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Title: Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary Location: Addison Age: 47 New Recruits Concentra CFO Thomas E. Kiraly likes to work with a stable, knowledgeable general counsel who won’t surprise him. He doesn’t want someone who’ll save the day at the last minute. He wants someone like Richard A. Parr II. “In the kind of role Richard’s in, if you’re doing your job, you’re in a situation where you’re avoiding all kinds of risks, because you handle those issues before,” Kiraly says. Concentra, a national workers’ compensation and health-care provider, is a highly regulated, wide-ranging company. Kiraly says a general counsel such as Parr lifts some of the burden off the CFO and CEO. Working without Parr is one of the reasons Kiraly would think twice before moving to another company, he says. Perhaps Parr is so good at helping out his fellow managers because he’s worn their shoes. He spent three years as president and CEO of Paragon HomeCare Corp., restructuring debt and regenerating a distressed venture into a viable company to sell at a substantial profit for stockholders. “It gave me a perspective on in-house legal work that most lawyers don’t have,” Parr says. One of the most important things he learned is that first-rate legal work is a given for business leaders, and falls after responsiveness, constructive advice and clear communication on the priority list. Parr says his team, which he has built from the ground up, is key to the top-notch service Kiraly counts on. Parr tries to follow the advice given to him by a manager at OrNda Healthcorp, where he worked before Concentra: “I hire people that are smarter than I am, I set expectations and I let them do their jobs.” He also encourages his lawyers to grow their practices so that everyone has a career path, even though there can be only one general counsel. Parr started thinking about the careers of military reservists called to active duty, and the plight of their families, shortly after Sept. 11, 2001. Active-duty compensation goes only so far for reservists who leave behind their day jobs, so Parr advocated a plan for Concentra to make up the difference for its employee-reservists. A chance conversation with a woman on an airplane led him to go a step further: Within Concentra, he started what is now the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network, a program designed to promote hiring of military spouses, who are often uprooted by base transfers. Parr says the program placed more than 30 highly qualified people at Concentra in 2004, and he’s recruiting other companies for similar placements. “It not only makes good patriotic sense, it’s also our way of giving back,” he says. This involvement has led him to consider how Concentra could expand into the government sector. “We get people back to work, maybe expand into government work,” he says. If he’s not careful, people might start calling Parr a risk-taker.

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