Hello BALIF Members and Friends,
Sssshhhhhh! My Co-Chair, Chelsea "Chels" HaleyNelson, doesn't know this is being written about her, so don't spill the beans...
It's never easy saying good-bye to a Board Member -- especially when she has devoted FIVE years to the BALIF Board (with two of those as Co-Chair), and has had such tremendous impact...
I've known Chels for more than a decade. We sat next to each other in several classes as 1Ls at USF, and quickly became friends. One of my fondest memories was sneaking around campus with Chelsea incognito, as we papered the school with anti-JAG flyers in protest to military recruiting efforts forced on our campus (less we lose government funding). What a duo we made. And what a privilege and a pleasure it has been to serve as Co-Chair with her over the past year.
I'm a witness to the umpteen hours Chelsea has lovingly poured into our 33-year old organization. I especially appreciate that she's a make-it-happen leader who not only builds consensus, but is also every Board Member's biggest cheerleader. Chelsea benchmarked our Outreach Committee years ago, and has served as BALIF's "Secretary of State" to the Bay Area's 30+ sister bar organizations ever since. She will also be fondly remembered for her very moving "It Gets Better" Video. Former BALIF Co-Chairs know that leading our Board can be like herding cats. And Chelsea does it tirelessly, consistently, and always with a smile. And this is all in addition to her own thriving private practice (which focuses on immigration removal defense), and her generous pro bono work on LGBT asylum cases and worksite enforcement raids.
If you get a moment, you might want to shoot Chelsea a quick note of thanks! Click here!
@Chels: I and the entire BALIF Board will miss you. But we understand that Lonnie needs her wife, and Esme needs her mommy. Nevertheless, we better be seeing you at BALIF events; don't force us to come to the East Bay to drag you out... ;)