Kristen R. Jurjevich
31, Shareholder with Pender & Coward, P.C., Virginia Beach
Contributions to the business community:
Virginia Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division Executive Board Member; Virginia Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division Chair of the Awards of Achievement Committee and a Young Lawyers Division Representative to the Virginia Bar Association’s Pro Bono Council; Virginia Beach Bar Association, Member; Virginia State Bar, Member; Central Business District Association, Board Member & SGA Advisory Committee Member; Central Business District Association, Young Professionals (CBDX) Board Member, Philanthropy Director; James Kent Inn of Court, Member; LEAD Hampton Roads Signature Class of 2018
How do you define success?
I always liked Mark Batterson’s definition: “Success is when those who know you best actually respect you most.” If you are known to live a life of authentic integrity, have a strong work ethic that people can rely on and do the best you can with what you are given (no matter how large or small the opportunity), and if you fail, you are not defeated, but learn from it—this to me is success.
What person or experience has made the biggest impact on your life?
Meeting my husband, Johan. It was during our senior year in high school. We became and remain best friends. He’s always been there for me, through the good and the bad. Not to be cliché, but he’s truly helped me become a better person, and I cannot think of anyone else that has made a bigger impact on my life than him.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
Being elected a shareholder of Pender & Coward, P.C. at 31 years old.
What’s the best compliment you’ve received from a colleague or manager?
One of the best compliments I’ve received is that I’m approachable and a good mentor.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A cowgirl, which morphed into a large animal veterinarian. The day that I was going to apply for pre-vet school at LSU mid-way through my senior year in high school, I woke up and suddenly decided I wanted to become an attorney. It must have been divine intervention because I love helping people and businesses as an attorney, plus I still have my “large animal” fix (aka a German Shepherd and Lab mix—Meisje and Buddy).
Name a book that has inspired you professionally.
If I had to name one book, it would be the Book of Proverbs in the Bible. If I could name more than one book, I would also say that True Professionalism: The Courage to Care about Your People, Your Clients, and Your Career by David H. Maister and Legal Marketing in Brief by Bob Weiss have also inspired me professionally.
What is your best time management hack?
My best time management hack is waking up early and getting an early start to the day, which usually leads to peak productivity and a calm evening.
What’s your favorite restaurant for a lunch meeting in Coastal Virginia, and what do you order when you go there?
I really enjoy meeting friends and colleagues for lunch at CPK in Virginia Beach Town Center. I can walk from my office, and the Quinoa + Arugula salad is one of my favorites.
Is there anything that you would change about your generation as a whole? If so, what?
I would like to see my generation be more balanced with social media activities. I think the millennial generation tends to become caught up in social media and documenting every moment of life (e.g. Facebook live, Instagram stories, etc.). I was in college when Facebook was first started for college students, and I jumped on the bandwagon early. A couple of years ago, I decided to remove the Facebook app from my phone. Once the habit was broken, I’ve never gone back (I still maintain an account, but I check it less frequently—more like once a day or every couple of days). Unplugging allowed me to become more focused on what is around me rather than what’s happening on social media.
What do you think is Coastal Virginia’s biggest challenge?
Identity. Do we want to be known as a cluster of independent cities that refuses to cooperate for the good of the region, or a region (e.g. Coastal Virginia) that respects the different cultures of the individual cities and, despite our differences, cooperates and works together for the benefit of the whole region?
How can Coastal Virginia better retain its younger population?
While I love my suburban lifestyle with a backyard big enough to comfortably hold my two large dogs, I think my generation (and younger) tends to be drawn to housing in mixed-use developments with good, nearby job options and entertainment (e.g. the live-work-play lifestyle) and are also attracted to reliable (and safe) mass public transportation.
What’s something that gives you hope for the future?
I’m constantly meeting people across the generations, from baby boomers to millennials to Gen Z, that are interested in and working toward making a positive impact on this area. Even though we may not always agree on the method or the means, the common goal is to make a positive impact.
From her nomination:
“In all of her many professional and community activities, Kristen has excelled through her positive approach, passion for what she does and proven leadership skills. She is the youngest P&C attorney voted in as a shareholder of the firm. It is a pleasure to work with such a dedicated, client-focused, civic-minded and energetic person. I appreciate Kristen’s incredible work ethic and her upbeat, fun personality that she brings to our Pender & Coward team.”
—Mancha Stanton, work colleague