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Executive Team
Warren Schlichting
Warren Schlichting
Chief Executive Officer
Schlichting is a seasoned executive with significant experience fueling growth and profitability for a range of companies. Most recently, Schlichting served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Poly, formerly Plantronics and Polycom, where he oversaw product and services business units, product and alliance marketing, corporate strategy, and business development.
Steve Williamson
Steve Williamson
EVP, Chief Financial Officer
Steve Williamson serves as the Chief Financial Officer for LegalShield. Prior to joining the company, he was the CFO for Peripheral Enhancements, Inc. from April 1997 to March 2000. Steve served as Director in Charge of Banking Practice for Horne & Company, a public accounting firm, from November 1983 to April 1997. After graduating from East Central University in 1982, he began his career with the international accounting firm KPMG. Steve joined PPLSI as Chief Financial Officer in 2000. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and is a past board member and banking committee chair of the Oklahoma Society of CPAs.
Don Thompson
Don Thompson
President of Network Division
Don Thompson joined LegalShield in 1996 as an Independent Associate. During his career as an associate, Mr. Thompson has earned many top achievements, business builder, and production awards. He has served in many field leadership positions including Regional Vice President of Florida, Business Vice President of Florida, Ohio, and Michigan, and most recently, Sr. Network Vice President of 26 states and 2 provinces of Canada. Mr. Thompson has mentored and trained thousands of associates by teaching the fundamentals of leadership and personal development. Don Thompson was named President of the Network Division in December 2018. He is a graduate of John Carroll University, Boler School of Business, with a degree in Business Administration. Don is married to Angela, and has two boys, Matthew and David.
Kathy Pinson
Kathy Pinson
EVP, Chief Operating Officer
Kathy Pinson currently serves as LegalShield's Chief Operating Officer, working with and supporting all Vice Presidents of LegalShield, coordinating all administrative functions within the home office and field operations. With the company since 1979, Kathy has served with distinction in various roles, including Controller, Board Member, Secretary/Treasurer, Vice President of Marketing Administration and Executive Vice President of Operations. Ms. Pinson is a Certified Public Accountant, and served more than 20 years managing the regulatory compliance division of the company.
Darnell Self
Darnell Self
EVP of Network & Business Development
After earning a degree in public relations at Bowie State University, Darnell Self joined LegalShield in 1998. He has shared his vast experience in team building, personal development, and entrepreneurship since day one. These experiences allowed Mr. Self to orchestrate a duplicable system, garnering recognition in numerous business publications and the esteemed title of Entrepreneur of the Year by the National Black Chamber of Commerce. He is also a mentor to thousands of thriving entrepreneurs and has been asked to share his expertise with business students on several university platforms. Coming from humble beginnings, Mr. Self has devoted his time and efforts to give people, no matter the circumstance, an opportunity to actualize their own success. This level of commitment has resulted in dozens of LegalShield Ring Earners and over a dozen Millionaire Club Members. Mr. Self and his colleague Michael Humes also collaborated to create Fertile Ground – an organization designed to allow others to experience the power of giving.
Emily Rose
Emily Rose
President of Business Solutions
Emily B. Rose serves as President of LegalShield’s Business Solutions Division. With over 20 years of experience in the voluntary benefits industry, Emily brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role. As President, Emily is responsible for driving business development, formulating effective strategies, delivering member service, and fostering sales growth across multiple company divisions, including affinity, broker, voluntary benefits, national accounts, and small business segments. Emily’s deep understanding of the voluntary benefits landscape and her exceptional leadership acumen, allow her to spearhead strategic initiatives and forge long-term partnerships. Throughout her career, Emily has focused on various areas within the voluntary benefits industry, including group legal plans, identity theft protection plans, supplemental health coverage, and property and casualty solutions. Her expertise extends to a wide range of organizations, from Fortune 500 companies and healthcare organizations to higher education institutions, public sector employers, and state and local governments.
Julia Jensen
Julia Jensen
Chief Legal and Administrative Officer
Julia joined as Chief Legal and Administrative Officer in late 2022, and has served as the General Counsel for various insurance-related companies over the past 15 years. Most recently, she was the General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer for Long Term Care Group where she focused on improving internal communications, improving employee engagement, strengthening controls, and leading complex contractual matters. Her guiding principles are to fix problems, listen to employees, get things done, and do the right thing. Julia’s prior employers include StoneRiver, Fiserv, Midwest Express Airlines, and the law firm Foley & Lardner. Julia earned her J.D. from Stanford University, a M.Phil. in History & Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge, and a B.A. in Math and Philosophy from Grinnell College.Julia is a member of the international group “Leadership of a New Kind” and believes that everyone can learn and grow throughout their life.
Mark Conlin
Mark Conlin
Chief Technology Officer
In his role as CTO, Mark Conlin will lead LegalShield’s technology vision and strategy. With over two decades of software engineering leadership spanning consulting firms, start-ups, and global enterprises, Conlin has a track record of scaling operations, modernizing legacy technology, and developing software teams and products. His recent positions include leading marketplace engineering at Outdoorsy and overseeing Travel and Commerce Platforms at BCD Travel.
