In this week’s edition of Meet the Board, we are featuring the members who work as legal professionals. Meet Caleb Wallace and Brandon Lester.
Caleb Wallace is Assistant Counsel and Sr. Health Policy Analyst at UPMC Health Plan.
Tell us a little bit about your experience as a legal professional.
I actually started my career in IT, but always had a strong interest in public health and medicine. While I was at Pitt Law, I also studied Health Policy and Management and helped draft a reference book for Pennsylvania’s judges about the role that courts play in public health, both on a day-to-day basis and in emergencies. Just as I was finishing law school, Congress was finishing its work on the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). A couple years prior I had been an intern with UPMC Health Plan’s legal department, so when they needed someone to blend a legal position with policy analysis on the implementation of this massive new law, it was really a perfect fit for both of us. I’ve now been at UPMC Health Plan for seven years and it has been an amazing opportunity to be a part of the organization’s rapid growth and expansion. As the implementation phase of the ACA has started to slow down a little, I’ve actually found that my work as an attorney has started shifting back to technology and data, which is the area of healthcare that is probably the most rapidly evolving right now.
What made you want to become a member of the River City Brass Board of Directors?
James didn’t give me a choice! Actually, I’ve always loved music – I played alto sax through high school and I was the President of my school’s concert band. I was introduced to River City Brass by a long-time friend of the band, Scott Lammie, who happens to be the CFO here at UPMC Health Plan. I also come from a family of teachers, so when I heard about the Saturday Music Program, I knew I wanted to be a part of all the great work RCB is doing.
An interesting fact about you is…
I own two Renault LeCars and in 2014 I was on the Ellen Show with my wife, Jessica.
What are some hobbies you enjoy?
Because my job involves so much research, writing, and analysis, I like almost anything that involves working with your hands. A few years ago we bought a “fixer-upper” so most of my free time since then has been spent laying tile, replacing floors, or rewiring electrical outlets. I like seeing the finished product of our work on the house, but I’m really a car guy at heart. I try to spend a couple hours every Saturday morning in the garage working on one of my cars or motorcycles. I also enjoy playing tennis and racquetball.
Brandon Lester is a Labor and Employment Associate Attorney at Jones Day.
Tell us a little bit about your career as a legal professional.
I went to law school at The Ohio State University, then started out working for a small firm in Columbus, Ohio. After a year, I moved to a position as a law clerk (i.e., a staff attorney) for the Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, where I wrote opinions and advised on some of the most pressing legal issues facing the state. I then took a fellowship in the Appeals Section of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, where I wrote appellate briefs and did oral arguments in state and federal appeals courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court and the Ohio Supreme Court, on issues as varied as habeas corpus petitions for individuals facing the death penalty to insurance liquidation. Currently, I practice labor and employment law at Jones Day, where I represent employers in all facets of those areas. I also maintain a busy pro bono practice with Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, where I help low income artists in the area with legal issues.
What made you want to join the River City Brass Board of Directors?
As a brass musician myself (trombone), I appreciate just how impressively talented the Band is, and it is a thrill and an honor to help guide the Band to reach new audiences and grow in the community.
Best spot in the ‘Burgh?
Kayaking on the rivers around downtown — the views are tremendous!
Favorite place you’ve ever been?
It’s a tie between (1) Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, which is a beautiful place to see a concert, thousands of feet above the sea level, surrounded by the beauty of the Rocky Mountains and (2) on the field at a WVU home football game, marching with the Mountaineer Marching Band in front of 60,000+ cheering fans!