Cohen & Company’s Milwaukee office began as a natural extension of the firm’s basic tenets — one of which is empowering young leaders to take risks in an environment rich with great relationships, clients and employee talent. It was the perfect recipe for a growth story! As I reflect on the past 10 years, the journey of our Milwaukee office has been all those things and so much more.
Though the firm had plenty of experience launching office locations from scratch, Milwaukee served as the firm’s first office outside of Ohio. Simple things, like the difference in time zones, was a near-constant reminder that we would have to work harder than ever to maintain a sense of connection and collaboration.
Our relationships in the marketplace were strong going in, and we had many cheerleaders in the investment industry who were in our corner. Even so, nothing could prevent the moments of doubt that would occasionally creep in — the loss of a much-anticipated pitch, a job offer declined, inexperience, the occasional homesickness I and Jeff Haneline felt after leaving Cleveland to start this new adventure.
But the tenets held. The “young leaders” got older and wiser, and, in the meantime, new leaders arrived and thrived. As our office expanded, so did our roots within the city. Old relationships grew deeper and new ones emerged. Our office culture felt just as you would expect a “start-up” in Milwaukee to feel — scrappy, unique, fun and devoted to making it in this wonderful city. As careers unfolded and our footprint grew, our roots also began to take hold, as many within the Cohen & Company family found joy in creating new families and relationships of their own.
As we push through 2021 and teams seek connection and collaboration more than ever, I look back on the past 10 years as great practice. Wisconsin winters could do their worst, and yet our colleagues and friends across the firm were unphased, regularly making the trek to support our team and show they cared. And of course, there is the annual pilgrimage so many of our colleagues have made to join us for our annual Milwaukee Brewers tailgate, enduring ridiculously inconvenient flight timing, usually over a weekend, for some good laughs and old fashioneds.
To our local clients and friends: thank you will never be enough. In a town known for its local flavor, you welcomed us and made us feel at home. We are grateful for your support and look forward to serving you for many years to come.
To the team in Milwaukee and those still to come: I hope each of you know how much you mean to our story and hope you too will take some time to think about your favorite memories from the past 10 years. (Pink gorilla anyone?)
To the community: In honor of our 10-year anniversary, I’m excited to share the firm has made a $10,000 donation to SecureFutures. This great organization seeks to build stronger communities by empowering teens with financial education, tools and mentorship. Cohen & Company, along with so many clients and corporate friends in Milwaukee, has been a long-standing supporter of SecureFutures and its mission locally.
I have a slip of paper from a fortune cookie taped to my desk that says, “It’s not about counting time, but making time count.” Poignant advice for an accountant used to tracking time in six-minute increments. From all of us here in the Milwaukee office, THANK YOU to our clients, friends and my fellow Cohen & Company teammates who have worked tirelessly to make the past 10 years count.
Contact Marcy Kempf at email@example.com, Jeff Haneline at firstname.lastname@example.org or any of your Milwaukee service team members to reminisce about your favorite MKE memories.