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I am delighted to spotlight another member of the 2016 – 2017 Board of Directors! (We’re almost done with the Board Member spotlights and will need to move on to general members – please let me know if you want to answer a few, painless questions).

Back to Cindy . . . I have long admired Cindy Snook for her professionalism, intelligence, willingness to give back to others as well as her ability to be tough when the situation calls for it. She has successfully managed several local law firms and has several stints of SVALA Board service under her belt. The board appreciates and relies on her leadership and experience.

Cindy and her mom

Cindy and her mom

She not only is a stand-out administrator but also a genuinely nice person who adores her family and is a kick to hang with at conferences or luncheons.

I loved learning about Cindy’s start in the legal community and hope you do too!

Cindy Snook, PHR
Director of Human Resources
Downey Brand
SVALA Board Position: Director at Large

Tell us about your professional life. After graduating from college I worked in a small law firm in my home town of Alturas, California as a legal secretary. That was my first exposure to the legal profession. I was offered a position with the County of Modoc as their Administrator for their Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug programs which I managed for five years before relocating to Sacramento in 1985.

The State Mental Health system had no openings at the time I moved to Sacramento so I applied for a legal secretary position at the largest law firm in Sacramento; Greve, Clifford, Diepenbrock & Paras and was hired on the spot. I quickly advanced up the ladder at that firm and became the assistant to the Administrator and managed their Records Department.  When George Paras decided to leave the firm and do private judging he asked me to go with him and become the Administrator for Grossfeld and Dougherty.

Cindy and her HR team

Cindy and her HR team

That is where my law firm management quest began. I managed several law firms in Sacramento before settling in at Downey Brand, LLP. I went back to school at UC Davis to study for the Professional in Human Resources exam (PHR) and became certified in 2007.  I have been a guest lecturer at American River College for the past seven years in their Paralegal studies program. One of my former partners at Kronick Moskovitz volunteered me to do this a long time ago and they keep asking me to come back and I really enjoy teaching students about the hiring process and how law firms really work!

At my current firm, I am the Director of Human Resources and I oversee the IT, Records, Office Services and staffing and I have been here for two years and this is where I plan to retire.

Cindy with her mom and daugher

Cindy with her mom and daughter

Why did you choose to serve on the SVALA Board? I was always fascinated with ALA as both of my former bosses at Greve Clifford were chapter presidents and I would help them prepare for their meetings, etc. I told myself that one day I would like to be the President! Boy, did I take that task to hand. I have served two terms as President, Past President, Director at Large and President-Elect.

I was appointed Regional Officer of ALA in 2012, where I served two terms. I love the people in our organization and every time I talk to one of my colleagues I always learn something fascinating about their firms and/or their leadership skills. We have such a talented group.

Tell us something about your personal life/passion. Well, let’s see….. I’m married to a local doctor who specializes in taking care of those patients who live in chronic pain and he was recently elected Speaker of the California Medical Association. Together we have a blended family of six (yes I said six) children. Around Mother’s Day we will be blessed with our first grandchild so I’m going to assume that will become my next passion in life. I can’t wait!

Cindy and her husband, Lee

Cindy and her husband, Lee

I also serve on another Board as Secretary to the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of health in our community through education, funding and volunteer support. I love spending time with my family and traveling with my husband when we get the opportunity to take a breather.

Many thanks to Cindy for taking the time to tell us about her career path and why she has chosen to serve on the SVALA Board of Directors. She told herself she would be the President of the SVALA and far surpassed that goal. She is clearly a force!

Also, in case you missed it, please check out the most recent Business Partner Spotlight of Sierra Office Supplies and Printing!

Trish