About NFPA - Board of Directors

    President
Lisa Vessels, CP, FRP  

Lisa Vessels, RP, CP, FRP
Miami, FL

The President will be the leader of NFPA and a mentor for the paralegal profession. This individual will be responsible to make daily, on-going and long-term decisions regarding NFPA's overall effect on the profession and ensure these decisions are implemented and monitored.

Lisa Vessels, RP, CP, FRP lives in Miami, Florida, and is employed by Duane Morris LLP managing the rules-based docketing software used by her firm's U.S. offices. Lisa has worked in the paralegal profession since 1992 with experience in commercial litigation, as well as corporate contract law specializing in commercial aviation equipment leasing and sales.

Lisa is a former two-term President of the South Florida Paralegal Association and the Florida Alliance of Paralegal Associations. As an active member in both organizations, she has served in many additional roles such as Webmaster, Treasurer, Secretary, and Membership Chair since joining in 2005.

She served as NFPA’s Regulation Review Coordinator from November 2009 until September 2012, and was an active participant on the PCC Exam Development Committee from its inception in 2008 through its launch in 2011. Lisa served on Miami-Dade College's Paralegal Studies Program Advisory Board from 2006 to 2012, serving as chairperson from 2010. She is currently serving her third three year term as a non-lawyer member of The Florida Bar's Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee for the 11th Circuit in Miami-Dade County. She was an adjunct instructor at Florida International University's Paralegal Studies certificate program from 2006 to 2008. Lisa also volunteers for the Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida as a trainer for adult volunteers.

Lisa earned her Bachelor's degree in Paralegal Studies from Nova Southeastern University in 2005, and Associate's degrees in Computer Information Systems and Computer Programming (Visual Basic) from Miami Dade College in 2002. Lisa earned the Certified Paralegal® designation in September 2005, qualified as a Florida Registered Paralegal of The Florida Bar in June 2008, and earned the PACE® Registered Paralegal designation in September 2012.


    Vice President & Director of Profession Development
Beth Bialis  

Beth Bialis, RP
Buffalo, NY

The Vice President and Director of Profession Development will assist the President in addressing the future growth and expansion of the profession and the development of NFPA to support these changes. If the President is incapable of functioning, the Vice President and Director of Profession Development will assume the duties of the President.

Beth Bialis, RP has been a paralegal for over fifteen years with experience in bankruptcy law and business litigation. Ms. Bialis is currently employed as a paralegal in the Business Litigation Practice Group at Hodgson Russ LLP in Buffalo, New York. 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 hearings and trials. In addition, Ms. Bialis is Paralegal Coordinator for the litigation practice area at the firm.

Ms. Bialis has been a member of the Western New York Paralegal Association since 1996. She has held several positions on the Board of Directors including liaison to the Bar Association of Erie County, Secondary Representative to ESAPA (Empire Alliance of Paralegal Associations) and most recently as Vice President, Director of Programming and NFPA Primary.


    Vice President & Director of Positions and Issues
Lisa Vessels, CP, FRP  

Lynne-Marie Reveliotis
Bridgewater, MA

The Vice President and Director of Positions and Issues will assist the President and the Vice President and Director of Profession Development in leading NFPA and the paralegal profession by addressing position and issues that will directly affect the association and the profession. If the President and the Vice President and Director of Profession Development are incapable of functioning, the Vice President and Director of Positions and Issues will assume the duties of the President.

 


    Vice President & Director of Membership
Cindy Welch, RP  

Cindy Welch, RP
Fort Worth, TX

The Vice President and Director of Membership will be responsible for guiding NFPA in attracting and retaining members.

After graduating from the University of Texas at Dallas School with a B.S. in Business Administration, Cindy Welch, RP went to El Centro Community College for her paralegal certificate. She has been employed by a group of trial consultants and a national mediation and arbitration firm. She has also worked for a Dallas firm that assisted police officers and fire fighters in legal actions relating to their employment and a defense labor and employment firm. Currently, she is teaching paralegal students and working as a freelance paralegal in the areas of labor and employment, family law, personal injury and representation of peace officers.

Cindy is in her tenth year as an adjunct professor, including five spent in the paralegal department of El Centro Community College. She is the author of many articles for The Reporter and has written for the Texas Paralegal Journal. Over the years, Cindy has served her local association, Dallas Area Paralegal Association, in several capacities: President, Secretary, PACE Ambassador, NFPA Primary and Vendor Advisor. Before serving as Region II Director 2010 - 2012, she served NFPA as CLE Co-Coordinator and as a PACE Assistant Coordinator. Cindy became a PACE Registered Paralegal® in 2001 and is also a member of the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas. She has been honored by the Dallas Area Paralegal Association with the Volunteer of the Year award in 2004, the President's Award in 2008, and the Paralegal of the Year award in 2011.

