’ candy shop, Alan Chang sat in the living room of his two-bedroom apartment in Queens, New York, meticulously cutting along the dotted line on the back of a milk carton. This was a few decades ago when dairy companies, such as local milk purveyor Dellwood Dairy, would offer discount coupons for tickets to MLB baseball games on milk cartons. Growing up in a lower middle-class family with his parents and two siblings, Chang hoped these coupons could help him go from cheering on his heroes at home to seeing them live in The House that Ruth Built. “I remember asking my parents if we could go to Yankees game, and we just could not afford to go,” Chang recalls. Over the next few years, Chang and his family moved to various locations around the New York borough, including Woodhaven and Jamaica. Despite growing up in Queens— the home turf of the New York Mets fan base—Chang’s admiration for those in pinstripes only grew. In the mid1970s, the New York Yankees were an average baseball club, winning only about half of their games every season from 1971 to 1975. But by 1976, a dynasty was brewing in the Bronx. The Yankees would go on to win back-to-back World Series in 1977 and 1978. “Those were the teams in my formative years that really drove my interest in the Yankees,” Chang recalls. “The likes of Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, and Willie Randolph—those were my heroes.”

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As a child, Chang had no idea that, years later, he would commute daily to the stadium he once couldn’t afford to visit. But before he earned the title of deputy general counsel and vice president of legal affairs for the New York Yankees, he had to earn his place in the legal field. His parents encouraged him to pursue an educational path that would lead to a practical career. Despite starting in premed, Chang transitioned to political science courses and then worked as a corporate paralegal his junior and senior year. That’s when he decided to pursue the “practical” path to law. After law school, Chang headed to Los Angeles to begin practicing law as a commercial litigator. Eventually, he saw a job posting for an in-house counsel position at ESPN—a perfect move into the realm of sports that he loved. What ESPN would soon learn is that Chang was just as tenacious and competitive as the athletes whom the network covered. Chang interviewed, but ESPN’s general counsel told him that he wasn’t qualified for the role. Chang was ready with a rebuttal. “I said, ‘With all due respect, I think I am qualified for the job,’” Chang says. “‘I think you’re not looking for someone strictly with intellectual property experience, strictly with cable experience. You want somebody with a skill set that has multiple areas of practice that you can mold into an attorney that fits your team.’” Those words resonated with ESPN. After months of meetings, phone calls, and trips to the company’s headquarters in Connecticut, Chang secured the role he had aggressively pursued. Chang says that he thoroughly enjoyed his tenure at the company—so much so, in fact, that there was only one job Chang envisioned that would draw him away from ESPN. That job was, of course, working for the organization he had cheered on his entire life. As fate would have it, that opening presented itself in August 2000. After meeting with the chief operating officer and general counsel of the New York Yankees, Chang accepted the role as counsel—just two months before the Yankees would win their twenty-sixth World Series in team history. For a kid who didn’t see his favorite team in person until he was in law school, Chang was astonished to find himself at Yankee Stadium on a regular basis, walking the same halls as his boyhood heroes. “It’s just part of a natural progression of the various skills and practice areas that I accumulated over the years that led me to this point,” Chang says. “It was just having the right skill set and experience for the position that each successive employer was trying to fill at the time that I fit that mold. I don’t think it’s ever gone to my head.” Over his many years working for the Yankees, Chang has developed relationships both internally and with


AL AN CH AN G / / D E PUT Y G E N E RA L C OU N S E L, V P O F L E G A L A F FA I R S / / N E W YO R K YA N K E E S

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“MY P R O F E S S I O N C L E A R LY I S A S A LE G A L ADVI S O R , A N D I’ M PA S S I O N AT E A B OU T W H AT MY CL I E N T D O E S .

T H AT MA K E S E V E RY DAY A U N I Q U E E X P E R I E N C E.”

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congratulates

Alan Chang for his distinguished career at the

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KAUFF MCGUIRE & MARGOLIS The team for labor, employment, and immigration law.

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outside partners. His peers have taken notice of his work ethic and how the plays he’s making off the field are directly impacting the success of the organization. “Alan has an exceptional reputation among general counsels in Major League Baseball and for good reason,” says Irwin Kishner, executive chairman of Herrick, Feinstein LLP. “His leadership, creativity, innate intelligence, and business acumen have helped achieve very tangible results for the Yankees.” Those results run the gamut in areas of the Yankees’ operations, as Chang spends his time on multiple areas of focus. From his office, which is adorned with team memorabilia and seats from the previous Yankee Stadium, Chang sees different issues come across his desk every day. He refers to himself as a legal counsel generalist, as he helps address any issues that may arise with employment, various statutes, or any litigation matters. The Yankees are a baseball team, but they’re also a $37.5 billion business, and so they face all the issues that any corporation of its size would face. As Chang explains, being a specialist in a particular discipline—such as antitrust, intellectual property, or litigation—would be too narrowly focused to serve the organization well. “In order to best serve the Yankees, it is necessary to have knowledge and experience in different legal disciplines so that you can provide sound legal advice across all the functional departments within the Yankees’ organization,” he says, adding this includes stadium operations, human resources, sponsorships, and more. Because of his background as a commercial litigator, Chang understands procedures well and provides oversight on several matters. He works closely with Doug Behar, senior vice president of stadium operations, for example, assisting with vendor and union contracts. Also, because Yankee Stadium hosts multiple events outside of baseball—concerts, soccer games, and NCAA College Football’s Pinstripe Bowl—Chang works to ensure that all of the moving parts are in proper legal order. “It gets a little tricky,” Chang says. “All of those events are dates on the calendar for the operational people, but you have to paper that deal, and that’s where I come in.” Balancing that diverse work has gained Chang the admiration of his peers, who recognize his dedication to both the team and the organization. “Alan is excellent at managing his in-house and outside teams in a large spectrum of legal issues,” says Josh Schiller, partner at Boies Schiller Flexner. “Like a true New York Yankee, he is dedicated to winning, and he has a flair for litigation.” Chang enjoys the wide spectrum of work. Not only does it keep his day interesting, but it also correlates with the culture of the organization and the importance of doing things the “Yankee way.” It’s a mantra that rings throughout the organization: Just as the Yankees want to win championships on the field, every member of the organization sets out to give fans the best experience possible when they come through the stadium gates. “We want to do everything possible for the fan experience and to drive interest in our product,” Chang says.

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Herrick’s sports law group is proud to honor the New York Yankees’ Deputy General Counsel Alan Chang, an exceptional lawyer whose talent and creativity are matched only by his passion for the Yankees.

ART LAW • BANKRUPTCY • CORPORATE • GOVERNMENT RELATIONS • INSURANCE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY • LITIGATION • REAL ESTATE • SPORTS • TAX • TRUSTS & ESTATES

NEW YORK • NEWARK • ISTANBUL profilemagazine.com

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NEVER STOP DREAMING Every once in a while, as he’s walking the halls of Yankee Stadium, Alan Chang pictures himself back in Queens, New York, seeking milk cartons for MLB baseball ticket coupons so that he could see his childhood favorites in person. Nowadays, Chang is not only seeing his favorite baseball team firsthand through his work with the organization, but his work as deputy general counsel is also helping the entire organization thrive, whether that’s from an organizational standpoint or being behind the scenes in giving fans an outstanding experience. As a result, it’s not uncommon for Chang to speak about the importance of combining profession with passion. There was only one job that could draw him away from ESPN, and that was his dream job: working with the New York Yankees organization. “If you're not enjoying yourself, then you're not maximizing your potential,” Chang says. “If you enjoy what you do and it's your passion, then you're spending it in maximum efficiency. You're doing the job to the best of your ability because you enjoy what you do. My profession clearly is as a legal advisor, and I'm passionate about what my client does. That makes every day a unique experience.”

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“My role in doing that is to help all the departments that I work with to make that come true. I’m passionate about the Yankees. We have a very collaborative environment here, and that doesn’t make it a job to me. It’s not tedious to me. It’s something I enjoy.” It may have taken Chang longer than he would’ve liked to enjoy that fan experience firsthand at Yankee Stadium, but having advanced to become the deputy general counsel, he has come a long way since cutting out coupons in his living room. A few years ago, Chang had the opportunity to bring his fan experience full circle, when he brought his father to the owner’s box for a game. As his dad enjoyed his first in-person Yankees experience, Chang reflected on how his upbringing and the years of tireless work culminated into something far greater than a profession. “My dad’s sitting there, and he’s just enjoying himself,” Chang recalls. “He wasn’t able to do that for me when I was a kid, but I was able to do it for him.”

Alan Chang, deputy general counsel and vice president of legal affairs for the New York Yankees, is New York City through and through. A lifelong Yankees fan, Alan advises on all aspects of the Yankees’ baseball and stadium operations. KM&M is proud of Alan’s accomplishments and our seventeen years working together for this special client. Boies Schiller Flexner is a firm of internationally recognized trial lawyers, crisis managers, and strategic advisors known for creative, aggressive, and efficient pursuit of success for clients. Over two decades, BSF has established a record of taking on and winning complex, groundbreaking, and cross-border matters in a broad range of industries for many of the world’s most sophisticated companies. The firm builds deep relationships with its core clients so it can represent them in any matter anywhere in the world. BSF brings the same skill to its pro bono and public-impact litigation as it does in its commercial work.

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Jackson Lewis P.C. is honored to partner with Alan Chang, Deputy General Counsel/Vice President Legal Affairs of the New York Yankees, and congratulates him for being recognized by Profile Magazine as one of the nationʼs top counsel

With 800 attorneys in major locations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, Jackson Lewis provides the resources to address every aspect of the employer-employee relationship.

Philip B. Rosen | 212-545-4001 • RosenP@jacksonlewis.com Richard I. Greenberg | 212-545-4080 • GreenbeR@jacksonlewis.com Daniel D. Schudroff | 212-545-4015 • SchudroffD@jacksonlewis.com 666 Third Avenue • 29th Floor • New York, NY 10017 • jacksonlewis.com ATTORNEY ADVERTISING | © 2017 Jackson Lewis P.C.


We are proud to partner with Alan Chang and the New York Yankees.

BOIES SCHILLER FLEXNER LLP www.bsfllp.com


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LAURA JACKSON SHARES HOW UNLIKELY CAREER TRANSITIONS CAN LEAD TO THE BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENTS, AND HOW HER EXTENSIVE HR EXPERIENCE HELPS ISC’S

Action Sports Photography/Shutterstock.com

EMPLOYEES ON A DAILY BASIS

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a typical NASCAR race, drivers will make about eight hundred turns throughout the course of an afternoon on their way to the checkered flag. Throughout her career, Laura Jackson hasn’t made nearly as many, but with every turn she has deepened her skill set, acquired more experience, and changed the lives of the people she works with on a daily basis. Today, Jackson serves as the chief human resources officer of International Speedway Corporation (ISC), but she wouldn’t be on her current career track if not for a major detour early on. Jackson, who is also ISC’s senior vice president for corporate services, started in the purchasing department at General Electric, buying equipment for power substations and rising through the ranks to become a purchasing manager overseeing a multistate area. She quickly developed acclaim from her supervisors, who appreciated her understanding of the business and her close connections with people in the field. Eventually, they approached her about transitioning to human resources. “It was actually a step back in the organizational structure,” Jackson recalls. “I went from being a purchasing manager to an HR administrator. But that’s the best move I ever made in my career.” Jackson excelled in human resources because her extensive experience meant she knew what to expect when it came to employee performance. Her time in the field also gave her credibility within the company and others as she moved from GE to Textron Financial Corporation. In 2009, she joined ISC, which owns or

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operates thirteen motorsports entertainment facilities nationwide. ISC also owns and operates Motor Racing Network, the nation’s largest independent sport radio network, and Americrown Service Corporation, which provides catering services, food and beverage concessions, and merchandise sales. “I approach each of my positions as a business person first and an HR leader second,” she says. “If you learn about the business and you learn about the employees within the business, then it provides greater insight into how you guide the organization and the employees.” As a result, Jackson is always looking to achieve the ideal balance between business needs and employees’ skill sets. She wants to maximize an employee’s potential, which in turn boosts the business. Just as she discovered for herself, that doesn’t always mean encouraging employees to climb the career ladder rung by rung. “At times in our careers, it might be more advantageous to take a sidestep on an organizational level to round out your skill set and business knowledge versus always trying to go to the next title on the chart,” Jackson says. That’s not always easy, though, to convince colleagues to make a lateral move or take a step back. In Jackson’s case, supervisors at GE assured her that she could return to her previous purchasing position if human resources didn’t suit her. They also emphasized that there were more opportunities on the HR career track. When asking people to shift gears at ISC, Jackson explains how broadening their knowledge will make them better leaders down the home stretch. “You really have to show not just the next step, but also how that opens up the step after that,” Jackson explains. “The more you learn about a business, the greater your value and the higher potential you have for promotion within that business.” And in addition to cultivating current employees, Jackson manages the company’s shared services, including corporate communications and mail services, company administrative services, and management and maintenance of the ISC headquarters in Daytona Beach, Florida. Rather than detracting from her HR role, she says these responsibilities help keep her in tune with employees at International Speedway’s offices and tracks across the country. Jackson wants to ensure employees at each of the facilities feel as though they’re part of the same team. Heading


LAURA JACKSON // CHRO, SVP FOR CORPORATE SERVICES // INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY CORPORATION

Mike Meadows

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DON’T BE AFRAID TO SLOW DOWN It’s human nature to want to succeed and to succeed quickly. Oftentimes, we want to see the checkered flag before we make sure we have the right tools in place to make it to the finish line. Laura Jackson knows that better than most, as over the course of her renowned career, she has made moves that may have turned some heads, but in the end, the destination was a dream role. Today as the CHRO at International Speedway Corporation, she advises employees on a daily basis to help them maximize their potential, but also let them know that it’s important to slow down and assess what they need before making a jump to the next level. “In search of career fulfillment, be open minded to the unexpected opportunity that may include a nontraditional organizational path,” Jackson says. “In most careers, we are provided opportunities to learn a variety of business skills. Take as many of those as you can.”

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corporate communications gives her a better sense of how human resources policies affect employees who are states away from the Daytona Beach headquarters. She also gets a better sense of how to effectively convey company news throughout the organization so that team members never have to find out about something that’s going to directly affect them from a news story. “Whatever we decide here in Daytona has to be viable for everyone,” she says. “We want them to hear it from us first.” Those human resources initiatives also have to be workable for newly hired millennials, as well as employees who have been with International Speedway for numerous years. Jackson never wants to exclude one group in favor of the other. Fortunately, she’s found many basic human resources principles apply across multiple generations. “It’s always recognition and reward for employees. It’s providing goals and expectations around performance,” Jackson says. “And it is transparency—providing updates and asking for input on what’s happening within the business across the company.” Jackson also works with others, including ISC’s director of multicultural affairs, to develop diversity in other areas. For instance, ISC is a partner in NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity Internship Program that places promising interns in positions across the motorsports industry. “We’ve expanded our participation in that by 100 percent,” Jackson says. “And about half of our candidates will come back and end up going to work for us.” ISC already exhibits gender diversity in its executive offices, where Jackson is joined by CEO Lesa France Kennedy. ISC has two women on its corporate board of directors and several of its managing directors are women, which reflects the fact motorsports has plenty of fans who are women, Jackson says. “There’s this perception that it’s just an older fan base, but that’s not true,” she says. “Our consumer base is very diverse in terms of race, age and gender, and our goal is to mirror that.” It’s those types of initiatives that Jackson has helped spearhead that have made all the difference over the course of her career and for the people she helps on a daily basis. Whether she changes direction or mentors others on how to best position themselves in their career, it’s always done with a checkered flag in sight.

TM

NATIONAL STRENGTH. LOCAL PRESENCE.

A DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT APPROACH TO MANAGING RISK. SOLUTIONS OFFERED IN

Avigator Thailand/Shutterstock.com

THE UNITED STATES, BERMUDA, CANADA & THE UNITED KINGDOM Brown & Brown congratulates Laura Jackson on her many accomplishments. Laura is a strategic leader in a fast-paced industry, bringing human resources expertise to one of the largest sports and entertainment companies in America. She continues to set the bar as a true and trusted business partner.

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LEGENDS’ JOHN RUZICH SHARES WHY HAVING TENACITY AND DETERMINATION IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS HAVING THE RIGHT LEGAL SKILL SET

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any kids watch sports on TV and fall in love with particular teams and players. John Ruzich, however, got an early taste of what happens behind the scenes while everyone else was transfixed by what happened on the field. “My father worked in the travel industry,” Ruzich says. “He and his friends would go to all the Super Bowls and all the parties. It was impressionable to me at a young age. I became passionate about the business of sports and getting to meet the team behind the team. It was so interesting.” Now, as chief administrative officer and chief legal officer for Legends, Ruzich remains committed to the business side of the industry that he fell in love with all those years ago. Legends was formed in 2007 when both the New York Yankees, owned by the Steinbrenner family, and the Dallas Cowboys, owned by the Jones family, were pursuing new stadium deals. Both teams were building state-of-the-art experiences, and both teams realized that relying on standard stadium food-and-concessions would be a disservice to the fans. The Yankees and the Cowboys formed Legends to provide premium culinary experiences for all fans. In the decade since, it has grown into a powerhouse company that includes more than seventy venues around the world, including stadiums in various professional and minor leagues, Live Nation amphitheaters, and One World Observatory located at the top of One World Trade Center in New York. Beyond concessions, Legends handles suites, skyboxes, personal seat licenses, and sponsorships for various NFL teams and Division-I college programs. Ruzich is at the center of all those deals. He says it’s a dream job for someone like him, but it also presents its own unique set of obstacles.

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“With Legends, the biggest challenge is that we grow so fast,” he says. “When I plan or consider staffing and resources, I never go for the now. I have to look out two years from now. This is a culture of constant growth.” Of course, he’s up for the challenge. In fact, Ruzich’s tenacity is what has set him apart throughout his career. During his time as an undergraduate at the University of Miami, Ruzich was a public relations intern for the NHL’s Florida Panthers. After completing his undergraduate work, he attended St. Thomas University School of Law where he wanted to continue interning. However, law school limited the hours he could work. To continue to stay working in the industry, the only option Ruzich had was to be an NHL off-ice official, which didn’t appeal to him. That, however, didn’t stop him from leveraging the situation into another opportunity. “I would go to the old Miami Arena every Panthers game about three hours before the puck dropped,” he says. “I’d sit in the press box, studying and briefing cases, but I would also approach every visiting general manager that came to town and say, ‘My name is John Ruzich. I’m a firstyear law student. I’d love to intern with you for free during the summer. If I’m great, you get free labor; if I’m awful, get rid of me any time you want.’” The approach failed to work on the first thirteen tries. But when the New Jersey Devils came to town, the team’s former president and general manager Lou Lamoriello appreciated the approach, and it led Ruzich to two years of legal intern work. After graduating, Ruzich reached out to the organization for a letter of recommendation to send to the NHL League office, but instead, he received a counteroffer. “They said, ‘Well, what if we created a position for you as staff attorney?’” he recalls. So Ruzich began his full-time career as in-house counsel for the organization in 1999. In his first full season, the Devils won the Stanley Cup, which he says cemented his passion for the business. After a few years with the Devils, Ruzich followed an opportunity to work with World Wrestling Entertainment, where he got his first experiences in the entertainment industry. That paved the way to his time with the television and movie company Classic Media, which was eventually acquired by DreamWorks in 2012. During his time with Classic Media, Ruzich found himself working through the legal aspects of new productions, television distribution agreements, live events, tours, merchandising, and home video and digital rights. He even worked on the contracts for CBS to run the classics Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman during the holiday season.


J O H N R U Z I CH // CH I E F A D M I N I STR AT IVE OFF I CE R , CH I E F L E G A L O F F I CE R / / L E G E N D S

Jeffrey Holmes

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FAILURE IS NEVER AN OPTION Even when he was growing up, John Ruzich developed a passion for the business side of sports. Today as the chief administrative officer and chief legal officer for Legends, he says he has found his dream job, but others haven’t reached that same level yet. And as Ruzich explains, it’s not enough just to possess certain knowledge and skill sets. In the sports industry, specifically, Ruzich says it’s not only one of the most competitive businesses, but it’s also saturated with an abundance of talented people vying for a small number of spots. “For someone to be successful, they need to be passionate about this business because it is a long and tough journey to get to the place you want to be,” Ruzich says. “It’s something that you really need a fire inside of you and have a singular purpose in your mind: that failure is never an option. Ultimately, you realize it may take many years, but you cannot have any doubts that you’re going to achieve what you want. You have to believe in that.” Additionally, Ruzich says there are no days off in the sports business, which is just another reason why only the most passionate survive. “You have to understand that it’s a lifestyle commitment you’re making. It’s not a job. Not in this industry,” he says. “And more importantly, if you’re not that committed and not passionate about your position, then there’s a million people that would be happy to take your job for less pay who have the necessary level of dedication. So, that passion and that ability to wake up every morning and be enthusiastic and dedicated about what you want to do in your life is what carries you throughout your career.”

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“WHEN YOU’RE IN AN OFFICE, KNOCK ON EVERY DOOR. YOU HAVE TO GET OUT AND BUILD YOUR BRAND.” “It was fun space to grow,” he says. “When my contract came up, I was approached by a friend in the sports industry, who told me Legends was looking for a general counsel. The opportunity to get back in sports and work for two iconic franchises is something that I don’t think anyone in their right mind would pass up.” The fact that he was approached for the job, he says, is a callback to the aggressiveness and genuine networking he started all those years ago in the press box at Florida Panthers games. It’s a message he stresses both to young people looking for their first job and C-suite executives looking for their next opportunity: Don’t just be a name on a résumé and hope for an opportunity to present itself. Instead, build authentic relationships with people, seek their input on situations, and, hopefully, find advocates that can help you when you go through adversity. “When you’re in an office, knock on every door,” he continues. “Take people out for coffee, ask them about their experience, their successes, their failures. When an opportunity becomes available, they will hopefully think of you first as opposed to the need to send in a résumé and cover letter like everyone else. If you have an advocate in this business, it’s huge. I constantly know of several general counsel positions that are available, and most of them are not posted. People call and say, ‘My GC is leaving. Is there anyone you know?’ You have to get out and build your brand.” Ruzich says when he’s hiring, he looks for authentic people that take that self-motivation to heart, not only because it can help create an effective team, but it can also help him—and Legends—further down the line. “John’s colleagues enjoy being in the trenches with him,” says Irwin Kishner of Herrick, Feinstein LLP. “He’s a brilliant tactician who expects excellence at every turn—both as a team member and leader—and provides creativity, intellect, and vision that resonates with the people around him.” And it’s his vision for the future that has poised him and Legends to continue to be leaders in their field. “You always have to think ahead,” he says. “A lot of people look at their career like checkers—one move at a time. I think the really successful people look at it like a chess match—working four or five moves ahead, anticipating, and counteracting. Everyone is motivated differently. They communicate differently and react differently. Think ahead, and put yourself in the right position for success.”


Herrick’s sports law group is proud to honor Legends Hospitality’s Chief Legal Officer John Ruzich, whose tenacity, leadership and boundless energy help fuel the Legends way.

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Jackson Lewis P.C. is honored to partner with John Ruzich, Chief Administrative Officer & Chief Legal Officer of Legends Hospitality, and congratulates him for being recognized by Profile Magazine as one of the nationʼs top counsel

With 800 attorneys in major locations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, Jackson Lewis provides the resources to address every aspect of the employer-employee relationship.

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Solving the Compliance Puzzle Virginia MacSuibhne, Roche Molecular Solutions’ chief compliance officer, details her colorful approach to compliance By J A C O B W I N C H E S T E R

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Sarah Sher

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It’s laundry day, and you’ve just accidentally locked yourself out of the house while wearing only those embarrassing pajamas you would never want the neighbors to see. What do you do? If you’re Virginia MacSuibhne, chief compliance officer of Roche Molecular Solutions, you quickly concoct a clever solution by cobbling together elements of the unexpected. “I had what I like to refer to as a MacGyver moment,” MacSuibhne says. “I’d locked myself out of the house but was still in my garage. I looked around and realized I had a garage full of options. So, I constructed a hook out of garden tools, a broom, and some duct tape. I pushed it through the cat door and dragged the leg of the table to where the keys were located—close enough so I could grab them and let myself back inside.” As someone whose career has unfolded within the ever-updating healthcare arena, that example of ingenious creativity and problem-solving savvy comes in especially handy for MacSuibhne, who got her start as a litigator and now oversees compliance for Roche’s sequencing, molecular diagnostics, and tissue diagnostics offshoots known collectively as Roche Molecular Solutions. “I’d describe my day as a juggling act,” she says. “I don’t ever know what’s going to come through the door. I plan for my day, but I also plan that 30 percent of my day will be ad hoc because, ultimately, I’m a service provider, and sometimes the business will have urgent needs. I have to switch between things quickly, because the reality is sometimes things just come up.” MacSuibhne considers her overarching role to be someone who carefully sets the tone for compliance and assists the organization’s other leaders and managers in understanding as well as proliferating that tone, whether it relates to FDA regulations, cybersecurity concerns, or proper storage and acquisition of specimens. “I’m really about strategy, leadership, and communication, because compliance is actually everyone’s role. It’s every employee’s responsibility,” MacSuibhne says. “My job is to enable that process and enable people to raise concerns, speak up, and to ensure that they have the guidance they need to move forward.” Virginia That aspect, MacSuibhne MacSuibhne explains, is clear-cut, given Chief Compliance Roche’s strong set of organiOfficer zational and cultural values Roche Molecular that encourage employees to Solutions own their actions, innovate, and succeed as one.


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“For me, those are great touchstones, and they make managing compliance in the organization so much more effective. They give velocity to it,” MacSuibhne says. “We work in a heavily regulated environment. What I never have to explain in our organization is why compliance is important. Everybody understands that compliance is our license to operate and that our reputation is important. People want to do the right thing when they go to work. My job and my team’s job is to help them understand what might be good choices in potentially gray areas so that they can be successful.” To coax those successful outcomes, MacSuibhne focuses on putting people first and emphasizes being decisive, action-oriented, and generating inspiration. She also champions the importance of asking pointed questions. “You have to be comfortable that you can’t know everything. I start conversations, and I spend a lot of time asking questions,” she says. “People will say that I’m going into cross-examination mode. What I’m doing is asking questions in order to feed the analysis.” During the analytical process, MacSuibhne then sets her sights on scrutinizing the framework of a given industry regulation or compliance issue to discover why it exists in the first place, as well as to reveal what its core concepts are. But problems and solutions aren’t always what they seem. “People often come to me and say, ‘I want to do X,’” MacSuibhne says. “They don’t necessarily want to do X. They actually want to do Y, but they think X is maybe the only way to get there. So, I try to start with the end goal— the Y—and not confuse that for its possible solutions.” One of the major challenges of her role is navigating the often complex legal and ethical landscape of the healthcare industry. This leads into another aspect of MacSuibhne’s role: enable the business to do the right thing in the right way, while keeping in line with the company culture and within the boundaries of existing laws and regulations. “On the other hand, technology is outpacing our regulations and laws exponentially,” she adds. “The job, and the challenge, is to figure out how to influence that and to navigate the gray space.” Exploring the mysteries of that gray area has always captivated MacSuibhne. Agatha Christie and Nancy Drew books fascinated her as a child, and she is a voracious reader today. She also loves solving puzzles and adventure shows. In college, MacSuibhne designed her own major centered around social justice, which she describes as a combination of criminology and anthropology, and minored in women’s studies. “I’ve always had

“Pound for pound, it’s the best patent shop in the country.” MANAGING IP’S IP STARS

Durie Tangri LLP 217 Leidesdorff Street San Francisco, CA 94111 (415) 362-6666 530 Molino Street, Suite 111 Los Angeles, CA 90013 (213) 992-4499 www.durietangri.com

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“You have to be comfortable that you can’t know everything. I start conversations, and I spend a lot of time asking questions. People will say that I’m going into crossexamination mode. What I’m doing is asking questions in order to feed the analysis.” VIRGINIA MACSUIBHNE

a sense of advocacy. There are no lawyers in my family, but in college I started interning at a law firm in San Jose,” MacSuibhne says. “No one was more surprised than me when I ended up graduating from law school.” After working as a general litigator for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and an in-house counselor for financial software company Intuit, MacSuibhne joined Roche Molecular Systems as senior corporate counsel, eventually working her way to chief compliance officer of that organization and then to chief compliance officer of Roche Molecular Solutions. She views her current position as an opportunity to offer the company creative solutions and options that will enable it to develop products that can best serve the diagnostics needs of not only the market and healthcare professionals, but also patients whose very lives are enhanced by Roche Molecular Solutions’ diagnostic tools. “The patients are really the true north of working in diagnostics. I just can’t imagine a better place than healthcare,” MacSuibhne says. “I’ve worked at companies where they talk about providing life-changing products. Tech products are great, but healthcare is really life-changing. That’s what gets me up in the morning, and I feel very passionate having found the right place in healthcare compliance.”

“Virginia leads by strategically and efficiently navigating the complex legal waters of compliance and cybersecurity in the healthcare industry. Her work, expertise, and initiatives set a high bar for other companies, as well as their legal counsel, to meet. Durie Tangri congratulates her on her recognition by Profile magazine, a well-deserved honor.” –Daralyn Durie, Partner

Shook, Hardy and Bacon is proud to partner with Virginia MacSuibhne and Roche Molecular Solutions. Successful business requires diligence to ensure the highest ethical and legal standards, and Virginia translates complex regulatory standards into a road map for extraordinary leadership. We look forward to a long and rewarding partnership with you!

