Debra H. Snider is an author and speaker. Her novel, A Merger of Equals, was published in November 2006. She has also written The Productive Culture Blueprint (American Bar Association Career Resource Center, 2003), Working Easier (Illinois Arts Alliance Foundation, 2005), and numerous articles and essays. She has been a featured speaker in the United States and Europe on strategic productivity, leadership, change facilitation, client development, strategic vendor management, law department management and success strategies for professional and business women. More information about her books and appearances may be found at www.debrasnider.com
From 1995 – September 2000, Ms. Snider was executive vice president, general counsel and chief administrative officer of Heller Financial, Inc. in Chicago (formerly NYSE:HF, the company was acquired by General Electric Capital Corporation in October 2001). In her combined functions, Ms. Snider had management responsibility for approximately 100 people and $100 million in annual expenditures. As general counsel, she developed the vision, strategies and tactical blueprints for the law department, and led its transformation from a cost center into a true strategic asset for Heller. Under her leadership, Heller’s aggregate internal and external legal costs boasted a negative compound annual growth rate from 1995 – 2000, despite substantial increases in overall corporate size, complexity and costs over the same period. As Heller’s CAO, Ms. Snider had executive management responsibility for the company’s corporate services functions, including facilities, purchasing, office services, travel, records management, telecommunications, business resumption planning, security and the Knowledge Center. In that capacity, she developed and implemented process improvement, vendor management and other strategies and programs that aligned administration functions with business strategies and resulted in significant cost rationalization and savings.
From 1989 – 1995, Ms. Snider was a partner at Katten Muchin & Zavis (now Katten Muchin Rosenman) in Chicago, where she practiced primarily in the securities, securitization and mergers & acquisitions areas. In addition to her law practice, at KMZ Ms. Snider chaired the Securities Department, was Co-Hiring Partner and co-founded the KMZ Women’s Forum, a network of over 750 professional and business women in the Chicago area. Before that, she was first vice president and associate general counsel at The Balcor Company, and an associate at another large Chicago law firm. Ms. Snider is a member of The Chicago Network, and is admitted to practice law in Illinois. She serves on the Executive Council of Reading in Motion, a nonprofit organization committed to improving literacy in at-risk children, and on the Advisory Boards of The Corporate Legal Standard, Inc. and Valorem Law Group. Ms. Snider is a 1976 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Michigan, where she majored in English Language and Literature, and a 1979 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School. She and her husband now live in Nevada; they have two grown children.