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Utah Business

Meet the 2021 Corporate Counsel honorees who are helping Utah’s companies navigate the legalities of a post-pandemic world.

2021 Corporate Counsel Honorees

As outside counsel, attorneys help companies solve specific problems. But as in-house counsel, attorneys have the opportunity to help their companies develop short-term goals and long-term strategies. Meet the 2021 Corporate Counsel honorees who are helping Utah’s companies navigate the legalities of a post-pandemic world.

Ben Tyler

General Counsel | ASEA

LinkedIn

Meet the 2021 Corporate Counsel honorees who are helping Utah’s companies navigate the legalities of a post-pandemic world.
Ben Tyler, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What challenges have you overcome to get here today?

I have been involved in some very successful organizations and some very unsuccessful efforts as well. You learn a lot from both experiences. While I certainly didn’t enjoy the failures, I would hate to have missed them. You need a good mix of failure and success in order to really understand the needs of your company and the consequences of the decisions that are made.

What does success look like to you?

Success as a lawyer is when people are happy to see you join a meeting, when they come to you for help on a project rather than trying to manage around you, and when you can get to know people beyond their function in the organization.

Bob Hunt

General Counsel | Western Governors University (WGU)

LinkedIn

Meet the 2021 Corporate Counsel honorees who are helping Utah’s companies navigate the legalities of a post-pandemic world.
Bob Hunt, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What advice do you have for someone fresh out of law school?

I took an alternative path after law school and have had formative experiences in higher education, tech, and startups; moving incrementally closer to converging work and interest. I revere the JD as the Swiss-army-knife of graduate learning and encourage new lawyers to explore industry―needs for logical prowess, superlative writing, and advocacy are literally everywhere. There are perhaps a hundred JDs at WGU in non-legal roles―one is the talented leader of a 2,000+ person service division.

What challenges are you most looking forward to taking on next?

I am well into my next and most anticipated challenge: creating a legal department to match WGU’s pace, sophistication, and goodness. With my colleagues, a group of talented and compassionate attorneys, I am constantly learning and exploring how best to support the university and its growing circle of affiliates as a strategic resource. 

Charlie Freedman

Corporate Counsel | Malouf Companies

LinkedIn

Meet the 2021 Corporate Counsel honorees who are helping Utah’s companies navigate the legalities of a post-pandemic world.
Charlie Freedman, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What is the most interesting project you’ve worked on as counsel?

Our foundation fights the sexual exploitation of children and human trafficking. I‘m currently working on legislation with elected officials to help survivors and creating business relationships to assist in building an aftercare center for children in Salt Lake. I enjoy all of the legal work in our department, as it is diverse and contributes to our growth, but the foundation is the most meaningful part of my job.

What advice do you have for someone fresh out of law school?

I believe starting in-house is the best training a new lawyer can receive in learning corporate law. In-house counsel is a team-centered mentality, which allows a new attorney the training and mentorship essential for excelling in the legal field. Working in-house is rewarding, and we all need to focus on life balance. For me, being a happy lawyer is an important part of quality work.

David Doxey

General Counsel | doTERRA

Meet the 2021 Corporate Counsel honorees who are helping Utah’s companies navigate the legalities of a post-pandemic world.
David Doxey, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What does success look like to you?

I’m succeeding when the company is succeeding and meeting its goals. I see my role as being an example to my team members and serving doTERRA in whatever capacity I can. I’m honored [to sit] alongside some incredible individuals who each add great value to the company.

What is the most rewarding thing about your job? Why?

It’s a great honor to be working alongside a world-class legal team. I enjoy the diversity that each day brings and I’m confident in our ability to meet every challenge that comes our way. The opportunity to work with so many great professionals makes my job easy.

Don Olsen

EVP, General Counsel | Cricut, Inc.

LinkedIn

Meet the 2021 Corporate Counsel honorees who are helping Utah’s companies navigate the legalities of a post-pandemic world.
Don Olsen, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What challenges are you most looking forward to taking on next?

We are a rapidly growing company with an increasingly international presence. Scaling brings new problems and new complexity―but they are good problems and are fascinating to engage with.  

What do you enjoy most about in-house work?

The opportunity to deeply understand internal clients and helping them solve practical problems to build an outstanding organization.

