Possessing decades of experience working for prestigious law firms and large international corporations, Tatiana J. Whytelord founded Intelligent Brand Extension LLC in 2006. An Intellectual Property, Branding, and Advertising Law expert, Tatiana oversees a highly specialized group of international professionals that excel at helping companies develop and execute strategies to grow their brands. “We are a very lean and efficient organization,” Tatiana explained. “It is our model and it will always be like this. Our purpose is to provide top-level advice at reasonable cost, with maximum efficiency.”
As President and Founder, Tatiana ensures her team consistently delivers for all their clients. She also guides IBE’s mission to bring high-level expertise to the smaller players in the market. “The ability to help people create things, innovate, think outside the box and feel like they have achieved their goals and dreams is what keeps me going every day,” Tatiana said. “I also thoroughly enjoy being able to give back by helping those less fortunate understand the value of knowledge. I love seeing the result of our hard work, whether on a shelf, in a store, on TV or simply on my desk. Intellectual Property is a very tangible area of the law, which makes it so appealing.”
Even before graduating from the University of Montreal with a Juris Doctor/Bachelors of Law, Tatiana was already making a name for herself within her industry. She started her career in the summer of 1984 as a law school student, working for a large export company in Montreal. Her first full-time, paid position was in Monte Carlo working as one of the two legal advisors of a multinational corporation with more than 250 subsidiaries around the world, active in numerous industries from hospitality to insurance to fisheries and more. “I had to become efficient and effective very quickly!” said Tatiana, who is a Harvard University graduate with a Masters of Law in Taxation.
Throughout out her 30-year career Tatiana has contributed significantly to her field. She was one of the pioneers of bringing U.S. fast food franchises into Europe, including all the legalities that are involved with such an immense undertaking. That included negotiating contracts and leases, working with unions, and dealing with all the regulatory laws, certifications, and customs unique to each geographic area.
“It was an enormous challenge, very complex, and the world we dealt with was very much male-dominated,” she said. “I have a reputation for choosing the more challenging path for myself, both personally and professionally. I like to set goals that seem unreasonable and unattainable, and succeed at them. So for me, the most important message is that if you set your mind to something, you can do it.”
Passionate about the advancement of women in the workplace, Tatiana is a member of the National Association
of Professional Women, where she serves as the lead on the Innovation Power Forum and on the organization’s Mentoring Committee. The NAPW recently honored her as their “2014-15 VIP Woman of the Year.” The award is given to select women who demonstrate outstanding excellence and dedication in their profession.
“It meant so much to me because I have spent three decades giving everything I have to the cause of women advancing in the business world,” she said. “I was proud to show it to my family and my parents, especially my father who has been such a mentor. It felt like a culmination to everything I have worked for, like I could say, ‘Okay I’ve done it and if I can do it then so can everyone else if they work hard and never give up.’”
Tatiana is also a dedicated member of the International Trademark Association (INTA) and will be hosting a table topic talk at their Annual Conference on Practicalities of IP Strategies in the Age of Open Source and Shared Content. Additionally, Tatiana is a member of National Association of Women Business Owners and an Executive Council member of Elevate, within its NYC Chapter.
“I would like to be remembered as someone who championed the cause of equal opportunities for women,” Tatiana said. “That to me is paramount and I have always fought for it, for a better environment for women in the workplace and for a woman’s right to be as free and creative as her male counterparts. I would also like to be remembered as someone who was one of the first people to take a chance on the framework of law, and showed that it doesn’t have to
be territorial, boring, or scary. You can be a practicing attorney in a specific area and be in tune with everything around you, while still maintaining an international perspective and having the pulse of the world.”
Q: Who or what has been your greatest professional inspiration?
A: My greatest professional inspiration was Perry Mason! I became a lawyer because when I was 15 I used to watch that show and think “One day I will be just like him and help everyone around me.”
Q: What advice would you offer to someone starting out in your industry?
A: I would tell them to figure out what makes them stand out from the rest of the crowd and leverage it to their advantage; and to stay the course because it takes time to understand where one’s talents lie.
Q. What professional challenges have you faced that have contributed to your overall success?
A. When I started out, the legal industry was highly dominated by men and there was no appetite for innovation. If it had not been for those situations, I would not have been able to run
a business, a multinational team and clients, and become passionate about entrepreneurship and women’s place in the world of business and law.
Q: What professional challenges have you faced that have contributed to your overall success?
A: Never ever burn your bridges; recognize that you cannot do it all on your own and surround yourself with the best people to complement your skills.
This article was originally published in the Women of Distinction Magazine.
- Posted by Twila Grissom
- On November 21, 2016