Board Member Spotlight

Board Member Spotlight – Cindy Cintas Pilon, CLM

I am pleased to introduce you to Cindy Cintas Pilon, CLM who is on her second stint of being a SVALA Board Member. Cindy served as Treasurer a few years ago and, yes, we talked her into serving again! She is currently serving as the Law Firm Leadership and Holiday Luncheon Chair.

It is wonderful to have Cindy back on the Board and even more wonderful learning a bit more about her. I think you will enjoy “meeting” Cindy too!

Cindy Cintas Pilon, CLM
Law Firm Leadership and Holiday Event Chair


Cindy Pilon (left) with Julie Denker (right) at the 2016 CLI Conference
Cindy Cintas Pilon (left) with Julie Denker (right) at the 2016 CLI Conference

Tell us about your professional life. I have been working as the Office Manager for Johnson, Greene & Roberts LLP for close to five years. This spring we moved our offices to Capitol Mall and I love being downtown again. During my career, I have worked for two other law firms and in between had the opportunity to work as a manager for an administrative unit at UC Davis with architects and engineers. I ended up coming back to the legal field after encouraging others to follow their heart in their career (and wanting to keep mine intact with my long, scary commute over the Yolo Causeway!). I am drawn to the legal profession’s interesting work, talented professionals, challenging situations, and the sense of accomplishment when overcoming those challenges.

Last fall I earned the designation as a Certified Legal Manager. The entire experience of studying and sitting for the exam was demanding yet extremely rewarding. Pass or fail, I knew the journey was going to be very worthwhile. I enjoyed every moment and have created life-lasting bonds with those who participated in our study group (you know who you are!). Navigating the hurdles that I encountered made the outcome even more gratifying. And the achievement feels absolutely wonderful!

Cindy's container garden
Cindy’s container garden

Why did you choose to serve on the SVALA Board? This is my second time to serve on the SVALA Board. The first time I distinctly remember Ken Sockolov and Craig Price convincing me at a holiday luncheon (no doubt after a glass or two of wine!) that the time commitment for the Board position of Treasurer would consist of just writing a couple of checks a month. Ha! Not even close! They got me hook, line, and sinker, but I am so glad they did. I soon came to realize that I received a great deal more from my volunteer role than I could ever give back. I am pleased to be serving again this year as the Law Firm Leadership and Holiday Event Chair. Paula Lee is our co-chair and you will not want to miss the holiday luncheon she organized for December 7th at the Empress Tavern.

Cindy and her granddaughter, Makeena
Cindy and her granddaughter, Makenna

Tell us a little about your personal life/passion. On the personal side, one thing that most people do not know about me is that I grew up on a ranch in Santa Clara when the valley still had orchards, well before it became known as the Silicon Valley. All four of my grandparents came from Spain and they farmed the valley like they did in the Mediterranean. I have fond memories of climbing cherry trees, cutting apricots, defending myself from walnuts used as weapons by my older cousins, and checking on the rabbits, goats, and chickens. My grandfather would give us a tour of his large garden and always shared his bounty of delightful fruits and vegetables and my grandmother her flowers. I think this is why I love being outdoors and truly appreciate lush green spaces. I think too this is where I learned my strong work ethic and my strong sense of family.

This summer I planted a raised container garden for the first time and made plum jam from the tree in our backyard. I hope to expand my garden this coming year with the help of my teenage granddaughter, who came to live with us over the summer. A delightful challenge…it is funny how things work out!

Thank you for sharing a bit about yourself, Cindy! Earning the CLM is quite an accomplishment and I am sure those hard-working grandparents would be proud!





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