production or any matters relating to vehicle
Regulatory and National Highway Transportation
and Safety Administration matters are handled by
Hogan & Hartson in Washington. Vedder Price in
Chicago is responsible for immigration issues.
Kendrick has cut outside counsel costs “sig-
nificantly” and continues to keep a close eye on
His next stop was Mitsubishi Lithographic Presses
in Lincolnshire, Ill. His contract wasn’t renewed in
2008, when the company consolidated its legal ser-
vices in New York. The 100-employee company, a
service distributor of offset printing presses, had
seen its revenues drop as the printing industry suf-
You become a person to go to with concerns, and you
can help them through it.”
COPING WITH THE ECONOMY
Kendrick draws on his business background when
working with parts suppliers who fall into bankruptcy
or are closing down. “It’s happened nonstop since
I’ve been here,” he said.
Maintaining reliable parts suppliers is vital to Mercedes, which does not stockpile parts. When a parts
manufacturer goes under, Mercedes must arrange
to have the failing manufacturer transfer the tooling
and fabrication process to another supplier. Failure
to do this quickly could bring Mercedes’ assembly
line to a halt. Kendrick plays a key role in communicating with German executives about how U.S.
bankruptcy proceedings and company rights affect
timetables, production and contracts.
expenses. He’s considering whether flat-fee arrangements would result in additional savings.
ROUTE TO THE TOP
Kendrick earned a bachelor’s degree in business
in 1984 from Xavier University in Cincinnati. He
earned his J.D. from Ohio Northern University Pettit
College of Law in 1987.
After law school, he worked for a year at Reiling
Teder & Withered (now Reiling Teder & Schrier) in
Lafayette, Ind. He knew he wanted to go in-house,
so he joined Stevens International Inc., a printing
press manufacturer, in 1988. When he left in 1997,
he was director of administration, legal counsel and
least that Kendrick wanted to continue providing
legal support to a manufacturer. He thinks his long
experience with heavy equipment manufacturing
made him attractive to Mercedes, too.
“I truly believe manufacturing is the backbone of
the economy,” he said. “And I like the people involved
in manufacturing...We touch a lot of lives invisibly.”
Remaining a general counsel was his preference,
too. “What I like about in-house is the multiple hats
you can wear from moment to moment, even less
than day to day,” Kendrick said. “It has to do with
anything from employee concerns to purchasing matters to supplier concerns, head-knocking litigation,
product liability, any number of things. The variety
is really exciting.”
The Chicago native and his wife, Lori, have two
children: Caroline and Olivia. His hobbies include
rooting for the Chicago Cubs and coaching Olivia’s
basketball team. His ride is a black Mercedes-Benz
R Class 2010 test vehicle.
A BOOK AND MOVIE
The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown, and Martian
—JUNE D. BELL
An earlier version of this profile appeared in The
National Law Journal on Nov. 30, 2009.