Vanessa Davis
Vanessa Davis
VP Product Management
Vanessa B. Davis serves as the Vice President of Product Management at LegalShield. Collaborating closely with the CEO and CTO, Vanessa plays a pivotal role in developing and enhancing the products that our members and customers adore. With a strong background in law and a passion for innovation, she brings extensive expertise to her role. Vanessa started as an associate at top-tier law firms where she specialized in corporate financing and reorganizations, an experience that provided her with a deep understanding of both business and legal landscapes. In her recent product leadership roles at One Legal, Litera Microsystems, and LegalZoom, Vanessa honed her expertise in online legal offerings, contributing to their growth and success. Vanessa's track record in strategy and product ideation and management makes her an invaluable asset to the LegalShield team. Driven by her passion for delivering high-quality products and services, Vanessa continues to shape and innovate the future of LegalShield, ensuring our offerings exceed the expectations of our valued members and customers. She holds a summa cum laude B.A. in English from Dartmouth College and obtained her J.D. from Yale Law School.
Joel Layton
Joel Layton
Vice President - Direct-to-Consumer
As Vice President of Direct-to-Consumer, Joel Layton leads the company's direct-to-consumer sales and marketing initiatives. He focuses on enhancing the customer experience and driving growth. He oversees LegalShield's performance marketing engine, optimizing critical functions like paid social media, search advertising, direct response campaigns and direct mail strategies. Layton brings more than 20 years of expertise in e-commerce, brand strategy and exceptional customer experience from brands such as Lands' End, ADP and Shinola. His background blends digital performance marketing with a customer-centric approach to brand development.
Board of Directors
Fayez S. Muhtadie
Fayez S. Muhtadie
Principal, Stone Point Capital
Fayez helps to lead Stone Point Capital’s global investments in asset management, broker dealers, insurance run-off and outsourcing & technology. Fayez joined Stone Point in 2003 and has more than 15 years of experience in the private equity and investment banking industries.
Frank Schiff
Frank Schiff
Managing Director, MidOcean Partners
Frank Schiff joined MidOcean Partners at its inception and focuses on investments in the Business and Financial Services sectors. Prior to his current position as Managing Director at MidOcean Partners, Mr. Schiff was a Managing Director at DB Capital Partners. Previously, Mr. Schiff was a Partner at White & Case LLP, where he was head of the corporate department. Mr. Schiff received his JD, cum laude, from Cornell Law School and his BS, magna cum laude, from the University of Colorado.
John Addison
John Addison
Board of Directors
John Addison, along with Co-CEO Rick Williams, led Primerica from 1999 to 2015 and together created one of the most successful IPOs of the decade. During Addison’s 33-year tenure with Primerica, his passion and talent for motivating others allowed him to inspire and empower more than a million people during his career. He currently serves as the non-executive chairman of Primerica Distribution, a role that began April 2015. He has been a director of Primerica, Inc. since October 2009.
Oliver Sarkozy
Oliver Sarkozy
Founder and Managing Partner, Further Global
Olivier Sarkozy is the Founder and Managing Partner of Further Global and serves as the Chairman of the Investment Committee. Prior to founding Further Global, from 2008 to June 2016, Olivier was a Managing Director at The Carlyle Group and head of Carlyle Global Financial Services and acted as Fund Head for Carlyle Global Financial Services Funds I and II. Olivier focused on investing in management buyouts, growth capital opportunities and strategic minority investments in financial services.
Melvin C. Hall
Melvin C. Hall
Board of Directors
Melvin is a shareholder partner with the legal firm of Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison & Lewis. In addition to his law practice, he is a nationally sought-after speaker and lecturer on employment law and civil rights issues. He is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma lecturing on employment law and the civil rights movement, and serves on numerous boards including the Arvest Bank Board of Directors, the Executive Committee of the Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies, the Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) Board of Advocates, and the Board of Visitors of the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
Deborah McWhinney
Deborah McWhinney
Board of Directors
Deborah’s career was spent in financial services and technology. She has a history of creating fast growing, highly scalable and profitable businesses. Equally important, she has been instrumental in designing successful programs to help companies quickly move the needle on gender diversity. She is on several corporate boards and serves as a Trustee of CalTech and the Institute for Defense Analyses.
Nik Dixit
Nik Dixit
Vice President, Stone Point Capital
Nik focuses on Stone Point Capital’s investments in asset and wealth management and business services and technology. Nik joined Stone Point in 2016.
Stefan Pepe
Stefan Pepe
Board of Directors
An early Amazon employee, Stefan spent over a decade at Amazon.com where he served in a variety of general management roles including Director of North American Books, the company’s largest category at the time, as well as serving as the Director of the Media Division in Germany and the Group Product Manager of both the US Movies and US Home businesses. Stefan’s teams built and designed the Subscription Order Management Platform, which is still used globally by Amazon Prime and other Amazon.com subscription services. After Amazon, Stefan has served as Chairman & Interim CEO of Door-to-Door Organics, CEO of Ideeli (sold to Groupon), General Manager of Revenue at Zynga (IPO as ZNGA), and as the Chief Product Officer of Gilt Groupe. Stefan is currently the Chief Product & Technology Officer at Sotheby’s. Stefan holds an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a BA from the University of Vermont.