Meet a Member – Monica Kohnen

July 30, 2019
Written by: CREW Cincinnati
The Facts

Company & Location
Graydon Head & Ritchey, LLP,
312 Walnut Street, Suite 1800, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Number of years in the industry

1.  Where did you get your career started and what was the most valuable lesson you learned early on?
I joined the Graydon law firm immediately after graduating from The University of Cincinnati College of Law.  The most valuable lessons I learned early on were first, to really listen to what clients are sharing with you;  second, to continue studying after school so you can become an expert in your field; and third, to respect everyone’s role in the deal since everyone has something to contribute.

2.  What inspires, drives, or motivates you in your career?
I have been very fortunate over the course of my career to have many things inspire, drive and motivate me.  I like people and have had the privilege of working with a wide spectrum of clients who are smart, curious, energetic, experts in their respective fields from business to politics to non-profits, leaders and a pleasure to work with  My colleagues are a bright, innovative and caring team.  I have learned much from both groups and learning new things every day is what keeps me jazzed about what I do.  That and the opportunity to channel my laid back but strong competitive streak to get the best results for our clients keeps me fired up.  I also enjoy the teaching/mentoring side of what I do.  It is very satisfying to hear “Oh, now I get it.”  And, it is even more satisfying when a mentee owns that nugget. Within the community I have had the opportunity to use these skills as part of my Board service – more on that later.

3.  What advice can you share for working with a challenging client or colleague?​
Communicate in person.  There is always common ground.  You just have to find it.

4.  What do you see taking shape in our industry in the next 5 or 10 years?
Over the next five-ten years, I see an increase in the number of entrants into the field as technology and access to information continue to lower the price of entry.

5.  What do you enjoy doing outside of work?​
Yes, I have several passions/hobbies outside of work.  Many of them involve sports and the outdoors.  Racquet sports have been a unifying thread in my family for several generations.  Tennis and squash are favorites.  Hiking , climbing and kayaking through our National Parks has become a go-to and perspective-setting vacation.  And, on weekends, you might find me riding dirt bikes or running a log splitter with my husband.  My current “inside” passions include The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.  Currently serving as Vice  President of the Board, I am continually impressed by the Library’s reach in our community and by the Library staff’s knowledge and dedication to our community.   My own personal nickname for the Library is “The Quiet Force” –  pun intended.  I also serve on the Board of SHELeads-Hamilton County, a group that offers educational support for women aspiring to political office or currently serving in elected positions.

6. Who is your personal hero? 
I have several personal heroes, but my favorites are my daughters who are both strong, smart, independent and generous women.  They inspire me with their abilities to make operating outside of their comfort zones feel like home.