Nine members seek seats on Lawyers Club Board of Directors
Lawyers Club of San Diego seeks to advance the status of women in the law and in society. It’s election time at Lawyers Club, and this year nine members are running for the four open seats on the board of directors, hoping to help support Lawyers Club’s mission in an active role. Ballots can be found here and as an insert in the April monthly newsletter. Paper ballots are due to the Lawyers Club office by mail or personal delivery on Wednesday, May 1 at 5 p.m. Please closely follow instructions on the ballot, and we encourage members to vote early for up to four candidates.
The candidates seeking election are (in alphabetical order) Kimberly Ahrens, Eric Ganci, Tara Jacobson, Shalini Kedia, Sondra Levine, Megan Mazza, Danielle Moore, Jamie Quient, Bhashini Weerasinghe Each candidate was asked to submit a statement explaining in 300 words or less why they wished to serve on the board. The candidate statements follow.
My first exposure to Lawyers Club was during my second year of law school when one of my classmates dragged me to the Spring Wine & Cheese reception honoring the mentor/mentee program. Any apprehension I harbored about diverting study time to a networking event instantly dissipated the moment I was warmly welcomed by the Lawyers Club members in attendance that evening.
Currently, I have been practicing law for over six years. I manage a law office located in Bankers Hill where I practice civil litigation, with an focus on employment law issues.
Over the last four years, I have been actively involved in lawyers Club and have served as a Co-Chair on the Wine & Cheese Committee. I also serve as a committee member on the Professional Advancement Committee and Equal Pay Day Subcommittee.
It has been an honor to devote my time and energy to an organization that furthers the advancement of women in the legal community and in society generally. Our legal community would suffer without this organization and the accomplishments of its leaders.
Regardless of whether I am elected to the Lawyers Club Board of Directors, I am deeply committed to devoting my work ethic and passion to promoting diversity, equality and inclusion within our legal community. If elected, I will gladly focus this energy into addressing the needs and concerns of current and future Lawyers Club members and the organization as a whole. To that end, I humbly ask for your vote. Thank you for your support and consideration.
I’m proud to have been an active member with Lawyers Club since law school (about 2007) when I started attending luncheons. This is an organization I’ve cared about and been active since the start. I have had the privilege of co-chairing the Champagne and Chocolate Committee in 2012, and helping start the Social Media Committee around 2009 (drafting the regulations and setting up and managing the accounts). I was on the Champagne and Chocolate Committee in 2010 and 2011, and decorated the Annual Dinner 2011 (and donated the ever popular Christian Louboutins shoes we raffled off that evening).
Most of my involvement has been with the Photography Committee, where I have been co-chair since about 2010, and still sit as co-chair. I get to photograph the events, categorize them to organize and preserve Lawyers Club history, and publish the photos through our social media (usually our Facebook and Twitter profiles). I can take this time to apologize for always interrupting conversations to take your photos - sorry!), but archiving our history is key to building on our strong foundation. Plus, it’s always wonderful to look at photos from our membership and events!
I am a DUI trial lawyer with Galente Ganci, APC and really believe in the mission of Lawyers Club. It’s an incredible organization, filled with unbelievable people, and I hope to continue to give back to Lawyers Club as a board member. I am also very active with the SDCBA (NLD board member, 2011-2012) and the TJSL Alumni Association (Vice President for 2011 and 2012).
Diversity is powerful. At Brown Law Group (“BLG”), I work with dynamic female partners who are business leaders and role models, known for their achievements and contributions to diversity in San Diego. Their devotion to excellence and service is especially evident in Stacy Fode, a partner, mother of two, past president of Lawyers Club, and active member in dozens of other professional organizations. By her example and steadfast dedication to the mission of Lawyers Club, I am continuously inspired to find ways to advance the status of women and children in law and society.
At BLG I find undying support for my personal and professional development and my dedication to community involvement. I am an active participant in National Association of Women and Minority Owned Law Firms where I have learned more about diversity and inclusion initiatives from progressive law firms around the country.
My deep sense of commitment to Lawyers Club is evidenced by my many years of service as a Community Outreach committee member. There I devote my time to hands-on projects such as twice-yearlyRead-Ins where volunteers read, promote literacy and serve as role models to underprivileged children. I also actively raised funds for Shakti Rising garden project and Teen Options makeover. I also served on the Red, White & Brew Committee.
