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GCs as Leaders: Balancing the Needs of the CEO, Board & Corporation

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 59 minutes
Recorded Date: May 21, 2019
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11:15 am - 12:15 pm
  • What are the attributed of a successful GC?
  • How do you become a trusted advisor?
  • What are some successful strategies for developing a thorough understanding of the business?
  • How do you build successful relationships with the Board, C-Suite, and various business units?
  • How does the GC influence ethical business decisions?
  • What do you wish you had known before taking on the GC role?
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: May 21, 2019


The role of the GC has evolved into more than just counsel. GCs are working more closely with the C-suite, acting in a role of an advisor to help influence business decisions. This session will discuss how GCs are balancing the needs of the CEO and the Board to advise on strategic business initiatives that CEOs seek, while also managing complicated issues in the Boardroom, like crisis management and orchestrating mergers and buyouts, and protecting the Board’s decision-making processes to serve their fiduciary responsibility.

This program was recorded as part of ALM and Corporate Counsel's 19th Annual SuperConference held on May 21st, 2019.

Provided By

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Brian C. Frontino


Brian Frontino is part of the firm’s Financial Services/Class Action Practice Group and handles complex litigation, including both individual and class actions. In particular, Mr. Frontino has extensive knowledge of state and federal laws relating to data security and privacy, debt collection, credit reporting, military lendin automobile finance, unfair business practices and other consumer protection statutes. He represents a wide array of companies, including credit card issuers, mortgage lenders, consumer reporting agencies, e-commerce companies, automotive finance companies and student lenders. Mr. Frontino appears in state and federal courts around the country, at both the trial and appellate levels.

Beginning in the summer of 2008, Mr. Frontino provided extensive strategic advice and counsel to a major benefits administrator relating to security breach notification requirements. The incident involved apparent loss of electronically-stored Social Security numbers and health information while in transit overseas to a storage facility. Mr. Frontino’s successful rapid response to the incident resulted in no major litigation or administrative penalties, and Mr. Frontino continues to provide strategic advice to the client on these issues as they arise. This experience led to his recent involvement in drafting a data security breach policy for the U.S. operations of a major Japanese consumer products retailer.

Mr. Frontino also has successfully defended state and federal privacy actions. Most recently, he obtained a decisive victory on behalf of, Inc., when the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada dismissed a putative class action complaint arising from a data security incident the company suffered in 2012.

Mr. Frontino also participated in obtaining a dismissal at the pleading stage of a California state class action alleging identity theft in connection with the opening of retail consumer credit card accounts, and has participated in obtaining dismissal of a federal class action alleging harm based on the theft of multiple desktop computers containing confidential financial information for thousands of consumers, including plaintiff, during a break-in at a secure facility. Mr. Frontino also routinely defends clients in opposing discovery of non-public information of unnamed class members in consumer class actions.

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Michelle Tidjani

Senior VP & General Counsel
Henry Ford Health System

Michelle Johnson Tidjani, Esq., was appointed Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Henry Ford Health System in 2017. In this role, Tidjani provides executive leadership, from both a strategic and operational perspective, for the following areas: Office of the General Counsel covering all legal affairs for the health system, the Business Integrity and Tax Office, Information Privacy and Security, the Governance Office, and the Risk Finance and Insurance Office.

Prior to Henry Ford, Tidjani served as the Deputy Chief Legal Officer for the Cleveland Clinic, where she managed a team of more than 20 lawyers, paralegals, support staff and external counsel, serving as a strategic partner with her executive team on such initiatives as physician/hospital alignment, telemedicine, reimbursement, affiliations, acquisitions and governance. Tidjani has been responsible for more than $7 billion in contracting revenue through managed care agreements, consulting services, clinical operations, information technology, clinical trials, supply chain and all vendor relationships.

Tidjani was previously Senior Counsel for Tenet Healthcare's Managed Care and Litigation Practice Group where she led development and implementation of clinically integrated networks in five markets spanning the country. In this role, she also was involved in a wide range of operational and regulatory issues, including healthcare reform initiatives, physician contracting, corporate formation and governance, Stark, anti-kickback, antitrust, and HIPAA.

She earned her juris doctor from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 1998. She was awarded a bachelor's degree with honors from Cornell University in 1995.

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Ignacio Cortina

Executive VP, General Counsel & Secretary
Oshkosh Corporation

Ignacio A. Cortina is Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Oshkosh Corporation, a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of a wide range of access equipment, specialty trucks and truck bodies, including fire and emergency vehicles, concrete mixers, refuse bodies, defense trucks, telehandlers and boom lifts. He has responsibility for all legal, ethics and compliance, environmental affairs and sustainability matters in the Corporation. He is a member of the executive operating team and serves as an advisor to the CEO, Board of Directors and other senior management members for all the Company’s business segments and reports directly to Wilson Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Cortina joined Oshkosh Corporation in 2003 and was appointed to his current position in November 2016. Prior to joining Oshkosh Corporation, he was in private practice in Washington, DC.

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Georgia Vlamis

Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary & HR
FreightCare America

Georgia Vlamis is the Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Head of Human Resources at FreightCar America, a publicly traded mid-size company which manufactures innovative railroad freight cars and components tailored to customer’s requirements for the safe and efficient transportation of dry and containerized freight in a global market place. Ms. Vlamis is responsible for the management of the Company’s legal, compliance and human resources affairs. She provides advice and counsel to the Board of Directors, officers and management, directs activities of all legal counsel and oversees development and implementation of employee relations, corporate compliance training, compensation programs, executive recruitment and insurance and benefit plans.

Prior to joining FreightCar America Ms. Vlamis worked at Motorola Solutions, a data communications and telecommunications equipment provider which succeeded Motorola, Inc., for 20 years where she served as the vice president and head of litigation, antitrust, regulatory and product safety for the Legal, Government Affairs and Communications Department. In that capacity she had responsibility for managing the company’s litigation matters worldwide and providing global support in the compliance areas noted above.

Prior to her litigation role, Georgia was responsible for managing the commercial legal affairs and legal teams for the $8B Enterprise Mobility Solutions business which served both commercial enterprises and government public safety customers around the world. Earlier in her tenure, Georgia served in various other leadership roles for different Motorola business units. Prior to joining Motorola, Georgia was a litigation partner with the law firm of Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon in Chicago, IL. Before joining Wildman, Georgia spent the first two years of her career as an associate as Sidley & Austin's Chicago office. Georgia received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and her J.D. from DePaul College of Law, where she served as an editor on the Law Review.

Georgia also serves on the board of directors of the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago.

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