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Name and title: Richard Gordon, general counsel Age: 54 The company: Based in Seattle, 70-year-old Time Oil Co. owns and operates 110 convenience stores, all of which double as retail petroleum locations. It also owns the property upon which sit the stores and gas stations. Major brands, including Exxon, Chevron, Shell and Valero, are featured, and a small number of sites dispense Time Oil Co. fuel. Its territory encompasses northern California, northern Nevada, Oregon and Washington, primarily rural areas and small towns. “Historically there are very few aspects of the petroleum industry that the company has not been involved in,” according to Gordon. Time Oil, a pioneer of the convenience store/ gas station approach, is privately owned, employs 50 and reported 2004 gross sales of $110 million. Full-gamut generalist: Although his background is oriented toward natural resources issues, Gordon does it all for Time Oil’s legal department: corporate governance, assisting management with strategic planning initiatives, general commercial law, real estate and real property matters, land use issues and some tax work. He has also assumed risk-management functions, such as insurance placement. In 1999, he participated in the company’s spinoff and sale of six liquid petroleum storage terminals. He was also involved in Time Oil’s recent business reorganization, including the phasing out of its Jackpot Food Mart trade name. Gordon participates in decision-making and due diligence when new locations are acquired, paying particular attention to “historic uses and current environmental conditions” of pre-existing service station sites. He is also steeped in contract and lease duties, in part due to Time’s switch from its previous incarnation as a franchisor to its current independent leasing operation. Percentage-of-gross leases are the general rule. Contractual issues and provisions connected with the gasoline suppliers also receive his attention. Gordon guides and assists the company’s third-party operators and attends to lease and fuel supply details. As a privately held company, Time is not under the Sarbanes-Oxley microscope, although it follows the recommendations of its auditors “with a greater degree of scrutiny and inquiry” than in the past. Litigation/regulation: Time Oil’s general liability insurance covers its customers where retail gas activity occurs, including the buildings, the pumps and parking areas. Due to the nature of the petroleum business and its products, there are also environmental issues. Under general liability provisions in place since the 1960s, Gordon spent a great amount of time in the late 1990s seeking remediation and remuneration from insurers to clean up sites with tank leakage and underground contamination, although he declined to discuss litigation specifics. “Most of the insurance policies that were written prior to the mid-1980s don’t contain enforceable provisions for liability occasioned by petroleum or hydrocarbon contamination,” said Gordon, who, “making a concerted effort to take the high road,” gathered all the relevant information, studied the insurance policies, made claims and pursued them through to settlement. He noted that sometimes the source of the contamination can’t be isolated. Gordon often deals with state agencies over storage tank regulations, state remediation laws, and soil and groundwater pollution events. A petroleum exclusion in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act places most compliance activities at the state, rather than federal, level. Depending on the jurisdiction or time of year, there are regulatory requirements for various additives, including ethanol. Increasingly stringent vapor-recovery regulations are being implemented, along with revised computing standards for fuel and vapor content. Legal team, outside counsel: Time’s “small and hands-on” legal staff consists of Gordon, a full-time temporary contract attorney and their shared administrative support. “Rather than blindly seeking and paying out for the biggest names,” Gordon looks for “high-quality responsive representation with folks who are sensitive to our overall business goals and business model, risk tolerance and practical procedures.” Gordon finds that midsized regional firms provide “the best results and best value.” Firms in decades-long relationships with Time Oil include Portland, Ore.’s Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt for general representation in Oregon and Washington; Gordon, Thomas, Honeywell, Malanca, Peterson & Daheim of Tacoma, Wash., for insurance coverage; Reno, Nev.-based McDonald Carano Wilson; and Downey Brand of Sacramento, Calif. When grappling with differing state laws and “on the ground” environmental issues, Gordon tries to hire local counsel who are in close proximity to the problem. He reports to President and Chief Executive Officer H. Roger Holliday and Chairman C. Edward Miller. Route to the top: Gordon is a University of Chicago graduate (1972), and he received his law degree in 1975 from New York University School of Law. Unlike most of his classmates who stayed on the East Coast and entered big-firm practice, Bronx, N.Y.-born Gordon “opted for a bit of adventure instead” and relocated to Helena, Mont. He became the state’s first water rights hearing examiner and also served as assistant attorney general for its department of natural resources and conservation. After four years, he moved to Seattle as assistant regional counsel for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Region 10 office, which closed following the deregulation of petroleum prices and allocation in the early 1980s. He then joined Time Oil, where he will soon mark his 20th anniversary, serving first as corporate counsel, then, in 2001, as GC. Personal: Gordon is a widower who enjoys opera and baseball, is an avid movie collector and, at age 53, began lessons on the Hammond B-3 organ. Last book and movie: The Eater’s Guide to Chinese Characters, by James D. McCawley, and Ray.

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