Spotlight on LMA Midwest Board Member Kate Harry Shipham

Meet Kate Harry Shipham! Kate is the Principle of KHS People and a Member-At-Large of the LMA Midwest Board. Kate shares about her experience as an LMA volunteer, her travels around the world, the legacy she’d like to leave for her daughter, and more.

Tell your story – where do you work and what do you do?
I am the Principle of KHS People, an executive search firm who specializes in placing senior level BD and marketing professionals into law firms. I work for all firm styles and sizes and in each corner of the US.

I am an Australian-turned-Chicagoan. A lawyer-turned-business owner. I’m an eternal optimist (here’s to the other rose-colored glasses humans out there!). I work and play hard. I’m fiercely loyal and always empathetic, to a fault. I have two “babies” – my human baby and my business baby. I start each day with a big enthusiastic hug from my 4 year old and a large cup of coffee. I have visited 37 states of the US and skied in 5 continents. I dance while cooking. I’ll order the thing on the menu that I don’t know what it is. My rock and best friend is my husband. I’ll take cats over dogs, pilates over yoga, and savory over sweet.

Kate on the slopes

What do you enjoy most about being an LMA volunteer?
I am not the first person to say this, nor will I be the last, but it’s 100% the people within LMA. It welcomed me with open arms over 10 years ago and it has been a wonderful work family to me. I will always have a soft spot for LMA, and particularly the Midwest region.

What was the best vacation you’ve ever been on? 
I absolutely love to travel. I think it expands your understanding of people and different cultures. I’ve been lucky to have traveled far and wide, so here’s my top 3: (1) Helsinki, the most different country I have visited, (2) Japan, what a cultural emersion with some of the sweetest people in the work, (3) Barbados, on my honeymoon, and they do rum well!

Which 3 famous people would you invite to a dinner party?
Barack Obama, Stephen Colbert, Jennifer Lopez

Pick one word to describe your “why.” What motivates you in your career and personal life?

What’s the best career advice that someone has ever given you?
Two women come to mind. One was a partner in a law firm back when I practiced in Australia. I watched her be a key litigation partner for the firm and juggle two small children in what felt like a man’s world back then. She told me “You think you’re efficient now? Wait until you have kids!” As a 20-something year old I thought I was efficient. Years later, I now am an efficiency machine and I understand the entirely different perspective a working parent has and takes on. The second was a panel of women full of some of the smartest legal minds (partners, judges, etc) telling my younger self that we couldn’t have it all; it was simply too hard. I have ruminated on this for years. Where I’ve landed on this? I believe that you can have it all (I told you I was an optimist!), although, I concede that some smart juggling and constant re-prioritization is also a key part of the recipe. That’s the legacy I want to leave for my daughter and that’s what I practice each day.