Brian Schnell Returns to Faegre
Last year we singled out the rainmaking attorney Brian Schnell’s departure from Faegre & Benson to become COO/general counsel of BrightStar, a senior healthcare franchise, as one of our 20 people, places and things to watch in 2012. We thought that going from legal advisor to COO would be challenging for any number of reasons, but especially since Schnell’s family has roots in Minneapolis and BrightStar is located outside of Chicago. We also mentioned that a number of other law firms were most likely toasting the new year, happy to see Schnell off the client-networking circuit.
No sooner had our January issue gone to press than we hear that Schnell is headed back to his old law firm with its new name: Faegre Baker Daniels, the result of a merger that happened just as Schnell was leaving.
Schnell said the past year was akin to earning a franchise MBA. “Few lawyers get the chance to earn an MBA or be COO of what I consider the best-practices franchisor in the country who does so many things well,” he said of Shelly Sun, CEO of BrightStar. He’s returning to his previous position as head of the franchise practice, a position Kevin Hein, who is currently performing that task from the Denver office, is more than willing to give up. “I’m happy to have him come back and take over the marketing budget,” Hein said. "I can go back to practicing law.”
Along with Schnell's departure, a number of personnel changes have been made at BrightStar. “We wish Brian all the best and he and I are great with the decision, personally and professionally," Sun told us. "Brian will remain as our attorney (through Faegre) and on my board of advisors.”
Other changes at BrightStar include: Amie Schneider takes on the newly created position of director of operations; Andrew Lynch was promoted to vice president of marketing and strategic projects; and Sharon Roth Maguire is senior vice president of quality and clinical operations.