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Top Women in Business Spotlight: Marjorie Farris

A closer look at some of the women who are making a difference in Kentucky

By Lorie Hailey

(Editor’s note: The March issue of  The Lane Report features our semi-annual list of the Top Women in Business. At lanereport.com, we’re shining the spotlight on one of the honorees each day. Day 2: Marjorie Farris, the first female to chair Stites & Harbison, a legal firm with 10 offices in five states.)

Our occasional feature, Top Women in Business, highlights some of the women in and around Kentucky who are making an impact in business, the professions, politics and economic development. The intent is to recognize not the household names, but those in key roles whose work ethic and body of work are making important contributions to commerce—and life—in the area.

The 12 women featured in this issue are among the many such women The Lane Report editorial board has identified. From automotive manufacturing plant president to hospital executive, and economic development director to law firm leader, these women are forging their own paths, proving that hard work, perseverance and creativity pay off. And for the first time in this series, we’re shining a spotlight on some of Kentucky’s top female television personalities, offering a glimpse behind the camera.

In January 2021, Marjorie A. Farris became the first female to lead the Stites & Harbison law firm since its founding in 1832. An accomplished trial lawyer who has actively defended more than 75 class-action lawsuits nationwide, Farris built her career at the firm, which she joined in 1995 after completing law school.

Marjorie A. Farris

Marjorie Farris is chair of Stites & Harbison.

Title/company: Chair of Stites & Harbison, which has 10 offices across five states. As its chief executive officer, it is my responsibility to set forth strategic initiatives, monitor and assess overall performance of the organization, and serve as the main point of contact to firm management and the attorneys. I have been an attorney at Sites & Harbison for 25 years; firm chair since Jan. 26, 2021.

Education/training: Bachelor’s degree in history with high distinction from the University of Kentucky; juris doctor cum laude from the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law.

My top accomplishment: I hope it hasn’t happened yet.

The person(s) who most influenced or mentored me: There have been so many wonderful influences and mentors in my life and my legal career. However, the biggest influences in my life are still my parents and grandparents.

My advice to younger women in business: Don’t doubt yourself or your abilities. There will be enough people out there doing that for you.

As a child, I wanted to be: A physician

Hobbies: Rowing, walking, running, anything music-related, playing Bridge.

I’m inspired by: Motivating others.

The most important personal attribute I bring to my job: Being an active listener.


Other Top Women in Business stories
Day 1: Susan Elkington