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Roxanne Khazarian won’t hesitate to tell you that Gibson makes a lot more than Les Paul guitars. It also builds Epiphone guitars, Baldwin pianos, and Slingerland drums, not to mention a newly developed line of consumer electronics that includes stereo systems and digital jukeboxes. Keeping all the creative types in tune with the law falls to Khazarian, the lone in-house lawyer in the 1,300-employee company. Khazarian, 50, landed at Gibson in July 2005. Before her gig at the Nashville-based business, she worked for General Electric Company and Ethan Allen Interiors Inc., among others. Khazarian spends most of her time at Gibson’s Tennessee headquarters, but every few months she takes her legal show on the road to the company’s New York offices. How did you get your job? I came home from work one day and there was a message from a human resources representative from Gibson. I think they had noticed that I had operations experience, and I had been at [furniture manufacturer] Ethan Allen, so I had operations experience working for a company that does wood processing. What drew you to the company? Gibson is a multilayered and complex business. Yes, we are an instrument company, but we are [also] a media company. We are an entertainment company. We are an international company. We’re also a technology and consumer electronics company, because we are taking certain technologies and we are incorporating them into consumer electronics products-even a new product like a digital guitar. [That guitar] will allow there to be a distinction in the sound of each individual string. I heard a demonstration [of it], and I thought it was revolutionary. In my mind, I listened to that guitar, and it sounded like I was listening to an orchestra. What kind of legal work do you do at Gibson? I do everything from advertising review, to managing litigation, to board of directors work, to real estate work. What do you like about working as a generalist? It gives you an opportunity to see so many sides of this business. I think-although my specialist friends might disagree-it is exceptionally difficult to be a generalist because you don’t have a specific set of expertise into which you can withdraw and find your comfort zone. How does working in the New York office differ from working in Nashville? It’s the opportunity to see a different side of the business, to see how that overall involvement and understanding of the music business integrates with artists, promotions, and sponsorship opportunities. [Gibson is] a fascinating business. The New York office is in the old Hit Factory recording studio on West 54th Street. At any time people are talking about special sponsorship deals, people are booking studio time for various bands. You really get to see how people think about and use the products. Are you a guitarist yourself? I am not a musician in any sense of the word. Does that preclude you from being a music fan? No, I think everyone [here] is a music fan, and that’s what makes this a very dynamic environment. In [my job] interview, people asked me what I know about the music industry, and I said, “Well, nothing. But that’s never stopped me at anything before.” What kind of music you listen to? Jazz, R&B, some blues and classical-of course, all played by Gibson/Baldwin artists.

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