The Football Hall of Fame announced that it has named experienced legal professional Ms. Tara Charnes ‘99 as its new General Counsel. Charnes brings almost 20 years of legal experience to her new position.

Charnes graduated Denison summa cum laude with a degree in English and in Religion. She attained her law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law.

Charnes has served as in-house counsel for multiple publicly traded Fortune 1,000 companies, advising executive leadership, the board of directors, and business partners on a wide array of matters, including SEC and corporate governance, intellectual property, advertising, employment, and litigation management. She brings a diverse portfolio of practical experience acquired from her time spent leading nearly every facet of a legal department.

“Tara is an exciting addition to our leadership team,” said Michael Crawford, President and CEO of Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company (HOFV). “She has deep knowledge of legal, compliance, and governance matters, the public markets and the SEC, and is widely respected across the corporate landscape. Her expertise will be a welcome addition for us as a newly public company.”

Ms. Charnes joins HOFV having most recently served as Vice President, Litigation for Big Lots!, where she led the company’s strategic approach to securities, consumer and wage and hour class action litigation, as well as intellectual property disputes, employment litigation and other aspects of litigation and claims. She achieved multi-million dollar savings while successfully implementing significant operational efficiencies and served on the company’s Enterprise Risk Management Steering Committee.

Prior to Big Lots!, Ms. Charnes served as Director, North America Legal, Securities and Corporate Governance for The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, where she worked closely with the executive management team and board of directors on SEC and corporate governance matters, and managed multiple other legal department functions, including litigation, compliance, advertising and commercial law. Before that, she was a member of the Securities, Competition and Complex Litigation Group at international law firm Sidley & Austin LLP. She also served as a law clerk for the Honorable Kenneth F. Ripple of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

September 3, 2020