Board of Directors

Meet Our Current Board of Directors: 

Co-Chairs

Chase Morinaka

Having graduated law school in another state, OMLA gave me the opportunity to connect with members of the local legal profession, build relationships with mentors, and get to know the Judges. Through OMLA, I have been able to develop friends and colleagues that have helped me develop a rewarding and meaningful career as a minority lawyer in Oregon.” 

Chase Morinaka joined the Board in 2010. He served as Board Secretary during 2013 and 2014. In 2014, he began serving as Co-Chair of the organization. He has previously planned the OMLA Luncheons featuring the Oregon Supreme Court, Appellate Court Judges, and Oregon State Bar Presidents.

Chase Morinaka holds his main office in Portland while maintaining close ties to his home community in Eastern Oregon. He practices in the areas of Personal Injury and Business Law. With clients throughout the Pacific Northwest, he advocates for the advancement of the interests for the underprivileged. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce.

 

Secretary

Louise Hansen

OMLA Committees: Website/Membership - Content / Liaison to Specialty Bars

Louise Hansen has been a member of OMLA since 2012. She joined the Board in 2013 and served as Member at Large #2 before becoming Secretary in December 2015.  Louise served in the past on several other boards supporting the advancement of minorities in the legal profession. In 2015, she served as Co-Secretary of the Clackamas chapter for the Oregon Women Lawyers (OWLS). In law school, she served as Vice President of the Latino Law Society and Treasurer of the Native American Law Students Association.

“Coming from a rich multi-cultural background, I was naturally drawn to active involvement in various minority-affiliated student body organizations in law school. Although that experience was truly enriching, feeling connected to multiple minority communities meant my time and energy was often spread in many directions. I was so pleased when I finally found OMLA. Not only did I discover an organization that actively supports and promotes diversity from a holistic vantage point, but I also found a welcoming community of connection, mentorship, and support.”

Louise works as a Senior Civil Rights Investigator for Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) in Eugene, Oregon. Prior to her position at BOLI, Louise was a judicial clerk for the Clackamas County Circuit Court in Oregon City, Oregon.  When Louise is not at work or devoting time to OMLA, she is hiking, playing musical instruments, making art, or demolishing the water with her competive dragon boat team. 

 

Treasurer

Adam Gamboa

OMLA Committees: Bar Exam Grants / Liaison to Specialty Bars

Adam Gamboa joined the Board in 2012 and has served as Treasurer since 2014.  He is passionate about OMLA's mission of promoting and supporting minority attorneys in Oregon.

Adam founded Gamboa Law Firm in 2014.  His practice focuses on personal injury and business litigation.  He enjoys representing individuals and small businesses involved in negligence and business disputes.

 

Member at Large #1

Sujata Patel

               

               OMLA Committees: OMLA Auction - Sponsorship / Bar Exam Grants

Sujata Patel joined the OMLA Board in 2009.  She was a member and board member of the Minority Law Student Association (MLSA) during her three years at Lewis and Clark Law School. She graduat edin 2007.  After law school, she wanted to continue to stay involved in the legal community, and OMLA's mission of creating community and its commitment to diversity within the legal professional was a perfect fit. 

Sujata currently directs commercial real estate transactions for Capital Pacific, a real estate brokerage firm specializing in retail sales and investments.

 

Member at Large #2

Sherisa Davis-Larry

               OMLA Committees: Professional Development Committee - OLI Pass / Liaison to Specialty Bars

               Sherisa Davis-Larry joined the Board in 2016 after initially joining the membership in 2014.

Sherisa works at Legal Aid Services of Oregon in downtown Portland. Her main areas of practice consist of Family and Housing law. She advocates for the underprivileged by increasing access to justice and enforcing clients’ rights. Sherisa is also the secretary for the Oregon Chapter of the National Bar Association (OC-NBA) and she is on the Advisory Committee for Diversity and Inclusion for the Oregon State Bar.

 

Member at Large #3

Samantha Copeland

OMLA Committees: OMLA Auction - Chair

 

Member at Large #4

Suzanne Trujillo

       

        OMLA Committees: Professional Development Committee - Luncheons, Chair / Website/Membership - Copy Content Creation

Suzanne Trujillo joined the Board as a Member-at-Large in 2014 and is excited about this opportunity to serve the minority community in the legal profession and beyond in a lasting and meaningful way. She works as a Deputy Legislative Counsel with the Office of Legislative Counsel in Salem where she drafts legislative bills and amendments and writes legal opinions for members of the Legislative Assembly, primarily in the subject areas of Indian law and professions regulated by statute. She also handles public records requests for the Legislative Assembly.

Suzanne grew up in the Portland area and received her undergraduate degree in International Studies from the University of Oregon and her law degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. Prior to her current employment, she worked with Central City Concern in Portland. Suzanne is usually rock climbing, trail running or training for triathlons when she is not at work.

Member at Large #5

 Iván Resendiz Gutierrez

Iván Resendiz Gutierrez joined the Board as Member-At-Large in July 2016. Iván is an associate in the litigation practice group with a focus on business litigation. Before joining Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, Iván served as a law clerk for the Honorable Lynn R. Nakamoto of the Oregon Supreme Court, where he assisted in researching, writing, and editing opinions, and recommended action on petitions for review. Before working at the Oregon Supreme Court, Iván clerked for then-Judge Nakamoto at the Oregon Court of Appeals, where he gained a broad knowledge of Oregon law.

