Appointments: April 2013
Constellation Energy Partners
Constellation Energy Partners, a limited liability company focused on the acquisition, development and production of oil and natural gas properties, recently announced the appointment of Elizabeth Evans to the positions vice president of land, general counsel and corporate secretary.
Evans became an employee of the company in October 2009 and has over 16 years of energy industry and energy-related legal experience. Prior to joining Constellation Energy Partners, she served as senior counsel for Constellation Energy Commodities Group from August 2005 until June 2009. During that time, she provided support in various legal activities and helped acquire the company’s mid-continent assets in 2007.
Prior to joining Constellation Energy Commodities, Evans held various legal positions at Anadarko Petroleum and El Paso.
The W. K. Kellogg Foundation
The W. K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), one of the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States, has appointed Kathryn Krecke as corporate secretary and general counsel, and an officer of the foundation. She will report to WKKF president and CEO Sterling Speirn.
Krecke was most recently vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona. She joined Thunderbird in 2005 as an associate vice president and general counsel, and in 2007 was appointed corporate secretary. In 2009 she was promoted to vice president and assumed responsibility for human resources in addition to her other roles. Since 2005, Krecke has served as the chief legal officer for operations in the United States, Russia, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, China and Mexico.
Krecke also has experience managing a private law practice, in 2004-05; serving as managing counsel for retail marketing, manager of retirement plans and employment practices, and senior counsel for ConocoPhillips from 1995 to 2004; and serving as a partner with Mariscal Weeks McIntyre & Friedlander in Phoenix.
WWE, a publicly traded integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment, has announced the appointment of Monty Sarhan as general counsel and senior vice president. Sarhan replaces former general counsel Michael Luisi, who has been promoted to president of WWE Studios. Sarhan will report directly to WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon.
As general counsel, Sarhan will be a key member of WWE’s senior management team, responsible for overseeing the legal and business affairs of the company and serving as the principal legal adviser to the chairman, CFO and management team. He will also serve as corporate secretary to WWE’s board of directors.
Sarhan has 14 years of experience as a seasoned media executive and lawyer, having held senior leadership positions including lead lawyer in several business units and companies. Prior to joining WWE, Sarhan was senior vice president of business and legal affairs for Viacom Media Networks, where he oversaw all business affairs for the premium movie network EPIX. As one of the early members of the EPIX team, he was part of the network’s national launch in October 2009. He worked on distribution, digital strategy, business development, programming acquisitions and production deals. He also negotiated key agreements that allowed EPIX to become the first premium network to offer subscribers access on Android devices, Roku and Xbox 360.
Prior to his tenure with EPIX, Sarhan handled all business and legal affairs for Viacom’s MTV Games group. He negotiated agreements with Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft that established MTV Games as a leading publisher. He was part of the team that launched the hugely successful Rock Band video game franchise as well as The Beatles: Rock Band, which marked the first time the iconic band’s music has been made available digitally.
Previously Sarhan was founder and CEO of Cracked Entertainment. He acquired Cracked, the 54-year old competitor to MAD Magazine, and relaunched it as a digital property, Cracked.com, now one of the country’s leading comedy sites.
Sarhan began his career as an associate in the New York office of the international law firm White & Case.
Charlene Ripley was recently appointed executive vice president and general counsel of Goldcorp, making her a member of the company’s senior management team. Goldcorp is one of the world’s fastest-growing senior gold producers.
Ripley has 25 years of experience in the field of corporate law, most recently serving as senior vice president and general counsel at Linn Energy in Houston. There she was responsible for leading the legal, information technology, corporate governance, compliance, government affairs, insurance and risk management departments. She has also supported numerous multi-million and multi-billion-dollar growth transactions, both at Linn Energy and in her previous position as vice president, general counsel, secretary and chief compliance officer at Andarko Petroleum in Calgary and Houston.
‘Charlene’s track record of dynamic leadership and deep experience across several critical corporate functions will be invaluable in helping Goldcorp deliver on its proven strategy and commitment to operating excellence,’ says Chuck Jeannes, Goldcorp president and chief executive officer, in a statement. ‘Her background of effecting change within growth companies is of particular importance as we advance the next phase of our quality growth strategy.’
The SEC has appointed Geoffrey Aronow as its general counsel. Aronow comes to the regulator from the law firm of Bingham McCutchen, where he was a partner in the Washington DC office. He has prior federal government leadership experience as the director of the Division of Enforcement at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for nearly four years.
As the SEC’s chief legal officer, Aronow will lead the Office of the General Counsel in advising the agency on issues ranging from enforcement actions to rule-making and legal proceedings in federal courts throughout the country.
Aronow has worked at Bingham McCutchen since August 2008 and has advised clients on matters before the SEC, CFTC and other federal agencies as well as in litigation in federal courts and on legislative initiatives before Congress. His other legal experience includes two stints as a partner at Arnold & Porter (1988-1995 and 1999-2004) and one at Heller Ehrman (2004-2008).
As the head of enforcement at the CFTC from September 1995 to June 1999, Aronow oversaw investigations, recommendations of action to the CFTC, and litigation in federal court or administrative proceedings. He coordinated with a wide breadth of other international, federal, state and local law enforcement and regulatory authorities.
Aronow is a former member of the National Adjudicatory Council of the National Association of Securities Dealers (now the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority). He has also served on the board of directors for the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, has promoted Meryl Burgin to the post of executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, replacing John Picciotto, who has retired from the position after 37 years with the company. Burgin also replaces Picciotto as secretary of CareFirst’s board of directors.
Burgin has been with CareFirst for more than 20 years, most recently serving as vice president and deputy general counsel. Throughout her time at the company, she has provided valuable legal guidance on such corporate initiatives as the creation of the company’s Patient-Centered Medical Home Program and its adoption of the federal health reform law passed in 2010.
CareFirst has also promoted Randy Sergent to the position of vice president and deputy general counsel which was formerly held by Meryl Burgin. Sergent previously served as CareFirst’s senior director and assistant general counsel.
Since joining the company from law firm Venable in 2010, Sergent has helped it to comply with many regulatory and legislative issues included in the health reform law.
NanoString Technologies, a privately held provider of life science tools for translational research and molecular diagnostic products, has appointed Kathy Surace-Smith as vice president and general counsel.
Surace-Smith has many years of experience in the medical technology industry and is expected to play a key role in advancing the company’s diagnostic business, which recently launched its first commercial in vitro diagnostic product in the European Union and Israel.
Surace-Smith joins NanoString after serving for eight years as vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of SonoSite, a medical device company specializing in hand-held ultrasound systems. At SonoSite she managed intellectual property, litigation, compliance, licensing, board governance and reimbursement matters. Previously she was vice president and general counsel at Metawave Communications, a telecommunications equipment provider, where she was part of the management team that took the company public. Earlier in her career, she was in private practice with Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.
Plains All American Pipeline
Plains All American Pipeline (PAA), a publicly traded master limited partnership engaged in the transportation, storage, terminalling and marketing of crude oil and refined products, as well as in the processing, transportation, fractionation, storage and marketing of natural gas liquids, has announced the promotion of Richard McGee to the position of executive vice president and general counsel.
McGee has been with PAA since 2009, holding key leadership positions and most recently serving as vice president, general counsel and secretary. Previously he was president of Duke Energy International, general counsel of Duke Energy Services and a partner at the law firm of Vinson & Elkins.