In 1999, Maurice D. Jones joined the Manitowoc Company Inc. as its secretary and general counsel. He was the legal department.
Just a little over a decade later, Jones now oversees a staff of eight other attorneys, three of whom are located internationally, and three paralegals.
That growth mirrors the growth of The Manitowoc Company itself. Jones, who brought experience as a private practitioner concentrating primarily in transactions, helped spearhead a pair of sizeable acquisitions that have helped take The Manitowoc Company to the next level of profitability.
“When I started we were about $800 million in revenue,” said Jones. “Before the market crunch, we were on track to reach about $6 billion.”
The company became “a major player in the crane business” with its 2001 acquisition of Potain, a manufacturer of tower cranes, and its 2002 acquisition of Grove, a maker of mobile telescoping cranes.
“Those two, on the heels of each other, really made a significant difference for the company in the crane segment, and it positioned us very well in the market upturn that happened thereafter,” he said.
The Manitowoc Company, founded in 1902 in shipbuilding, has evolved into a leading producer of lattice-boom cranes, as well as a leading manufacturer of ice-cube machines, ice and beverage dispensers, and commercial refrigeration equipment for the food service industry.
Jones says that, on the food service end, a recent, important development was the 2008 acquisition of Enodis.
The company now has operations in over 20 countries, and not surprisingly, further growth is envisioned.
Beyond the pure legal work, Jones takes great pride in having helped on the business end with the company creating its corporate values: integrity, commitment to stakeholders, and passion for excellence. “As a senior executive in the company, I’ve been privileged to help establish those values. They’re not just values that I wrote, but I help to promote and foster them.”
Jones is quick to add that he doesn’t do that alone. The most enjoyable aspect of his job is “the people I work with.”
“Sometimes being a lawyer is very tedious. You can get bogged down, and you have to enjoy the people you work with, not just in the legal department but in the corporate executive staff. When you enjoy the people you work with it’s much easier to come to work.”