In celebration of Women’s History Month, Scheef & Stone illustrates how past inspires us to redefine the future and showcases the inspiration and expertise of the women attorneys who elevate our firm and client service.
What woman in the firm or the business community inspires you and why?
The North Texas business community is fortunate to have wonderful women leaders who serve as role models to those just starting out in the business world. I’ve gotten to know these truly inspirational women even better through Scheef & Stone’s Women to Women Business Series luncheons. Several of our guests not only shine in their chosen professions but also give back to the business community.
For example: Kelly Kunst is a world-class financial planner who formed Your Executive Symphony in 2009, an organization that supports entrepreneurs. Her passion for entrepreneurship is evident in the servicing of her business owner clients and the service she gives to the business community through her nonprofit organization. Deb Purvin, an Olympic skier, commercial banker, and owner of Business Owners MBA is truly an inspiration. After leaving the banking world, Deb devotes her full time to teaching business owners how to be successful through her proven BOMBA methodology. Her dedication has produced dozens of happy business owners, many of whom have sold their businesses for far more than what they ever dreamed their company could be worth – all due to Deb’s counseling and advice. Melanie Kuhr, former executive at a Fortune 100 company, bought a millwork company as a passive investor 20 years ago only to end up quitting her corporate job to take over the fledging millwork company and turn it around in terms of financial strength, reputation, and growth – all while simultaneously authoring a book about her family home and the Holocaust. I feel so fortunate that Deb, Kelly and Melanie – and many others – have been consistent attendees of our luncheon and continue to set a high standard of what is possible for women in business.
If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why?
I’d like to spend an evening over dinner with my great-grandparents – all eight of them! I never met them, but I think it would be fascinating to speak with them about life – including raising all four of my grandparents – in the early 1900s. I loved visiting with my grandparents until their deaths and would love to hear from their parents about their early years and what influenced them to be who they became. I think learning life before all the technology we take for granted existed would be interesting.
What led you to the practice of law and/or to your specific area of law?
I didn’t know any lawyers growing up, nor had any in my family. However, I was pretty good at making logical arguments throughout high school, knew I didn’t really want to work for anyone, and was determined to earn an advanced degree. I was either going to get an MBA or a law degree. One of my sorority sisters, who had just started her first year of law school, suggested I take the LSAT and, if I did well, go for the law degree. I took the exam, was accepted into law school, and the rest is history.
How is being a woman lawyer advantageous?
I find women lawyers to be good listeners. As a business attorney, I am always negotiating terms and being a good listener is a good attribute when you are trying to suggest language amenable to all parties. Rather than trying to convince someone to accept your language, it’s much easier to let them think it was their idea. Women tend to be gifted with the ability to do just that.
What advice (professional or personal) would you give your younger self or the next generation of women leaders?
You don’t have to do everything yourself. There are many people that would be happy to help you if you seek out their advice. People are flattered when asked their opinion and experience on a topic, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Although you can figure it out yourself, you can waste a lot of time and energy in doing so.
To learn more about Jane, please click here.