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Facing the Changing Talent Tide With massive waves of retirement and an aging population on the rise, Byron Kirton helps nursing home and rehabilitation company Avalon Health Care Group find new solutions to recruitment and retention challenges

Alex Adams

By L I O R P H I L L I P S

Less than 10 percent of the American population in the 1950s was older than sixty-five, according to The Atlantic. That number is expected to grow to more than 20 percent by 2050. It poses a unique challenge in the healthcare world: a wave of medical professionals rapidly nearing retirement age paired with an even larger wave of aging Americans in need of further care. “Between the advancing age of the baby boomers and the fact that the majority of nurses are over forty years of age and retiring themselves, we as a nursing home and rehabilitation company are facing a real challenge,” explains Byron Kirton, Avalon Health Care Group’s senior vice president of human resources. “The need for clinical staff is massive now, and it’s going to become an even greater challenge in the next ten years.” Kirton first joined Avalon in 2007 as director of recruitment and retention and has helped shepherd the organization through many major changes in the healthcare talent sphere. Although many others in the field have had a lifelong passion for healthcare, Kirton came to the role fresh from having founded and ran his own art marketing business. As he decided to trim down his company, Kirton worked closely with the then-vice

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president of HR, who needed help developing a recruitment model for Avalon. “I handed him a three-inch binder with a model I’d developed,” Kirton recalls. Not only did the model prove essential, but the HR executive also asked Kirton to join in its implementation. Fittingly, Kirton’s unique approach blends traditional HR strengths with sales and marketing expertise to attract top talent in innovative ways. That diverse approach comes in handy, especially when considering that Avalon’s fifty-plus communities are located in seven different states across the western United States, each with its own unique challenges. In many of those states, the organization has launched Certified Nurse Aid Training Programs to develop and certify new nursing assistants and medical technicians. Additionally, these programs are provided in both Spanish and English, to further find untapped pools of talent. In some cases, Avalon also offers tuition re i m b u rs e m e n t , grants from local Byron Kirton governments that want to strengthen SVP, Human their healthcare Resources i n f rast r u c tu res , Avalon Health and partnerships Care Group with colleges and

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We would like to offer our sincere congratulations to Byron Kirton of Avalon Health Care for his outstanding leadership in the healthcare industry. We acknowledge Byron’s dedication and contributions. We appreciate our working relationship with Avalon Health Care and look forward to many more years of working together.

universities. “We’re training high school graduates to provide hands-on care to the greatest generation on the planet,” Kirton says. “We want to ensure that we’re helping produce the right caliber of clinical expertise, and that we’re participating in a way that we can keep the Avalon name front and center. We want nurses to know us, trust us, and come work for us.” Part of that comes from integrating new technology, such as transitioning from paper applications to more digital tracking tools. Avalon has also taken steps into using social media for marketing the organization to candidates and networking with associations. But beyond having the right tools, Kirton emphasizes the importance of truly understanding what millennial candidates want from an opportunity. “The millennial generation is misunderstood and oftentimes unfairly maligned,” he explains. “If you motivate the millennials, they will run through walls for you.” To do so, Kirton says, salary isn’t the only, or even the primary, answer. Instead, Kirton focuses on the age group’s tendency to look for opportunities to stand out for their achievements and be recognized. Millennials are also interested in finding the right culture fit and how they might personally contribute to the greater good, Kirton says. As such, Avalon ensures that the individuals it recruits are prepared and properly matched for each specific facility. Each community as a whole interacts with its environment in different ways. An Avalon facility in a rural area, for instance, might aim to create a “small-town feel” by putting on an annual parade, sponsoring community events, or similar activities. Meanwhile, an Avalon facility in a college town may spend more time focused on helping young healthcare professionals develop their careers. Achieving those diverse results without losing focus of the organization’s mission and core values relies on a strong leadership core and communications skills. “We stress to our leaders to learn the name of every employee and to know their strengths and stories,” Kirton says. “We want to create a bond, a sense of friendship, and a sense that we’re the winning team in a tight market.” Another millennial misconception is their supposed disinterest in others. Avalon has had success recruiting candidates who value the wisdom of their elders. “We’re looking for people who want to take care of somebody’s grandmother or somebody’s grandfather,” Kirton says. “If someone says, ‘I

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“The millennial generation is misunderstood and oftentimes unfairly maligned. If you motivate the millennials, they will run through walls for you.” BY R O N K I RTO N

want to develop long-term relationships with those who I serve,’ then that’s going to be an excellent fit.” And that strategic, intelligent fit can lead to untold success, both for Avalon as an organization and for the employees as individuals. Multiple individuals who started at the organization as certified nursing assistants have risen to regional vice president roles. Kirton even handpicked a former assistant to lead the benefits and wellness programs for roughly seven thousand employees. In addition to his role at Avalon, Kirton is a board member of the Alliance House—a nonprofit that provides a supportive environment where adults with serious, persistent mental illness can receive assistance. In both roles, Kirton is focused on helping those that need it most, whether through fundraising, creating awareness, or driving other talented individuals to the cause. “Similar to Avalon, the mentally ill are a very underserved population, and in many respects, are still a misunderstood population. But I work for the underdog,” Kirton says. “Both the Alliance House and Avalon are helping people progress, and this has improved the performance of these organizations as well. I’m really proud of and honored to do what I do.”


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Work Together, Build Together Neal Meadows built DistributionNOW’s tax department from the ground up. Today, he and his team are working to give the company a competitive advantage in the oil and gas industry. By Z A C H B A L I VA

It would have been tough to pick a more challenging time to join a company in the oil and gas industry. In December 2014, when Neal Meadows stepped in to help build DistributionNOW’s tax department, the industry was in the early stages of a major downturn. Oil prices had largely recovered from the recession of 2008 with prices exceeding $100 a barrel in August 2014. However, by the end of 2014, the price had declined to less than $60 a barrel. That staggering collapse was the industry’s worst in nearly thirty years. Meadows had gained valuable experience in various industries and was ready for a new challenge. The University of Texas– Austin graduate had originally set his sights on making partner at one of the Big Four accounting firms. But in 2001, his career shifted to another industry when he took the opportunity to join dynamic and fast-paced Clear Channel Communications. Meadows never looked back and shifted his goal from Big Four partner to tax department head. Despite the oil and gas industry’s challenging status, he would get his chance when National Oilwell Varco’s distribution segment had spun off to form DistributionNOW.

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The new company, which supplies parts to key oil and gas players, was forming its core team. Meadows interviewed with DistributionNOW’s CFO and was offered his first head tax role. On day one, Meadows started assessing DistributionNOW to align his strategy with the company’s overall goals and objectives. He moved to hire a domestic and an international tax manager. Then, he hired personnel for state tax roles. In building his team, Meadows leaned on lessons learned throughout his previous tenures. “Over my career, I’ve seen how important it is to hire people you enjoy working with,” says Meadows, who today is DistributionNOW’s vice president of tax. “You need people that all get along with and trust each other. You’re going to be spending a lot of time together, and fit is important.” Finding the right people was important, but the process had its share of challenges. Because the industry was in a major downturn, resources were scarce and various departments were competing for Neal Meadows assets. “I had to sell VP of Tax my vision to the CFO in a downturn and DistributionNOW prove to him that

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“Over my career, I’ve seen how important it is to hire people you enjoy working with. You need people that all get along with and trust each other.” NEAL MEADOWS

I could add value with a robust tax team,” Meadows says. He focused on amassing quick wins by filing returns and getting hefty IRS and state tax refunds where DistributionNOW was able to carryback net operating losses. Then, Meadows focused on lowering property tax burdens, maximizing tax incentives associated with certain jurisdictions, and discovering creative ways to make a financial impact. In his first two years with the company, Meadows assembled an eleven-person team responsible for global tax matters. His department works across twenty-one countries and handles financial reporting for income taxes, tax compliance, planning, and other related matters. Meadows considers himself a student of good leadership and says he works to build a committed and engaged team. “Our tax function has a chance to make a big difference for our company, and we can only do that if our people buy into what we’re all doing together and if we each embrace our role in that,” he says. Meadows has developed his own leadership style by observing others over the past fifteen years while paying special attention to strategies that work and tactics that fail. He believes that employees work best

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when given special opportunities to thrive. He’s been known to let junior staff members make presentations to the CFO or pair younger employees with veteran colleagues on tasks. A good tax head, Meadows says, should be more of a leader than a boss. As DistributionNOW moves forward, Meadows is confident that his team will contribute as stability continues to return to the industry. “We’re positioning the company for success as the oil and gas sector starts to grow again,” he says. “And I don’t think we’re going to simply recover—I think we’re going to thrive.” After a few down years, he expects to see more organic growth and a return to a strategy that also includes mergers and acquisitions. Meadows and his colleagues are adjusting to the changes that tax reform has brought to the US tax code. He’s working with department personnel to scour legislation and adjust internal strategy and capture certain benefits. There is more reason for optimism. Many industry experts are predicting a turnaround for oil and gas in 2018 and beyond. As the economic outlook and other factors improve, Meadows will continue his push to respond to the recovery, exploit changes to the tax code, and pinpoint further opportunities for growth.


Legal Spotlight

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Lawyer, Teacher, Communicator Chip Wheelock uses his teaching experience to stress the importance of communication in his role as Global Power Equipment Group’s general counsel

by David Levine

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“In my family, you were either an academic or a lawyer, and both were my role models,” says Chip Wheelock. He wasn’t sure which path to follow, so he worked in a law firm for a year and then taught for a year. And doing so helped Wheelock—now vice president, administration, general counsel, and secretary at Global Power Equipment Group—understand the value of explaining legal concepts and presenting ideas to people clearly. Born in Wilmington, Delaware, Wheelock moved with his family to Canton, New York, as an infant. He says his parents were teachers and also free spirits, who traveled to work in Romania, Ireland, and Italy while he was a child. They returned when he was set to enter high school. “They blamed me for having to come back to the US,” he says with a laugh. After graduating from Emory University, he indulged his own free spirit, working in New York City as a paralegal for a year before venturing to Japan to teach English. In Japan, he practiced speaking in front of people. That experience helped later, he says, after he returned to Emory to pursue a JD. “In the business environment, when you may be the only lawyer in the room explaining a dry legal

concept, it gives me a way of feeling comfortable in front of people,” he says. Upon graduating law school, he worked in private practice in the Atlanta area for five years, where he learned the basics of being a lawyer. But he did not grow up wanting to be a courtroom lawyer. He preferred being in-house—near the action of the business, Wheelock says. He went to work at a new internet start-up that promptly went bankrupt after the dotcom burst, and he then spent ten years at General Electric—first in Atlanta and then in Wilmington, North Carolina. At that point in his life, married and raising two small children, he wanted to live in a bigger city. Then, a recruiter called to tell him about Global Power. Based in Dallas, the design, engineering, and manufacturing firm provides an array of equipment and services to the global power infrastructure, energy, and process industries, including gas turbine power plants and power-related equipment for industrial operations. With his experience in GE’s nuclear and energy power operations, Wheelock found Global Power to be a good fit. After six years with Global Power, Wheelock was promoted to his current role in July 2017. The promotion has expanded his

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Chip Wheelock VP, Administration, General Counsel & Secretary Global Power Equipment Group

“In a leadership role, you have to remember that others may not have as much information as you do, so you need to communicate as regularly as you can, with as much transparency as you can.”

responsibilities—something which he relishes. One of his new duties is leading human resources. “In a million years, I wouldn’t have thought I’d be in charge of HR,” he says. “But I see it as a growth experience, working with people with different talents and perspectives.” As an HR leader and the company’s top counsel, Wheelock relies on his legal acumen to take a much broader look at the company and the concerns it faces. As a result, other departments come to him for legal advice as well as to discuss moral, ethical, or business issues. “Usually, there is not just one right answer,” he says. “There are a wide range of ways things can get done, so it’s about choosing the answer that fits best at that particular time.” Much of his focus is on compliance issues by reinforcing the fundamentals of regulatory compliance—or “getting the basic blocking and tackling right,” as he puts it. “The energy industry is highly regulated, and people want to do the right thing but sometimes forget they have to follow the steps in order,” Wheelock says. “For example, in the nuclear space, regulators do inspections, so

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Lisa Hill

Chip Wheelock


SMITH, CURRIE & HANCOCK LLP

Making It All Work

We are privileged to work with Chip Wheelock and Global Power Equipment Group, strong leaders in the industry.

you have to make sure people in that environment understand what the rules are.” As a leader whom people often turn to for guidance, he stresses the importance of communication, something he learned during his experience teaching. “I communicate a lot, maybe more than you think you need to,” he says. “People learn in different ways, so you may need to say things differently and then follow up with questions to see if they understood. In a leadership role, you have to remember that others may not have as much information as you do, so you need to communicate as regularly as you can, with as much transparency as you can. That really helps others feel comfortable in their jobs and be more productive for the company.” Although his career path may not have been a straight line, he might not be where he is today without the worldliness he gained along the way. With that knowledge, his advice for others is to not be afraid to stray from the path. “There are twists and turns that you will never expect, and they can always be for the positive if you take them the right way,” he says. “There is always an experience that you can draw from.”

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Thompson Hine takes pride in being a leading provider of innovative, businessfocused legal solutions to companies around the world. We are honored to serve as counsel to Global Power and provide support to Chip Wheelock and his legal team.

GLOBAL POWER TEAM: Corby J. Baumann Katherine D. Brandt Todd E. Mason Brendan J. McCarthy Tim McDonald Julia Miller J.A. Schneider Linda A. Striefsky Jennifer A. Val Stuart Welburn

Construction and Government Contract Law

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A Smarter Way to Work – predictable, efficient and aligned with client goals. www.ThompsonHine.com


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Technology Protector Renee DuBord Brown explains how she applies a multifaceted approach to IP protection at Knowles Corporation

Andrey_Kuzmin/Shutterstock.com

By G A L E N B E E B E

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VOX Media

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Perhaps the most well-known aspect of an intellectual property (IP) lawyer’s role is prosecution of patents. According to Renee DuBord Brown, though, there is much more to IP than simply patent protection. “Patents are one way to protect your technological information, but they’re not the only way,” Brown says. “Often, they are not the best way.” Brown is the associate general counsel of IP at Knowles Corporation, a global company that designs, manufactures, and supplies microacoustic, audio processing, and specialty component solutions to mobile consumer electronics, communications, medical, military, aerospace, and industrial markets. While some may refer to her as a patent lawyer, Brown prefers technology protector because it emphasizes the diverse strategies she employs to protect IP. To understand how those plans were developed, one needs to look back on her career before she came to Knowles. By the time Brown joined Knowles in 2015, she was an experienced IP generalist. After earning both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree at MIT in nuclear engineering and working as an engineer, she attended law school at Stanford University. She began her career in patent prosecution, a clear choice for someone with her qualifications living in the San Francisco Bay Area. After completing a clerkship at the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, though, she transitioned to patent litigation and worked for more than a decade as a law firm trial attorney. Brown’s first in-house position was at Tessera, a company that licenses technology, where she served as senior vice president

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Renee DuBord Brown Associate General Counsel of IP Knowles Corporation

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of litigation. She then transitioned to Motorola, where her role expanded to include licensing and commercial work. Working at companies with vastly different IP strategies and goals led to an appreciation that there is no single method that works across all companies. “Companies do things very differently based on their strategy,” Brown explains. “There isn’t one form of best practice that can be translated to Knowles.” Today when implementing Knowles’ IP strategy, Brown considers a variety of factors—including the company’s budget, competitors’ actions, and Knowles’ manufacturing locations—to determine where and how to seek patent protection. Market cycles and international legal regimes also matter. For example, depending on a product’s life cycle, it can become obsolete before the patent process is completed. “You don’t want to invest too much effort patenting a technology that is only going to be around for five years,” Brown says. “It may not even give you time to get a patent granted and then enforce it. But there are short-term options in some jurisdictions that might make more sense.” Without a clear understanding of the costs and benefits, engineers may want to patent every invention in every jurisdiction. Clearly communicating to the business the pros and cons of a given approach can be just as important as the approach itself. “I’m not here to file patent applications just because somebody wants one,” she says. “It has to have a business justification.” Knowles manufactures its own products and has deep expertise in certain process technologies, so protecting the company’s IP through patents is sometimes not the most effective strategy. As a result, Brown includes a strong focus on protecting trade secrets, a

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“Patents are one way to protect your technological information, but they’re not the only way. Often, they are not the best way.” R E N E E D U B O R D B R O WN

process that depends not solely on the legal team but also on careful coordination among many departments. Because Brown understands both the company’s technologies and the legal standards required to qualify for trade secret protection, she acts as a conduit among the engineering, IT, and HR departments, working closely with the relevant teams to identify and protect critical documents and know-how. Finally, protecting IP from competitors is important, but just as critical is the need to ensure you know what you really own. IP creation happens all the time in ongoing relationships with partners around the world, and that has to be monitored. Brown prioritizes having early, frank discussions with Knowles’ partners. She works closely with the supply chain to ensure that a fair division of IP rights is part of the conversation as soon as possible. “A clear contract is so valuable in ensuring a good working relationship,” she says. “IP rights should be agreed upon up front whenever possible.” Brown is the only member of the seven-person legal team located in Silicon Valley, so communication is not as easy as stopping by a colleague’s office. Instead, she has a weekly call with her IP team at the company headquarters in Itasca, Illinois, and travels there as often as possible. She prizes this face-to-face communication, which offers a space to share seemingly nonessential details. Brown applies this approach with the business, as well. Either Brown or the IP attorney on her team attends all technology and product review meetings to stay abreast of any new technical developments and new partners, as well as identify potential issues that could arise. “I can’t expect that people are going to know when they should submit something


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Quality Services Since 1986 400 People 180 Patent Agents 20 Attorney-at-Laws 30 Trademark Professionals ISO 9001 quality control in place for patenting or be able to perfectly identify what should be kept as a trade secret,” Brown says. “I expect them to generally tell me what’s going on, and I’m going to tell them if I spot legal issues with what they’re doing.” To build trust outside of the legal department, Brown travels internationally to meet with some of Knowles’ roughly eight thousand employees located in twelve countries around the world. This in-person communication is essential for establishing the IP function’s place in the business and anticipating potential issues. “People will not raise issues to you if they don’t know you personally,” she says. “Only once they feel comfortable that they know you will you find that they reach out proactively and ask you questions.” Brown professes a particular affinity for her visits to China, as she sits on the Board of Trustees for the International School of the Peninsula, which has a bilingual Mandarin immersion program. “Face-to-face interactions are critical, but the ability to communicate with people in their native language is priceless. I’m very committed to giving my children that ability,” she says. Brown says that with such a lean team, being decisive is vital. “You have to be comfortable taking some risks and making some judgment calls relatively quickly,” Brown says. “You have to be able to filter out legal noise for the business so they can make timely decisions.” Brown’s multifaceted career in IP has allowed her to feel more comfortable making judgment calls because she has seen many different situations play out. “I love the variety of issues that arise, which keeps the job challenging and interesting.” Brown says. “But I’ve seen enough in my past roles to inform my judgment.”

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Beijing Sanyou Intellectual Property Agency Ltd. is the first private IP firm in China and now a top ten IP firm in China. As a leading Chinese IP law firm, Sanyou assists domestic and international clients to obtain and enforce their IP rights while aiming to provide high quality services.

Framing the conversation. Foley & Lardner LLP is honored to recognize our friend, Renee DuBord Brown, for her ongoing contributions to the success of our client, Knowles Corporation.

You put up a question, we render a solution with professionalism.

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Beijing Sanyou Intellectual Property Agency Ltd. HEADQUARTERS

16 F, Block A, Corporate Square, 35 Jinrong Street, Beijing 100033, P. R. China +86-10-8809 1921, 8809 1922 sanyou@sanyouip.com www.sanyouip.com

©2017 Foley & Lardner LLP | Attorney Advertisement Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome 321 North Clark Street, Ste. 2800, Chicago, IL 60654 312.832.4500 | 17.MC6096


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Revitalizing Retail How Kirkland’s first COO is transforming the home décor company from the inside out By Z A C H B A L I VA

Kirkland’s has more than four hundred retail stores in the United States, but one if its top leaders learned some of his most important lessons from watching a company with just two locations. Today, Mike Cairnes is the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Kirkland’s. Years ago, though, it was his father who became part owner of Racquet and Jog Sporting Goods in 1979. Cairnes grew up helping in the Washington, DC-area stores and watched how his father developed authentic relationships with his customers. People felt at home in the store. Employees, who were athletes themselves, made strong connections with everyone who walked in the door. Racquet and Jog often held special events and worked to create a fun-filled atmosphere. Because he wanted to pursue other interests, Cairnes decided at first not to follow in his father’s footsteps. He studied engineering at Lafayette College and later joined Texas Instruments’ semiconductor business. After a decade in sales and marketing roles of increasing responsibility, he left to manage a sales and operations team for a leading custom picture frame manufacturer and distributor. In less than ten years, Cairnes helped double revenues before Warren

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Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway acquired the company in 2002. The deal caught the attention of several industry insiders, including Michaels Stores’ then-CEO Michael Rouleau, who convinced Cairnes to join his team in 2006. Suddenly, Cairnes, who didn’t have a background as a merchandiser or buyer, was overseeing the largest merchandise divisions and soon after was running Artistree—a large subsidiary business. Cairnes says he was surprised Rouleau took a chance on him. “He was willing to roll the dice on someone who would look at the business in an unorthodox way,” Cairnes recalls. “I wanted to combine what I knew from growing up in retail with my engineering background, and he took me under his wings.” He spent months researching and visiting stores before creating the strategy for a complete overhaul. Cairnes believed Artistree—a custom framing business—was outdated. He installed cameras, gave secret shoppers gift cards, and scrutinized the purchasing process. “I learned we were making people anxious,” Cairnes says. “Custom framing is one of the only retail experiences where you don’t know what you are spending until the big reveal at the end, which can be shocking and embarrassing. Customers would say, ‘Let me check with my husband,’ whether they had a husband or not.” Cairnes’s research also uncovered one critical piece of data—half of Artistree’s potential customers left without


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Caroline Sharpnack

Mike Cairnes EVP, COO Kirkland’s

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making a purchase. Using this actionable information, Cairnes revamped the entire experience, streamlining operations and increasing price transparency. While other companies were busy taking an incremental approach, Artistree was reinventing its approach. In the years to follow, Michaels more than doubled its market share and significantly grew margin at a faster pace. Today, Michaels is the largest custom frame retailer in the world. After picking up another division known as Aaron Brothers, Cairnes thought he might take his talents to a charitable organization and enter a more philanthropic phase. But that’s when Kirkland’s called. The home décor retailer needed a COO to lead marketing, e-commerce, merchandising, planning, real estate, store operations, and supply chain. Cairnes says the opportunity and fit were perfect. “As you move along, you start to understand more about what you value. For me, it’s all about the people that you work with,” he explains. Cairnes also loves a good challenge. Kirkland’s had several strong assets that were underperforming. Cairnes knew that he could use his twenty-five years of experience to chart a new path forward. So, he rolled up his sleeves, spent time in stores, gathered industry and consumer insights, and spent time with the leadership team. Ultimately, he and the CEO led a twoand-a-half-day retreat to solicit thoughts and ideas from Kirkland’s senior leadership team. After that important meeting, he and the team created a 2022 vision—a comprehensive change management plan designed to help Kirkland’s succeed in the new and rapidly changing retail environment. The plan’s five pillars focus on the following: dramatic and profitable growth in e-commerce; initiate direct sourcing; grow and broaden the consumer base (millennials); physical expansion into new geographic markets; and streamline operations. The 2022 vision and a collaborative approach are now critical to Kirkland’s latest success. “Retail today is very different than it was even five years ago,” Cairnes

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“When you walked into a Racquet and Jog, you felt at home. And I want people to feel at home at Kirkland’s.” M I K E CAI R N E S

says. “We simply have to win on the complete omnichannel consumer experience.” That belief is motivating him to help Kirkland’s reinvent itself. Shopping at Kirkland’s used to be like a treasure hunt, but now stores are built to inspire and create ease for shopping. In-store associates are there to greet customers and help when needed, but not hover or oversell. In response, Cairnes says Kirkland’s is adjusting its retail environment and online presence accordingly. Soon, the team will introduce a new buy online and pick-up in-store option to increase customer convenience and choice. Transforming Kirkland’s may be the biggest challenge of Cairnes’s career. But he’s succeeding by importing tactics he learned from his father’s small business and perfected at Michaels. “When you walked into a Racquet and Jog, you felt at home,” Cairnes says. “And I want people to feel at home at Kirkland’s.”

Cairnes’s and his team’s efforts are not going unnoticed by their peers. “Mike more than deserves recognition for all of his hard work and determination,” says Jeff Martin, president of Darice, Inc. “We look forward to a bright future working with him and the team at Kirkland’s.” Recently, Kirkland’s also held a friends and family event. Staff wore holiday lights, and managers led special festive, in-store events. “People were having fun, and the company had a monstrous day,” Cairnes says. “All of this goes back to a special team that has come together and put others’ interests, and the interests of the company, in front of their own agenda. This is the pinnacle, when the sum of the parts is greater than the whole in creating something magnificent.” And with the 2022 plan underway, Kirkland’s is well positioned to revitalize not only the retail experience for its customers, but also the industry at large.


Darice honors

Mike Cairnes Chief Operating Officer, Kirkland’s

for his exceptional accomplishments and innovative leadership.

We congratulate Mike for this well-deserved recognition. We look forward to a bright future working with the Kirkland’s team. Jeff Martin, President, Darice, Inc.

Darice is proud to partner with Kirkland’s. It is both a pleasure and a privilege to work with Mike and the entire Kirkland’s team. For over 60 years Darice has prided itself on providing its customers with the best value and selection in décor, floral, arts & crafting supplies, while always striving to exceed customer expectations with amazing customer service.

1-866-4-Darice | www.darice.com


S T R AT E G Y

Ivy League Initiatives At Cornell University, Mary George Opperman explains why helping to run a college is a 24/7 job, and how an array of sound strategies are helping to keep the prestigious university running strong

Mary George Opperman’s first night in the dorm rooms at Cornell University came just after relocating from Boston to Ithaca, New York. She was used to the Ivy League environment, having spent thirteen years previously on the grounds of Harvard University as the director of employee services. Now she was in a new town with a new environment facing a new host of responsibilities on the upstate New York campus. As she walked to find her office that first day, she met a woman along the way who without hesitation guided Opperman to her destination. It was an example of the small-town hospitality that Opperman would grow to appreciate even more over the years. In the weeks to come, she walked the grounds at dusk when students just arriving for the start of the new school year began singing a capella in the archways of the West campus. “I thought to myself that it just doesn’t get any better than this,” Opperman recalls. More than twenty-one years later and little has changed in regard to Opperman’s Mary George enthusiasm for the renowned university. Opperman What has changed, however, is the nature of VP, CHRO higher education, the increased competition for talent, and the business paradigm that Cornell University continues to change for Cornell University

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Robert Barker/University Photography

By D A N N Y C I A M P R O N E


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and all universities across the country. As the vice president and chief human resources officer, Opperman balances all of that while also ensuring Cornell is a top destination place for staff and faculty to work so students have a thriving environment in which to learn. As Opperman explains, higher education differs from other industries because the business side is continually operating. “The people we serve live with us,” Opperman says. “Most of our students are residents here 24/7 with us, and so our relationship to those students is full-time. In many ways, we are a community of our own, with all of the opportunities and challenges that brings.” Working in a university setting is fastpaced, busy, and can be more stressful than many people realize, Opperman says. She recalls walking with a family after a recent commencement, and they commented to Opperman that it must be nice being on vacation for the summer. That’s because, Opperman says, many people remember college from solely a student perspective. “Our research and many other activities go on every day, all day long,” Opperman says. “It never stops here. When you think about it as a place of employment, it’s a very diversified, interesting, and complex place.” The faculty who teach, research, and advance scholarship are supported by a variety of interesting positions across campus. That includes student services, research positions, and administrative and direct service opportunities. As current talent retires, and the competition for new talent increases, it becomes increasingly important to recruit and retain top talent for these

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important roles. Opperman explains that there is a strong focus on creating meaningful employment opportunities at all levels of the university. Then, it comes down to responding to expectations of top talent so that they will stay and grow their careers at Cornell. “We are looking at how we have jobs crafted, how we move people around the organization, and how we respond to changing needs,” she says. “We work very hard to recruit great people to Cornell, and we want to keep them here and happy.” Being in a strong community such as Ithaca is also a benefit to recruiting. Opperman and officials at Cornell work hand in hand with partners at Ithaca College, Tompkins Cortland Community College, local businesses, and government officials to welcome people and create a sense of belonging as soon as someone arrives. That’s especially important as the workforce continues to change through retirements and transitions, Opperman says. “We need to be mindful of the fact that the new talent coming in are telling us that they value different things,” Opperman says. “As you have more generations in your workplace, the alignment of programs, benefits, and services becomes more complicated because what somebody who is in the second or third phase of their work life wants may differ from what someone new to the workforce values and expects. Our programs have to take these expectations into account, and we are trying to do that within a very constrained financial reality.” Resource constraints are also a continuing reality in higher education. As Opperman explains, there continues to be pressure on

EARNING HIGH HONORS Mary George Opperman’s HR initiatives are not only making waves at Cornell University, but they’re also being recognized throughout the nation. Recently, Opperman was named one of the top fifteen most influential and prominent women leading human resources today by Human Resource Executive. During Opperman’s tenure, Cornell has earned numerous workplace awards, including being named AARP’s top US employer for workers fifty years of age and older, and has been listed as a best employer for working mothers, prospective and adoptive parents, IT professionals, veterans, and executives who are women.

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Aetna is proud to support Cornell University.

“Moving an organization forward through its people means moving the organization's culture and systems and being really clear why we are here and who we are here to serve.” MARY G E O R G E O P P E R M A N

aetna.com ©2017 Aetna Inc. 2017279 110

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universities to prove their value and to prove the value of a degree. “We’re regularly being pressed, as we should be, to make sure that we’re efficient and effective in what we do,” she says. “The sources of support are constrained, and so we need to be very mindful about what work we do and how we do it. That is and will be a reality for us.” To accomplish that, Opperman and her team support efforts to look at cost factors and focus on expenses that are not directly associated with the mission of Cornell. It’s not easy, as regulations continue to put financial pressure on colleges and universities. But using strategies such as lean process improvement have proved quite successful. Opperman credits her incredible team as well as leadership at Cornell for ensuring a strong business and learning environment. “Moving an organization forward through its people means moving the organization’s culture and systems and being really clear why we are here and who we are here to serve,” Opperman says. “When things change and resources are constrained, it is even more important to be clear about the culture we want to create and keep the systems that will support that culture. That helps us recruit and retain talent that will advance the culture through those systems.” No matter the obstacle, every day is one of the most rewarding experiences for Opperman, and it’s been that way since she first arrived on campus. Every day, she supports faculty and staff who are conducting advancing scholarship that will change the world and teaching students who will go out and become tomorrow’s leaders. “People are really satisfied working at a place that's mission driven, and this is a great place to do that,” she says. “I think we get great employees who want to work here because of our mission, and so we’re really focused on trying to get our message out there so that we can attract people who want to be part of Cornell’s future.”


Legal Spotlight

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Knit One, Acquire Two The legal needs for companies in Silicon Valley such as Intertrust Technologies go beyond IP. Bill Rainey knows how to string together complementary companies and skills that use, protect, and grow IP.

by Russ Klettke

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Among lawyers in Silicon Valley, most of the glory goes to the intellectual property (IP) attorneys. Highly complex innovation—devised and patented at breakneck speed—is the coin of the realm. One could even say that the IP counselors are the legal rock stars in tech. So business attorneys such as Bill Rainey are the producers, promoters, and collaborators that all rock star lawyers need. He’s a cross-functional attorney—the general counsel, senior vice president, and secretary at Intertrust Technologies, a global computing products and services provider. Although he’s managed IP and technology licensing over the years, Rainey primarily manages mergers and acquisitions, employment, litigation management, data privacy, data protection, venture investing, SaaS (software as a service), and commercial transactions. Wearing a second hat in corporate development, Rainey also oversees general and administration activities at the privately held company. In other words, Rainey knits together the company, the businesses it has acquired, and the people—both internal and external. And he does it across borders, spending a great deal of time in Europe and Asia, quite the distance from the company’s Sunnyvale, California, home. The firm works in a broad variety of verticals, such as media, healthcare, automotive, home, energy, and financial technology sectors. What it does is service distributed computing environments—which means the Internet of Things and the cloud play a major role in its operations—while ensuring security, privacy, and policy enforcement. Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a core capability at Intertrust, which has led to partnerships with digital entertainment companies across the globe. The company also touches such aspects as DNA data, smart grids, and digital advertising. It also provides encryption and other protections that organizations need to operate.

