Interactions Corp. Interfaces With its First GC
Boston-based Interactions Corporation named Dean Breda as its first in-house lawyer and general counsel last month. Building a legal department at a rapidly expanding company is something thats familiar to Breda, who most recently held the GC post at Zipcar Inc.
Im the first general counsel and the only attorney, which is pretty similar to how its been at most of my prior companies, he says. I tend to be the first person on the scene.
Interactions Corp. provides conversational customer-care applications. The companys products allow callers to communicate with an automated system using natural language. Breda says the disruptive nature of its business is what he finds most appealing about the new position. We are trying to do something in a unique way that really changes the way that companies can interact with their customers and provide customer service.
Breda gained firsthand exposure to customer service long before becoming a lawyer: He was a supermarket meat cutter throughout high school and college, and later rented out tuxedos for formalwear chain Mr. Tux. I actually started out doing some modeling for fashion shows and ended up working in their stores because it was a lot cleaner than cutting meat, says Breda, and less dangerous.
In his first month on the job at Interactions Corp., Breda helped close a $40 million round of financing. He has also been actively involved in negotiating client contracts and managing the human resources work that goes along with bringing in the new employees the company needs to keep up with business demands.
Interactions Corp. currently counts Hyatt Hotels Corporation and LifeLock Inc. among its clients, and Breda says international expansion is on the near-term horizon. The company is on a great growth trajectory, he says.
The growth spurt also can be a source of complication for a GC. Trying to manage that growth and scale the company appropriately so that we dont get out over our skis too far is a challenge for the entire business, he says, but it obviously has an impact on the legal function, too.
Breda spent the last three years at car-sharing outfit Zipcar, a company he describes as being very much a tech company at its core. While we were providing a service thats based on a staple, the automobile, says Breda, we did it through pretty complex technology that was light years ahead of what others in the industry were doing.
Zipcars tech savvy was an attractive quality that Breda says contributed to Avis Budget Groups decision to buy the startup early this year. Breda was responsible for the legal aspects of that deal, as well as Zipcars IPO in 2011.
Bredas previous in-house positions include GC roles at technology companies Demandware Inc., Vistaprint USA Incorporated, and StorageNetworks Inc.
He holds a bachelor of business administration degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Breda earned his J.D. in 1989 from the University of Connecticut School of Law. The Massachusetts native began his legal career at the now-defunct Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault in Boston.