Smith Moore & Associates
Smarter Managed Associations


The Teams

Lead Team


Elizabeth Cardwell, CMP

Elizabeth Cardwell, CMP is an account manager for Smith Moore & Associates. Prior to starting with Smith Moore & Associates in 2007, she worked in the Communications Office of the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs where she served as the assistant to the Public Information Officer. Since then, she has incorporated the knowledge and experience gained there into her varied positions throughout the years with Smith Moore & Associates. Elizabeth is now responsible for all aspects of her clients’ operations, including board governance, administration and budget development. She is also responsible for the planning and execution of all meetings and conferences for her clients including site selection, on-site management, hotel relations, program development, sponsorship generation and financial tracking. In her spare time, Liz can be found painting hidden Mickeys around the SMA office.

Elizabeth has a bachelor’s degree in interpersonal communications from California State University, Sacramento. In 2012, Elizabeth received the Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) designation from the Convention Industry Council (CIC).



Sarah Kline is an account manager for Smith Moore & Associates. Sarah joined Smith Moore & Associates as a temporary employee to help with workload and quickly transitioned to a permanent member of the team.

Prior to coming to work for Smith Moore & Associates, Sarah was co-owner of a local family business, where she handled product and service contract negotiations, branding, employee management and human resources, as well as oversaw customer service and vendor relationships. Sarah also represented the company at tradeshows and professional association events.

Sarah graduated from Diablo Valley College with an associate’s degree in liberal studies, and later earned a paralegal certification from St. Mary’s College of California. On weekends, Sarah can be found in her invisible jet, wielding the Lasso of Truth. (Or not. She's there, but you can't see her.)


Yelena Martynovskaya is an account manager for Smith Moore & Associates. Yelena is responsible for accounts receivable processing, data entry, updating membership databases, preparing deposits for client bookkeepers and day-to-day accounts receivable support. Yelena joined Smith Moore & Associates shortly after its inception and has grown with the company. Yelena graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with a master’s degree in art studio, and is an accomplished artist who has exhibited through the Sacramento Center for Contemporary Art and The Verge Gallery in Sacramento, California. Yelena tangos, hikes, paints. She also spends part of each weekend helping the turkey population of Sacramento find new homes.

Vanessa Gonzales

Vanessa Gonzales is an account coordinator at Smith Moore & Associates. Vanessa is responsible for membership, accounts receivable and database maintenance for her clients, as well as event planning, sponsorship, marketing and publication review. She works closely with the boards of directors and committees of her clients. Previously, Vanessa was an administrative assistant at Waters Contracting, Inc. in Folsom, where she assisted in office operations, accounting, customer service, travel and event logistics. Through this and other positions, Vanessa gained over nine years’ broad-based experience in client relations, interpersonal communication, office operations and event planning and logistics. Vanessa graduated from California State University, Sacramento where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies with an emphasis in public relations. Vanessa was a member on PRSSA, a student chapter of Professional Public Relations Society of America. She was involved with building public relations on campus and in the Sacramento area through PR campaigns and events. Vanessa is the most patient person in our office, and is exceedingly kind. We suspect woodland creatures help clean her house on the weekends.

Finance Team


Sandy Goree

Sandy Goree is the controller for Smith Moore & Associates. She is responsible for GAAP compliance, accounting procedures, creation of financial reports and budgets, tax and audit oversight, and investment policies. Prior to joining Smith Moore & Associates, Sandy owned a successful financial consulting company that specialized in nonprofit accounting. Sandy has won more potluck competitions than any other staff member.



Joanie Bockus is an accountant at SMA. With over 35 years of experience, Joanie is who SMA’s clients count on for timely and thorough financials. From 1987 to 2013 Joanie climbed the Disability Rights California ladder from Accounts Recievable to Staff Accountant underneath the Finance Director. Seeking exciting work in a fast-paced and energizing environment, SMA was fortunate enough to bring her on board and the rest is history. 

Dawit Shibru

Dawitt graduated from California State University, East Bay in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science, Finance/Accounting. Dawitt has worked in corporate America for 18 years managing and overseeing all areas of accounting including general ledger, A/P, A/R, project accounting, generating financial statements and payroll. Dawitt is a certified tax preparer in the state of California. 

Catch Team

Carmen Berry

Carmen Berry is an account coordinator for Smith Moore & Associates. The majority of Carmen’s time is dedicated to outreach, recruitment and overall administration of association clients.

