Rhonda Joy McLean, JD '83
New York, NY
I am deputy general counsel for Time Inc., a newly independent, stand alone, publicly traded company that publishes more than 27 magazines in the United States and Canada that are read in print, online, on tablets and mobile devices around the world and also produces a wide variety of other products, including books, calendars, videos, television shows and digital applications for multiple platforms. I am an advertising, data privacy and consumer marketing attorney and am primarily responsible for: 1) managing one third of our law department; 2) evaluating new business development concepts and conducting legal risk analyses; 3) helping to establish domestic and international company standards and policies for consumer marketing materials and methodologies, focusing on electronic marketing matrixes; 4) identifying and resolving consumer data privacy promotional issues; 5) keeping clients informed regarding the status of federal, state and municipal legislation that might apply to their business practices; 6) assisting our in-house litigators as appropriate when our company’s marketing procedures and/or promotions are challenged; 7) recruiting and overseeing our summer legal interns; and 8) hiring and working with outside counsel as needed. My clients are the 250 plus consumer marketing personnel who sell Time Inc. products in the United States and Canada, but I also regularly advise many other clients, including our advertising and sales personnel as well as our editorial staff. I manage all of the non-lawyer staff in our legal department and arrange for professional development opportunities for our personnel.
In March of 2010 my first book, “The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women,” was published by Random House/One World Press. Written with my long-time friends Elaine Meryl Brown, an Emmy–award winning producer and director from HBO and Marsha Haygood, a former senior executive at New Line Cinema and now the owner of her own career and life coaching business Stepwise Associates, our “Little Black Book” has consistently been ranked in the top three books on Amazon.com’s best seller list for leadership and management and is now in its seventh printing. We have participated in more than 80 book events in 18 states and continue to enjoy our book tour. We are planning to complete our second book by the end of 2014. To learn more about us and our work, please visit our site, www.littleblackbookofsuccess.com, Facebook page (“little black book of success”), and our Twitter account (“@Blkbooksuccess”). My co-authors and I have also formed a company, LEADS LLC, which stands for Leadership Excellence and Development Strategies. We continue to market our consulting services to private and public sector businesses and look forward to growing that business together.
I have been at Time Inc. for nearly fifteen years. Prior to coming to Time, I ran the Northeast Regional Office of the Federal Trade Commission (located in Manhattan) for nine years. I greatly appreciate my government experience, since I worked as a senior litigator for nearly two years before being promoted into management there, where I supervised more than thirty people, including staff attorneys, investigators, administrative staff and volunteers. My colleagues and I prosecuted individuals and companies engaged in consumer fraud and/or anti-competitive conduct throughout the United States, shutting down fraudulent businesses and clawing back illegally gained profits to return to consumers wherever possible.
I am entering my third annual term as chair of the board of directors of the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York and represent Time Inc. on that Board. The BBB handles nearly 3.5 million queries and complaints from consumers each year. In January, 2014 I was invited to join the legal advisory board for BARBRI.