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Rebecca Wright Pritchett Listed in Birmingham
Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2005


From Birmingham Business Journal, 7/19/2005

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Date of birth: Jan. 7, 1967

Title: Shareholder/attorney

Education: B.S., Honors College, University of Southern Mississippi; J.D., University of Oregon School of Law

City of residence: Hoover

Family: Matt (husband); William (son)

CAREER PATH

First job: I started working as a radio disc jockey when I was 15. During the school year, I ran the Sunday afternoon shift and Saturday afternoon football games. During the summer, I did the midday and afternoon drive-time shifts.

Reason for choosing profession: My father is a forester and avid outdoorsman, so I spent a lot of time as a child playing in the woods and hearing about his adventures. I also was interested in history, government and the legal system. Environmental law seemed like the perfect way to combine those interests.

Turning point/defining moment in your career: There have been many small turning points and defining moments in my life and career.

Tools/factors that helped you achieve early success: A few years after I started practicing law, I realized my clients did not need a lawyer who just understood the law, they needed a lawyer who also understood their business and who helped them make good business decisions within the framework of the law. I then learned all I could about business — especially my clients’ businesses.


Ultimate career goal: To continue helping people and businesses achieve success while helping to conserve our natural resources for current and future generations.

BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY

Guiding business principle: At the end of each day, I have to be able to say, “I did something worthwhile today.”

Yardstick of success: I measure success two ways: first, have I done the best job I can for my clients? And second, have I made time for the things that matter most?

Best way to keep competitive edge: To never stop learning.

Characteristics that a good leader must have: He or she communicates effectively with people from all sorts of backgrounds and walks of life, takes responsibility for the team’s mistakes, gives credit to the team for successes, and treats all people like they are important.

LIFE LESSONS

Mentors: My father taught me to appreciate and conserve our natural resources, and to pick myself up when something knocks me down; my mother taught me that it’s never too late to learn new skills; my husband taught me to recognize my strengths and my weaknesses; my friend and philanthropist, Bill Ireland, taught me that no matter what resources I have, I must use them to help make the world better and improve the lives of the people around me; former Alabama Wildlife Federation president Bo Starke taught me to acknowledge those who help me accomplish my goals and to let them know often how much they are appreciated; my friend, Grady Hartzog, taught me to make time for the things that are most important.

Best advice you’ve received: “You do not merely want to be considered just the best of the best. You want to be considered the only one who does what you do.” (Believe it or not, a quote from Jerry Garcia.)

Worst advice you’ve received: “Use your womanly charms to get ahead in business.”

Most important lesson learned: You may not see the results of your efforts immediately. Keep working at it.

Civic organization involvement: President of the Alabama Wildlife Federation; appointed in 2003 by Gov. Bob Riley to serve a six-year term on the Alabama Oil & Gas Board; recently completed a six-year term on the Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust’s board; serve as co-chairwoman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce’s executive women’s roundtable; serve on the Fresh Water Land Trust (formerly Black Warrior/Cahaba Rivers Land Trust) President’s Advisory Council; and member of Brookwood Baptist Church.

PASTIMES, ETC.

Word that best describes you: Tenacious

First choice for a new career: Nature photographer

Favorite book: A Sand County Almanac, by Aldo Leopold

Favorite movie: “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Favorite restaurant: Commander’s Palace in New Orleans

Favorite vacation spot: Napa Valley, California

Guilty pleasure: White chocolate with a glass of California Zinfandel