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Bill Rainey SVP, General Counsel, Secretary Intertrust Technologies

Scott Donschikowski

Rainey’s realm includes a great deal of licensing infrastructure and litigation. He joined Intertrust in 1999 at the time of the company’s initial public offering. He actually had some involvement with the company’s secondary offering in 2000. He was then integral in taking the company private again in 2003 as a joint venture with global titans Philips and Sony and Stephens Inc., an investment bank based in Little Rock, Arkansas. At its peak in 2001, the small firm was four hundred people strong. That number dropped to thirty-two when the firm undertook Microsoft and eventually succeeded, winning a $440 million settlement in 2004 that revived the then-struggling company’s prospects. Now, the firm is back to about two hundred employees worldwide. Working with outside counsel, it’s fair to term Rainey as the David against the Goliaths such as Microsoft. Perhaps his earlier experiences in the practice of law prepared him for it. Rainey began his legal career in 1995 as a civil litigator. In 1997, two years before joining Intertrust, he worked as a deputy public defender in Santa Clara County, California. In that role, he represented indigent clients in misdemeanor and felony jury trials in challenging “three strikes” cases. Working for clients who faced harsh punishments was a tough proving ground for the young lawyer. “As a public defender, I couldn’t pick my cases,” Rainey says. “I was fighting against crimes that were alleged to have occurred way in the past, and I hate to lose, which happens more often than not as a public defender. I discovered I’m more of a deal guy. I wanted to do more in business transactions and focus on building things for the future. But the trial experience was invaluable.” That trial experience came in handy about fifteen years later. “We had a patent case go


S T R AT E G Y

Celebrating Bill Rainey

“This definitely feels like a new company. We are taking our expertise in DRM and trusted computing to energy, to the Internet of Things, and the automotive industry. Our investors are up for the challenge.” Bill Rainey

to trial in front of a jury and a tough judge,” Rainey says. “I got very involved in the trial, including the jury selection, witness preparation, and more. I knew then I wouldn’t trade that trial experience for the world.” The ensuing years, before and after the Microsoft settlement, gave the McGeorge School of Law at University of the Pacific graduate a full résumé. Serving in various roles—chief operating officer, general counsel, corporate secretary, director, and senior vice president of corporate development— with various subsidiaries, Rainey was in the thick of the evolution of digital content and related security issues. As of late 2016, Innogy SE, a subsidiary of the Germany-based utility company RWE, became one of Intertrust’s major investors. Intertrust is now helping Innogy SE control the property rights on its data. It’s a play in the renewable energy sector, particularly in the distributed energy resources segment of it.

“This definitely feels like a new company,” Rainey says. “We are taking our expertise in DRM and trusted computing to energy, to the Internet of Things, and the automotive industry. Our investors are up for the challenge.” Rainey explains that most of the acquisitions and partnerships are about bringing together complementary technologies. But among the major challenges in the hyper-competitive northern California region are finding skilled workers in high-performance computing, natural language processing, project management, integration, SQL, and the like. Rainey oversees matters of H-1B visas to help fill seats with highly skilled immigrants. But the company also gains talent through overseas acquisitions, particularly in Estonia and India. IP attorneys might be rock stars of the Silicon Valley, but it takes a business lawyer to work out everything else. Rainey illustrates how equally important business happens outside the limelight rather than in it.

Bill, we are inspired by your leadership of Intertrust Technologies, and your commitment to innovation. Your friends at Orrick

Orrick is a global law firm focused on serving the Technology, Energy & Infrastructure, and Finance sectors. AMERICAS | EUROPE | AFRICA | ASIA

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Oh, the Decisions You’ll Make CHRO Christine Geissler uses humanistic philosophies to help Kerry Inc. and its employees thrive

When Christine Geissler speaks with employees at international food company Kerry Inc. about how to handle changes in the fast-growing company, they are listening to an expert, in more ways than one. Geissler, the company’s chief human resources officer, had been working at Nestlé for twenty years when she got a call from a recruiter in late 2016 asking if she might consider a position at Kerry, back in her home state of Wisconsin. At the time of the call, Geissler had hopes of next moving to picturesque Vevey, Switzerland, to work at Nestlé’s global headquarters. A world-traveler, Geissler was thrilled at the prospect of an expat assignment. Still, as she listened to the recruiter describe the job at Kerry, something shifted in her thinking. “The call made me realize that I was looking to go to Switzerland for all the wrong reasons,” she says. “It wasn’t the right job at the right time, whereas Kerry was a growing company where I felt I could really make an impact. I had been blessed with many leadership opportunities at Nestlé, and I saw that I

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could bring all those experiences to Kerry in a way that would further evolve my career. In the end, that was more important to me than the chance to live in Europe.” Now, Geissler oversees more than forty of Kerry’s manufacturing sites and has a team of one hundred people at a company leading innovation in the taste and nutrition industry. The stagnation she had felt at her former company has been replaced by constant new learning and growth. Geissler credits her decision-making process for making the choice that was right for her. Her ability to parse what would be gained and lost in the decision to leave Nestlé was the fruit of her long experience with the concept of change management. The philosophy helps people look at change as a new experience, rather than something to be feared. She was certified in the process years ago, and she says it remains the most pragmatic tool she has ever encountered. “People struggle with Christine adapting to all kinds of Geissler changes,” she says. “But CHRO what we often forget is Kerry Inc. that even good change involves loss, and you

Scott Kurty

By D AV I D B A E Z


S T R AT E G Y

Helping companies reach peak performance by developing top talent, and aligning teams and the organization.

Leadership Assessment & Coaching

have to be aware of that. It applies to everybody, personally as well as professionally.” To illustrate this, she points to lottery winners. Along with their newfound wealth comes a myriad of changes—many unexpected—that are far from simple to negotiate. On the positive side, they can pay off their debts, buy a new house, travel, and more. But at the same time, they lose the routine of going to work every day, much of their privacy, and sometimes even their group of friends, who might feel alienated by the dramatic change in the lottery winner’s lifestyle. At Kerry, Geissler uses change management to bring people through the many transitions that happen with a growing company. She says a large part of being able to do that is putting yourself in employees’ shoes when a change is announced. Rather than make what would amount to an aggressive sales pitch to the staff, Geissler goes in prepared to answer questions, aware that concerns about how the change will impact them personally will be on the forefront of people’s minds. “Often when leaders announce a change, they try to sell the bells and whistles, but they don’t consider that the employees, hearing

about it for the first time, are in a completely different place,” she says. “When I do that here, I recognize that I’ve already progressed through the change cycle, but the employees haven’t. People’s natural response in times of change is to feel like they’re losing a sense of safety and to immediately think about what the loss for them will be. We have to acknowledge and address those concerns.” As she shepherds people through changes at the company, Geissler also places a special focus on women in leadership positions. She says there can exist an overriding perception from executives who are women that there is only room at the top for a few women. Based on this belief, women can tend to become excessively competitive and protective, alienating one another. Geissler wants them to think differently, migrating from a philosophy of scarcity to one of abundance. A scarcity mind-set, Geissler says, makes some people think that, if a woman at the top had to fight to get there, she must keep fighting to ensure no one knocks her down. “This can create scenarios where women focus on protecting their position rather than focusing on helping other women grow,” Geissler says. “I want to challenge that scarce

Team Assessment & Coaching

Organizational & Operational Effectiveness

Talent Management & Succession Planning

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Willis Towers Watson congratulates

Christine Geissler of Kerry

“People struggle with adapting to all kinds of changes. But what we often forget is that even good change involves loss, and you have to be aware of that. It applies to everybody, personally as well as professionally.”

We applaud her well-deserved recognition as an outstanding leader. We greatly value our successful partnership with Kerry.

willistowerswatson.com

C H R I ST I N E G E I S S L E R

thinking and help women understand there is plenty of room and opportunities to help everyone grow to their potential. I want to see women fight for one another to succeed as much as we expect men to take that charge.” Just as with change management, when women listen to Geissler speak about abundant thinking, they pay attention because, as a top woman HR executive, she is speaking from experience. And when you look underneath change management and abundant thinking, it’s clear that the core value guiding her is humanistic—a belief that people should help other people. “If you define growing others as success, then you will become more successful yourself,” Geissler says. “There is a Chinese proverb I often cite that speaks to this: ‘If you want one year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want ten years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want one hundred years of prosperity, grow people.’”

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Legal Spotlight

S T R AT E G Y

How the Work Is One At QBE, Mark Pasko has developed an environment in which the legal and business teams work together proactively

by Jeff Silver

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When Mark Pasko became general counsel of business unit support at QBE North America, he was looking forward to taking on a comprehensive role within the company. His previous responsibilities at AIG had a global reach, but had also been siloed within tightly defined specialties. He discovered that the company’s legal support—provided by a staff of three—was stretched thin across the enterprise. Advice was provided on an ad hoc basis as issues were presented to the team, which prevented them from developing constructive, proactive relationships with their clients. “We had a few lawyers covering eight or nine different areas, which didn’t allow for developing expertise in any of them,” Pasko explains. Even after he hired additional staff— there are now seven lawyers and a consumer complaints analyst in the department—their focus was still not as structured as Pasko wanted. That point was driven home when he realized that four different individuals were handling commercial insurance issues for the Property & Casualty group. The president of the group pointed out that she needed to know whom she could call with specific strategic issues and who was accountable for follow-up questions.

Working in partnership with chief legal officer Jose Ramon Gonzalez, who had also come from AIG, Pasko decided to create a highly structured platform that would embed attorneys within specific business units. This would allow them to become specialists in the units’ issues and priorities while enabling them to be involved at the beginning of important discussions, projects, and decision-making. “Instead of doing a little bit of everything, we needed to build strong, collaborative relationships with our clients and work affirmatively to share their concerns and develop solutions,” Pasko says. “Embedding legal staff and aligning with the business fit QBE’s broader strategy and helped create a unified team to solve problems in a holistic manner.” The first step was creating structural alignment by embedding lawyers in the business units’ day-to-day activities. For each segment within the Property & Casualty and Specialty groups, Pasko has established a senior lawyer with direct expertise and a second attorney with complementary skills. So, a more experienced lawyer in property and casualty might be supported by another with a strong litigation or claims background.


Eddie Mostert

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This also enables the legal team to support other areas of the organization, such as loss control, field operations, and claims. The lawyers become intimately familiar with daily issues and priorities by proactively attending client meetings and associated conferences, not waiting for potential problems that need legal support. “Being embedded allows us to develop relationships, learn the issues and the industry, and become more effective at spotting issues,” Pasko explains. “Clients know who their lawyers are, and we can proactively execute strategic projects and products and help to make them more successful.” In one particularly beneficial application of the practice, Pasko worked with QBE’s commercial insurance group to establish Arrowhead General Insurance Agency Inc. as the program administrator of QBE’s small commercial insurance business. Because of his relationship with the group, he was able to efficiently frame the deal within six months. He also coordinated legal input from QBE’s real estate, human resources, procurement, regulatory, and litigation groups to address affiliated details that were critical to the transaction’s success. The approach helped reduce outside counsel spend by up to 25 percent in what was one of the company’s largest strategic initiatives in 2017. “Since I was embedded, I already knew the business and exactly what the unit was trying to achieve,” Pasko says. “I knew the best way to give them a more informed and successful outcome.” With the intimate knowledge that comes from structural alignment, legal teams are able to create strategic alignment by making the business units’ priorities their own priorities. That comes from constant communication and ongoing awareness of daily issues. It also means effectively executing activities to support the resulting objectives. The legal teams are also able to recommend appropriate options if a particular plan turns out to carry unforeseen risks. “There should be few occasions where we have to say no in our world,” Pasko says. “We should have enough insight and expertise to

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Locke Lord congratulates

Mark Pasko

SVP, General Counsel, Business Unit Support at QBE North America

for his recognition in Profile Magazine. “Instead of doing a little bit of everything, we needed to build strong, collaborative relationships with our clients and work affirmatively to share their concerns and develop solutions.” Mark Pasko

Practical Wisdom, Trusted Advice. www.lockelord.com

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offer reasonable alternatives or to have a collaborative discussion to find a more suitable route to the objective.” Pasko realizes his team is not always the ultimate legal authority and must often serve as the gatekeepers to additional, more specialized resources—just as he was in the Arrowhead transaction. In that scenario, he acted as the expert on his client’s business and recognized when he was entering new territory that required input from other specialists. To help support that “community of experts,” Gonzalez has created an environment in which the company’s in-house legal staff meets regularly to share current projects and priorities as well as recent successes. This is the case for his direct reports—who gather every three weeks—as well as more junior staff, who meet monthly. “Getting together regularly does more than just build connections and share best practices,” Pasko says. “We get to know who has expertise in what areas and where to turn to when we need outside assistance.” To assist in delivering appropriate services, Pasko’s team has distributed lists of the top thirty legal issues or questions business units should be bringing to their lawyers. Beyond the usual confidentiality agreements and reviewing marketing materials, the list includes any issue that needs to be documented, such as regulatory compliance, financial documents, and instruments supporting underwriting policies. In addition to the general response, “I didn’t know you guys did that,” the lists have resulted in a broader spectrum of issues coming to the legal team. That, in turn, has given them more tangible opportunities to bring value to the business. “By having concrete strategies in place, the legal team can provide a function that doesn’t just enable business units to grow,” Pasko says. “They enable us to grow along with them.”


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Creative Camaraderie Craig Martin challenges his team to design, manufacture, and test better cybersecurity technology more quickly and efficiently By R U S S G A G E R

C

Craig Martin strode cautiously across a girder twenty-eight stories above the ground on a high-rise in Florida. The young construction worker didn’t suspect his career would lead him to supervising the design, testing, manufacturing, and delivery of technology designed to keep malware, phishing, and other cyberattacks from plaguing organizations worldwide. But that is the path that led Martin to become senior vice president of operations and global facilities, for cybersecurity provider FireEye. The Milpitas, California-based company designs, develops, and delivers a full suite of network, endpoint, and email security products. FireEye also provides consulting and threat intelligence services and offers turnkey third-party security solutions working with its ecosystem of partners. FireEye is a leader in responding to today’s most important cyberattacks. Martin compares these activities to a US Navy Seal team diving into the choppy waters of a massive security breach for major retailers, such as Target or The Home Depot. FireEye’s consultants discover the source of the hack and the method of attack, while working to minimize the damage. The cybersecurity industry didn’t exist in the 1970s when Martin started thinking about returning to college after a slowdown in the construction industry. His interest had been in architecture, but inspired by his father’s

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Craig Martin SVP Operations, Global Facilities FireEye

career as a Pan American World Airways mechanic—complete with international flight benefits—Martin shifted his study to transportation and logistics. Upon graduation, Martin found better opportunities in the transportation and logistics industry than were available in the airline industry and spent thirteen years at Hewlett-Packard (HP). He was the company’s first physical distribution manager, managing logistics from the receipt of raw materials in the manufacturing process through customer delivery, at a time when Japanese manufacturing techniques that focused on material flow were topical. Part of that experience included designing a factory and optimizing its design for manufacturing. This was a highly collaborative, division-wide project in which all assumptions and prior processes were tossed aside, and the product and process were designed concurrently for maximum efficiency. The effort received rave reviews. Before joining FireEye in 2012, Martin worked for several start-ups as well as established companies, including Juniper Networks, where he was the vice president of supply chain operations. The company’s complex products were as big as refrigerators with infinite combinations, whereas at FireEye, the focus is on eliminating the complexity and burden of cybersecurity.


Achille Bigliardi

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“Our job has been to keep cybersecurity as simple as possible,” Martin explains. “It’s like a standard record player. The software you put on top of it is where you get the differentiation.” That means that FireEye’s products do not utilize specialized components in which malware might be encoded surreptitiously. “Everything we build is carefully engineered so that FireEye can’t be compromised in the supply chain,” Martin adds. That simplification was recently amplified by a refresh of the company’s product line that began in late 2016. Instead of just upgrading the appliances’ processor cores and memory, Martin sought to accomplish something more. “I wanted to use the refresh as a catalyst for rethinking everything we do from a production standpoint, much in the way I had done at HP in years past,” Martin says. “I wanted us to challenge each other to do things more efficiently.” He had two objectives in mind: make fundamental changes to improve efficiencies in cost and inventory, and give his team a forum to learn and grow from each other. Martin challenged team members to think about how they could do their jobs ten times more efficiently. Inspired by the challenge of the 1960s space program to reach the moon within the decade, the refresh effort fast-forwarded to current technical challenges and was nicknamed the Mars project. Teams of experts enlisted from the company’s hardware, supply chain, demand, and service departments were dubbed “treks.” The treks worked together to reduce the number of FireEye products from fifty-eight to twenty-eight and lower the number of base models from twenty-two to six. This decreased production time for products from five days to two days, which eased the company’s end-of-quarter production crunch. And reduced production time means FireEye does not have to build up product inventory at its contract manufacturers as far in advance. FireEye’s manufacturers now can wait for the order to materialize before building the product, Martin says. The product refresh also reduced the number of components that must be stored in inventory. Even though all of FireEye’s

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“It’s really satisfying to see the team camaraderie and culture allow for active discussions, ultimately coming up with solutions that address everyone’s needs.” C RAI G M A RT I N

products are produced by contract manufacturers, these savings enable them to offer FireEye lower pricing. The Mars project also made a dramatic improvement in testing. FireEye’s products were being tested for correct operation at the manufacturers, but the process was lengthy, requiring about forty-eight hours and slowing distribution of the finished product to customers. So, Martin challenged the team to reduce the testing time to an hour. “The team came back and said, ‘We can’t get to an hour, but we can get to three hours,’” Martin recalls. “We were at forty-eight hours, so that was pretty good. It’s really satisfying to see the team camaraderie and culture allow for active discussions, ultimately coming up with solutions that address everyone’s needs.” Letting the team solve the problem themselves is also a must for Martin because his background is not technological. “I tend to be more hands-off,” he says. “What can I do to get the barriers out of your way? How can I help? I can ask challenging questions to tease out the right answer. I enjoy collaborating with peers.” The most exciting result is the fact that customers will benefit from these improvements, Martin says. The company has already been able to deliver new products with better detection efficacy and performance at the same price since the Mars project. “From our long relationship with FireEye, we at Flex appreciate Craig’s strong leadership and impeccable integrity,” says Johannes Oberhofer Lomeli, vice president and general manager at Flex LTD. “Project Mars was an impressive demonstration of his style. He set seemingly impossible goals to drive us all towards a great breakthrough.” Drawing from his unexpected career path, Martin’s advice to young professionals is to be open to opportunities. “I can’t say I’ve had an explicit end goal, only just to really take advantage of all the opportunities that come up,” he says. “Keep your eyes and ears open. Always be curious. Learn, grow, and contribute when an opportunity presents itself. That’s a pretty loose-knit kind of philosophy, but in my case, it has worked out well. I love what I do. I wouldn’t keep doing it if I didn’t."


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Making Connections That Give Life Joe Yaccarino and the team at MTF Biologics save and heal lives by connecting tissue donors with those in need By D AV I D B A E Z

It’s difficult to imagine a more traumatic experience than losing a loved one. For many of the bereaved, donating the organs and tissues of the deceased to hospitals makes them feel that their loved ones live on by helping others to live. Joe Yaccarino, executive vice president of operations with nonprofit MTF Biologics (MTF), says that he experiences the impact of this gift every day when he comes to work. “We are the stewards of that gift the family makes,” Yaccarino says of the nonprofit, which specializes in providing clinically sound allograft donations. “We do everything possible to respect that gift and maximize its impact.” About 120,000 people need organ transplants every day, and several hundred thousand more can benefit from tissue donations. For thirty years, MTF has been meeting this need. Every year, the company uses donated tissue to make an average of 450,000 transplants possible around the world. The donations are used in everything from orthopedics and wound care to plastic and reconstructive surgery.

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The average age of a donor is forty-six. The donor has generally died from an injury or accident, so their organs and tissues are healthier than someone who had passed away from illness. Bone is even more versatile in the ways it can help, Yaccarino says. The human body will respond to bone material that comes from anyone and does not need to be matched. The company is able to create spinal spacers and bone putty to fill in voids and assist in spinal fusion. MTF will also process segments of bone—pelvis, femur, tibia, and more—that assist in healing. Yaccarino, a mechanical engineer who began his career working in medical devices for a company called Microsurgical twenty-five years ago, has been with MTF for the past twenty years. Although his knowledge of medical practices was limited, he quickly found that all the skills he had developed as an engineer were transferable. “I had to learn about the human body and bone healing Joe Yaccarino and about the spine,” YaccaEVP, Operations rino explains. “Tissue banking requires knowledge about anatMTF Biologics omy and medical procedures.


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“As a company, we give everyone the tools they need to not only get the job done, but also to go beyond what they ever thought they could do.� J O E YAC CA R I N O

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VRL Eurofins | Pre-Transplant Testing - VRL Eurofins is committed to servicing the transplant community with regional high complexity testing laboratories in: Denver, Colorado Boston, Massachusetts Dallas, Texas Atlanta, Georgia Los Angeles, California An additional laboratory in Minneapolis, MN will be opening in early 2018.

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But once I learned those things, I could approach the tasks with the mind-set of a mechanical engineer.” The bone or tissue that is donated is the basis for further processing, Yaccarino says. MTF has the capability to cut and shape the material using saws to create intricate shapes and designs to fit any patient’s needs. Over the years, technology has improved the speed and precision of the process. The company also uses multiple-piece assemblies for spine fusion. To satisfy the height requirements needed for a given transplant, MTF pins, stacks, and assembles pieces together. Stepping away from the focused engineering aspect, there is always the emotional element to MTF's work. Although the company recovers tissues from organ procurement organizations, it still maintains a tight connection to the donor families, Yaccarino says. “We are involved with the donors as well as the recovery partners,” he says. “With each implant we send, we include a card that describes it as a gift and allows the recipient to write a letter that, with prior acceptance, will go to the donor family. We have quarterly company meetings where donor families and recipients tell their story. Donor families talk about their experience of having a loved one pass away, the process of donation, and how they feel about helping so many people. Recipients talk about the gift they have received and how it has changed their lives. It is a powerful and energizing moment for our company.” Market needs have changed over the company’s thirty years in business, and they can change on a monthly basis, Yaccarino says. Fast and furious advances change the game. In sports medicine, one of the sectors MTF works with frequently, new techniques are constantly being developed. MTF has a research-and-development group of forty-five people who are always looking for new ways to use tissue, and a robust engineering staff is always hard at work discovering new ways of processing the material. “We are always looking at changes and trends in each of our business areas,” he says. “We are responding to hospitals’ and surgeons’ changing needs. Like any company,

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we try to satisfy that demand, but the unique aspect is that we rely on donated tissues to achieve this balance.” Because the market is always shifting, MTF places a premium on innovation. Through the years, they have been on the vanguard, developing dozens of implants that the marketplace adopted. Yaccarino says that today the company is focused on two major growth areas: plastic and reconstructive surgery, and wound care. Transplants processed from skin are used in breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. They use a membrane from a placenta to help diabetics who suffer from foot and leg ulcers. The use of stem cells has also increased and is making a major impact in fusions and bone healing. When Yaccarino joined MTF, he was the only engineer, and the company only employed forty-five people. Today, there are roughly 1,100 team members, and about 550 are in Yaccarino’s divisions. He has built several teams throughout his tenure including engineering, planning, and processing. Lately, Yaccarino has focused his efforts on building high-powered business teams that drive innovation, meet customer needs, and honor donated gifts. He says that as the company grew, he always tried to bring in smart and results-oriented people who were interested in accountability and driving their own results. Many people who began with the company in those lean years are still there. They started at lower-level positions and moved up through promotions. Leading his team, Yaccarino is motivated largely by his motto that everyone should “drive their own bus.” “When we’re younger, we are like passengers on a bus,” he says. “We are simply experiencing things. But as we mature and aspire to higher goals and figure out what we really want to do, we have to move into the driver’s seat and steer that bus in the right direction. I’m a believer in personal accountability and responsibility. If you want to do something, then you need to make it happen. As a company, we give everyone the tools they need to not only get the job done, but also to go beyond what they ever thought they could do.”


Legal Spotlight

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Harnessing Data to Improve Healthcare Allscripts’ Brian Farley is an attorney who enjoys business. His business has a mission to improve healthcare, and he and the company are succeeding.

Brian Farley EVP, General Counsel, Chief Administrative Officer Allscripts Healthcare Solutions

Callie Lipkin

by Russ Klettke

Most of the public discussion surrounding healthcare in the United States focuses on insurance and access—matters of unquestionable consequence. What’s moving initiatives forward in deeply effective and beneficial ways, ways that might make healthcare more affordable and efficacious, are electronic health records (EHRs) and practice management technologies that are revolutionizing the way care is delivered. Brian Farley, executive vice president, general counsel, and chief administrative officer for Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, is an enthused advocate for how digital tools can turn into disease cures. He’s a lawyer by trade, a businessman in practice, and a leader within an organization that is made up of mission-driven professionals. “I’m so impressed with what you could almost describe as altruism in this company,” Farley says. “The need to make a difference is a driving force among the people who work here.” Those people include nurses, physicians, and IT staff in addition to everything else necessary to run what is the second-largest, publicly traded healthcare IT company in the world. The company—which is based in Chicago with significant operations in Raleigh, North Carolina— employs nine thousand people across the world, has 350,000 physician users, and provides solutions to 4,600 hospitals and 13,000 extended care organizations. Allscripts develops healthcare system portals that enable and extend relationships between providers

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and patients. These include self-scheduling appointments, online visit notes, shared EHRs, and integrated care management that breaks down divisions between specialists to manage healing within a holistic framework. Farley, who has an MBA, has a strong interest in growing Allscripts. The company recently accelerated its growth with the late2017 acquisition of McKesson Corporation’s hospital and health system IT business, Enterprise Information Solutions. The acquisition broadened the company’s product offerings and market reach. The merger coincides with a major healthcare trend: the growing use of EHR systems that fundamentally change the way providers collect and consume patient health information. According to HealthIT.gov, a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services, 95 percent of large hospital systems, 86 percent of small rural, and 72 percent of small urban hospitals have advanced to “Stage 2 meaningful use” of EHRs, up more than five-fold from 2008, when paper-based records were predominant. EHRs do more than just provide a way for medical specialists to coordinate the care of shared patients. This electronic information feeds into the exciting science of precision (genomic) medicine, which uses the data from millions of patients to focus on best treatments for individuals. Farley is quick to note that Allscripts doesn’t prescribe these precision genomic treatments, but it plays a critical supporting role. “We provide the usable data for physicians to make decisions on complicated, dense situations,” he says. Beyond the implications of Allscripts’ EHRs, Farley is excited for other future-forward innovations in which the company plays a role. One is open digital architecture to build new IT solutions based on apps that connect into Allscripts’ technology. Another is a tool to consolidate records between providers as a way to allow patients to take greater control of their data and to inform physicians of lifestyle health habits (e.g., readings from wearable devices that measure steps walked, heart rate, and body weight). On a broader scale, Farley says creating actionable solutions that look at entire patient populations will provide additional, useful analysis. “Data isn’t good unless it is actionable,” he says. Farley didn’t start his career this passionate about healthcare. After about four years as an associate in a law firm, he worked his way up through a series of telecom firms

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“We provide the usable data for physicians to make decisions on complicated, dense situations.” Brian Farley

before joining Allscripts in 2013. Now, five years later, he loves what the company does more than ever, and he enjoys leading an enthusiastic staff. His responsibilities have grown, and he sees great opportunities for all inside the company and among the clients they serve. “I enjoy being an attorney, but I had no particular passion for the law as law,” he says. “I’m much more engaged on the business side.” Indeed, he is adept at accounting and financial statements as much as overseeing legal staff and functions at the company. “Having a law background makes me an effective leader,” Farley says. “We spot issues differently. We have a different methodology for solving problems.” Indeed, he applies those methodologies to several departments under his wing: human resources, marketing, security, government affairs, and compliance—all in addition to thirty-seven people in his in-house legal staff. As the healthcare system in the United States faces an uncertain future, Farley is sure Allscripts will be instrumental in finding a path forward. “Hospitals and doctors are and will continue to be under cost constraints,” he says. “We identify where in the market there are problems and inefficiencies. We give them some of the most efficient ways to deliver healthcare.”


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Consistency for a Change In an industry awash in evolving consumer demands, Nissan North America’s Heath Holtz says the key to success is being consistent for your team and delivering safe, quality, and innovative products on a daily basis

Kyle Thigpen

By PA U L S N Y D E R

Today’s leaders know that successfully managing multinational teams is about going beyond your comfort zone. As the senior vice president of manufacturing, supply chain management, and purchasing at Nissan North America, Heath Holtz knows it better than most. “I grew up in Nashport, Ohio, but over the course of the past ten years, I’ve had the opportunity to live and work all over the world,” Holtz says. “I consider myself very fortunate to have managed teams in England, Japan, Russia, Spain, and beyond.” Those global experiences have more than shaped him. From honing various managerial skills to gaining insight into how different cultures utilize different processes to run the most efficient team he can, Holtz says his leadership style is an amalgamation of intercontinental lessons. “As an example, some cultures manage with a very regimented, governance-style process,” he explains. “You put teams together based on certain critical skills to attack and address problems. On the other hand, other

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Heath Holtz SVP of Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management and Purchasing Nissan North America

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cultures are a bit more all-hands-on-deck with less structure. But you can merge those two things together based on the types of problems you have in front of you.” Taking that hybrid approach is a great way to instill best practices in your team, and that’s particularly important to Holtz—and Nissan—as the company moves into new territory in 2018. Not least among them is production for the all-new, electric Nissan LEAF, which is underway at the Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant in Tennessee. Holtz calls the new model particularly exciting not only because the company has a battery production plant right behind the auto manufacturing facility, but also because the updated LEAF—which was originally introduced in 2011 and has been produced in the US since 2013—is poised to bring even more customers to the brand thanks to its new technology updates. One of those updates is the e-pedal, which allows drivers to use one pedal to accelerate and brake. Another is the ProPilot Assist, which is a self-driving system that allows the vehicle to control its speed, its distance from other vehicles,

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and its ability to stay in its lane with minimal input from the driver. “The technology is coming out of this plant, so it generates a lot of pride,” Holtz says. “We’re looking at other technologies in terms of fuel efficiency, safety, and more to drive our overall portfolio of offerings to the customer.” Nissan’s commitment to improved technology and improved effects on the environment doesn’t stop with automobiles, either. Holtz says Nissan is getting more technical—and green—on the manufacturing supply chain, too. “What we’re doing within plants and operations is looking at how we can continue to spur innovation,” he says. “That might mean making vehicle parts traceable at any part of manufacturing, 3-D printing, collaborative robotics, and even making plants completely paperless.” These aren’t starry-eyed ideas, either. They’re already being put into practice. Holtz notes that supervisors previously had to work through 30–40 documents a day. Now, they’re working on tablet computers. In 3-D printing, production aids are made in a matter of minutes to

Nissan North America

Nissan's manufacturing and operations plants continue to spur innovation. That includes making vehicle parts traceable, 3-D printing, and collaborative robotics.


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prevent scratching and other damages on vehicle parts that are still being designed. Some Nissan factories have as many as 1,200 robots that are collecting data on movement, torque, heat, and vibration for the company to assess and proactively address potential breakdowns. This technology is at work every day in Nissan plants around the world. It allows Holtz to quickly contact, say, Japan, if a particular model is posing a problem and immediately identify how to solve it. Although his team is scattered around the globe, Holtz says his leadership style wouldn’t be any different if they were all gathered in one room. “True leaders have a vision,” he says. “You have to be consistent. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to see change—I try to make change where needed—but your demeanor and behavior needs to consistent so as not to induce panic.” A major aspect of maintaining a calm and steady ship, Holtz says, is letting your team

know everyone has the power and capacity to make change. “The best way to accelerate the performance of a team is to ensure everyone is engaged and feels the power to contribute,” he says. “Your job as a leader is to provide resources and support for your team. Your job is to make everyone else effective.” Given the changes underway not only in the automotive industry but also at Nissan itself, it’s safe to say Holtz is succeeding in his role. In an industry that has to be able to anticipate and react to the ever-changing demands of the customer, some level of consistency is important. No matter what changes come, Holtz says he still loves the same thing he did when he first came into the industry. “I love seeing cars come off the line or producing an engine every single day,” he says. “Seeing the impact it has on the people in your team and the pride they have in what they do and the company—that’s what gets me up in the morning.”

