Michael Teter

VP of Legal & Business Affairs

Strategic executive leader with a multidisciplinary background that merges operations leadership and organizational development experience with legal expertise to create a unique and critical skillset. Proven success directing startups and established companies, taking decisive and transformative action to achieve high-impact results. Dedicated and capable team leader who builds and empowers cross-functional teams to take on development and implementation of proactive business strategies to effectuate business turnarounds and develop national and multinational business platforms. Exceptional relationship manager with a wealth of experience managing relationships with key stakeholders and negotiating win-win solutions in highly-charged, high-stakes environments.

Experience

June 2009 – March 2020

Executive Vice President & General Counsel

Internationally-recognized organization, providing specialty services and products related to full spectrum of water quality-related issues and conducting research studies funded by entities that include the Department of Defense.

Oversaw financial, commercial, regulatory, and legal affairs for company’s domestic and international operations. Directed all non-technical business operations, including finance, HR, EHS, marketing, and legal. Defined operational goals, objectives, and strategies; formulated budgets, managed financial reporting, and conducted long-term planning designed to maximize company strengths. Built and optimized organizational policies, procedures, and codes of conduct. Managed shareholder relations, including surrender and transfer of shares, stock ledger entries, and dividend authorization and payment. Drove creation of business development and marketing materials to support marketing efforts at technical conferences and meetings. Spearheaded training initiatives to enhance executive and managerial leadership capabilities. Established and streamlined project management framework to govern action from proposal through conclusion. Managed capital assets, property, and IT systems. Reported to CEO and led a team of 5 department heads.

Advised CEO and Board of Directors on all business and legal matters in multiple jurisdictions, serving as in-house counsel. Drafted, structured, and negotiated all major domestic and international contracts for professional, business, and technical services in collaboration with representatives of Fortune 500 client companies’ legal teams. Oversaw all business and commercial transactions, including M&As, divestitures, teaming arrangements, joint ventures, and technology development and licensing. Negotiated all major financial and banking service transactions, including acquisition funding, business loans, and credit lines. Oversaw all company intellectual properties, including retention and oversight of patent, trademark, and copyright counsel; monitoring of IP filings; and protection of intellectual capital. Collaborated with outside counsel on regulatory matters, including subsidiary creation, regulatory compliance, and labor issues.

May 2003 – May 2009

Executive Leadership Consultant & Legal Counsel, Part-Time Contract

Served as advisor to executive team and as in-house legal counsel, while overseeing non-technical day-to-day business functions, including financial, commercial, regulatory, and legal affairs for US and overseas operations. Shaped business plans and conducted long-range strategic planning for business growth. Played key role in business risk analysis and risk management. Oversaw development and negotiation of all major contracts, often with Fortune 500 companies. Formalized policies and procedures for key operational areas, including HR, EHS, information security, sustainability, financial disclosures, and regulatory compliance. Created framework to govern protection of intellectual property. Guided all major financial and banking service transactions. Engaged cross-functionally to support and provide resources for business development activities. Oversaw company facilities and infrastructure to ensure capacity to achieve company’s strategic goals.

June 1997 – May 2003

Executive Vice President & Director

Oversaw non-technical operations and managed company’s laboratory division, directing 60-person organization comprised of professional scientists, engineers, laboratory personnel, and administrative staff. Advised executive team and provided in-house legal guidance.

February 2005 – October 2005

Interim Executive Vice President & General Counsel

Led startup through title agency business unit acquisition from out-of-state title insurance company and operational transition phase, providing managerial and legal guidance. Defined and established organizational structure and created operating policies and procedures for all operations, including human resources, accounting, title, closing, and escrow department functions to create efficiencies and cost savings. Built framework for decision-making. Directed cross-functional projects and teams, including agency audit team that successfully handled extensive audit and inspection by Texas Department of Insurance.

Results

Led initiative to restructure operations, maintenance, and management (OM&M) projects and cost allocation after pattern of declining profit margins emerged, directing cross-functional project team to align project pricing with market and improve cost allocation terms in all project quotations and service agreements, allowing for price increases due to economic changes; resulted in stabilization of profit margins and 15%+ increase in profits on multi-year, multi-million-dollar OM&M service projects.

