Carlson Companies, Inc. today announced that 17-year General Mills veteran Bill Van Brunt, most recently Associate General Counsel for that company, has been named as Sr. Vice President-General Counsel at Carlson.
Van Brunt succeeds Lee Bearmon, a 20+-year Carlson executive, who has announced his retirement. Bearmon, a close associate and confidant of Carlson founder Curtis L. Carlson, oversaw the company`s legal group and was a member of its Investment Committee during much of Carlson`s astounding growth and expansion. He will continue to consult for the company on a part-time basis.
“My years at Carlson Companies have been all I could have asked for,” said Bearmon. “The challenges and successes of helping Curt and Marilyn build today`s wonderful company are the memories of a lifetime. I leave the company with nothing but happy thoughts and with Bill Van Brunt`s arrival, in excellent legal hands.”
Van Brunt comes to Carlson with a strong and varied portfolio. At General Mills he had responsibility for all legal matters regarding international business, as well as joint ventures, transactions, intellectual property, licensing, antitrust, general business law and new product development for the $7 billion food organization. He was also a member of that company`s Innovation, Technology and Quality Senior Management Team.
Prior to joining General Mills, Van Brunt worked for Hershey Foods Corporation, and before that he was associated with the firms of McNee, Wallace, and Nurick, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Kenway and Jenny in Boston.
He is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and received a Masters of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He received his J.D. from Boston University School of Law cum laude, later earning an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School.
Prior to attending law school, Van Brunt was a senior scientist and missile engineer in the aerospace industry.
His wife, Gail, is an Account Services Director for Carlson Marketing Group.