Congratula�ons Heath on your con�nued success at Nissan The 100 percent electric Nissan LEAF is the world’s first mass-produced— and also the world’s best-selling—electric car. In January 2018, the company sold its 300,000th LEAF globally since the car first went on sale in 2010. Nissan launched the redesigned LEAF in September 2017, which includes technology such as ProPilot Assist and e-pedal.

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Finding Ways to Move the Freight Forward GlobalTranz Enterprises’ Jeffrey Simmons never imagined that a love for transportation law would chart the course of his entire career

by Jeff Silver

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Jeffrey Simmons didn’t start out wanting to be a lawyer. He envisioned a political career, but after serving as a congressional intern for several years, he decided he could do more good more often as an attorney. In the first few years of his practice at a law firm, Simmons discovered what has been his professional passion for thirty years: transportation law. Pursuing that passion has not only made him an expert in the field, but it also led him to becoming the first general counsel for GlobalTranz Enterprises Inc., which is among the top freight brokerage and third-party logistics (3PL) companies in the US. “I fell in love with the work almost immediately,” Simmons recalls. “The transportation industry is dynamic, covers a fascinating range of issues, and has presented me with tremendous opportunities—such as joining GlobalTranz.” He worked with the company as outside counsel for two years, but its exponential growth required having in-house counsel to keep pace. In addition to organic growth that has exceeded 20 percent annually and a yearly volume of more than 1.5 million shipments, an aggressive acquisition strategy was also taking form. In one six-month period shortly after he joined as general counsel, Simmons was involved in acquiring three different

companies—Global Freight Source, Logistics Planning Services, and Worthington Logistics—that added substantial top-line growth and annual revenue. The transactions provided increased capacity and additional services, such as managed transportation services and expertise in handling oversized and heavy-haul projects. “The freight brokerage industry is very fragmented, with about 30 percent of the business being handled by the top ten firms,” he says. “The remaining 70 percent presents opportunities for growth. Our goal is to be a $2 billion company within the next two years.” Aside from his experience and expertise in anticipating problems, spotting sources of potential risk, and recommending practical solutions, Simmons is successful because he was considered a partner and part of senior leadership right from the start. CFO Renee Krug, who recruited him, and CEO Bob Farrell, who joined GlobalTranz at the same time as Simmons, have both supported his initiatives that have helped nurture buy-in throughout the company, Simmons says. For example, among the more than fifteen thousand carriers that the company utilizes, 10 percent had been in operation for less than a year. Simmons discovered that a significant number of issues could be attributed to that small group. As a result, he implemented a


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Jeffrey Simmons General Counsel

Courtesy of GlobalTranz

GlobalTranz Enterprises, Inc.

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“I fell in love with the work almost immediately. The transportation industry is dynamic, covers a fascinating range of issues, and has presented me with tremendous opportunities—such as joining GlobalTranz.” Jeffrey Simmons

requirement that the operational age for all carriers must be at least one year. “Our reputation is tied to the performance of the carriers we select for our customers, but there was some pushback that cutting the numbers could limit our capacity,” Simmons says. “Because senior leadership supported my decision, we were able to meet ongoing demand, leverage our more established carriers, and significantly reduce issues.” Simmons is dedicated to acting as a guardian of the company and aggressively encouraging growth and revenue. He describes it as finding a balance between enabling business objectives and fast-paced growth while also protecting against risk and ensuring that GlobalTranz implements industry best practices. “I never want to be viewed as an obstructionist lawyer who’s just saying ‘no,’” he says. “To paraphrase our CEO Bob Farrell, my goal is always to find the best way to move the freight.” One of the ways that GlobalTranz differentiates itself is through its technology, people, and services. It invests millions of dollars to develop proprietary applications that automate functions, increase customers’ ease of use and visibility, and improve overall efficiency throughout customers’ supply chains. Among the company’s monetized IP is GTZship, which Simmons describes as “Expedia for shippers.” GTZship provides shippers online access to view routes, rates, limitations of liability, and book their own carriers for less-than-truckload shipments. It also shows shipment locations and delivery times.

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Off the Clock with Jeffrey Simmons Jeffrey Simmons has been a volunteer as along as he has been a lawyer. He has mentored through the State Bar of Arizona Bar, is the current editor of The Transportation Lawyer journal, has participated in tenant/ landlord clinics, is a past-chairman of the Conference of Freight Counsel, president-elect (2019–2020) of the Transportation Lawyers Association, and was once honored as the Top Pro Bono Lawyer in Arizona. He believes it’s important to approach volunteering as seriously, ethically, and enthusiastically as paying clients. He goes by the philosophy: “If you’re too big to do the small things, you’re too small to do the big things.”


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McGuireWoods LLP congratulates JEFFREY SIMMONS for his leadership, insight and support as GC of GlobalTranz. GTZcommand is a suite of internal systems that manages rates, available carriers, shipping lanes, special instructions, and forecasts capacity, demand, and pricing. GTZdemand is a marketing tool that manages GlobalTranz’s customer base and helps avoid channel conflicts with outside agents that may already be serving a potential customer. One of Simmons’s most recent priorities has been expanding the company’s international presence, which already includes operations in Canada. He has been working on the formation of GlobalTranz MX, the company’s new Mexican subsidiary. The entity was requested by one of GlobalTranz’s largest clients, which is opening a manufacturing plant in Monterrey, Mexico, and wants to continue relying on the company to move freight to and from the US. Simmons points out that once GlobalTranz MX is up and running, GlobalTranz anticipates it will help expand its customer base in Mexico and increase the scope of its international operations there and in other countries. But Simmons is modest about his role in the company’s continued growth and excellent performance. He also emphasizes how important the contributions of his team and the company’s senior leadership have been to the business’ success. “Getting on board with a company that’s on its way up like this has been a great opportunity,” he says. “It’s been tremendously fun and exciting and feels like I’m getting to ride on the coattails of some very talented people. I can’t wait to see what’s next.”

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We value the partnership that has been built and the trust Jeffrey has placed with our firm.

Lewis Brisbois congratulates Jeff Simmons and GlobalTranz for their continuing success. We are proud to serve as counsel —coast to coast— and look forward to the future. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor JRS!

Thomas R. Brice, Partner +1 904 798 2629 tbrice@mcguirewoods.com

1,000 lawyers | 23 offices www.mcguirewoods.com

LewisBrisbois.com


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Seizing an Opportunity How the CEO of Kellstrom Defense saw a fragmented aftermarket and built a company to fill a growing need By D AV I D L E V I N E

Chris Celtruda saw an opportunity and built a company to meet it. The opportunity: servicing military aircraft as they aged. The company: Kellstrom Defense, based in El Segundo, California. In four years, Celtruda purchased five separate companies, merged them into Kellstrom Defense, and built a business that operates in sixty countries around the globe. In doing so, he has created a premium name brand by successfully integrating these disparate businesses and, as CEO, personalizing that brand while walking the talk. Celtruda grew up in Connecticut and earned an engineering degree at the University of Maine and an MBA at the Arizona State University WP Carey School of Business, along with a joint degree in international management from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce in Toulouse, France. With more than twenty years of experience managing complex businesses in the aerospace, defense, and industrial markets, Celtruda has cut his teeth in business and operations leadership, engineering, M&A, restructuring, and business development.

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Before forming Kellstrom Defense, he was managing principal at Destiny Equity Partners, which provided advisory services to investment firms for strategy, business management, transactional M&A, and investment in manufacturing enterprises. He also served as president and corporate officer for the $1.2 billion Gardner Denver Industrial Products business unit, and before that, he was the group executive and corporate officer who led the formation of the global CIRCOR Aerospace division of CIRCOR International. He also spent more than twelve years in a variety of roles in the aerospace market vertical with Honeywell International and the former AlliedSignal. With that background, he was in a perfect position to pounce on a new market opportunity. “The defense aftermarket was highly fragmented, and we had the view that, after several down years because of restrictions on military spending, the defense cycle should start to rebound,” Celtruda says. He partnered with PNC Equity and Dubin Clark to Chris Celtruda purchase Kellstrom CEO Industries’ defense aftermarket busiKellstrom Defense ness, along with


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another business that repaired aircraft equipment, and others to distribute and perform other necessary functions. “We were looking to scale and increase our exposure to domestic spending for the military,” he says. “It was integral to our strategy to plan on defragmenting the aftermarket and build a total solution to manufacture, distribute, and repair, using common sales channels and shared overhead.” While the pieces fit, they didn’t coalesce seamlessly—at least not at first. So Celtruda’s main task early on was to build a leadership team that shared a similar vision. “I had to recruit and develop a group of people capable of running something bigger than they had in the past,” he says. “I helped them to focus on the right priorities, communicate, and collaborate. Our business model depends on teamwork and partnership between different operating segments. We acquired five different cultures. Some of those people were able to adapt and change. Others weren’t.” The number one strategy for creating a unified culture, Celtruda says, is communication. “You take a group of businesses that had different leaders, with different styles and strategies, and you need to tell people 3–5 times what the new mission is, what the new values are, what the measurements are, before it sinks in and is successful,” he says. “If there’s anyone who can bring together disparate teams, it’s Chris,” says Kenneth Bram of AUSCO Inc. “He can work with anybody and get them to work together.” His number two strategy is defining the mission. “We believe we are not just putting parts in a box and shipping them out,” he says. “We appeal to people’s sense of being part of something bigger, and we make sure everyone understands we have a very high standard of what good looks like.” The company strives to celebrate success. Kellstrom Defense regularly gives out employee recognition awards. Celtruda mentions a team member at the company’s Florida facility who went above and beyond to deliver a key part that was needed before an air force jet could be evacuated in advance of Hurricane Irma as an example of an outstanding employee. “There was a high likelihood the plane would have been damaged, and this employee effectively hand-delivered the part,” he says proudly.

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“Given the criticality of our mission to drive mission readiness and ensure a high bar in regard to compliance, our customers and investors need to understand that the very top leaders, including myself, can withstand the litmus test for ethical conduct.” C H R I S C E LT R U DA

“We make sure we share that story with the rest of our employees. Our view is we must grow with our customers today and keep them tomorrow, and that kind of service really sums up our core values.” Along with building the culture, Celtruda had to establish and then promote Kellstrom Defense’s emerging brand identity. He defines that now in what the company calls the Kellstrom Defense Promise. “We believe our differentiator is our people, our investment in talent,” Celtruda says. “The other part of our promise is about creating value for our customers. We are not positioned as the least expensive choice. We are positioned as providing long-term value, which isn’t usually the cheapest up front.” The company also puts a strong focus on ethical conduct. Kellstrom Defense is subject to the local laws of more than sixty countries and complies with all relevant US Export Regulations. Celtruda says he takes a hard line when it comes to ethics and compliance. All of that is to support the company’s underlying mission as the leader in keeping older aircraft flying. Kellstrom Defense services

aircraft that may be 50–60 years old, which have been sold or leased to foreign operations after they are replaced by newer aircraft in the United States. “We are about keeping those aircraft supported,” Celtruda says. “It is a worldwide mission. Anywhere an ally of the US or a US-forward operation exists, we support those aircraft, whether it’s for defense or for humanitarian relief. We take a lot of satisfaction in making sure the mission happens, and US foreign policy mandates are reinforced.” And as CEO, he tries to embody the company’s culture and identity himself. “It’s about accountability,” he says. “I call it modeling the way. On my executive team, we have recruited a group of high-character leaders, people who I know follow the rules and would never knowingly violate a regulation. Given the criticality of our mission to drive mission readiness and ensure a high bar in regard to compliance, our customers and investors need to understand the very top leaders, including myself, can withstand the litmus test for ethical conduct.”


Legal Spotlight

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“A company that stops growing, starts dying.” How Steve Scheinthal helps build the momentum for Landry’s colossal expansion in multiple markets

Courtesy of Landry’s

by Jenny Draper

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In the early 1980s, Landry’s emerged as two seafood restaurants in Texas but escalated to more than five hundred dining, hospitality, entertainment, and gaming locations over the next three decades. That high-growth trajectory shows no signs of slowing down thanks in part to Steve Scheinthal, executive vice president and general counsel. Scheinthal oversees the acquisitions and real estate behind Landry’s iconic assets—a portfolio that boasts numerous renowned chains including Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Rainforest Cafe, and Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino. Based in Houston, the Landry’s network engages customers across the United States and around the globe, with destinations in the world’s largest cities such as Las Vegas, New York, Tokyo, London, Mexico City, and more. Tilman Fertitta—chairman, president, and CEO—first gained controlling interests in the original Landry’s Seafood Restaurant and Willie G’s Seafood & Steaks in 1986, forming the group that would eventually expand into more than forty unique brands and employ more than sixty thousand people. “Fertitta is a visionary, and he understands change,” Scheinthal says. “That’s been one of our secrets to success. He is a student of the game. He’s constantly putting money back into the restaurants, and he understands trends without overdoing it.” Scheinthal has been at the center of the action since his arrival in 1992. Landry’s went

Steve Scheinthal EVP, General Counsel Landry’s, Inc.

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A Sophisticated Trial And Litigation Boutique Yankwitt LLP is an elite trial and litigation firm, located in White Plains, New York and Atlantic City, New Jersey. Utilizing their experiences as former federal prosecutors and former federal clerks, Yankwitt’s attorneys regularly produce stellar outcomes for its clients. As Westchester’s go-to litigation firm, we are retained not only by companies and individuals throughout New York, but by other firms to collaborate on their high-stakes cases. Our reputation as trial lawyers has helped us achieve exceptional results for our clients not only in trials, but in favorable settlements year after year. We also have particular expertise in the hospitality industry: In addition to serving as Northeast General Counsel for Landry’s, Inc., we regularly represent Hillstone Restaurant Group and Heineken USA in a broad range of disputes. Additionally, we serve as general counsel for several White Plains, New York City, and national businesses. At Yankwitt LLP, all of our clients receive New York City trained and seasoned litigators at Westchester prices.

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“You have to change with the times. If you have a good location, you put money back into your facility, and you create a more modern look and menu, then you can survive a long time in this business.” Steve Scheinthal

public the following year at a value of about $30 million. Yet, it had transformed into roughly a $1.7 billion empire a year after Fertitta took the company private again in 2010. To this day, the legal leader’s team comprises eight in-house lawyers and another four paralegals focused on continuing Landry’s external and organic growth. And from operating hit restaurants such as Mastro’s to opening new establishments such as the Atlantic City nightclub Haven, there’s a lot on their plates. “The organic growth is pretty routine,” Scheinthal explains. “Take our Saltgrass Steak House concept, for example. We know what the business model is. We know exactly the demographics that we want. We know the footprint. There’s no surprise from an architectural standpoint or a cost standpoint. But when you grow outside of the core business, it becomes more stressful to the organization because it’s new. So for instance, when we build a new hotel, it’s a bigger job because more business decisions need to be made for both development and integration. And it’s what you do after you acquire the business—where you can improve upon the performance—that is what’s important.” Looking back, Scheinthal knew he wanted to be a lawyer even as a kid growing up in Miami. “I knew that was the career path I wanted to go on, and it was never a question in my mind,” he says. “Everything I did was geared toward being a lawyer.” He enjoyed the debate team and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Florida in 1981. He then earned a juris doctor degree at the University of Houston

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Law Center in 1984. He went in-house at Stumpf & Falgout in Houston and became a partner in the law firm before joining Landry’s as vice president and general counsel. Scheinthal says his passion for the law continues to fuel the pride he takes in his work today. The brands are massive and diverse. Landry’s not only encompasses restaurants, but also attractions such as casinos, resorts, aquariums, and boardwalks. More than anything else, Scheinthal says his team strives to ensure that there are no surprises. That also means forming a business savvy legal team. “We do training in terms of what is good business practice,” Scheinthal says. “We make sure everyone knows how to read an income statement or balance sheet.” While growing the business within several industries that are constantly changing is a hefty challenge, the legal leader keeps pace by keeping the team adaptable. He continues to take a proactive stance on litigation that taps his legal team’s deep well of knowledge, which also results in provisions that prepare the company in advance of any future issues. “The restaurant industry is fast-paced, and a lot of businesses have gone under. Yet, you still see restaurants that have been around for a long time and are still in business,” Scheinthal says. “One of the differences is that you have to change with the times. If you have a good location, you put money back into your facility, and you create a more modern look and menu, then you can survive a long time in this business.” To spearhead Landry’s new growth and implement regulatory changes on a global

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Seyfarth Shaw LLP congratulates

Steve Scheinthal of Landry’s Inc. on his professional achievements. A recognized leader in delivering value and innovation for legal services, Seyfarth Shaw has more than 900 attorneys around the world and provides a broad range of legal services in the areas of real estate, corporate, labor and employment, employee benefits, and litigation.

www.seyfarth.com

scale requires clear and quick communication, according to Scheinthal. “Legal touches everything that the company does,” he says. “And part of our business is knowing what is going on in the world. We get legal updates from a lot of services and outside counsel. We’re aware if we need to disseminate something to the whole company or change policies or procedures.” For example, Scheinthal says his team knew within thirty minutes of a federal judge granting an injunction stopping the enforcement of an overtime pay policy under President Barack Obama. That’s why everyone on his team must be on the same page, he adds, especially regarding leases and acquisitions. The communication goes both ways—he says it’s essential that he remains accessible to the lawyers. In line with continuous improvement, he empowers team members each year to own a side project that they believe will make the company better. That way, they improve processes and continue to innovate to propel the company forward. The workforce of dining, hospitality, gaming, and entertainment industries is constantly in flux, which requires the legal team to develop strategies for continuously communicating compliance issues. To help employees understand the laws, Scheinthal and his team are in the process of creating two-minute videos loosely based on the Schoolhouse Rock! television series. The aim is to get the legal points across in an engaging way that will help people remember and ultimately help them manage legal risk across the company. “You can’t be complacent and be successful,” Scheinthal says. “Everyone needs to give 110 percent every day. A company that stops growing, starts dying.”

©2017 Seyfarth Shaw LLP #17-4343 R2

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The Business Enabler As Nationwide Insurance embraces new initiatives, corporate legal counsel Denise Skingle draws upon her collaborative background for motivation By R A N D A L L C O L B U R N

For Denise Skingle, there’s no single answer for what makes a good leader. Everybody’s different, after all, and descriptions that might sound odd to those on the outside are compliments in the right context. To be an “enabler,” for example, has a certain connotation in everyday life, but it’s different in the business world. “I was at a gallery walk for our operations team and complimenting them on the great work they did and the changes that they’d accomplished. They said they could do it because they were enabled to do so, so we joked that I’m an enabler,” Skingle says with a laugh. “But that’s actually a great word for a leader, to be an enabler: you encourage your team but also trust that they have the ability to do what you need them to do.” Now, Skingle serves as a senior vice president and corporate legal counsel at Nationwide Insurance, a Fortune 500 company that currently sits at number fifty-four on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.” It’s a role she stepped into less than a year ago, having served as vice president and associate general counsel before that. Though her leadership style has evolved considerably over that time, she’s quick to point out that some of the most important lessons she learned came early in her career. Fresh out of law school, Skingle worked in corporate mergers and acquisitions and securities for international law firm Jones Day. “What I remember most about Jones

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Day were the great teachers and mentors I developed there,” she says. “I was very lucky to be part of a collaborative group that really taught me how important collaboration was to transactional work. That was the beginning for me, and I really learned how to get a deal done.” During her nine years with the firm, Skingle says the collaborative atmosphere made her a better communicator and negotiator. Among many other things, she says Nationwide’s culture of collaboration helped her click naturally with the company. In her leadership role, she seeks to implement the lessons she’s learned from the firm. And while collaboration is a major part of it, so too is an emphasis on the individual. “Denise’s focus extends beyond the bottom line and achieving great results,” says Aneca Lasley, a partner at Squire Patton Boggs. “She cares deeply about the company and her colleagues and invests in those around her, be it as a mentor or coaching someone on the finer points of an issue. “ For Skingle, the patience it takes to connect with each and every member of your team on a personal level is integral to forming a positive working relationship. “You have to meet the other person where they are, not where you are,” she says. “What was always important to me was having someone who was willing to train me but also willing to listen. I think that piece is forgotten sometimes when trying to develop or train someone.” As a mentor, Skingle describes her method as informal. “I’d say my style generally is really conversational,” she says. “I try to meet regularly, talk regularly, and try

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to understand what people are working on and then give advice SVP, Corporate or assistance.” Legal Counsel But there’s a difference, she notes, between being a mentor Nationwide Insurance and being a coach. A shift in strategy within Nationwide’s legal department has necessitated a need for a more formal approach. “Adding process and structure can help maximize efficiency,” she says. “Right now, I’m trying to be a little bit more formal in terms of objectives, goals, and expectations for our lawyers, where in the past we’ve dealt in more art than science.” This offers Skingle a chance to hone the personal, individualized approach she takes with her team members and elevate the experience by introducing a clear, more defined set of goals. This is necessary as, in an effort to better manage costs, her team is adopting what Skingle calls a “flex-staffing” model, which means that everybody is tasked with being more flexible in the work they take on. The focus is on taking the skills that the team members already have but broadening them to meet other needs. For Skingle, the chance to take on a variety of work is exciting. She cites how important her early work at Jones Day was, when she worked with clients using a myriad of different strategies and styles, and she’s embraced many changes during her career at Nationwide, as well as welcomed opportunities. That’s not the case, however, for every lawyer. “Sometimes lawyers want to be an expert in a particular field and aren’t interested in broader work,” she says. “But to be successful in this new environment, everyone needs to adapt and branch out a little bit and pick up different types of work. The core skills they’ve developed can be flexed and used where the work is but resources are low.” Getting her team motivated about this flex-staffing model has become an important part of Skingle’s job. As such, she’s spent time recalling the ways in which she was motivated throughout her career. What a lot of it boiled down to, she says, is the idea that the ability to broaden one’s palette can be an opportunity, not a burden. Besides, Skingle says, the current legal landscape is one in which all lawyers are better off with a bag of tricks to supplement their specialization. A diverse slate also encourages and elevates the culture of collaboration that is central to Nationwide’s values. It also promotes a culture of change, one where no one says, “This is the way we’ve always done it.” “That to me is really exciting, when I get to strategize about the structure of the organization and the ways in which we can continually improve. That resonates with me," Skingle says. It also goes back to one of her keys for strong leadership. “Be an enabler,” she continues with a laugh. “That’s my goal now.”

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Laura Sauer

Denise Skingle


Congratulations We applaud our client and colleague Denise Skingle on her recognition by Profile Magazine for her commitment to coaching and development as senior vice president, corporate legal counsel, at Nationwide. As internationally renowned leaders in insurance and reinsurance law, having handled several of the largest insurance and reinsurance arbitrations on record, we are delighted to work with Denise and our Nationwide colleagues to achieve continued success. To find out how we can help you, contact: Alex Shumate Partner, Columbus T +1 614 365 2739 E alex.shumate@squirepb.com

46 Offices in 20 Countries squirepattonboggs.com

Aneca E. Lasley Partner, Columbus T +1 614 365 2830 E aneca.lasley@squirepb.com

James Barresi Partner, Cincinnati T +1 513 361 1260 E james.barresi@squirepb.com

Local Connections. Global Influence.


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David Dutcher Assistant General Counsel, IP Western Digital

The Transition Team How David Dutcher is helping to merge three patent groups into one at Western Digital By G A L E N B E E B E

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Going through an acquisition can be an uneasy experience. Team members whose roles were clearly defined are suddenly unsure what the future will hold. “Uncertainty is probably the most unsettling emotion that people feel,” says David Dutcher, assistant general counsel of intellectual property (IP) at Western Digital, a provider of storage technologies and software. “We might be daunted by a challenging project, but uncertainty can create even more apprehension.” Dutcher led his team through that very uncertainty after Western Digital acquired SanDisk, a manufacturer of flash memory devices, in 2016. Dutcher was brought over from SanDisk, where he had served as senior director of IP. Previously, he had joined SanDisk through an acquisition when the company acquired Fusion-io, a solid state storage device manufacturer, in 2014. From his experience at Fusion-io, Dutcher understood the importance of gaining his team’s trust and defining both short- and long-term strategies. “It’s important to create and communicate a shared vision and road map so that everyone understands the team’s direction and how each person contributes to its success,” he says. “As we move forward, I try to continue soliciting input so that we can further refine our approach.” Western Digita l and SanDisk had different approaches to protecting their competitive advantages. As a manufacturer of disk drives, Western Digital focused on operational efficiency and vertical integration. For SanDisk, which operated in the flash memory industry, innovation was the key to success. Dutcher’s new team also reflected this dichotomy. The legacy Western Digital patent team members, who were part of a larger team, were used to performing many tasks in-house. For former SanDisk employees, however, outsourcing work to outside counsel was the norm and worth the additional expense. Dutcher’s mission was to combine the best of each legacy approach to develop processes that worked for his new team, which included members from SanDisk, Western Digital, and HGST, another company that Western Digital acquired. Together, the team mapped out the legacy processes and determined the best strategy for the future.

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“We tried to select the best aspects from the three different approaches of the legacy companies,” Dutcher says. “It has required a lot of agility, adaptability, and flexibility by the entire team as the company forges a new culture, a new strategy, and a new process.” One process the companies approached differently was docketing. In that case, the argument for outsourcing won. “Historically, one legacy company was tracking deadlines internally because filing and some other work was performed internally,” Dutcher says. “As we outsourced that work, there was no longer the need to use internal resources to docket these dates that were already being tracked by our outside lawyers.” At first, some team members worried that if the group didn’t docket internally, then they would miss the deadlines to protect their assets. But Dutcher again emphasized the importance of trust. “By creating the plan with the relevant stakeholders, it creates an atmosphere of trust,” he says. “If you develop the process together and people are able to talk through the pros and the cons, then it’s much easier to get buy-in and come to decisions that make the most sense for the business going forward.” It soon became clear that the decision to outsource docketing served both arguments: it was more efficient, and it reserved resources for innovation. “People have, over time, embraced the new process as more efficient and a better use of internal resources because the individuals who were docketing are now working on higher-level tasks,” Dutcher says. The patent group at Western Digital spans five countries and three continents, and finding ways to unify such a geographically diverse team can be difficult. Even finding a time of day to meet can be a challenge. “There’s not a time that doesn’t require someone to wake up in the middle of the night,” he says. To create a sense of camaraderie, Dutcher adopted a practice from Western Digital of regularly recognizing team members for outstanding work. At every staff meeting, one team member acknowledges another for a recent accomplishment. For example, one of the paralegals designed a more efficient process for contacting engineers who plan to publish technical papers in advance of conferences. “Our paralegal figured out a way to reduce the time required to contact the engineers from several hours to a few minutes,” he says. “Then, she shared her new process with the other paralegals so that they could leverage her efforts.”

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BRINKS GILSON & LIONE CONGRATULATES DAVID DUTCHER FOR HIS OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS AT WESTERN DIGITAL WE ARE PROUD TO SERVE AS COUNSEL TO DAVID AND WESTERN DIGITAL JOE HETZ & THE WD TEAM AT BRINKS MOVE FORWARD IN Chicago, IL Washington, DC Ann Arbor, MI Indianapolis, IN Research Triangle Park, NC Salt Lake City, UT Tampa, FL Shenzhen, China www.brinksgilson.com

OFF THE CLOCK WITH DAVID DUTCHER Outside of work, David Dutcher teaches an IP contracts course each year at BYU’s law school. He approaches his teaching the same way he approaches his management: with a mix of structure and flexibility. “I start with a plan, but I try to listen and adapt based on the response I receive,” he says. “When other stakeholders provide feedback and improvements, I try to adapt and incorporate that input.”

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Recognizing accomplishments such as this benefits both the individual and the team as a whole. “It increases employee engagement and helps the team understand the value that each person brings,” he says. Western Digital practices this type of recognition across the company. Leaders hold annual events at R&D facilities around the world to celebrate inventors who had patent applications filed or patents granted. Each inventor receives an award with their patent number on it. Although the company pays inventors a monetary award, these events drive more employee engagement than financial incentives. “It has tremendous impact on employee morale when engineers are recognized in front of their peers and senior management for creating valuable IP,” he says. By recognizing these accomplishments, Dutcher and the rest of Western Digital’s leaders bring the group into the process, and together they pave the path forward.

“We congratulate David Dutcher for his successful leadership and accomplishments at Western Digital.” –Steven VerSteeg, Partner, Patterson + Sheridan LLP

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A Tapestry of Brands Matthew Trent works across Tapestry’s iconic brands to ensure continuing success in talent acquisition By K A S E Y C H E Y D L E U R

In October 2017, Coach Inc. made waves as it unveiled its new name for the parent company—Tapestry, evoking beautiful, complex works of art. The company chose the name to reflect its new era as the first New York-based house of modern luxury lifestyle brands that includes Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman. As vice president, global talent, Matthew Trent says the name change was about driving clarity both internally and externally when communicating about the company as a whole versus the brands that it represents. Trent loves the new name because he says that it works as both a metaphor for the company’s multibrand focus and for the unique composition of its employee base. “What’s beautiful about the word tapestry is that it is really about individual expression and collective beauty and the intersection between those two things,” Trent says. “And when you think about how that applies to my role, it is about the individual expression of people and how we can thread that

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Matthew Trent VP, Global Talent Tapestry

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individuality and diversity across the organization to create new opportunities for the people who work here.” For Trent, his role at Tapestry is the continuation of a path that he set out on early in life. Fashion and retail are a family tradition. His grandfather worked in a men’s clothing store throughout Trent’s childhood and continues to work as a greeter every Saturday. That early familiarity and passion for the industry grew into a professional interest, and Trent’s first job after graduating from Harvard was in human resources for Ralph Lauren. His path then took him across the pond to London and Paris, where he successively earned senior positions with Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior. In his current role, he works from the company’s New York headquarters. Although he is thrilled to be back in the “greatest city in the world,” he says his time living in Europe gave him a global perspective that has proved invaluable in understanding the needs of a company with interests throughout the world. “When you are in the luxury retail space, everything is driven by the client and what they are ultimately looking for,” he says. “The closer you can get to the client and understand what his or her connections to the brand are, the better.” Spending time overseas allowed him to understand the nuances and talent demands of the different markets. He says it also helped him network so he can now connect with talent more easily to meet talent demand. “Matthew is a phenomenal partner when it comes to employer branding and talent management,” says Robyn M. Soto of Russell Reynolds Associates. “He works hard to ensure the experiences candidates have throughout the recruiting process match and are consistent with the experiences customers have with the Tapestry brand in their various channels and touch points.” Trent’s role is equally about talent acquisition and thinking about talent strategically.


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24|Seven is proud to recognize “What’s beautiful about the word tapestry is that it is really about individual expression and collective beauty and the intersection between those two things.”

