PRIVATE COMPANY WITH ANNUAL REVENUES UP TO $500M
Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary, Cequel III/TierPoint/StayLock Storage
The information technology boom years of the 1990s ultimately lured Wendy Knudsen from an in-house job she enjoyed with the National Football League to the telecommunications world.
In fact, Knudsen said she’d considered leaving the law altogether to study information management.
“This was during the mid-1990s, when the internet was beginning its rapid ascent and digital information management was starting to become important to businesses,” she said.
Knudsen said she’d been involved with information management-related projects at the NFL, in addition to overseeing the information management work of the league’s contracts administration department, and she enjoyed the creative side of that work.
Still, the New Jersey native decided to stick with the law. Nearly 20 years later, she is executive vice president, chief legal officer and secretary of Cequel III, an investment and management firm, and its managed companies, TierPoint, a data-center and cloud-computing services company; and StayLock Storage, a self-storage company.
Knudsen said she’d originally planned to practice international law. She graduated from Boston University School of Law in 1992.
After law school, Knudsen briefly worked as an associate at the litigation boutique firm Smith & Duggan in Boston, then known as Smith, Duggan & Johnson. Less than a year later, however, she jumped at the opportunity to go in-house for the NFL in New York City, where she worked for six years.
Knudsen was the league’s first woman attorney. She worked in its properties division, focusing her work on trademark licensing.
“The NFL was a wonderful place to work,” she said. “I got excellent in-house experience and worked with lovely and talented people while I was there.”
In 2000, she transitioned to a new industry, joining AAT Communications, a telecommunications tower company. She and her husband relocated to St. Louis in late 2003, after Cequel III acquired AAT. She served as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of AAT from 2002 to 2006.
From 2006 to 2015, she served as executive vice president and secretary of Suddenlink Communications, also formerly managed by Cequel III.
She’s overseen TierPoint’s legal functions since 2010. She currently provides oversight to the company’s legal, contracts administration and security and compliance departments, managing a legal department of 24 people.
“Working with so many people who are bright, talented, dedicated and solutions-oriented” is the best part of her job, Knudsen said.
“I am very fortunate that the departments for which I have oversight — Legal, Contracts Administration, and Security & Compliance — [comprise] first-class, gifted professionals who are committed to excellence, customer service, risk mitigation and achieving the objectives of our businesses,” she said.
Outside of work, Knudsen works with producing partners to review theatrical production opportunities in which they can invest. One of her shows was “Dear Evan Hansen,” which won six 2017 Tony awards, including Best Musical.
She attributes her love of Broadway to her parents, saying they instilled in her a deep love of the arts. As a child, she said, she wanted to be a Broadway singer.
“When I was introduced to my producer partners, my love of Broadway came full circle,” she said. “I was given the opportunity to ‘be on Broadway’ in a way that was much more suited to my professional life.”