Emily D. Dickinson is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of PetSmart, Inc., currently an over $5 billion publicly traded company and the largest pet specialty retailer in the U.S. and Canada, operating over 1150 retail locations as well as over 162 PetsHotels cat and dog boarding facilities. PetSmart is also a leading online provider of pet care products and, since 1994, has established and supported PetSmart Charities, Inc., an independent 501(c) (3) non-profit animal welfare organization. In her present capacity Ms. Dickinson is responsible for all of company’s legal affairs, all legal staff, records management and the Public and Government Affairs function. As Corporate Secretary, she advises and supports the Board of Directors and its Committees and is responsible for compliance and governance matters with particular emphasis on public company disclosures and executive compensation. Ms. Dickinson is also a member of PetSmart’s senior management team, reporting directly to the CEO and participating in the development of and support of the company’s strategic initiatives.
Prior to joining PetSmart in 2009, Ms. Dickinson was Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for Hannaford Bros. Co., a major U.S. grocery retailer operating throughout New York and New England and was also responsible for the legal affairs of its affiliate, Sweetbay Supermarkets, based in Tampa, Florida. Ms. Dickinson started with Hannaford in 1991 as an Associate Counsel and throughout her career there advised senior management on a wide variety of legal issues including litigation, mergers and acquisitions, commercial transactions, marketing and advertising, corporate governance and ethics, strategy, licensing, lobbying and regulatory activity.
In 2000, Hannaford was acquired by the Delhaize Group, an international food retailer based in Brussels and operating in 7 countries on three continents. Delhaize is publicly traded on both the Euronext and the NYSE. In 2006, while remaining General Counsel and retaining her senior executive position at Hannaford, Ms. Dickinson was appointed Vice President – Legal for Delhaize globally. In this capacity she had global subject matter responsibility for the legal management and support of human resources, including Board support for executive compensation, mergers and acquisitions, information technology, global procurement and strategy. She was instrumental in establishing and developing the in-house legal department in Delhaize’s Brussels headquarters.
Ms. Dickinson began her career in private practice in law firms in both Boston, Massachusetts and Portland, Maine. She has been a panelist and speaker at several seminars including at the FMI Legal Conference and the National Institute for Women Corporate Counsel on topics such as law department management, Sarbanes-Oxley and employment law. In 2006, Ms. Dickinson was named a Woman of Influence in the Food Industry.
Throughout her career Ms. Dickinson has also been involved in a variety of professional organizations and has served as both an executive and board member of multiple non-profits.
Ms. Dickinson received an A.B. cum laude in Government from Bowdoin College and her J.D. from the Boston University School of Law.