Western Pennsylvania Chapter
ACC Western Pennsylvania is launching Member Spotlights, a new initiative to feature a member in a creative question-and answer format. Our Chapter has more than 500 members, and Member Spotlights are designed to help you get to know your fellow Chapter members better and enhance networking opportunities. If you are interested in being the subject of a spotlight or know someone who would make a good subject, please contact Barbara Dudek at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jennifer Fox Rabold, Lead Counsel, FedEx Ground Package System, Inc.
1. Tell us about yourself (anything from school, family, hobbies, etc.).
Personal: married to Bill Rabold, retired from Bayer; one son employed by US Steel in Detroit, MI; three grandchildren; live in Nevilleside, a patio home community in Collier Township, PA; earned B.S. Ed. and JD from Duquesne University: Law Review, past president of Law Alumni Assn.
2. Tell us about your career and current job.
My current position is Lead Counsel in the Business Transactions Group, specializing in commercial real estate at FedEx Ground, located in Moon Township, PA. After celebrating my 10th anniversary with FedEx Ground this summer, I became a part-time attorney, job sharing with Ayanna Lee-Davis, a fellow Duquesne alumna and a skilled real estate attorney. Extremely grateful to have this opportunity to systematically transfer my corporate intelligence to a new attorney, so I can eventually move into retirement with a sense of closure and accomplishment.
First out of law school I worked in a small general practice law firm, which allowed me to clearly identify the kinds of law I did NOT want to practice. Began to narrow my practice to transactional work and accepted a position as in-house counsel with a local real estate developer, J.J. Gumberg, Co. After eight years practicing commercial real estate, some bankruptcy, employment and labor law, I moved into a quasi-legal position with Duquesne Light Company, eventually managing the utility's real estate portfolio as a profit center, and overseeing the survey crew and trade union workers (roofers, plumbers, electricians, painters, etc., charged with maintaining all utility facilities). In 2007, I accepted the position with FedEx, where my business experience melded with my commercial real estate background fit with the FedEx model of our attorneys being business partners with our clients.
3. What do you enjoy most about your career?
I love commercial real estate practice: can't imagine doing anything else. Drafting and negotiating documents, choosing the right word to convey a precise meaning is exciting to me. My first career was as a language arts teacher, so being a transactions attorney seems like a natural progression.
4. Is there anything that has surprised you about being an attorney?
I'm surprised every day that I wake up an attorney and go to work as an attorney. My generation didn't encourage girls to be lawyers, or doctors or scientists or engineers; only boys could have those dreams. It was my husband's idea that I take the LSAT after he completed a business law course in his MBA program. It was he who had the confidence in me and told me I'd be good at this "law stuff."
5. Of what accomplishment are you most proud?
I'm most proud of my son and the beautiful children he and his wife are raising. They bring great joy to my life. Second to that is the non-profit and pro bono work I have been able to do over the course of my legal career. I have served as board chair for Pressley Ridge, the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Counsel and the Allegheny County Library Association, and I have been a director of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the Whitehall Library and the Carnegie Library of Carnegie, as well as several homeowners' associations, and the Whitehall and Collier Zoning Hearing Boards.
6. What do you most look forward to doing in your career?
My career has been a source of great satisfaction, having had an opportunity to learn and teach, solve problems, design processes and standards and in each instance make a difference at my respective places of employment. At this point in my career, I'm most concerned with the transfer of knowledge to others in the department, making sure that I don't leave too soon, but being careful I don't linger too long.
7. Complete this sentence in seven words or less “To me, the ACC is…”
To me, the ACC iis the place to network, learn and grow.
8. What is your favorite book, band, or movie?
My favorite band is Fleetwood Mac. I don't have a favorite book, but do enjoy the gruesome murder mysteries of Jo Nesbo: beautiful writing and complicated story lines.
9. People might be surprised to know that you…?
I sew and have made four wedding gowns and numerous prom gowns and bridesmaid's dresses, coats and men's suits, as well as draperies and babydoll clothes. Sewing is my relaxation.
10. Who was most influential in your career and why?
My husband has been most influential, because without his vision and confidence in my skills and abilities, and his encouragement, I wouldn't have chosen this path.