I would be honored to elevate my service to Lawyers Club as a member of the Board of Directors. Once elected, I will find creative, efficient ways to increase the mentoring opportunities to new and young lawyers and to develop a committee to create a forum where firms share useful and real-world best practices. If you allow me the opportunity to do so, I vow to continue to work for positive progress for Lawyers Club—a vital, constructive and respected force within San Diego County.
My name is Shalini K. Kedia. Currently, I serve as the Chair of the Professional Advancement Committee (PAC). A 1999 graduate of U.C. Hastings College of the Law, I leveraged my substantial litigation experience last year to launch KEDIA MEDIATION.
Motivated to make a difference, I seek your vote to serve on the Lawyers Club Board. Strong communications and diplomacy skills along with my ability to think creatively are my greatest assets. I value collaboration. If elected, I would proactively work to explore innovative ways to advance our mission and to develop effective solutions to overcome various hurdles faced by women in the law and in society.
Since joining Lawyers Club in 2011, I have been actively engaged in all four sections of the organization: Programming, Finance & Fundraising, Policy, and Public Relations. In addition to chairing PAC, I am the co-chair of both the Equal Pay Day and Dine Around subcommittees. Appreciating that networking is critical to build business, I have helped to generate and execute events for the Networking Committee. As a mother of two, I passionately planned and moderated “The Art of Multi-Tasking: Developing Business While Maintaining a Balanced Life,” a Balance Committee program.
For the past two years, I have worked diligently on the Chocolate and Champagne; Red, White and Brew; Annual Dinner; and Golf Tournament events. Finally, I have assisted with extensive fundraising and sponsorship efforts, helped to increase membership, and written several newsletter articles.
My deep commitment to the complex challenges confronting women in our industry and the myriad of issues that are important to, and impact, all women, is unwavering. If elected to the Board, I will continue to work relentlessly to promote the Lawyers Club’s mission to advance the status of women in the law and in society.
Background: I’m a firm believer in Lawyers Club’s mission of advancing the status of women in law and in society. As a mother of two girls, I’m also committed to the advancement of programs and initiatives that promote work/life balance. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of San Diego while working full time and enrolled in the evening program at the law school upon graduation. After graduating law school I joined Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith as an associate in the professional liability group. My practice now also includes commercial litigation, business transactions, and labor/employment work. Prior to becoming an attorney I worked in strategic planning and analysis for a beer distributor which is what brought me back to San Diego 12 years ago.
Organizations and Involvement: I’m licensed in California, Minnesota, and the District of Columbia. I’m also a private mediator and conduct training and seminars on using conflict resolution skills in the workplace. I’m a mentor with the Iranian American Bar Association, a volunteer mediator at North County Life Line and the Small Claims Court, and a member of the Southern California Mediation Association, the San Diego Defense Lawyers Association, the Welsh Inn of Court, and of course Lawyers Club. I’ve spoken at the San Diego Society of Human Resource Management’s Annual Law Day Conference, on panels at USD and Cal. Western, and will be presenting at Hoyle Cohen in April of this year. In 2011, I was recognized by the Daily Transcript as one of San Diego’s top “Young Attorneys.” In 2012, I was featured in the “20 Women That Impact San Diego” publication by San Diego Metro Magazine.
Conclusion: I would like very much to serve on the Lawyers Club Board and would be honored to receive your vote. Thank you for your consideration.
Megan A. Mazza
The mission of Lawyers Club has always resonated with me. I served on the University of Michigan’s Journal of Gender and Law during law school, and joined Lawyers Club early in my career while working at Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps. I am now Senior Counsel in the litigation group at Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis. Most importantly, I am also a mom. Balancing my career with raising a daughter has given me a new perspective on the importance of Lawyers Club, both to working parents and to future generations. I appreciate the formal and informal mentoring Lawyers Club offers and value Lawyers Club’s advocacy on behalf of women in our community.
Over the years, I have been an active member of Lawyers Club, a committee member, and a committee chair. In 2011, I served on the Judicial Elections Endorsements Committee, helping to vet judicial candidates for Lawyers Club’s support. This year, I co-chaired the Red, White & Brew fundraiser. In that role, I helped build a brand new fundraising event from the ground up, and it was a huge success!
