Taft Announces New Members of Its Leadership Team

Taft Law has announced four new leadership appointments: Taft partner Janica Pierce Tucker as the Taft Columbus partner-in-charge; Jennifer Hann Harrison as the Taft Dayton partner-in-charge; Cathy Howard as the general counsel and chief ethics officer and Andrea Markstrom as the chief information officer. The firm also named its 2020 executive committee, adding Taft attorneys Brett D. Anderson, Kathryn Kovitz Arnold, Howard Bobrow, Elizabeth M. Brama, Beth A. Bryan, Steven J. Ryan and Justin Weinberg as new members of the committee.

Taft’s 2020 executive committee is as follows:

  • Robert J. Hicks, chair (Indianapolis)
  • Brett D. Anderson (Minneapolis)
  • Kathryn Kovitz Arnold (Chicago)
  • Howard Bobrow (Cleveland)
  • Elizabeth M. Brama (Minneapolis)
  • Beth A. Bryan (Cincinnati)
  • Barbara A. Duncombe (Indianapolis)
  • Cezar M. Froelich (Chicago)
  • Jennifer Hann Harrison (Dayton)
  • Todd C. Lady (Indianapolis)
  • Janica Pierce Tucker (Columbus)
  • Tracey A. Puthoff (Cincinnati)
  • Steven J. Ryan (Minneapolis)
  • David H. Thomas (Columbus)
  • Adrian D. Thompson (Cleveland)
  • Kim R. Walberg (Chicago)
  • Justin Weinberg (Minneapolis)
  • James M. Zimmerman (Cincinnati)

With the adoption of a one-class partnership structure in 2018 and other advancements during the last three years, the average age of executive committee members has decreased by more than 10 years, with partners who are of color or women comprising 56% of this governing committee. Members are either elected by the partnership at large or appointed by the firm’s chairman.

As partners-in-charge, Pierce Tucker and Hann Harrison oversee client development, recruitment efforts and the local strategy of the Taft Columbus and Dayton offices, respectively. Pierce Tucker’s appointment became effective on Jan. 1, 2020 and Hann Harrison’s appointment was effective on Feb. 12, 2020.

Pierce Tucker has served in several leadership capacities at Taft, including as a member of Taft’s executive committee and as co-chair of the firm’s diversity & inclusion committee. She has been recognized for her work with numerous accolades throughout her tenure, including Columbus CEO’s Top Lawyer, Columbus Business First’s Forty Under 40 and the Franklin County Trial Lawyers Association’s President’s Award. She is the chair of the Columbus Legal Aid Society and has served as the commissioner of the Ohio Supreme Court’s Board of Grievances and Discipline; as a member of the Columbus Bar Association’s ethics and judicial screening committees; as the past president of the Women Lawyers of Franklin County and as a board member of the Columbus Federal Bar Association.

Hann Harrison joined Taft as a partner in 2009 and has served on Taft’s executive committee since 2017. She is the 2020 chair of the board of trustees of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce and a member of the steering committee of the Dayton Area Logistics Association—for which she also serves as its general counsel. Hann Harrison also serves on the board of trustees for The Dayton Art Institute and is past president of the Cox Arboretum Foundation board of trustees. Additionally, she has served on a Senate task force to study privatization of the Ohio Workers’ Compensation System.

Both Howard and Markstrom focus on firm-wide responsibilities in their respective roles. As General Counsel and the Chief Ethics Officer, Howard oversees Taft’s legal needs, including representing Taft as local general counsel in each of the firm’s 11 offices and overseeing professional liability and risk management. Markstrom is responsible for implementing firm-wide information technology and security initiatives across all of Taft’s offices and practices areas.

Howard is a tenured member of the Taft leadership team, most recently serving as the firm’s director of professional development and records management. In this role, Howard implemented several initiatives for the firm, including Taft’s Keystone, Catalyst and Pathway programs, which focus on equipping Taft’s associates with the legal skills they need to best serve clients. Howard was also a successful attorney at Taft for several years as a member of the firm’s Litigation practice group, for which she was the practice group director.

Markstrom has led technology and operations departments for large corporate organizations and law firms. Prior to joining Taft, she served as the chief information and technology officer for a prominent law firm in New York. She is frequently requested to speak at industry conferences and has earned several accolades, including the 2019 NYC CIO of the Year Award from the CIO Orbie Leadership Organization. Markstrom is also the founder of the professional networking forum i.WILL (Inspiring Women Igniting Leadership & Learning), which is dedicated to mentoring, advancing and supporting women in their careers across industries.

“Each of these individuals embodies the characteristics we strive to uphold at Taft. Each of them in their own way has led by example, delivered exceptional client service and adopted a collaborative and innovative approach in guiding their teams,” states Taft Chairman and Managing Partner Robert J. Hicks.”

Committed to being a leading example of a modern and inclusive law firm, Taft has implemented several initiatives aimed to provide more leadership opportunities for women, lawyers of color and younger attorneys. This includes adopting a one-class partnership structure; offering progressive benefits and programs such as a 16-week paid parental leave for all staff regardless of gender; and providing ongoing implicit bias training programs.

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