Class of 2011
Claudia Revermann was part of the Reichert Wenner firm when she was selected for the Class of 2011 for her contributions to the workplace and her volunteer work with groups such as Wills for Heroes.
What are you doing now?
On June 1, I ventured out on my own and opened my own law practice, Revermann Law, providing legal advice in the areas of tax, estate and elder care planning, probates, business, real estate and family law.
How did the 5 Under 40 award affect your life?
I was amazed by the people that reached out to me following the award. I connected with fellow business owners and organizations that I may have not otherwise had occasion to be introduced to. It was definitely also a springboard to have more of an impact on our community.
Other big changes since you received the award?
I have recently joined the St. Cloud YMCA board of directors and am very excited to be part of this example of community growth.
What will make the St. Cloud area greater in coming years?
A consistent and dedicated platform for new opportunities continues to make the St. Cloud area greater. We have so many innovative people starting businesses and organizations that have a strong impact on our community. Their experiences and creativity are such an asset, making this a great place to live.
Originally ran: January 8, 2012
Claudia Revermann practices as both a certified public accountant and a lawyer. Because of her education and background in accounting and the law, she has a rare perspective on issues for her clients and an ability to solve problems in multiple ways. She aids clients in resolving issues with the IRS or Minnesota Department of Revenue. These can range from collection problems to representation in U.S. Tax Court.
When she joined Reichert Wenner five years ago, she joined four attorneys, each with at least 30 years of experience, and became the first step in their business succession plan. She has updated office technology and established a computerized accounting system to improve efficiency and allow more time for client service.
She is a member of the Minnesota and Stearns-Benton bar associations, the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and is involved in a variety of other organizations. She is vice chair of the local Junior Achievement board of directors and a member of the All Saints Academy school board, an effort of the five area Catholic parishes to develop a single elementary school structure.
What influential factor led you to your current career?
I thought I wanted to be an attorney when I was in fourth grade — back when I was 10 years old. Some of that came from the influence of neighbors and family friends. And my dad is a CPA. He's retired now but holds his license.
So I grew up in the business.
I went to (the) College of St. Catherine, and I started out with the standard prelaw sort of thing — political science, economics, that sort of background. After my first year I thought, "I don't think I want another three years of this." I didn't think those were majors I could get a job straight out of college with.
One of my big mentors is my dad. So I sat down with him and said, "What should I do?" Whether he purposely led me or I got there on my own, who knows? But I changed my major to accounting, and I finished my degree and took my CPA exam and worked in public accounting for four years.
At that point, I decided it was time for me to get some further education. I was prompted by my managers, and I toyed with the idea of getting a master's (degree) in taxation. But I went back to my 10-year-old idea and thought, "Maybe I should try this law school thing." Much to my supervisors' dismay, I quit working and went to law school full-time.
As I was growing up in Melrose, our neighbors were two brothers who practiced (law). I grew up not necessarily knowing what they did for a living but knowing them, and it intrigued me. Coupled with taking assessments when I was young and fortunately being able to get good grades, it eventually fit.
What's the best part of your workday?
I like the variety. My favorite thing is working with my clients, whether it's a business leader, an individual or couple who are doing estate planning, or if it's one of my tax clients who feels so overwhelmed by their tax burden that they need some help. I like sitting down and chatting with them, educating them. I feel like I get into these myths of what estate planning is or what tax law is. I love straightening the issue out and watching the light bulbs go off. And every once in a while, I do get in the courtroom and that's fun. That's variety for me, and I can't quite give that up.
You have a three-day weekend with no obligations. How do you spend it?
I have some close girlfriends who I love hanging out with. So I would balance three things: hanging out with them, hanging out with my family and my husband and having family time, and I like to have downtime to read and watch movies. I don't get a chance to do those things a lot, but (a recent) Friday evening was one of those rare moments when all of us were home at the same time. We could just sit and play and hang out.
How do you continue to learn new skills that will keep you on the cutting edge of your business?
I have continuing education requirements to keep up my law license as well as my CPA license. Now there are so many options, whether it's online or taking classes in person, there are enough opportunities to get a broad range or be very specific about something if you want.
The second piece also is visiting with my clients. That is really educating. I may sit down with some of my business clients and learn what their industries are like and follow that up with some reading. With this economy and listening to my clients, I ask, "How has it affected you? What changes have you had to make? And how do you see the future affecting your business?" Most times I feel like I'm educating myself.
How do you see the greater St. Cloud area in 20 years, and what would be your role in it?
There are so many young — and I don't always feel that young, myself — business leaders that are very skilled in our community. What I do is act like a sponge, and I hope others do that, too, for all of the seasoned business leaders. There's so much of a base there, some old, established and successful families in the area, that we can tap into. If we can use that knowledge, it will be beneficial.
We're using technology more than those who came before us, but we're coupling that with their expertise. My three older partners who are going to be phasing out of the practice, I'm using their knowledge that they've gained for 30 years.
It's interesting watching how technology is going to integrate with the court system and the law, which has such strong roots in the past. Making that transition and saying it's OK is going to be a key to growth. Recently, there have been concerns expressed from the court about the use of smartphones and iPads and those types of things within the courtroom. There's a real balance there of tradition, respect for the court with efficiency and the fact that what's written on a yellow notepad is similar to what's going to be on someone's iPad.
Family: Husband, Jamie. They have two sons, ages 11 and 6.
Education: College of St. Catherine and William Mitchell College of Law.
FYI: She is past president of the Central Minnesota Estate Planning Council and volunteers with the Wills for Heroes Program, which provides free estate planning for first responders.