Kristen Coleman's new job as vice president, general counsel and secretary at Brunswick Corp. is as much a return home as a new opportunity.
She started working for the Lake Forest, Ill.-based maker of boats, billiard tables and all things bowling in 2003 and moved her way up the ranks to deputy general counsel by 2008. About a year ago, she took a job as vice president and associate general counsel of Mead Johnson Nutrition Co., a baby formula manufacturer.
But after only six months at her new job, Brunswick called Coleman and asked her to come back as the new general counsel.
"It was a quick turnaround for me. Far quicker than I expected," she says about her busy year.
Coleman says she has a diverse history as a lawyer that has given her a broad range of experience to draw from. She started her career as a litigator at Sidley Austin Brown & Wood in Chicago. After five years she began focusing on corporate law. During the height of the dot-com boom, she worked on M&A, venture capital and IPO projects.
"[My] blend of experience, which is somewhat unusual, is tremendously helpful as an in-house lawyer," Coleman says.
Moving forward, the biggest challenge she faces is knowing that her company, just like many others, is looking to do more with less.
"How do we leverage our personnel resources to ensure that we're putting the right people on the right things and providing those people with sufficient support?" she says. "That's going to be a huge part of what I do."
Considering Coleman's experience and dedication to the company, there's no doubt she'll succeed at her task.