Born in Evanston, Ill., raised in downstate Indiana and Illinois, then back up to the Chicago area—Matt Revord is a Midwesterner through and through. So it seems fitting that he would be the general counsel of one of the most respected and recognized brands to come out of Chicago. But it took hard work and a few twists and turns before Revord landed at the helm of the legal department of Potbelly Sandwich Works.
In fact, Revord didn’t grow up knowing that one day he would be a lawyer. In high school, a friend’s father—noting Revord’s cunning argumentative skills—mentioned on several occasions that he should consider a career in law. The idea was appealing to Revord, but after graduating from Notre Dame, he couldn’t quite commit. Revord decided to take a year to work, think about his next move and save some money. His job opportunities were diverse, to say the least: a large insurance company, the CIA or a General Motor’s (GM) factory. More
Conferences are an important part of any lawyer’s career path. As we’ve written before, they not only provide you with opportunities to continue your legal education and get ideas from other (sometimes more seasoned) attorneys in the profession, but they also offer networking opportunities—which can have a huge impact on career advancement.
For this column, we pulled together some upcoming 2017 conferences that may peek your interest. Have a look and click the link to learn more about each of these worthwhile events.
Congratulations are in order on new general counsel roles for six of the 20 lawyers we have profiled in previous issues of eNews. Cornell Boggs (previously with Dow Corning) is now leading the law department at Toys R Us, Chris Carsen (previously with Mattersight) has landed the top spot at Corel Corp., Joe Perkins (previously with Cummins) is running the show at NIBCO, and E.M. Lysonge (previously with Churchill Downs) is now sitting in the big chair at CafePress Inc.
On the promotion front, Curt Kramer steps up to become the General Counsel of Navistar International on April 1 when Steve Covey retires. And Bill Caruso has been promoted to Acting General Counsel for DeVry.
For Curt, Joe and E.M, this is their first general counsel position. I am so very happy to see their hard work pay off. For Bill, hopefully the interim title will turn permanent as it did for Doug Beck, who took a similar path via promotion at Hub Group. All in all, the individuals profiled in our Counsel Q&A’s are doing just fine! More
Curt Kramer has been named Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Navistar International (NYSE: NAV), effective April 1 upon the retirement of Steve Covey. Steve spent 36 years with Navistar, including the last 13 as General Counsel. I thank Steve for making Navistar one of our first Fortune 500 clients almost 20 years ago. We had the privilege of handling the search that resulted in Curt’s placement at Navistar in 2002.
Curt started at Navistar with the title Senior Attorney, and he has successfully climbed every step up the law department ladder. It was an ascent that, by my count, included at least four title changes (most recently Associate GC and Corporate Secretary).
In our upcoming March 18 issue of “Evers eNews,” my Culture Fit column title is “Musical Chairs” and I talk about the frequency with which GC’s tend to move around these days. Steve Covey and Curt Kramer are proof that doing great work, building relationships, treating your team members well, navigating corporate changes, and always showing loyalty… remains a formula that works too. Congratulations Curt! I am very happy for you, and I appreciate your support over the years. Curt participated on a panel I put together for the In-house Innovates conference a few months ago. I am not supposed to play favorites, but you are indeed at the top of my list… I am grateful that our paths crossed early in our respective careers.
A quick thank you as well to Bob Perna. Bob was the General Attorney (really an Assistant GC title for Navistar) who hired Curt in 2002. Although Steve kindly gave our firm the thumbs up to engage with Navistar, I worked most closely with Bob on that search, and he was very generous in his support of our efforts. Bob has been a General Counsel for several years now and currently sits in the big chair for Rockwell Collins.
Evers Legal has been retained by Deerfield, IL based Baxter International to recruit great candidates for a newly created position that includes both sophisticated M&A work and corporate governance responsibilities. The winner will bring securities and corporate transactional experience to the table. We are targeting law firm attorneys at the junior partner and senior associate levels, and in-house attorneys at the Corporate Counsel to Senior Counsel levels. Very competitive compensation includes a significant annual equity grant. Please call Mike Evers at 312-225-1144 for more information or send your resume to email@example.com.
2017 marks our 20th year in business. Thank you clients, candidates, referral sources, editors, and all friends of our firm!
Happy holidays and get ready for a tremendous New Year.
Throughout my tenure with Evers Legal, I have had the honor and privilege to chat with some of the most successful in-house lawyers in the business. In the past two years, I’ve interviewed a lawyer at the world’s largest retailer, two in the higher education field, and one from a well-known underwear brand, as well as several others from equally interesting industries.
Among this diverse group of professionals is years of exceptional legal and business experience. In every interview, I ask about the advice they would give a young lawyer hoping to be a general counsel someday. While several, consistent themes always rise to the surface, each one of these lawyers offers very personal and valuable advice from a unique perspective.
Here are some advice highlights from our 2015 and 2016 eNews GC profiles, when asked: What advice would you give a young lawyer who would like to be the GC of a company someday? More
Karen Shaff may not have known at an early age that she was destined to be a lawyer, but her family and friends did.
Shaff grew up in Clinton, Iowa, where she attended elementary and high school. Shaff decided to head to Northwestern University for her undergraduate degree and majored in political science. “We used to travel to Chicago a lot when I was a kid, and I loved the city. Being in the area along with being a top tier school, made Northwestern an easy choice,” she says of her decision to attend the prestigious Evanston, Ill.-based university.
But even by her senior year of college, Shaff was unsure what she wanted as a career, so she decided to take the LSAT. Possibly influenced by her lawyer father, she applied to and was accepted into Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa. “At the time, I really hadn’t thought about going to law school,” she says. “But when I told my friends and family, they all just knew that would be my next step.” More
Happy holidays! What would you like to see in your law department’s stocking this year? Have you asked CEO Santa for an increased budget in 2017? If so, my guess is that Santa wanted a whole lot of information to back-up the request.
Last month, I moderated a panel at In-house Innovates (formerly known as “Superconference”) titled “Allocating Law Department Resources.” One of my takeaways from our session, and the conference generally, is that in-house counsel are getting with the program when it comes to using data and performance metrics. Numbers speak much louder than words when making the case for additional resources.
But even if the metrics make sense, for example in projected savings versus outside counsel use, Santa may still get grumpy if you ask for additional headcount. That is a present wrapped in commitment, and batteries are definitely not included. And so metrics are just a starting point. More