Our Team

Gina Steele

President of Steele Leadership, Inc., has been an attorney for more than 20 years, and has run her own firm for more than 6 years. Prior to starting her own law firm, she worked in both large and small firms, where she managed teams of attorneys and support staff. As an attorney, there are three skill sets that have been key to Ms. Steele’s success: her leadership skills, her creative problem solving skills, and her communication skills. Ms. Steele has distinguished herself in her legal career by her ability to break down even the most complex issues into distillable parts that can be easily communicated and solved.

In addition to being a lawyer, Ms. Steele deeply understands business. As well as running her own firm, she has worked with her clients to fully understand their businesses and create innovative strategies to implement their business goals.

As a patent attorney with an M.S. in computer science and a B.A. in mathematics, Ms. Steele has always loved learning and creative problem solving. Throughout her legal career, Ms. Steele has continuously strived to find ways to become more effective as an attorney, a manager and a business owner. Ms. Steele has found a number of scientifically proven practices to increase effectiveness. As she began to implement these practices, she was able to take her successful practice to a new level. As she saw how helpful these practices were, she became passionate about sharing them with other attorneys.

In her desire to help others, she became a Certified Executive Coach through the University of California Haas School of Business. She honed her coaching skills by becoming an assistant instructor and facilitator in Leadership Communications classes and workshops for the MBA program at the California State University, East Bay. She is also a certified mediator. She is excited to be applying her leadership skills, her communication skills, and her creative problem solving skills to help other attorneys create more productive environments and enjoy their legal careers.

In addition to her law practice Ms. Steele has held a number of leadership positions in the community, including:

  • President, Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Association
  • Founder and First Chair, Intellectual Property Association of Chicago’s Women in IP Committee
  • Chair of the Board, Intersection for the Arts


Ms. Steele has had a number of speaking engagements, including:

  • Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Association
  • Women in Intellectual Property Association
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • California Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Law Section

Independent Consultants

To create a team that will provide the specific expertise you need, I have a team of expert independent
consultants, who work as independent contractors with me when their expertise is needed.

William "Cope" Copeland

William W. Copeland, Jr., today is the President of TOPGUN CONSULTING (TGC), a limited consulting practice focusing on Executive Coaching and Leadership Development for a potpourri of clients in a variety of disciplines.

He was the Director for the Strategic Program Business Office at Sun Microsystems Federal in McLean, VA., responsible for capturing over $400M in expected lifetime program revenue during FY-08. As the Account Executive at Sun for the Boeing National Account, his leadership and managerial skills enabled his sales and services teams to grow revenue to over $140M, an order of magnitude in five years.

Having retired from the United States Navy in 2000 as a Rear Admiral, Cope last served as the Commander of the Theodore Roosevelt Battlegroup. He entered the Navy in 1965 and graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute with a BSEE degree and a commission in 1967. He earned two Masters of Science Degrees, one from the University of Southern California and the other from the Naval War College.

Cope’s distinguished career as a naval fighter pilot included duty as an instructor at the prestigious Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun). He attended the U.S. Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB and served as a Test Pilot at the Naval Air Test Center at Patuxent River, MD, during the initial flight testing of the F/A-18A Hornet. He Commanded Fighter Squadron 102, Carrier Air Wing One aboard USS America, the food stores ship USS San Diego, and the aircraft carrier USS America. Cope has flown over 300 combat missions with over 1,300 carrier arrested landings, and more than 5,000 flight hours in 30 different types of aircraft, including the F-14, F-15, F-16, F-17, and F-18.

He has received the Silver Star for gallantry in action, the Bronze Star, two Defense Superior Service medals, three Legion of Merit awards and numerous other meritorious and commendation medals with the Combat “V”. He resides in San Jose, California, with his wife and family.

Dave Ruth

Dave Ruth is a Vice President and the Controller at Associated Lighting Representatives, Inc. (ALR), and also serves on the company’s executive board. In his role as Vice President, he is in charge of at the time, the company had only 32 people and served as a manufacturer’s rep for commercial lighting and lighting controls located in Oakland. Dave was then attending Cal State University, Hayward where he received his BS in Business with Computer Info Systems Option in 1990, and his MBA in 1992.

When Dave joined ALR, the company was a small, but growing company. Dave grew along with the company, accepting the role of Accounting Controller and Director of Human Resources in 1991, before moving onto his current role as a Vice President. During Dave’s 28-year tenure, the company has grown from 32 people to more than 120. A large part of this success has been the result of creating a collaborative and healthy work environment where people can grow and perform at the highest level; a forum where people have a voice and make an impact on the whole organization; a high-trust culture with a compensation system that ties individual success to the success of the overall organization; and benefits and policies that demonstrate thoughtfulness and compassion toward employees and their families. As a result, ALR has incredibly low turnover and amazing employee retention. At the end of FY 2014, nearly half of the employees had been with ALR for more than ten years, and many employees exceeded twenty-five years. ALR is a place where people want to work and finish their career.

In addition to his work at ALR, Dave has honed his leadership skills further by staying connected to Cal State Hayward. He has served on the Dean of the College of Business and Economics Advisory Board, and more recently has been working as a facilitator and coach for MBA-Level Leadership Communications courses and weekend workshops. Facilitating is a real passion for Dave. It is a real privilege for him to share what he has learned during his career about creating a positive working environment where employees to can grow their lives, as their companies thrives. He is very excited about sharing this information with other professions such as lawyers, to help them grow their leadership skills and improve their firms and companies.

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