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About Us

The application period for the search for the new Executive Director has closed. See below for information on the search committee.



 Yahairah Aristy, Chair

Yahairah serves as the 2020-2021 President of Lawyers Club. In 2019-2020 she served as the vice president of the Community Relations section. Previously Yahairah served as the Affiliate Governor for the board of directors for the California Women Lawyer organization, and previously co-chaired the Diverse Women, Membership Development and Law Student Outreach committees.

Yahairah has been a Deputy Public Defender in the San Diego County Public Defender’s Office since 2005, where she handles a wide array of adult felony cases ranging from murder to theft. Her practice entails representing individuals from all walks of life from arraignment to jury trial. Yahairah served as the 2019 President of the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Foundation. Yahairah was a founding member of the revival of the National Women Political Caucus – San Diego Chapter and served as vice president and chair for Political Action Committee.
 

 Nadia P. Bermudez, Search Committee Member 

Nadia was elected to the serve on the Lawyers Club Board in 2005 and elected President in 2008.  In 2007, she served as the Annual Dinner Co-Chair, which marked the organization's historic return to the U.S. Grant Hotel.  After her presidency, she continued to serve Lawyers Club and co-chaired the Diverse Women's Committee in 2013-2014. In 2017, Nadia was honored with the Lawyers Club Belva Lockwood Award. 

Nadia is employment and business litigation attorney with Klinedinst PC. In 2019, she received the San Diego Business Journal’s Leader in the Law Award adding to her many awards throughout the years. Also in 2019, Nadia was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to serve on the Regional Judicial Selection Advisory Committee for the evaluation of judicial applicants, and was also selected to serve as Chair of the Merit Selection Panel for the Southern District Court of California.

 

George W. Brewster, Jr., Search Committee Member

George has been a member of LC for over 30 years, the third male member of the Board of Directors, and the only male member to have been elected to two separate terms on the Board. He has been involved in many different committees over the years, but in particular the History and Archives Committee; he co-edited the club's 40th Anniversary Book and video, and is currently co-chair of the 50th Anniversary committee and serves on the Advisory Board.

Mr. Brewster is a Southern California native, and obtained his undergraduate degree (Journalism/News-Ed), law degree and Masters in Communications from Drake University.  He was a trial lawyer for County Counsel for 30 years, the last five as a Chief Deputy overseeing the Public Safety Group. He retired from practice in 2018 and is enjoying his time with his wife and four grown kids.
 

Elvira Cortez, Search Committee Member

Elvira has been a Lawyers Club member since 2012. She co-chaired the Diverse Women’s and Annual Dinner committees, setting new heights on both. She served as president in 2019-2020. 

Elvira is an associate at Wilson Turner Kosmo, the largest certified women-owned law firm in San Diego, and one of the largest in California.  Elvira is a member of the firm’s Business Litigation and Employment Law groups. She has represented businesses from a wide range of industry sectors in both state and federal court. She focuses her practice on defending against claims of discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination and advising clients on other employment-related matters. Elvira is an alum of the Louis M. Welsh American Inns of Court. In 2020, Elvira was selected as Ones to Watch by The Best Lawyers in America, and was named in the San Diego Business Journal’s Best of the Bar multiple times.

 

Tina Dyer, Search Committee Member

Tina served on the Lawyers Club Board as Program Committee Co-Chair. She served as Lawyers Club President in 1986-1987. During her presidency Lawyers Club began the tradition of the Annual Dinner and honoring one Lawyers Club member with the Belva Lockwood Award. Tina chairs the Bradley Bunch Committee for Lawyers Club retirees.

During her career Tina specialized in education law and represented over 80 school and community college districts for over 30 years. For fifteen years, Tina was General Counsel for the San Diego Unified School District. She chaired Schools Commission for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and was a member of the Accrediting Commission for Junior and Community Colleges. Since she retired, she has served on the Board of the San Diego Youth Symphony, served as President of the La Jolla Playhouse Partners, docent for the San Diego Downtown Library among other volunteer activities. 
 

Patricia Hollenbeck, Search Committee Member

Patricia joined Lawyers Club seeking to become more involved in her community. After having lunch with the then Executive Director, Joan Friedenberg, her Lawyers Club journey began and ultimately led to her election as the 2014-2015 president of Lawyers Cub. 

Patricia is a partner at Duane Morris LLP. She practices in the area of commercial and business litigation in state and federal courts. Within Duane Morris, she received the Cheryl Blackwell Bryson Leadership Award, which recognizes significant contributions to women in the profession. Patricia is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, listed in San Diego Super Lawyers since 2011, and named to the Top 50 Lawyer and Top 25 Women lists multiple times. She is a Master in the Welsh Inn of Court, an instructor for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, and is a Director of the San Diego Inn of Court trial-training program. 
 

Tracy L. Schimelfenig, Search Committee Member

Tracy has been an active Lawyers Club member since 2007.  She served on the Board from 2017-2020, was the 2019-2020 Vice President of Finance & Fundraising, Treasurer from 2018-2020 and Assistant Treasurer for 2017-2018.  She currently co-chairs the prestigious Judicial Appointments Endorsements Committee.  Tracy co-chaired the Annual Dinner in 2018, with keynote speaker the Hon. Loretta Lynch, and along with fellow co-chair Elvira Cortez brought in record breaking fundraising for the dinner.

Tracy is an attorney with California Business Law Group. She is a strong advocate for her clients in negotiations, mediation, or in the courtroom and is known for her sound judgment and counsel.  Tracy often represents small to medium sized businesses and individuals in complex business, intellectual property and trusts and estates disputes. Tracy also represents clients in transactional business matters, including serving as outside general counsel for businesses and non-profits.

 

Elaine Lawrence, Search Committee Member - Ex-Officio

Since 2011, Elaine has dedicated her life to the well-being and growth of Lawyers Club. During her tenure as Executive Director, Elaine has solidified the organization’s day to day operations. She has fortified Lawyers Club’s fiscal position by nurturing relationships with sponsors and members. She has strengthened the Board, staff and leadership providing steady, insightful and dynamic guidance. She has been called upon to share her wisdom with other executive directors in California and beyond.

Elaine is a Boston native who relocated with her family to San Diego in 2010. Her extensive experience includes positions as Chief of Staff at New England Conservatory of Music, Executive Director of a nonprofit, and Executive Vice President of a real estate development firm. Elaine earned a MBA from Simmons College School of Management and attended Northeastern University. She resides in Solana Beach with her husband Gerry, and enjoys kayaking, hiking and cooking.


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