Editor’s note: Each Q&A in the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a woman from the region who’s influential, a rising face in her industry or doing interesting work. Submit tips on potential Q&A subjects to tgortsema at grbj dot com.
Meredith Ervine is a corporate partner at the law firm Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn.
Based at Honigman's Grand Rapids office, Ervine focuses her practice on securities and corporate governance matters, primarily advising public companies on reporting requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission and managing securities offerings.
She started her career in the New York office of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.
Biggest career break?
I would have to say being recruited by Honigman two years ago. I spent six-and-a-half years at a large firm in New York, and while I loved working and living there, I had always wanted to move back home to be near family, but I really didn’t know whether I could practice securities law at a firm in Michigan. When I heard Honigman was looking for a securities attorney in the Kalamazoo office, I quickly realized that I could have the best of both worlds — being near family, while continuing to do the same caliber and quality of work I did in New York. Even better, in early 2017, Honigman opened a Grand Rapids office after hiring Tracy Larsen as managing partner. I love that I get to represent public companies and work on exciting and diverse securities offerings from downtown Grand Rapids!
Having my daughter and returning to work. Before I was a parent, I was in awe of my law firm colleagues who have kids and manage this demanding 24/7 job. I felt like my husband and I both worked all the time — how would we possibly add kids to the equation? There are not enough hours in a day! After a couple months back at work, I realized that we were doing it — we were working and being parents at the same time. It was hard in New York, but moving back to Michigan was a huge improvement. Many of my colleagues at Honigman have young kids, and everyone seems to respect and appreciate the need for family time. I can’t stress how thankful I am for the help from my parents and my in-laws, but I frankly still think that my colleagues raising kids while working are pretty incredible — now myself included!
Best advice you’ve ever received?
Dr. Seuss: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
How did you make your first dollar?
Working at the Marshall Field’s café in Woodland Mall
An emerald ring from my husband’s great-aunt. She was an amazing woman. She was a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, traveled all over the world and bought a piece of jewelry wherever she went.
Not that anyone would pay me for this, but I honestly wouldn’t mind spending all of my time eating and planning for or cooking my next meal. I love food, and the Fulton Street Farmers Market is my happy place. I can’t wait for summer Saturday mornings.
If you were president for a day, you would…?
Host a state dinner, of course! (See above.)
Last book you read?
“Kitten’s First Full Moon,” by Kevin Henkes, to my 3-year-old. Probably not what you were looking for, but it’s the truth.
Last search term you googled?
“Penny tile.” My husband and I really jumped into the deep end of homeownership after renting in Queens and Brooklyn for nine years and two years ago, bought a beautiful 1892 Victorian in Heritage Hill. In my spare time, when I’m not cooking or thinking about food, my husband and I are working on our house or planning the next project.
Your worst habit?
Sadly, biting my nails. I always thought I would grow out of it, but I still can’t make it through a suspenseful movie with my nails intact.
To unwind, you like to…?
Meal plan, buy food, cook food, eat food. Repeat!
I have always wanted to hike the Haute Route in Switzerland. But every time I plan a vacation, I am tempted by my familiar favorites — summers on Lake Michigan or a weekend in New York going from restaurant to restaurant.
I can’t have favorites. Almost anything and everything. I love the vibrant food and beer community in Grand Rapids. We are so lucky to live in Beer City, U.S.A.!
Person you most admire?
My mom. She raised two kids while working, volunteering and being incredibly involved in her profession and professional association on multiple levels. She amazes me every day with how much she does, and I definitely learned time management from her.