Committed. Dedicated. Progressive. These are all words to describe Josi Swonetz, who recently received the California Association of Black Lawyers (CABL) Loren D. Miller Lawyer of the Year Award.
As senior corporate counsel for Best Buy Health, she has built a successful career while devoting time to CABL for the past six years. The organization focuses on enriching the community of Black law students, lawyers, and judges in California. Members meet regularly with State Assembly and Legislature officials to talk about legislation that could adversely affect the Black community.
Josi took on the feat of updating and amending CABL’s bylaws, the legal rules that guide and govern the organization. After three years of work, they were approved at the organization’s annual meeting. Josi’s dedication to the project is what earned her award.
“I was shocked at first and thought to myself ‘Did I really do that?’” she said. “I overcame those thoughts and embraced it. This organization is like a family and [the award] meant a lot to me.”
Other notable award recipients include Vice President Kamala Harris and civil rights activist Constance Rice.
Helping community, company
Growing up, Josi was president of her high school’s Black Student Union and the academic advisor for her law school’s Black Law Student Association.
Taking all that she learned from these experiences allowed Josi to feel more confident to address some of the challenges in CABL. To bridge her community work with her career, Josi also sought out ways to build on her personal passion for inclusion, equity, and diversity at Best Buy. She has been actively involved with the Best Buy legal team’s inclusion and diversity steering committee (IDSC) and has participated in Best Buy’s Racial Equity Leadership Immersion program (RELI).
“I’m grateful Best Buy has allowed me to show up as my authentic self and empowered me to get involved,” Josi said.
Since joining the company in 2019, Josi has stayed busy developing business strategies and making sure the enterprise is legally protected. Her versatility has put her on projects from supporting compliance and risk to protecting new products and services.
“I love working cross-functionally because I get to see an idea come to fruition and follow it through the entire process,” she said. “I really enjoy what I do.”
Today, Josi is continuing to give back to the community by empowering the next group of legal leaders. To those who are just getting started in their careers or getting involved in an organization, Josi encourages them to be brave and know it’s ok to make mistakes.
“There’s a reason you’re at the table,” she said. “Take your well-deserved seat, start talking and ask questions.”