There are 15 members of the SVALA 2016 – 2017 Board of Directors and we would like to introduce all of them to you!
We asked questions and got them talking about their professional life, why they serve on the SVALA board and even pried into their personal life. We love to know what people do in their “real life” or what they are passionate about, right? Or, we might just be nosy! Either way, we have the scoop for you.
Without further ado, let’s introduce the first three of our Board Members and find out who these people are (spoiler alert: you’re going to love them!).
Lindsey Staples, Membership Chair
Senior Manager of Operations & Professional Recruiting
Tell us about your professional life. I joined Meyers Nave 10 years ago as the Office Manager for the Sacramento office. Over the years, my role has evolved and I am now the Senior Manager of Operations & Professional Recruiting. How it all began….I started my legal career as a receptionist at a law firm and became a legal secretary and also worked as a paralegal. I was always drawn to the administrative/operations side of the business, so when a partner I worked for opened his own firm and asked me to manage his office, I jumped at the opportunity. And, as they say, the rest is history!
Why did you choose to serve on the SVALA Board? I chose to serve on the SVALA Board as a way to get more involved in the Sacramento legal community. I had been a member of SVALA for years, but never really got involved. There were always “more pressing” duties at work that kept me seated at my desk and not attending luncheons and mixers, so I joined the Board as a way to force myself to get out there and connect with colleagues. It’s been a great experience and a wonderful way to expand my network!
Tell us a little about your personal life/passion. Personal life? I’m a law firm administrator. What’s a personal life? KIDDING!!! My husband and I love to travel. We LIVE for traveling! Whether it’s a long weekend in Palm Springs or two weeks traveling around Europe over Christmas, we love to explore new places and live like locals! Next up is Hawaii….Aloha!
Susan Nielsen, Salary Survey Chair
Segal & Associates, PC
Tell us about your professional life. I have been the administrator of Segal & Associates, PC (formerly Segal & Kirby LLP) for over 25 years. Prior to that, I was in the accounting department for a large local developer. I wanted to join the legal industry to enhance my career by working in a deadline driven, detail oriented, and often high stress atmosphere. Being a law firm administrator has definitely kept me on my toes, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Why did you choose to serve on the SVALA Board? There were two or three administrators that recommended that I join the board (many years ago). Cindy Snook, HR Director for Downey Brand, was definitely a big part of that decision. Intermittently, over several years, I have served on the board. It has kept me in greater contact with the members on a professional and personal level.
Tell us a little about your personal life/passion. The simple truth: I work to travel. I enjoy traveling to faraway places as much RV’ing locally with family and friends. Ocean destinations are the best. My granddaughter and rescue dog are being raised to be extremely travel worthy. Whether it is paddle boarding or ocean kayaking, we’re happy… just put us in the water!
Joan Gabrielson, Community Connection Chair
Tell us about your professional life. I have been with Cook Brown a total of eleven years – six years the first time around and five+ years this time. My background is in small to mid-size financial institutions. I have served in several roles from Controller to Chief Financial Officer to Chief Administrative Officer. When I left the world of financial institutions I consulted in several different industries and found that the professional environment of a law firm is a good fit for me.
Why did you choose to serve on the SVALA Board? I chose to become a board member to give back to our ALA chapter. I have gained a great deal of knowledge through the monthly luncheons, conferences and emailing others for answers to specific questions. And being a board member has the added benefit of developing friendships.
Tell us a little about your personal life/passion. My passion is ballroom dancing! I have not been actively involved in dancing for a number of years but hope to get back to it in the next couple of years, perhaps teaching children rather than competing. For now I spend time gardening and reading – my book club consists of a fabulous group of neighbors!
Note from the editor: Mark your calendars for the 2016 SVALA Community Connection Event! We will be assisting with registration for the Walk for Alzheimer’s on October 1. We did such a great job last year that the Alzheimer’s Association is letting us help again this year! You don’t want to miss this wonderful event so watch for more details from Joan.
It is a privilege to serve on the Board of Directors with these smart, talented (not to mention fun) fellow legal administrators. I encourage all of our members to consider joining the Board of Directors at some point in your career. Please leave a comment or email one of the board members if you are interested.
Of course, the catch is that you will have to answer these questions when you serve!
Watch this space for our next Board Member Spotlight when we introduce more Board Members!