    Vice President & Director of Paralegal Certification
Suellen Honeychuck, RP  

Nita Serrano, RP
Tampa, FL

The Vice President and Director of Paralegal Certification will assist the President in leading NFPA and the paralegal profession by overseeing and managing the administration of the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE), the Paralegal CORE Competency Exam (PCC Exam) and the PACE Standards Committee, by addressing issues related to paralegal certification and by being the main spokesperson regarding paralegal certification.

Nita 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 almost 19 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 has served as the Marketing/Public Relations Coordinator in 2011 and 2012.  She is currently serving as the Certification Study Materials Coordinator under the NFPA Vice President of Certification as well as CLE Co-Coordinator under the NFPA Vice President of Profession Development.   Nita has been a member of the Tampa Bay Paralegal Association, Inc. (TBPA) and has served as a Second Vice President for the years 2006-2007 and 2007-2008; President Elect for the year 2008-2009;  President for the years 2009-2010 and 2010-2011; Board Advisor 2011-2012 and 2012-2013; Director for the year 2012-2013;.  She was TBPA’s first Paralegal Ambassador in 2008 and has been the Paralegal Certification Ambassador since her presidency ended 2011.  She has also served on various committees, including the Annual Seminar, Pro Bono, Luncheon, Education & Professional Development and the 10th Anniversary Celebration Committees.  She is the current Chair of the 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 is the 2014 president of FAPA.

Away from work, Nita can usually be found reading, spending time with her husband, four children and their furry family members, a Toy American Eskimo and two Yorkshire Terriers.

    Vice President & Director of Marketing
Melissa Marquez Leslie  

Melissa Marquez Leslie, TBLS-BCP
Dallas, TX

The vice president and director of marketing shall be responsible for all aspects of marketing which include the development of NFPA’s marketing plan, strategies and promotion materials. The vice president and director of marketing shall supervise all activities concerned with the implementation of the Corporate Partners Program, development and growth of other marketing programs, and shall have other duties as may be assigned by the board of directors or the president.

Melissa Marquez Leslie, TBLS-BCP has been a family law paralegal for over 19 years and earned the Texas Board of Legal Specialization designation of a Board Certified Paralegal in Family Law in Jan. 2014. She is currently a paralegal at the North Texas firm of KoonsFuller, P.C. She became a member of the Dallas Area Paralegal Association (DAPA) in 2005. During her membership in DAPA, Ms. Leslie held the offices of President, President-Elect, Professional Development Director, NFPA Primary, Board Advisor, NFPA Secondary and Vendor Advisor. She has chaired many events for DAPA including the 2009-2011 full day CLE seminars, Diversity University. She was also been a member of numerous DAPA committees that plan events such as happy hours, Texas Paralegal Day and the annual Holiday Luncheon. Ms. Leslie was named DAPA’s Volunteer of the Year in 2007. She served as the NFPA Corporate Partners Coordinator from November 2009 – October 2011. Ms. Leslie received her Paralegal Certificate (with Honors) from Southeastern Paralegal Institute in 1994 and received her B.S. in Political Science from Sam Houston State University in 1993.


    Treasurer & Director of Finance
  Tracey Irvin Chandler, RP
Albany, NY

The Treasurer and Director of Finance will be responsible for ensuring that NFPA is in a sound financial position by supervising the collection of dues and supervising generation of non-dues income, and evaluating financial management performances and opportunities.

Tracey Irvin Chandler, R.P. lives in Corinth, New York.  She has been employed as a paralegal by the law firm of McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams, P.C. of Albany, New York, since February 1999. For the McNamee firm, Mrs. Chandler has worked in the areas of consumer financial services law, insurance law, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights law, civil litigation and construction law. Prior to moving to New York, Mrs. Chandler began her career as the Financial Administrator for the U. S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Georgia and spent six years as a Paralegal in bankruptcy litigation with a local law firm.  Mrs. Chandler has worked as a paralegal for almost 35 years.  She has been a PACE Registered Paralegal® since November 10, 2003

Mrs. Chandler has been a member of the Capital District Paralegal Association, Inc. (CDPA) for over eleven years.  She has served on the CDPA Board in the positions of Treasurer since May 2007 and as Sponsorship Director and NFPA Secondary delegate since December 2011.  For the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, she has served on the Budget Committee and served on the Paralegal Core Competency Exam Item Writing Committee.

