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Name and title: Susan Park, vice president for legal affairs Age: 33 Company profile: People who think government is a lot of talk may nod knowingly when they learn about NTI Group Inc. The fast-growing company, with headquarters in Sherman Oaks, Calif., each month distributes as many as 25 million telephone calls, e-mail messages and text messages for local, state and federal governments, school districts and military services that need to get in touch with large numbers of people in a hurry. A typical NTI client might be a school superintendent who needs to tell parents that the schools are closed because of snow, or a police chief who must warn an entire neighborhood to evacuate. The Internet-based system allows clients to contact the public on their home telephones, cellphones, personal digital assistants or e-mail accounts. The company serves more than 17,000 customers in 44 states and the District of Columbia. “Two years ago, when I joined the company, there were fewer than 40 people working there and now there are more than 100,” Park said. “And the number of clients in the past two years has exploded.” The technology is so advanced that it ends up being simple to use. Authorized officials simply record a voice or text message and map the area in which it is to be distributed � which might be an entire city or a single street affected by an emergency. NTI has documented numerous times when mass notification of residents by police and school officials have resulted in the finding of lost children or impaired adults, such as Alzheimer’s disease patients. “We have a very good client care department and our technology is top notch. People know that when you are purchasing our service, you will get individualized service and a reliable product. It does matter to people who work here that we have a good product that helps people,” Park said. “Work here is fast-paced, but everybody has the power to do not just what they were hired for but, if they have other interests, go for it.” NTI was acquired on Jan. 31 by Blackboard Inc., a company that helps schools create Internet-based instructional programs. Blackboard, which has headquarters in Washington, plans to run its acquisition as a separate enterprise while reaping cross-selling opportunities and economies of scale. NTI’s executives will keep their jobs but join Blackboard’s management team. Route to present position: Park was born and grew up on Guam. Following graduation from high school on the island she headed for New England for college, graduating with an undergraduate degree in economics from Boston College in 1996 and from Northeastern University School of Law in 1999. Park’s assiduous preparation for her law career included a research assistantship and four internships, but none of it prepared her for the culture shock of her first job in the corporate department of Goodwin Procter’s Boston home office, where she worked between graduation and 2001. “I didn’t like being at a law firm very much,” Park said. “When you’re with a law firm you have 50 clients, and you understand a little bit about each one of them, but the knowledge is pretty shallow. I thought, ‘Can I do this for the next 10 years?’ And I couldn’t. I even thought about not practicing law, maybe doing something on my own.” She instead moved to the West Coast to work in-house at j2 Global Communications Inc., a telecommunications company in Hollywood, Calif. For three years, from late 2002 to January 2006, Park immersed herself in that one company. She negotiated and drafted contracts, worked on mergers and acquisitions and completed the disclosure paperwork necessary for a publicly traded company. Along the way, she discovered that she enjoyed the experience. “I like working with one company and growing with it,” she said. Eventually, Park met NTI founders Robin Richards and Paul L.H. Ouyang. She admired their company’s culture and went to work there in January 2006. “This presented itself to me. I just wanted to be a part of the team and it has brought rewards,” Park said. “When I’m in the office I work very hard � there are a lot of things going on. But the great thing about working in-house is I don’t have to worry about billing. I just go to work and all that matters is that I do a good job for the company.” Legal team and outside counsel: Park splits the company’s legal work with another attorney, Gigi Goodling. Nearly all of the company’s outside legal work is handled by the San Diego office of Latham & Watkins. “I’d say they get 99% of our outside work,” Park said. “We use them for litigation, regulatory affairs � all kinds of major issues when we want a second opinion.” Daily duties: Park’s main duty is coordinating the company’s rapid growth. “My role is to make certain the contract is sound and makes sense in the overall structure of the company,” Park said. “A lot of times, the business folks are focused on the one deal, and they are not thinking how it will affect another deal we are talking about. The analogy is that we [the law department] are like the hub on a bicycle wheel, the place where all the spokes meet. We have a better sense of how a deal will affect the whole company.” The growth continually changes the sort of work that comes her way, Park said. “My duties have changed just in the past couple of months because the company is growing so much,” she said. “I tend to do more business relationship-type deals. I come in on the later part of the deal to provide any type of legal advice and my two cents about the business strategy aspect of it. After that, I have a pure legal role making sure the company is protected. A majority of my time is spent on that type of work.” Park enjoys the pace and entrepreneurial culture of NTI, particularly working on the closely knit executive team. “We have set meetings, of course, but generally we are not very formal,” she said. “Our offices are all right next to each other. We are not going to have a five-hour meeting about everything. Decisions are made pretty quickly.” Personal: Park is an avid golfer and a “big foodie” who enjoys travel. “What matters to me outside the office is the quality of life with my family and friends.” Last book and movie: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, by Malcolm Gladwell, and Atonement.

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