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MAT T H EW T R E N T

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Working across all of Tapestry’s brands, he balances external recruitment with internal, strategic initiatives, such as developing talent and succession planning. “It’s constantly balancing the short-term with the longterm,” he says. “We are in an industry that is ever-evolving, and with that, it is necessary for us to constantly network and connect with people for opportunities we might have today. However, we must also look at what opportunities we might have for tomorrow. It is incumbent on all of us to stay ahead of the curve, to make sure we are anticipating client demands.” One way Trent’s team is ensuring that they identify and connect with the best talent is through a massive revamping of the company’s careers website. Now, for the first time, Tapestry.com displays all of the openings across its brands so internal candidates can see all available positions. Another way his team ensures employee success is through an extensive onboarding process that helps people not only through their first one hundred days, but also to make certain they are truly set up for success. “Being a big, fast-moving company, we don’t have a ton of lag time,” Trent says. “So, the better job we can do to get people’s feet on the ground as soon as possible the better we are setting them up for success.”

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In the initial stages of the hiring process, there are a few key traits he and his team look for in new team members. One of the most important factors is finding someone with a global mind-set who can balance analytics, intuition, and follow-through. Due to the ever-changing nature of luxury retail, someone who is flexible and can execute ideas is crucial. It’s equally important for Trent and his team to ensure that candidates embody the values that drive the culture at Tapestry: optimism, inclusivity, and innovation. “What sets us apart is we are a very values-driven company,” Trent explains. “We believe that, if we foster our values, then we are going to be able to welcome diverse talent, ignite their imaginations to create new ideas, and leverage their optimism and hard work to bring their ideas to life. We believe that is the perfect formula for success—that with hard work anything is possible.” And certainly last but not least he is looking for people who are inspired by Tapestry’s brands. “Being a brand-driven environment, we want people who feel connections to the brands they are working for,” he says. “Because at the end of the day, there is a lot of passion and energy that goes into designing and selling beautiful products, and we want people to feel a natural connection to it.”

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RESOURCES 24|Seven Recruits Top Talent for the Creative Economy

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Acquiring a Legacy SWM International traces its renowned history back to the Renaissance. Today, it's that same spirit of innovation, culture of growth, and transformation that help make up the company's keys to success.

by Galen Beebe

In 1545, the printing press was a little more than one hundred years old, William Shakespeare’s father was a teenager, and the origins of Schweitzer-Mauduit International began in the south of France, with the opening of a small paper mill. Nearly five hundred years later, Schweitzer-Mauduit International has transformed into SWM, a global provider of engineered solutions and advanced materials with customers in eighty-eight countries around the world. SWM began diversifying into resin-based advanced materials in 2013, with the acquisition of DelStar Technologies, expanding for the first time in its history beyond fiberbased materials. By 2017, the company had acquired Argotec and Conwed Plastics and firmly established its Advanced Materials and Structures (AMS) business unit to focus on resin-based technologies and products. This was a significant moment in a journey that began during the Renaissance. “Even though there’s close to five hundred years of history, this is really the ground floor of something new,” says Ricardo Nuñez, general counsel at SWM International. Nuñez joined SWM during the acquisition of Conwed, and soon thereafter, the company rebranded its acquisitions to SWM. Nuñez worked closely with the marketing and commercial teams throughout the rebranding process to craft an effective message

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for employees, suppliers, and customers to understand the shift. “People, as a matter of habit, have referred to themselves either as Argotec or Conwed for many years, so evolving into SWM can be a challenge,” Nuñez says. “You don’t turn on the switch overnight and expect it to happen.” In rebranding, SWM was creating not only a new go-to market name, but also a new culture that would unify the company. The culture is built on a foundation of transformation and emphasizes the importance of collaboration and growth. “People truly have a desire to continually learn,” Nuñez says. “In this company that is a sign of strength, not weakness.” This cultural approach applies not only to employees, but also to the larger organizational structures as well. When integrating the companies, SWM focused on retaining the strengths of each business rather than on simply incorporating the new acquisitions into the legacy company. “If a business had exceptional manufacturing processes, then we made sure that we picked up on those best practices and spread them throughout our company,” Nuñez says. “The newer teams look at the experience of the legacy SWM folks, the legacy SWM folks look at the experience of the new folks, and they feed off each other. It’s an exciting dynamic, and they’re both incredibly valuable.”

Ricardo Nuñez General Counsel SWM International


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The AMS business unit now accounts for half of SWM’s business. Although the company as a whole is new to developing these technologies, the employees that SWM acquired with Conwed, Argotec, and DelStar have legacy knowledge of their own. To maintain a competitive intellectual property (IP) portfolio, Nuñez supports the work of the research and development teams. Instead of focusing on bureaucratic hurdles, he emphasizes the teams’ shared goal: to create new products that will address customers’ needs. “We empower them and provide them the support that they need so that we can develop good ideas and good technologies for our customers,” he says. “There’s going to be some give-and-take and back-and-forth, but ultimately everybody’s going to be pushing in the same direction.” Not all ideas for new inventions come from within the R&D department. SWM uses online documentation tools to allow submission of inventions throughout the company and to ensure that new ideas reach the right teams. But having tools in place doesn’t guarantee participation. For this, employees must understand the importance of sharing their ideas. “The culture we encourage is one that values research and development,” Nuñez says. “People that come up with ideas can be very proud of the role they’ve played, and we make sure they get the appropriate level of recognition.” Nuñez takes the same peer-driven approach when it comes to his own team. Rather than leading with a top-down management style, he hires skilled team members and presents them with opportunities to grow. Twice a year, his entire team comes together to share their expertise and learn additional ways they can support each other. Because much of the team works in Europe, these in-person meetings are essential to developing a cohesive and collaborative culture within the legal department. “Those team meetings are used to, among other things, make sure we know what each of us knows so that we can learn from one another,” Nuñez says. “We have highly

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Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete congratulates Ricardo Nunez and SWM for the well-deserved recognition by Profile.

“People truly have a desire to continually learn. In this company that is a sign of strength, not weakness.” Ricardo Nuñez

experienced, highly knowledgeable team members. We’re smart enough to know we don’t know everything.” Developing open communication within the legal department is important, but even the most collaborative teams can become cloistered. Ultimately, the legal department’s role is to partner with the business and support the company in providing quality products to its clients. For this reason, Nuñez brings his work out of the office and onto the factory floor, visiting the factories where SWM’s products are manufactured and speaking with the employees who make the products. Watching the massive machines transform raw materials into usable products is not only exciting, but it also underscores the significance of the legal team’s work. “We can understand and feel more a part of the business by knowing why our supplier agreements are important, why materials have to arrive on time,” Nuñez says. “Those are all critically important. By being at the factories and understanding the processes, we’re more effective. Every time I go, I learn something new.”

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For additional information about labor and employment law services, please contact Don Prophete at 816.472.6400.

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The Perfect Mix of Ingredients From his diverse background and experiences, John Matter helps ensure that Papa John’s can face any challenge

While most of his classmates and friends were off moving to exciting business careers after college, John Matter returned home to Arizona to take care of his ailing mother and began waiting tables at a local upscale restaurant. When Matter decided to return to school for the JD/MBA program at the University of Arizona, the lessons he’d learned in the service industry proved essential. “I learned a lot about customer service from working in a restaurant,” Matter says. “The customer service side of the restaurant industry applies to a key element of being a good lawyer: taking care of your clients. That job really helped me become a better lawyer in the long run.” Now, as vice president and senior counsel for Papa John’s International, Inc, Matter has returned to the restaurant industry, and he is utilizing those lessons to address a vast scope of challenging legal topics. After completing law school, Matter spent ten years in private practice focusing on litigation and general corporate law. However, working at a law firm didn’t fulfill

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the interest in the collaborative aspects of business he’d developed in his joint JD/MBA program. After earning a master’s degree with distinction in global management and international business at Thunderbird School of Global Management while concurrently practicing law, Matter knew he’d eventually move in-house. His first in-house posting came as director of legal affairs at PharMerica, a publicly-traded long-term care pharmacy company that indulged his passion for a collaborative, complex business, as well as his desire to make a difference in the world. “Being a lawyer is one of the professions where you really get to help people. You are a trusted adviser and help people through difficult issues or complex problems,” he says. When a position opened at Papa John’s, John Matter Matter jumped at the VP, Senior chance to work for Counsel the rapidly growing international restauPapa John’s International rant company. Matter joined Papa John’s in

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2013, rising to become vice president and senior counsel in the legal department. As one of the largest pizza companies in the world, Papa John’s many departments and offices naturally face a wide array of opportunities and challenges. Because of that, Matter could, on any given day, be working closely on a project with HR, technology, outside counsel, or any specialty in between. “It’s a great mix,” he says. “I spend half my time supporting business units, helping the company operations, and getting involved in more complex legal issues. The other half of my time is geared more toward managing our litigation and mitigating risk.” One important project that should go a long way in mitigating risk has brought Matter into close collaboration with technology and operations in particular. Matter helped develop a partnership with Drivosity, through which Papa John’s is putting GPS-enabled devices into delivery vehicles. The devices help monitor the company’s drivers’ delivery routes, speed, braking, cornering, and more. From his time managing litigation, he knows that these devices will protect Papa John’s from personal injury claims, but more importantly, it will help ensure the safety of the company’s drivers and others on the road. “We have around seven hundred corporate stores, which makes the rollout a large undertaking in terms of logistics and technology, not to mention operations and HR,” Matter explains. “As the legal partner, we’ve made sure to explain to people what the benefit is to the driver, the manager, and the company in general. We care about our people, and we want them to be safe.” A frontrunner in technological advancements such as online ordering and mobile apps, Papa John’s is excited about the Drivosity partnership and what it can mean to customers, but it has also been sure to keep an eye on potential risks and challenges. While other restaurants might work in traditional brick-and-mortar ideologies, Papa John’s also has to operate similar to an e-commerce company. As such, Matter has to deal with the intellectual property (IP) concerns that come along with that model. “Any time you have customer-facing technology,

you’re exposed to patent trolls and lawsuits,” Matter says. Papa John’s has also moved agilely to address the influx of restaurant aggregators and delivery services such as GrubHub, Postmates, and UberEATS over the past few years. “That’s a relatively significant phenomenon in the delivery space, and I have spent a lot of time not only analyzing the legal aspects of potential partnerships with those companies but also the developing area of the law in terms of how they operate,” Matter says. “My job as a lawyer is to figure out what’s the best way we can partner with these companies in a way that protects our brand and doesn’t expose us to unnecessary risk and ensures that we are doing things the right way for our team members, franchisees, and customers.” While the proper contract will cover several of those concerns, Matter is quick to note that many of these companies work with individuals as independent contractors rather than employees. It’s important to note, as well, that Papa John’s restaurants are a blend of corporate and franchised. With all of these different, complex models at play, Matter and his team have had to work incredibly collaboratively, both internally and externally. Rather than micromanage, Matter hopes to give his direct team the opportunities they need to grow and thrive—a belief in line with the company’s “Go Left” leadership program, which emphasizes coaching up skills and strengthening culture. The thirteen-person legal department is lean, he says, but the general counsel, Caroline Oyler, has done a great job supporting the unique expertise of each contributor. That way, they can make their own contribution, whether in governance, food supply, franchising, or more. The restaurant and delivery industry has changed significantly over the course of Matter’s tenure at Papa John’s, and the speed of that change shows no signs of slowing. “It’s a different environment, and we’re dedicated to figuring out the best way to move forward in that complexity,” Matter says. “But owning your career, taking on responsibility, and learning new areas of the law are the keys to becoming a successful corporate attorney.”

Strategic, Innovative Practical Legal Counsel

Seyfarth Shaw LLP congratulates John Matter, Senior Counsel of Papa John’s International, Inc. on his professional achievements.

The Seyfarth Advantage: Team strength. Legal excellence. Clarity from complexity. Developing a better way. Leading in our industry. Leaders in our community.

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Mission Driven At ResCare, Sonny Terrill inspires his team to be hard-nosed when it comes to business imperatives without losing the care and compassion that brought them to the human services company By D AV I D B A E Z

Human services companies such as ResCare—which has been in the business of improving the lives of individuals through a variety of services such as community living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, in-home care for the senior population, and job skills and training to underprivileged youth for more than forty years—tend to attract team members who identify primarily with the organization’s humanistic mission. That’s important, of course, says Sonny Terrill, but it’s equally essential that those who work for the company are held accountable for the day-to-day work they do. Perhaps it’s that less romantic work, such as meeting budgets, that keeps the company thriving and able to continue to serve its clients and carry out its mission to help people live their best life every day. “When you are a leader in a great company like ResCare, you have to have a servant heart. But you still have to operate with a high level of accountability,” says Terrill, executive vice president and chief human resources officer. “We make sure our clients are served, but we also have a customer—the people who invest in us—so we have to be good stewards of the money we spend.” Terrill began his business career in human resources with a manufacturing company. He was passionate about human resources and was making an impact with the people at the company, but not with the

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Sonny Terrill EVP, CHRO ResCare

community at large. As a result, he decided to take his skills to a mission-driven company that was making a difference in people’s lives. “I realized that when my time is done, I want all of my work and effort to have made a difference in my community and with the people we serve,” Terrill says. He earned his first opportunity to accomplish that goal when HealthSpring, a start-up in Nashville that worked with senior citizens, reached out to him. At the time, everything in the business was siloed, with small companies scattered across different states. There was no HR department, so Terrill built one. That sense of gratification he received from seeing what happens when the proper systems and people are put in place, giving employees tools to serve a group in need, solidified his belief that he had found his calling. Terrill worked at HealthSpring for twelve years until it was bought out by a major conglomerate. Shortly thereafter, recruiters began contacting Terrill, who became one of the top HR executives in the country. Of the


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many calls he received, ResCare was the most attractive. He loved the company’s mission and its vision to improve people’s lives. That passion and vision of the ResCare team, led by top healthcare executive and ResCare CEO Jon Rousseau, aligned perfectly with Terrill’s own ambitions. “I saw a great opportunity to help the company get even better at what it does,” Terrill recalls. “Now, I’m driven to help ResCare become the employer of choice in the human services industry. With that, we will be attracting more of the best and the brightest employees to take care of the individuals we serve daily. I see heroic work at ResCare every single day, and I’m proud to be a part of it. I absolutely love what I’m doing and who I’m doing it with.” Terrill leads the company to achieve greater success by showing that it’s possible to have a servant heart and still be accountable for helping the company financially. Under Terrill’s guidance, it’s not enough to have one without the other. It’s that hybrid that he looks for when making hiring decisions, as well as when determining when someone isn’t a right fit for the company. “When we think of someone who has a servant heart, often times we think of a person who is soft and compassionate in general,” Terrill says. “What we teach here is that we are focused on people and are bulldogs when it comes to compliance, quality, budgets, and to stand our ground about things that would not be good for our customer. Our heart is driven to serve the elderly, the youth, or that person with a disability. At the same time, we have to be accountable to how we run the business.” It’s a tall order to get people to have a corporate mentality without losing their passion for service, but Terrill gains the confidence of team members by practicing what he preaches. By doing so, he gains their trust. They not only know that he means what he says, but that he also does it himself. It’s that

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Thrive together We see the future of work and life, enhanced and simplified through an inspired blend of service, technology and data. We see the future of benefits administration and cloud-based HR services, reimagined to help people and organizations thrive. It’s a bright future. Let’s illuminate it together.

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“Our heart is driven to serve the elderly, the youth, or that person with a disability. At the same time, we have to be accountable to how we run the business.” S O N NY T E R R I L L

Many smiles have been created through his great community work.

modeling of what he wants from team members that has helped him build a culture at the company where service and accountability go hand in hand. And that’s something that ensures the company will thrive and be able to provide consistently better services for its clients. “People will say you have to do one thing to be successful, but there are multiple things, and you have to do them all well,” Terrill explains. “You set that culture and drive it down the organization. Not every single person will be a hybrid, but everyone knows that is the expectation. We have to be versatile, to be servants for sure, but also hold ourselves accountable.”

Alight Solutions is proud to be a trusted partner in benefits administration with Sonny Terrill and his team at ResCare. We value Sonny’s role as a leader in the healthcare industry. Alight continually works with Sonny and the ResCare team to develop innovative solutions that help their business continue to grow and thrive. Delta Dental congratulates Sonny on his impressive and dynamic career in human resources. He displays a commitment not only to his employees, but to the community through his inspiring ministry work. We are proud to partner with Sonny and extended ResCare team.

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The Simplicity in Serving Others From 1955 to present day, Dollar General continues to execute on its core mission into the twenty-first century By B O B O L A F

On January 1, 1955, the first Dollar General retail store opened in Springfield, Kentucky, with a simple concept: not a single item for sale in the store would cost more than one dollar. Two years later, the company had twenty-nine stores and annual sales that topped $5 million. Pioneering the dollar store concept seemingly proved to be both an ingenious and longstanding strategy. Nearly eighty years after the company’s inception as J.L. Turner and Son, a wholesale business venture between a father and son in rural Kentucky in 1939, the business is still growing. By fall 2017, the now Tennessee-based company, which ranked 128 on the 2017 Fortune 500 list, operated more than 14,000 retail locations and fifteen distribution centers, employed more than 130,000 employees, and reported annual sales that topped $22 billion in 2016. The company’s business model has evolved since 1955. Less than 25 percent of items are currently priced at one dollar or less today. What has endured alongside the company’s growth, though, is Dollar General’s mission and company culture as it remains focused on providing shoppers with simple and affordable shopping through its timeless mission of serving others by keeping its customers, employees, and communities at the heart of everything it does.

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CUSTOMER-FIRST APPROACH Dollar General first looks to how it can best serve its customers by operating small-box retail stores in convenient locations that deliver everyday low prices. It strives to serve its customers through excellent service, quality products, and an overall positive shopping experience every day. “For nearly eighty years, Dollar General has continually been focused on delivering everyday low prices, convenience, and value,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO, in a press release. In supporting the store’s convenience goal, the company recently announced plans to complete roughly two thousand retail projects in 2018. Coupled with plans to add distribution centers in Amsterdam, New York, and Longview, Texas, the company continues to invest in the business to best support customer needs. TAKING CARE OF THE TEAM Investing in its employees as a competitive advantage is one of Dollar General’s four key operating priorities, and providing employees the opportunity for growth and development is a cornerstone of Dollar General’s culture. One person that knows a thing or two about creating a great working environment at Dollar General is Bob Ravener, the company’s executive vice president and chief people officer, who joined the company in 2008. “Dollar General’s ongoing investment in talent development is essential to fulfill the leadership needs of our

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Making a difference. Congratulations to Rhonda Taylor, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Dollar General. We applaud Rhonda and Dollar General’s efforts to make our communities and our world a better place.

rapidly-growing business,” Ravener said. “Whether an individual works in a store, a distribution center, or at the store support center, Dollar General provides employees with numerous opportunities to gain new skills and develop their talents through award-winning training and development programs.” And Ravener is not the only one who is invested in seeing others grow and succeed. The company’s training and development program has been continually recognized as Training Magazine’s top 125 for providing world-class training to employees, earning a top-five recognition for 2018. One way in which he helps create that environment for employees is ensuring there is a culture of mentorship at the company as Dollar General also looks to fill a number of job vacancies by promoting from within.

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation isn’t the only way the company gives back, though. Throughout the year, Dollar General partners with organizations including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation and local toy drives during the holiday season, the American Red Cross, the Kids in Need Foundation, and others across the forty-four states Dollar General serves. By serving its communities, customers, and employees, Dollar General has found an enduring formula for success.

GIVING BACK Dollar General is also committed to serving its communities. For the company, its philanthropic focus is rooted in the founding family’s story. When cofounder J.L. Turner was eleven years old, his father was killed in an accident. To help support his family, he dropped out of school to work on the family farm and never completed his formal education, leaving him functionally illiterate. In 1993, J.L.’s grandson, Cal Turner Jr., was president and CEO of Dollar General. He founded the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to honor his grandfather’s memory and support individuals looking to improve their lives through literacy and education. Today, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation awards grants to nonprofits, schools, and libraries within a twenty-mile radius of a Dollar General store or distribution center to support adult, family, and youth literacy programs. To date, the nonprofit has awarded more than $140 million in grants that have helped more than nine million individuals learn to read, prepare for their high school equivalency test, or learn English. “Through our mission of serving others, we are excited to support literacy and education across the communities we call home,” Vasos said, in a press release. “We hope the Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s youth literacy grants help strengthen literacy programs, expand library collections, inspire a love of reading in students, and make a distinct impact to enhance the lives of children.”

One executive that embodies Dollar General’s mission of serving others is Rhonda Taylor, the company’s executive vice president and general counsel. Taylor has been with the company since she joined as an employment attorney in March 2000. She has since been promoted to senior employment attorney in 2001, deputy general counsel in 2004, vice president and assistant general counsel in March 2010, and to her current role in June 2013, where she serves others by ensuring the legal team’s success.

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SERVING OTHERS FROM THE LEGAL DEPARTMENT

“Rhonda is a valuable member of our executive leadership team and is a trusted advisor on legal and business issues impacting Dollar General,” said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s former chairman and chief executive officer, in a press release at the time of her promotion. “In addition, she provides outstanding leadership, and I look forward to her continued success at Dollar General.


Global Trusted Legal and Business Advisers

McGuireWoods knows that only a collaboration of bright minds and different viewpoints can create the innovative solutions our clients need in today’s marketplace. We congratulate Rhonda Taylor for her leadership, insight and support as General Counsel of Dollar General. We value the partnership that has been built and the trust Rhonda has placed with our firm.

Joel S. Allen, Partner +1 214 932 6464 | jallen@mcguirewoods.com

1,000 lawyers | 23 offices | www.mcguirewoods.com


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Evolve or die. It’s a phrase that has becom e synonymous with the gro w t h o f any business in any industry. But s o me thin gs nev er change. Even in the face of rapid expansion and monument al mil estone s, these executives illust rat e how ne ver losing sight of the cult ure i ngrained in their company’s roots has laid the fo undation for sust ained s ucces s .

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Utz’s Jay Thompson uses his background and expertise to expand finance’s role on every front

By Will Grant

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ack in 2004, Jay Thompson began the second phase of his career when he started a seven-year stint at PepsiCo. He found himself energized in an unfamiliar setting, working for a company that made products he could literally go to a store and hold in his hands. “It certainly lent itself to more cocktail conversations than being a tax accountant or management consultant,” Thompson jokes when speaking of his previous roles. Now, as the executive vice president and chief financial officer for East Coast snack giant Utz Quality Foods, Thompson is using his extensive and varied experiences to earn finance a seat at the table and make it an essential team member in corporate decision-making. Thompson began his post business school career in 1998 after graduating from Harvard Business School. Before his career renaissance at consumer-facing companies, he served in a number of prior advisory roles. He served as an investment banker for Goldman Sachs, a tax accountant at KPMG, and a manager for Bain & Company prior to arriving at PepsiCo. “As an advisor working for client companies, I learned the importance of being customer focused, which is certainly important in the business I’m in today,” Thompson says. Even in business school, Thompson felt a need to work more closely with customers; it just took him a few years to get there. The variety of Thompson’s advisory roles did offer him a competitive advantage, though. “I learned to develop a set of pattern recognition,” Thompson says. “I’m able to think across the different companies and industries I’ve worked in and identify something that others may not have thought of because they’ve been focused on a single business.” When he joined PepsiCo, Thompson endeavored to work for branded companies that made a variety of products because that’s what made him excited about his own role.

Jay Thompson // EVP, CFO // Utz Quality Foods

So, Thompson helped oversee financial roles for Gatorade, Tropicana, and Naked Juice, among others. In another role following his time at PepsiCo, Thompson served as CFO at Chobani, where he was introduced to the distinct style of working for a founder-owned company. At the ninety-seven-year-old family-owned Utz, he would encounter a similar style and emphasis on culture. “I’m making sure that I understand what is important about the culture at Utz: trust, passion, and a willingness to do whatever is needed for the company,” Thompson says. Although Thompson’s tenure at Utz is still undoubtedly fresh in comparison to the company’s rich history, he’s determined to make an impact. “In addition to closing the books, doing the accounting, and paying the bills, I define success as finance having a seat at the table when important decisions are made, because business leaders are unwilling to make those decisions without finance there,” Thompson says. That means looking for ways to close the

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It All Started in One Kitchen Utz Quality Foods can trace its roots back to a small kitchen in Hanover, Pennsylvania, where founders William and Salie Utz began making Hanover Home Brand Potato Chips in 1921. From there, the company grew out of that kitchen into the largest privately held snack company in the United States, producing almost five million pounds of snacks per week. But some things haven’t changed. To this day, the company is still family owned and shares that collaborative and caring culture. It’s a mind-set that Jay Thompson and the entire Utz team take to heart. “That history has forged a strong culture where the family truly cares for the associates, so there’s things that you don’t find in a lot of companies these days,” Thompson says. “The company has continually added jobs, especially in the core Hanover area, so there’s a lot of longevity where associates have been with the company twenty, thirty, forty years. So, I think all those things have bred loyalty in the workforce. The company is both family owned and family run, where the family takes care of the associates and the associates make sure they do everything they can to make the company successful.”

“I’m making sure that I understand what is important about the culture at Utz: trust, passion, and a willingness to do whatever is needed for the company.”

— Jay Thompson

books in a timelier manner. It also means generating and analyzing financial results to identify opportunities to make the business run better. Thompson believes empowering finance has the added benefit of pairing trusted team members with leaders in sales, operations, and marketing to help the company become more data driven. “Jay’s experience and background allow him to look at the practices and successes that Utz has already established and provide crucial insight and direction as it continues to grow its business,” says Larry Laubach of Cozen O’Connor. One challenge that Thompson didn’t plan on tackling, however, was updating Utz’s accounting system. Because the company had such rapid growth in the past decade, Utz’s system was no longer adequate for either the size or complexity of the business. So, Thompson has spent significantly more time on that front than he had originally planned. In fact, he brought in a seasoned senior controller to help spur the transformation. “I haven’t typically thought of myself as a process person in terms of building a better accounting

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Cozen O’Connor joins Profile Magazine in recognizing the many accomplishments of Jay Thompson, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Utz Quality Foods. Your accomplishments speak for you. At Cozen O’Connor, they speak for us, too. For nearly half a century, we have defined ourselves by our clients’ success. Whether in a courtroom or a boardroom, however complicated the situation, our attorneys are prepared to guide you in your every endeavor.

Larry P. Laubach Chair, Corporate Practice Group (215) 665-4666 | llaubach@cozen.com One Liberty Place 1650 Market Street | Suite 2800 Philadelphia, PA 19103 700 attorneys | 26 offices | cozen.com © 2017 Cozen O’Connor


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Delivering Results for Leading Brands and Innovators

process, but we’ve spent just as much time there as on financial planning and analysis,” Thompson explains. “This is an area of finance I don’t understand as well, so it’s been a good education for me.” On top of revamping the accounting systems for the entire organization, Thompson immediately saw two acquisitions come under his purview. In September 2016, less than a year before Thompson joined the company, Utz acquired Southern snack food brand Golden Flake, and the company is now poised to acquire Phoenix-based Inventure Foods. Thompson and his team have fully integrated all the accounting, transaction processing, and payroll functions for Golden Flake into Utz’s system. In the process, Utz raised new lender-based debt facilities to pay off current credit facilities, to buy Inventure, and to buy out a minority equity investor. “That’s been a massive undertaking,” Thompson says. “But the deal has gone very well.” Working to integrate the Inventure brand is paramount for Utz looking ahead, but with the refinancing completed, Thompson says he’s also relishing having a moment to take a look at the knitting and more widely survey a company that has grown so quickly, even in Thompson’s short time at the helm. As finance continues to carve out a more integral role at Utz, Thompson isn’t content to let the chips fall where they may. Instead, he’ll ensure they’re falling right where he wants them to.

MorganFranklin Consulting congratulates Jay Thompson for being featured in Profile magazine. MorganFranklin Consulting is a strategy and execution management and technology consulting firm working with companies to address critical finance, technology, and business objectives. We are honored to work with Jay and Utz and look forward to their continued success.

www.morganfranklin.com PROFILE

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Home Run Inn’s executive team shares why it’s the intangibles that matter more than the company’s bottom line

By Danny Ciamprone

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he end of 2017 is only a few weeks away as the Home Run Inn executive leadership team gathers around the boardroom round table. There are no PowerPoints on the projector, no financial quarterly reviews being passed around in hefty binders, and no earnings reports to digest. Rather, it’s simply a time to reflect on the accomplishments that the restaurant chain and frozen-pizza company has made in the past year. Like a family gathered around the dinner table, the team shares stories of strides made, such as collaborating on vision statements for divisions throughout the company. They share how they improved the company culture by breaking down siloes, strengthened communication, and how the initiatives they recently launched contributed to the company’s recognition in Thrillist as the best frozen pizza in the nation in 2017. But above all, and what the company and its team members are most proud of, is a company built and maintained on family values. The company’s origin starts with family, dating back to when its original pizza recipe was created in 1947 by Mary Grittani and Nick Perrino at the company’s earliest tavern in Chicago. In fact, the first time Paul Brill, director of IT, entered the building, he noticed all around the office that there were photos of family members and people who have been with the company for more than twenty-five years lining the walls.

“I've been in Fortune 500 companies where you have blank walls or pictures of buildings,” Brill says. “But this is communication that actually speaks to people as you're walking through the hallways, and you're showing people our history on the walls.” The executive team sat down with Profile to reflect on the past year and share why it’s a set of strong family values that have made all the difference for the storied company.

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Left to Right: Courtesy of Home Run Inn, Ryan Bringas Photography

Much of the focus this past year has been on the intangible aspects of the company. Why was that a priority for the team? Mark Carlson: I think a lot of times when you walk into an executive meeting the initial tendency is to break down the finances, look at the numbers, and make decisions based off of the numbers. But when we started meeting on a regular basis earlier this year and figuring out what direction we wanted to take over the next 5–10 years, we actually started with the team itself. We started internally making sure that we had all the right people in the right positions, but also that we were allowing people to be creative in an area that they were passionate about. We spent a lot of time building that trust and vulnerability as a team and understanding each other so that we could work together as a more cohesive unit. Nick Perrino: One of the biggest things for us is communication. It sounds simple, but we know that to take our

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Meet Home Run Inn’s Executive Team Mark Carlson President of Frozen Foods Dan Costello President of Restaurants Kevin Costello EVP Nick Perrino VP of Sales and Marketing Gina Bolger SVP of Branding Jeanette Davila VP of HR Fred Fischer CFO Renee Storie Director of Culture and Organizational Development Paul Brill Director of IT Mike Kelly VP of Operations

business to the next level we need to effectively communicate with each other on a daily basis. I think that if we're all speaking the same language and we're communicating well, then those are things that will really take us to the next level not just as an organization, but also as a team. Jeanette Davila: And along with that strong communication comes a lot of diversity of thought that we've all brought to the table. I think by embracing those differences, the more the employees get involved in conversations and the more we can benefit from that family environment. One of those intangibles from the past year was transforming the culture. How did you go about doing that? Renee Storie: We created a vision statement, which was brand new, and I think everyone was waiting for it. We did one for our entire company, and we also created one for our frozen food division and then one for restaurants. And from there, we pulled together our values. We were excited about it, and now we feel like we have a place to look to not only in ourselves when we are working day-to-day, but also something to present to the employees and show them how we expect everyone to be. We have a very heavy family-like culture here, so we want to keep cultivating that. Speaking of Home Run Inn’s family tradition, how have you seen those values flourish since the company was founded? Storie: I did a survey about a year and a half ago, and one thing that I asked everyone was when you think of Home Run Inn, what's one thing that comes to mind? I'd say about 80 percent of our employees said family. Everyone has their differences but at the end of the day we come together, and we know we're here for a greater purpose. Gina Bolger: Because we operate like a family, I think one thing that works really well for us is that we're able to communicate. When there are tough times and we do have disagreements, we're learning the best way to communicate and work through those versus having problems develop. It's been nice to learn that portion, and it also translates into everything else you do in your life. Have those values then transcended to Home Run Inn’s products? Carlson: When people buy our product, we want them to realize that it's more than just another big box company with

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“When people buy our product, we want them to realize that it's more than just another big box company with something on the shelf. There's a family behind it, and there are people who are committed to it.”

