Marissa received her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Growing up in California, she is passionate about outdoor recreation, both in the mountains and the ocean. She is a former professional snowboarder and loves surfing (on waves and behind boats), mountain biking, paddling, and generally being outside. She is the review editor for women’s snowboards, splitboards, and stand up paddleboards for Outdoor Gear Lab. Marissa earned her Juris Doctorate at the U.C. Davis King Hall School of Law, where she served as an editor on both Law Review and the Business Law Journal.

Marissa has a wide range of legal experience. As an attorney at Cooley LLP in San Diego, Marissa represented both public and private companies in a wide range of transactions, including formation, mergers, acquisitions, financings, and public offerings. At Best Best & Krieger LLP, she specialized in real estate litigation and represented high profile clients in real property disputes and matters involving title. At the Surfrider Foundation, she focused on environmental law, particularly the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) and the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”).

Marissa brings a broad spectrum of professional experience to MOBO. Marissa previously managed two large dive centers in Indonesia and pioneered the creation of their conservation brand. She was also the Policy Director and Chief Financial Officer of a non-profit organization based in the Philippines that is dedicated to whale shark research. Marissa is the founder of Oceans Forward, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to creating a network of innovative ocean conservation initiatives. Under her guidance, Oceans Forward created a comprehensive marine research and education program featured in BBC’s Blue Planet 2. As a master scuba diver trainer, she has served as the dive safety officer on research expeditions across the planet, including tagging whale sharks in the Philippines, minke whales in Iceland, and leatherback turtles in Dominica.

Marissa is a passionate advocate for the Lake Tahoe community. She was previously the Legal and Policy Director for the League to Save Lake Tahoe, where she focused on land use policies and was instrumental in implementing transformative projects on the south shore, including one of the first dockless bikeshare programs in the country. Marissa was also an attorney at Feldman Thiel LLP, where she worked on complex real property and land use transactions and helped secure entitlements for redevelopment projects within the Lake Tahoe basin.

Now, Marissa’s practice is dedicated to land use, real property, and transactional work. Marissa has significant experience navigating the complex regulatory structure and land use rules unique to the Tahoe basin. Marissa previously served on the technical code writing team for TRPA’s development rights working group. She has helped clients obtain entitlements for a wide range of commercial and residential projects, from complex multi-million-dollar commercial projects to affordable housing developments and residential projects. She is skilled in local, state and federal environmental law and land use planning and has worked with local planners on the amendment of land use plans and zoning regulations. She also counsels corporate and non-profit clients on formation, governance, and compliance and represents businesses in a wide range of transactions. 

Marissa is a member of the board of directors of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association and the City of South Lake Tahoe’s Economic Recovery Task Force and Measure P Oversight Commission. She is also a former member of the City’s Parks and Recreation Commission. In her free time, Marissa enjoys snowboarding, splitboarding, mountain biking, wakesurfing, and obsessing about sustainable recreation and transportation in mountain towns.

Marissa is MOBO.

Areas of Practice

  • Land Use
  • Business Law
  • Real Estate Law

Bar & Court Admissions

  • California
  • Nevada
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California

Education

  • King Hall School of Law, Davis, California
    • J.D., Editor, U.C. Davis Law Review and Business Law Journal
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
    • B.A. summa cum laude
    • Honors: Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Tahoe Rim Trail Association, Member of the Board of Directors
  • City of South Lake Tahoe Measure P Oversight Commission, Member
  • City of South Lake Tahoe Economic Recovery Task Force, Member
  • City of South Lake Tahoe Parks and Recreation Commission, Former Member
  • Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Development Rights Initiative Technical Code Advisory Team, Former Member

Pro Bono Activities

  • Small Business COVID-19 Support
  • South Shore Transportation Management Association
  • Tahoe Home Connection
  • MOBO Foundation