GC + CEO: Becoming a Strategic Advisor that Enables Innovation

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 62 minutes
Recorded Date: May 22, 2018
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11:15 am - 12:15 pm
  • General Counsel Profile
  • GC's Role
  • GC & CEO
  • Attributes needed by the GC
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: May 22, 2018


The role of the GC has evolved into more than just counsel. GCs are working more closely with the C-suite, and acting in a role of a strategic advisor to help influence business decisions.

This session will discuss how GCs align the law department with the strategic priorities of the corporation to provide strategic value proactively to the business beyond basic risk management and compliance. We will explore how innovative approaches to partnerships with external legal service providers, the CEO, internal customers, the Board, Risk Committees and Audit Committees, can provide more value to the business.

This program was recorded on May 22nd, 2018.

Provided By



Brian Vandenberg

Senior Vice President & General Counsel
American Medical Association

Brian D. Vandenberg is Senior Vice President & General Counsel of the American Medical Association (AMA), the premier national organization dedicated to empowering the nation’s physicians to continually provide safer, higher quality, and more efficient care to patients and communities.

Prior to joining the AMA, Brian served as General Counsel for Livongo Health, Inc., a leading consumer digital health company focused on diabetes management and other chronic conditions. Before that, Brian served as Executive Vice President & General Counsel at Origin Healthcare Solutions and Senior Vice President & General Counsel at Allscripts Healthcare Solutions. Earlier in his career, Brian was Senior Vice President – Corporate Development & General Counsel at uBid, and was engaged in private law practice for many years. Much of his career has been with companies working to innovate and transform healthcare through technology.

Brian’s current role with the AMA in addressing the nation’s most important healthcare issues is a natural extension of his earlier work, especially at this historic time of change for America’s health care system.

Jennifer Schott

Vice President, Asst. General Counsel
Discover Financial Services

Jennifer Kaplan Schott is a versatile and business-minded attorney with substantial in-house and large law firm experience. She has significant interactions and experience with boards of directors and C-level executives, and proven ability to build collaborative relationships, drive initiatives forward, and successfully influence and manage cross-functional teams. Jennifer has a keen sense of curiosity enables effective and creative problem solving. She is an active member of the Law department’s senior leadership team, and is admitted to the bars of Illinois and California. Core competencies include corporate governance, corporate secretarial and board matters, executive and incentive compensation, ethics, insider trading programs, litigation, corporate social responsibility, general corporate law, regulatory compliance, negotiations, department operations and management, corporate communications, and talent development.

Ekumene Lysonge

Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary
Cafe Press

E.M. Lysonge or “E” as many refer to him is the Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of CafePress.

Prior to joining CafePress, E. served as Vice President, Legal Affairs and Assistant Secretary for Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”), producers of the Kentucky Derby. Mr. Lysonge graduated, summa cum laude, from Fisk University and received his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School. Prior to joining CDI, E. served as Vice President & Counsel for the Pedcor Companies, a leading developer of market rate and affordable housing communities in the midwestern United States.

Mr. Lysonge's career began as an associate with the large law firm of Baker & Daniels in Indianapolis, Indiana. He also served as staff attorney with the Simon Property Group, an S&P 100 company and one of the largest REITs in the World. He is a member of the board of directors of: Kentucky State University, a historically black college and one of America’s land grant institutions; the Transit Authority of River City (“TARC”) operator of the public transportation systems for Louisville, Kentucky and Southern Indiana; the Lincoln Foundation; and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana.

Sarah Erickson

Senior Vice President & General Counsel
Red Wing Shoe Company

Sarah Erickson is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Red Wing Shoe Company, Inc. Established in 1905 and headquartered in Red Wing, Minnesota, Red Wing Shoe is known for its premium purpose-built work boots. Red Wing offers footwear and workwear under the well-known brands Irish Setter, Vasque as well as Red Wing. Privately held, Red Wing Shoe sells its products globally, owns two US-based manufacturing plants, a tannery and has over 500 company-owned and dealer-owned Red Wing Shoe stores.

Prior to Red Wing Shoe Company, Sarah was General Counsel at Capital Safety, a world leader in fall protection equipment. At Capital Safety, Sarah designed and implemented the Company’s updated and expanded Code of Conduct as well as its anti-corruption and trade compliance programs.

Sarah came to Capital Safety from Ecolab Inc., the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services serving markets in more than 170 countries. At Ecolab, Sarah held various senior roles in the Law Department, including primary responsibility for the anticorruption/FCPA compliance program and led internal investigations in countries such as Brazil, China and Russia. In addition, she has handled numerous international acquisitions and other transactions as well as had responsibility for antitrust, dispute and litigation management, corporate governance and SEC compliance.

Sarah received her B.A. from the University of Minnesota Duluth and received her J.D. from the University of Minnesota.

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