I grew up eating Smucker’s jam. Strawberry. Raspberry. Grape. You name it. I loved all of the Smucker varieties on store shelves and still do today. The J.M. Smucker Company has a long history of name-brand success. As a result of recent growth, the company now has much more than just fruit spreads under its name, and I bet many of you have a Smucker product or two in your kitchen right now.
Stout has been pleased to act as a strategic partner with Smucker for many years, as the company has expanded both its product portfolio and market reach. Smucker CFO Mark Belgya has been instrumental in helping the company grow and position itself for today’s and tomorrow’s customer base. We are pleased that Mark was able to take the time out of his busy schedule and talk to us about working at Smucker, the firm’s product strategy, and what he does outside of being an executive at a leading consumer company. Mark is one of the many great people we work with outside of Stout, and I invite you to meet Mark in our Corporate Spotlight.
In addition to Mark, we also had the opportunity to glean insights from several other partners. Maurus Schreyvogel, the Chief Legal Innovation Officer at Novartis, joined us for an insightful discussion on the evolution of legal operations at the pharmaceutical company as well as other firms. Intellectual property expert James Pooley also spoke with us, offering candid details about trends in patent law, trade secret protections, and international copyright regulation.
In addition to these external insights, our in-house experts continually follow the latest legal trends and potential impacts across all industries. Our valuation disputes team does an excellent job monitoring important court cases and providing analyses on relevant matters. They’ve been hard at work in recent months, as you can see in the five Case Review articles. We also detail a bill presently recently passed by Congress – The Music Modernization Act – and the potential impact it could have on royalties for musicians and labels. Corporate legal teams may also find value in our discussions on in-house discovery and business process automation.
Our colleagues in other practice areas have also been staying on top of numerous trends and best practices, such as with the healthcare industry, corporate transactions, goodwill reassignments, and accounting guidelines.
Last, Stout Co-Founder and Head of Client Service Jeff Risius discusses his successful track record in our Expert Profile, touching on some of his career accomplishments and high-profile testimony experience.
I feel that these as well as all other articles in this issue of The Journal demonstrate the efforts and expertise that define our company, and I hope they provide you valuable insight on key topics.