Mrs. Chandler is also a member of the Albany County Bar Association and the  Capital District Women’s Bar Association (CDWBA).  As a CDWBA member, she co-chaired the Ads and Sponsors Sub Committee for the 2002 State Convention of the Womens Bar Association for the State of New York and worked on the updates to the CDWBA's By-Laws.  She was also the CDWBA’s 2002 recipient of the Distinguished Non-Attorney Member Award.  

Mrs. Chandler received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from North Georgia College & State University.  She also attended the University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain, the American Association for Paralegal Studies and the Atlanta Law School, both of Atlanta, Georgia.  She continues to attend Continuing Legal Education.


    Secretary & Director of Operations
Valerie Dolan, RP, Pa.C.P.  

Cherylan Shearer
Goshen, IN

The Secretary and Director of Operations will be responsible for taking minutes at official NFPA meetings and oversee the daily operations of the association through the Management Company. If the President, Vice President and Director of Profession Development and the Vice President and Director of Positions and Issues are incapable of functioning, the Secretary and Director of Operations will assume the duties of the President.

Cherylan Shearer lives in Goshen, Indiana.  She is a corporate paralegal at the law firm of Yoder Ainlay Ulmer & Buckingham, LLP in Goshen, Indiana, and has been with the firm for 20 years.  She received her paralegal certificate with honors in June 1999 from Indiana University at South Bend.  She works with the initial set up of organizations including for-profit, nonprofit, and limited liability companies, and maintains corporate compliance for approximately 500 clients of the firm.  She also focuses on mergers and acquisitions for the firm.

Ms. Shearer has been a member of the Michiana Paralegal Association since 1999 and is also an Affiliate Member of the Indiana State Bar Association.  While a member of her local Association, she has served as Membership Chair, Primary, and most recently as President. She also served as the NFPA Region III Director from 2009 through 2012, and as Chair of the Region Directors from 2010-2012.  Most recently, she served as  Convention Coordinator for 2013-2014.

Since 2009, Ms. Shearer has taught the Paralegal Methods in Business Organization seminar to paralegal students at the Indiana University at South Bend.  In March 2014, she also presented a webinar for NFPA on Basics of Corporate Structures for Paralegals.  She was also awarded the Michiana Paralegal of the Year for 2010.

    Director, Region I  
Theda M. Yandell, RP®  

Tom Holmes
Portland, OR

The Region Directors are responsible for the "humanization of NFPA" to local associations, and are the main liaison between member associations and other Board members.

 

 

    Director, Region II
Allen Mihecoby, RP, CLAS  

Allen Mihecoby, CLAS, RP
Dallas, TX

The Region Directors are responsible for the "humanization of NFPA" to local associations, and are the main liaison between member associations and other Board members.

Allen Mihecoby, CLAS, RP, is currently employed as a Senior Paralegal at Kimberly-Clark, a global enterprise which manufactures some of the best known brands in the consumer products industry.  In this role, he is responsible for supporting the Company’s efforts in SEC Reporting, Corporate Governance, Strategic Transactions and Compliance.  He was previously employed in the position of Manager, Law Department, for the second largest railroad in the U.S. He has primarily worked with international firms and multinational corporations in various areas of law, including IP, corporate, securities, real estate and commercial litigation. He received his BA in Political Science at the University of Texas--Arlington, with a concentration in International Affairs and Pre-Law. In 1997 he graduated with an ABA-approved paralegal certificate from Southeastern Paralegal Institute in Dallas, Texas. He became a PACE Registered Paralegal in 2002; and earned the CLAS credential (Business & Corporate Law) in 2005.

Allen has served the paralegal profession on national, state, and local levels. He is a member of the Dallas Area Paralegal Association (DAPA), the Metroplex Association of Corporate Paralegals (MACP), Fort Worth Paralegal Association (FWPA), the Texas Center for Legal Ethics (TCLE), the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas (PD) and a charter member of the State Bar College (SBC). In several of these organizations, Allen has served in leadership positions, including: NFPA CLE Co-Coordinator and Assistant Pro Bono Coordinator; DAPA President, VP of Programs, Board Advisor and Ethics Chair; FWPA First Vice President-Programs and Ethics Chair; PD Parliamentarian and District 3 Director; and MACP Co-Chair/Ethics/Professional Development.

