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7 noteworthy in-house career moves

Charting some of the most recent GC and in-house appointments

GC Appointments

Hooters of America announced that Claudia Levitas has joined the restaurant chain as chief legal officer and general counsel. Levitas has extensive experience in the restaurant industry, having worked for Huddle House, Inc., a diner concept based in Atlanta, where she held the titles of general counsel and chief administrative officer.

Nils Okeson is rejoining Arby’s as its general counsel and chief development officer. Okeson was originally appointed as GC of Arby’s in 2005. After Arby’s joined with Wendy’s in 2008, Okeson assumed the role of GC of Wendy’s. Arby’s was acquired by Roark Capital Group in 2011 and separated from Wendy’s. This time around, Okeson will also serve on the Leadership Team of Arby’s.

YRC Worldwide Inc. appointed Michelle A. Russell as general counsel, executive vice president and secretary, welcoming her back to the company where she worked for 12 years as vice president-legal and assistant general counsel. Most recently, she was GC of Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.

Scott N. Semel joined IntraLinks, a provider of information exchange solutuions, as general counsel, executive vice president and corporate secretary. He previously served as senior vice president, GC and secretary of Novell Inc.

Sharon R. Barner, a former official in the U.S. Department of Commerce, joined Cummins Inc. as vice president and general counsel. From 2009-2011, Barner served as deputy undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property and deputy director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She rejoined her former law firm, Foley & Lardner, last year before joining Cummins.

Other In-House Moves

Allen Lo joined Google’s team of in-house patent experts as deputy GC, and will be responsible for patent licensing and litigation for the online giant. Lo was formerly the vice president and deputy general counsel at Juniper Networks.

Cynthia Baldwin, general counsel for Pennsylvania State University, announced that she will be leaving the office she created after two years on the job. A spokesperson for Penn State has stated that Baldwin’s departure is unrelated to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. Before serving as Penn State’s GC, Baldwin was a Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice from 2006-2008.

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