Even as a child, Rose Helen Perez told anyone who asked that she wanted to be a lawyer when she grew up, which both surprised and delighted her mother. “It was either doctor or lawyer,” Perez says, “but I didn’t like the sight of blood.”
Now senior vice president of business and legal affairs for Vubiquity, Perez loves practicing law, and is grateful that she made the decision to become a lawyer at an early age and stuck with it.
Perez graduated cum laude in 1979 with a social science/political science major from the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and went on to earn her JD from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, focusing on communications law. “At that time, communications and the military were two job growth areas,” she says. “I chose communications because I found it more positive to be part of bringing people together.”
Her daughter is now attending UCSB while her son goes to University of California Riverside.
“Education is one of the best gifts I can give my children, and I feel honored and privileged to be able to do so,” Perez says.
Having had several mentors over the years, Perez places great value on the importance of finding a trusted advisor. Her UCLA communications law professor, Charlie Firestone, now executive director at the Aspen Institute, was one of them. He encouraged her to intern in Washington, DC, which she did, becoming the first intern for what is now known as the National Cable Telecommunications Association (NCTA).
Soon after her move to DC, NCTA’s general counsel recommended her to the National Association of Broadcasters’ (NAB), and she was hired out of 350 applicants for the association’s legal fellow position that year.
“There, I coedited the second edition of the NAB’s Legal Guide to FCC Broadcast Regulations,” Perez says. “That project enabled me to work with a number of prominent experts in the Federal Communications Bar, including at the FCC, which resulted in the FCC recruiting me to work in its Mass Media Bureau/Policy & Rules division.”
Now, Perez makes sure she gives back in the same way. She has been a mentor for students at UCLA School of Law, and at Newport Harbor High School, where her children went to school. She recently served as an advisory board member for the Southern California chapter of Alliance for Women in Media. She also serves on the Board for two community homeowners associations.
Practice and Family
By 1985, Perez was hoping to return to California and be close to her family. She was recruited to help build LeBoeuf Lamb, Leiby & MacRae’s communications practice in DC, but transferred to the firm’s San Francisco office after a year. “I wanted to expand the practice there, and accomplish my then goal of getting enough communications experience to come back to California.”
She then switched gears and went to work for The Times Mirror Company as Times Mirror Cable Television’s (TMCT) chief lawyer, which made her responsible for the legal affairs of the cable operation giant. Over the next eight years, she was promoted four times until TMCT was sold to Cox Communications. Two weeks later, Perez had her first child.
She got right back in the game, and started with StarSight Telecast in Silicon Valley as general counsel and corporate secretary, managing the legal work associated with prosecuting and monetizing them. “After a year, with a second child on the way, a husband with a business opportunity, and grandparents back in Orange County, we moved back to Southern California, where I decided to start my own practice,” she says.
Twelve years and many clients later—including The Outdoor Channel, TechTV, MGM UPS Systems, and TVN Entertainment Corporation—Perez found herself at a crossroads because of the success of her practice.
“I would either have to hire another lawyer or go in-house,” she says. “Joining TVN seemed like the most intriguing prospect to utilize my programming, distribution, and technology legal media experience, all at once.”
After becoming part of the TVN team as general counsel and senior vice president of business and legal affairs, Perez helped expand the business in Canada, the Caribbean, Chile, Mexico, Turkey, and throughout the United States.
When the company was acquired by Avail Media Inc. in 2009, she stayed on as senior vice president of business and legal affairs at the Los Angeles office. Avail then acquired the On Demand Group in the UK and Juice Worldwide in Toronto. In 2013, the company’s name was changed to Vubiquity.
Vubiquity connects content providers with content distributors, enabling their content to be viewed anywhere on any device. Perez’s main challenge is business consolidation and continued growth.
And her strategies are succeeding. Just in the past few years, the company has expanded globally. Handling legal affairs for Vubiquity on both domestic and international deal structures, managing and negotiating the commercial contracts from content supplier to distributor, and otherwise working with the various departments to support them, Perez is essential to company success.
Equally important, she says, is making sure she and everyone at the company maintain a healthy work/life balance. Beyond growing the business, Perez is an active participant in Vubiquity’s wellness program. She loves to ski and sail, and attends and supports Vubiquity’s daily fitness classes.
“Fitness and healthy living are essential to a fun and balanced life, giving me the physical and mental ability to keep succeeding,” she says.