Blog Network

About The Bloggers


No Complaints About Portnoy

The title character of Philip Roth's 1969 novel, "Portnoy's Complaint," was somewhat self-obsessed. The same appears not to be true of Elliott I. Portnoy, named Friday as the youngest-ever chairman of the Chicago firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal.

Washington-based Portnoy, 40, has an altruistic side that led him, as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford in 1988, to found KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now), an organization offering sporting and recreational activities for children with special needs, and to bring it to the United States in 1992. Since joining Sonnenschein from Arent Fox in 2002, he has worked through the firm to expand KEEN to other cities where it has offices.

Washingtonian magazine named Portnoy its Washingtonian of the Year for his community service efforts, and the Washington Wizards basketball team gave him its 2004 Abe Pollin Humanitarian Award. 

Humanitarian may be one name given to Portnoy, but former Wizards player and basketball great Michael Jordan has another name for him: "The Nanny." As reported last year by The Hill, the name came about because Portnoy's wife, Estee, is Jordan's business manager. As Portnoy explained:

"My wife travels with him fairly extensively, and because I am often not there … when he sees me he always says, 'Oh, hey, look, the nanny’s here,' because the assumption is I’m the guy taking care of the kids while my wife is away."

Estee Portnoy is also active in KEEN.  As for his day job, Portnoy, a lobbyist, told The Hill:

"I’ve got an incredible gig here. I am able to pursue policy initiatives that are interesting and meaningful and intellectually challenging."

All that, and managing the firm as well.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on June 26, 2006 at 03:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


About ALM  |  About  |  Customer Support  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms & Conditions