BY FRANCIS A. ADEWALE
In this installment of the Treasurer’s Report, I’d like to introduce you to this fiscal year’s WSBA Budget and Audit Committee members. They are also members of the full WSBA Board of Governors. The Budget and Audit Committee reviews, recommends, and takes action, as empowered by the Board of Governors, on WSBA financial matters regarding the annual budget and long-range financial planning, annual audits, financial reports, significant fiscal policies, investments, and designated expenditure approvals. The next committee meeting will occur on Dec. 15 from 1-3 p.m.
Tom Ahearne represents first-year members of the Board of Governors on the Budget and Audit Committee. Permanently paralyzed in a wheelchair, Ahearne was elected to the Board of Governors in 2023 to fill the at-large seat for diversity, equity, and inclusion. He has been a Seattle litigator since 1986 (with Foster Pepper Riviera, now Foster Garvey). Most of his cases involve constitutional law, municipal compliance, insurance coverage, cybercrime losses, and/or high-profile appeals.
Kristina Larry is also a first-year member of the Board of Governors, having been elected to the full Board in 2023. She is a true solo with her firm Sassy Litigations where she practices trademark, small business, cybersecurity, and data privacy law. From 2015 to 2019, she served as a trustee of the Washington State Bar Foundation and from 2019 to 2021, she served as president. She also served on the executive committee of the WSBA Solo & Small Practice Section for eight years and was a member of the Practice of Law Board. She brings a wealth of experience to the Budget and Audit Committee’s work.
Kevin Fay represents second-year members of the Board of Governors on the committee. Fay was elected to the Board of Governors in 2022. He recently retired from three decades of service as in-house counsel for VMware, Inc., PACCAR Inc, and Microsoft, with an eclectic practice that included corporate and securities work, software licensing and services, equipment financing, mergers and acquisitions, real estate and construction, and immigration. In his first year as a WSBA governor, even though he was not a Budget and Audit Committee member, he attended all committee meetings and provided invaluable input to the budget process.
Kari Petrasek is a second-year member of the Board of Governors and a returning member of the Budget and Audit Committee. She is a solo attorney, having started her own firm, Petrasek Law, in Mukilteo in January 2015. She is a past-chair of the WSBA Solo & Small Practice Section, the treasurer of Washington Women Lawyers, a past-president of the Snohomish County Bar Association, a member of Washington CASA Association, and a leader in the ABA GPSolo Division. Her invaluable experience as treasurer of other organizations in Washington will be an asset to the committee.
Nam Nguyen is a returning Budget and Audit Committee member. He was elected to the Board of Governors in 2022. He is an assistant attorney general in the Revenue and Finance Division in Tumwater. Prior to the Attorney General’s Office, Nguyen worked in private practice in Bellevue and Houston, Texas. Aside from the WSBA, Nguyen serves on the board for the Family Support Center, a nonprofit social service organization serving homeless families in the Olympia area, and he is the chair of the Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs. His contributions to last year’s successful budget process were invaluable.
Brent Williams-Ruth is largely credited with originating the idea of an immersive budget retreat where members of the WSBA Board of Governors have an opportunity to evaluate priorities and determine how to fund such priorities with organizational values in tow. Williams-Ruth was elected as a district governor to the Board of Governors in 2020 and was elected to an at-large position in 2022. Since 2015, he has been the sole proprietor of a concierge estate planning, probate/trust, and elder law firm.
Jordan Couch represents the third-year members of the Board of Governors on the committee. Couch is a partner at Palace Law, practicing workers’ compensation and personal injury law. Prior to joining the Board of Governors, he served as a trustee for the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, chair of the Access to Justice Board’s Technology Committee, and chair of the Washington Young Lawyers Committee, and has held various leadership roles on the Solo & Small Practice Section’s Executive Committee.
Ex-Officio & Non-Voting Members
This year’s ex-officio/non-voting members are President Hunter Abell, President-Elect Sunitha Anjilvel, and Executive Director Terra Nevitt.
For the second year running, I am honored to serve as your treasurer and chair of the Budget and Audit Committee, alongside the WSBA’s indefatigable director of finance, Tiffany Lynch.
If you or anyone you know has any questions or concerns with regard to the Budget and Audit Committee, please feel free to contact any of the committee members listed above.