Ethan Hanson

SVP, General Counsel | Lendio, Inc.

Meet the 2021 Corporate Counsel honorees who are helping Utah’s companies navigate the legalities of a post-pandemic world.
Ethan Hanson, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What challenges have you overcome to get here today?

The biggest challenge for in-house counsel is the island we likely work on. Legal is often viewed negatively and is most likely one of the smallest, if not the smallest, departments in an organization despite the overall impact the legal department has on an organization as a whole. Overcoming the challenge of being on that island is difficult at times, but the value you gain once you get past this challenge is extremely valuable.

What is the most rewarding thing about your job? Why?

Building relationships with a diverse group of business leaders. The relationships I have built across various organizations have brought more excitement and fulfillment to my career than anything else.

Garner Meads

VP, Associate General Counsel | Vivint Smart Home

Meet the 2021 Corporate Counsel honorees who are helping Utah’s companies navigate the legalities of a post-pandemic world.
Garner Meads, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What do you enjoy most about in-house work?

I started my career practicing law at two large international law firms. I enjoyed my work at those firms, but at times felt a bit like a parent with a lot of needy children I had to spread my attention across. In contrast, I love that working in-house allows me to focus on a single “client” and dive deep into every part of the business. I also find it very personally rewarding to work closely with other business professionals across the company, not just other attorneys.

What advice do you have for companies seeking in-house counsel?

I believe companies will benefit more from their internal legal function when it’s treated as a strategic partner within the business. You should give your in-house counsel a true seat at the table as opposed to relegating them into a corner to churn out contracts and agreements. On the flip side, look for in-house counsel with strong business acumen and problem-solving skills, not just legal knowledge.

Joshua Neves (not pictured)

VP, General Counsel | Blue Raven Solar

LinkedIn

What do you enjoy most about in-house work?

I know the company from top to bottom, and there’s always opportunity (never enough time) to develop a new idea. I collaborate on a weekly basis with some of the top attorneys scattered across the country serving in various capacities for the company. Supporting the company’s employees and operations, while managing outside counsel, has honed my business acumen and has made me a better attorney. 

What challenges have you overcome to get here today?

I’m part of what’s been called the unluckiest generation in US history. By leaning on my experience from growing up as an unpaid ranch hand and working in my Dad’s tree service company, and despite the looming health crisis and economic disaster caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am now the vice president and general counsel of one of the best companies in the country. Like so many other young attorneys, I’m still far from financial security but I’ve never been so optimistic about my future.

Kevin Catlett

Chief Investment Counsel | Utah Retirement Systems

LinkedIn

Meet the 2021 Corporate Counsel honorees who are helping Utah’s companies navigate the legalities of a post-pandemic world.
Kevin Catlett, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What is the most rewarding thing about your job? Why?

Working for URS allows me to serve over 230,000 active and retired beneficiaries who devoted some or all of their professional lives to public service in Utah. These beneficiaries include police, firefighters, teachers, government employees, and so many more. Being able to play even a small part in ensuring that their pension benefits are safeguarded and paid is the most rewarding part of my job. 

What does success look like to you?

Delivering sound legal advice when addressing complex issues in a dynamic investment environment, across many asset classes.

Lee Saber

VP, Associate General Counsel | Cognizant Technology Solutions US Corporation

LinkedIn

Meet the 2021 Corporate Counsel honorees who are helping Utah’s companies navigate the legalities of a post-pandemic world.
Lee Saber, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What advice do you have for someone fresh out of law school?

Step #1: Grind. There are no short-cuts. Be a grinder and embrace the grind. Always. 

Step #2:  Read and then re-read Carol Dweck’s book Mindset. Develop a “growth mindset.” Thrive on that growth mindset. Stretch your abilities. Never stop growing.

Step #3: Throughout your career, NEVER forget Steps 1-2, especially when situations become difficult.

What is the most rewarding thing about your job? Why?

I am primarily responsible for $2.5 billion in annual contract revenue, and $4-5 billion in additional total contract value for Cognizant’s global service lines. These transactions occur globally, encompassing technology, cloud infrastructure, data analytics, AI, and ‘connected products’ disciplines. Each transaction presents unique and challenging delivery requirements and agile legal counsel.

Lucy Knight Andre

General Counsel | Stadler US Inc.

