We lost a friend, partner, colleague and world class attorney this week when Jerri Jenkins lost her battle with cancer. I “met” Jerri on the ski slopes of Steamboat Springs over 13 years ago when we first had a chance to talk about her coming over to our law firm. Jerri was taking a little après slopeside and doing what she did best, talk about real estate and the law and I was calling from the office, we hit it off immediately. Jerri had just left a general counsel job for a significant national developer and the prospect that Jerri would even conceive of working for our little firm was hard to imagine. In fact I remember having a conversation with a real estate partner in a big time Denver firm asking if he knew much about Jerri, as I was doing some due diligence, and his immediate response was “is she available?” The only response I could muster was “nope”, thus began Jerri’s time at FGMC and our firm was immediately better.
Jerri loved the practice of law and she loved servicing her clients. There was no detail too small for Jerri. She would be more prepared than anyone in a transaction. But more importantly, she always knew her clients’ needs and desires. In the practice of law there are two important considerations. The law and your client. You are never going to be great at your job unless you have a full appreciation of these two equally important elements. Jerri excelled at both.
Jerri came over to the firm as an exceptional transactional attorney. In no time, she was running the transactional side of the business for the firm. But Jerri had a curiosity to expand her practice into some land use work and that is where she and I had the most fun. Jerri gave the firm the gravitas to handle some of the bigger deals in town and candidly, gave me the confidence that our firm was capable of handling any challenge. Jerri made me a better lawyer in so many ways. Jerri helped build our real estate and land use practice into a thriving business and that will be just one of her many legacies.
We will miss Jerri at FGMC. A part of our family was taken from us way too early and not on the terms we would have ever
negotiated. And as much as we will suffer, Jerri leaves a wonderful husband, Ivan, and his daughters and their families and the grandkids whom she spoke about around the office all the time.
Life is precious. We all know this to be true, yet we live as though we will always have another tomorrow. As we all grieve this untimely loss of a wonderful person and a good soul, let’s double down on goodness and try to live our lives with more appreciation for the people whom we love. May Jerri’s memory forever be a blessing.