When is the last time you heard a great HR joke? We can guarantee you will hear a couple in this episode. Christine Wilbur (Human Resources Director at Aleshire & Wynder, LLP) joins Rob and Amanda for an insightful conversation about leading with love and compassion, goals, and maybe even Disneyland. Working parents everywhere will be inspired to hear Christine's story and how failing forward has served her both inside and outside the legal industry. You might even learn a little about bulk purchasing Chrome Books. You do not want to miss this episode!

About the Guest

Christine Wilbur

Christine Wilbur is a native of Los Angeles County but has made her home in Orange County, CA, with her son, Easton. In her professional life, she is the Human Resources Director for Aleshire & Wynder, LLP, a Irvine-based law firm focused primarily on representing local communities throughout California. Christine received her bachelor's degree from Linfield College and her master’s degree with a concentration in business administration from the University of Phoenix. Christine currently sits on the Nominating Committee for the Association of Legal Administrators (“ALA”) – a 9,000-member organization focused on growing the legal management profession. On the local level, Christine currently serves as Director of Membership, Human Resources Committee Co Chair, Nominating Committee and Social Media Committee Co-Chair for the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of ALA. Christine also serves as the Education Committee Chair for the Orange County Chapter of ALA. In her spare time, Christine enjoys making memories at any local beach, appreciating the wonders of Disneyland, rooting for her favorite hockey and baseball teams at local sporting events (Go Ducks! Go Dodgers!), exploring new recipes, listening to self-improvement or personal development podcasts or books of various genres through Audible (for the long commute in OC/LA traffic), traveling to new places and spending time with family.

Episode Resources

What superpower do you want to have? Most people would say flying or the ability to read minds.

Debbie Foster (Partner, Affinity Consulting Group) has a superpower of her own: getting people to make a change without explicitly telling them a change is necessary.

As a consultant in the legal industry, reluctance to change is an attitude she knows all too well.

This week, Debbie takes the mic and shares her tips for making law firms a great place to work from the top down – one change at a time.

About the Guest

Debbie Foster

Partner, Affinity Consulting Group

Debbie Foster is a nationally recognized thought leader on people, strategy, efficiency, and innovation in professional legal organizations. Her 20+ years of experience, combined with a mix of strategic management and strong leadership skills, has enabled Debbie to develop a unique ability to work with law firms and legal departments to help them build a future-proof organization and to navigate the ever-changing legal services delivery landscape. Debbie consults with firms across the country helping them solve their most challenging issues. Debbie is very active in the Association of Legal Administrators, the Law Practice Division of the American Bar Association, and was the Chair of ABA TECHSHOW 2010 and 2018.

Episode Resources

Thanks for tuning in! Join us back here next week for episode 5.

Michael Bumgarner (President, ALA) and Debra Elsbury (Immediate Past President, ALA) join the show to discuss everything from the hurdles that come with huge career transitions to the power of titles within a firm. They also discuss how one can progress into leadership within ALA.

In the legal community, it’s easy to feel like the dumbest person in the room because let’s face it, you’re surrounded by so many great minds and imposter syndrome is real. But both Debbie and Mike have some tips on how to overcome this. And if that wasn’t enough to pique your interest, they also have a haunted house story!

About the Guests

Debra (Debbie) Elsbury, CLM

Firm Administrator for Threlkeld Stevenson

Debra attended Marian College and earned her Certified Legal Manager (CLM) in November 2009. Debbie is a very involved member of ALA and the Indiana Chapter since 2003, having served her chapter in various roles and now serving ALA as Immediate Past President. Debbie and her husband, Mark are the proud parents of 3 and grandparents of 8. They live on a grain and livestock farm, mainly raising corn, soybeans, and various livestock, along with random wildlife – some welcomed, some not so much.

Michael Bumgarner, CPA, CLM, CGMA

Chief Executive Officer for Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC

Michael Bumgarner, CPA, CLM, CGMA is the Chief Executive Officer for Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC, a defense litigation practice in West Virginia. Mike earned his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting at West Virginia University (WVU) and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is a member of the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants where he also serves as a Director-At-Large. Mike became the first person in West Virginia to obtain the Certified Legal Manager certification and since then, he has been very involved with the ALA. Mike has held various leadership positions in ALA, including serving on the CLM Certification Committee, Regional Representative and was appointed to the ALA Board of Directors in 2017. Mike currently serves as the President of ALA.

Mike and his wife Jayme have 3 sons, all three are also WVU alumni. Mike spends most of his free time outdoors, whether it’s golfing, hunting, or fishing. He also never skips an opportunity to go watch professional sporting events and concerts whenever possible.

Episode Resources

Debra Elsbury's Firm- Threlkeld Stevenson

Michael Bumgarner's Firm- Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso


ALA Indiana Chapter

ALA Volunteer Opportunities

ALA Leadership Opportunities

Chapter Leadership Institute (CLI)

Organizations and More:

Thanks for tuning in! Join us next week for a special episode with Mark Bridgeman.