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NAME: David A. Pace TITLE: Vice president and general counsel AGE: 40 ORGANIZATION: Canton, Ohio-based Reebok International Ltd. manufactures and sells athletic footwear and apparel worldwide for men, women and children in nine categories, including basketball, fitness, running, tennis and adventure. It is also the exclusive licensee of Ralph Lauren Polo footwear, operates Rockport shoes as a subsidiary and manufactures Greg Norman golf and non-golf apparel. BEFORE REEBOK: In 1985 Pace worked as an associate at Boston’s Ropes & Gray, where he co-founded the firm’s sports law and entertainment division in which he represented sports associations, athletes, coaches, broadcasters and corporations. In his nine years there, Pace also handled some of Reebok’s outside counsel work. After Ropes & Gray, he was vice president and general counsel for Applied Extrusion Technologies Inc., a Peabody company that makes plastic film, used in potato-chip bags and as wrappers on plastic soda bottles. HIS GAME PLAN: Pace oversees seven lawyers in the United States, two lawyers in Reebok’s London office and eight paralegals. His responsibilities include intellectual property issues such as registering and protecting the company’s trademark from counterfeiters, which he describes as the “crown jewels”; protecting the development of new technology through patents; working with athletes and their endorsement contracts; and licensing of the Reebok logo. “Reebok is a very fast-paced company and the industry is a very dynamic, changing industry. You have to try and stay ahead of what’s happening, see what the legal issues and challenges will be down the road and try and manage them today,” he says. SOLE SURVIVOR: Pace also oversaw the establishment of contract agreements for Reebok’s sponsorship of the highly popular “Survivor” television series this summer. He worked with the company’s public relations group and senior management in its show-related advertising. “It was a great coup. It’s safe to say this was bigger than anyone could have expected. A lot of kudos go to the people in advertising and marketing who saw [the potential] well before it was ever going to hit the screen,” he says. “They took a chance at the promotion and it produced a lot of great advertising, publicity and energy inside and outside the company.” SOURCE OF PRIDE: Pace oversees the continued implementation and expansion of the company’s Human Rights Production Standards in its business practices, which include non-discriminatory practices, fair working hours and overtime, fair wages and safe and healthy work environment for its employees. The standards apply to all Reebok employees, including those in China, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico and Brazil. “We’ve gone beyond the written document here,” he says. “It kind of permeates the culture and it’s very empowering. People understand that’s what the company is committed to. People are proud, including myself and other lawyers. The company’s on the forefront of getting ahead on this issue.” CAN’T DO IT ALONE: The challenge and fun of his job is the diversity of the work. But, without quality attorneys, legal managers and administrative assistants, the tasks would be more difficult to accomplish, he says. “One of the fun things for me is working together with the other folks here as part of a team. Reebok is in an industry you can get passionate about. The big difference between inside and outside is you have passion for the company and the brand,” he says. RESERVE PLAYERS: Ropes & Gray in Boston is the primary outside counsel for Reebok. The firm handles issues, including acquisitions, debt or stock financing and employee benefits, such as Reebok’s retirement plan. Hanify & King of Boston provides litigation-related work for the company, including contract negotiations. ATHLETICALLY MINDED: A former varsity defensive back for the University of Pennsylvania football team, Pace keeps active by playing golf and skiing. He also works out, lifting weights at the company’s expansive training center for its employees. HE SAID IT: “One of the things about being in-house is you’re more on the front line and more partnering with your business clients. You strive to achieve the right business result and you tend to be a little bit more proactive in how you do things,” Pace says. “Our goal as a department is to add value to the company.”

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