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She may spend her days thinking about flatware and glassware, but Susan Kovach is no homebody. The 44-year-old is general counsel of Libbey Inc., a Toledo-based manufacturer and distributor of glass and metal tabletop items. Kovach joined the company from Detroit-based firm Dykema Gossett, where she served as of counsel. Prior to that she had been GC and corporate secretary of Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc. What drew her back in-house? “I really felt limited in my practice at the law firm,” she says. “When you’re outside counsel, you really don’t get to see all the internal issues that may affect a business decision.” Now, as the only in-house lawyer at a company with 3,800 employees, Kovach has gotten what she wished for. Among other duties, she oversees the company’s SEC compliance, negotiates and drafts its distribution and supply agreements, and helps Libbey with business expansion, such as its recent acquisition of a Netherlands-based stemware maker. While much of the work is standard GC fare, Kovach has also found herself at the bottom of a steep learning curve. Unlike Omega Healthcare, a finance company that provided capital to the long-term health care industry, her new employer is a manufacturing business. But Kovach says it has been a change for the better: “One of my favorite things to do is to go to the various plants,” she says. “See[ing] how things are made is really interesting.” And, if she sees any tableware that she likes, Kovach gets a discount from the company’s outlet store.

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