In 2004, Legal Assistant Today named Allen as one of the runners-up in its Paralegal of the Year Contest. The same year, NFPA and Dyncorp awarded him the Outstanding Local Leader award. He was named 2009 Fort Worth Paralegal Association’s Paralegal of the Year. ParalegalGateway.com named Allen as one of its 2011 Paralegal Superstars and DAPA awarded him the 2011 Pro Bono award.
 


    Director, Region III
Yvonne DeAntoneo  

Yvonne Lewis DeAntoneo
St. Petersburg, FL

The Region Directors are responsible for the "humanization of NFPA" to local associations, and are the main liaison between member associations and other Board members.

Yvonne Lewis DeAntoneo is a litigation paralegal with Nationwide Insurance in their Tampa Bay Trial Division and has over 20 years of paralegal experience in medical malpractice, personal injury, mass torts and commercial litigation.

Yvonne has served two terms as the President of the Tampa Bay Paralegal Association, Inc.  An active member with TBPA since its inception, Yvonne has also served in various other roles and committee positions with TBPA, including 1st Vice President, Pro Bono/Community Service Committee; 10th Anniversary Celebration Chair; Bar Liaison/Public Relations; Education/Professional Development/Student Mentoring; Membership; Newsletter; Parliamentarian; Seminar/CLE; and State & National Affairs.

Yvonne has an Associate Degree In Paralegal Studies from St. Petersburg College and a Bachelor’s of Arts in English & American Literature from the University of South Florida.


    Director, Region IV
Donna Huntermark, RP®, PaCP  

Donna Huntermark, RP, PaCP
Pittsburgh, PA

The Region Directors are responsible for the "humanization of NFPA" to local associations, and are the main liaison between member associations and other Board members.

In February 2011, Donna Huntermark, RP, PaCP started with Leech Tishman as a Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Paralegal. In addition, she assists the Corporate and Real Estate Departments with projects as needed.

Prior to joining Leech Tishman, she was employed by Houston Harbaugh for eleven years as a Bankruptcy Paralegal for a Chapter 7 U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee. Being the paralegal for a Trustee taught her many skills outside of the typical necessary legal skills, such as accounting and payroll techniques. She learned to administer the day-to-day operation of companies that filed for Chapter 11 protection, along with the selling of real estate and various types of property. With the volume of bankruptcy filings, she learned how to be an effective manager of her time.

In September 2011, she sat for and passed the NFPA Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE).

Her involvement in a paralegal association dates back to 1986 when she joined National Capital Area Paralegal Association in Washington, DC. After returning home to Pittsburgh, she joined the Pittsburgh Paralegal Association in 2000. She has held several positions within PPA including Vice-President, Director, PACE Ambassador, NFPA Primary Representative and NFPA Secondary Representative.

She has been the Region IV Representative on the NFPA Budget committee for three years and the Coordinator Paralegal Certification – Ambassadors for 2012. As the Coordinator Paralegal Certification – Ambassadors, she helped the VPDPC coordinate and facilitate the Paralegal Certification Ambassadors Conference in April 2012.
 


    Director, Region V
Pat Gagnon, RP  

Laurie Noyes, RP
Burlington, VT

The Region Directors are responsible for the "humanization of NFPA" to local associations, and are the main liaison between member associations and other Board members.

 


    Board Advisor
Bob Hrouda, RP  

Robert Hrouda, RP®
Philadelphia, PA

The Immediate Past President assumes the office of Board Advisor, and provides continuity to the Board of Directors, is an advisor to the current President, and provides the President with background information and other assistance as needed. Moreover, the Board Advisor serves as the NFPA Historian and as the supervisory board member to the Nominations Coordinator and the Strategic Planning Coordinator.

Robert Hrouda, RP, is a litigation practice paralegal with expertise in litigation support technology. Robert is a former three-term President of the Philadelphia Association of Paralegals, where he also served as a delegate to both the Keystone Alliance of Paralegal Associations and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. In 2006, he received the Outstanding Local Leadership Award from the NFPA and was elected Region IV Director. Robert also served on the Policy Meeting Minutes and Marketing Committees for NFPA. In May 2008, Robert passed the PACE exam designating him as a PACE Registered Paralegal. In addition to his current NFPA position, Robert was recently reappointed to the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Committee on Judicial Selection and Retention. Prior to joining Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, he was a paralegal at two prominent Philadelphia law firms where he worked in the areas of personal injury, litigation, labor law, aviation law, and family law. A 1992 graduate of Temple University, Robert received a bachelor’s of business administration in law and business.

 

modified 10/22/2014

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