Holland & Hart is pleased to announce that Desta Asfaw, a partner in the firm’s Denver office, has been selected as one of Denver Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 honorees in 2023. Annually, the Denver Business Journal recognizes 40 outstanding professionals under age 40 for their business success and community contributions.
Desta is a partner in Holland & Hart's Private Client group. She develops sophisticated estate, wealth transfer, and wealth preservation planning solutions for high net worth individuals, families, and closely-held businesses. Desta specializes in complex asset structures involving a variety of wealth transfer, charitable, and business succession planning strategies. Desta currently leads the firm’s Black Lawyers network and serves as a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee and Talent Recruiting Committee. She also volunteers as a member on boards and advisory committees supporting a diverse list of nonprofit organizations that address important issues facing the Denver community, including The Denver Foundation Black Resilience in Colorado Fund Advisory Committee; The Denver Foundation Professional Advisors Council; Denver Zoo, Board of Governors; and the University of Colorado Law School Alumni Board.
All 40 Under 40 winners were asked about their “why”—their passion that shapes, molds, and drives them to succeed. Desta shared, “My father immigrated from Ethiopia when he was 17 years old. My parents achieved the American Dream using hard work and perseverance in order to provide a better life for their children, siblings and their nieces and nephews—all while giving back to the children and elderly members of their surrounding Denver community. They inspired me to succeed in my professional life while giving back to the Denver community through board and volunteer work at the same time.”
Desta also shared the reality of her career path changed (in good ways) from her initial expectations, saying, “I thought that it would be nearly impossible to make partner at an AmLaw 200 law firm while growing my family. I thought that I could have children, but that it would delay my path to partnership. Further, I thought that I could not be present for breakfast, dinner, and bedtime. In reality, I made partner while I was on maternity leave! My colleagues and my firm have created an environment that helps promote loyalty and ensure longevity.”
To become a Denver Business Journal 40 Under 40 winner, candidates are nominated by co-workers, mentors, friends, or even family and are reviewed and scored by four judges on their contributions to and impact on their organization or industry and community.
Desta was honored at an awards celebration held in March 2023. Read Desta’s 40 Under 40 Q&A online here, and the Denver Business Journal’s 2023 40 Under 40 winners special feature online here (subscription might be required).