Melinda Grant was appointed Undersecretary at the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency in January 2019. Previously, she served as deputy legislative secretary in the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom in 2019 and in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. dating back to 2016. Before that, she was deputy director of legislation and policy review at the California Department of Consumer Affairs from 2014 to 2016 and an advocate at Platinum Advisors from 2006 to 2014. She was a legislative aide in the Office of California State Senator Kevin Murray from 2003 to 2006 and was a legislative analyst at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees from 2001 to 2003.
Grant is a member of the California State University Sacramento Governmental Alumni Association and Leadership California. She earned a Master of Arts degree in public administration from the University of San Francisco.
Tad Egawa was appointed General Counsel at the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency in January 2019. Previously, Egawa was chief counsel at the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration from 2017 to 2019. He was general counsel at the California Department of Housing and Community Development from 2015 to 2017, assistant commissioner of legal affairs at the California Bureau of Real Estate from 2013 to 2015, deputy attorney general at the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General from 2009 to 2013 and a shareholder at McDonough, Holland and Allen PC in 2009, where he was of counsel in 2007 and 2008. Egawa was assistant general counsel at the Ryland Group Inc. from 2004 to 2007 and an associate at Jeffer, Mangels, Butler and Marmaro LLP from 1999 to 2004, at Tuttle and Taylor from 1998 to 1999 and at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton LLP from 1996 to 1997.
He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California School of Law.
Philip J. Laird
Philip J. Laird is the Deputy General Counsel for the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.
Prior to joining BCSH he served in the Office of the Attorney General as both a Special Deputy Attorney General and Education Policy Research Fellow. In those roles he provided legal and legislative support to the office’s executive team, assisted with the administration of the National Mortgage Settlement Fund Grant Program, and co-authored the Attorney General’s 2014 truancy update report, In School + On Track.
From 2015 to 2017 Mr. Laird worked as Staff Counsel for the California Horse Racing Board, where he represented the CHRB in numerous administrative prosecutions, assisted with the development and implementation of regulations, and served as the Board’s Legislative Director.
Mr. Laird earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California Santa Cruz, and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco, School of Law.
Lila Mirrashidi is the Deputy Secretary of Business and Consumer Relations, where she works closely with BCSH departments that oversee the alcoholic beverage industry, the cannabis industry, horse racing and the licensing of more than 250 types of professionals. Before joining the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, Lila served as the Deputy Commissioner for Policy at the Department of Business Oversight (DBO). She had previously been Deputy Commissioner of DBO’s Legal Division, and prior to that served as Deputy Commissioner of Business Regulations at the Department of Corporations. Lila earned a law degree from the University of California Hastings College of Law, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Patti Ochoa is BCSH’s Administrative Process Manager and Assistant to the Agency Secretary and General Counsel.
Prior to joining BCSH, she served in several positions with the Air Resources Board starting in the newly formed Climate Change division where she was part of the team that developed the Scoping Plan. Patti joined BCSH during the reorganization in 2013.
Ms. Ochoa has a degree in Business Administration.
Myles White serves as the Agency’s Assistant Director of Legislation. He has been with Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency since 2017.
Myles held a variety of legislative and regulatory management positions focused on state and federal policy. Most recently, Myles was a Trade Policy Analyst at Bryant Christie, Inc., where he specialized in international agricultural policy and managed the firm’s customized trade regulation databases. He has also worked as a Legislative Aide for the Law Offices of Tim Yaryan, as well as a Legislative and External Affairs intern in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
Myles graduated with honors from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
Lynn von Koch-Liebert
Lynn von Koch-Liebert is the Deputy Secretary for Housing and Consumer Relations at the California Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency (BCSH). In this role she is responsible for general activity between the Agency and its Departments.
Prior to this role she was the Vice President (VP) of Business Development (BD) Operations for DynCorp International (DI) a service company supporting predominantly the US Departments of Defense and State. In this role she was responsible for BD process, reforms, strategy and oversight over the companies’ priority pursuits. Prior to this role she was VP BD for DynLogistics, a $1 billion business area within DI. Prior to this role she served as the DynLogistics Staff Director, Director of Business and Operations for a State Department contract, and as a Capture Manager and Market Intelligence Manger within the BD division.
Prior to joining DI, Lynn worked for the United Nations Office of Project Service (UNOPS). In Jerusalem she worked in project management, business development and communications. In Southern Sudan she led the inter-agency planning efforts for Sudanese national infrastructure development on behalf of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator. In Afghanistan she co-coordinated an office-wide review of internal UNOPS systems and processes.
Lynn holds a Masters of Public Affairs from Princeton University, a Masters of International Security from Cranfield Defense Academy and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from the University of South Dakota. Her graduate fellowship was conducted at the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Pakistan Afghanistan Coordination Cell. She is a 2014 – 2017 member of the Truman Security Project Defense Council, a 2016 German Marshall Memorial Fellow and a Co-Director and Founder of No Exceptions. She was selected into the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ (CSIS) inaugural Smart Women, Smart Power 2016 Executive Fellows Program.
As the Information Technology Deputy Secretary for Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, Andrew Armani is responsible for setting policies, collaborating and coordinating technology activities at the Agency and statewide.
Previously, Andrew held the position of the director of the office of eServices. The office led initiatives to enhance electronic service delivery on California State Portal. Andrew was responsible for managing and supporting the growth of California's eServices, including acting as a liaison between state agencies and departments.
Andrew entered state service in 1990. Since then, he has worked for several departments, where he has held various executive and managerial positions. Andrew started his career in private sector, where he worked for a variety of companies managing teams of software and system engineers. In that capacity, he was in charge of developing enterprise applications and network architecture.
Andrew graduated from California State University in Chico with a degree in Electronics and Computer Technology.
Catherine Ohaegbu serves as the Assistant Director of Planning and Policy at the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. She is responsible for assisting with the development and implementation of special projects, housing policy, sustainability, communications, emergency services, and regulations.
Prior to joining BCSH, Ms. Ohaegbu served in several positions in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. from 2012 to 2016, including special assistant to the Governor and First Lady. In her native state of Michigan, she served as the office manager at Allied Continuing Care from 2006 to 2011, where she specialized in human resources and billing.
Ms. Ohaegbu earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and a Master of Business Administration degree from California State University, Sacramento.
Russ Heimerich was appointed by Governor Brown as Deputy Secretary of Communications for the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency in September 2015. Mr. Heimerich serves as the advisor to the Secretary on external affairs, communications and media issues pertaining to the Agency’s departments, boards, bureaus and commissions.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Heimerich served as the Deputy Director for Communications at the Department of Consumer Affairs. He has also worked as a spokesperson at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and as the local Morning Edition host/producer at Capital Public Radio.
Mr. Heimerich earned his bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and his master’s degree in Journalism at the Ohio State University. He resides in Sacramento with his wife and rescue cats.
Michelle Livingstone serves as the Legislative Analyst for Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. Prior to joining the Agency, Michelle served as a Legislative Assistant in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. from 2016 to 2018. While in college, she completed the University of California Sacramento Center Public Policy Program and interned at the University of California State Governmental Relations office. Michelle graduated with highest honors and earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science – Public Service from the University of California, Davis.
Yiwen (Eva) Erickson
Yiwen (Eva) Erickson is a Fiscal Analyst directly supporting the Deputy Secretary of Fiscal Policy and Administration. Prior to joining BCSH, she worked for the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) formerly the Board of Equalization. She worked in multiple departments in various capacities, including her last assignment with the Settlement Section of the Legal Department, where she provided assistance to legal staff in evaluating settlement proposals. Ms. Erickson has a degree in Civil Engineering.