Alumni Career Spotlight: Becky Powhatan Kelley, The Weather Channel
While Becky Powhatan Kelley, executive vice president of business affairs and general counsel for The Weather Channel, Inc, was in town for the dedication and board meeting last week she shared her message for students with us.
“You have control over your career and what you do with your life. So many of us go to college and law school because it is ‘the thing to do’ or the next logical step in your education. Don’t approach your career that way—don’t just look for work or take a job because it is ‘the thing to do.’ Consider all the career choices that are available ultimately when you graduate. Your law school degree can open so many doors for you, but you have to do the work not only to find them, but also to consider what you really want to do with your life. There really are a lot of possibilities.”
As executive vice president, Powhatan Kelley is responsible for all legal issues impacting The Weather Channel ® and its subsidiaries, and she is also a member of the executive committee, which meets regularly to resolve strategic and operational issues. As general counsel, she heads the legal team, functions as an internal legal advisor, manages outside legal resources, identifies and implements improvements to legal processes, and participates in negotiating major contracts, including distribution agreements, strategic relationships, technology agreements and acquisitions.
Powhatan Kelley, who earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Florida, spent her first two years following law school with Akerman Senterfitt, followed by eight years as a business litigator in two other firms. One of her clients, Landmark Communications, Inc., a private media company and the parent company of The Weather Channel, asked her to join as corporate counsel. After eight years of working closely with outside corporate lawyers and learning the media business, Powhatan Kelley joined The Weather Channel in 1996. She is serving her second year on the UF Law Board of Trustees.