—Mark Carlson, President of Frozen Foods

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something on the shelf. There's a family behind it, and there are people who are committed to it. Perrino: We want to be part of the communities that we serve, and when we work with our retailer partners that's one of the things that we always tell them. We want to serve you and serve the community and bring the highest quality product that we can, so that they trust our product, they see the consistency, and they can create their own family memories. I think that's what we're all about in that we're not just about profits, bottom line, or another pizza. We're about bringing a consistent, quality product to the consumer and to our retail partners. It sounds like these values, including empathy and transparency, have permeated throughout all the divisions at Home Run Inn. Mike Kelly: What we want to present to people throughout the company is that we are open with them and willing to work with them. We’re here to work with people and understand they have families and responsibilities outside of work. You have to be vulnerable, you have to be open, you have to communicate, and you have to be honest. And they see that coming top-down and bottom-up. Out of all the milestones from this past year, is there anything that resonates with you the most? Fred Fischer: One of the things that I think we've accomplished well is the ability to open up decisions that we might have to make in our own department to the rest of the group so that we can get that expertise from others, yet still have the independence and latitude to ultimately make the decision. I think that shows a lot of trust among the group. Brill: We spent the past year bonding and getting used to the ground rules of how we're going to be operating as a team, and going into 2018 we're starting to crystallize the foundation of that and build onto it with specific programs that we're all championing and that are going to build our company's future. Carlson: It's hard to describe what makes us different, but what you're not hearing us talk about is what's going on in the industry or what the market trends are. While we pay attention to those, we believe that if you put the right things in place with the right value system in place, then successes within the marketplace will be a byproduct.

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Home Run Inn is a proud, family-owned business that started as a small tavern on the Southside of Chicago in 1947. Today, we have 9 pizzeria locations throughout the Chicagoland area as well as frozen pizza distribution in over 35 states. Great ingredients are key to a great pizza. Home Run Inn is an all-natural pizza you’ll be proud to serve your family. Our recipe is simple, it’s our unique buttery crust, zesty sauce, plentiful cheese and homemade sausage that sets us apart. You’ll be sure to taste the difference!

W W W.HOMERUNINNPIZZA.COM


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In the midst of major transformation, Danna Szwed is modernizing the HR department at Ashley Furniture Industries and promoting the culture that’s made it the world’s top furniture manufacturer

By Porcshe N. Moran

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Alex B. Knox

anna Szwed does not manage the operations at Ashley Furniture Industries’ manufacturing and distribution center in Arcadia, Wisconsin, but she’s still a regular on the plant floor. The executive vice president and CHRO likes to admire the production process of the largest furniture manufacturer in the world, which sells nearly thirty million pieces each year and has more than seven thousand different product stock keeping units (SKU). Szwed joined Ashley Furniture in June 2016 after twenty years in the financial services industry. She says it’s exciting to now be associated with a company that produces tangible goods. “There is something fantastic about walking out on the manufacturing floor,” Szwed says. “All the raw materials are on one side, and as I walk down the assembly line I can watch the furniture from start to finish as it is being made and assembled.” Szwed’s journey to Ashley Furniture started with an unexpected call from a recruiter. At the time, she was a managing director for Citi, a global banking institution. Szwed, her husband, and their two children were living in Singapore with long-term plans to stay in Southeast Asia. “I wasn’t looking for a new position,” she recalls. “I was happy with my job, and the company was very good to me. My family and I had been in Singapore for nearly a decade, and we were enjoying life there. We had every intention of staying abroad until the kids graduated from high school.” Despite her contentment, Szwed says she was drawn to the prospect of being the head of human resources for a privately held, multinational enterprise based in the United States. Having started her HR career at General Motors in the 1990s, she also enjoyed the idea of returning to her roots in manufacturing. So, she talked to various executives at Ashley Furniture via Skype over the course of a few weeks

Danna Szwed // EVP, CHRO // Ashley Furniture Industries

and flew twenty hours from Singapore to Wisconsin for a full day and a half of interviews. Her time at the Ashley Furniture headquarters solidified her interest in the company. Szwed was impressed by the organization’s history, legacy, and strong culture. She also relished the opportunity to further advance the HR function during a period of significant transformation. Ashley Furniture’s extensive philanthropic efforts—in areas such as education, medical research, the arts, and children’s charities— appealed to Szwed as well. “When I left my on-site interviews, I knew that I was potentially going to be part of something really special that was once in a lifetime,” Szwed says. “For me to move my family halfway around the world, it had to be a pretty amazing opportunity—and indeed, it has been.” During her first one hundred days on the job, Szwed immersed herself in the HR division’s people, processes, and technology. Through conversations with employees, managers, and business leaders, she discovered that there was an opportunity to modernize the HR function. So, Szwed and her team developed a three-year road map to guide the department through 2019. In 2017, they focused on

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Culture of Togetherness Ashley Furniture Industries is the largest manufacturer of furniture in the world with major manufacturing facilities in the US and abroad. Ashley Furniture Industries supplies furniture to more than six thousand retail partners in 123 countries. Yet the company still maintains a strong culture of togetherness. Danna Szwed takes pride in the fact that the company offers a personal touch to all of its employees. Whether it’s a turkey on Thanksgiving or an annual picnic, the atmosphere is always focused on bringing work, family, and community together.

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organizational design, which included making sure that the HR function had the appropriate structure with the right people in the right roles. They also made changes to their strategies for recruitment, talent management, and succession planning. Szwed says they will continue to dig into these opportunities throughout 2018 while also aligning their approach to goal setting and performance management. “The level of change we are undertaking is significant. It will take several years to build mature programs,” Szwed explains. “We have so much opportunity in HR, and our strength is that we have an incredibly dedicated group of smart HR professionals who are highly motivated to transform the function.” Szwed views her role as enabling Ashley’s roughly 26,000 employees to realize their full potential in a quantifiable way that aligns to and drives business outcomes. She is also responsible for preserving, growing, and cultivating the company’s culture of positive employee experience and engagement. To facilitate that objective, Szwed and her team introduced Ashley’s first employee survey in January 2017. It’s a critical tool to determine employee engagement levels. Now, Ashley Furniture executives are using the survey results to have a more meaningful discussion about the employee experience and how it impacts business results. It has also provided a baseline for creating action plans with clear deliverables and deadlines. “The survey has a tremendous impact because we’ll use it as the measure by which we all hold ourselves accountable for creating a positive employee experience that encompasses the physical workspace, technology, and culture,” Szwed says. To create a positive employee experience, Ashley Furniture offers employees a competitive benefits package and perks that lend a personal touch, such as giving everyone a turkey for Thanksgiving and a small tree on Arbor Day. The company also hosts an annual picnic for employees and their families. President and CEO Todd Wanek stays connected to his corporate, supply chain, and retail employees through frequent communication, annual employee meetings, and site visits. “We do a nice job of connecting senior leadership with employees and bringing work, family, and community together,” Szwed says. “Even though we are almost 30,000 people big, it still has the favorable attributes of a small company. As an HR person, it is exciting to be able to think about how to take a strong culture from good to great.”


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We’re Hiring Everywhere. Really!

“We have so much

Ashley has exciting career opportunities around the world. Explore careers in sales, ecommerce, customer service, advanced manufacturing, quality, supply chain, logistics, marketing and so much more. This is a great time to join us.

opportunity in HR, and our strength is that we have an

Much more than a furniture store! As the world’s largest furniture manufacturer, we have opportunities to grow and continuously improve everywhere. We pride ourselves in creating a positive trade balance that directly benefits the US economy. What really makes us special is how we live and breathe our values, like “dirty fingernails” — having a learning mindset, with curiosity and passion to roll up our sleeves and dig in to solve challenges together. Our values unite us.

incredibly dedicated group of smart HR professionals who are highly motivated to transform the function.”

People first We’ve invested over $500 million helping people grow with exceptional benefits, expansive training programs, innovation labs, and our Idea Network. In our communities in which we work and live, we help keep dreams alive through our philanthropic efforts. We contribute to improving education, advancing medical research, and providing for children in need. There’s a lot to love at Ashley.

—Danna Szwed

Szwed and other company leaders also encourage employees to be curious, challenge the status quo, and think about new and different ways to operate in their own wheelhouse and beyond. “Not every idea has to be big and bold,” she says. “If every person in this organization could find a way to save just one dollar a day, then that would translate to about $9.5 million a year. If everyone has that continuous improvement mind-set and everyone is playing their part, even if it is small, then it can have a major impact at the aggregate level.” This agile, forward-thinking approach is essential as Ashley Furniture continues to expand and face the digital disruption that is altering the world of commerce. Szwed says the corporation is investing millions of dollars in new technology and IT talent in an effort to remain competitive. “We have to evolve our leadership style and employee experience to become a customer-first, technology-driven company that just happens to manufacture and distribute furniture,” Szwed explains. “The task of putting forward an HR agenda in this rapidly changing environment can be overwhelming at times, but it is also thrilling. We know there is so much opportunity, and we have barely scratched the surface.”

Newest Opportunities • Production & Bedding Plant Management • Director of Carrier Operations • Forecast Analysts • Vice President of Wholesale Distribution Operations • Product Development Engineering • Retail Sales Associates

A P P LY TO DAY JobsAshleyFurniture.com/Corporate Q3/18

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H-E-B’s Tina James on how compassion and a shared focus on helping one another echo company-wide

By Will Grant

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ina James wasn’t expecting an extensive stay with H-E-B. Originally from Washington, DC, James pictured that putting in a few years at the supermarket chain right after earning her MBA would help her cut her teeth in business, but she never imagined remaining in Texas. After transitioning to an HR role in the company, though, James experienced what she still considers one of the most monumental moments of her career when H-E-B worked to help its employees—who the company affectionately refers to as partners—and community members alike combat severe flooding on the Guadalupe River. H-E-B provided goods and services that partners may have been without, and it was James’s job to ensure that every team member received them. Providing supplies off the shelves, gift certificates to replace clothing, and hotel rooms for those whose homes were underwater, James witnessed firsthand how each team member was treated with respect and dignity. “I’d never seen anything like it,” James recalls. “They just believe in helping people.” More than twenty years later and now as the company’s chief people officer, James is committed to serving each and every H-E-B employee with the same family mind-set and spirit that inspired her early in her career. She says the partner-centered culture at H-E-B is not only a hallmark of the company, but it’s also responsible for incredible employee engagement and retention.

“That is what really distinguishes us,” James explains. “When you treat people like their whole life matters to you, they engage heavily and are loyal and take care of their customers.” James says the company doesn’t have to offer a litany of customer service programs or initiatives, because a culture of service is deeply ingrained in the philosophy of H-E-B. “We treat our people right and trust that they’ll do the same for our customers,” she adds. James is the first chief people officer in the company’s 113-year history. In her extensive career at H-E-B, James has used her HR role to serve partners in increasingly progressive means that she feels is reflective of the company’s strong culture. For example, when the US Department of Transportation regulations called for drivers to put an emphasis on physical fitness, James’s department hand-crafted a program to aid drivers’ adaptations to the new health expectations. “It’s a case of asking yourself, ‘What is the right thing to do here, and how can we help people be at their best?’” James says. In an effort to continue helping underserved or overlooked populations, her team has worked to expand mental health coverage and options for H-E-B partners and their families. “Any mom will tell you the story of trying to get their child in to see a mental health professional, and you have to have empathy,” James says. In hopes of minimizing wait times and bureaucratic red tape, H-E-B formed a healthcare alliance with several providers that offer partners the opportunity

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Tina James // Chief People Officer // H-E-B

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to see health professionals on a day-of basis, far from the weeks or months it can commonly take. James and her team have also reengineered H-E-B’s interview and hiring processes for candidates with high-functioning autism. She says that genius-level minds are often passed over because their communication style may not fit a conventional job interview. “The very skills they don’t have are ones they need to pass an interview,” James says. By tweaking the interview and hiring practices, James says that partners were able to demonstrate their mastery as IT professionals, testers, and developers, and oftentimes, completely change their lives. A new year-round program will also train about twelve interns with high-functioning autism at a time. James says it’s demonstrated that managers don’t have to do anything particularly “special” to accommodate those with autism. “To be honest, the special skills it takes to manage partners with autism are just good management practices: be clear in your expectations, give timely feedback, and provide examples of alternative behavior,” she explains. And while H-E-B’s commitment to its partners was a formative experience for her early in her career, James had the opportunity to face down floodwaters while at the helm of HR. Hurricane Harvey’s catastrophic impact on Texas left James and the entire H-E-B team with new and novel action items. Along with generators and mobile kitchens, James recalls that this was the first time the company had to run down mobile shower units to send into disaster areas. “I have the most high-performing team I could ever imagine,” James says. “You can’t write a playbook for something like Hurricane Harvey. You just have to hope you have the best people around you, and they will rise to the occasion.”

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“I have the most highperforming team I could ever imagine. You can’t write a playbook for something like Hurricane Harvey. You just have to hope you have the best people around you, and they will rise to the

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A Foundation of Giving Back Since its debut in Kerrville, Texas, in 1905, H-E-B has promoted a culture of strong partner and community support for more than one hundred years. But it’s a mind-set that goes beyond just support for its employees and the community. It’s about treating each other like family—a tradition that continues to this day. Whether that is in day-to-day operations or in times of disaster, H-E-B has demonstrated leadership in going the extra mile for its partners and its community. After Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas, the H-E-B mobile disaster units served more than sixty thousand hot meals to Texans. H-E-B has been a leader in the recovery efforts, and the Butt family has contributed more than $10 million to efforts in Houston and the Gulf Coast in addition to sending hundreds of volunteers to assist with clean-up efforts.

occasion.”

— Tina James

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“When you treat people like their whole life matters to you, they engage heavily and are loyal and take care of their customers.”

— Tina James

And James says H-E-B continues to demonstrate its willingness to go the extra mile. For partners who had flood insurance, H-E-B helped to pay their deductibles. For those who didn’t have insurance, H-E-B helped to pay for home repairs. “I don’t know of many other employers who would do that,” James says. “But if your brother or sister were in that position, wouldn’t you do what you could to help them?” In return, James says, H-E-B employees demonstrated their loyalty and pride in their company when it truly counted. “We had partners who, on their own, decided to walk a mile and a half in waist-deep water to try and get to their store,” James says. “Those partners opened up the store and welcomed customers with open arms, because they knew our customers had been devastated.” And for James, it all comes back to the company motto that is passed from employee to customer: Each and every person counts.

Give them a bonus on day one.

Once your employees experience the ease, security and access to the many programs Blue Cross provides, they’ll look back on their first day and realize you gave them so much more.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) has served the healthcare needs of Texans for more than eighty years. We are proud of our long-standing relationship with H-E-B and thank Tina James for recognizing the benefit of our dedicated programs. A Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association PROFILE

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The Difference Makers Encompass Health’s Brooke Glennon relies on technology and passion to keep up with the growing demand for medical professionals Words by A D A M K I V E L

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When Brooke Glennon failed organic chemistry in college, she knew she had to make a change—but that didn’t mean her passion for helping others changed with it. The biomedical science student knew she needed to readjust her focus, but also wanted to ensure she could remain in the healthcare world. After picking up a minor in communications at Auburn University, Glennon began carving out a new path—one that combined her having graduated cum laude with a bachelor of science with her newfound communications skills. “I didn’t necessarily want to be treating patients hands-on, but I knew I wanted to stay involved in the medical field,” Glennon explains. “Working for an organization that is improving patients’ lives is the motivating factor for me.” Glennon took that passion to her role as a therapy recruitment specialist at Encompass Health (then known as HealthSouth) in 2006 and has spent the decade-plus since helping the organization similarly overcome challenges and provide top-tier care. At the time Glennon started with Encompass Health, the organization had just faced the exit of a CEO who had been reporting fraudulent earnings. The organization was also struggling with staffing issues: Only three HR representatives were supporting about one hundred hospitals and several hundred outpatient clinics. But drawing from her college experience, Glennon knew that no challenge was insurmountable. She quickly rose through other leadership roles, from national recruiter to specializing in campus recruitment and acting as a human resources project manager for the organization as a whole. Most recently, Glennon became associate director of recruitment marketing and operations, further allowing her to find innovative solutions that make a direct impact on the organization’s ability to recruit top talent. Partnering with the vice president of talent acquisition, Glennon began identifying holes in Encompass Health’s processes, particularly places in which technology could make a strong impact on talent strategy. They quickly noted that vendors such as Avature offered tools that could make a massive impact on their efforts. “We really just started tackling things one at a time, trying to build up our recruitment efficiency,” Glennon explains. “Technology has by far been the biggest change agent within the talent acquisition space over the last decade.” To enhance this approach, Encompass Health has specifically opted to work with technologies with which it can pair its dedicated personal touch. Though recruitment tools are helping the company identify candidates, track progress, and more, talented recruiters are still phone screening candidates and building personal relationships. “That should never change,” Glennon says. “But once we’ve built that relationship, we really want to make sure that the process going forward is as easy and simple as possible for the candidate. We have a team

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Brooke Glennon Associate Director, Recruitment Marketing and Operations Encompass Health


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“Working for an organization that is improving patients’ lives is the motivating factor for me.” BROOKE GLENNON

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of dedicated recruiters who are sourcing top talent, staying in touch with warm leads, and guiding candidates through the application and interview process. While technology is rapidly changing the landscape of recruiting, we do not want to stray away from the personal touch of a recruiter.” One particular tool used in that effort is video interviewing, which works to ensure that Encompass Health can arrange interviews even with, for example, nurses who might be working night shifts and unable to make it into the office during the recruiters’ working hours. Instead, the nurses could record videos in which they answer interview questions and submit them to recruiters. Despite its advantages, Glennon needed to ease concerns that the video interviews would harm the candidate experience. “We had to carve out time to help candidates through the process and explain the best practices to recruiters,” she says. “But we shared the value in being able to evaluate clients faster, often within 24–48 hours, whenever it’s convenient for that hiring manager. Especially in a healthcare system, where hiring managers are also treating patients, trying to set aside part of their day to interview someone can be really challenging.” Another clear advantage offered by these technological advances comes from data analysis. By using Avature’s candidate relationship management system (CRM) and an applicant tracking system, the organization can more easily and quickly visualize and analyze data based on the high volume of candidates. “Through the use of tools such as our online reference checking tool and our assessments, we are providing hiring managers with a more well-rounded view of the candidate’s skills and abilities,” Glennon explains. Additionally, Encompass Health communicates with candidates using the mediums they prefer, such as SMS and social

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media, in order to provide the best possible experience. “In fact, our SMS is integrated via Avature, and we use Avature portals to collect leads via our social media campaigns,” Glennon says. Beyond providing a better experience for candidates, these technological tools have made life easier for Encompass Health employees as well. In the past, recruiters were frequently duplicating work because there wasn’t a single resource where they could share information. After implementing Avature’s CRM solution, recruiters have been able to work more efficiently. For example, they can now run saved searches for résumés overnight so that they can identify new talent each morning. The tools offer transparency, as well. Recruiters can see each other’s work and build standardized interview forms and email templates to share best practices between the twenty-eight team members. “Avature has allowed our recruiters to operate more efficiency, allowing them more time to spend with the candidates, and collecting valuable feedback from their hiring managers,” Glennon says. “It has provided greater insight into our best sources for talent, which in turn affects how we invest our recruitment marketing funds.” As the organization prepares for the increasing struggles of the complex talent market in healthcare, technology will continue to be a key part of recruitment strategy on college campuses. Encompass Health connects with about fifty schools each year, and Avature customizable campus and events portal is allowing Glennon’s team to electronically capture leads at events and effectively communicate with those leads. The Avature internship portal similarly enables Encompass Health to report back on how many interns they have, on exactly who those interns are, and then to engage with them to potentially convert them to a hire. “In addition to our presence on campuses, we partner with schools to allow students to come and study under clinical instructors to get those clinical hours that they need,” Glennon says. “We’re trying to be proactive

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“My team feels very connected to our company’s values and mission of providing highquality patient care. When we fill a nursing position or a therapy position, we know that we’re having a direct impact on a patient’s life and a person’s ability to get better.” BROOKE GLENNON

and show them what it’s like to work here. If they spend several weeks in our hospital and really like what we do, then chances are we can convert them to a hire.” More than recruiting and retaining top talent, these tools and strategies have combined to greater overall success for the organization. However, even newfound success has proven to be a new outlet for which advanced technology has become key. “Prior to implementing Avature, we didn’t have a way to track how successful our recruiting events were,” Glennon says. “Now, I can see where each of those leads end up in our recruiting pipeline. That has been vital in our recruitment efforts.” Looking to the future, Encompass Health is seeking to further stand at the forefront of Google’s job search technology. In 2017, the organization launched Google’s unrivaled search technology on its career site, adding a further level of ease to applicants’ search experience. “The Google Cloud Jobs API allows for a sleek and user-friendly search experience,” Glennon explains. Now, searches return better results than merely exact matches. It also provides more intuitive results and eliminates the need to display internal job categorizations, which might not always be intuitive for someone outside of an organization. Encompass Health further enhanced its website to provide a personalized candidate experience, offering relevant jobs based on users’ geographic location and site behavior. The healthcare industry is facing a nursing shortage in part due to the growing wave of elder patients needing care, and any advantage that an organization can get is important. But beyond the technological advantages they’ve employed, the key advantage Encompass Health has is its powerful mission. “My team feels very connected to our company’s values and mission of providing high-quality patient care,” Glennon says. “When we fill a nursing position or a therapy position, we know that we’re having a direct impact on a patient’s life and a person’s ability to get better.”


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Celebrating Change Jim Viola on building Party City’s talent culture and creating unforgettable moments

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By W I L L G R A N T

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While some may try to avoid change at all costs, Jim Viola relishes it. As Party City’s vice president and head of human resources, Viola has learned to leverage a career seemingly grounded in destabilization. Each stop in his career seems to coincide with a cultural overhaul, and Viola saw the same opportunity when coming to Party City. After spending only a few minutes with Viola, one quickly realizes that he is a visionary leader who strives to put people first. Even with numerous career highlights, Viola prefers to share stories of people development—his proudest accomplishments. Viola has the unique ability to inspire individuals, empowering them to achieve greater results than they thought were possible, and to lead people through change while coaching, motivating, and mentoring. Turning a workplace into a community is no easy feat for any leader, but Viola excels at it. In a little less than four years, Viola has worked to create a new direction based on a talent culture, talent development, metrics, and the belief that satisfied associates directly translate to satisfied customers. “I define myself as a change agent,” Viola says. His first taste of real cultural change came halfway through a sixteen-year career at specialty brand retailer Lord & Taylor. Viola helped develop a strategy to remove the siloes in the organization that had been in place for more than one hundred years. The brand also began promoting to a younger demographic, which presented another set of challenges. “We brought more of the product development in-house, and it helped me think about change in a way that wasn’t just changing our customer demographic,” Viola explains. “It changed the nature of everything that we do.” That extensive overhaul was Viola’s first exposure to how difficult change management is, especially on such a massive scale. But he views it as one of his defining experiences. Further down the road, Viola would move into a role as senior vice president of organizational effectiveness and human resources at Saks Fifth Avenue. He says the company went through an extensive reconfiguring in

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customer service satisfaction, as well as clienteling. Viola says the venture included system implementation, role reassignment, aligning employees to work collaboratively, and uniting marketing efforts. A third major culture overhaul occurred during Viola’s tenure as chief learning officer for the mattress retail chain Sleepy’s. Initially, Viola found the regional retailer steeped in a heavy culture based in both aggressive sales and sales techniques. “We sold mattresses and bedding products, and the way we were going to win long-term was to create a culture of service by selling sleep, health, and wellness,” Viola explains. Over a nearly four-year period, Viola says the company focused on training and building an infrastructure to drive a service culture. “By recognizing and rewarding those right behaviors, we were able to turn that culture into one where it was sales driven by service and not the other way around,” Viola says. Since coming to Party City in 2014, Viola has worked to engineer change on just as large of a scale across the company. He immediately sought to staff, restructure, and redefine his HR team. Viola says he sought out experts in their field and leaders that he knew would buy-in to the talent-driven culture he was working to promote. Viola grew the department as well as its functions—including learning and development and total rewards. Viola also focused on talent development while addressing Party City’s massive seasonal staffing that more than doubles a company of 13,000 to more than 30,000 during the Halloween season. Every season, about three hundred of Party City’s most promising, upcoming talent are selected to manage groups of stores under Party City’s Halloween City brand. For Party City, it serves as a 4–5 month development opportunity in order to identify the company’s future leaders. For talent, it’s an invaluable learning experience and a chance to assume a position they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to take on. “We know now who our next leaders are,” Viola says. “It makes the whole internal promotion process so much more effective.” Internal promotion is one of the hallmarks of the culture Viola is working to promote. That also includes placing a definable premium on talent. Viola says helping define


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Jim Viola,

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the ways to succeed was made effective after introducing a VP, Head of HR competency model. Party City “We identified a competency model for critical roles that defined what is required to be great in their job and to get promoted to the next level,” Viola explains. “Additionally, we were able to assess all of our talent against a common set of competencies and, in doing that as a company, we were then able to identify the gaps.” That also meant Party City could identify the skills and competencies that would be necessary to help leaders continue to grow and evolve. Viola hopes that redefining the culture inside Party City will ultimately result in an increasingly focused customer approach. “I can say that we have a culture that is transparent and where associates can show their passion for our products and the work that

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they do,” Viola says. “That’s where associates want to help each other and serve customers.” That evolution in the spirit of service and selling, Viola says, is paramount to Party City’s promise, which is to make it easy to create unforgettable moments for customers. While Viola’s HR and leadership team has a litany of plans both technical and behavioral to continue redefining Party City’s culture, Viola’s own agent of change philosophy seems to frame Party City’s future as a bright one: “It’s about building great teams, creating great experiences, and fostering a culture that engages, inspires, and recognizes great performance,” he says.

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Orchestrating a Winning Culture Tracy Bargielski helps ensure that all divisions at Yamaha are playing the same tune By J E F F S I LV E R

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Elton John, Josh Groban, Chaka Khan, and Sheryl Crow have a few things in common. They’re all platinum-selling artists , they’re all Yamaha-sponsored artists, and they’ve performed as part of the company’s One Yamaha initiative—a program that could only be led by someone with the acumen of HR leader Tracy Bargielski. Before she came to Yamaha, Bargielski already had a broad range of HR experience and tremendous insight into how HR needs to integrate with the business. She also understood the importance of aligning human capital with key business initiatives. As an officer of the company, corporate secretary, and vice president of the HR division, Bargielski has applied her expertise and extensive efforts into transforming the HR function so that it better supported Yamaha Corporation’s objectives and exponentially improved company culture and morale. When she arrived, Bargielski faced several significant challenges. Within three months of joining the company, the 2008

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Tracy Bargielski Officer, Corporate Secretary, VP of HR Division Yamaha

recession hit and Yamaha experienced its first across-the-board layoffs, which took a toll on morale. Additionally, company divisions lacked collaborative relationships with HR that could help them adapt to changing business demands. “We needed to immediately evaluate and identify operating costs, existing structures, and the skill sets needed to create sustainable improvement without further damaging morale,” Bargielski explains. “We also had to start rebuilding trust.” She addressed all of these issues and more through a multi-pronged approach that uses a number of different strategies and initiatives. HR now focuses on the right fit for the culture and for the job. To support this focus, the company uses the Process Communication Model (PCM), which identifies individual personalities, motivators, and communication styles. The tool, which is also used by NASA, helps predict, diagnose, and prescribe actions that will improve business performance. Combined with strong development programs, the overall quality of new hires and

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engagement have increased, turnover rates have dropped dramatically, and individual performance has improved. In fact, results of ninety-day surveys and one-year employee reviews have, on average, returned higher scores, and new hires are consistently among the company’s top performers. All of these results have also been correlated to yearover-year growth in revenue since the efforts went into full gear. Bargielski has also positioned HR as a trusted resource for addressing a variety of operational challenges. “We’ve nurtured a new perspective so that HR is seen as a partner that is able to recognize and address critical workforce planning details,” she says. “We look beyond traditional planning, where strategies are aligned with the necessary budgets to include human capital and how it facilitates achieving business objectives.” In one instance, a division was transitioning its traditional marketing strategy from print to a nearly completely digital approach. HR was able to identify a critical lack of expertise among existing staff to accomplish that goal. Working closely with division management, Bargielski and her team were able to pinpoint the skill gap and develop a targeted recruitment and hiring strategy in less than three months. The HR team also helps facilitate a unified vision of the company by contributing to Yamaha’s numerous global initiatives. These programs help share best practices between subsidiaries and help develop high-potential employees. One example is the Yamaha Global Institute. The year-long program takes a team consisting of members from subsidiaries around the world to company facilities in several countries, provides advanced training at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, and challenges them to develop a ten-year business plan. HR also plays a major role in promoting the One Yamaha initiative and a corporate philosophy that is based on the power of music and sound and the bond it creates between people and different cultures around the world. “By focusing on the One Yamaha philosophy—no matter what an individual’s role is—we can identify the impact each person has and how they make a difference and contribute to our mission and our customers,” Bargielski says. “It’s a communal effort that we’re all a part of.” The company kicks off One Yamaha every year by closing its offices for a daylong meeting at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. The event is capped off by a private concert, that—in addition to international stars—has showcased performers, such as a group of Wounded Warriors who were able to reduce their PTSD symptoms by learning to play guitar. Bargielski has also made great strides in developing successful communication and collaboration among divisions and creating a

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“HR is seen as a partner that is able to recognize and address critical workforce planning details. We look beyond traditional planning, where strategies are only aligned with the necessary budgets, to include human capital and how it facilitates achieving business objectives.” T RACY BA R G I E LS K I

warm, collaborative, and supportive culture. She even developed a morale calendar, an idea that was hatched along with her former boss and mentor Brian Jemelian, senior vice president of finance and administration, who passed away suddenly in the summer of 2017. Additionally, events such as the Quarterback Challenge during football season, Spirit Week (including Crazy Hair Day and Rock ‘n’ Roll Day), and a Yamaha Idol contest have all helped make community and company culture high-profile priorities that invite broad participation and are hard to neglect or overlook. “The morale calendar is a reminder of how important an enjoyable and supportive environment is,” Bargielski says. “It’s a way for us to share, plan, and look forward to having fun with each other.” That spirit has become infectious. Two of the company’s Japanese divisions wanted to participate in the Halloween contest last year and sent in pictures so they could compete.

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It’s all part of Bargielski’s belief that by focusing on Yamaha’s people, its culture, and how all the elements are part of a larger whole, HR can help to position the company and each individual for sustainable, longterm success.

