Kristen K. McGuffey was born in Kenosha, Wis., the same city where — nearly a century earlier — the Simmons Bedding Co. made its first mattresses. On the day she was born, her father started a new job — which would lead to his lifelong career — in the old Simmons building, by then a Chrysler plant. She wasn’t aware of these coincidences until later — when she took the job as Simmons’ general counsel.

McGuffey moved with her family to Indiana and then Michigan. She earned an engineering degree and a law degree, then settled in Atlanta just because she liked the city. She moved from a law firm to corporate work because she wanted to think like a businessperson, not just a lawyer.

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