He’s only flown an airplane upside down—on purpose—three times.
Rod has lead a distinguished legal career spanning more than three decades. Prior to joining FP Transitions, his private practice emphasized commercial transactions and civil litigation, including the sale of businesses, emerging technology companies, and the needs of individuals and families, including wills, trusts, probate, and business succession. Rod has managed mergers, acquisitions, and succession plans for businesses valued from $400K to $40M.
Outside of his private practice, Rod is active in the community, applying his legal expertise in numerous charitable and civic positions in the arts, clinical research, and humanitarian aid. Rod has chaired several sections and committees of the Oregon State Bar. Since 2003, he serves as an Oregon Circuit Court Judge pro tem, a role he continues to fill in addition to his consulting with FP Transitions. He was given the Oregon State Bar Public Service Award, and has been on faculty of the Oregon Trial Advocacy College for 11 years.
Growing up in Alaska, he staked a mining claim before he was old enough to drive. As a member of the Anchorage Bicentennial Commission, he led the team that built the banana split that once topped the list in the Guinness Book of World Records. Now he is a private pilot, avid cyclist, and coastal sailor on both sides of the Equator—though flying a Cirrus SR-22 across the Pacific Northwest and his Litespeed Tuscany down the country roads near Lake Oswego leaves precious little time for being on the water.
Rod is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College and Northwestern School of Law.
Assistant General Counsel
Ericka is a Nebraska native who moved to Oregon—for the weather.
Ericka is part of FP Transitions’ brain trust. Prior to joining our legal team, Ericka worked as an associate in private practice for a general civil litigation firm. She has experience in the areas of corporate law, torts, professional negligence, real property, estate planning, and probate. In addition to her law degree, she also holds a B.S. in business with a focus on economics.
As is befitting a legal professional and trusted consultant, Ericka has a calm, even-tempered personality. She comes from a family of high-achieving academics, which collectively boasts two JDs, a PhD, a DDS, an MBA, and one ND. She continues in the academic community through volunteer work, and has participated in the Multnomah Bar Association Imprint Program and acted as attorney-judge for Classroom Law Project’s High School Mock Trial State Finals. She is a member of Oregon Women Lawyers and served for the last three years on the board of Clackamas Women Lawyers, including a term as chapter president.
Originally from Nebraska, Ericka is happily settled into her Oregon home. Not only is the weather perfect for weekends of reading, but also hiking, playing miniature golf or just spending quality time with family and friends. She is a talented baker, a skill which can make her very popular in the FP Transitions office.
Stuart finds opportunity in dysfunction: He landed his first job at Charles Schwab the day after the 1987 stock market crash.
Stuart contributes over three decades of leadership and experience to the FP Transitions team, as both a lawyer and a licensed securities professional. First hired in 1982 to sell stocks in a boiler room (he left as soon as he passed the Series 7), Stuart went on to manage multiple domestic and foreign branch offices for Charles Schwab. In addition to his many years working with individual investors, he developed a business that provided clearing and custody services to financial advisers, banks, and brokers worldwide.
Looking for another challenge, Stuart completed law school. A pilot and aviation aficionado, Stuart spent time at a law firm specializing in aviation law before becoming a partner in a boutique Seattle firm. There, he worked the transaction side of the business helping clients buy and sell corporate jets.
Back on the ground at FP Transitions, Stuart is part of the Succession Planning team, where his experience makes him uniquely qualified to understand the challenges of financial business owners and the solutions to help them accomplish their goals.
Stuart lives in Lake Oswego where he and his wife are active in the community. Stuart serves as VP of the Lake Oswego Corporation (it manages the namesake lake), and is on the board of the Lawyer Pilot Bar Association. In his spare time, Stuart serves as an adjunct professor at Lewis and Clark Law School where he teaches aviation law.
Stuart has a business degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a law degree from the University of San Diego. He is a member of the Oregon State Bar and the Washington State Bar. He has formerly held Series 7, 8, and 63 licenses.
A native Nebraskan, Stuart is hopeful that the Cornhuskers won't implode again this season.
From flying seaplanes, shipwreck diving, riding a gondola in Hong Kong to see the Tian Tan Buddha statue, or standing inside the pyramid of Khafre in Egypt, James is always ready for the next great adventure.
James was a Financial Enforcement Officer for the State of Oregon’s Division of Finance and Corporate Securities (now the Division of Financial Regulations), where he was tasked with, among other things, enforcing Oregon’s statutes and administrative rules relating to securities and commodities.
Prior to joining FP Transitions, James was an attorney at a mid-sized law firm, primarily litigating cases involving airplane and helicopter crashes nationwide. After a chance seat assignment next to our President, David Grau Sr., on a flight from Minneapolis, James decided to trade in the courtroom for greater adventures of assisting FPT’s clients. As part of the Transactions team, his experience navigating complex legal issues and as a securities regulator allows him to quickly understand and resolve any client concerns and challenges that may arise.
James, who is a commercial pilot, flight instructor, certified scuba diver, amateur mechanic, and general tinkerer, loves talking airplanes, classic cars (including the 1966 Mustang he and his wife are rebuilding in their garage), and his life growing up in the Florida Keys. When not up in the clouds, working on the Mustang, or dreaming of the island life, James enjoys exploring Oregon’s trails and beaches with his wife, daughter, and their German Shepherd/Golden Retriever shelter dog. In his spare time, James also teaches aviation law as an adjunct professor at two of Oregon’s three law schools and serves as legal counsel for a local aviation nonprofit.
