Kickin’ it with Sidekick: Jennifer Bishop
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Meet Jennifer Bishop - founder, leader, and volunteer.
She is a member of the Executive Board of Tennis Canada and Chair of the Nominating Committee. Last year, Jennifer was appointed to one of the most prestigious committees of the International Tennis Federation, the Davis Cup Committee, where she is the only woman, and the second woman in history, to be appointed to this committee. Previously, Jennifer was the first Canadian appointed to the ITF Billie Jean King Cup Committee. She has served on numerous sports-related boards, including the Tennis Hall of Fame Committee and as President of the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club.
Jennifer dedicates herself to providing safe opportunities for sport through various means, including her work as the Chair of the Board of the Doug Philpott Inner City Children's Tennis Foundation. The organization is a not-for-profit organization that offers free tennis programs year-round for children aged 6-15 in priority neighbourhoods, serving over 8,500 participants each year in the City of Toronto. In recognition of her contributions to the sport of tennis, Jennifer was inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Tennis Hall of Fame as an athlete and builder.
From a business perspective, Jennifer is a partner at Aird & Berlis LLP - a prominent Canadian law firm with a well-established local, national and international reputation. Their team of approximately 200 lawyers, patent agents and business advisors provides strategic legal and business advice in all principal areas of business law, including mergers & acquisitions, private equity, corporate/commercial, capital markets and financial services.
She is the founder and co-chair of the firm's Sports, Media & Entertainment Group, whose clients include owners of professional sports teams, associations, executives, high-profile athletes, directors, multi-sport event organizers, funding partners, sponsors, broadcasters and charitable organizations.
Jennifer has been recognized as one of Lexpert's Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40 and is listed in the Best Lawyers in Canada for Corporate Law. She is a frequent speaker on matters relating to corporate law and governance, leadership and gender equity and is the incoming global chair of the International Bar Association's Women's Leadership Group.
Jennifer shares with us a glimpse of her inspirations and sources of success. Get to know Jennifer and read more below!
1. What are your sources of motivation and inspiration? How do you stay motivated/keep your cup full?
My daughter and the next generation of leaders are my primary sources of inspiration. They are creative, adaptable and driven, and they are a generation that commands transformative change and whose potential fuels my excitement for the future of business, law and sport.
2. Do you have a personal ethos that helps guide your decisions and choices? What is it and where did it come from? “Integrity. Intention. Inclusion.” My father lived this every day with all that he did.
3. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned on your professional journey so far?
Culture beats strategy. My firm, Aird & Berlis LLP, lives this mantra, and our firmwide camaraderie results are inspiring.
4. How do you stay focused on your organization’s mission while also juggling competing priorities in what we imagine is a very busy schedule? Always go back to the mission. When I am under pressure, facing challenges and experiencing highs and lows, I always ask myself if what I am doing and my direction align with my organization's mission. Doing so ensures I effectively harness my energy, remain focused and act productively.
5. What type of superpower would you want to have? Why?
To be able to replicate a skill by watching. I am fascinated by the unique talents of those around me and constantly look for ways to improve and grow by refining and augmenting my own skillset.
6. What’s one thing you wish you knew before starting your business/current role?
I wish I had more foundational knowledge surrounding the business of law and sport. With that said, I have had great mentors over the years who have pointed me in the right direction and continue to challenge me to build my knowledge and skill set.
7. What does the first hour of your day look like?
Check emails, drink lemon water, move my body (whether for a quick run or playing tennis), check emails again, call my daughter and mom, make a protein shake, shower, and log in with my almond milk chai latte in hand!
8. What advice would you give to future entre/intrapreneurs looking to make their mark on the world?
Build your personal brand, take risks, trust your instincts, welcome the feeling of discomfort, and personal growth will follow. Make time for the next generation and show tremendous gratitude for the last.
Inspired by the next generation, powered by past generations, and focused on making a difference, Jennifer's outstanding experience and illustrious accomplishments inspire us to trust our instincts while staying mission-focused in our leadership journeys.
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(Photo description: Woman with blond hair smiling, standing behind podium and microphone)