Anthea Daniels, chief legal officer, holds herself to some pretty high standards both on and off the job. The former college improv actor (she’s shared the stage with movie star Steve Carell!) turned lawyer is equally adept at dishing up legal advice as she is making homemade pie crusts and macaroons.
Before joining Akron Children’s, the Cleveland native and mom to 3 daughters spent 28 years in corporate practice in both Cleveland and Nashville specializing in counseling charitable and nonprofit health care systems and hospitals on a variety of health law related topics.
Tell us about your background, schooling and role on ELT.
I graduated with a double major in English and Spanish from Denison University. During college, I studied at Middlebury College in an overseas program in Madrid, Spain and spent a summer studying pre-law in Oxford, England at Somerville College. I graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.
I served on the board of the American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA) for a decade and was president in 2007. I also was president of the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and chaired Playhouse Square Partners. I currently serve on the Great Lakes Theater board of trustees.
I love throwing parties and chaired Jump Back Ball’s 1998 “Return to Classic Hollywood,” Malachi House’s benefit and AHLA’s annual meeting in 2006 in Philadelphia.
As the lawyer on ELT, I advise on matters dealing with federal and state laws, risk management issues including enterprise risk, conflict of interest matters and compliance matters.
Tell us a little about your role as chief legal officer.
As chief legal officer, I oversee all legal, risk and compliance issues at the hospital and manage the legal, risk and compliance staff. I have the opportunity to meet a lot of people and work on a myriad of issues. There is never a dull day.
What do you like about working at Akron Children’s?
I love the mission of the hospital and am truly lucky to work for a charitable organization whose mission is to treat children. There is no better job for a health care lawyer.
Why is employee engagement important to you?
I have always believed in the power of a group. I thrive on team efforts and want everyone to feel a part of the organization – appreciated and recognized for their talent and efforts.
If you didn’t work in health care leadership, what would your dream job be?
My dream job would probably be producing or directing Broadway musicals. In the ’80s it would have been MTV music videos! In kindergarten, my teacher noted that I liked to tell all the other kids what to do. (My staff is now laughing.)
Tell us about your family.
My husband and I will celebrate our 20th anniversary in November. Matt is very calm and cool, the yin to my yang. He is also a lawyer, although we rarely discuss the law. We have 3 high-spirited daughters, Francesca, 15, Alexandrea, 13 and Madeleine, 13. They are all teenagers – enough said. We also have a fun-loving, crazy puppy named Kiwi.
How do you relax?
I love a good comedy; laughing is the best medicine. As a child, it was Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart and Carol Burnett. I also enjoy cooking and baking.
Most interesting place you’ve been and why?
Every place I’ve been has something interesting to offer. From midnight in a Vegas casino, to a reclining Buddha in Thailand, to Las Meninas in the Prado, to the size of the croissants at the Blue Door Café in Cuyahoga Falls – every place is interesting to me.
What was your first paying job?
Working as a document runner for a small law firm in Cleveland.
What would you change about yourself if you could?
My legs or having more patience – hmmm. Then again, to sing like Whitney Houston, dance like Bob Fosse or cook like Julia Child would be nice!
Do you have a favorite quote or mantra you live by?
This is not a dress rehearsal.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
I did improv comedy with a college troupe called Burpee’s Seedy Theatrical Company for 4 years in college. Burpee’s was a 12-person improv troupe and Steve Carell was one of the Burps. Last October, we had the 40-year anniversary of Burpee’s, and I returned to Granville with my family and about 60 other Burps from around the country, including Steve. My daughters were in awe.
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