Revolution Advisors is proud to have been a strategic partner for Yamaha for more than a decade. Our cross-functional teams of consulting experts have partnered with Yamaha and other clients around the globe to drive meaningful change and help organizations tackle some of their toughest challenges. We make revolutionary change a reality.

Ultimate Software is a leading cloud provider of human capital management solutions. Ultimate’s award-winning UltiPro® delivers HR, payroll, and talent management solutions designed to improve the employee experience at all levels of the organization. Founded in 1990, Ultimate supports thousands of customers representing diverse industries, managing millions of people worldwide.

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Resource Energy Systems congratulates James Cummings on his achievements and contributions. We wish James many years of continued success.

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How Five Values Changed Everything James Cummings details how resurrecting GGP started with building a strong culture By O L A FA L E T I

Emily Nelms

A little more than seven years ago, high-quality retail real estate company GGP, which specializes in shopping malls, emerged from bankruptcy. By the time James Cummings arrived—now senior vice president, controller—executives at the company were already crafting the values that would not only lead the company to financially flourish, but also motivate and inspire members of the team. The result was five core values: Humility, attitude, do the right thing, together, and own it. Since crafting those values, GGP’s success has skyrocketed. And Cummings has been there every step of the way, proving that a strong culture is a recipe for victory. HUMILITY Few things are more humbling than declaring bankruptcy. For GGP in 2010, it might have been an inevitability. “Decisions were made without consulting other departments,” Cummings recalls. “Communication was poor.” One could say financial turmoil was a blessing in disguise, though. It allowed GGP to regroup, reassess, and strategically plan

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the next move. Communication is key across all of the company’s departments, Cummings says, but even more so when mistakes are made and especially at a company with more than 120 mall properties. “I’d much rather have bad news right away than have it as a problem down the road,” Cummings says. “I tend to be level-headed. When mistakes happen, they happen. We just have to talk it through.” Humility, Cummings says, is about not taking success for granted. Even though GGP has risen to become one of the top mall owners in the country and in the S&P 500, growth doesn’t stop. “We’re still evolving,” Cummings says. “I don’t want people to get stuck in the mind-set that we’ve made it.” ATTITUDE Change can be daunting, and retail is constantly evolving. Rather than being threatened, Cummings views change through an opportunistic lens. This opportunity-rich attitude is what he wants to cultivate James at the company. Cummings “There are sysSVP, Controller tems to do data GGP calculations and fewer places where

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humans touch the data, so human interaction is that much more valuable,” he says. “We need people who really understand that data and who will ask the right questions.” Good accountants and developers are common. What matters is the kind of thinker and teammate the person is. In fact, not coming from a traditional accounting background has given Cummings the leeway to ask questions about systems that have long been in place. He encourages that same curiosity in his team. “One of my pet peeves is when I ask why we do something, and the response is that we’ve always done it that way,” he says. “I tell new hires not to take that as an answer.” DO THE RIGHT THING Doing the right thing means ensuring that everyone follows the rules—even when shortcuts are the easy way out. Cummings admits that doing the right thing also has its own set of challenges. “We have goals for revenue and expenses, and sometimes people want to make deals as flexible as possible,” he says. “At the end of the day, we’ve had to tell clients that some things won’t work.” At times, Cummings has had to step in with clients to let them know the answer for a request is no. He also tells his team to ask for support. Playing by the rules is no small feat, especially in accounting. Doing the right thing is about being courteous and kind, too, Cummings says. “People are judging you every day whether you know it or not,” he says. “That’s why it’s important to do the right thing.” TOGETHER Cummings’s favorite value—together— directly affects all other performances across departments. As he explains, with more than 250 people in accounting, it’s crucial for

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“People are judging you every day whether you know it or not. That’s why it’s important to do the right thing.” JAM E S C U M M I N G S

everyone to be involved in the happenings across the company. Cummings recounts his first assignment in January 2012. His team was preparing for an earnings call and discovered that a $12 million item in the budget was unaccounted for. “I went around to four or five people in the accounting department and in finance,” he recalls. “Nobody wanted to help. They said, ‘Go away, I’m busy’ or ‘That’s not mine to worry about.’” Ultimately, the item ended up being taken out of the budget. It proved a valuable point: The culture of GGP needed to change—and fast. Now, others are more receptive to helping one another. Beyond the office, Cummings encourages the team to get to know the managers at their malls. “It’s as simple as calling up the GMs to say, ‘Hey, what’s going on at your mall? What can we help you with?’” Cummings says. OWN IT When people understand what’s happening in other departments, they feel a clearer ownership over their work, Cummings says. “They aren’t just checking a box,” he says. “What accountants do affects the mall, developers, and leasers. They know it’s important to put out a good product.” Looking ahead, the next big development for GGP is an overdue software update. Considering the last update took place a few years ago, Cummings views this as an opportunity to bring the property accounting and financial operations teams together. Cummings says this will not only develop team camaraderie, but it will also allow both teams to better understand the updates and take ownership of the work. With a team that prioritizes communication, innovation, transparency, and an eye toward the future, it seems like the only way for GGP to go is up.


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Fueling the Evolution Myra Rosen’s work as global head of human resources and communications has helped propel Ascensia Diabetes Care’s rapid growth and bring the company—and the industry—closer together By A D A M K I V E L

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Paul Epp

A

At the beginning of 2016, Panasonic Healthcare (recently renamed PHC) purchased Bayer AG’s Diabetes Care business, immediately creating a massive impact in the diabetes care industry. But the changes for the team didn’t end there. Rather than integrate into Panasonic Healthcare, the newly formed Ascensia Diabetes Care business was spun out as an independent company, allowing it to further develop innovative, high-quality solutions. While the move will soundly position Ascensia to better the lives of millions of individuals fighting the effects of diabetes in more than 125 countries where their products are available, such rapid change resulted in major challenges when it came to culture and cohesion. But Myra Rosen, Ascensia’s global head of human resources and communications and a member of the Ascensia Executive Management Board, has worked with her team to develop a plan that has been essential to the smooth transition. “It’s an evolution, not a revolution,” Rosen says. “We’ve spent time to determine what environment people excel in and what the company can do well, and then expanded from there. People can fuel it organically, and we have seen that they’re energized and want to be involved.” The organic nature of the change proved to be a necessary aspect of the split from Bayer, not only for the organization as a whole, but also for Rosen’s team. At Bayer, there were HR business partners and communications leads for each country. However, they were not dedicated to the diabetes care business, so they were not part of the transition. Only three HR team members and one team member from communications transferred to Ascensia after the move, so Rosen took the opportunity to build an HR and communications team from scratch, one that could move fluidly and skillfully to meet the needs of the business. The team now stands at about fifty members. Additionally, the much larger Bayer had solutions in place to assist in taking care of operational aspects of HR and communications. As Ascensia separated, Rosen and her team needed to find innovative solutions without the same support platforms available. “We needed to make sure the basics such as payroll were taken care of,” Rosen explains. “When you carve out a business, HR needs to be functioning as normal within the first weeks in order to make sure people are paid and the like. On the communications side, it was critical to our business continuity that we kept employees informed and updated during this time of significant change, so we needed to establish internal communications channels and processes right away. In a sense, we were laying the floor while we were trying to walk across the room.” All of these challenges required an agile, collaborative approach and leaders with a diversity of skills. It helped that Rosen joined Bayer in diabetes care more than a decade ago, after a short stint consulting for the organization. Even before joining Bayer, Rosen had established a long history in the healthcare field—dating back to her high school job working in a doctor’s office. In between, she held roles as a manager of training and development for a property and casualty insurance company, a decade as senior director of human resources at Medco Health Solutions (now part of Express Scripts), and was president of MLR Coaching, her own company in which Rosen supported high-performing corporate executives, Fortune 100 companies, and small business owners to maximize their personal leadership.

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Myra Rosen Global Head of HR and Communications Ascensia Diabetes Care

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Rosen’s extensive experience with the organization and in the healthcare industry was a strong base, but Rosen’s background in staffing, training, compensation, and organizational development, as well as a degree in psychology, meant that she could ensure that the growing team could adapt and adjust as needed. Rosen was able to find the right strengths and skills to apply to each challenge—both for the HR and communications functions, as well as the company at large. When first building out Ascensia’s new structure, Rosen’s background and unique perspective helped consolidate those strengths even further by adding communications under her purview. Her affinity for crossing borders between functions and adept communication with stakeholders made her the logical fit, and this strategic decision quickly paid dividends. “My perspective is that one of the critical roles of the head of HR should be enabling others in various business settings and finding their strengths,” she explains. “At the same time, the key to communications is effectively delivering messages and engaging stakeholders, which is a vital skill in HR when it comes to employees. Because of this overlap, it made sense to bring the two functions under one leader, especially during a time of intense change for the organization. At the end of the day, the role I truly love best is being a coach and a business partner, whether that’s in HR or communications.” That growth and change didn’t end with the placement of the communications function, either. As Ascensia has quickly progressed since its establishment, Rosen has needed to ensure that not only were those successes communicated with the entire organization, but also needed to ensure the growth strategy was constantly updated to keep current business needs top of mind. “We needed to bring in new skill sets, innovate for technology, and continue to think about our products and services,” Rosen says. “This means a focus on hiring new talent, developing the skills of our existing employees, and continuing to communicate our business strategy and vision to ensure that all employees are behind it.” And rather than make those decisions in a business vacuum, Ascensia continues to rely on strong communication with its customers as well as within the organization. Rosen gathers customer feedback from internal and external customers to understand their needs and whether or not the team and organization are meeting those needs.

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“I believe that culture must be developed organically and cannot be imposed from above, which is why we have encouraged involvement from as many people as possible.” MYRA R O S E N

Arching over all of these efforts is what Ascensia has called a culture evolution program, a project deemed to be more than merely an HR topic or a communications topic. There’s no end to the organization’s growth in sight, and that means Ascensia’s culture will be evolving right along with it. One major phase of the program involved distributing employee surveys, holding conversations at the leadership level, and communicating the findings in culture discussions throughout the organization. “ We have seen impressive levels of engagement from employees in this activity,” Rosen explains. “The employee survey was completed by 89 percent of employees, and we held more than one hundred culture talks with almost one thousand employees, which is around 60 percent of our workforce.” After these culture talks, a network of culture champions has been created as ambassadors that embody the consensus-built culture and core values for others. “We want to reinforce behaviors that create an environment in which people can excel,” Rosen says. “That will naturally expand so that every employee becomes a culture champion.” The approach of involving employees throughout was critical to the program. “Our culture evolution program is an example of how we are trying to build the organization and culture that will help us succeed as an

independent business,” Rosen explains. “I believe that culture must be developed organically and cannot be imposed from above, which is why we have encouraged involvement from as many people as possible and used their input to define its future direction.” Between local and global get-togethers reaching upwards of one thousand employees each time, news distributed through the Ascensia intranet and the use of Yammer to connect global offices and allow two-way communication. Rosen and her team are looking for any opportunity to connect with employees to keep that process moving. Employees are spread across thirty countries and speak many different languages, but the cohesive connection between HR and communication strategies have already laid a solid groundwork. It all goes back to Rosen’s passion for empowering people in their roles, no matter who they might be. “Empowerment and accountability are the drivers for Ascensia. I see myself as somebody who unblocks whatever hurdles may be in front of them,” she explains. “We have stayed focused on what the business needs were and made sure everyone understood our mission, vision, and values that were created by our employees. We wanted to ensure everyone could identify with the culture and that is helping us see results.”


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The Keys to Collaboration XL Catlin’s Elliott Bundy says a strong culture that values talent, continued improvement, and innovation is the global insurance firm’s foundation for success

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By P O R C S H E N . M O R A N

Elliott Bundy’s former career as a political communications specialist was far from glamorous. He recalls the days when his car was overflowing with candidate yard signs and nights he spent at low-rent motels. Still, Bundy says he wouldn’t trade that time for the world. The job yielded gains in both his personal and professional life, including getting invaluable training and meeting his wife. It also led him to his current position as the chief communications and marketing officer and managing director for XL Catlin, an insurance and reinsurance company that provides property, casualty, and specialty products to industrial, commercial, and professional firms; insurance companies; and other enterprises throughout the world. Bundy joined XL Group in October 2010. XL Group acquired and merged with Catlin Group Limited in January 2015, and the primary business brand is now XL Catlin. In 2006, Bundy served as press secretary and policy director for then-US Senate candidate Mike McGavick, who became CEO of XL Group in 2008. “Working in campaigns was an incredibly rewarding experience even on the tough days,” Bundy says. “As a training mechanism, there is nothing like it. The skills I developed are applicable to a lot of different things in corporate communications and marketing.” During XL Group’s acquisition of Catlin, two people from each corporation represented each function to ensure that the integration was well planned. Bundy guided the marketing and communications

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implementation team as it handled all communications around the transaction. His team also worked on unifying the marketing and communications functions of both companies, which involved refining the new brand identity and cultural statements. Bundy says the process was a success from almost every metric, but not everything was perfect. “The merger was a collaborative effort across both legacy groups,” Bundy explains. “Yet some of the subtler differences between the two companies didn’t come out in the early parts of the integration, and that took some time to iron out. I found that paying attention to everything and taking an active listening approach reveals those things that might seem subtle at first are actually very important.” As chief communications and marketing officer, Bundy supervises fifty-five people who are based in different XL Group offices around the world. Together, they execute internal and external activities, such as writing corporate press releases and organizing business partner advertising. The structure of XL Group’s communications and marketing team is designed to expose each of Bundy’s

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team members to the entire spectrum of communications and marketing tasks. It also offers flexibility as to which projects people get involved in. “We hire people who have a wide variety of interests and backgrounds within the communications and marketing space,” he says. “Therefore, they are interested in a lot of different things that we are working on. For the most part, people aren’t siloed into specific skill sets and that encourages collaboration.” In his other role as managing director, Bundy is one of a hundred individuals who act as an extended leadership body of the firm. They deal with strategy reviews and recent efforts such as XL Catlin’s diversity and inclusion program. The managing directors make it easier for the company’s nearly eight thousand employees to be connected and empowered. “By extending the leadership group out to managing directors, every colleague is one degree closer to someone who can work with them on making real decisions within the organization,” Bundy says. “This is a firm where anyone can send our CEO an email, get a response, and possibly impact change. It’s a hard thing to achieve in a large, global company that is highly regulated, but it is something we feel is very important.” Although Bundy has many responsibilities, shaping and fostering the culture of XL Group might be the most crucial. He partners with HR managing directors, the corporate leadership team, and broader business leaders to cement XL Group’s unique attributes. The corporation’s culture revolves around five commitments: be accountable, collaborate, do what’s right, be future-focused, and make it better. Being flexible, entrepreneurial, and innovative are other qualities that XL Catlin professionals value. “We describe our strategy as talent plus continuous improvement plus innovation,” Bundy says. “These are the playground level instructions for how one should think, act, and work at the company. This is what drives us forward and sets us apart.” Bundy says culture wasn’t something he thought about much before coming to XL Group, but his eight years with the firm have changed his perspective. “The degree to which we pay attention to culture is something that I now view as

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“This is a firm where anyone can send our CEO an email, get a response, and possibly impact change. It’s a hard thing to achieve in a large, global company that is highly regulated, but it is something we feel is very important.” E L L I OT T B U N DY

essential to the success of most enterprises,” he says. “Our view is that strategy, people, and culture have to work together.” The payoff of XL Group’s commitment to culture is felt in every area of the company. Bundy says it can be difficult for a business to differentiate itself in a commodity industry, but a strong culture helps to build a reputation that attracts potential employees and clients. “We view the external brand and the internal culture as very hard to separate,” he says. “They are basically one in the same and self-reinforcing. The culture reflects the brand, and the brand reflects the culture. Our culture feeds our reputation, and our reputation adds to growth, client retention, and attracting the highest level of talent.”

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Transforming how workers and organizations connect every day Designed for every worker from head office to the front line. SocialChorus is the leading mobile-first workforce communications platform that helps the Fortune 100 and brands like Ford, J. Crew, Abbott and Hilton deliver on the promise of a more informed, supported and connected workforce. With SocialChorus, organizations are able to align their teams, power organizational initiatives and connect communications to business outcomes.

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Share your story in the pages of AHL magazine and discover innovations from top minds in the field. For editorial consideration, contact info@ahlmagazine.com

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Leading with

Head, Heart, and Guts Pamela Puryear turned an unpredictable time into opportunity. Now, with Pfizer and its culture focused on ownership and whole leadership, she and her team are further helping to drive success.

By C H A R L E N E O L D H A M

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Three years ago, it was a time of uncertainty for Pamela Puryear. She had been happily employed by Hospira, the leading provider of injectable drugs and infusion technologies, since 2009 as chief talent officer. She was looking forward to growing her career with Hospira. Those plans suddenly changed in 2015 when Pfizer acquired Hospira. But it also placed Puryear in a unique position. She and her team were able to participate in the integration of two companies, focusing on both supporting Hospira employees through the transition and also delivering against business goals and objectives. Managing through the uncertain times prior to the close of the acquisition while also managing their own responses to the changing times allowed Puryear’s team at Hospira to experience something that many organization development professionals learn about but never have an opportunity to experience. “It’s one thing to know intellectually what it is to go through change and transition. It’s another thing to go through it personally and to have all the same feelings of anxiety and fear,” Puryear says. After all, Puryear’s career path had never been impacted by such unexpected, external events before. Prior to her six years at Hospira, Puryear spent twelve years as an independent organization development consultant and another ten years as a finance professional for several real estate investment advisors since completing her education, which includes a BA in psychology and organizational behavior from Yale, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a PhD in organizational psychology. For Puryear, the next move would return her to New York City— where she was raised—as Pfizer’s senior vice president and chief talent officer. Upon her arrival, Puryear was impressed that the corporate culture was front and center. In fact, Pfizer chairman and CEO Ian Read has emphasized corporate culture since he introduced the OWNIT! culture as one of the company’s four business imperatives when he took the helm in late 2010. OWNIT! is an acronym that stands for “Own the Business, Win in the Marketplace, No Jerks . . . Let’s Discuss Behaviors, Impact Results, and Trust in One Another.” More than an acronym, OWNIT! is designed to empower all of the company’s colleagues to be collaborative, innovative, and accountable when it comes to achieving Pfizer’s purpose to bring innovative therapies to patients that significantly improve their lives. “From the beginning, Ian put culture right at the top among business priorities, like addressing the innovative core, making the right

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Pamela Puryear, SVP and chief talent officer, regularly speaks with the Pfizer team about the importance of leadership.


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Pamela Puryear

Andrew Gauci Attard/Imagine Photography

SVP, Chief Talent Officer Pfizer

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capital allocation decisions, and earning respect from society for the work we do,” Puryear says. “When I joined Pfizer, I discovered that everyone knew OWNIT!” Puryear also envisioned, though, pairing discussions about culture with conversations about leadership. In her experience, leadership at every level of an organization brings culture to life, irrespective of level, role, or title. Pairing discussions about culture and leadership, however, wasn’t necessarily the case a few years ago at Pfizer, which then had a complex list of twenty-seven leadership competencies. It was a system that was complex, not memorable, and difficult to translate into concrete actions. “There was a lot of focus on culture, but not as much focus on leadership,” Puryear recalls. Puryear and her team envisioned an approach to leadership that emphasized action and accountability from every colleague. They also wanted to simplify the system, dramatically trimming the list of competencies to transform them into easily understood behaviors. “The first thing was having something clear that was memorable because if people can’t remember what the leadership behaviors are, then we lose the power of a shared approach to leadership behaviors,” she says. “That’s what led us to this head, heart, and guts approach to leadership.” The trifecta of leading with your head, heart, and guts has literary and cultural connections to everything from the Bible to The Wizard of Oz to the business book Head, Heart, and Guts: How the World’s Best Companies Develop Complete Leaders by David Dotlich, Peter Cairo, and Stephen Rhinesmith. Leading with the head, heart, and guts emphasizes

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EMBEDDING HEAD, HEART AND GUTS

“If people can’t remember what the leadership behaviors are, then we lose the power of a shared approach to leadership behaviors. That’s what led us to this head, heart, and guts approach to leadership.”

Leaders don’t drive purposeful organizational change simply because a visionary like Pam, or CEO Ian Read, ask them to. Pam’s passion for developing whole leaders, and experience with culture change, set Pfizer on a unique path to preparing leaders for the future. After embedding Head, Heart and Guts into executive communication and performance systems, Pam also changed Pfizer’s traditional approach to executive development. She focused less on engaging big name, external leadership experts, and instead on increasing the clarity, connection and support among Pfizer’s diverse leaders. Her vision: in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) environment, value is created by applying Head, Heart and Guts to real leadership challenges, with extensive coaching by executive colleagues. The result provides a powerful balance of guidance and support to leaders driving the company’s transformation. It has also turbo-charged Pfizer’s collaboration and agility, as leaders gain appreciation for the immense value of a tightly connected enterprise. In 40 years of work with hundreds of organizations to accelerate business value through executive development, it is a rare privilege to partner with Pam and support her vision for leadership. Her instinct for clarity, connection and integration in a fragmented world is needed more than ever. Douglas R. Brockbank Founder, Leadership Frontiers, LLC doug@leadershipfrontiers.com

PA M E L A P U RY EA R

not only the importance of analytical thinking, but also creating connections and acting with conviction, Puryear explains. Pfizer, which introduced this approach to leadership in 2017, further personalized those three broad categories by tying them to specific behaviors. Leading with one’s head means being focused and decisive. Leading with heart requires being connected and inspiring. Leading with guts necessitates courage and resilience. “These are leadership behaviors that are meaningful and achievable for colleagues at every level,” Puryear says. Head, heart and guts leadership principles have also been applied to Pfizer’s diversity and inclusion initiatives—another one of Puryear’s major areas of focus. Research shows inclusivity improves business performance, which explains why it makes sense from an analytical standpoint. But it takes heart to create connections with people who may not look, think, or act like you. It also takes guts to adopt and experiment with innovative ideas from diverse quarters—whether they come from a specific demographic group or a set of employees from an acquired company—that might not fit with the current corporate consensus. Pfizer provides fertile ground for inclusion to flourish further considering roughly twenty thousand colleagues are already part of grassroots groups dedicated to creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive culture at Pfizer. Additionally, Pfizer’s most senior leaders have attended inclusion

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commitment sessions, where they discuss inclusion as a leadership imperative and share ways to create and maintain inclusive climates on their teams and across Pfizer. Puryear’s early focus has also been on increasing the visibility of leaders from diverse backgrounds. For example, top-performing, diverse talent has been placed into leadership positions on projects that are visible, important, and complex to increase their profile across Pfizer. She’s also using analytical tools to discover which diversity initiatives are reaping the most substantial rewards and sharpening Pfizer’s focus on programs that work. Meanwhile, Puryear and her workforce analytics team also review internal and external data to identify trends that will inform and shape Pfizer’s talent strategies, particularly in an industry known for tight regulations, frequent business development, and partnership activities. In addition to honing her high-level organization development skills, the acquisition and transition also reinforced for Puryear that while change can be challenging, there can also be great rewards going through it and coming out on the other side. “At the end of the day, people at Pfizer are great people, just like the people who worked at Hospira are great people,” she says. “And we’re all in the business of producing medicines to improve the lives of patients. I think there was a common core of values and a vision and passion for what we do to bring medicines to market.”


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Nepalese women harvest wintergreen, which grows natively in the hills.

Straight to the Source

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How doTERRA’s Corey Lindley builds long-term relationships with growers to create a sustainable system for the company and the planet

Courtesy of doTERRA

By G A L E N B E E B E

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Corey Lindley CFO doTERRA

Douglas Barnes

In 2017, Corey Lindley traveled to the southeast tip of Kenya to visit a group of farmers. Lindley is the CFO of doTERRA, a producer and distributor of essential oils and oil-infused personal care and spa products, dietary supplements, and healthy living products for the home. The company recently built a several hundred-acre model farm in the region, where it is working with small-scale growers to harvest ginger, eucalyptus, tea tree, and other oils. In Kenya, Lindley met a woman named Rebecca, who grows ginger on an acre of land. The company provides growers like Rebecca with seedlings and education about how to plant, weed, mulch, and manage their crops. “Working with the growers and being primary with them is absolutely key to allowing us to grow to the size that we have, continuing to provide pure, natural, essential oils,” he says. Meetings such as this are indicative of doTERRA’s commitment to fostering closeknit relationships with its growers and producers around the world. For the first few years after its founding in 2008, doTERRA sourced its oils from trusted vendors, but consumer demand soon surpassed what vendors could supply. Although vendors told them there wasn’t enough oil to achieve their goal of becoming a $1 billion company, Lindley and his colleagues thought otherwise. “We believe that the earth has plenty to give if it’s managed well and we do our part,” Lindley says. “So we felt that it was incumbent upon us to get really connected with the growers.” Now, doTERRA works directly with the majority of its growers to produce more than 130 essential oils, which it sources from more than forty-five countries. The company achieved its goal of growing to more than $1 billion in annual sales in the fall of 2015, and the growth remains exponential. But growing the company was not doTERRA’s only goal. Leaders also wanted to positively impact the growers’ lives and create a self-sustaining system for the future. “The philosophy of being environmentally friendly and helping other people was part of the founders’ views and mission from the very beginning,” Lindley says. “However, it wasn’t until we began to get primary with growers that we were really


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able to make a difference in the growing and sustainability of oil.” Through a practice doTERR A calls co-impact sourcing, the company partners with organizations and community leaders to create a system that benefits growers, harvesters, distillers, and the company. And this approach has paid off. For example, one of doTERRA’s top-selling oils is lavender, which it primarily sources from Bulgaria. When the company first entered Bulgaria, leaders learned that many of the farmers had stopped growing lavender because of inconsistent harvests and pricing. “Lavender is a crop where you don’t get a great yield in the first year,” Lindley says. “A lot of farmers are hesitant to commit to the future because prices go up and down.” To gain farmers’ trust, doTERRA’s leaders promised demand. The company built a

distillation facility in Bulgaria and guaranteed farmers consistent prices for five years. Then, the company developed a transparent distillation process: a farmer brings in their crop, watches as it is distilled and tested, and leaves with a check. “This brought huge confidence, and today we have farmers overflowing in Bulgaria,” Lindley says. Ensuring fair payment is a key goal of co-impact sourcing. In Nepal, one of the company’s main crops is wintergreen, which grows natively on the hills. After visiting the farming communities in 2017, Lindley committed to giving the women who harvest the wintergreen raises each year. “In the three years that we’ve been there, the women that are harvesting the wintergreen now make double what they made before we started working with them, in terms of harvesting wintergreen,” he says.

Distilling essential oils like wintergreen requires a significant amount of heat, and generating that heat often involves burning limited resources such as coal and wood. In Nepal, doTERRA’s scientists determined that by crushing the wintergreen leaves and alternating short heating periods with longer rest periods that they could yield more oil with half the heat source. And in Kenya, where doTERRA sources macadamia nut oil, distillers burn the nutshells as fuel, creating a self-sustaining system. “We’re always making sure that we’re not harming the environment where we go,” Lindley explains, “and that the plant sources will be able to continue to grow and maintain for decades to come.” Another example of doTERRA’s co-impact sourcing is in Somalia, where farmers had overharvested many of the frankincense trees after a drought devastated the goat

Courtesy of doTERRA

Left: Farmers in Haiti must dig the vetiver plant out of the ground and beat excess dirt out of the roots so the essential oil, used commonly for fragrances, can be distilled. Right: A woman harvests jasmine in southern India.

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DOTERRA BY THE NUMBERS The number of countries doTERRA sources from:

The number of oils doTERRA sources:

The number of rural farming jobs co-impact sourcing will create in Kenya by 2020:

5,000 As of September 2017, the total number of jobs doTERRA has created through co-impact sourcing:

Corey Lindley (below) recently visited Kenya, where doTERRA sources its macadamia nut oil.

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Courtesy of doTERRA

20,000


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“Who can handle quarterly filings across three continents?” People who know, know BDO.SM

“The philosophy of being environmentally friendly and helping other people was part of the founders’ views and mission of doTERRA from the very beginning. However, it wasn’t until we began to get primary with growers that we were really able to make a difference in the growing and sustainability of oil.” COREY LINDLEY

herds that brought in much of the community’s income. The company worked with environmental scientist Anjanette DeCarlo to determine which trees required a rest period before they were harvested again. During this rest period, doTERRA donated more than $1 million of foodstuffs to sustain the community, as well as donated resources to build a hospital. “Rather than just trying to take from these communities, we’re investing in them,” Lindley says. Co-impact sourcing focuses on supporting growers, harvesters, and distillers overseas, but doTERRA is creating positive change in the lives of its US-based employees, as well. In 2016 and 2017, the company made Forbes’ America’s Best Midsize Employers list. As always, sustainable

growth is doTERRA’s target. “We’re doing different things in a variety of ways to continue to help our employees move forward so they can be committed to us long-term,” he says. For Lindley, it’s the company’s recordbreaking commitment to giving back that makes it stand out. In partnership with the organization Days for Girls, which provides young girls in developing countries with education and supplies for feminine hygiene, doTERRA employees set a Guinness World Record for most personal hygiene kits assembled in one hour at the 2017 doTERRA Global Convention. “We’re associated with amazing people who care, and we provide a vehicle for them to give back,” Lindley says. “That is the center of our culture.”

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Creating Diverse Opportunities Teresa Tanner helps inspire an inclusive and empowering environment at Fifth Third Bank By J E F F S I LV E R

There have been a number of opportunities that Teresa Tanner has nearly walked away from in her career. Initially, she wasn’t interested in going into banking. She couldn’t see herself working in HR or in learning development either, so her first inclination was to say no to all of them. Fortunately, Tanner realized she was making decisions based on preconceived ideas—like that banking doesn’t allow creativity or that HR is a bureaucratic, policing function that gets in the way of doing business and getting things done. But in each case, something drove her to get more information that ultimately forced her to recognize her own personal biases. “My career is littered with things I said I would never do but that actually forced me to listen more carefully and acknowledge what I didn’t really understand,” Tanner says. “I could have missed some fabulous opportunities.” Those lessons led her to become chief administrative officer at Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati, where she handles corporate reputation, human capital, strategic sourcing, and communications among many other

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functions. Along the way, she never lost her commitment to considering the most diverse candidates to find the most qualified talent for every job. She also prioritizes ensuring an engaging and empowering environment that fully leverages employees’ abilities. When Tanner came to Fifth Third more than a decade ago, she says that it did not have a particularly diverse workforce, especially when it came to women in leadership positions. At the time, there was only one woman on the company’s board of directors and none on its Enterprise Committee of top leaders. To help address the gender gap, Tanner created Women in Leadership—a nine-month class that offers accelerated learning opportunities to up to twelve senior leaders who have been identified as having C-suite potential. Efforts such as this—along with the internal women’s business resource groups, intentional job rotations, and increased public awareness—have added two women to the Enterprise Committee. Women now make up about one-third of Fifth Third’s board of directors, including its chairwoman, Marsha Williams. “Creating true diversity is a business priority that is critically important to us,” Tanner says. “We won’t be the best bank possible until we have the best representation around the table.”


