Ona Alston Dosunmu
Ona Alston Dosunmu is the Executive Director of the California Lawyers Association (CLA). A recognized leader in the legal profession, Ona joined CLA with deep expertise in non-profit governance and operations. Her legal experience includes stints in both private law firms and in-house. Most recently, Ona held a number of positions at the Brookings Institution, where she was Vice President and General Counsel and served as Interim COO. As Executive Director of CLA, she is focused on supporting the Sections, serving members and fulfilling CLA’s mission by building the organization’s financial, technical and human capacity. Ona is particularly passionate about creating an organizational culture of trust, transparency, positivity and respect. In addition to the “basics” of running the organization, she is excited to build a new brand and to build relationships and partnerships with external stakeholders and constituencies.
Ona earned her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master‘s degree in sociology from Howard University. She has served on numerous legal and nonprofit boards, including the Children’s Law Center and the Corporate Pro Bono advisory board as well as two terms on the global governing board of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC). She also chaired ACC’s board-level Advocacy Committee and was elected Chair of ACC’s national Nonprofit Organizations Committee.
Ona is a wife and the proud mom of twins: son, Taiwo and daughter, Kehinde. When she is not in the office or traveling for work, she enjoys biking, reading and swimming.
Director of Marketing and Membership
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.
Director of 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.
Section Coordinator for Litigation, LPMT, and Workers’ Compensation
John started his career as the PAC Membership Coordinator at the CA Medical Association, worked as the Membership Coordinator and Database Administrator for the CA Peace Officers Association, and served as a Fellow with the CA State Senate. With these experiences under his belt, he has extensive association management insights that has proven invaluable to CLA. On top of all of these roles, he is also a former Sergeant in the Marine Corps. John came to CLA from the CA District Attorneys Association where he served for 5 years working as a Training Consultant. He has been part of three separate Association Management System conversions, and he is looking forward to working with the CLA team on this project that will enhance the member experience and streamline staff workflows. In his free time, John can be found running on the trails in Auburn or kayaking on the lakes.
Section Coordinator for Business Law, Intellectual Property, and Solo and Small Firm
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.
Administrative Assistant for Litigation, LPMT, 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.
Section Coordinator for Criminal Law, Environmental Law, and CYLA
Prior to CLA, Julia was an Analyst at Bickmore, an organization that administers self-insurance pools and focuses on risk management, where she worked both with Program Administration and the Litigation team. Julia brings her experience working with diverse individuals in a fast-paced and demanding industry to CLA. She is excited to bring her fresh and new ideas to CLA and continues to grow and mold THE Bar Association of California. Outside of work, Julia enjoys crossing items off her traveling bucket list, listening to live music, and being a dedicated dog mom!
Membership Registration Clerk
Ariana’s first experience with lawyers was in high school when she participated in the inaugural graduating class of C.K. McClatchy’s Law and Public Policy Academy. Through this program she spent three years engaging in mock trials, internships, and mentorships that helped give her a better sense of the professional legal world. Before joining the team at CLA, Ariana worked as a Theatre Host at a movie theatre, and then as an Administrative Assistant at a local acupuncture office. It was there that she sharpened her customer service skills and her ability to work effectively in any type of environment. She hopes to utilize all of these skills to provide CLA members with the best experience possible. In her spare time Ariana enjoys spending time with her family and dogs, watching the latest Marvel movie, or exploring the thriving Sacramento restaurant scene.
Administrative Assistant for Labor and Employment Law and the Taxation Section
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.
Section Coordinator for Labor and Employment Law and the Taxation Section
In addition to being a Section Coordinator, she is a supporting colleague to the Meeting and Event Planner for the CLA Annual Meeting. Nicole is an experienced Event Planner with seven years under her belt. She has found success in all outlets of events, from social events to non-profits and associations. It is her goal to become a leader in the events industry by developing the tactical skills and knowledge to be an Event Strategist. In the office, you will find Nicole investing her time through collaboration with stakeholders, researching strategies for meetings and programs, and testing innovative ideas. Outside of the office, you can find Nicole on the weekends doing one or more of the following: visiting family & friends, gardening, hiking, hunting, fishing, archery, working out, and even dirt-biking. One fun fact about Nicole is that she is currently engaged and plans to get married in the summer of 2020 in the mountains!