LinkedIn

Meet the 2021 Corporate Counsel honorees who are helping Utah’s companies navigate the legalities of a post-pandemic world.
Lucy Andre, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What is the most rewarding thing about your job? Why?

When I made the move from a law firm to in-house, I had a fundamental shift in philosophy.  I was no longer the person advising clients on what they could or could not do; I was suddenly the person who needed to find a (legal and ethical) way to make things happen. Even after all these years, I still get so much satisfaction out of finding a creative solution to a difficult problem.

What does success look like to you?

For me, success is all about thinking outside the box to find solutions that work for everyone. I think when you listen well and learn as much as you can about all sides of an issue, then work as hard as you can to create the best possible outcome for everyone involved, that is success.  Everyone may not get exactly what they want, but if you remain flexible and committed everyone can feel good about the result.

Lynn Hart

VP, General Counsel & Secretary | Sinclair Oil Corporation

Lynn Hart, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What is the most interesting project you’ve worked on as counsel?

I would say that one of the most interesting and challenging projects was the 2005 restructuring of Sinclair into a family of affiliated companies comprised of a parent company and more than 20 wholly-owned subsidiaries.

What advice do you have for someone fresh out of law school?

Don’t lock yourself into one predetermined path to your career. Look for opportunities to be exposed to a variety of legal issues and positions early in your career. The more doors you open, the more likely you are going to find the job that is most fulfilling to you long-term. 

Meredith Krannich (not pictured)

VP & General Counsel, North America | bioMérieux, Inc. & BioFire Diagnostics, LLC

LinkedIn

What is the most rewarding thing about your job? Why?

It was rewarding to help navigate challenges during the pandemic. For example, BioFire’s Legal team helped address raw material shortages by working creatively with our purchasing team and suppliers. In addition, we needed to keep our workplace open for our teams including R&D and manufacturing. We worked closely with BioFire’s HR team to keep our facilities open and safe during the pandemic. BioFire’s mission is to help make the world a healthier place, supporting that mission gives me the opportunity to use my science background and to tackle interesting legal issues in one of the most meaningful ways possible. 

What advice do you have for someone fresh out of law school?

Look for ways to step outside of your comfort zone and try new things. I started my career working as an IP litigation associate at Kirkland & Ellis, then worked as a mediator, taught conflict resolution skills to law students, and then moved in-house to lead a team of very talented attorneys. It wasn’t always comfortable, but tackling new challenges gave me the opportunity to learn, sharpen my skills, and grow as an individual. 

Mike Johnson

General Counsel & Corporate Security | DigiCert

LinkedIn

Meet the 2021 Corporate Counsel honorees who are helping Utah’s companies navigate the legalities of a post-pandemic world.
Mike Johnson, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What is the most interesting project you’ve worked on as counsel?

Acquiring a business several times our size (at the time) and integrating it into one team.

What advice do you have for someone fresh out of law school?

Your ability to learn on the job is more important than what you know right now.

What advice do you have for companies seeking in-house counsel?

Hire people who think like long-term owners.

If you weren’t in-house counsel, what would you be doing?

Coaching high school football.

Saul Speirs

Deputy General Counsel | Young Living Essential Oils

LinkedIn

Meet the 2021 Corporate Counsel honorees who are helping Utah’s companies navigate the legalities of a post-pandemic world.
Saul Speirs, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What is the most rewarding thing about your job? Why?

Young Living’s vision aligns with me on a personal level. I love seeing Young Living thrive and it’s rewarding that I know I am a part of that. I’m motivated to roll up my sleeves and do whatever work is necessary. I think everyone wants to be part of a team or organization with a purpose they believe in. Young Living makes it easy because, like our vision statement, I too would love to see a healthy home for each of us and a healthy world for all of us. 

What is the most interesting project you’ve worked on as counsel?

When I was responsible for negotiating a joint venture in China. The CEO and chairman of the board kicked their general counsel from the meeting and conducted the meeting with no lawyers present. It felt like a true scene in a movie. I was in a smoky board room with an interpreter trying to understand cultural differences while orchestrating a negotiation on behalf of Young Living. Having the opportunity to be involved with international projects is a great benefit of being General Counsel and has given me unique experience in my legal training.  

