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Name and title: Cynthia M. Lewin, executive vice president and general counsel Age: 48 The company: Volunteers of America Inc. is a national, nonprofit spiritually based organization that provides community-focused human services throughout the country, from “rural America to its inner-city neighborhoods.” The group’s outreach programs, which seek to promote self-sufficiency and independence, target the most vulnerable: abused and neglected children, the elderly, the mentally and physically disabled, the homeless and the incarcerated. Among the 2 million people it says it services yearly are the 20,000 residents of its more than 250 housing properties; an additional 5,000 who live in its long-term nursing care facilities, assisted living complexes and retirement communities; and the 32,000 adults and juveniles who receive its correctional services. Founded in 1896 as an outgrowth of the social gospel movement that preached putting one’s faith into action, the Alexandria, Va.-based charity has 15,000 employees in its headquarters and 39 field offices; 90,000 volunteers support its work. 2004 revenues were $750 million, and it said that 88 cents per dollar goes directly to its charitable endeavors. Dynamic GC: “I do everything-soup to nuts. I spend time on a million things.” As a member of the executive team, Lewin works with the board “on the big pieces.” She examines existing program initiatives, helps devise new ones and formulates general strategy. She continually monitors the volunteers’ nationwide facilities, trying to isolate and address areas of concern, and fields a constant barrage of calls related to the special needs and problems of its at-risk clients. Lewin also works on entrepreneurial matters, and brought to fruition a $25 million joint venture to build assisted living facilities at hospitals. Lewin has a hand in contracts, resolves liability issues, drafts resolutions, liaises with the Better Business Bureau and maintains good standing with more than 450 corporate donors and partners. Volunteers of America receives federal, state and local funding and also counts on support from individuals, foundations, special events and fund raisers. It recently received a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant to work with grassroots, faith-based groups, instructing them on how to organize and run programs and grapple with issues such as insurance and liability. Lewin reviews company publications, including Spirit magazine and the Gazette newsletter, and vets its annual report, brochures and press releases. Currently, she is providing input on “Finding Our Voice,” a branding initiative designed to engage the public in its mission and attract more volunteers. Although not directly involved with the volunteers’ collaborative agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Trust, Lewin examined the legal ramifications of their sharing trademarks. Reputation: Lewin vowed that “reputation is what we have to attract funding-it’s critical. We emphasize good stewardship, and are very conscious that this is public money we are spending.” Maintaining corporate integrity is as much a goal for her as enrichment of the organization. She established a live whistleblower hotline, prepared a new board-adopted code of ethics, streamlined corporate governance, and demanded added transparency and accountability “to be more in line with Sarbanes-Oxley and public expectations.” She is concerned about the “environment for nonprofits generally,” citing cutbacks in in-kind donations and restrictions on vehicle donations and gifts to thrift stores. Furthermore, she characterized this as an era of nonprofit scandals, mentioning specific cases involving United Way of America and the Boy Scouts of America. Lewin is warily watching congressional hearings on nonprofits, rooting for legislation “that curbs abuses,” but “does not hurt the good guys.” Legal team and outside counsel: Lewin heads a four-person shop including Assistant General Counsel Beth Caseman, who focuses on employment, fund raising and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act; real estate counsel Dan Ehrenberg; and newly arrived legal assistant Jessica Capak, who concentrates on corporate filings. The GC reports to President and Chief Operating Officer Charles W. Gould. Lewin said, “I use lots of lawyers a little bit, and I have my secret lawyers in place who are inexpensive and really good.” She turns to the Rochester, N.Y., office of Syracuse, N.Y.’s Hiscock & Barclay for trademark work; Washington’s The Groom Law Group for pensions and benefits; and Minneapolis’ Messerli & Kramer for general corporate and project finance advice. Lewin’s “secret” stable also includes an attorney in New Orleans who assists in personnel matters, a lawyer in “a tiny town in Ohio” and a Detroit practitioner. She hires outside counsel to work with Ehrenberg in “our 10 big real estate deals a year,” and litigation goes outside, but Lewin estimates that 90% of the non-real estate work is performed in-house. Slip-and-fall cases usually go to insurer-appointed counsel. Route to the top: Born in Boston and raised in Denver, Lewin achieved what she jokingly referred to as the “Hillary Clinton double”-she graduated from Wellesley College (in 1978) and Yale Law School (in 1984). She commenced her career clerking for federal district court Judge Mariana Pfaelzer in Los Angeles. Next, Lewin spent seven years at Washington’s Arnold & Porter, eventually moving on to Lichtman, Trister, Singer & Ross, a D.C. boutique specializing in nonprofits. She joined Volunteers of America in January 1998. Personal: Courtney, 30, Lowell, 25, and Miranda, 13, are offspring in the combined family of Lewin and her husband Arthur Fox, who are also the proud grandparents of 6-month-old Lily. Last book and movie: Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons, and Garden State. - Roger Adler

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