Santa Rosa attorney Erika Copenhaver of Galanti and Copenhaver wins North Bay Forty Under 40 award
Responsibilities with your company: Managing partner attorney and owner
In 25 words or less, how do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty under 40 professional?
This is an honor and a privilege. Being a top 40 under 40 professional is a high distinction, which promotes the quality of professionals in our community. The spirit is one of distinguishing those in our community who are active participating and contributing professionals. It sets a bar and standard that most professionals strive to achieve.
Years with company: 12
Length of time in current position: 7
Number of companywide employees: 4
Number who report to you: 4
Greatest professional accomplishment: Being able to truly help my clients get through some of the roughest times of their lives and plan for their futures and that of their loved ones.
Greatest professional challenge: My greatest challenge is often times working with family members in a trust administration that do not get along and do not see eye to eye. Essentially I have to manage a multitude of personalities, exercise patience, and act as mediator, therapist, and lawyer all at the same time.
Best advice received: Create work life, personal life balance, and keep it.
Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: Hiring another female attorney in my office, Dayna Farquhar. We are a tight knit team.
What steps is your company taking to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy?
We do regular check-ins with our clients and offer free educational seminars often. We hold an “open house” for our clients on a yearly basis, where we hold our doors open over a 2-week period for 30 minute free consultations to our clients.
Next professional goal: I am working on taking a position on the planning commission with Windsor or another active role in my community. I will be transitioning off as board president of the Redwood Empire Estate Planning Counsel and will like to join the board of directors for the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts or Senior Advocacy Services.
Education: I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and global studies from University of California, Santa Barbara and a Juris Doctorate from Golden Gate School of Law.
Hometown: Santa Rosa
Community/nonprofit activities: I am a past board member of the Sonoma Humane Society; past board member of 8 years of the YWCA Sonoma County; past board member of the Dengue Relief Foundation; current board member and board president of the Redwood Empire Estate Planning Council; member of the professional advisory committee for the Community Foundation; and a member of the Bench Bar Committee for the Trust and Estates Section of the Sonoma County Bar Association
Mentor/admired businessperson: My true mentor was my business partner who passed away in 2013 - Marie Galanti
What is your most disliked industry buzzword?
Legal Eagle ... haa haa I don’t know ... “I object!”
Typical day at the office: During a typical day at the office I see about 4-5 clients, whose matters range from simple to complex estate planning; assisting with trust administration for the death of a loved one; or planning for folks with disabilities. I may step out of the office for an outside meeting with a colleague or a meeting with a client at his/her care home, personal residence, or the hospital.
Best place to work outside of your office: Being at home with my babies.
Hobbies: Being a momma to my 2 year old and 6 year old; photography and painting; travelling and enjoying great wine and food with friends and family.
What you wanted to be when you grew up: A lawyer. I was actually told as a child that I was going to be a lawyer. Much to my mother’s happiness, I followed through.
#1 thing you want to accomplish by the time you turn 40: Paying off my law school student loans
First job: I worked as a skate guard at Snoopy’s Ice Arena while in High School
Social media you most use: Facebook
Favorite book: “The Time Traveler’s Wife”
Favorite movie: “The Usual Suspects”
Favorite App: Pinterest
Favorite after-work drink: A lovely big bodied glass of red wine
Last vacation: Italy in June of 2019
What does your mom or dad brag most about you?
They claim that I am very intelligent, kind, and a great mom.