James has a business degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a law degree from Willamette University. He is a member of the Oregon State Bar.
He used to jump out of perfectly good airplanes—at night—on purpose.
Ross is a veteran of the United States Air Force, a pilot, a lawyer, and a native Oregonian. After his time in the service, Ross flew corporate jets and managed an aviation software company prior to graduating from Lewis & Clark’s Northwestern School of Law in 2015. Ross then worked in civil practice and spent time at both plaintiff and defense firms before joining the team at FP Transitions. He has experience in the areas of business law, torts, aviation law, workers compensation law, and estate planning. In addition to his law degree, Ross also holds a B.S. in aeronautics with dual minors in safety and management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Ross hails from a family of teachers and has a passion for both learning and teaching whether the task or subject is associated with the law, flying, or even sky or scuba diving. Ross is part of the FP legal team and enjoys working with clients to sort through and solve legal issues to achieve their business or personal goals. He has also chaired the Oregon State Bar’s Military and Veterans Law and Aviation Law Sections and has served as a volunteer attorney at local Wills for Heroes events.
On weekends you could find Ross and his wife training for or on a run to include Oregon’s annual 199 mile Hood to Coast Relay, or spending time with their two children out on a local lake or river where they enjoy boating and stand-up paddleboarding.
Legal Team Project Coordinator
Ambitious and creative, Kelsey brings a hunger to learn to the FP Transitions team
Kelsey started life in Illinois. After growing up in the central part of the state, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree at Illinois State University, where she majored in English with an emphasis on creative writing. After that, she took Chicago for a spin for a few years. Ultimately, though, she felt the call to head west and ended up in Portland.
Once settled in Oregon, Kelsey worked for the Oregon Judicial Department at Clackamas County Circuit Court. This job would prove pivotal for her in two ways. First, it inspired her to go to law school. Kelsey was recently accepted into the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College.
Her job with the judicial department also led to her introduction to Rod Boutin, JD, our General Counsel. That connection piqued Kelsey’s interest in FP Transitions and the work our legal team does. While an interest in joining our FPT legal team and acceptance to law school might seem like pulls in two different directions, Kelsey isn’t one to settle. Instead, she saw an opportunity to get the best of both worlds.
Kelsey joins us as our legal team’s project coordinator. By day, she supports them while tapping into the mentorship opportunities she says she’s excited to explore with Rod and our other experienced legal professionals. In fact, Kelsey says she feels “very lucky to be surrounded by so many intelligent, kind, and driven individuals.”
But why stop there? By night, she will take night classes at Lewis & Clark, working toward her law degree.
You might think a full-time job and evening law classes would be enough to fill a person’s day, but Kelsey also finds time to participate with her LGBTQIA+ community and to voraciously read and write. She’s usually reading at least three books at any given time while simultaneously working on her fiction writing, which she hopes to publish when the time is right.
A legal professional with extensive M&A experience, Stephanie helps our clients find elegant solutions to even the most complex problems — and makes a mean potsticker, too.
When Britain handed Hong Kong over to China, Stephanie and her family relocated to Portland. Because Stephanie spent the majority of her life here, she feels like a true Oregonian — and it shows. She chose to attend the University of Oregon School of Law for her JD degree instead of other attractive law schools in large part so she could watch Ducks games at Autzen Stadium.
Prior to that, she completed her Bachelor of Arts at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, making her the first person in her family to earn an undergraduate degree.
While she had her sights set on becoming either the President of the U.S. or a rock star as a child, her first job after college piqued her interest in a legal career. She analyzed pending legislation for Oregon’s state court system and discovered that she enjoyed tracking the legislative process. So she became an attorney.
Now, with more than five years of experience and a background in handling M&A transactions, Stephanie makes the move to our FP Transitions team. She was drawn by our approach to dealmaking and our robust suite of client services. As our staff attorney, she helps our clients effectively navigate succession planning and M&A transactions.
Here, Stephanie says she enjoys working collaboratively with clients and other professionals to find elegant solutions to complex problems. And she likes getting to work with so many non-attorneys, too.
When she’s not working, you might find Stephanie walking the neighborhood with her partner and baby, planning her next international vacation, or beating her friends at Settlers of Catan. She loves food, and recommends Din Tai Fung, Eem, Wailua Shave Ice, and Reverend’s BBQ to anyone visiting the Portland area. But if you truly want the best potstickers, you’ll need to head to Stephanie’s house, where she makes them herself.
In his 20s, Stephen was a working musician who toured with bands, played in musicals, and recorded drums for albums, TV commercials and movie scores. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Berklee College of Music, and later, his JD from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.
In law school, he represented incarcerated clients who were sentenced to unconstitutionally extreme sentences. On two occasions, Stephen represented clients in court who had their sentences reduced. Prior to FP Transitions, he worked at a boutique business law firm in Los Angeles doing litigation and transactional work. Stephen came to FPT because he wanted to move to an in-house role (as opposed to an outside law firm) and he connected with FPT’s mission of doing good work that benefits every party in any given transaction. In his new role, Stephen will be taking account of clients needs and desires to transform their practice, and giving them the legal guidance and documentation to ensure a smooth and legally-sound transition. He likes talking with clients’ about their shared goals and helping implement a solid plan to make their desires a reality.
Stephen moved to Oregon in July of 2021. Outside of work, he enjoys watching The Simpsons, Mad Men, and international travel. He also enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, stand-up comedy, and spending quality time with my wife Betsy (his high school sweetheart), and his two daughters.