Founder/Partner/CEO of InnovaCounsel Services, LLC
Stuart Blake is an attorney with more than 30 years of in-house corporate legal experience. He has vast knowledge of the legal issues involved in consumer products industries, for which he has counseled on general business, commercial contracts, employment matters, litigation mergers and acquisitions, and corporate compliance and government. He has built a solid track record of forging successful working relationships with executive management teams.
Stuart was the Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Kinko’s, Inc., for five years, the Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for Baskin-Robbins, USA, Co. for six years and spent six years as Corporate Counsel and Senior Corporate Counsel with the Burger King Corporation. He formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Community Services Branch of the YMCA of Orange County and the Board of Directors of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties and the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel America (ACCA).
Founder/Managing Partner of InnovaCounsel, LLP
Michael Oswald is an attorney with over 25 years of in-house corporate legal and management experience. His broad range of experience spans aerospace, construction consulting and technology, and he has counseled on a wide variety of general business, government contracts, commercial contracts, employment matters, litigation, mergers and acquisitions and corporate compliance and governance.
Michael most recently served as Vice President and General Counsel of SRS Labs, Inc., a publicly traded developer and licensor of audio and voice technologies. He previously acted as Vice President and General Counsel of Lantronix, Inc., a publicly traded provider of computer networking technologies. Prior to his public company experience, Michael was General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer at NowDocs, Inc., and General Counsel at Acuity Corp. He held several management positions at SEMATECH, a semiconductor industry research and development consortium. He has also served as Assistant General Counsel to a government construction contracts consulting firm and a Subcontract Administrator at Lockheed and Ford Aerospace.
He has served as Adjunct Professor of Law at Western State University College of Law, where he taught business law courses, and also served as Assistant Director of the school’s Business Law Center. Michael also serves on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel – America (ACCA).
David M. Blackwood, Partner
David Blackwood is an attorney with more than 25 years of experience, nearly 20 years of which have been as general counsel. David has in-depth industry experience in the accounting, investment banking and consumer electronics industries, and has particular legal expertise in general business matters, complex contract negotiation, litigation management, employment law, mergers & acquisitions, product marketing and distribution, intellectual property and compliance. As general counsel, David has worked closely with CEOs, CFOs and other members of senior management as a trusted business and legal advisor.
David came to InnovaCounsel from McGladrey & Pullen, LLP, the fifth largest accounting firm in the U.S., where he served as Assistant General Counsel. David also served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of McGladrey Capital Markets LLC (recently acquired by D.A. Davidson Equity Markets), an international investment bank specializing in middle-market mergers & acquisitions. Prior to his ten years at McGladrey, David served almost ten years as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Canon Computer Systems, the computer peripheral systems subsidiary of Canon Inc., where he helped grow that company from a start-up to a $1.4B market leader. Prior to his in-house legal career, David was a transactional attorney at several prominent firms in New York City.
David earned a BA degree from Cornell University in 1982, and earned his JD degree (with Specialization in International Law) from Cornell in 1985. David is actively involved in several local and national legal, industry and charitable organizations.
Karen Tegger Ward, Partner
An attorney who has spent the majority of her career as corporate counsel for such firms as The Boeing Company, Yamaha Motor Corporation and Ricoh Electronics Inc., Karen Tegger Ward joined InnovaCounsel as a principal in October 2006. At Boeing, Karen managed international commercial contracts and traveled frequently to Japan to work with subcontractors. At Yamaha, she was responsible for training sales staff, supervisors and customer service personnel. She managed all types of litigation, from breach of contract to employment cases. Karen worked closely with the HR department on employee relations issues at Ricoh, where she reviewed contracts and was involved with internal compliance issues. Karen works well with top executives and employees “in the trenches.” In addition to her experience working for large international corporations, Karen co-founded Harassment Training Counsel, a firm that provides companies with sexual harassment and discrimination prevention training.
Karen graduated from California State University, Long Beach, in 1992 with a degree in political science. She earned her JD degree from Southwestern University in 1995. Ward is an active member of the Southern California Section Association of Corporate Counsel and the National Association for Women Business Owners.
Vincent J. Roth, Partner
Vincent J. Roth is a highly educated and broadly experienced corporate attorney with over 14 years of in-house experience. Vincent provides legal services in the high-technology, healthcare, entertainment, real estate, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, medical device and biotechnology industries to both public and private companies. He is very familiar with highly regulated industries. In addition to managing legal departments, Vincent is often responsible for Human Resources departments and often serves as the Corporate Secretary where he guides and assists companies with their corporate governance and corporate culture and helps the boards of directors and CEOs unfold their visions. He also enjoys helping companies develop and protect their intellectual property to create value.
