Marci Kawski, Husch Blackwell

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Marci Kawski, attorney, Husch Blackwell.

What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

I primarily represent lenders that provide financial products and services to consumers. This is a highly regulated area both at the federal and state levels. The laws are complex and overlapping, which can make it challenging for a company or financial institution to ensure it is complying with all of the pertinent laws.

The most rewarding aspect of my job is helping a client find a solution to a perceived problem or helping it avoid or mitigate risks of noncompliance. The most challenging aspect of my job — but what I love most — is giving a client legal counsel to find a solution that fits within its current business operations or a slightly modified version of them.

Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

My dad. He started out as a meat cutter, went back to college when my brother and I were in grade school, and along the way put himself in a position to take over an insurance agency. It was a risky proposition, and for several years he earned income only on premiums from new customers and at a reduced commission. He was persistent in developing strategies and sales techniques to build customer relationships and expand his business every year. It was — and continues to be — a lot of hard work. He has now been doing it for over 20 years, and his persistence has paid off.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

The high point of my career is right now, and I hope I can always say that! I’m on the path to partnership, working hard to develop new business, and taking on increased responsibilities with our clients. I work with a great team and the work we do is challenging but satisfying, making it enjoyable to come to work each day.

Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Create opportunities by working hard, and take advantage of them. Most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy the carefree moments of college and to keep that fun attitude with you in your career.

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What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

Saturday mornings at the farmer’s market on the Square is the best thing about living in Dane County. My husband and I go for coffee and a bagel almost each week with our two young boys. We love the great energy around the Square on those beautiful sunny Saturday mornings.

Working downtown during the week has the same energy, and I love that you are always sure to run into someone you know!

Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

Yes. I make delicious chocolate chip cookies. They are a secret recipe from my mom, and only she and I know the recipe. They are chunky, sweet (with a little bit of salt), melt-in-your-mouth goodness. When I’m asked to bring a dish to pass, this is what I’m typically assigned to bring.

What are your guilty pleasures?

I love steak — grilled, medium rare. As I mentioned, my dad was a meat cutter when I was growing up, and he always picked out the best steaks, no matter the cut (though T-bone is my favorite). When I met my husband, I knew he was the one when he was able to grill a steak to perfection for me.

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