Board Member Spotlight

SVALA Board Member Spotlight – Joelle Stone  

I hope you are having as much fun reading these Board Member Spotlights as I am!

(You can easily access the other Board Member Spotlights by going to the “Meet the Board” page and clicking on a member’s name.)

This Spotlight is especially near and dear to my heart not only because I have known Joelle the longest of any of the board members but she also happens to be my best friend. (Of course, I adore all the board members!)

Joelle's babies: (top to bottom) Dolly, Bellah, Woody
Joelle’s babies: (top to bottom) Dolly, Bellah, Woody

Joelle and I first met when I joined Diepenbrock, Wulff, Plant and Hannegan. I had just come from a small firm as a fairly new administrator and became the administrator at a firm of 200+ people. It was a culture shock for me but Joelle, as the HR Director, stood by me and gave me sound advice and helped me navigate “big firm” life. With any newcomer, I think the staff eyed me a little warily but they all respected Joelle and her opinion and I suspect she put in a good word for me to help make it a smooth transition.

I knew from the beginning Joelle was fearless! During one of my first few weeks at the new job, Joelle came to the office with a horrendous road rash all down her leg and arms from some sort of exercising accident (I think it involved rollerblading). She continued to rock her stylish business suit (and, no doubt, high heels) and didn’t miss a day of work because of it.

She’s tough and fearless and what I have learned over and over through the years is she has a spectacular heart of gold and extraordinary generous spirit which she opens to friends, family, her fiancé, her step-daughter and lots and lots of dogs.

Don’t take it just from me! Let’s learn a bit more about Joelle.

Joelle Stone, HR Director
Business Partner Relations Chair

Joelle with fiance, Bryan, step-daughter, Amanda and Daisy
Joelle with fiance, Bryan, step-daughter, Amanda and Daisy

Tell us about your professional life. Like most of us, I didn’t really choose this position, it kind of chose me. I started my legal career as the assistant to the office manager in a boutique family law firm in Tampa, Florida while attending college. I recall the office manager was on the board of the Suncoast Chapter of ALA and assisting her with projects before board meetings. I had no intention of following this line of work, but here I am, having worked in several different positions in law firms. Many years ago, when I was still hanging on to the vestiges of my 20s, I decided to move from Tampa to the west coast to be closer to family in Oregon and Arizona. I picked Sacramento out of the Atlas, having never been here before, and flew out with a couple suitcases and had my furniture and car delivered. I then started with Diepenbrock, Wulff, Plant and Hannegan and moved with Murphy Austin Adams Schoenfeld LLP when DWPH dissolved.

Why did you choose to serve on the board? A long, long time ago, Trish was asked to be on the nominating committee…. and there you have it. I love being on the board and being involved with SVALA. I’ve met so many great friends through ALA. I absolutely love the opportunity to attend Regional and National conferences and keeping my knowledge about our profession fresh. And the parties don’t hurt either.

A few of Joelle's foster dogs
A few of Joelle’s foster dogs

Tell us a little bit about your personal life/passion. I am a part of the Sacramento Shelter Networkers, a group of four volunteers who network the Sacramento County Animal Care rescue-only listed animals to rescue. This is a daily list of dogs that for whatever (sometimes specious) reason cannot be placed for adoption and are rescue only. We obtain better photos of the dogs as the shelter intake photos are generally not great, and write up an honest, yet positive, description of the dogs’ personality and temperament. We then market them to various rescues across the state, and sometimes as far as Canada (our friends up north rescue a lot of California Chihuahuas and Pit Bulls). We also arrange to have the dogs vetted (spay/neuter/vaccinated) and then organize transportation if needed. In 2012, our group won the Sacramento County Volunteer of the Year award. I have fostered many dogs from mamas and their newborn babies, to senior citizens dumped at the shelter, and pure bred Labradors that were neglected (all of which are now in loving homes). I also acquired a couple “foster fails” along the way, meaning they joined my home with my first love, Bellah, a yellow Lab/Weimaraner mix.

Joelle and her sister, Jan, enjoying mimosas
Joelle and her sister, Jana, enjoying mimosas

Anything else you’d like to share? My favorite meal of the day is brunch and mimosas of any kind! I make up for that indulgence by regularly working out – I enjoy boot-camp workouts, Body Pump and weight lifting. And, of course, walking the dogs. I love the beach – Ft. Bragg and Bandon, Oregon being a couple favorites. My fiancé (no, we have not set a date) and I enjoy going to Sharks’ games and concerts and see several shows a year. My favorite holiday is Daylight Savings! If you ever need to know how many days are left until Daylight Savings, just ask me as I’ll have a running countdown starting November 6th.

Many thanks to Joelle for her service on the SVALA Board of Directors in various capacities (including President) over the last several years. Her passion for helping (and saving) hundreds of rescue animals as well her commitment to the SVALA is commendable. Her devotion to mimosas isn’t too shabby either. 🙂 


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