Deborah Hoffman was appointed Undersecretary at the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency in June 2017 where she will help Secretary Podesta oversee departments charged with consumer protection, civil rights enforcement, funding affordable housing, banking and financial transactions, and the licensing of millions of working professionals across the state.
Prior to coming to the Agency, Hoffman served as Deputy Press Secretary for Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., Assistant Secretary of Public and Employee Communication at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and Deputy Secretary for Communications and External Affairs at the California Environmental Protection Agency.
Prior to joining the Brown Administration, Hoffman worked as Communications Director and Policy Consultant for California State Senator Fran Pavley.
Before embarking on her service to the Legislature and the Brown Administration, Hoffman spent more than 20 years as an award-winning broadcast journalist.
Hoffman earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from California State University, Northridge. She lives in Sacramento with her husband, David and their two tortoises. In her free time, Deborah enjoys kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, camping, and spending time with friends and family.
Peter M. Williams
Peter M. Williams was appointed by Governor Brown as Deputy Secretary, General Counsel for the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency in January 2016. He serves as the advisor to the Secretary, providing legal counsel and advice on a wide range of issues affecting the Agency and the several departments, boards, bureaus and commissions within the Agency.
Mr. Williams worked in private practice for 6 years before joining the Attorney General’s office in 2001. At the Attorney General’s office, he worked for the Tobacco Litigation Section and was responsible for several published appellate and California Supreme Court opinions against large tobacco companies. Thereafter, he worked in the office’s Government Law section where he drafted the Attorney General’s official ballot summaries and defended state departments in state and federal litigation with outside parties in matters ranging from contract disputes to alleged violations of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
For the last several years at the Attorney General’s office, Mr. Williams worked in the Financial Fraud and Special Prosecutions Unit. There he supervised the unit’s Northern California Deputy Attorneys General while prosecuting offenders for bribery, corruption, investment fraud, tax evasion and human trafficking, among other crimes. During this time, he was also cross-designated by both the Eastern and Central Districts of California as a Special Assistant United States Attorney where he successfully indicted and prosecuted over 25 defendants for contraband tobacco smuggling.
Mr. Williams also co-founded and helped oversee the Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement (TRaCE) task force, made up of local, state and federal law enforcement agents both in Sacramento and in Los Angeles, whose mission is to investigate and combat California’s vast underground economy.
Mr. Williams earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California Santa Barbara and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego, 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.
Tina Daley has responsibility for agency-wide fiscal and administrative policy.
Prior to working at BCSH Agency, Ms. Daley held a variety of fiscal and policy management positions in California state government. Most recently, she was a member of the executive team for the Fair Political Practices Commission serving as Chief of the Administration Division and Interim Executive Director. She has also worked for the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, the Department of Industrial Relations, the State Board of Equalization, the Department of Finance and the Legislative Analyst’s Office.
Her education is in the area of economics. She completed the doctoral course of study and received a Master of Science from University of California at Berkeley with her undergraduate education from CSU Fullerton.
For more than a decade, Sonya has dedicated her career to public service in various state-wide offices within the executive branch. Since 2015, she has served as Deputy Secretary for Business and Consumer Relations, working closely with BCSH Departments that administer programs to license: more than 250 types of professionals, the alcohol beverage industry, horse racing wagering facilities and the evolving California cannabis industry.
Before joining BCSH, she was the Director of External Affairs at the California Exposition and State Fair in Sacramento from 2013 to 2015, where she contributed to the operation of the 750-acre state owned facility located in Sacramento. She served as Deputy Appointments Secretary in the Office of Governor Jerry Brown from 2011 to 2013, which included coordinating board appointments to full-time and board positions throughout the State. From 2006 to 2010, she served four administrations in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, as capitol director, fiscal analyst and administrative assistant.
In her free time, she serves as a board member for the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project and close the gap CA.
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.
Shannon McKinley was appointed deputy secretary of legislation at the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency in February 2018.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. McKinley served as legislative director in the Office of California State Assemblymember Tim Grayson since 2016. She served as legislative director in the Office of California State Assemblymember Cheryl Brown from 2012 to 2016, senior consultant in the Office of California State Assemblymember Sandre Swanson from 2008 to 2012 and committee assistant in the Office of California State Assemblymember Mervyn Dymally from 2007 to 2008. Ms. McKinley was a research assistant in the Sacramento State University Office of Development from 2005 to 2006, day camp director at the Hilltop Young Men’s Christian Association from 2002 to 2004 and a sales associate at the San Francisco State University Bookstore from 2001 to 2004.
Ms. McKinley is chair of the California Capitol Black Staff Association and a member of the Black Youth Leadership Project Board of Directors. She earned a Master of Arts degree in government from California State University, Sacramento.
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.