2016 Joint Conference - Certification Ambassadors Conference - Sunday, May 1, 2016




8:30 a.m. - 8:35 a.m.

Welcome and Remarks

Nita Serrano, RP®

NFPA Vice President and Director of Paralegal Certification

8:35 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

So You’re a Certification Ambassador...Where do You Start?

Kristy Geron, RP

Certification Coordinator – Study Materials AND/OR

Linda Odermott, RP

10:00 a.m. -10:15 a.m.



10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Mock Study Group

Kristy Geron, RP

Certification Coordinator – Study Materials

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Overcoming Test Anxiety

Nita Serrano, RP®

NFPA Vice President and Director of Paralegal Certification

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.



1:00 p.m. -  2:30 p.m.

Panel Discussion

Getting your employer to support certification

Kristy Geron, RP

Certification Coordinator – Study Materials and

Linda Odermott, RP

2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.



2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Are you Smarter than a J.D.? (game re vocabulary and Ethics)

Beth Bialis, RP

Certification Coordinator – Ambassadors and

Michael Sullivan, Esq.


3:45 – 4:15 p.m.

Ethics CLE

Beth Bialis, RP

Certification Coordinator – Ambassadors


Who Wants to Be an RP/CRP? (game re how to qualify for exam, test specs etc.)

Nita Serrano, RP®

NFPA Vice President and Director of Paralegal Certification

5:00 – 5:05 p.m.

Closing Remarks

Nita Serrano, RP®

NFPA Vice President and Director of Paralegal Certification


Print version of agenda

Nita Serrano, RPNita Serrano, RP is a litigation Paralegal with the Tampa law firm of LaCava & Jacobson P.A. in their general casualty department handling all aspects of cases from case inception through trial preparation and participation.  Nita has been a paralegal for over 20 years, four of those years as a freelance paralegal.  Nita specializes in the areas of civil litigation, insurance defense, medical malpractice, personal injury, nursing home and general negligence.  She has also worked in the areas of criminal and family law.

Prior to becoming a Paralegal, Nita worked for two large Tampa Bay Area Hospitals as a Certified Health Unit Coordinator in the Emergency Room/Trauma Center, Transplant, Orthopedic, and Maternity Floor.  This experience provided the training necessary to communicate effectively with experts and medical professionals, as well as understand medical terminology and medical records.

Nita earned her Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies from Florida Metropolitan University, and her designation as a PACE Registered Paralegal (RP®) from the National Federation of Paralegal Associations in March, 2007.  

Nita has been a member of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. (NFPA) since 2006 and is currently serving as the Vice President & Director of Paralegal Certification.  She previously served as Certification Study Materials Coordinator under the NFPA Vice President of Certification, CLE Co-Coordinator, and Marketing Coordinator.   Nita has been a member of the Tampa Bay Paralegal Association, Inc. (TBPA) and has served as a Second Vice President, President Elect; President; Board Advisor; and Director.  She has also served on various committees, including the Annual Seminar, Pro Bono, Luncheon, Education & Professional Development and the 10th Anniversary Celebration Committees and also Chaired several committees, including Education & Professional Development Committee and Public Relations Committee.  Nita has also been a member of the Florida Alliance of Paralegal Associations, Inc. (“FAPA”) since 2013 and was FAPA President.

Nita has been a volunteer with Wills for Heroes, Dress for Success and PACE Center for Girls, Hillsborough for several years.  Nita is also a Guardian ad Litem for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Tampa, FL.

Kristy Geron, RPKristy Geron, RP is a litigation paralegal with Kane, Russell, Coleman & Logan, P.C. She has worked in the legal profession for 15 years in the areas of litigation, bankruptcy, corporate, public school law, and environmental law. She received her Paralegal Certificate from Arlington Career Institute in 1999 and graduated from University of North Texas in 2000, as a transfer student from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls. She has a Bachelor’s of Applied Arts and Sciences degree, was on the Dean’s List and a member of Gamma Beta Phi National Honor Society and Alpha Kappa Delta Sociology Honor Society. Kristy received her RP® credential from NFPA after passing the PACE (Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam) in June of 2012.

Kristy joined Dallas Area Paralegal Association in 2009 and has served on the Pro Bono and Entertainment Committees, and held the Board positions of Professional Development Director, Education Vice President, Director at Large, and President-Elect. She is currently serving as DAPA's President for 2016.She has served three years as the NFPA Certification Ambassador and has led a PACE and PCCE study group during that time. She is an active member of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, and served on the 2014 Annual Convention Planning Committee. She has been a Mentor in DAPA's Mentor/Protégé program for three years. She is a member of the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas and a member of their Animal Law Section. She was a recipient of DAPA's President's Award in 2014.

Linda Odermott, RPLinda Odermott, RP is a PACE Registered Paralegal® with more than eight years of experience in complex litigation and working for a municipality. She works with attorneys from both the Litigation Team and the Corporate Team at the law offices of Dunn Carney Allen Higgins & Tongue LLP in Portland, Oregon. Her paralegal practice includes: land use, construction defect, complex litigation, real property, tribal law, treaties, franchise agreements, ordinances and resolutions of local and state agencies, easements, right of ways, land use agreements, policies and regulations of government agencies, historic maps and diagrams, public records and public meeting laws, and most recently on marijuana related matters. Ms. Odermott is also a member of the part-time faculty at Portland Community College where she teaches on real property to the paralegal students.  Ms. Odermott was named National Federation of Paralegal Associations' 2015 Certification Ambassador of the Year; Oregon Paralegal Association’s 2015 Paralegal of the Year and the Recipient of the 1999 Oregon Police Chiefs’ $500 Student Scholarship.

Beth Bialis, RPBeth Bialis, RP has been a paralegal for over twenty years with experience in bankruptcy law, real estate and litigation. Ms. Bialis is currently employed as a litigation paralegal at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP in Baltimore, Maryland, where she supports attorneys in the business and IP litigation groups.  She has experience in factual investigation and research, pretrial discovery involving analysis and production of voluminous documents, analysis of financial documents for securities litigation, and providing support for depositions, hearings and trials.

Mike Sullivan, Esq.Michael Sullivan, Esq. has been Program Director, Paralegal Studies and Professor in the Legal Studies Department Brookdale Community College since 2006 teaching in the areas of Civil Litigation, Civil Procedure, Corporate Law, Constitutional Law, Contracts/Transactional Law, Torts, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Legal Ethics.  As an American Bar Association (ABA) approved legal studies program, the program director is responsible for all institutional and ABA related assessment activities pertaining to the program. He is a member of New Jersey State Bar Association, New Jersey State Bar Association Paralegal Committee, Monmouth County Bar Association,     Haydn Proctor Chapter of the American Inn of Court, and Brookdale Community College Legal Studies Association.

Note: The information above is a draft. NFPA reserves the right to change/substitute speakers or topics as necessary due to unexpected circumstances.

modified 4/22/2016

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