Iris Jones is the Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at McNees Wallace & Nurick and leads a team of marketing and business development professionals in delivering proactive strategy, service and high-level support to the firm and its attorneys. She previously held senior marketing and BD roles at Dykema Gossett, Chadbourne & Parke and Akin Gump. She practiced law in Texas in both the public and private sectors.
I met Iris through the Legal Marketing Association and greatly enjoyed getting to know her through the years. She is smart, kind and always willing to give advice or lend a hand.
Get to know more about Iris, a true Woman Who Wows.
Why did you choose your profession?
Personally, becoming an attorney translated into being equipped to help others. Even as a department head, seeking to provide the best client and employee service and support remains paramount.
Growing up my parents emphasized making a difference by serving and supporting family, and community. They taught me to leave every place, including my chosen profession, better than I found it. Leaving a mark of excellence and making an indelible contribution should be easy because it is part of your DNA. As a kid, I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout and as an adult, I continue to volunteer in a wide variety of organizations and charities.
I am currently serving as a member of my firm’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee and Future’s Committee and Professional Development and Education Committee. My participation in these committees deeply enriches my commitment to the firm as a C-Suite executive.
Advice to women who want to succeed in the workplace?
My advice to succeed in the workplace is:
- Focus on building strong professional relationships. Some people will tell you to concentrate on pleasing upper management. My experience is that while connecting with the executive committee or management is important, it is just as valuable to build and maintain solid relationships with your co-workers at every level. People want to work with and support those who are kind, respectful and approachable. There will come a time when you will need help and support which makes being a team player a critical component of success.
- Get outside of your comfort zone. I encourage everyone to connect with and learn from employees with whom you have little in common. In addition to broadening acquaintances and strengthening relationships, you will broaden your understanding and appreciation of other cultures and customs. Being comfortable with diversity of all types is expected of leaders in the workplace. Step outside your comfort zone and stay there as long as you can.
- Embrace new ideas, innovations and technology. Never get mired in the way you have always operated. Change is constant. Prepare for it and adapt accordingly.
- Be Present: Actively participate in what you are doing on a daily basis. Engage and experience in the present tense.
- Volunteer for additional assignments and support others who need a hand.
- Lastly, read, read, read and take every opportunity to learn new skills. People who read will beat you every time if you aren’t a reader. If you aren’t someone who enjoys reading, become one.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Years ago I was told that I should do my job as if I don’t need the job. Concentrate on working hard but fearlessly. Don’t be afraid to take risks, step out of your comfort zone and don’t be afraid to speak up and make a contribution.
“There are three things you can control every day. Your attitude, your effort and your actions.” – Jon Gordon
What do you wish you could tell your younger self?
Seek joy every day, and always take time for family and friends!