Scott Finlinson (not pictured)

General Counsel | Onset Financial, Inc.

LinkedIn

What challenges have you overcome to get here today?

2020 was a year none of us will forget. Our company had no idea how or if we would survive through the pandemic. There was so much uncertainty. There were some days when I was the only person working on the entire floor of our company’s building. The motion-sensor lights would turn off and I would find myself working in the dark. But we hung in there. What started out as one of the most fearful and uncertain of years ended up being one of our most rewarding and the best year in our company’s history. 

What challenges are you most looking forward to taking on next?

I often see my role as general counsel as the glue that holds different parts of our company together. Our company recently expanded to a new location, so we needed a cohesive plan to ensure our culture, and the parts that make us such a great company, stay in place. We need secure processes to help us scale for this growth and ensure the integrity of our work stays consistent. All of these efforts need legal help and guidance. I look forward to being an integral part to help our company achieve our lofty goals.     

Tanya Brady (not pictured)

SVP, General Counsel | Phillips Edison & Company

LinkedIn

What is the most rewarding thing about your job? Why?

The most rewarding thing about my role is the opportunity to mentor and help younger team members develop their skills and pursue their goals. Phillips Edison’s core value of “Always Keep Learning,” encourages team members to pursue growth opportunities and I’m passionate about serving as a resource as they do that.  

What advice do you have for someone fresh out of law school?

First, find a mentor that can help you plan and navigate your career path. Second, develop and foster strong relationships with professionals in all areas of business. Your network can and should be with people in diverse industries and roles.  

Trent Belliston

General Counsel | The Younique Foundation

Meet the 2021 Corporate Counsel honorees who are helping Utah’s companies navigate the legalities of a post-pandemic world.
Trent Bellison, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What is the most rewarding thing about your job? Why?

Oftentimes legal work can feel a little disconnected or distant from the true purpose of the organization or business. At The Younique Foundation I am able to see how the work I am doing each day is part of an important mission to raise awareness about the risks of childhood sexual abuse and give hope for healing to survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Being part of an organization full of people who work tirelessly to change the lives of those in need is amazing and very rewarding. 

What advice do you have for someone fresh out of law school?

You’ve worked very hard and sacrificed a lot to get to this point. Well done. You deserve to be happy. Don’t settle. If you aren’t happy with where you’re at and what you’re doing you owe it to yourself to make a change. Work will always involve some things you don’t love or even enjoy, but you shouldn’t hate it. If you work for someone who isn’t nice and brings you down, move on. Life is too short and hard to not surround yourself with nice people who help you grow and be better.

Lifetime Achievement Honoree

Doug Hammer

SVP, General Counsel | Intermountain Healthcare

Doug Hammer, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What does success look like to you?

I measure success by the extent to which Intermountain is achieving its community-based and patient-centered objectives. How can we as a legal and government relations department and me personally, as general counsel help Intermountain achieve its important healthcare objectives?

What is the most rewarding thing about your job? Why?

Intermountain Healthcare’s mission is to help people live the healthiest lives possible. With 24 hospitals, over 200 medical clinics including 1600 employed physicians, a health plan SelectHealth serving over 900,000 members and over 40,000 employees, it’s remarkable and gratifying to see and be part of the contribution Intermountain makes to communities and the lives of so many individuals, families, and patients. The variety of legal-related work is constantly challenging and evolving from Federal and State policy, legislative and regulatory matters, corporate matters including governance, tax, complex transactions, to health law-related patient care and medical staff issues to name a few. The health industry may be as complex from a legal and regulatory standpoint as any industry in the world. But perhaps more importantly, it’s the friendship with so many outstanding colleagues from a wide range of professions including law, and relationships with Boards of Trustees, elected officials, and others that makes the work satisfying and rewarding. It’s the reason I have worked at Intermountain for over 40 years and developed close relationships with each of Intermountain’s four CEOs and seven Board Chairs from the inception of the company in 1975.

To learn more about our honorees, check out the videos below:

Lindsay Bicknell is the project coordinator for Utah Business magazine. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, she graduated from Miami University of Oxford with a degree in communications. She has a background in television, print, and web media, as well as public relations and event planning. As a transplant to Salt Lake City, she can't get enough of the mountains and loves snowboarding.