Meet the CLA Team

Baath, Tej
Tej Baath
Associate Executive Director,
Marketing, Membership, and Technology

Tej’s experience working with a large not-for-profit member-based organization as well as several e-commerce retailers brings a fresh new perspective to the California Lawyers Association. He has a strong background in marketing, particularly digital marketing, and a passion for brand building and online sales. Tej is excited to transform the CLA member experience as he spearheads major strategic shifts in CLA’s marketing approach. In his free time, you will likely find him spending time with his family and friends.

Bercovitch, Saul
Saul Bercovitch
Associate Executive Director,
Governmental Affairs

Saul oversees the advocacy efforts and governmental relations. Before joining CLA in February 2018, shortly after CLA was established, Saul worked for the State Bar of California for 16 years as Legislative Counsel and as an attorney in the Office of General Counsel. Prior to the State Bar, he worked for three years as a Principal Legislative Analyst with the University of California, Office of the President. He started his legal career practicing civil litigation for 13 years at two large law firms in San Francisco. Saul’s pastimes include traveling, growing tomatoes, and perfecting his barbecuing skills.

Buelter, John
John Buelter
Senior Section Manager for Business Law

John has been a Section Coordinator staffing the Business Law, Intellectual Property Law, Solo and Small Firm, and Trusts and Estates Sections with both the CLA and The State Bar of California since 2012. He finds advocating for his Sections’ hardworking volunteers highly rewarding. Prior to becoming a Coordinator, John was a Senior Analyst in The State Bar Finance Department, where he performed accounting functions, analyzed budget data, and helped create budgetary policies, procedures and guidelines. Before moving to California in 2006, John honed his project management and financial experience in several positions at Dell in Austin, Texas. Outside of work, John enjoys working in his garden, traveling, and enjoying all the amazing food and wine the great state of California has to offer.


Butler, Camren
Camren Butler
Section Manager for Trusts and Estates, Privacy Law, and Workers’ Compensation

Prior to CLA, Camren began his career working in customer service and hospitality. He eventually became a Specialist at A.I.M. & Associates in Auburn, CA, where he helped developmentally disabled adults learn life skills and achieve time sensitive goals. Camren brings strong communication and organizational skills, dependability, reliability and excellent client service orientation to CLA. Outside of work, you can find Camren trying to squeeze the most out of life with endless new adventures, trying to escape the most difficult of escape rooms, binge-watching any binge-worthy show on Netflix or bonding with his friends and family over the great variety of food and drink Sacramento has to offer.

Creswell, Tiffany
Tiffany Creswell
Section Manager for Labor and Employment Law and Taxation

With 20 years experience working for litigation support services, Tiffany made the move to CLA during their debut year and has enjoyed all the challenges that have come with it. Prior to CLA, Tiffany was the office manager at Professional Legal Services where she guided employees to reach their full working potential. Tiffany is enjoying an empty nest and can be found reading on her kindle, diving into worlds of fantasy and dark tales of otherworldly creatures.

Cynthia DeOliver
Meeting and Events Manager

From event and association management with the California Bankers Association to consulting for smaller associations and association management firms, Cynthia has a diverse range of experience. At CLA, she aims to manage and operate creative, efficient, and well-run events, meetings, and conferences by collaborating and providing purposeful support to our members, leaders, and team. 

She received her CMP in 2017 from the Events Industry Council and in 2018/2019 accepted the Meeting Professional of the Year Award and recognition from her peers at the MPI Sacramento/Sierra-Nevada (MPISSN) Chapter. She served on the MPISSN Board as their Director of Education from 2017 to 2020. Currently, she is member of ASAE, CalSAE and keeps an eye on trends with the Independent Meeting Professionals of Sacramento (IMPS).

In her off hours, Cynthia enjoys time with family, friends, and her dog Copper.


Olga Diaz
Associate Executive Director of Inclusion, Outreach, and Strategic Initiatives

Olga has worked in public accounting, data analysis and research, higher education and local government. She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting, a Master’s degree in Public Administration and is completing a doctoral program.

Her passions include advocacy for social justice, community engagement, the environment, housing affordability, mental health services, education, and government transparency.

For fun, Olga loves hiking, cooking, action films and visiting public libraries. She is married to a retired police lieutenant turned best-selling crime fiction author. They have four grown children, two Labradors and two tortoises.

Angela Fleming
Angela Fleming
Member Services Specialist

Angela is a Member Services Specialist at the California Lawyers Association with a detail-oriented approach to data entry and office administration. Persistent and thoughtful in her actions, she believes that hard work combined with the law of attraction is the type of mindset it takes to achieve her professional and personal goals. When she isn’t working, you can find her studying or enjoying free time at Midtown eateries and spin class.

