"I liked the idea of getting to know one business really well," Kerr says.
Three years later Kerr had his first experience of working for a company that was sold. Austin-based Freescale Semiconductor Inc. bought SigmaTel in 2008, and Kerr took a position as assistant GC with Luminex Corp. of Austin, a company specializing in biological testing technologies.
In 2011, Austin-based Convio Inc. announced plans to hire its first in-house lawyer, Kerr says.
"In Austin, GC openings don't come along very often," he says. "Anybody in town who wanted to make a GC move should have been looking at it," he says of the job.
Convio, which provided online fundraising and software for nonprofit organizations, hired Kerr as vice president and GC in July of 2011.
"It was fun, and there was a lot instantly on your plate," he says. "There was a lot of opportunity for improvements and to add value, but it was definitely fun."
A few months after Kerr joined Convio, Blackbaud made an unsolicited bid for the company. Kerr says he guided Convio through the bidding process, negotiations on the definitive merger agreement, the tender offer and the antitrust approval process. The deal was finalized in June 2012.
Kerr says he worked closely with John Gilluly, managing partner of DLA Piper's Austin office, while shepherding Convio through its merger with Blackbaud.
"It's good, on those late nights, to be working with people you like and trust," Kerr says.
Gilluly had been a senior associate with the firm when Kerr joined as an associate in 2000.