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The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the world's largest organization serving the professional and business interests of attorneys who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations, nonprofits and other private-sector organizations around the globe.

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Victoria Harvey, Senior Vice President & Chief Legal Officer, Smile Brands Inc.

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Dear ACC Southern California Members & Friends,

I am honored to be your President and I want to applaud the leadership provided by my friend Joni Gaudes and the 2021/22 board! Joni did a fantastic job guiding our chapter as we continue to emerge from the unique challenges presented by the pandemic.  I look forward to serving on the Board and continuing to evolve the Chapter with such outstanding peers and colleagues!
I would also like to give a huge THANK YOU to Rebecka Biejo and John Kedeshian, as they have completed 6 years of loyal leadership on our Board of Directors. We are grateful for you and your service.

Please join me in welcoming this year's 2023 President-Elect and Program Chair Elizabeth Duong, Vice President Ellen Yang, Secretary Albert Nicholson, Treasurer Lynette Jones, and our Board of Directors, Serra Aladag, Danielle Blanchard, Jennifer Bryant, Shedrick Davis, Kush Desai, James Dierking, Monica Gentzschein, Jessica Gillette, Ross Greenman, Kendra Jones, Peter Macdonald, Njeri Mutura, Nicole Nakagawa, Wade Pyun, Rhea Ricard, Del Sabzerou, Melissa Sandoval, Ako Shimada, Conchita Valenzuela, Crystal Ventura, Jason Weintraub, Christina ZabatFran, and our truly amazing Chapter Administrator, Betty St. Marie.
I am excited to announce that our chapter has received the 2022 Gold Chapter of Distinction Award and the 2022 Best Partnership Award (Pro Bono Committee.) We are honored to receive the recognition, and I thank our sponsors and each ACC Southern California member who have helped make our programs such a success!
As you know, the 2022 Gala was a success! We were pleased to participate in the program, and hear from distinguished lawyer and human rights advocate Amal Clooney.  Our silent auction brought in a funds, benefitting our longtime community partner Public Counsel.
We were also pleased to acknowledge the 2022 honorees:

  • 2022 Diversity Counsel of the Year Award: Preston Hopson, SVP, General Counsel and Secretary at Tetra Tech, Inc.
  • 2022 Pro Bono Counsel of the Year Award: Southern California Edison Law Department

These award recipients are shining examples in our legal community, and we are happy to recognize them for all they have done.
I would like to directly thank our Sponsors for continuing to support despite the challenges of the past few years. ACC Southern California’s mission would not have been possible without your dedication and loyalty.
I have built relationships with many of you through ACC, but for those I have not met, let me share with you my path towards becoming involved with this great organization.
From the time I started practicing law, I knew I wanted to be an in-house counsel, and what do companies have? Employees! So, I focused on employment/labor law and was trained by some incredible mentors at Loeb & Loeb and Theodora Oringher as an employment and complex business litigator.
After 10 years of private practice, an opportunity came to join a restaurant/food manufacturing company as its first in-house attorney. The first week that I was hired, I joined ACC. The forums, templates, and support from other in-house attorneys were exactly what I needed as I learned to become a generalist and expand my legal skill set and build a network. I recall meeting David Cohen and Jerry Huang very early on in my in-house career at various Chapter events, and their support and encouragement to get involved with the Chapter motivated me to volunteer and give back to this amazing organization. First, I volunteered on Chapter committees, and then took a leap and applied for the SoCal Board. The last six years have flown by and serving on the Board has been personally and professionally rewarding. I am proud of the programs/events that the Chapter has delivered, and treasure the friendships that I have developed with other Chapter members and sponsors. We have over a dozen committees, from social, and well-being to pro-bono, so I encourage each of you to volunteer and join!
With that said, my priorities this year are to:

  • Continue to provide dynamic and unique programming to our membership, while expanding more in-person events, and balancing the convenience of lunch-time webinars. This will include partnering with the ACC Global Networks such as WITH (Women in the House), Real Estate and Sports/Entertainment.
  • Have more members volunteer and join the committees! More volunteers = more ideas! If you’re interested to join a committee, please email Betty, me, or another Board member. 

I am looking forward to serving you in the year ahead, and I am grateful for your partnership and dedication to our chapter to make it all possible!

Victoria Harvey
President, ACC Southern California, 2022-2023


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