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Name and title: Corinne Kevorkian, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary Age: 46 The company: New York’s F. Schumacher & Co. designs and markets decorative fabrics, wall coverings and other home-furnishing products. The privately held company, 116 years old, was founded by Parisian Frederic Schumacher, who brought upholstery fabrics from Europe to decorate hotels and the houses of the wealthy, including those of the Vanderbilts, Roosevelts and DuPonts. Today F. Schumacher serves presidents, historical preservation groups and major designers, while targeting the interior-design community, the decorative home-furnishings market and the do-it-yourself home-improvement niche. While declining to specify revenues, Kevorkian said that the company’s major programs with national retailers under its Waverly banner “command $500 million at retail.” The firm has approximately 1,100 employees. IP concerns: Trademark and copyright matters represent the bulk of Kevorkian’s work as GC. She said, “We have not shied away from suing [those] who have infringed our copyrights.” She estimated that her company has brought in “easily over $1 million in recovery” during her tenure. A Kevorkian strategy is to generate sufficient press and publicity to discourage would-be litigants. Lax copyright enforcement by foreign manufacturers, particularly in China and the rest of Asia, poses a “very big threat” for Kevorkian. She is an active lobbyist and has appeared before the U.S. Department of Commerce and various foreign officials as a member of the Textile Producers and Suppliers Association, which seeks stronger enforcement of copyright laws and better laws protecting textile designs. She is convinced that foreign jurisdictions, in defiance of the Bern Convention, frequently make bogus distinctions between industrial and textile designs for copyright purposes. She just resolved, with the granting of a seizure order, a long-standing copyright case in Mexico. Litigation: Most pending litigation is of the “run of the mill” variety. A Kevorkian career highlight, though, was the satisfactory resolution of Alvord-Polk v. F. Schumacher & Co., a private antitrust case characterized by the GC as “very much a ‘bet your company’ ” situation. Originating in May 1990 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and ending with a confidential settlement agreement in 1996, it centered around the company’s marketing and distribution policies. The company terminated a group of 800-number dealers who had allegedly violated the policies, and they sued it in response, claiming antitrust violations and a conspiracy with the National Decorative Product Association to oust them. For Kevorkian, it was essential to draw a line in the sand so that dealers could not dictate the terms of company policies. F. Schumacher also endured a “ fairly significant” employee embezzlement resulting in prosecution and incarceration. Legal team, outside counsel: Kevorkian helms a legal department that also includes senior counsel Laura Silvers and a legal assistant. She reports to President and Chief Executive Officer Gerald Puschel, the founder’s great-grandnephew. “A lot” of work is performed in-house, with specialty areas going outside. IP matters go to New York’s Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, with Jackson Lewis handling employment issues. Jill of all trades: In running a small shop, Kevorkian has become a generalist. She performs contract and licensing duties, including deals with manufacturers and retailers “like Martha Stewart and Kmart.” She has negotiated, drafted and closed six acquisitions to solidify F. Schumacher’s position in the high-end market. She processes leases for F. Schumacher’s showrooms, manufacturing and distribution centers, and oversees a “fair amount” of human resources and employment matters. Kevorkian also procures insurance for the company (“You can’t do business without it”), including fidelity bonds and comprehensive hazard policies. She reviews supply agreements for historic sites, among them the White House, the U.S. Supreme Court building, New York City Hall and Colonial Williamsburg, and must comply with executive orders and procurement rules when doing so. Historical matches, access to archives and how the name is presented are some areas of concern. She must navigate foreign trade laws, where distribution agreements generally are “very protective of distributors and sales agents.” She interacts with the Decorative Fabric Association and the Home Fashion Product Association, working with them in copyright protection and such current industry issues as bedding and mattress flammability. As GC for a private company, Kevorkian explained that “you have to be much more than a lawyer. You must understand the product market, be a businessperson and be willing to cross the line between law and business much more readily than in a public company.” She stressed the importance of being a confidant and advisor to private owners, to whose personalities she must cater. Although it is not required to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley regulations, F. Schumacher has in place accounting and compliance policies that mirror them, as many of the retailers, lenders and suppliers they do business with are Sarbanes-Oxley-compliant. Route to the top: Kevorkian, the daughter of a Frenchwoman and a Paris-based American lawyer, was born in New York and grew up in France. She relocated to the United States to learn English, graduated from Oberlin College in 1979 and spent a year teaching French at her alma mater. Upon finishing Boston College Law School in 1983, she joined New York’s Whitman & Ransom (now part of Chicago’s Winston & Strawn) as a litigation and corporate associate. Three years later, she moved to the New York office of Chadbourne & Parke, where she focused on corporate transactions, primarily for international clients, and handled mergers and acquisitions. In 1991, she was recruited by F. Schumacher & Co. to create its legal department from scratch as its first GC. Personal: Volunteer work for New York Cares and the Coalition for the Homeless is “very important” for Kevorkian, who also likes to read and dance. She is the mother of a pair of daughters: Savannah, 14, and Chlo�, 10, and shares her life with her companion, Terence Nolan. Last book and movie: I Am Charlotte Simmons, by Tom Wolfe, and Million Dollar Baby.

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