Fredrikson & Byron Names First Female Board Chair

Mary Ranum, who joined the firm in 1984 and has been a board member since 2004, was elected to the two-year chair position by the firm's eight other directors.

Fredrikson & Byron, PA, said Friday that it recently elected the first-ever female to chair its board of directors.

Mary Ranum, who joined the Minneapolis-based law firm in 1984 and chairs the firm's real estate group, has been a member of its board since 2004. She was elected to the two-year chair position by the firm's eight other board members at an annual shareholder meeting in September, an her first official meeting as chair was in October.

“[Mary's] election comes during a year when we are ranked one of the top firms in the country in terms of our high percentage of female partners,” John Koneck, who the board re-elected as firm president, said in a statement. “We also have many women heads of practice groups and committees.”

Ranum replaces outgoing chairman John Satorius, who retired from the firm's board after having served as chair for the past six years.

“I am proud of Fredrikson's reputation as a place where women can be successful and hold leadership positions,” Ranum said in a statement, adding that the firm itself is in a good financial position, having maintained stable revenue during the difficult business climate of the past couple of years.

“Our leadership team addressed the recession as soon as it began, reducing expenses, maintaining our emphasis on marketing, and retaining our valued client relationships,” she said. “As a result, we have not laid off a single lawyer.”

In addition to Ranum being elected as board chair, Fredrikson & Byron shareholders voted in September to re-elect several other attorneys to the board: Koneck, Steven Dickinson, and John Erhart. Meanwhile, Steven Quam was elected to his first two-year board term. The five join four other directors-William Brody, Clinton Cutler, David Glaser, and Ann Ladd.

Fredrikson & Byron is Minnesota's third-largest law firm based on licensed Minnesota attorneys, of whom there were 229 as of April. The firm's primary areas of practice include banking, corporate, employment, energy, renewable energy, franchise, government relations, health care, intellectual property, international, litigation, real estate, securities, and tax.