Cynthia L Gibson: Powerhouse Lawyer turned Exceptional Businesswoman

Cynthia L Gibson

Follow Us:

Business leaders today must navigate complex and dynamic situations. Great leaders are adaptable and adjust to the needs of their team and the company. They support and empathize with their staff members, and are dedicated to the company’s vision and mission. Cynthia Gibson, a seasoned director and member of the C-suite, is an encouraging, motivating, and true businesswoman. Cynthia works at Bush Brothers & Company, one of the top manufacturers of consumer packaged goods with distribution in retail, food service, and direct-to-consumers, as general counsel and a member of the senior leadership team.

A Driving Force Growing up

Cynthia grew up 90 miles south in the little town of Andrews, North Carolina. From an early age, she started viewing the world from a business perspective through her parents’ furniture store.  From employee issues to delivery scheduling, business issues were common topics of discussion at the dinner table. Cynthia also gained first-hand knowledge of sacrificial effort and community service from her mother, who was always concerned with others, whether it was leading United Way campaign efforts or anonymously donating cold weather clothing to Gibson’s classmates every year.

Gibson began her legal practice at Katz Teller in Cincinnati, Ohio, mid-size law firm specializing in middle market businesses and high net worth individuals. She worked directly with business owners who were interested in practical business-oriented solutions, not lofty legal memoranda.  At Katz Teller, she specialized in commercial litigation and was the chair of the labor and employment law practice

After 20 years in private practice, Gibson joined Scripps Networks Interactive (NASDAQ: SNI) where she ultimately became Executive Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs. She led the company’s legal, business, and government affairs as well as its corporate secretary, regulatory, ethics & compliance, shareholder, and internal auditing matters. She worked with a global team comprising over 120 professionals. As SNI expanded abroad, Cynthia set up the company’s global ethics and compliance programs. She also handled several issues relating to government affairs, such as fighting potential limitations on foreign ownership for a significant European subsidiary. Her M&A experience includes the $14 billion sale of SNI to Discovery, the $500 million investment in a joint venture with the BBC in the UK, and the $2 billion purchase of a publicly traded media company in Poland.

Before its $14.6 billion sale to Discovery in 2018, SNI was a Fortune 1000 firm with well-known US brands like HGTV, Food Network, and Travel Channel as well as overseas names like UKTV, TVN, and Asian Food Channel.

Bush’s Best

Following SNI’s sale to Discovery, Gibson was named General Counsel at Bush Brothers & Company in Knoxville, TN.  Bush’s was established in 1908 by A.J. Bush in Chestnut Hill, Tennessee, and was founded on the idea that there is only one right way to carry out any task. In her role at Bush,  Gibson has responsibility for legal, external affairs, sustainability and corporate development and also oversees Bush’s Visitor Center in Chestnut Hill, Tennessee, which includes a museum dedicated to all things beans.

Bush’s® is That Beautiful Bean Co.—a quality-obsessed, family-owned business since 1908. We believe in the goodness of the humble bean, a food that’s equally good for humans and the earth. When you enjoy our beans, you can trust that they’re the very best. Because we wouldn’t serve your family anything less. Since we got our start more than 110 years ago in Chestnut Hill, Tenn., Bush’s has always maintained that quality is the best policy. We pursue excellence and exceptional taste in our beans, sauces, and everything we do. That’s why, from mouthwatering Baked Beans to Chili Beans to our newest Sidekicks, you’re cooking up the best with Bush’s. For more information, visit

Board Service

Cynthia has also leveraged her experience through board service.  She serves on the boards of The Trust Company of Tennessee, a privately held financial services company with more than $4 billion in assets under management, and on an advisory board for SmartBank, a division of SmartFinancial Inc. While at SNI, she also served on the supervisory board and chaired the Nomination and Remuneration (Compensation) Committee of TVN, S.A. (WIG: TVN), a $2 billion publicly traded media company that SNI bought.

She has also held positions on numerous nonprofit boards, including the United Way of America, the United Way of Greater Knoxville and the Knoxville Area Urban League.  She is particularly proud of her work with Women United, which she helped found in both Cincinnati and in Knoxville and also served as Chair of its national board.  “Women often have untapped potential and passion in traditional philanthropic circles.”  She is pleased to have had the opportunity to gather women around causes that matter to them and to the community.

A Decorated Career

Cynthia has received numerous awards and accolades during her career.  She was named among the Best Lawyers in American in Commercial Litigation, Labor & Employment and Healthcare.  She was named among the best 50 women lawyers in Ohio and the top 25 women lawyers in Cincinnati.  She was also recognized by CABLEFAX as one of the most powerful women in cable television. For her community work she received the Robert F Kennedy Award for Public Service, was recognized by the Girl Scouts as a Woman of Distinction and received the Lizzie Cozier French Women’s Leadership Award.  She is also a graduate of Leadership Tennessee, Leadership Knoxville and Leadership Cincinnati.

Beliefs and Bits of Advice

Cynthia’s life and work philosophy are straightforward. She believes, “You must approach every task with a feeling of excellence.” She adds that working in the community entails not donating to a cause “simply to get your name on a list,” but rather spending your time to fully commit to the organization’s mission. Cynthia believes that egos have no place in the workplace. “You should always act in the company’s best interest. If you approach everything you do with the company’s best interest in mind, rather than your own, that is true leadership.”


ynthia L Gibson_Quote

Also Read: The 10 Inspiring Business Women Leaders of 2022

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Scroll to Top

Hire Us To Spread Your Content

Fill this form and we will call you.