An Interview with Deputy General Counsel Cade Daniel
Cade Daniel is Deputy General Counsel at Kids2, Inc. An Atlanta native, Cade was formerly in private practice at global law firms Troutman Sanders and King & Spalding followed by positions on several corporate legal teams prior to joining Kids2 in 2019. We recently sat down to discuss what it is like working in corporate law at Kids2.
Tell us about your background in the field of law.
When I began my career, 9/11 had just rocked our country and the economy was changing. It was an interesting time to join a law firm. I was on the corporate finance team, which proved to be a great training ground and springboard for my in-house legal practice. I was fortunate to work with many skilled and talented lawyers in private practice. When I transitioned to my first in-house position, I leveraged my law firm training and expanded and grew my skillset in other areas of practice.
Being in-house (as a member of a small legal department) is very different from private practice because you need to become much more of a generalist. As in-house counsel, you need knowledge across a variety of different areas, and you need to move quickly to support the business. To me, one of the positives about being in-house is that we all have one client and are in the same boat. I also enjoy the variety of work and the fact that you get to follow transactions from start to finish, which isn’t generally the case when you are outside counsel.
What drew you to Kids2?
As a parent, I had used Kids2 products with my own children and really connected with the Kids2 purpose to help parents solve pain points and achieve tiny wins. I also was intrigued by the innovative nature of the business and the fact that it is scaling globally and undergoing vertical integration.
What is your role at Kids2?
My role as in-house counsel is to understand the objectives and strategy of the business (and its pain points) and to communicate the legal issues and risks involved (to reduce risk and avoid negative outcomes for the business). My primary responsibilities include corporate governance; analyzing, drafting, and negotiating commercial contracts; coordinating a wide variety of regulatory, compliance, and contractual matters; and providing legal support for strategic initiatives. I work with many different departments and teams, so there is a lot of variety!
As Kids2 is scaling globally, it can be a challenge to deal with counterparties across the globe with different documentation and contractual philosophies. I work with colleagues to quickly get up to speed on the project, identify potential issues, and develop strategic and tactical legal processes to get deals closed and move the business forward.
What key skill sets are needed in your role?
Being flexible and a quick study. In-house transactional legal work lends itself to collaborating and negotiating, so you need to be able to build consensus and reach compromise. You also need to be able to handle a high volume, move quickly, be responsive, and do more with less.
Other keys are being comfortable with being uncomfortable and always being open to learning. The better I can understand the business, the better advocate I can be for the business.
What do you like about working at Kids2?
The company is innovative and growing. Because we are in a state of reinvention, it is an exciting time at Kids2 where team members can use their skillsets and creativity to develop something new, no matter what their role. The company is open to change and is actively looking for ways to improve and create efficiencies. As a new person, you can contribute to change from day one.
We have a global mentality. I am interacting with team members in several countries every day, which I enjoy. Our expansion into China is particularly exciting. It is interesting to see the legal, business, and cultural differences as well as the common threads. It is also interesting, and sometimes amusing, to see how legalese translates!
We have excellent attorneys supporting us in other countries, and that is particularly true in China and Hong Kong. I feel fortunate to have them as a resource and am learning a lot about corporate governance and commercial transactions from them daily.
Tell me about a “Tiny Win” you have had at Kids2.
When I joined the company, we were in the process of globally rebranding Kids II to Kids2. I was able to serve in a supporting role to manage the legal aspects of the rebranding from country to country. While the “paper chase” is not very glamorous, it is important behind-the-scenes work.
How does your work impact new parents?
The Legal Team helps ensure that products are designed, developed, and produced in a way that is safe and complies with laws. We also make sure the business has access to the vendors and resources it needs so it can make the innovative products that parents and kids love.
What is your favorite Kids2 fundamental and why?
My favorite fundamental is #23 - Invest in Relationships - establishing trust and credibility are vital fundamentals for success. Pay Attention to the Details, #22, is also one of my favorite fundamentals.
The Legal Department at Kids2 is focusing on the value of Fun and are planning opportunities to have more fun as a team at work in 2020!
What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?
I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am a big reader! I enjoy all genres of books and am also a big moviegoer.
Somewhat of a foodie, I look forward to attending supper club with friends. One month, we did a progressive dinner up and down Buford Highway trying all types of Asian cuisine. Yes, we did end up at the Karaoke bar. I also enjoy a girl’s trip to Sundance every year.
Contributing to the community is very important to me and my family. I like to volunteer at my children’s schools, church, and at various nonprofits. I gravitate to child-focused charities and underserved segments of our community.
What was your favorite childhood toy?
I can’t pick just one! My favorite toys were the Cabbage Patch Doll (the original from Babyland General), the Big Wheel, and Strawberry Shortcake.
If you weren’t in your current profession, what would you be doing?
I think I would be a teacher.
What is the best business advice you ever received?
Perfect is the enemy of good. As an attorney, that is at times difficult for me to embrace, but important particularly in-house, where law meets the real world.
Inside Kids2 is an ongoing series that spotlights our colleagues who are doing extraordinary work across the Kids2 network. To learn more about careers at Kids2 visit Kids2.com/careers.html.
Kids2 is a global company that designs solutions to help early-stage parents and families create tiny wins that build bright futures. The Kids2™ brand portfolio includes the leading infant, baby, and toddler brands Baby Einstein®, Bright Starts®, and Ingenuity®. Headquartered in Atlanta, Kids2 spans globally with 12 offices on four continents serving customers in more than 90 countries and has been inventing and reinventing baby products for 50 years. Led by CEO Ryan Gunnigle, it operates with an agile start-up approach, which fosters the company’s growing success.