By David M. Desmarais
By Daniel M. Andrea
By Melissa A Sommer, CFA, CPA
Michelle Obama once said, “There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.”
As the International Women’s Month 2020 campaign theme highlights, an equal world is an enabled world, and now more than ever it is important to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women worldwide.
At KLR, women lead our wealth management team, human resources, tax, IT and marketing departments, and our Newport office, and 55% of our professionals are women. We caught up with a handful of KLR’s women professionals to recognize the incredible strides they have made in the industry, and to hear what motivates them to be the best that they can be.
Work hard, be grateful
Becoming partner at KLR was a great moment for Loree Dubois, who heads our corporate tax group and co-chairs our healthcare services group.
“When I started my career in public accounting, I never expected to become partner,” Loree says. “I knew what I wanted and that was to work hard and do a good job, but becoming partner seemed like a distant goal.”
When it happened, it was an incredible moment for Loree.
“My mom always told me to work hard and be grateful for what I have,”
Loree shares. Now, she is passing that work ethic down to her two sons, who are at the brink of careers in cybersecurity and accounting.
“My next goal is getting my sons through college and instilling that same perseverance and drive that my mother passed down to me,” she shares.
Follow your dreams
Kristen Rose, Partner in KLR Executive Search Group, has similar goals for her daughter. As Kristen looks to the future, her most immediate goal is getting her daughter through college.
“Sofia is very business minded and analytical. I know that the world is her oyster!”
Kristen proudly shares...and it’s clear that Kristen’s work ethic has rubbed off on her daughter.
Kristen’s career in recruiting took off when she and a coworker went off on their own and started their own company, which they ran together for five years before Kristen joined KLR.
“We were really proud of ourselves,” Kristen shares, “Despite the markets in 2008 not looking so good, we were able to maintain great clients and it was a really fun ride.”
Fast forward 12 years and Kristen couldn’t be happier to be part of KLR Executive Search Group. Her experience running a business has helped her embrace a leadership role within KLR and she knows that the business will only continue to grow and succeed.
As far as Kristen’s other passions? That’s an easy one--running and cooking. “If I could spend all my Saturdays cooking I would be happy as can be,” she shares, “I’ve always been inspired by Ina Garten who decided that she wanted to follow her dreams and pursue her love of cooking. I really admire her.”
Be an advocate
Like Kristen, partner Karen Rice recognizes the importance of having positive female role models. For her, that’s Kati Machtley, who leads the Women’s Summit at Bryant University, Karen’s alma mater.
“She is an amazing woman,” Karen says. “She started the Women’s Summit which has now grown nationally. She’s been a mentor and a women’s advocate for years and I really look up to her.”
Becoming partner is something Karen worked really hard to accomplish for over 25 years, and now she wants to help other women advance their careers and have the same opportunities she has had.
“I put my career on hold to be a mom, but I knew that I wanted to go through the ranks and find that balance between my personal and professional life.”
As Karen looks to the future, she hopes to expand KLR’s Women’s Business Exchange initiative and work with younger women in the firm to help them reach their goals.
Karen’s natural inclination to help people comes from her greatest inspiration—her mother. “My mom is a selfless and giving person,” Karen shares. “She taught me that it’s important to be compassionate and sensitive when working and interacting with people.”
Work hard. Be grateful. Follow your dreams. Be an advocate. Loree, Kristen and Karen embody the dedication and perseverance that has allowed women to embrace their talents, achieve success and make an impact on the world. This month, we celebrate women near and far who have overcome adversity and helped create a gender equal world.
For, as Maya Angelou once said, “Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.”