Executive Director & CEO
Ellen Miller-Sharp is the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the San Diego County Bar Association (SDCBA), California’s second largest voluntary, regional bar. Miller-Sharp oversees the development and implementation of myriad programs, initiatives, innovations and all member services to support the Association’s 10,000 members. Her work also includes oversight and direction of the SDCBA’s multi-award winning publishing, communications and outreach program, a comprehensive education center, its extensive voluntary governance structure, ground-breaking member workspace and resources, and the organization’s diversified financial portfolio.
Miller-Sharp has the distinction of being the only bar executive in the country with experience working at the national, state and local level. Prior to joining the SDCBA, Miller-Sharp served as Section Director of the American Bar Association’s Section of Dispute Resolution in Washington D.C., and served as a Program Developer at the State Bar of California’s to support middle/dispute resolution programs. Her policy expertise in alternative dispute resolution guided her work in assisting the San Diego Superior Court in their bid to create a civil mediation program and she nurtured that program from inception to post pilot. She has written numerous resources for courts and attorneys, co-authored the Guide toCourt Related ADR and spoken on national and local conference panels on topics ranging from member engagement, metropolitan bar services, program development and evaluation, governance, bar relations and operations, civil delay reduction, judicial training and case management.
Her volunteerism includes serving on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Bar Executives currently, in addition to previously serving as including Co-Chair of California Society of Association Executives (CalSAE) San Diego Regional Council, Chair of the National Association of Bar Executives Survey Committee and Local Forum, member of the Executive Committee of the Metropolitan Bar Caucus, member of the Board and Directors and Executive Committee of the California Dispute Resolution Council, member of the California Judicial Council’s Working Group on Mediator Ethics and a member of the Board of Trustees for a San Diego charter school (Urban Discovery Academy). In 2014, she was honored to be named one of San Diego Business Journal’s Women WhoImpactSanDiego.
Miller-Sharp holds a B.A. in History and Political Science from the University of California San Diego where she was named one of the university’s first undergraduate research scholars. She is married to Dennis Sharp and is the proud mother of Rachael. In her spare time, she loves to cook, golf, and support her daughter’s love of theatre and performing arts.
Deputy Executive Director & COOSJ Kalian is an experienced marketer of products, services, education and membership with a background in new business development, membership marketing and quantitative analysis. Throughout her career she has had a focus on data analysis, developing businesses and consistently being a little ahead of the curve.
For the last 10 years, Kalian has served as the Deputy Executive Director of the San Diego County Bar Association (SDCBA), where she supervises both the membership department, the operations of the Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) including its community service programs, and develops and manages law practice management partner relationships.
Prior to joining the SDCBA, she served as the Executive Director of the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego for nearly 10 years and previously spent 10 years as Vice President of Membership and Marketing for a national medical specialty organization with 30,000+ members. She also spent 5 years as a New Business Development Specialist, Ceramic Technical Products for Corning Inc., where she developed and launched new technical products.
Kalian holds a degree in chemistry from Wellesley College and an MBA from the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business. In addition to her MBA, Kalian is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), a distinction earned by less than 4,500 in the country out of more than 2 million associations. In 2012, Kalian was recognized as a YWCA Tribute to Women in Industry (TWIN) Honoree.
Director of Outreach Strategy & CCO
She has spearheaded all marketing and communications efforts for the San Diego County Bar Association (SDCBA) since 2007, directing and managing media relations, member communications, all electronic and print publications, social media, branding and outreach initiatives for the 10,000-member organization. Korr has presented at conferences for the American Bar Association’s Bar Leader’s Institute (BLI) and the National Association of Bar Executive’s (NABE) Communications Section workshop. She serves on NABE’s Communications Section Council and also volunteers as the editor of the NABE Communications Talk newsletter.
Prior to working for the SDCBA, Karen worked in public relations at a local San Diego firm, where she represented clients ranging from large non-profit organizations to small start-ups to global consumer product manufacturers. Previously, Korr was an Associate at a boutique Chicago-based public relations and advertising firm, where she worked directly with client the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), one of the world’s largest member organizations, to help restore the reputation of the accounting profession at the height of the Enron scandal.
Korr’s work has been recognized with awards from the San Diego Press Club, the San Diego Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, and NABE’s Communications Section. Korr was named to San Diego Metropolitan Magazine’s list of “40 under 40” for 2015. She earned a B.A. in Advertising from the School of Communications at Michigan State University.
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.