After its public debut last year, Utz Brands Inc. has enticed attorney Theresa Robbins Shea from her general counsel post at True Value Co. She will serve as the snack giant’s new legal head.
Shea took over as executive vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary at Utz on July 6th. She will lead the company’s legal department located in Hanover, Pennsylvania. She will also serve on its executive leadership team and report to CEO Dylan Lissette.
“As a newly public company, we continue to build out our executive team to provide legal and strategic support to help guide the business forward. We are very pleased to have a legal professional of Theresa’s caliber join the Utz team,” Lissette said in a statement.
IPO and Merger Means General Counsel
Utz Quality Foods went public in August 2020 via a merger with special acquisition company Collier Creek Holdings. This deal created Utz Brands. Utz has been making chips, pretzels, pork skins, and other snacks for more than 100 years.
Shea, said in a statement that she was “delighted to join the Utz team at this exciting phase of the company’s growth.”
Utz recently celebrated its 100th anniversary and went on the NYSE last summer. The Hanover, Pennsylvania-based Utz manufactures snacks under several brands. They include Utz, On The Border, Zapp’s, Good Health, Boulder Canyon, and Hawaiian Brand.
“As a newly public company, we continue to build out our executive team to provide legal and strategic support to help guide the business forward,’ Lissette says in a statement. ‘We are very pleased to have a legal professional of Theresa’s caliber join the Utz team as general counsel. She brings a deep and broad pool of legal and compliance knowledge and will play an integral role in helping Utz generate long-term shareholder value.”
Utz began like a lot of other food startups… in a small kitchen. Bill and Sallie Utz started making their potato chips in 1921.
Shea joined Chicago-based True Value in 2007 as assistant general counsel. True Value promoted her to general counsel in 2018. She also served as corporate compliance and privacy officer. In addition, Shea was an executive sponsor for True Value’s inclusion and diversity council.
As general counsel, she led the COVID-19 crisis response team. The team secured an “essential business” designation for True Value. That designation allowed the company to continue operating during the pandemic. The team also addressed various contractual, legal, regulatory, and operational issues that arose during the pandemic.
Shea began her legal career in 1997 as an associate at Seyfarth Shaw in Chicago. She took her first in-house role as senior counsel at United Airlines Inc. in 2002, after the September 11th terrorist attacks.
She served on the legal department’s crisis team for post-9/11 simulations. These related to operations, weather and terrorist disasters, her LinkedIn profile says.
Shea has a BA in English and a law degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has also obtained a certificate in executive management from the University of Notre Dame.
Lisette praised Shea’s “deep and broad pool of legal and compliance knowledge.” He said Shea “will play an integral role in helping Utz generate long-term shareholder value as general counsel.”
True Value hasn’t said whether it had named Shea’s successor.