Foley, Brian
Brian Foley
Web Administrator

Prior to CLA, Brian was a Web Content Producer for the Sierra Club, an Interactive Media Specialist for Saint Mary’s College, and a newspaper reporter. He attended journalism school at Michigan State University. His experience includes writing, editing, managing social media channels, and launching online marketing campaigns. Outside of work, Brian enjoys playing the ukulele, watching sports, and camping with his kids.


Mike Fury
IT Director

Mike previously served as a technology leader in K12 education in northern California for over 20 years. His expertise is supporting digital learning, infrastructure, data systems, IT Service Management, and aligning IT with organizational strategy. He brings to California Lawyers Association a broad perspective being a current and former small business owner, with prior experience in retail, food service, construction, manufacturing support, and software development. He holds several professional certifications and was a mentor in a CTO leadership development program for 12 years. Mike enjoys the outdoors, traveling, music, guitar, home improvement, time with friends, family, and being a dad.

Linda Geery
Linda Geery
CFO

As a shareholder at Gilbert CPAs, Linda is the shareholder-in-charge of the firms accounting services and tax departments. She brings with her 20 years experience working in public accounting, with a strong background in NPO matters. She enjoys the challenges and opportunities that come with working with a variety of clients and enthusiastically brings those experiences to her daily work. On a sunny day, you will typically find her working in her yard or on the American River bike trail.

Hetzler, Mycah
Mycah Hetzler
Section Manager for Intellectual Property Law, International Law and Immigration, and Public Law

Mycah is the Administrative Assistant for the Real Property, Public Law, and International Law Sections for the CLA. Prior to CLA, Mycah worked as a Project Manager at a written translation company located in Davis, California. She has a BA in Russian Studies and continues to utilize her language skills in her work with the International Law Section. Outside of work, Mycah enjoys reading, writing, and spending time out on the Sacramento River.


Jennifer Ho
Jennifer Ho
Senior Marketing Coordinator

A linguist-turned-marketer, Jennifer enjoys building marketing initiatives from the ground up. Merging data-driven strategy and creative design to develop impactful & targeted campaigns, she is focused on sharing the stories of CLA, the Sections, and the Foundation. In her free time, she travels every chance she gets. Whether it’s a quick weekend trip or an extended getaway abroad, it’s probably on her calendar.

Hollingsworth, Brianna
Brianna Hollingsworth
Administrative and Committees Manager

Prior to CLA, Brianna worked as an Events Coordinator with the California Head Start Association, where she assisted with multiple annual meetings, supported board members and built a complete marketing and communications plan for the association. She brings to CLA over 5 years of experience in events, marketing, and upper level administrative support, as well as degrees in both business marketing and psychology. Her background includes working with C-Level executives and high-level management in both corporate and not-for-profit environments. Having visited 10 countries in the last two years, Brianna enjoys traveling internationally and hopes to expand her travels as often as possible.

Horan, Tricia
Tricia Horan
Associate Executive Director,
Chief Operations Officer

Tricia is charged with leadership management of the overall work of the Association and with oversight of all operations, including daily financial and operational activities of the Association staff. Prior to CLA, Tricia worked at the State Bar of California for 28 years, serving in her most recent role as the Director of Operations in the Office of Education. Tricia has two children who both play college lacrosse and she and her husband enjoy traveling around the country to watch them play.


Kenison, Joanne
Joanne Kenison
Human Resources Manager

Joanne has over two decades of human resource management experience ranging from talent management to strategic human resource planning and organizational consulting. Prior to launching her career at the CLA, Joanne held several corporate HR leadership positions in insurance, healthcare and professional services organizations. Joanne’s professional passion is providing HR solutions by building HR infrastructure through people, compliance and technology. As a result, she is super excited to be part of creating the organizational culture necessary to support the long-term success of the CLA. Outside of work, Joanne enjoys spending time with her husband and two teenage children – hiking, cycling, working out at the gym, and traveling. Joanne also enjoys mentoring recent college grads on career exploration where she shares her knowledge and passion for HR.

Sheila Johnston
Associate Executive Director of Communications

Sheila Johnston, a Kindness Driven Communications Executive, has spent the last decade of her career elevating communications for the associations she has served.   Sheila’s foundation is a mix of creativity and a lot of strategy; she designs communication strategies that utilize the latest trends  – digital marketing, strategic rebranding. Simply put, no tool is off the table for Sheila when it comes to communications.  

An eternal optimist continually immersed in creative experiences, Sheila produces content designed to deliver fresh impressions and a brand that stakeholders find conversational, fun, and unique. 

