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2011 Unsung Heroes – Firm Administrator

By: Jane Pribek//November 18, 2011//

2011 Unsung Heroes – Firm Administrator

By: Jane Pribek//November 18, 2011//

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Firm administrator of the Year

Bruce Wichmann
Firm administrator, Axley Brynelson LLP

Bruce Wichmann started his career as a CPA,  but after 23 years at Axley Brynelson LLP in Madison, the firm administrator cannot imagine doing anything else.

He started working at the 12-partner firm at a time when Axley was anxious for growth and  technology was just starting to play a central role in the legal profession. In the years since, Wichmann has shepherded the firm’s growth by recruiting and training attorneys and staff, keeping up with changing technology and improving its accounting systems.

Wichmann said he’s definitely found the variety  he craved when changing fields. It’s the human resources aspect of his job that he enjoys most, he said.

“I think it’s the most gratifying for me when someone says to me, ‘This really is a nice place to work,’ or somebody comes with a problem and I help solve it,” Wichmann said. “Sometimes I didn’t even think it was a big deal, and then I’ll get a thank-you card saying I really did help them.

That means a lot to me.”

Wichmann is a valued member of the firm because it’s clear that he cares, said John Mitby, Axley’s managing partner.

“He makes everyone feel comfortable,” Mitby said. “He’s very supportive to new lawyers. And he can answer just about any question, or point you in the right direction, from marketing to technology.”

— Jane Pribek


Scott Heintz,
firm administrator, Liebmann, Conway, Olejniczak & Jerry SC

“Scott is our firm administrator. He manages all staff (approximately 50 employees) and meets many of the needs and desires of the firm’s attorneys (approximately 22 attorneys.) He juggles his  responsibilities effectively and efficiently and although his job is very stressful, I have never seen him lose his cool. Our firm would not be the success that it is today without Scott’s tremendous

Ross Townsend
attorney, Liebmann, Conway,
Olejniczak & Jerry SC

Pat Leu Kinateder,
office manager, Kohner, Mann & Kailas SC

“Starting from the beginning, we recall our after-hours employment interview with her. After fully explaining the major duties of the job, Pat responded, ‘I think I can handle the job.’ The rest is history. She did indeed handle ‘the job’ and has continued to do so each and every day. Her unselfish pursuit in successfully responding to each and every  challenge of the busy day makes the lives of all of us at KMK more enjoyable, more productive, more efficient and more profitable for  all concerned. That is why we call her the ‘General.’”

Steve Kailas
president, Kohner, Mann & Kailas SC

Diane Sleeva,
office manager, Horizons Law Group LLC

“Diane has worked for us 10 years out of our 11 years in business. She wears many hats … Diane has an amazing wealth of talents and abilities that not only support the business but also the overall wellbeing of staff and clients. Although Diane is likely doing the work of two or three employee positions, she works 3/5 time! However, her dedication goes far beyond that by checking her email or phone for any emergency issues that may come up when she is not here. … She is truly the wheels that keep the business rolling forward. I am truly blessed to have her support and dedication all of these years. We hope to have many more!”

Michelle Fitzgerald
attorney/owner, Horizons Law Group LLC


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