Jennifer McGaffey Receives Highly Regarded Act of Excellence Award in Accomplishment Category

February 23, 2021

Jennifer McGaffey, a Senior Paralegal in Risk Management in St. Paul, Minnesota, is the Act of Excellence (AoE) – Accomplishment category winner for 2020. The AoE is an SEH recognition program where employees can recognize colleagues throughout the year for notable acts. 

Jennifer joined SEH in 2018 and immediately focused her energy on corporate licensing, expanding SEH's footprint and ensuring compliance with various laws and regulations across the U.S. and Canada. She is a resourceful, organized and technologically-proficient Minnesota Certified Paralegal with nearly 20 years of experience in multiple areas of law.  

We asked Jennifer some questions to get to know her better, like – share something interesting about yourself that no one would know. What does your job entail? What does accomplishment mean to you? And so much more. Here’s what she had to say.

What does the word “accomplishment” mean to you?

To me, accomplishment is feeling proud of the work I’ve done—making a positive step forward for myself, the Company and my team.

You’re a paralegal at SEH. Can you explain what your role entails?

My primary responsibility is to make sure SEH can legally work where our clients need us. That means being familiar with the laws and rules that govern our main design professional services across the U.S. and Canada and keeping SEH compliant with those laws. A paralegal performs delegated legal work that a licensed attorney is ultimately responsible for, so most of my ancillary responsibilities center around working with our Senior Counsel to ensure legal minutiae doesn’t fall through the cracks.

What’s something that surprises people when they learn about your job?

That it exists, SEH has never had a paralegal before.

Which of the SEH core values (honesty/integrity, respect/inclusion, service and accountability) is most important to you and why?

No one core value is more important to me than another. As an employee-owner, I appreciate that we have identified these core values to support our vision, shape the culture and reflect our Company values.

Tell us something interesting about yourself. What’s a fun fact about you many people may not know?

In 2001, I co-founded a local pinball enthusiasts’ group to raise awareness of a waning industry. While we’re no longer as active as we once were, we certainly inspired similar local activity dedicated to keeping our favorite arcade game popular.

Who is your role model, and why?

The person who has had the most influence on who I am is my maternal grandmother. She was strong and independent – kind, fair and unafraid to speak up.

When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?

There was a time when my answer would have been, “trying new restaurants and going to see a live band at some small venue with friends.” These days, things are much quieter. I took up casual bike riding last spring and look forward to exploring trails outside of the city when the weather gets better. I’m refocused on fitness and passive gardening. I spend much of my time entertaining and being entertained by my seven-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier (AmStaff) rescue, Paddy. Her fetch game is terrible and needs a lot of practice.

Learn more about our Act of Excellence winners.

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