Law Attorney Profile
MELINDA GUZMAN is CEO of Melinda Guzman, Professional Corporation, a certified Woman and Hispanic owned law firm and a partner of Freeman Guzman, LLP. Ms. Guzman's practice focuses on representing private and non-profit corporations, foundations, media interests, venture and equity capital firms, insurance carriers, and other business interests. She is a proven litigator, an effective business negotiator and work-out counsel, and is highly regarded as a mediator. She is a dedicated public servant with expertise in finance, governance, employment, higher education and business. She is highly regarded for her work on governance issues and she is a noted speaker and trainer on the fiduciary duties of officers and directors of boards of directors. She is a proven leader with a confirmed track record. Ms. Guzman is an AV-Preeminent rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest ranking of attorneys.
Ms. Guzman has served as general counsel to companies ranging in size from small, family-owned companies to corporations in excess of $100 million in assets. She is astute in analyzing business needs and practical in assessing a company's financial and operational status. Ms. Guzman is also effective in working with financially troubled companies as they work to avoid or successfully complete bankruptcy. As a litigator, Ms. Guzman is respected for her quick ability to analyze disputes and for resolving issues with the client's business needs in mind. In all of her work, her clients have praised her for her "aggressive, enthusiastic, prepared approach."
Ms. Guzman has served as an independent director for the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco since 2007 where she is Chair of the bank's Governance Committee. The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco delivers low-cost funding and other services that help member financial institutions make home mortgages to people of all income levels and provide credit that supports neighborhoods and communities. The Bank also funds community investment programs that help members create affordable housing and promote community economic development. The Bank's members-its shareholders and customers-are commercial banks, credit unions, savings institutions, thrift and loans, and insurance companies headquartered in Arizona, California and Nevada.
Ms. Guzman served as an independent director of Pac-West Telecomm, Inc. from 2004-05. Pac-West Telecomm, Inc. is a publicly traded company located in Stockton, California and is one of the largest competitive local exchange carriers headquartered in California.
Ms. Guzman served as General Counsel of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation from 2004 - 2010. As General Counsel, she successfully assisted in all aspects of the USHCC operations, including oversight in managing its approximate $11 million annual budget and management of USHCC assets which included a national television program which reached 88% of the US Hispanic market, its interests in a $150MM venture capital fund, its interests in a national magazine and a subsidiary in Mexico. These organizations represent the interests of almost 4 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States and Puerto Rico. Ms. Guzman is highly regarded for her work with small businesses to help grow and develop this important economic base.
Ms. Guzman also serves as General Counsel to the National Utilities Diversity Counsel, the California Emerging Technology Fund, the California Tele-health Network, MAAP, Inc. and several other companies. Her work in assisting her clients in complying with corporate governance standards sets her apart from her peers
Ms. Guzman was appointed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve as a Trustee of the California State University system (2004 - 2012). The California State University is the nation's largest university system. She served as a Commissioner for the California Post-Secondary Commission, which served as the state's planning and coordinating body for higher education from 2006 - 2011. In 2011, Ms. Guzman was appointed by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones to Chair the California Insurance Diversity Task Force to explore issues regarding diversity in the insurance industry in governance, philanthropy, supplier diversity and member issues. In 2003, she was appointed by Governor Gray Davis to serve as a member of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges.
Ms. Guzman has served on innumerable community boards. She is a Director of the California Restaurant Association, Chair of Cien Amigos, a past Chair of the Nehemiah Corporation of America, one of the nation's largest down payment assistance programs for new home buyers, a former Trustee for the U.C. Davis Foundation, and former Director of the Make A Wish Foundation and of the KVIE PBS and Davis Community Television stations. Ms. Guzman provides on air talent for DCTV, Hispanic Lifestyle, KVIE and other television productions.
Ms. Guzman is a Board Leadership Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors. She is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors; the Turnaround Management Association, the Sacramento County Bar Association; the State Bar of California; the California Minority Counsel Program; a former member of the Executive Committee, Law Practice Management Section of the CA State Bar, the La Raza National Lawyers Association; and Women Lawyers of Sacramento. She has held innumerable positions as officer and director of these and other associations.
Ms. Guzman has been recognized as a Hispanic Leader by Hispanic Lifestyle Magazine in 2013, the "Latina Leader of the Year" for 2011 by the Latino Journal Magazine, with the national "Latina Leadership Award" by Latino Leaders Magazine in 2008 and was named one of The 100 Influentials by Hispanic Business magazine in 2004. She has also been honored by the National Association of Women Business Owners with the Luminary Award for her leadership in business, by the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as its 1999 and 2005 Business Woman of the Year, by the Sacramento Business Journal as its Top "40 under 40"dynamic young achievers and by Univision and McDonalds Corporations for her leadership in the Hispanic Community. She is a well respected business leader for her ethics and integrity and is recognized for creating and developing programs that promote education and business growth and development and for expertise in corporate governance and venture programs.
Ms. Guzman was born and raised in Fairfield, California and is the daughter of the late Amado Guzman and Anita Guzman of Fairfield. She is a first generation college graduate of the University of California at Davis (B.A., 1985; J.D., 1988). She resides in Fair Oaks, California. Email Melinda Guzman