OCWLA Logo Orange County Women
 Lawyers Association
For Women Lawyers and Those Who Support Their Advancement

Member Committees

Membership Committee

Chairs: Shelly Aronson & Gina Cervino
Committee Members: Sheila-Marie Finkelstein, Abby Meyer, Sarah Nowels, Kelly Galigan

The Membership Committee is responsible for raising awareness about the OCWLA and its mission, attracting new members, retaining existing members, and helping members engage with OCWLA.

    • New Member Recruitment Subcommittee (includes outreach to in-house counsel, law students, etc.)
      Responsible for recruiting new members to the OCWLA and organizing specific targeted outreach to engage segments of the legal community that are underrepresented in the OCWLA membership.
    • Member Engagement Subcommittee: (includes past presidents, mentorship program, and creative games/activities to engage existing members in outreach)
      Responsible for intentionally engaging existing members in the mission and activities of the OCWLA, soliciting feedback from its members on an ongoing basis and developing guidelines and overseeing the process for the mentorship program. This includes soliciting and evaluating nominations for Everyday Hero monthly meeting award and Bar stipend recipients for Board approval.
    • Communications Subcommittee
      Responsible for keeping OCWLA website content updated and relevant; developing online membership directory for purposes of facilitating referrals for its members; providing guidance regarding emails sent by OCWLA to members; establishing clear guidelines for OCWLA list serve; and engaging members via social media platforms including disseminating information regarding upcoming events.

Events Committee – Fundraisers

Chair: Jaimi Groothuis
The Events Committee shall be responsible for organizing events which furthers the mission of OCWLA, raises funds for OCWLA, and develops meaningful professional connections.  Events include Mardi Gras, Gala the Holiday Dinner and mixers/socials. and 

  • Awards Subcommittee
    Chair: Betty Fracisco

    Responsible for soliciting and evaluating nominations for awards related to these events (i.e. Attorney of the Year, Judge of the Year, President’s Award, etc.)
  • Annual Gala Subcommittee
    Jaimi Groothuis
    • Gala Sponsorship Subcommittee
      Committee Members: Kelly Galligan, Carolina Gomez, Shelly Aronson, Dana Heyde, Corrie Plant
    • Silent Auction Subcommittee
      Chairs: Sarah Nowels and Sheila-Marie Finkelstein
  • Mardi Gras Subcommittee
    Jaimi Groothuis
  • Holiday Celebration and Installation Dinner
    Jaimi Groothuis

Programs Committee – Luncheons

Chair: Michelle Philo
Committee Members: Janice Ramsay, Dana Heyde

The Program Committee shall be responsible for arranging all programs for the education of the membership with the approval of the Board.

    • Sponsorship Subcommittee
      All board members

      Responsible for procuring sponsors and vendor partners for programs.

Philanthropy Committee

Chair: Dana Heyde
Committee Members: Michelle Philo, Gina Cervino, Carolina Gomez, Corrie Plant

The Philanthropy Committee shall be responsible for developing criteria by which OCWLA will evaluate requests for charitable involvement and partnerships and create a structure for how our membership can get involved and engaged in OCWLA’s philanthropic activities. It would also be responsible for recommending to the Board opportunities for OCWLA charitable involvement.

  • Make recommendations to the board regarding philanthropic giving. OCWLA aims to keep at least 50% of its annual operating budget in the bank account at fiscal year end. The remainder may be, but is not required to be, used for philanthropic giving.
  • Partner with worthy philanthropic organizations or non-profits in effort to build consistency over the years, and possibly even a sponsorship over time, to give back, but also to get our name out.
  • Seek out worthy philanthropic activities for our members to participate in, which gives back and/or serves our community.
  • Facilitate the collection and disbursement of any donations of money and other items.
  • Grant Subcommittee
    Chairs: Michelle Philo and Sarah Nowels
    Responsible for soliciting and evaluating applications for grants related to charitable giving.

Finance Committee

Chair: Sarah Nowels
Committee Member: Sheila-Marie Finkelstein

The Finance Committee shall be responsible for finance-related matters.

California Women Lawyers

Chairs: Michelle Philo, Betty Fracisco and Shelly Aronson
Represent OCWLA at CWL events and perform duties as liaison to the organization.

Law Student Outreach and Services

Represent OCWLA at student outreach events and perform duties as liaison to law students.

  • Bar and Diversity Stipends
    Chair: Betty Fracisco

    Committee Member: Dana Heyde, Carolina Gomez
    Responsible for soliciting and evaluating nominations for awards related to Bar And Diversity Stipends.
  • Student Representatives and Mentorship Programs
    Chairs: Abby Meyer and Gina Cervino
    Represent OCWLA at student outreach events and perform duties as liaison to law students.
  • Student Events Subcommittee
    Chairs: Sarah Nowels and Michelle Philo
    Organize events for law students and members of the OCWLA.


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