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William Philpott

Teresa Tanner EVP, Chief Administrative Officer Fifth Third Bank

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“There are still too many questions we ask women at work that we don’t ask men—like if they can handle a promotion with small children at home. We need to have the hard conversations and take steps that grow out of them to create a work environment where everyone brings their best selves to work and that leverages the best they have to give.” T E R E S A TA N N E R

Part of her strategy has been to prioritize hiring diverse candidates in the first place. “There is a common argument that diversity hiring is difficult because there is a supply issue. But that’s not true. It’s a demand issue,” Tanner explains. “The way to get better and more diverse outcomes is to demand them. To be the most attractive place for everyone to work, we have to clearly communicate that we welcome and promote diverse candidates.” Tanner is quick to indicate the importance of having diverse interview panels, as well. She says they help inoculate the process from unconscious bias. They also help access potential resources that may not be available to or known by more homogeneous groups of interviewers. Tanner has also helped address the attrition rate at the bank for women in the year after they return from maternity leave. That number was double the rate for all women. Fifth Third created a Maternity Concierge program that provides support from pregnancy through the first year after birth. The free program includes assistance with

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nursery planning, hosting baby showers, finding child care, and nursing strategies after returning to work. “The first year is critical for women when they decide whether or not to return to their jobs,” Tanner says. “If they decide they want to continue working, we want to make the transition back from maternity leave easier.” The Maternity Concierge is still in its infancy, so to speak, but more than 250 women have used it in less than a year. In fact, surveys have shown that participants found it to be a tremendously positive service that helped them develop a healthy and productive balance between work and their lives at home with a new baby. Tanner believes companies should continue to innovate with support programs and benefits to help increase the number of women in leadership roles. “Creating paths for women to reach top leadership positions is a responsibility all of us share,” she says. “We can and should do more.” Fifth Third now provides four weeks of 100 percent paid parental leave, including

adoptive and foster parents, in addition to the standard six or eight weeks of medical leave. Tanner encourages parents to take advantage of the time even if they have a nonworking partner at home. After all, there is only a short window of time for bonding with a new child. Tanner has firsthand experience with navigating the twists and turns that come with gender issues in the workplace and the broader society. Her husband retired when their children were young so he could stay home and she could continue her career. The fact that his decision hasn’t been as socially acceptable as she would like indicates the persistence of well-established gender stereotypes. “There are still too many questions we ask women at work that we don’t ask men—like if they can handle a promotion with small children at home,” Tanner says. “We need to have the hard conversations and take steps that grow out of them to create a work environment where everyone brings their best selves to work and that leverages the best they have to give.”


We Congratulate Teresa Tanner of Fifth Third Bank Teresa’s vision and courageous leadership led to the development of an innovative employee benefit – the Maternity Concierge – to help Fifth Third’s working mothers succeed at work and at home. Best Upon Request serves organizations like Fifth Third that understand supporting their workforce is a business imperative. Our concierges run errands and take care of the to-dos of employees nationwide to reduce stress and improve well-being. This impacts employee recruitment, retention and engagement.

800-781-7871 | info@bestuponrequest.com | www.bestuponrequest.com


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Step Right Up and Tell Us Your Goals

By D AV I D B A E Z

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HN Works/Shutterstock.com

Marla Mellies explains why helping employees achieve their career aspirations directly benefits Puget Sound Energy and its customers


Puget Sound Energy

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For anyone at a major organization, few obstacles can be more frustrating than a sense that their career aspirations go unacknowledged and lost in the vast workings of the business. But at Puget Sound Energy (PSE), which employs more than three thousand people to provide energy to roughly 1.1 million electric and 800,000 gas customers in Washington state, Marla Mellies is ensuring that doesn’t happen. Her succession planning initiative hinges on a close reading of workers’ competencies and desires. The senior vice president and chief administrative officer says it’s a win-win-win because the employee, the company, and its customers all benefit. “Our customers depend on us for essential and critical services,” Mellies explains. “It’s part of every leader’s role to make sure we have the human capability to make that happen. We have to have skills and knowledge that make us not only viable, but also able to compete. A solid succession plan plays a large part in that.” When Mellies joined PSE in 2005, a succession plan for C-suite level executives was already in place. Now, the current initiative in its third iteration extends that effort to all hard-to-fill or critical positions where a particular skill set is required, as well as all leadership positions. “We started by coming to better understand the business’ short-term and long-term needs, and from there we looked at the skills and competencies required to meet those needs,” she says. “Those then became workforce requirements. From there, we developed strategies to recruit and develop talent.” Although PSE hires externally at times to bring in fresh ideas and energy, a majority of positions are filled internally. At PSE, it doesn’t go unnoticed that once people begin working for the company, they tend not to leave. Mellies can readily point to people who have been with PSE for more than thirty years, and whose parents enjoyed extensive tenures there as well. It was important to discover the skills and competencies the business needed and would continue to need in their workforce. To do that, Mellies made it a requirement that every nonunion employee have a development plan. All of those employees now build a career profile online that details their goals, as well as their experience. Based on those profiles,

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Marla Mellies SVP, Chief Administrative Officer Puget Sound Energy

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REAL ADVANTAGE, RECOGNIZED.

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“Some say they are interested in leadership, while others want to learn higher-level subject matter in their field. Then, we have a truthful conversation about that.” MARL A MELLIES

employees have one-on-one development conversations with business leaders. The profiles and development plans are updated annually and help Mellies and her team fill the succession slates. People are identified and assigned to a certain level of readiness—ready now, ready in 1–2 years, or ready in 3–5 years. But just because someone has their sights set on a certain position doesn’t mean it makes sense to put them there. “The purpose of the conversation we have with employees is to determine their career interests,” Mellies says. “Some say they are interested in leadership, while others want to learn higher-level subject matter in their field. Then, we have a truthful conversation about that. Do they have what it takes? If not, how do they get there? You want to help people fulfill their career goals, but you can’t abandon realism.” Employees’ desires are balanced with an assessment of their competencies. Mellies says many people are hesitant about making lateral moves, but she helps them understand that breadth of experience is a major consideration in moving someone up. “People were worried they would be in a department for years just waiting for that next level of leadership to open up,” she says. “They thought they were the most qualified for the position but then watched a leader

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from another area, or someone from outside PSE, brought in to fill it. They didn’t have the breadth of experience they needed. We try and get people used to the idea that it’s not about patiently waiting, but rather increasing your market value internally and externally by broadening your experience.” At first glance, it might seem strategically unwise to help employees develop their skill set in a way that makes them more attractive to other employers, but Mellies says that a more skilled workforce benefits the industry overall, and in turn, the company itself. “You’re trying to develop a talent pool, and if you do a great job, then some of that talent may leave,” she says. “That’s okay because it adds to the talent market overall. I’ve never faulted people who left for something we couldn’t provide.” Mellies says that in the fast-changing energy industry, customers have a myriad of options. It is critical to have a solid succession plan in place that eliminates gaps in important positions—gaps that could have a negative impact on customers. “People can choose to put a solar panel on their roof now,” she says. “Technology is becoming more advanced all the time. Communities that don’t want us to serve their territory can create their own utility. Competition is real. We want to be our customer’s energy partner of choice.”


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Empowerment, Equality, Community

Laurie Krebs Global VP of Tax Red Hat

Red Hat

At Red Hat, Laurie Krebs continues her careerlong commitment to women in the workplace By D AV I D B A E Z

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A welldeserved tribute. We are proud to salute you! KPMG LLP congratulates Laurie Krebs on her distinguished career. We are proud to be a part of your extended family. kpmg.com

© 2018 KPMG LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership and the U.S. member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. The KPMG name and logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of KPMG International. NDPPS 734061

Laurie Krebs, global vice president of tax for innovative software-solutions company Red Hat, has always found time to turn away from numbers in order to help promote women in the workplace. That’s impressive, considering everything that falls on her shoulders at Red Hat, an international company with roughly eleven thousand employees. As the head of a twenty-two-member global tax department, she manages all tax strategy, planning, compliance, and tax audit controversy arising in the more than ninety different jurisdictions that Red Hat operates in. When she began her own career in public accounting thirty years ago, it didn’t take long for her to notice that there were few women in executive positions for her to look up to as role models. “Early on in my career, I was struggling with work/life balance, trying to figure out how, as a young working mother, I could manage on the home front and also be successful at work,” Krebs says. “There was no one I could directly look at and ask, ‘How are you doing it?’” When Nortel hired her as its tax director in 2002, Krebs found an opportunity to help other women facing the same issues in the workplace when the company contracted with a consulting group to empower women workers. Choosing a leader from each of the company’s locations, they tapped Krebs to helm the initiative in the Raleigh, North Carolina office. “All I did was say to myself, ‘I know other women like me, women who were good at multitasking as working mothers,’” she recalls. “So, we got together and we brainstormed. We were talking about the issues facing all women in the workplace: How do you create a healthy work/life balance? How do you find quality day care? How do you get promoted?”

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“What we found was that no matter what anybody’s job was, we were all having the same experiences as women.” L AU R I E K R E B S


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“The more diverse our backgrounds, the deeper our insights.” People who know, know BDO.SM

As she developed the group and its strategy, they decided to also create a committee on charitable works, as well as reach out to other companies in the area to talk about the idea of women’s groups and what some of those companies had done. In addition, at Nortel there was no mentorship program at the time, so they started one. Lower-level women employees were matched with upperlevel male and women managers, and the lower-level employee created agendas for one-on-one meetings with their mentors. The group also brought people in to speak on women’s issues, including empowerment, and also had other influential women in the community to speak on their careers. An unexpected benefit of the work for Krebs was the exposure it gave her to women in other departments of the company she had rarely interacted with up until then. “We found so many people who had the same passion, and when they got together there was a spark,” she says. “What it did for me was get me out of my silo of tax work. I had a team of twenty-five, and we rarely had the opportunity to network with other people outside our area of finance. This group, which grew to more than 250 women, enabled women in finance to network with women in engineering, legal, sales, and more. What we found was that no matter what anybody’s job was, we were all having the same experiences as women.” Having joined Red Hat in 2017, Krebs says she was fortunate to be part of a company that not only liked the idea of a women’s group, but also encouraged and celebrated it. The company’s finance department employed more than four hundred people, and half of these employees were women. Krebs learned that two women from this department, who felt they were alone in facing challenges in their roles at work, had started an informal women’s group that met over lunch once a month.

Krebs went along one day and told the group about what she had done at Nortel. Other women leaders in finance joined in to share experiences as well. This group collectively decided to evolve the gathering into an official “women in finance” group at the company, and initiatives proceeded from there. “The group started with no budget, but within six months it was rolling along,” Krebs says. “I went on behalf of the group to the CFO with the idea, and he couldn’t have been more supportive. He loved that the women in finance were doing this as a way to make themselves and the team stronger, and he agreed to sponsor events supporting it. His support has empowered us even more. I couldn’t be prouder to be associated with this amazing group of women who I learn from as well.” The group has already grown to more than one hundred members. Together, they sponsor charity drives, develop personally from motivational speakers, and gain valuable insight at recurring networking events with other members of the finance organization and beyond, Krebs says. Krebs has two adult daughters—one a successful accountant with BDO, and the other a marketing director for USA baseball. They have told her that seeing what she has accomplished made them believe that they could reach the levels they have. “I couldn’t be prouder of my daughters and what they have accomplished,” Krebs says. “I always remind them, as I remind the women I work with, ‘don’t let anybody tell you that there are limits to what you can do. If you want to do something, go for it.’” BDO congratulates Laurie Krebs, vice president—tax from Red Hat, Inc., on this well-deserved recognition. We share Laurie’s commitment to putting people first and believe that deep and lasting relationships within our teams allow us to help our clients thrive every day.

The diverse and dedicated professionals at BDO recognize Red Hat, Inc. – for the opportunities it creates and the relationships it builds for professional women and the entire business community. Angela Fowler Tax Office Managing Partner 919-278-1907 / afowler@bdo.com BDO USA, LLP 421 Fayetteville Street, Suite 300, Raleigh, NC 27601 Accountants and Advisors www.bdo.com

© 2017 BDO USA, LLP. All rights reserved. profilemagazine.com

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Driving Change Andrea Vardaro has extensive experience introducing new opportunities in her work from legal services to consumer products companies to tech start-ups and more. Now, she brings that same vision and expertise to UBM plc. By L E O H E R R E R A

Despite the breakthroughs and innovations that social media has produced, nothing compares to real interactions with real people. That’s the philosophy behind UBM plc, a global business-to-business event organizer and one of the largest event producers in the United States. While UBM has celebrated tremendous growth and international presence, the UBM Americas division still needed a centralized finance organization to drive consistency among its US businesses and provide a consolidated overview of the division’s financials. So UBM—which has events that span several industries, including fashion, technology, life sciences, advanced manufacturing, and licensing—brought in Andrea Vardaro, a proven leader and change agent experienced in legal services, consumer products, and tech start-up industries. “There was a lot of opportunity for me not only to learn the events business, but also to understand the connections across industry sectors and how trends in each of the industries we serve impact our

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business decisions and, ultimately, our financials,” says Vardaro, vice president of finance for UBM Americas. To start with such a major undertaking, Vardaro created a plan to implement a more effective and efficient divisional finance function. First, she sought to address where processes were going well and where they could be improved. “I like to take the approach of, ‘don’t just dive in, but understand the impacts end to end,’” she explains. Once Vardaro was up to speed, she solicited feedback from her team to identify any operational issues and opportunities for improvements. From there, she collaborated with the team in brainstorming solutions and best practice recommendations. Vardaro emphasizes the importance of collaboration because when team members see that they can influence the process and their voices are being heard, then they’re more apt to implement ideas and be comfortable with change initiatives. She adds that fostering an open dialogue and encouraging team members to share their ideas is a key ingredient to more effective end-to-end problem-solving.


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Finally, Vardaro and her team developed a road map, assigning ownership along the way to hold individuals accountable for execution of key project milestones. Throughout the process, Vardaro’s team continued to evaluate how successful their efforts were and course corrected when needed. This model helps Vardaro break down major projects into realistic tasks and then prioritize them accordingly. “I enjoy being able to implement new ideas to drive necessary change. Seeing the outputs of what I’ve implemented and all the efforts that were put in to achieve success is most rewarding,” she says. Vardaro’s expertise in implementing corporate-wide change wasn’t acquired overnight. It was the result of a career extending across multiple industries, from a junior auditing role to heading the finance department of a multimillion dollar company. Along the way, each role and company taught her valuable lessons she carries with her to this day. During her tenure at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, Vardaro had the opportunity to travel internationally and work with individuals in various office locations around the world in a hybrid consulting and auditing role. The position not only shed more light on how finance and accounting processes work in influencing business, but also provided Vardaro with a more robust view of varying cultures distinct from the United States. Seeking a new challenge, Vardaro joined Revlon and the consumer products industry. There, she ascended from an internal auditor role to vice president of US finance, in just eight years. That divisional finance role was the opportunity Vardaro had been seeking—to work directly with the business and use her extensive operational finance experience to drive decision-making. At Revlon, Vardaro was part of a team that implemented an integrated business planning (IBP) process in the US business. “The IBP process looked at the business starting from end to end, starting at the supply chain through to the financial forecast,” she says. “Individuals at every level in each department were involved in that process so everyone contributed to the business decisions and outcomes. This

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Andrea Vardaro VP of Finance, UBM Americas UBM plc

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We

congratulate Andrea Vardaro VP, Finance at UBM Americas

for her contributions

“I enjoy being able to implement new ideas to drive necessary change. Seeing the outputs of what I’ve implemented and all the efforts that were put in to achieve success is most rewarding.” A N D R E A VA R DA R O

in the field of Finance UBM is the largest pureplay, B2B Events organizer in the world. Our deep knowledge and passion creates experiences where people succeed. UBM is dedicated to supporting great talent and helping people achieve their ambitions. Join the cause: jobs.ubm.com

was a great example of a cross-functional team working together collaboratively to drive strategy.” Using her expertise to drive change again, Vardaro joined a tech start-up that wanted to go public. However, the company needed a more structured finance organization to function as a public company. “We started with building a team with the right mix of experience, then implemented the necessary processes and controls,” she explains. Implementation was a challenge because some saw the finance function as bureaucratic. But Vardaro found that the entire organization was curious to learn. She established roles and timelines, built an adequate internal control environment, and ensured the reported financials were in line with US GAAP. “Everybody seemed to embrace learning process, and they were open to change,” she says. Vardaro’s experience in driving corporate change helped substantially for her role at UBM. Vardaro has much to be proud of since she joined UBM two years ago. The UBM Americas division now has a central function, composed of a team with an FP&A function, and a reporting function. Vardaro emphasized the importance of educating the cross-functional teams on the role of finance and how data and analytics finance can drive more informed decisions. “Finance

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should not only have a seat at the table, but it should also be an integral player in the decision-making process,” she says. The next phase of UBM’s transformation journey is already underway. One initiative Vardaro is spearheading is a shift from traditional forecasting and budgeting to a rolling forecast model and zero-based budgeting. She also hopes to incorporate a similar integrated business planning process tailored specially for the UBM business. “The goal is to enhance visibility into the financials and to provide a more realistic, forward-looking outlook to management so they have the tools they need to make more informed and timelier business decisions,” Vardaro says. UBM continues to grow through driving its events-first strategy, which includes new acquisitions and maintaining a balanced portfolio managed for profitability and growth. And with help from Vardaro, the key is to adapt to constantly changing industry sectors—an environment that is well-suited for someone who thrives in change. “When you think about UBM’s business, it’s helping our customers succeed through the power of collective, human interactions that ignite trade, knowledge, and networks,” Vardaro says. “I don’t think that’s going to go away, so it’s important that we respond to growth opportunities and new trends.”


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Accounting for People, Processes, and Numbers Lisa Curtis turned Layne Christensen’s IT system upgrade into the perfect opportunity to bring the company’s employees closer together

kingwin/shutterstock.com

By K E L L I L A W R E N C E

When Lisa Curtis answered a high school student ’s recent questions about her life as an accountant, she found herself detailing a day that now actually involves little accounting itself. Her role as vice president and chief accounting officer at Layne Christensen is more about managing people and resources and strategizing with colleagues from other functions and divisions. At least, that’s been the case since she joined the company in early 2016. For tunately for Cur t is, her more numbers-intensive career equipped her with the leadership skills she possesses today—even if she didn’t quite recognize it at the time. Spending six years at Deloitte & Touche, eight years at National Oilwell Varco (formerly known as Grant

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Prideco), and six years at oil and energy giant Cameron (acquired by Schlumberger in 2016) provided her with plenty of knowledge that she’s putting to use in her current role. For example, when Cameron invested $250 million in upgrades to its ERP systems, Curtis learned the ins and outs of what it takes to make a major systems overall. “Cameron is a very large international company, and I got to play a key role in that project from an accounting and finance perspective,” she says. “One major change was we condensed the chart of accounts from seven thousand to one thousand accounts and implemented a governance model for all master data elements to ensure what we built stayed in place.” So when Curtis’s team at Layne took on an upgrade project of its own—moving to the next version of EnterpriseOne—Curtis found

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Lisa Curtis VP, Chief Accounting Officer Layne Christensen

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herself in familiar territory. Her experience at Cameron guided her in implementing a plan with standard system functionality as a main goal. “Historically, it had been difficult to get meaningful information out of the system in an organized and efficient way to meet the needs of our employees,” she says. “Standard system functionality was a key part of our project charter, and as a result we went from 2,600 custom objects down to just two hundred following the upgrade.” But the accounting system itself isn’t the only factor improving at Layne Christensen. Stronger working relationships are on the rise, too, in part because of the corporate and divisional teamwork required to accomplish the system upgrade. “We went through management changes a few years back and had to establish new lines of communication and collaboration between corporate management and the divisions,” Curtis says. “During the ninemonth implementation period, we had groups interacting more often and in new and different ways.” For example, Curtis cites a training session at Layne’s Houston headquarters. There, the various payroll teams—which had been operating independently of each other in recent years—took a major step forward in working closer together. One payroll manager in particular struck Curtis. “She’d allowed what other people had said about the other team to negatively affect her attitude toward them, but once she met those folks face-to-face and really got to know them, they got a great relationship going,” Curtis says. “I attribute that to the project as far as working to bring people together.” The company brought in key business users from other offices to test the system before it went live. Again, Curtis says, the relationships that emerged from such testing sessions were priceless. “We didn’t need to fly people in here. They could’ve done the

Debi Gomez

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“One of my strengths is applying common sense. Some things make sense; some don’t. It’s important to find a balance between the two.” LISA CURTIS

Our clients trust us solve their toughest challenges in Finance, Operations, Technology, and People. testing from their own remote location,” she says. “But from a testing perspective, we thought it would be more effective to conduct the testing in person and create opportunities to form meaningful relationships. It was money well spent.” Now, Layne Christensen’s upgrade is a two-phase process. Phase one is known as “UPMosis” because it is taking the organization to a higher level and is transformational. Phase two, which is focused more on aspects that impact revenue, is known as RevUP. Both phases have been introduced at management meetings by way of road shows. Curtis and Layne CIO Sherry Hunyadi travel to different company locations and explain the system functionality directly to the management teams. The result is a more productive rapport that allows many employees to feel they’re being heard for the

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first time. “The road shows were important so they could see the complete picture,” Curtis says. “It’s bought us a lot of trust and great feedback as well.” All of this helps prime Layne for growth, both organic and via acquisitions. Curtis is pleased to see her wide assortment of skills bring both the need for functionality and needs of the employees, shareholders, and even the regulatory requirements together in such harmonious fashion. And perhaps that’s because she was just born with one of her greatest attributes. “One of my strengths is applying common sense,” she says. “Some things make sense; some don’t. It’s important to find a balance between the two. There is definitely regulatory and mandatory compliance to follow with this process, but it has to be balanced with common sense. I really try to consciously do that.”

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We’ve built that trust by consistently delivering value through our insights, solutions, and commitment to getting the job done right.

www.wgconsulting.com


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Red Wing’s

Reboot From transforming a legendary company to promoting a strong culture built on family values, Shawn Sweeney shares how Red Wing Shoes continues to set the bar for footwear apparel By D A N N Y C I A M P R O N E

Known for its scenic beauty, miles of flowing rivers, dense forestry, and working-class pride, it’s here in Red Wing, Minnesota, that Charles Beckman developed a boot that could perform in the harshest of environments. From oil and corn fields to mines and construction sites, Red Wing Shoes has been developing products to protect workers for more than a century all around the world. But even the most renowned and storied companies know when change is needed. In 2009, Shawn Sweeney found himself in a brainstorming session with other leaders in the company discussing the culture and operations of Red Wing. Sweeney and Red Wing’s leadership team recognized that while the footwear product was still as high in quality as it had been when it was first handcrafted at the turn of the century, there was disconnect between departments and a need for better collaboration. Sweeney and the leadership team knew a “Reboot” was in order. Sweeney, who describes his Reboot experience as one of the most rewarding initiatives he’s been a part of

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since joining Red Wing Shoes in 2002, says changing that mind-set started with breaking down silos. To start, members of the corporate office—from product development and supply chain to finance and customer experience— came together in one of Red Wing’s regions and broke into teams of three. From there, they experienced on the ground level what it’s like working in all aspects of Red Wing’s operations, including territory sales, retail operations personnel, and industrial and mobile sales. Today, these Reboot sessions take place multiple times a year with new groups coming together across the United States to get a firsthand look at the company’s operations and meet other employees. “It’s a really great bonding opportunity,” explains Sweeney, vice president of North America sales and operations, general manager, who also credits CEO Mark Urdahl for coming in with that vision to break down those silos. “They may have sat fifty feet away from somebody for five years and didn’t know their name or didn’t really know anything about them. After spending that week together, they bonded in a way that’s almost unbreakable. They


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“We didn’t look at this as a business technology initiative. We looked at it as a business process transformation more than anything.”

Stephanie Rau

S H AW N S W E E N E Y

had an incredible experience together. Now they’re talking to each other, and it’s like wildfire for the organization.” As Sweeney explains, the results have been staggering, from improving collaboration to gaining a better perspective between departments. But Sweeney and his team also recognized that improving operations would directly impact consumers. A few years ago, Sweeney and his team launched another major initiative dubbed Red Wing for Business that transformed the company’s industrial branch. To start, Red Wing Shoes launched a new POS system, as the company had been running a legacy system that was more than twenty years old, Sweeney says. On the surface, this appeared to be relatively simple, but Red Wing Shoes is a complex organization because it spans retail, wholesale, and industrial commerce. After ironing out the kinks, the impact has been immensely beneficial for the legacy company. The project has now moved the company to a digital voucher platform, as well as an e-commerce platform. All products are now available digitally, and the sales team is now able to speak about solutions with customers interested in purchasing large quantities of merchandise. Sweeney also describes the multiyear process as a major victory in the company’s continued focus on collaboration. “As we broke down this twenty-year-old process, we put teams together to focus on each one of those elements,” Sweeney says. “We didn’t look at this as a business technology initiative.

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Shawn Sweeney VP of North America Sales and Operations, General Manager Red Wing Shoes

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MSTS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of World Fuel Services Corporation, is a global billing and payments solution company that specializes in commercial transaction management and technology focused solutions for transportation and B2B retail clientele.

MSTS is based in Overland Park, Kan. with offices in Melbourne, Australia, and Rijswijk, the Netherlands.

Michelle Faul Global Director of Marketing mfaul@msts.com | 913-267-6816

We looked at it as a business process transformation more than anything. Throughout this process, we wanted to stay ahead of it and make sure our retailers and our consumers who are going to be using the system understood what we were doing and how it was going to impact them for the future.” While Red Wing’s silos were broken down and its systems were transformed, one aspect has remained the same: the company’s values. One of the factors that attracted Sweeney to Red Wing was its family-focused atmosphere, support, and respect for one another. Sweeney says that starts at the top, as the company’s chairman Bill Sweasy routinely says he doesn’t want Red Wing to be the biggest company in the world, but he does want it to be the best. “Excellence is something we strive for here. That is in our culture,” Sweeney says. “We focus on being great and making a difference in people’s lives. That’s our driving motto. Any company that’s grown as much as we have and what we’ve experienced, especially the last few years, would have to evolve. But our culture is sort of the dirt of the organization, and it hasn’t changed dramatically. In the end, it’s about the people.” Sweeney also echoes the guiding principles of Red Wing Shoes, which include respect, integrity, excellence, community, and working together as a high-performing team. It’s these same principles and a tireless work ethic that were instilled upon Sweeney at a young age by his father, who was a salesman himself. “He would say to me, ‘Son, you wake up every day unemployed until you sell something.’ Some people may think that sounds harsh, but to me it wasn’t at all,” Sweeney says, adding that his dad was one of the funniest and kindest people he’s ever known. “It could actually be related to anything you do. You need to make a difference. You need to show value and be accountable.” Today, Sweeney shares a variety of the lessons with his team that his father shared with him, such as treating others the way

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you want to be treated, being fair, transparent and forthright in your dealings with others to be successful, and doing what you need to do to provide for your family. At the turn of the century, Red Wing was founded as a way to provide boots that kept workers safe. But those same values have always held true for the storied company. Today, all products are still hand-crafted. And while the bottom line for any company is important, it’s caring for one another and supporting a strong culture built on family values that have promoted far more than dollars and cents. “Family is what Red Wing is all about. Red Wing is about our community,” he says. “And it’s about our own personal families as well. So that’s my dad. Really for me, it comes down to what family means to me because of how my dad engaged and how he took care of his family.”

PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD Family values and giving back to the community are ingrained in the culture of Red Wing Shoes, which is especially important to Shawn Sweeney. One of the most successful charitable organizations in the Red Wing area of Minnesota for decades has been the Red Wing Shoe Company Foundation, which was formed in 1955. The first gift was $6,000 to the Red Wing YMCA, and since 1955, the foundation has given more than $2 million to the YMCA. In addition to the strong partnership with that organization, the Foundation has also enjoyed a significant partnership with the Red Wing Environmental Learning Center and the T.B. Sheldon Auditorium.


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P E O P L E + C O M PA N I E S

A

H

Adams, David 52 Allscripts Healthcare Solutions 129 Ascensia Diabetes Care 203 Ashley Furniture Industries 178 Attanasio, Ed 44 Avalon Health Care Group 93

H-E-B Holtz, Heath Home Run Inn

B Ballard, Cindy 40 Bargielski, Tracy 196 Bianchini, Gino 12 Bluegreen Vacations Corporation 20 Bolger, Gina 172 Brill, Paul 172 Brown, Renee DuBord 100 Bruce, David 26 Bundy, Elliott 207

C Cairnes, Mike Carlson, Mark Celtruda, Chris Chang, Alan Citizens Financial Group Cook, Craig Corbin, Amy Cornell University Costello, Dan Costello, Kevin Cummings, James Cunningham Lindsey Curtis, Lisa

104 172 138 62 49 31 16 108 172 172 201 37 235

D Davila, Jeanette Di Cicco, Domenick DistributionNOW Dollar General doTERRA Dunlap, Edward Dutcher, David

172 37 95 161 216 23 148

N 182 131 172

I International Speedway Corporation Intertrust Technologies Corporation Irvine Company

R

Nationwide Insurance New York Yankees Nissan North America Novartis Nuñez, Ricardo

74 111 12

Jackson, Laura James, Tina

74 182

K Kaminer, Michael Kaplan Higher and Professional Education Kellstrom Defense Kelly, Mike Kerry Inc. Kirkland’s Kirton, Byron Knowles Corporation Krebs, Laurie

20 52 138 172 114 104 93 100 229

Jeffrey Simmons on how he turned a passion into a career

134

L Landry’s, Inc Layne Christensen Lazala, Virginia Legends Lindley, Corey

O

141 235 56 80 216

Opperman, Mary George

M MacSuibhne, Virginia Maher, Paul Matter, John Martin, Craig Meadows, Neal Mellies, Marla Microsoft MTF Biologics

88 8 156 122 95 226 8 126

Courtesy of Global Tranz (Simmons), William Philpott/Fifth Third Bank (Tanner)

108

Sanmina Corporation Scheinthal, Steve Simmons, Jeffrey Skeans, Tracy Skingle, Denise Storie, Renee Surescripts Sweeney, Shawn SWM Szwed, Danna

111 229 238 31 158 88 203 80

Tanner, Teresa Tapestry Taylor, Rhonda Terrill, Sonny Thompson, Jay Trent, Matthew Trojan Battery Company Tronc, Inc.

U

Papa John’s International 156 Party City 193 Pasko, Mark 118 Perrino, Nick 172 Pfizer 211 Puget Sound Energy 226 Puryear, Pamela 211

UBM plc Utz Quality Foods

Q QBE North America

118

222 151 161 158 166 151 23 40

232 166

V Vardaro, Andrea Viola, Jim Volkswagen Group of America

232 193 26

W Western Digital Wheelock, Chip

188 49

44 141 134 34 145 172 16 238 154 178

T

P

148 97

X XL Catlin

F Farley, Brian Fifth Third Bank FireEye Fischer, Fred

Rainey, Bill Red Hat Red Wing Shoes Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ResCare Roche Molecular Solutions Rosen, Myra Ruzich, John

S

J

E Encompass Health Essex, Scott

145 62 131 56 154

207

Y

129 222 122 172

Yaccarino, Joe Yamaha Yum! Brands

126 196 34

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G Geissler, Christine GGP Glennon, Brooke Global Power Equipment Group GlobalTranz Enterprises

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114 201 188 97 134

Teresa Tanner shares why creating diversity is a business priority at Fifth Third Bank

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Behind the Plate

Gillian Fry

Alan Chang, deputy general counsel and vice president of legal for the New York Yankees, takes in a view of the legendary baseball field during his Profile cover shoot.

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