Carmen has provided years of high-level service to a multitude of nonprofit organizations. Her extensive background in association management brings organization, direction and strategy to the clients of Smith Moore and Associates. Carmen previously served as staff member to Assembly Republican Leaders Scott Baugh, Bill Campbell and Dave Cox as well as working as a legislative assistant for Assembly Member George Runner. Rhythm is a dancer. So is Carmen.



Amanda Rae Smith is an administrative assistant for SMA. Her past work at an independently owned physical fitness center has given her excellent customer service skills and her work with children has given her incredible patience. A quick study with a can-do attitude she’s quickly become an asset to SMA’s day-to-day operations.



Kristy Schrimsher is an account assistant for SMA.  Kristy’s experience in coordination, planning, and support of daily operational functions have made her an asset to the SMA team. In her last job as an Education Evaluation Specialist, she worked intimately with the Director of Education and Director of Governmental Affairs where she evaluated transcripts, determined qualifying certifications and oversaw the communication between Directors and Registrars of schools. Her experience in professional management and coordination is why you want Kristy on your team.

Design Team


Audie Whitt


Audie Whitt is the communications manager for Smith and Moore & Associates. With an eye for art and experience in graphic and web design, Audie is responsible for providing clients with innovative publication design and website updates. He acts as the liaison between the communications and IT departments to provide a cohesive brand for each client. Prior to joining Smith Moore & Associates, Audie served as a technical recruiter for a local recruiting firm, where he placed candidates with high profile companies such as Apple. Audie commissioned as an officer in the Army National Guard after graduating from California State University, Sacramento, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in art studio. He continues to serve in the Army National Guard as the communications officer for the 223rd Military Intelligence Unit, where he is responsible for managing the Battalion’s communications and newsletter. Audie likes to ask questions, then answer them without your input. It's like his super power or something.


David Blue Garrison


David Blue Garrison is the communications specialist for Smith Moore & Associates. He is responsible for the layout and design of the marketing and communication materials for conferences, education events and overall association branding. He assures the vision of the client is realized in the execution of design and properly represents the caliber of quality our clients exhibit. With a background in Editorial Design, David has ten years of working in the freelance world creating over 60 publications and marketing materials for various art organizations in Sacramento, as well as the occasional save-the-date and wedding invite. David is also a professional photographer and videographer working in portrait, commercial and event. 



Catherine A. Smith

Catherine A. Smith, CAE, is the president and owner of Smith Moore & Associates. Catherine has more than 30 years of experience in association and nonprofit administration on local, state, national and international levels. Catherine founded Smith Moore & Associates in 2006 after nearly 13 years as the executive director of the California Special Districts Association (CSDA).
Catherine has presented at state and national forums, speaking on association management and governance issues. In 2000, Catherine received the Chair’s Award for exceptional service from the California Society of Association Executives (CalSAE).
Catherine graduated from the University of Toledo, Ohio, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations and from California State University, Sacramento, she earned a master’s in communications and public affairs.
Catherine received the prestigious Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) in 2000. Catherine was featured in the September 2002 issue of Association Management for her successful management strategies for small staff associations. Catherine served on the CalSAE Board of Directors and was nominated for the CalSAE Executive of the Year Award.

Melissa Dixon

Melissa Dixon, CAE, is the chief operating officer and an account manager at Smith Moore & Associates. Melissa has nearly 18 years of experience in administrative and management services to trade associations. Melissa helped open the firm in 2006, and was Smith Moore & Associates’ first employee.
Melissa has been published in The Executive, the bimonthly publication of the California Society of Association Executives (CalSAE). Melissa has also participated in numerous CalSAE task forces focused on promoting association management companies (AMCs) in California.
Melissa graduated from California State University, Sacramento, where she received a bachelor’s degree in English and earned from Walden University her MBA with a concentration in nonprofit administration. Melissa received the prestigious Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) in 2010.

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Justin Lewis

Justin Lewis, is the chief information officer for Smith Moore & Associates. Justin has worked in the IT field for more than a decade, and has experience with installation, configuration, and support for Internet connections, networks, websites, Listservs, and more. In recent years he has studied the programming language Python and the Web framework Django, and spends some of his free time expanding on his CSS and HTML knowledge. Prior to joining SMA, Justin was a systems administrator for an Internet service provider, giving him a comfort and preference for command line interfaces and the Linux operating system. He has knowledge of database administration, including everything from the DOS-based PC File to programs such as MySQL, the world’s most popular open-source database.