New York, January 21, 2014—James Grooms has been named vice president, legal and general counsel of New York Road Runners, it was announced today by NYRR president and CEO Mary Wittenberg. James will join the senior leadership team that reports to Wittenberg. James will replace Bob Laufer, who served as NYRR’s general counsel for the past 15 years, and will now be available as an advisor to the legal department. He will also continue in his position as coordinator of wheelchair athletes, and other athletes with disabilities, in NYRR events.
“James brings years of significant and complimentary legal expertise to NYRR,” said Wittenberg. “His experience is closely aligned with the needs of NYRR, having worked for an event-based nonprofit and dealing with issues pertaining to fundraising, sponsorship, contracts, financial, and reputational risk. By becoming NYRR’s chief resource on all legal matters, James will play a leading role in supporting and protecting the mission of NYRR. We are elated to have him join our executive team.”
In his new role, Grooms will be responsible for providing legal advice and expertise in a variety of areas to senior management and several operational departments within the organization, as well as to the Board of Directors and Board committees. Grooms will advise on business transactions, litigations, and risk management, manage the negotiation of contracts and other operational documents, and participate in the development of organizational policies and procedures.
Grooms comes to NYRR from Jazz at Lincoln Center, where he served as VP, General Counsel and Assistant Secretary. Since his start there in 2002, he created the in-house legal function of three (general counsel, deputy general counsel, and counsel). Prior to his time at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Grooms held licensing and counsel roles with Standard & Poor's and ABC Television Group, as well as an associate position with Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C. He was also an adjunct instructor for several years at Cornell University’s New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations (Extension and Public Service Division).
At Standard & Poor’s, Grooms developed and implemented policies and procedures for licensing and protection of intellectual property portfolio, and advised business units on all intellectual property matters. During his tenure with the ABC Television Group, Grooms advised and counseled business units on labor and employment matters. As an associate with Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C., Grooms represented labor unions and clients in a variety of industries.
Grooms was a Colgate University undergraduate and University of Michigan law school graduate. He currently lives in Manhattan.
Founded in 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization, whose mission is to help and inspire people through running. NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, community events, youth initiatives, school programs, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year, from children to seniors, with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to run for life. NYRR’s premier event, the TCS New York City Marathon, features 50,000 participants, from the world’s elite athletes to a wide range of recreational and charity runners, and is part of the World Marathon Majors, an alliance of the world’s six biggest marathons that determines each year’s top male and top female marathoner. To learn more, visit www.nyrr.org.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg