Published by Crain's Cleveland Business
Northeast Ohio is on the rise, and these individuals are doing much of the heavy lifting. They are innovators, entrepreneurs, educators and public servants. While their backgrounds and expertise differ greatly, they all share one common trait: a commitment to this region.
Sarah Flannery joined Thompson Hine as a first-year associate in 2002, and ultimately built the firm's immigration practice from a small subgroup with only a few clients into a major practice area that serves employers across the globe, including several Fortune 500 companies.
Under her leadership, the practice — which helps clients develop strategic immigration policies that meet their global talent recruitment and retention goals — has grown 30% each year since 2011.
Flannery also chairs Thompson Hine's Spotlight on Women program, an effort designed to advance women in the firm and the communities it serves.
Why focus on immigration law?
I had an opportunity in my first year in practice to assist a partner who had immigration as part of his broader employment practice. It gave me the opportunity to get a lot of experience and responsibility at an early stage in my career.
I love working with companies to help them with global talent needs and adding value to those companies, and helping foreign nationals, as part of a collaborative team practice.
Why is service important to you?
I was very privileged I have always found support in mentors and sponsors. As chair of Thompson Hine's Spotlight on Women program and chair of the Mentoring Program of United Way of Summit County's Women's Leadership Council, I remain passionate about attracting, retaining and developing women in legal fields and business communities.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope to continue to be innovative in our immigration practice and continue to provide legal support and business solutions to our clients.
What others are saying: What impresses you about Sarah?
"Sarah exemplifies extraordinary talent, leadership and work ethic. She has had a positive impact on the firm and is a model of a fully integrated life with career success, community engagement and an active family. Her leadership within Thompson Hine, and especially with our Spotlight on Women program, has broadened its reach and furthered its mission to facilitate the development of professional women within all of the cities where Thompson Hine has offices." — Robyn Minter Smyers, partner-in-charge, Cleveland, Thompson Hine