Nia Enemuoh-Trammell, Class of 2009

IB is celebrating 20 years of the 40 Under 40 in 2020, and will be catching up with past recipients to see what they’ve been up to since they were honored. This week features Nia Enemuoh-Trammell, circuit court judge, Dane County Circuit Court.
Watn Nia Trammell 2009 Headshot

What have you accomplished in your professional life/career since your 40 Under 40 selection?
I started as an administrative law judge for the state’s Worker’s Compensation Division when I was selected for the 2009 Class of 40 Under 40. I was ultimately promoted to senior administrative law judge and took on the primary role of training new judges for my unit. I pivoted in 2019, moving away from my traditional legal role to serving as the chief operating officer for the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) under Governor Tony Evers’ administration. In that role, I served as the deputy secretary, managing the daily operations of an agency with 250 professionals dedicated to licensing millions of professionals doing business in Wisconsin and protecting the safety of Wisconsin citizens in work performed by the building and trade industries. Most recently, Gov. Evers appointed me as a judge to the Dane County Circuit Court on Aug. 28, 2020. I formally assumed that role in October, presiding over Branch 6 with an initial juvenile justice rotation.

What accomplishments, milestones, or endeavors have you attained in your personal life since your 40 Under 40 selection?
As a person who is deeply committed to service, I have been very intentional about my civic engagement. I have focused on causes that impact social justice, youth, and wellness. Over the years, I have given my time, treasure, and leadership to organizations like the Urban League of Greater Madison, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Madison Equal Opportunities Commission, the Madison Police and Fire Commission, and the Madison Metropolitan (WI) Chapter of The Links Inc. I have helped shape policy, mentored youth, and raised funds for deserving organizations. There is a great deal of personal satisfaction to being a part of important causes that improve the lives of others in our community. I am also really proud of the three children that my husband and I are raising, who range from elementary school age to college age.

If you were to “do it all over again,” what (if anything) would you do differently throughout your career?
I always had a keen sense of my self-worth, but early in my career I believe I did not value and honor that as much as I should have. As I look back, there were probably missed opportunities where I could have asked for more when it came to my needs and position as a team member; and there were probably too many times when I could have said no, but I did not because I am accommodating and giving by nature. I saw my career begin to blossom more when I unabashedly made the asks and backed it up with my body of work and commitment to my team.

How did your 40 Under 40 selection help your career?
It gave me greater exposure to other professionals in the community. It also helped paint a narrative of the skills and talents that I brought to the table. This allowed me to be seen and it created leadership opportunities for me civically. My civic engagement, coupled with my advancements in the field, definitely helped shape the type of servant leader that I am now.

What is something that you have a new passion for since the time of your induction — either professionally or personally?
I am taking more time for health and wellness. I am involved with the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness, which takes a whole-life approach to empowering women to improve their health and quality of life. It’s a phenomenal group of women who are interested in improving the health outcomes of black women in our community.

Based on your experience, do you have any advice for today’s young professionals (under 40)?
Know and value your worth. Don’t be afraid to take risks and make the asks of employers that will help elevate your career. Cultivate, nurture, and respect your relationships.

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