Cathi Ponciroli, Associate General Counsel for Mallinckrodt’s Business Development & Licensing (BD&L) Legal team, is one of 22 in-house attorneys across the state of Missouri who recently received Missouri Lawyers Media’s inaugural In-House Counsel Award. The award honors attorneys at all professional levels working inside organizations who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence. Cathi is one of seven honorees in the public company category; all were honored at a breakfast event in Clayton, Missouri, on November 3.
“Cathi’s technical and business acumen enable her to cut through complicated legal issues to achieve successful results, and, it’s her willingness to use these skill sets to take on new challenges and continuously develop her capabilities that has propelled her career,” said Jared Freedberg, Vice President and General Counsel of Mallinckrodt’s BD&L team. The BD&L team handles all of Mallinckrodt’s licensing activities, as well as merger, acquisition and divestiture transactions.
“Complex problems with no clear-cut solutions are often dropped in my lap. It’s not because I have answers; in fact, I typically come back with even more questions. I’ve succeeded because I’ll dig into whatever the issue is, learn about new areas of the business and help piece together practical solutions,” said Cathi. “My secret weapon has been building relationships with people across the entire organization. Solutions rarely lie in one area of the business.”
According to Cathi, the key to success isn’t necessarily about being the smartest person in the room; it’s about being strategic in your actions – whether it’s taking on new responsibilities, executing your current work or raising questions. Her advice:
-Ask smart questions. If something doesn’t make sense or the direction is vague, ask for clarification. Always understand how your actions connect to larger goals.
-Get to know different parts of the business—understand how they connect to each other and to the work you do.
-If you have an idea or opinion that will add value to a situation, share it.
“Cathi’s story is an excellent example of how you can grow your career,” added Freedberg. “She is eager to learn, willing to try new things and has a keen ability to stay connected to the big picture while handling the small details.”