Michael L. Sheesley
Michael grew in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area in a small town called Aliquippa. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh obtaining a BSE in Bio-medical Engineering with a concentration in bio-mechanics and artificial organ development. Michael also obtained in minor in Administration of Justice. Michael went on to obtain his JD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law with a concentration of studies in Intellectual Property.
Michael moved to St. Thomas in 2005 and has actively practiced law in the U.S. Virgin Islands until the present. Michael is admitted to practice in the U.S. Virgin Islands, New York, New Jersey and the Third Circuit Court of Appeal.
Michael practices a wide variety of law including corporate and business matters, general civil litigation, criminal defense, family law, real estate, bankruptcy, medical malpractice and intellectual property.
Michael is an avid ultra-marathon runner who has completed some of the world's most grueling multi-day, self supported desert races as well as a lifelong animal lover and board member of the St. Thomas Humane Society.
2002 University of Pittsburgh, BSE Bio-medical Engineering, minor Administration of Justice
2005 University of Pittsburgh, JD
Thia has been our business consultant since inception, and became our business manager in February of 2017, responsible for the firm's finances, communications, website and overall business administration. Originally from Long Island, NY, Thia received her BFA in Arts Management from Long Island University, and her MA in Expressive Arts Therapies from Lesley College in Cambridge, MA. She has extensive experience in business management, as the owner of her vacation villa management business, Parrotfish Villas, LLC, based on St. John since 2005. Other ventures include 18 years working as a board-certified music therapist and expressive arts therapist, an early childhood music educator, and Professor of Music Therapy at the University of California, San Diego Extension. Thia is a past president of the San Diego Music Therapy Association, plays guitar, piano, and enjoys singing and performing. A long time proponent of environmental conservation, Thia is the Secretary and a director of the St. John Land Conservancy, where she is in charge of designing and developing the SJLC website, and is chair of the Marketing & Communications committee, focused on social media and public relations. Thia lives with her husband Raf and their two daughters in Florida, where they run the firm remotely, and enjoys regular visits to their second home in Coral Bay, St. John.
Sophie Rutnik comes to us from our home island of St. John where she was born and raised. She graduated from the University of Miami with a double major in Communication Studies/Public Relations and Social Studies. Sophie brings to our firm a strong background in Sales and Marketing, where her experience and skills have led to management roles for large marketing teams at corporate hotels both on St. John and on the mainland US. Sophie's qualifications are not only Sales related but include staff training, customer relationship building, public speaking and leadership. Sophie recently moved back to St. John with her family and joined our team at the law firm as Office Manager in September of 2020. Sophie draws on her years of experience to provide our clients with excellent customer service, while giving legal and administrative assistance to our firm.
Sallie Griffith brings to our firm a strong business background as a business consultant, public speaker, mentor and leader on the mainland US. She has more than 30 years of experience in sales, training, customer relationship building, and leadership. After 20+ years of training customer care departments in Fortune 500 companies, she left the corporate world to start her own business in real estate, as well as catering and event planning. An educator, speaker and leader in the real estate industry in her home state of Texas, she has served on seven realtor association boards and committees, earning Affiliate of the Year by three different associations. She has been active in several community organizations, serving on the board of the North Fort Worth Alliance and acting as a consultant for the City Council of Fort Worth. In 2018, Sallie moved to St. John and eventually joined our staff. We are delighted to have Sallie’s expert assistance with our administrative operations, customer relations and legal services.