Fabulous Female Friday celebrates the extraordinary, ordinary, powerful, passionate and fabulous female!
Anyone who knows Jackie Hartis, knows that she is smart, funny, powerful, fearless and a wonderful loyal friend. I know this well because we have been friends for more than 25 years. Jackie moved to Kansas City when we were in high school and we became fast friends on the tennis team. Lots of fun memories are flooding back as I think of it now… (Jackie let’s go play tennis some time soon!)
Then we both went to the University of Kansas and joined the same sorority - more good times ensued! Now I always knew Jackie was super smart, but not until we lived together while she was in law school, did I fully realize just how ambitious, driven and brilliant the really is. She worked so hard and studied all the time (perhaps I should have been more inspired to do the same?!). So it was no surprise when she graduated and started her successful career in law. But it was a bit of a surprise when she took over her law firm at such a young age - we’re totally young, right?
Now, a few years later we are still great friends, even if we don’t get to see each other as often as we would like. Jackie continues to impress me with her hard work, both for her law firm and for her family. Especially her fierce determination to find answers for Hannah’s medical issues. Jackie and Brian’s daughter, Hannah, was diagnosed with a Glucose processing disorder when she was a baby. Even when doctors didn’t have answers, Jackie fought hard to find out what was happening with Hannah. I’m pretty convinced that Jackie’s unwillingness to give up or settle lead her to the right doctors and to the diagnosis that have helped Hannah grown into the darling girl that she is today. I’m also pretty sure that their older daughter, Allie, is following in her awesome mom’s footsteps as a funny, smart, beautiful girl destined to be a great person and friend.
Jackie, you’re an inspiration in all that you do and I’m lucky to have been your friend for so many years!
Let’s get to know her a little better:
1. Tell me about your family.
I am the youngest of 8 kids – 3 boys and 5 girls.
My family – I am married to Brian Hartis and have 2 girls – Allie, 11, and Hanna, 8. They go to Briarwood Elementary. Allie plays lots of sports but focuses on soccer and basketball. Hanna loves being silly and is my girly girl – loves dolls, etc.
2. Tell me about your job...
I have been a lawyer for 18 years (can you even believe that?). I have my degree in environmental science and have practiced environmental law since I graduated from law school. I used to be a litigator (for around 9 years) and have been focusing on transactional work ever since. I purchased my firm where I am the Managing Shareholder on January 1, 2018. The official name is McRoberts & Hartis, P.C.
I manage environmental due diligence during transactions. I basically help either the Buyer or the Seller of property (almost entirely commercial) manage risks associated with environmental liabilities. I help negotiate environmental provisions of contracts, indemnities, etc., I order and oversee investigations, and if there is a problem I help the client work towards closure of the environmental problem. We also serve as third party environmental risk managers for various lenders regionally and nationally.
3. How did you get interested in environmental law?
My dad was a chemist and managed the environmental department of the Phillips Refinery plant in Borger, TX, where I grew up. I always thought his work was interesting so I majored in environmental science in college. I actually went to law school to be an environmental lobbyist, but decided to practice environmental law instead.
4. What are the hardest and most rewarding parts of your job, life?
My job is very time consuming so it is hard to balance that with family life. It is rewarding when my clients refer me based on their satisfaction with our services, and to see the firm grow under my leadership. The most rewarding part of life would be my kids. Hanna has special needs and is such a resilient child who always has a great attitude, despite having to be on a very regimented diet. I am always so proud of Allie and what a great big sister she is and how kind and empathetic she is – as Hanna’s needs can sometimes take a lot of my time and some time away from Allie. It is rewarding to see how she handles and recognizes that and is still kind (most of the time;)) and how she lets Hanna play with her and her friends. She has set such a good example and expectations of others as to how Hanna or other kids with special needs should be treated.
5. If you had a magic wand and could fix one issue what would it be?
Personally – I would like to be able to find a cure for Glut 1 Transporter Deficiency Syndrome. It’s a genetic mutation so I guess broader scale – I hope for large successes and progress on gene therapies.
To learn more about Glut1 deficiency syndrome:
To get involved and to donate:
6. Some fun stuff:
Favorite TV show: I don’t watch TV much but if I ever have time I am a sucker for basically any movie on the Hallmark channel
Favorite Restaurant: Locally – Le Fou Frog
Favorite thing to do with the kids: Go adventuring – finding fun places around Kansas City (or within a couple of hours) to explore
Dream Vacation: Italy or Australia