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These days, technology enables people to download movies, music, and video games from the comfort of home. So why shouldn’t travelers be able to do the same thing? That’s the thinking behind LodgeNet Entertainment Corporation, which allows people to get on-demand movies and sports programming, Nintendo games, and Internet access in more than 1 million hotel rooms globally. The company does all this from its Sioux Falls, South Dakota, headquarters, a location that made LodgeNet’s executives wonder whether they would be able to recruit James Naro, 53, as general counsel. Naro had lived in sunny Florida for 20 years. One of LodgeNet’s directors learned about Naro from a former colleague, who called him the best person for the job. “But he also said, ‘You just won’t get him to come to Sioux Falls,’ ” says Naro. Naro’s last career move was to become the first in-house lawyer at Digital Angel Corporation, a GPS technology provider. Though the company is based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Naro was able to remain in Florida, working from its Delray Beach office. At Digital Angel, Naro was doing what he calls “basic blocking and tackling” (setting up internal practices and procedures, corporate and Securities and Exchange Commission compliance, form agreements) to help set up an in-house law department. He enjoyed the work and planned to stay. But then LodgeNet called. Naro was drawn to the media and entertainment business, which he knew well. Prior to joining Digital Angel, he was GC for DIRECTV Latin America, LLC. “LodgeNet represented an opportunity to get back to that portion of my roots,” Naro says. And with LodgeNet’s continuing global expansion, he knew his previous international experience could help. Naro says he also realized that joining a growing company like LodgeNet from the outside is difficult. “Opportunities like that don’t waltz down the pike very often,” he says. “This was one I had to take.” There was still one roadblock: Naro had been working at Digital Angel for only 18 months and was a close friend of CEO Kevin McGrath. Naro didn’t want to desert the company or his longtime friend. “He didn’t see it coming,” says Naro. “Neither did I. Telling him about the offer was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.” In the end, McGrath understood Naro’s decision. And the move from Digital Angel to LodgeNet has gone smoothly, says Naro, who started his new job in June. LodgeNet has allowed Naro to divide his time between his old and new offices. He has helped Digital Angel interview for his replacement and provided interim legal assistance. “LodgeNet really wanted this to be a good transition,” says Naro. “I’m very appreciative and grateful.”

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