Appreciating challenges, Sheila’s teammates find her “WILL DO” attitude exists both professionally and personally.  In her personal life, Sheila will run towards challenges.  About two years ago, Sheila found herself on a forced rest period from running. Feeling fearful for those around her that a shortage of endorphins would be bad for all, Sheila finally decided to learn how to become a lap swimmer even though she was terrified of the water.  A few deep breaths and a month later, Sheila is one of the well-known lap swimmers at her local pool.

Also an avid piano player, Sheila noticed one night that her famous beagle, “The Duke of Southport,” was extra curious when she was practicing piano. Playing up his interest, she taught him how to play piano on command – this took some treats and praise, but everyone agrees that it was worth it.  Duke now has many opinions about classical pianists, just like Sheila, and is often asked to play a birthday tune or two for his friends. 

In her spare time, you’ll find Sheila traveling lesser travelled roads with her husband, and of course Duke! On any given day, Sheila will reach out to those that cross her mind – an old friend, new friend, family member, or even text the pet parent of a friend of Duke’s. Sheila loves reminding others that they matter and that she cares.

Sheila holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from California State University, Stanislaus, and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration from Sacramento State University. She served as a Leon Panetta Fellow, Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellow, and is a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Leadership Management program. She has worked in the California State Legislature, various statewide budget offices and in the House of Representatives.   Her executive experience in associations include The California Society for Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery, NAIOP Silicon Valley, Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, the California Pharmacists Association and the Association of California Healthcare Districts.

Kaylie Lewis
Kaylie Lewis
Web Specialist

Equipped with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Public Relations from Chico State, Kaylie specializes in working with clients in media relations and content creation. Her background ranges from reporting news for a small newspaper to managing web applications for various organizations. These skills have proven invaluable, bringing an innovative perspective to CLA. After work, you can find Kaylie at the park with her Standard Poodle or cooking a new recipe in the kitchen.


Shannon Mullin
Section Manager for Solo & Small Firm and Law Practice Management & Technology

Shannon’s experience working with a large marketing organization as well as a non-profit, brings a fresh perspective to the California Lawyers Association. She also has an extensive background in managing volunteers and events, which has contributed to her strong communication and organizational skills and excellent client service/administrative support. In her free time, you will likely find her spending time on her pontoon boat with her family and friends drinking a seltzer or on the couch watching Dateline.

Duane Nason
Duane Nason
Lead Web Developer

With over 20 years of experience in web development, Duane brings a wide range of skills and experience, and will be working on many of CLA’s web-related aspects in an effort to provide additional value to our members. Outside of work, Duane enjoys the outdoors and taking a shot at most recipes he sees on TikTok.

Navarro, Jennifer
Jennifer Navarro
Board Manager

Jennifer directly supports the Executive Director. Prior to CLA, she was a seasoned public servant with the City of San Jose working for a variety of elected officials in various capacities such as Executive Assistant/Communications Specialist, Deputy Chief of Staff, Policy Analyst and Intern. Jennifer worked on a range of policy issues directly impacting the community such as public safety, education, transportation, economic development and land use. Now as an Executive Coordinator, Jennifer brings her writing, organizational, and people skills to the table by maximizing the Executive Director’s daily schedule and serving as a staff liaison to the Officers and Board of Representatives. Outside of work, Jennifer is a proud pee wee soccer mom and enjoys spending time with her family, especially watching/re-watching Disney movies with her three girls.


Elledge, Lauren
Lauren Oakley
Initiatives Manager

This Sacramento native has 5+ years of experience in the food service industry as well as 2+ years working in the retirement plan industry before joining the CLA team.  With an education in Marketing and Business Management from Linfield College, Lauren takes on a detail-oriented approach with an eye for efficiency.  She has risen through the CLA ranks from the role of Administrative Assistant working with the Sections of CLA, to Initiatives Manager.  When away from the office, you will find Lauren at one of the local farmers markets, yellow flowers in hand, attempting to befriend a nearby dog.

Matt Overton
Matt Overton
Sponsorship & Development Manager

Matt is responsible for building corporate sponsorships and non-dues revenue opportunities. He has nearly a decade of experience in the non-profit marketing & corporate partnership field, most recently serving as Director of Business Development for the California Medical Association. Prior to CMA, Matt spent 6 years as Director of Membership & Corporate Development with the California Pharmacists Association. Matt is always looking for innovative approaches to draw sponsorship interest and revenue, and excels at connecting associations with outside organizations. In his free time, Matt enjoys spending time with his daughters and traveling. He’s also a baseball devotee, and a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).

Nicole Peeler
Nicole Peeler
Associate Section Manager for Family Law

Prior to CLA, Nicole worked at Andy’s Candy Apothecary and at a personal training gym as an Admin Assistant. She looks forward to combining her customer service experience and organizational skills from both jobs to help CLA members with anything they might need. Outside of work, you can find her hiking, reading a good book, or spending time with family and friends.


