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Name And Title: Roya Behnia, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary Age: 41 Here’s Your Reward: Rewards Network Inc., headquartered in Chicago, is a leading provider of marketing services and loyalty programs to the restaurant industry. Thousands of restaurants in the United States and Canada participate in the company’s services, which include business intelligence and access to capital. In conjunction with airline frequent-flyer programs and other affinity organizations, Rewards Networks provides more than 3.3 million members with incentives to dine at participating restaurants, including airline miles, college savings awards, loyalty/reward program points and Cashback Rewards savings. The company recorded 2006 sales of $253 million. It employs approximately 450 people in Chicago, Miami and a national network of sales offices. Legal Team: In addition to Behnia herself, four lawyers and a paralegal handle in-house matters for Rewards Network. One attorney manages both litigation and collections; another works with the sales organization and is the in-house bankruptcy expert. In-house expertise extends to corporate securities, mergers and acquisitions, transactions, human resources, information technology, marketing and intellectual property. The company recently filed a patent application for a digital contracts workflow tool. “We have internal clients,” Behnia said. “It works out great because they are terrific lawyers.” Outside Counsel: Rewards Network does business with Chicago firms including Jenner & Block for major litigation and Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg for intellectual property matters. Quarles & Brady, based nearby in Milwaukee, assists with bankruptcy litigation. Sidley Austin gets the call for securities, governance and corporate work. Trial By Fire: Both Jenner and attorneys from the Los Angeles office of New York-based Stroock & Stroock & Lavan helped to defend Rewards Network in a class action by a number of California restaurants alleging violation of usury and unfair business practices laws. The case settled in December 2006 for $64 million after the restaurants won a summary judgment motion in U.S. district court in Los Angeles. The case dominated Behnia’s first months with the company. Not that that’s a bad thing � she found that she enjoyed the experience. “Resolving that lawsuit was my focus through 2006,” Behnia said. “Nobody wants to be in that situation, but I just liked it . . . .It was a complete thrill. I told our [chief executive officer] the thing to do in a crisis is power through. We were able to get the business through, despite the terrible distraction, and turned it around very quickly.” Daily Duties: “Day-to-day counseling” has been the order of business ever since. She is working closely with the executive team on a strategic plan. “We are an internal law firm, so I do not have to manage [the legal department] actively. We are all professionals. I count on them to provide me and their clients with the best advice possible.” Route To Present Position: Behnia, who grew up in suburban Chicago, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1987, then took her government degree to Washington for a year before heading the University of Chicago Law School. Following graduation in 1991, she went to work at Kirkland & Ellis as a litigator. She made partner in 1997, but soon realized that she wanted a different future. “At Kirkland & Ellis, I learned a lot about how to think critically, but once I made the first level of partner I realized I felt constricted by a litigation practice. I found myself far more interested in what my clients were actually doing.” Behnia went to work in late 1998 as the director of litigation at Brunswick Corp., a manufacturer best known for its bowling products. “At Brunswick, I got my foot in the door of an in-house practice with a very good company,” she said, one that allowed her to broaden her repertory to include transactions. “The job allowed me to act as a true general counsel without the public-company responsibilities. I learned a lot about being part of an executive team.” In 2001, she moved to SPX Corp.’s suburban Chicago office, as group general counsel, and stayed for four years. While she considered the job a dream, career reality at SPX was that to advance she would have had to uproot from Chicago and move to company headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. Instead, she took a year off. “It was great. I basically did my own thing for a while,” she said. “People interested in progressing in the legal world shouldn’t be afraid of taking breaks or detours,” she continued. “Many people are so focused on a goal that they don’t stop to think about the process and what is good for them. I’m Exhibit One. I voluntarily checked out for a while so I could do other things. It didn’t affect my ability to get the kind of job I wanted.” Personal: “I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, went away to school and came back. For five years prior to this year, I taught trial strategy at the University of Chicago Law School. Mostly for the past year I have been getting acclimated to this position.” Beyond that, “I like gardening, cooking, design � and I like to hike, read a lot and hang out with my friends. I like to draw, and I take photographs. I’m just outside all the time. I have a huge interest in architecture. I take pictures of buildings as much as anything else. I’m a dabbler.” Behnia serves on the board of Red Orchid Theater. “It’s a small, critically acclaimed company here in Chicago. It has the reputation of being an actor’s theater. The work is very challenging, edgy. It’s enormous fun being on the board.” Last Book: “I just finished The Emperor’s Children, by Claire Messud. Before that, I had finished a biography of Marie Antoinette, which was interesting. I regularly read the Atlantic and the Sunday New York Times. I have a subscription to Foreign Policy and I like that, too.” Last Movie: “I saw a pre-screening for a film festival of a documentary called Sounds of Silence. It’s about the underground music scene in Iran. It was really good. It showed at the Tribeca Film Festival [in New York] and we are trying to bring it to Chicago. Before [ Sounds of Silence], I hadn’t seen a movie in months.”

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