I am passionate about uplifting women outside of Lawyers Club as well. Since 2010, I have served on the board of the Big Sister League of San Diego, a local organization dedicated to helping women in need, and mentoring at-risk girls. I am also a member of Allen Matkins’ Community Outreach Committee, which helps local charities. I wish to take my Lawyers Club service to the next level by becoming a Board member. I remain deeply dedicated to Lawyers Club’s mission, and, if elected, would work hard to ensure that Lawyers Club continues to attract and retain new members, provide its members with mentoring, and serve the larger community. I would be honored to receive your vote.
Background: I am currently a partner at Fisher & Phillips LLP, where I represent and counsel employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. I also teach an employment law related course at San Diego State University. I began my career working on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee for Senator Charles Grassley, while at the George Washington University Law School. I am a native of San Diego and currently live in Carlsbad with my husband, 3-year-old daughter, and two dogs.
Lawyers Club Involvement: I became a member of Lawyers Club in 2005. I served on both the Balance Committee, where I organized and moderated a number of panel discussions, as well as the Professional Advancement and Equal Pay Day committees. In 2012, I was appointed the President of the North County Chapter of Lawyers Club. As North County President I helped host Lawyers Club events in North County, strengthened Lawyers Club’s relationship with the North County Bar Association and increased membership in North County. As North County President, I also serve on the Lawyers Club Board of Directors. I take my role as a Board Member seriously, attending every Board meeting, actively participating, and consistently supporting the Lawyers Club mission.
Other Organizations: I am also actively involved in the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, a mentor in Women for Women, and a member of MAMAs. I am also actively involved in the Trojan League Associates of San Diego (USC), the Society for Human Resources Manager, and the SDCBA.
Conclusion: Serving on the Board of Lawyers Club this past year has inspired me to run for an elected position so that I can continue the work I have already started. My experience evidences my commitment to promoting the advancement of women while facilitating work-life balance, and I would be honored to receive your vote.
Like many female attorneys, I find myself often grappling with questions that have no easy answers. Is it possible to raise a family and maintain a career in the law? Why do women have a tougher time making partner than men?
Lawyers Club has spent the last forty years addressing the challenges faced by women in the law. And while we have made great strides advancing women in the law, we still have much work to do.
I am an associate at Procopio and my practice focuses on healthcare litigation. Prior to joining Procopio, I clerked for District Court Judge Michael M. Anello. My personal involvement in Lawyers Club, first as a committee member and now as a committee chair, has been empowering. Lawyers Club has provided me with mentorship, new skills, and leadership opportunities. It has also inspired me to empower others to achieve their own career objectives.
As chair of the brand new Networking Events Committee, I spearheaded numerous networking initiatives, including “Thirsty Thursday” happy hours, which have become one of Lawyers Club’s most popular events. Under my leadership, the Networking Events Committee organized volunteers at SDVLP’s Domestic Violence Clinics during Pro Bono Week, coordinated a four-part golf lesson series, and helped rebrand the Spring Wine & Cheese as the International Women of Color Day Reception. We are also planning family-friendly events to ensure that our members don’t miss out on career-advancing, networking opportunities due to family obligations.
As a board member, I will continue to launch new initiatives to recruit and retain members. I will also build bridges to the broader legal community and enhance Lawyer’s Club’s visibility using social media.I am passionate about Lawyers Club and ask for your support to serve as a Board member.
New to San Diego, I was introduced to Lawyers Club in 2010 when I first attended the Fall Wine & Cheese event. I was encouraged to get involved and felt welcomed by this community of remarkable women and men. As a member of Lawyers Club, I have been involved and taken on leadership roles within a number of different committees; I was an active member of the Champagne & Chocolate Committee in 2010, a member of the Annual Dinner Committee 2012, co-chair collaborating on the First Annual International Women of Color Day Reception, and I have co-chaired the Diverse Women’s Committee since 2011. I am also involved with the San Diego County Bar Association, New Lawyer Division, and I am a board member of Women of Color in the Law.
As a staff attorney at the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, I am fortunate and honored to spend my days helping disadvantaged, low income clients with numerous civil legal matters. In 2012, I was appointed by San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn to the San Diego HIV Health Services Planning Council to represent North County.
I am passionate about helping others and I enthusiastically take every opportunity to be more involved, whether it means mentoring a law student, judging a moot court competition, organizing events and collaborating with other groups, or encouraging non-members to come to Lawyers Club events. I am genuinely grateful for the invaluable opportunities membership in Lawyers Club has given me. If elected to the board, I will continue to take on leadership roles and dedicate my time to deepening the efforts to be more inclusive and diverse, while focusing on assisting members with professional advancement. I appreciate your support.