Appointments: December 2014
1) American Apparel has named Chelsea Grayson as executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, effective December 15, 2014. She is replacing Tobias Keller, who has been interim general counsel since June 2014.
Grayson has more than 15 years of experience in private practice as a corporate attorney with the law firms Jones Day and Loeb & Loeb, serving as a partner in the corporate groups of both firms. She has worked on private placements of equity and debt securities for public and private companies, joint ventures and strategic alliances, and mergers and acquisitions for clients in a variety of industries, including retail.
A member of the State Bar of California, she received a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a JD from Loyola Law School.
2) The Empire District Electric Company has named Dale Harrington as assistant secretary. He will also continue to serve as director of investor relations, with responsibility for SEC reporting functions and proxy preparation.
Harrington has held positions in internal auditing, financial and regulatory accounting, and human resources since joining Empire in 1989. During a one-year break from the company, he served as director of benefits at Contract Freighters (now Con-way Truckload), returning to Empire in 2002 as assistant director of human resources. Before moving to Empire, he worked in accounting and finance at Tamko Building Products.
Harrington has a BS in Business Administration – Accounting from Missouri Southern State University and is a member of the National Investor Relations Institute.
Julia Heitz Cassidy
3) Kimball International has appointed Julia Heitz Cassidy as vice president, general counsel and secretary. In addition to overseeing legal functions, she will provide strategic thought leadership, advice and counsel to the executive management team.
Cassidy was previously vice president and deputy general counsel at Kimball. She joined the commercial furnishings manufacturer in 1996 as an associate corporate counsel and previously was previously an associate attorney at Leagre & Barnes.
She holds a law degree from Indiana University School of Law – Bloomington and an undergraduate degree from University of Kentucky.
4) Praxair has named Guillermo Bichara as vice president, general counsel & corporate secretary, effective January 1, 2015. He will succeed Jim Breedlove, who will retire on February 27 after 10 years at Praxair.
Bichara is currently associate general counsel and assistant secretary, and will serve in an advisory capacity to the company from January 1 until February 27. As GC, he will lead Praxair’s legal, compliance & ethics, and government affairs departments and will report to chairman and CEO Steve Angel.
Bichara joined the industrial gases and surface coatings maker in 2006 as director of legal affairs at Praxair Mexico. After spending four years as vice president and general counsel of Praxair Asia, in 2011 he was named associate general counsel with responsibility for Europe and Mexico. In 2013, Bichara was promoted to associate general counsel and assistant secretary.
Before joining Praxair, he was corporate counsel at CEMEX and previously served as foreign associate and counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and White & Case, respectively. He holds a law degree from the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey and master of laws degree in international legal studies from New York University. He is admitted to practice in New York and Mexico.
5) Jean Liu has been appointed as general counsel, executive vice president for legal affairs and corporate secretary at Seattle Genetics, reporting to president and CEO Clay Siegall. Liu replaces Kirk Schumacher, who is retiring after more than 10 years with the company.
Liu has more than 20 years of experience advising pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on corporate, intellectual property, compliance and general legal matters.
Most recently, Liu has served since 2011 as vice president and general counsel at Halozyme, a biotechnology company. From 1998 to 2011 she held numerous legal roles at Durect Corporation, most recently as chief legal officer and corporate secretary. She has also worked at Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro (now Pillsbury Winthrop) and Venture Law Group, where she advised early-stage companies about technology transfer, licensing, patents, and copyright and trademark litigation.
Liu earned a BS in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan, an MS in Biology from Stanford University and a JD from Columbia University, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
6) Verizon Communications has appointed Craig Silliman as executive vice president for public policy and general counsel, effective January 1, 2015. He will succeed Randal S Milch, who has been named to a new position as strategic policy adviser to Verizon chairman and CEO Lowell C McAdam.
Silliman, who joined Verizon in 2004, will also report to McAdam and lead the company’s public policy, legal, regulatory, government affairs and security groups.
He currently serves as senior vice president for public policy and also leads the company’s groups for federal and state legislative and regulatory affairs, strategic alliances, national security, and privacy, and has served in numerous other senior management roles at Verizon. As senior vice president and general counsel for Verizon’s wireline consumer, business and wholesale groups, Silliman was responsible for all legal and regulatory support for Verizon’s wireline business unit globally, managing a team of more than 260 legal and regulatory experts located in 20 countries.