Meet Rogoway Law Group's Hilary St. Jean, one of North Bay Business Journal's 2019 Forty Under 40

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Forty Under 40 winner

Age: 39

Senior attorney

Rogoway Law Group

115 Fourth St., Santa Rosa 95401

707-526-0420

www.rogowaylaw.com

Hilary St. Jean, 39, senior attorney for Rogoway Law Group in Santa Rosa, is one of North Bay Business Journal's Forty Under 40 notable young professionals for 2019.

Responsibilities with your company: I work as a corporate transactional attorney (at Rogoway Law Group and at prior international Silicon Valley firm, O’Melveny & Myers LLP).

I’ve led and consummated deals in the multiple millions of dollars and multiple billions of dollars ranges and advised numerous boards of directors on major business decisions and legal matters. I provide both legal and business advice to my clients on all matters occurring from formation to exit of a company (formation of companies, creation and execution of business plans, executive employment and governance matters, financings and venture capital deals, and mergers and acquisitions).

I work with companies ranging from early-stage startups to mature businesses and sophisticated repeat entrepreneurs. My experience and practice focuses on cutting-edge cannabis businesses, tech businesses and entertainment companies. I have a unique background as an executive representative in the music business where I led teams of individuals and coordinated VIP events and PR matters for multi-platinum music artists for a music promoter listed in the Fortune 200s of the Fortune 500 list. That business background provided me with the experience to take on my current responsibilities organizing and consummating large deals and working on the ground level of transactions on both business and legal aspects of a wide variety of matters.

I’m a fast-paced, detail-focused practitioner and my career responsibilities are broad.

How do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty Under 40 professional?: I lead business deals in the multiple millions and billions of dollars for cutting-edge companies. I worked in promoter management on Rolling Stones world tour.

Years with company: 1

Length of time in current position: 1 year (previously in same position in Silicon Valley 5 years)

Employees: 14

Number who report to you: 5

Greatest professional accomplishment: Legal: I was instrumental in a $4.4 billion dollar acquisition deal even though junior at the time and was given senior-level responsibilities (award winning in the healthcare space).

Business: I alone managed and ran up to 7 VIP events per night for The Rolling Stones on their world tour for a year and a half (including organization, settlement and accounting, certain marketing, event management and team management- everything from start to finish for such events and with shows occurring up to every other day across different international cities).

Greatest professional challenge: I worked on a deal in the hundreds of millions of dollars that required working approximately 18-20 hours per day for two months straight. The volume of work and lack of sleep and necessity for attention to detail was intense but exciting and challenging. We had a very happy client when the deal closed.

Best advice received: A mentor once told me not to be afraid to leap. I love Stephen Hawking’s advice to “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet...[to] Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”

There have been times when the hurdles looked too high, the exhaustion felt too heavy and the obstacles appeared insurmountable. Not giving up meant tackling a mountain one step at a time and I learned that diligence and hard work really pays off.

Forty Under 40 winner

Age: 39

Senior attorney

Rogoway Law Group

115 Fourth St., Santa Rosa 95401

707-526-0420

www.rogowaylaw.com

Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: Changing jobs to come to Rogoway Law Group is the most significant move I’ve made recently (about a year ago). Moving to Sonoma County from Silicon Valley was amazing- it’s a beautiful place to live and breathe.

My scope of work is dynamic, cutting-edge and interesting. I now work frequently with cannabis companies in addition to representing technology businesses and other clients. This is challenging and fascinating. With cannabis industry work we have the ability to pave the road in a culture shift that comes around once in a lifetime.

What steps is your company taking to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy?

At Rogoway we work together very closely to provide the most comprehensive services to our clients- teamwork not only keeps morale up but it enables us to provide integrated and broad services and value to our clients. We are always communicating and surfacing opportunities for both the firm and our clients. We additionally emphasize transparency, excellence and respect which our company team members and our clients appreciate.

Next professional goal: My current professional goal is to revolutionize the cannabis legal practice. We are currently accomplishing this now as a team at Rogoway Law Group- we are truly setting the tone and precedent in a complex legal industry laden with regulatory challenges at both the state and local levels across various jurisdictions.

I have a unique ability to bring sophistication and expertise from the tech industry into the cannabis industry and change and assist with respect to the way these businesses approach their paths to success.

Education: 1. Graduate School: University of California, Berkeley (Juris Doctor) (Honors graduate and High Honors recipient)

2. Undergraduate school: Colgate University (Bachelor of Arts) (cum laude, Honors in Philosophy, Dean’s Award in Academic Excellence, Spanish and Philosophy Major)

Hometown: Healdsburg

Community/nonprofit activities: My father is a Vietnam veteran and I have a strong appreciation for our service members. One of my community focuses is assisting veterans. At Berkeley throughout law school, I worked for a clinic that served veterans and assisted with various benefits-related matters for such veterans.

I’ve continued that in my post-graduate legal practice, including working on a pro bono matter for Swords to Plowshares, a community-based non-profit organization that provides needs assessment and case management, employment and training, housing and legal assistance to veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Additionally, I served on the board of directors for a nonprofit organization providing community empowerment through music in Haiti (focusing on harnessing the universal power of music to empower, educate, and uplift Haiti’s most vulnerable youth).

Mentor/admired businessperson: I have more than one mentor but my biggest mentor is my father. He is a veteran that came back from war and went straight into the working world (without a college degree and coming from a family with little means). Eventually he started his own business, taught himself many skills and sacrificed many things to provide for me and my sister. He taught me the value of hard work, the importance of true relationships, resilience, respect and toughness. Borrowed from a Marines saying (my dad is an Army veteran), he often taught me to “improvise, adapt and overcome”. His lessons have been valuable throughout my career. He exemplifies every value I aim to achieve and would be honored to achieve.

What is your most disliked buzzword?: Cannabiz

Typical day at the office: Work, work, work! Calls, meetings, business deal discussions, financings, mergers and acquisitions, entity formation.

Best place to work outside of your office: My house! I am not a coffee shop worker. I need to pay strict attention to detail and find that my home is the next best place to work after the office. I can make endless coffees and work without distraction.

Hobbies: Skiing, running (I ran track in college) and painting (just for fun).

What you wanted to be when you grew up: A lawyer.

#1 thing you want to accomplish by the time you turn 40: Tour with Aerosmith, Madonna and The Rolling Stones, The Police, Aguilera and Streisand (just kidding, I already did that). I want to look back when I’m 40 and think there is not anything I could have done differently or better by the time I turn 40. So far I feel on track!

First job: Babysitting (age 11). First real gig was working for Aerosmith’s official fan club and touring with Aerosmith to run VIP events (17-21 years old).

Social media you most use: WhatsApp; Instagram/Facebook

Favorite book: I read contracts all day- it’s hard to say what my favorite book is because I don’t often read books for enjoyment anymore (no time and my eyes are tired)! I like “House of the Spirits: (the Spanish version, “Casa de los Espiritus”) by Isabel Allende.

Favorite movie: “Shawshank Redemption” I also like “Almost Famous” and more recently, “A Star is Born”

Favorite after-work drink: A glass of wine in my hometown wine country!

Last vacation: Kauai (Hawaii)

What does your mom or dad brag most about you?: My mom likes to tell people I toured with and worked for the Stones. She has a harder time recapping my legal work!

Favorite app: Anything that saves me time- Instacart, Postmates.

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