Amanda Rusin has been busy the past two years as Regis Corp.’s senior vice president and general counsel. The company is going through a dramatic multi-year transformation that fundamentally changes the way it does business.
Regis started the transformation process over two years ago by closing unprofitable salons and divesting of non-core assets. By the end of the year, the company will have converted nearly all of its corporate-owned salons to its franchisees, she said, and increased its focus on Regis-owned proprietary label haircare brands.
“We were the largest owner and operator of salons in North America and now we’re the largest franchisor of those salons,” Rusin said. “That is a dramatic change in how we do business and the services we provide to our franchisees. That is the story of Regis that I’m proud to be a part of.”
Rusin began her legal career in private practice at Briggs & Morgan before embarking on a series of corporate counsel and business positions at Cargill Inc. and Polaris Industries. The executive position offered her a rare opportunity to handle legal work mixed with more traditional business function roles such as Regis’s procurement division, which serves its more than 7,000 salons, real estate, internal audit, and risk and insurance divisions.
“Once you reach the C-suite you’re a corporate executive first and a lawyer second,” Rusin said. “It’s been fun to follow this route.”
The general counsel and her staff of 35 legal professionals work with students from local law schools during their externships. She also volunteers as a supervising attorney at the University of Minnesota’s Business Law Clinic. “Doing is the best way for our students to learn,” she said.
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