Gene DeFelice

GC Appointments

The turbulent waters of healthcare compliance require a knowledgeable captain, and HMS Holdings Corp. believes it has found its legal leader in Gene DeFelice. DeFelice will serve as executive vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary of the company, which provides coordination of benefits and program integrity services for healthcare payers. He previously served as GC of Barnes & Noble, and he comes with 20 years of prior experience in corporate healthcare and technology. “It is his years of front-line operations and business experience that makes him a particularly great partner for our management team as we focus on strategic growth opportunities, product development, and market expansion,” said company CEO William C. Lucia in a release.

Mary Giesler


And now batting for the Minnesota Twins, playing vice president and general counsel, Mary Giesler! Giesler has been named the team’s first in-house general counsel, where she will serve as their liaison with the MLB’s legal department and manage outside counsel relationships. She comes to the position having previously been a partner with the Minneapolis firm of Kaplan, Strangis and Kaplan, where she played a key role in negotiating and preparing many agreements that were integral to the approval, design, construction and opening of Target Field, home of the Twins. “I’m very excited to be joining such an outstanding organization,” Giesler said in a statement.

Julie Presas


The Online Computer Library Center, Inc., is a nonprofit dedicated to furthering access to the world’s information resources and lowering research costs, and the OCLC certainly did its research in naming Julie Presas general counsel and vice president of legal services. This is a promotion for Presas; she was previously assistant general counsel with the library cooperative, based in Dublin, Ohio, and replaces the retiring Jim Houfek. Before joining OCLC in 2001, she was general counsel for Fiber Network Solutions, Inc. “Julie’s skill as an attorney and her commitment to libraries and the OCLC membership will serve her well in this leadership role,” said Skip Prichard, OCLC president and CEO.

Weight Watchers


Weight Watchers International, Inc., may be all about helping its clients slim down, but the company’s legal department recently received some beefing up with the hire of Michael F. Colosi as general counsel and secretary, effective on May 19, 2014. Colosi has GC experience, having served in that capacity for Kenneth Cole Productions for the past 13 years. While at Kenneth Cole, he helped oversee the company’s transition from being publicly traded to privately owned. “His analytical background, judgment and experience across a wide range of legal, operational and executive responsibilities will make him a trusted strategic advisor and partner for me and the rest of the Executive Committee as we continue to transform the company,” Weight Watchers CEO Jim Chambers said in a statement.

Alisha Cieslak

Alisha Cieslak is ready to serve up her own special in-house legal recipe for Gordon Food Service. Cieslak has been named the general counsel for the food distribution company, headquartered in the Grand Rapids, Mich., area. Cieslak joined GFS in February 2014 after having served for several years as the North American general counsel for the Benteler Group, an international industrial group with business units in automotive, distribution, and steel/tube. While Alisha was based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, Benteler is headquartered in Salzburg, Austria and employs 30,000 people in 38 countries in 150 locations.

Tamara Linde


The Public Service Electric and Gas Company’s (PSEG) slogan promises to “make things work for you.” But in order to have legal counsel that works for the company, the onus will be on newly-appointed general counsel Tamara Linde. Linde has been with PSEG’s legal department since 1990 and was appointed vice president – regulatory in 2006. She will replace the retiring Lon Bouknight, Jr. in the third quarter of 2014. “Tammy is a strong leader and excellent lawyer who thoroughly understands our business and the environment in which we operate. I am pleased to announce her promotion and know that she can continue to build on Lon’s successes in leading our outstanding internal legal team,” said company CEO Ralph Izzo in a statement.

James D. Garraux


Law Firm News

While new U.S. Steel GC Suzanne Rich Folsom is winning awards in her new position, former U.S. Steel GC James D. Garraux is making news of his own in being hired as counsel in law firm Fox Rothschild’s Pittsburgh office. Garraux spent more than three decades at U.S. Steel, working his way up from director of labor arbitration to finally GC before retiring in late 2013. While at the company, he was U.S. Steel’s chief labor negotiator during bargaining for the last three national master labor contracts and oversaw multiple acquisitions. “His knowledge and experience will undoubtedly provide tremendous benefit to clients, particularly given his first-hand insight with the complex labor and employment matters that challenge today’s employers,” said Mark L. Silow, firmwide managing partner of Fox Rothschild, in a statement.