Pierce, Beth
Beth Pierce
Senior Section Manager for Real Property Law and New Lawyers Section

Beth has been embedded in events for the past 7 years and brings proven tactics as well as unique ideas to CLA’s event. Full of positivity and energy, Beth is passionate about creating unforgettable experiences for CLA members. The fun never stops whether it is securing a local comedian or a live band for an evening event. In Beth’s free time, she loves to exercise, hike outdoors and travel away for a long weekend. Beth is very well-versed in the Sacramento Community and loves to contribute any way she can.

Kristina
Kristina Robledo
Senior Community Services Manager for LMPT, Solo and Small Firm

With 13 years of experience in the State Bar of California, Kristina has climbed the ladder, starting as an Administrative Assistant and rising up the ranks to Executive Senior Administrator then to Section Coordinator. Her valuable skills in customer service, management, and administration of policies contribute greatly to her current position. In the office, she is extremely supportive of her team and is readily available to work on creative solutions to any problems that may arise. Outside of work, Kristina can found relaxing anywhere from her couch to the beach, where she is likely suntanning with a cocktail in hand.

Rodgers, Dimisha
Dimisha Rodgers
Member Services Manager

Armed with a Business Degree from Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Finland and a strong background in Marketing and Organizational Management, Dimisha brings valuable insight and nuances to CLA. Dimisha started out as a Marketing Assistant and slowly made her way to Field Coordinator. Through these past experiences, Dimisha found her interest in working more hands on within operations. Her strong leadership and organizational tools allow her to share the values of a Lean organization with the Registration Department. She strives to provide the best customer experience for CLA members. On her free time, Dimisha enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and biking while spending quality time with her small family.


Oyango Snell
Oyango A. Snell
CEO & Executive Director

Oyango A. Snell is the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Executive Director of the California Lawyers Association. Snell comes to CLA from the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) where he served as the organization’s first in-house general counsel in its 114-year history. Holding previous positions representing national, regional, and statewide associations, Snell brings significant association management and government relations experience to CLA at a time when the voluntary bar association is looking to grow its membership and increase engagement with the three branches of state government.

Snell, since March 2017, has served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary at WSPA, a nonprofit business association organized similarly to CLA and based in Sacramento. Among his many achievements, he created a first-in-class in-house legal advocacy and human resources program, provided legal advocacy for monumental climate policy initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and created a leadership initiative for women in the oil and natural gas industry.

Previously, Snell served as the chief legislative and regulatory counsel for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) in Washington, D.C., from January 2012 to March 2017. From August 2009 to December 2011, he was a solo practitioner in Columbus, Ohio, providing legal counsel and regulatory advocacy to various business groups.

Snell is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) credentialed by the American Society of Association Executives and he earned his Juris Doctor (JD) from The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law. He also holds a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio.

Celeste Tamayo
Member Service Specialist

Celeste Tamayo is a Member Service Specialist at the California Lawyers Association with many years of HR administrative experience in her background. With her team player and go getter attitude she plans on attacking all her goals and aspirations one by one. She loves to stay in a positive mindset and believes that with the combination of hard work and law of attraction, she will achieve the successful lifestyle that she desires to have one day. She wants nothing more than to make her mom proud of the woman she has become and is becoming. Outside of work you will find her at her kickboxing class or at home painting and drinking wine. She adores her Mexican culture and loves to spend time with her family and friends dancing her life away. Celeste plans on utilizing all her data entry, detail oriented, customer service, and administrative expertise to make the registration team a great one. 

Joyce Tao
Web Administrator

Joyce is a member of the web team, focused on updating the website to maintain relevant information and increase user-friendliness for CLA members. A strong believer in the power of positive thinking in the workspace, she strives to create an approachable work environment and close relationships with her co-workers. Joyce enjoys a good board game night with her closest friends but can also be found exploring the streets of San Francisco.


Gladys Puente Valentine
Section Manager for Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section and Family Law Section

Gladys Puente Valentine has over 10 years of experience managing the budget, programs, projects, committee’s, grants, contracts, and legal services provided at non-profits and community colleges. Prior to CLA, Gladys was the Coordinator for the Undocumented and International Student Center at Sierra College and the Coordinator for CRLA Foundation and the City of Sacramento’s immigration legal services network. With a proven record of building exemplary programs from the ground up, Gladys brings this experience to CLA and looks forward to supporting the amazing volunteer attorneys in her sections. On her free time, she enjoys going on foodie adventures with her husband, cycling and kayaking at Folsom Lake, and spending time with her familia.  

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