Tom Fox chats with the Chief Compliance Officer at Aventiv Technologies, Russ Berland, in the premiere episode of The Compliance Life. They discuss the lessons Russ learned as a compliance officer and how it relates to pizza.

Pizza Is The Key To Success

Tom asks why Russ believes that pizza is the key to success as a compliance officer. Russ responds that compliance often functions in a silo; however, to be effective, a compliance officer must be engaged with everyone who has influence within the company. “I found the secret weapon in that arsenal to build those relationships,” Russ says, “was to buy lots and lots of pizza, and I would bring together these groups of all these people, have strategy sessions. It was funny that when the pizza came out, people started talking, sharing about what was really going on in the organization, who they were as people, what they were looking for and it broke down a lot of the barriers.” He learned this strategy at Hewlett Packard. Connecting with people is the key to success, he emphasizes

His Compliance Life

Russ details his journey from associate general counsel at Compaq to compliance officer. As a consequence of the merger with Hewlett Packard, a large part of the legal department at Compaq was being phased out. He was offered the opportunity to join the newly formed compliance department, which he accepted. He had real life experience using the skills they needed, so he was a natural fit. He describes how he helped streamline their internal investigation process to a multi-disciplinary one with governance. Throughout his career, Russ says, he has worked in compliance and investigations on all six inhabited continents


Aventiv Technologies

Russ Berland on LinkedIn