Director of Governance, Planning, and Engagement
Heather has over 13 years of experience working in the legal, public, and non-profit sectors. Currently she manages and executes the governance and volunteer functions of the SDCBA, works with Board committees and task forces on moving the strategic framework forward and other organizational planning, and conducts analysis in order to improve the association’s practices, programs and performance.
Before coming to the SDCBA, Heather worked as a Research Associate for First 5 LA, the largest of California’s Proposition 10 Commissions, which oversee the distribution of that revenue source. In this role, Heather worked with a team to conduct research to inform strategies and investments as well as evaluation of First 5 LA’s many initiatives. She also managed the Research Advisory Committee and was instrumental in launching the Children’s Data Network. Prior to her work at First 5 LA, Heather worked as a Case Assistant at Levin, Simes, Kaiser, and Gornick, LLP in asbestos litigation.
Heather has a B.A. in History from San Francisco.
CFO, Director of Finance and Operations
Philip Schneider is an experienced finance and operations professional with a background in management, strategic planning, financial reporting, budgeting and forecasting, internal controls, human resources, information technology, and efficiency improvements.
Schneider has served as the Director of Finance and Operations for the San Diego County Bar Association since 2015, where he directs and manages the accounting, finance, and operations functions of the organization. Before joining the SDCBA, he served as the Vice President of Finance for a consumer products company, where he also led the accounting, finance and operations functions for twelve years. Schneider earned his master’s degree in business administration from the University of California at Irvine and a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University of California at Berkeley.
Director of PublicServicesMichelle Chavez is a program management expert with more than 17 years of customer relations, sales and marketing, and business leadership experience. She is currently employed at the Lawyer Referral Information Service (LRIS), where she serves as the program director managing the day-to-day functions of LRIS programs. She oversees 7 in-house counselors, works with more than 500 attorneys, coordinates all advertising and promotions, and manages the functions of several key programs, including: Fee Arbitration, Client Relations, Attorney Assistance, Modest Means (low-cost family law), Servicemember Civil Relief Act Pro Bono, San Diego County High School Mock Trial Competition, and Law Week Student Poster & Essay Contest.
Chavez previously worked in sales and marketing management, customer relations, and staff training and development. She has been invited to present at many conferences, including the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Bar School, ABA 2012 National Lawyer Referral Workshop, and Real Life Experiences of Using Social Media. She also became a member of the ABA Lawyer Referral & Information Service Leadership Forum (June 2012-January 2013), the National Association of Bar Executives, the Better Business Bureau, and the following Chambers of Commerce: Carlsbad, Escondido, East County, San Diego Regional, San Diego North, and Vista Chamber.
Chavez earned a B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University, and also is a graduate of the University of San Diego’s Lawyer Assistant Program, an ABA-approved graduate level curriculum.
Director of Educational Programs and Events
Sarah Harris has over 14 years of experience in the legal profession, working in operations, project management, compliance and regulations. Harris began working for the San Diego County Bar Association (SDCBA) in 2014, and previously served as the Director of Operations for McCarthy & Holthus LLP, a national mortgage banking law firm focused on representing financial institutions in a variety of matters.
At the SDCBA, Harris oversees and directs all of the Association’s educational programming and events, including Continuing Legal Education, programming for the SDCBA’s 25 law practice sections, Law Practice Management series, and Bar Center Campaign series focusing on tools of the trade and wellness. Harris also provides strategic direction and oversight of the overall success and engagement of the Law Practice Sections, the Forum for Emerging Lawyers, Section & Committee Council, and special projects including the Association’s Diversity Fellowship Program, Strategic Framework Working Group, and its Court Funding Action Committee. Harris earned a B.A. in English Literature from San Diego State University, and an Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies from Cuyamaca College.
Director of Member Services
Andrew has over 10 years of experience serving in a member services capacity for non-profits here in San Diego. Having been with the SDCBA for 2 years, his responsibilities include member retention & recruitment, database management, and sponsor/vendor partnerships. Andrew is fortunate in that his analytical duties help him to see the big picture issues facing the Association as a whole, yet his daily interactions with members allow him to provide individualized assistance.
Prior to working for the SDCBA, Andrew served as Membership & Communication Director for the San Diego Junior Golf Association (SDJGA). In his 8 years with the SDJGA, Andrew was instrumental in executing over 75 golf tournaments annually, including the largest international junior golf tournament in the world, in addition to managing the company website and social media accounts, organizing fundraising campaigns, and developing new tournament opportunities. Andrew also captained numerous travel teams comprised of junior golfers currently playing in the NCAA and PGA and LPGA Tours.
Andrew earned his B.A. from the University of Arizona where he double-majored in Communication and Sociology. He later earned his Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Redlands.