General Counsel/SVP

Scottsdale, AZ
Full Time
Exp.: 15+ Years
Southwest Foodservice Excellence, LLC (“SFE”) is a leading foodservice provider to over 150 K-12 public school districts in 15 states. The Company focuses on providing nutritious and high quality service to its partner school districts and nearly [400,000] school children. In 2018/2019, SFE served over 75 million meals. The Company was founded in Arizona in 2004 and has grown rapidly to become the 14th largest food service provider in the U.S, and the leading K-12 only focused foodservice provider in the U.S. SFE acquired OrganicLife (OL) in August 2018. OL is a leading K-12 food service provider in Illinois. SFE is headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ.

SFE is privately owned between management, the original business founders and Harkness Capital Partners (NY). Harkness completed its acquisition of its majority interest in SFE in August 2017. Harkness is a private equity firm dedicated to investing in leading business services companies and providing capital and operating support to help them grow.

Job Description:
The General Counsel’s (GC) primary responsibilities will include overseeing and helping to direct all legal work on behalf of the Company. Important activities will include reviewing and oversight of Company foodservice contracts with its 150+ school districts and legal aspects of the Company’s food purchasing operations. The GC will also provide corporate legal guidance in the areas of governance, bank and financial reporting, corporate and Board reporting and compliance, employee matters, and compensation programs, acquisitions, real estate matters, and litigation. In matters related to company contracts with school districts, the GC will be involved in the review and preparation of Company bids to provide services to potential new or returning school districts (Requests for Proposals, RFPs, drafting and negotiating such contracts and amendments) and ensuring compliance by SFE with applicable local, state and federal regulations and guidelines.

The General Counsel will report directly to the CEO of SFE and the GC will be a member of the senior management team.

  • Provide strategic legal advice to the company as part of the senior leadership team to guide the Company.
  • Draft and review SFE contracts.
  • Work with operations to ensure proper administration and compliance of SFE contracts.
  • Manage company compliance function, including interpreting and helping to ensure SFE is in compliance with applicable USDA and state regulations.
  • Field a wide range of legal inquiries related to SFE matters, including employee relations, policy and litigation issues.
  • Proactively work with SFE colleagues, clients and the SFE board to identify and help mitigate legal and regulatory risks for the company.
  • Oversee and serve as liaison with outside counsel.
  • Keep current on developments with regulatory matters at the federal, state and local level pertaining to K-12 foodservice operations.
  • Attend regular senior management meetings, management meetings, Company conferences, SFE board, and client meetings.
  • Such other related duties as may arise from time to time.

  • Bar Standing: Member in good standing of the Arizona State Bar required, or able to waive into state; familiarity with or standing with Navajo Nation State Bar is a benefit but not required.
  • Strong Professional Background: 15 years of legal experience required. Preference for candidates with strong background in private practice and experience as a company GC or AGC. Candidates should have a record of achievement and advancement. Experience with government contracting is desirable, although not required.
  • Strong Academic Background: Graduate of a leading law school, and with strong academic record.
  • Transaction Background: High level of proficiency in transactional work, experience with contracts and procurement is highly desirable.
  • Strong Communications: Ability to communicate effectively, and work cooperatively and interact comfortably with a diverse community and multiple constituencies including senior administrators, staff, faculty, students, trustees, external professionals and vendors.
  • Character and Judgment: Sound judgment and high degree of integrity and discretion.

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