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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Kimberly P Thekan

Chief Talent & Brand Officer

Godfrey & Kahn

Location: Milwaukee, WI

Founded: 1957

Industry: Legal

As the Godfrey & Kahn legal firm’s chief talent and brand officer, Kimberly P. Thekan recognizes that the success of the company is determined not by physical assets or its balance sheet but by the people and talent that comprise it.

“We may go fast alone, but we go farther and win together,” she said. “The extra time and effort is always worth it.”

Godfrey & Kahn is a legal firm providing creative legal solutions for its clients. For over 60 years, its attorneys and staff have been guided by core values set forth by its founders, which include a focus on client successes, teamwork, work ethic and integrity.

Thekan joined Godfrey & Kahn when the firm was changing, and she helped usher in a new era. She helped build the firm’s brand recognition in the Wisconsin business community, and Thekan highlighted the company’s work in diversity hiring. She set a trajectory for the company that makes it a market leader in client satisfaction, diversity and employee retention, the company said.

Thekan came to Godfrey & Kahn with a degree in accounting and 12 years of experience in the financial services . “Kimberly brought an understanding that employees need to see the value in change before change can take hold,” the company said. “This combination of experience and passion allowed Kimberly to lead Godfrey & Kahn to new heights and position them for future success.”

Thekan’s peers describe her as intelligent, ambitious and driven with an ability to thrive in multiple arenas. She has helped guide the company through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the shift to a mostly remote workforce and the “great resignation.” Thekan holds yearly listening sessions with associates, implemented stay interviews and contributed to Godfrey & Kahn reaching a staff retention level higher than its competitors.

Thekan is a champion for the firm’s fellowship program and is responsible for creating and expanding partnerships with community organizations such as Cristo Rey High School and All-In Milwaukee. Under her leadership, diversity among the leadership and attorney staff has increased and partnerships with community and diversity-focused organizations have multiplied.

She has presented at the state bar of Wisconsin’s annual meeting and recently completed Harvard Law School’s prestigious Leadership in Law Firms executive program. Her work is responsible in part for Godfrey & Kahn receiving the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Top Workplaces award for 11 consecutive years.

“Kimberly leads best when she leads by example,” the firm said. “She has inspired diverse leaders to step into their own, and it is these young lawyers and professional staff that will be the future leadership at the firm.”

Presented by:

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Did you know?

Kimberly has danced since she was three years old and now spends many weekends at dance competitions throughout the country to support her daughters who have followed in her footsteps. She also enjoys camping, live music and is a regular at the gym.


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