Administrative Assistant for Business Law, Intellectual Property, and Solo and Small Firm
A Sacramento native through and through, she also has a deep appreciation for the Pacific Northwest, where she received her bachelor’s degree. Her education in Marketing and Business Management allows her to anticipate and provide the support and services the CLA constituents need and deserve. She is an experienced administrator with a demonstrated history in the retirement plan industry. She brings to the table a well-rounded, novice understanding of event planning and execution with years of experience in the foodservice industry. In her free time, you will find Lauren at the local farmers market with yellow flowers in hand, attempting to befriend a nearby dog.
Prior to CLA, Brian was a Web Content Producer for the Sierra Club and an Interactive Media Specialist for Saint Mary’s College. These prior positions have given him valuable insights to blog writing, copy editing, and creating effective marketing campaigns. Brian is a firm believer in educating yourself and that is why you can find him taking refresher courses about PHP, programming languages, and back-end web development to keep up-to-date with current trends. Outside of work, Brian enjoys playing the ukulele, stargazing, watching soccer, and spending time with his family.
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.
Administrative Assistant International Law, Public Law, and Real Property
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.
A linguist-turned-marketer, Jennifer started her career in the fresh produce industry where she brought together design, storytelling and targeted messaging to create effective and useful content. With her talent and passion for building marketing initiatives from the ground up, she is thrilled to be sharing the stories of CLA, the Sections and CYLA. In her free time, she travels every chance she gets. Whether it’s a weekend trip to Boise or an extended trip to Japan, it’s probably on her calendar.
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.
Associate Executive Director
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.
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.
Administrative Assistant for Antitrust, UCL, and Privacy, Family Law, and Trusts and Estates Section
Victoria made the move to Sacramento from the heart of one of California’s agricultural counties. As the daughter of a farmer, she was instilled with the importance of hard work and a job well done. She has experience in customer service and administrative assistance in several different of industries. This experience gives her the ability to provide the necessary support and assistance to the volunteers and members of CLA. On the weekends, you can usually find her spending time with family and friends. She enjoys a good book, dancing, and just about anything related to the Arts.
Web Development Manager
Prior to joining CLA, Kevin was a Support Engineer and Team Lead at Automattic where he oversaw 13 support engineers who provided technical support to the users of the WordPress.com website and blogging platform. A jack of all trades, Kevin has also worked in finance roles and spent ten years in the military. With his experience working in the technology, finance, and customer support fields, he is an expert at bridging the gap between IT and end users. Outside of work, Kevin spends his free time chasing his three sons and getting lost in the mountains.
Director of Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives
Ellen is responsible for CLA’s Access to Justice, Civics Engagement and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives, CLA’s Bar Relations function and involved in several association development projects. Prior to joining CLA, she was the Executive Director/CEO of the San Diego County Bar Association (SDCBA) where she oversaw the implementation of a myriad of programs, initiatives, innovations and services to support the Association’s 10,000+ members. Before joining the SDCBA, Ellen served as Section Director of the American Bar Association’s Section of Dispute Resolution in Washington D.C. A trained mediator and facilitator, Ellen has a passion for facilitating strategic plans for regional bars and CLA sections. Also a volunteer, she serves on the the Board of the National Association of Bar Executives (NABE) where she will become president in 2021 and locally on the Board of the Crawford Law Academy and Foundation. In her spare time, she loves to cook, golf with her husband, read Feng Shui books and support her daughter’s love of the performing arts. She is thrilled to be part of CLA and helping to build an association for today’s lawyers.
Jennifer directly supports the Executive Director, Ona Dosunmu. 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.
Membership Registration Clerk
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.
Administrative Assistant for Criminal Law, Environmental Law, and CYLA
With a background in nonprofits and public policy, Mary has worked with and for a multitude of communities in the Bay Area and Sacramento region. She is beyond enthused to be working with the talented team of staff and members at the CLA! Outside of work, Mary enjoys cooking delicious meals for herself and her friends, designing and reconstructing vintage clothes, and spending time with her sassy dog!
Operations, Training & Development Manager
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.
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.
Meeting and Event Planner
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.
Section Coordinator for International Law, Public Law, and Real Property
Nikki joined CLA after making the big move from the East Coast to Sacramento. Nikki is an experienced Event Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the pharmaceuticals industry. She brings her skills in Venue Relations, Hotel Management, Hospitality, and Event Management to CLA. When Nikki is not organizing amazing educational programs for her sections, she boosters the morale of the CLA staff by planning fun events and competitions alongside the internal Social Planning Committee. Outside of work, it is easy to catch her at one of her favorite wineries, hot yoga class, or a live concert on a Saturday night! Her other interests include horror movies, thrilling suspenseful novels, and murder mysteries with a touch of the paranormal. In another life, she aspires to be a rock star.
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. She hopes to one day see the Northern Lights in person.