Established contract request guidelines, contracting policies, and standardized agreement templates for many common agreements, increasing legal department operational document preparation efficiency by 50%, freeing leadership resources for critical matters and minimizing risk.

Authored aggressive, detailed business plan and financial model to facilitate market expansion through commercialization of internally developed environmental and renewable energy technologies after company’s rate of growth within existing markets stagnated. Plan served as a roadmap for company’s entry into new target markets and 40%+ organic growth.

Expertise

Corporate Governance

Contract Negotiation

Intellectual Property

Business Process Improvement

Strategic Planning

Legal Research & Writing

Business Restructuring, Divestitures, M&As

Risk Management & Mitigation

Program Management

Team Leadership & Development

Education

Juris Doctorate

Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Accounting Concentration

Meet Michael

Q & A

Why did you choose your profession?

For as long as I remember I wanted to be a business executive or attorney. In high school, I excelled at public speaking and debate. So, in college, I pursued and obtained both an undergraduate business degree and Juris Doctorate law degree. Then, I pursued both of my passions, first as an attorney practicing business and corporate law, and thereafter as a business executive and corporate legal counsel. Same subject, just different perspective.

Who are your main influences?

My grandfather was raised in a small town in Northwest Oklahoma and I remember from pictures of him as the first biologist within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers giving testimony to Congress and providing counsel to the highest levels of government in Washington DC. By his example, I learned there are no limits to what you can accomplish if you have dedication and commitment.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

Although there are many jury trial verdicts of which I am very proud, my greatest accomplishment has been keeping my clients and employers out of court and out of harm’s way. One example, development of new project and risk allocation structures and contracting policies, paired with highly-qualified technical and project management teams, resulting in zero-project legal, liability insurance, and bond claims for my employer during my 20+ year tenure.

What tools do you use?

Microsoft Office 365 Suite (Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint & Teams) | Adobe Acrobat Pro | QuickBooks Enterprise | SAP Project Proposal Software | Paycom Payroll Software | Zoom | West Law for legal research | Lexology for daily legal updates & business news | ACC Business News for legal update briefings

What are your long-term goals?

Identifying the organization where I will complete my remaining 10-15 years of my career:

  • Where I will be challenged with solving difficult problems and can learn something new every day;
  • Where I can use my years of experience to proactively manage risks and develop strategic plans to protect the organization from adverse events and protect hard-won gains;
  • Where I can drive sustainable growth and increase value through strategic organizational and operational improvement;
  • Where I can mentor the next generation of executives and attorneys.

Interests & Hobbies

Skiing

Golf

Travel

Testimonials

Randolph J. Hill, Of Counsel, Stoel Rives LLP

Michael is one of the very best lawyers I have encountered in my nearly 40-year career.

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Phillip L. Free, Jr., Patent & Intellectual Property Attorney

Mike is a great lawyer, with good judgment and a deep understanding of the business world. He’s very adept at spotting legal issues and working to avoid problems before they arise. Mike is pleasant and professional in all his dealings. He’s diligent and responsible and can be trusted to follow through on his assignments. He has real-world, corporate experience that has given him expertise in a wide array of subject matter.

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Katie D. Corley, Former HR Director, The Stover Group

I had the opportunity and privilege to work as one of Mike’s team members for almost 7 years while I was the Director of Human Resources at The Stover Group. Mike possesses a unique blend of deep business acumen across a broad range of industries and business functions, including finance, accounting, HR, EHS, legal, and operations, coupled with an openness to new ideas and thinking. He is a visionary with the ability to see the big picture. His strategic and critical thinking and collaboration skills are exceptional, and he has extensive experience in obtaining successful results in highly charged, high-stake, ever-changing environments.

As a manager, Mike epitomizes what we want from a boss. He is highly approachable by junior staff, is always willing to listen, and, when appropriate, implement their ideas to formulate successful strategies or solutions, and then always acknowledge their contribution. He takes the time to understand his teams and learn their capabilities and makes sure everyone is trained in all aspects of their job. He knows how to delegate, providing necessary guidance, support, and resources, and then entrust and expect us to perform at the highest level using our best professional judgment.​

Finally, Mike has the utmost integrity and engenders the trust and respect of everyone he works with. I truly hope to have the opportunity to work with Mike again in the future.

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