Iván is a proud "Double Duck." Iván graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law (Oregon Law) with a Concentration in Tax Law. At Oregon Law, he served as a staff editor for the Oregon Law Review, President of the Latino/a Law Student Association, Co-Director of the Multicultural Law Student Association, Chairman of the Law and Entrepreneurship Student Association, and Regional President (Region 16) of the Hispanic National Bar Association - Law Student Division. Earlier, Iván received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Political Science from the University of Oregon.

While in law school, Iván served as a judicial extern to Judge Nakamoto at the Oregon Court of Appeals. Iván also represented the state as a court-certified law clerk at the Oregon Department of Justice Civil Litigation Section, working on cases involving employment, commercial, and civil rights litigation. He also served as a law clerk at Lane County District Attorney's office as part of Oregon Law's Criminal Prosecution Clinic.
Outside of the law, Iván devotes significant time in community involvement. Currently, he serves a Board member of the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association and the Oregon Minority Lawyers Association.

In his spare time, Iván enjoys running marathons, salsa dancing, and reading Spanish mysteries.

Honorary Board Members

Anastasia Meisner

 

Hon. Adrienne Nelson, Multnomah County Circuit Court 

Judge Adrienne Nelson was appointed to the bench in 2006, making her the second African American female judge in Oregon. Prior to her judicial appointment, she worked as a public defender with Multnomah Defenders, Inc., an associate with the Bennett, Hartman, Morris and Kaplan, LLP law firm and as the Senior Attorney/Coordinator of the Portland State University Student Legal and Mediation Services.

Judge Nelson earned her law degree from the University of Texas at Austin and her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Criminal Justice Summa Cum Laude from the University of Arkansas. She is a frequent speaker on various topics including diversity, leadership and professional development. Judge Nelson also serves as a mentor to a number of young people, law students and lawyers. Currently she sits on the American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on Public Education Advisory Commission, is the ABA Oregon State Delegate, chairs the Lewis and Clark Law School Judge Roosevelt Robinson Scholarship Committee and is treasurer of the Owen M. Panner American Inn of Court. In addition to her professional activities, Judge Nelson currently sits on the Reed College Board of Trustees, the Self-Enhancement, Incorporated (SEI) Board of Directors and chairs the Girl Scouts Beyond Bars Advisory Board.

In 2015, the Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington named Judge Nelson an Marie Lamfrom Woman of Distinction and she was named a member of the class of 2015 of the Council on State Government Henry Toll Fellows, making her one of eight Oregonians selected for this leadership program. In 2014, Portland State University Center for Women’s Leadership honored her for her leadership at their Eighth Annual Women’s Leadership Luncheon. In 2012, Judge Nelson was named a White Rose honoree by the Oregon Chapter of the March of Dimes for her community service and in 2011, Lewis and Clark Law School named her a distinguished honorary graduate for her mentoring and diversity activities at the school. In 2003, Judge Nelson received the Oregon Women Lawyers (OWLs) Judge Mercedes Diez award for promotion of women and minorities in the legal profession and in the community.

Judge Nelson enjoys attending theatrical productions. music concerts, travelling, cooking and reading.

 

Hon. Darleen Ortega, Oregon Court of Appeals

 

Daniel Santos, Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Administration, Willamette University College of Law

Daniel P. Santos, a graduate of Willamette University College of Law, returned to the school in June 2011 after two decades of service to four Oregon governors. As Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Administration, he consults with student organizations and oversees the Placement Office and the Office of Student Affairs.

Santos was a senior policy advisor for Gov. Ted Kulongoski and worked on issues including tribal and labor relations, collective bargaining, housing, education and military services. In the first administraton of Gov. John Kitzhaber, Santos served as legal counsel and education policy coordinator and worked on juvenile and adult criminal justice issues. Santos was Gov. Barbara Roberts’ legal counsel and chair of the Oregon Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision. He also served as Deputy Citizen’s Representative and director of the Commission on Agricultural Labor in Gov. Neil Goldschmidt’s administration. Santos also worked at Marion & Polk Legal Services, supervised the Oregon Migrant Education Service Center, and directed the Jackson County Migrant Education Program. He earned a B.S. in Criminology at Southern Oregon University.

Outside work, Santos was a founding member of Scholarships for Oregon Latinos; Willamette Academy and the Leadership Council for Oregon Mentors. He also serves on the education committee of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Board. Through these efforts he seeks to provide greater educational and leadership opportunities for youth. Santos’ honors include the Literacy Trailblazer Award from the Mid-Valley Literacy Center, the Paul J. DeMuniz Professionalism Award from the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association; the Judge Mercedes Deiz Award from Oregon Women Lawyers; the Leadership Award from the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce; and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Arts Foundation. In 1990, Southern Oregon University named him one of its distinguished alumni.

Born and raised in Brawley, California, in the agricultural Imperial Valley, Santos worked summers in the fields of the Imperial and San Joaquin Valleys. He enjoys theatre and movies, and for exercise he enjoys running, having run 21 marathons.

 

If you would like to contact the Board of Directors, or a particular individual serving on the board, click here.

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