Prior to working with InnovaCounsel, Vincent served as the full-time General Counsel for three public companies in the biotech, telecommunications and computer networking industries and a private biotechnology contract manufacturer. Before practicing law, he worked in healthcare management for eight years.
Vincent recently completed a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Intellectual Property at the University of San Diego with honors. He previously received an LL.M. in Business and Corporate Law from the University of San Diego where he graduated #1 in his class, a Juris Doctor and M.B.A. from Temple University, a Master of Liberal Arts in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.B.A. in Marketing and Human Resource Administration from Temple University. In addition to these six degrees, Vincent has also been awarded three master certificates in related disciplines and now has two published articles with prestigious law journals.
Warner Broaddus was Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary for Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated from 2001-2007. Prior to joining Ligand, Warner served as General Counsel and Secretary of Invitrogen Corporation, a biotechnology reagents & equipment maker, where he was employed from October 1994 to November 2000. In these capacities he had overall responsibility for the company’s legal affairs, including intellectual property, corporate and securities matters, litigation, compliance and corporate governance. From 1986 to 1990, Warner was an analyst for Morgan Stanley & Co. and UBS Securities, Inc. (now UBS Warburg).
Warner holds a J.D. from the University of San Diego and a B.S. (computer science) from the University of Virginia.
Ramona Petersen joined The General Counsel in February 2009, bringing with her several years of Corporate Counsel experience for companies such as K&N Engineering, Inc., Focus on the Family and Kustom Phinish, Inc. In addition, Ramona spent three years running the Benefits Department for the 17,000+ employees of the County of San Bernardino.
Recently, in addition to her corporate counsel responsibilities, Ramona served as CEO for a design/finish carpentry business. She believes this experience was invaluable in teaching her all aspects of running a small corporation. She not only served as a member of the executive team but also directed the marketing and business development activities of the company and worked with all levels of employees. Ramona took the construction experience she gained from those years and now serves as an adjunct professor in the Construction Technology Department at Fullerton College, teaching Business Administration and Construction License Law.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Chapman University, Ramona earned her JD degree at Western State University College of Law in 1997 and in 2004 earned a CEBS (Certified Employee Benefits Specialist), Retirement Plans Associate and Group Benefits Associate Designation from the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the current President and co-founder of the Venus Elite Network for Professional Women, a member of the Association of Corporate Counsel and the In-house Counsel Committee of the Intellectual Property Section of the California Bar Association. She is also a past mentor for Volunteers in Parole, a group that matches attorneys with women reentering society upon being paroled.
Geri L. Bone
Geri Bone has over 20 years of legal experience both in house and in prominent law firms. She was Secretary and Associate General Counsel of Pacific Century Homes from 2000-2002, Senior Transactions Counsel at Lennar Corporation from 2002-2006 and National Environmental Counsel for Lennar Corporation from 2006-2007. Prior to joining Innovacounsel, Geri was Of Counsel at Robert Smylie and Associates and head of the San Diego Offices.
Geri has extensive experience in all areas of real estate development/law including acquisitions/dispositions, formation, asset management and representation of ventures, LLC’s, limited and general partnerships, land use issues (procurement and perfection of entitlements, permits, approvals), environmental law, residential, commercial and resort subdivisions, construction issues, equity and construction financing, Department of Real Estate licensing and regulatory issues and preparation and negotiation of construction agreements. In addition, she has considerable general business law experience, including, but not limited to, corporate law, employment law, mergers and acquisitions, complex contract negotiation and preparation, corporate compliance and governance, licensing, intellectual property, litigation, including pre-litigation dispute management.
Geri earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego and her JD degree from University of West Los Angeles School of Law in Los Angeles. She is a member of the Real Estate and Environmental Law Sections of the State Bar of California. Prior to attending law school, Geri worked as a paralegal for various law firms, including, Latham and Watkins in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Geri also has the unique background of having in essence grown up in the real estate/escrow/construction business, having worked in various capacities in the field and in the office, for her families’ various businesses, including, but not limited to, Mustang Development Corporation, Sunrise Company and Pacific Coast Escrow prior to attending law school. Geri is a member of the Builders Industry Association, San Diego Chapter and where she serves on the Political Communications, Legislative and Storm Water Committees. Additionally, Geri routinely participates in Habitat for Humanity community build projects throughout Southern California.