Managing Partner, Rochester Office, Harris Beach PLLC
Years in current role: 2.5 years as Rochester MP, 15 years as partner
What do you enjoy most about your role?
In the role of managing partner for the Harris Beach Rochester office, I have the good fortune of connecting with attorneys and professional staff outside my core area of practice. I serve as a support to them individually and the office generally regarding client and firm objectives, professional development and business development efforts. I love cheerleading, promoting and lifting others. I work with some incredible talents — many of whom quietly go about their work without any fanfare or expectations. I love to shine a light on their gifts and good works. Lifting them lifts the office morale and the firm in reputation and visibility.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?
I pride myself on building an engaged office culture — one that promotes inclusivity, participation and collegiality among the attorneys and professional staff. I struggled with the pivot to the virtual world. I get strength, energy and inspiration from in-person contact. I felt impotent at times not being able to connect with some of my colleagues. My learning curve has been steep for building connections and staying connected through virtual means or through a face mask. I just don’t like it, and I was slow to accept that reality. For several months, I shared through email weekly Top 10 lists (and COVID musings) to build a connection with my colleagues. The feedback I received was positive and reassuring. I am proud to share that my colleagues — for the most part — seamlessly transitioned to the “new normal.” They accepted the realities of COVID sooner than I did and were incredibly productive in their remote work environment.
What are you most looking forward to doing as COVID restrictions ease?
I am most looking forward to gathering again with my Harris Beach colleagues — socially and professionally. As an office, in a non-COVID world, we come together for quarterly office lunch meetings. We enjoy a meal and some networking time, welcome new hires, celebrate retirements, discuss firm initiatives, and receive updates from our Social Committee and Community Involvement Committee. We also celebrate various holidays and the end of year with happy hours and dinners. We host food trucks and summer fests with food and lawn games. These gatherings promote engagement within the office and help to connect us as a “team.” We had to cancel in-person events and reimagine our meetings in 2020. We have big plans for 2021.