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Paralegal Perspectives

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

  • By: Pamela Lyle
  • Organization: VLSP

On May 20, the Paralegal Association of Rochester held its annual meeting with the theme of PARexcellence! The evening recognized an outstanding paralegal in our community with the Paralegal of the Year Award presentation to Elizabeth (Liz) Finnegan, a senior collections' paralegal at Wegmans. The association also applauded members Susan Ippoliti and Maggie Cyganovich for their leadership positions in the National Federation of Paralegal Associations. Ippoliti was elected vice president and director of membership and Cyganovich was appointed to the board of directors for NFPA's Foundation for the Advancement of the Paralegal Profession. Finally, the night concluded with the election and installation of the new board of directors.

The new board has already begun its work for the 2004-2005 year. On May 27 the board is meeting to finalize PAR's three primary goals for the year. All officers will set their individual agendas and programs to support the primary objectives. The purpose of the primary goals is to keep the organization focused on PAR's mission of promoting the profession while targeting three specific initiatives. So who are the new leaders of PAR? As second year president of PAR, please let me introduce the 2004-2005 board of directors:

Treasurer: Patricia Carey. Since 2002, Carey has specialized in editing litigation publications at West, a Thomson Business. She has been a paralegal for over 19 years. Her undergraduate degree is from Nazareth College, and her paralegal studies were done at Bentley College in Waltham, Mass. She is an accomplished musician and a member of multiple musical ensembles in Rochester. Carey is new to PAR's board and we welcome her experience and insights.

Secretary: Julie Petroske. She is new to the board and brings a bundle of enthusiasm to the position. Currently she is a paralegal at Volunteer Legal Services Project (VLSP) and works on cases concerning family law and consumer debt. Since her graduation from Herkimer County Community College in paralegal studies, she has worked mostly in real estate law until the change to VLSP within the last year.

NFPA Primary: Sheila Popowych. She continues on PAR's board in her new capacity as PAR's primary delegate to NFPA. She is a patent litigation paralegal at Kodak and teaches at MCC. Her undergraduate studies were completed at Roberts Wesleyan College.

The Popowych household has the wonderful dichotomy of preparing for their oldest daughter's departure for college in fall while their younger daughter shops for kindergarten supplies. If you need to know anything about pop culture, national paralegal issues or complex intellectual property litigation - Sheila's your contact!

NFPA Secondary: Dawn Samuel. Samuel is a litigation defense paralegal at Martin & Iati. She is shifting hats this year from PAR's bean counter to PAR's NFPA secondary delegate. She has a B.S. in criminal justice from Brockport. She has two kitties who love to curl up with her when she relaxes with a new book. Don't let her youthful smile and infectious laugh fool you, she has 10 years of experience as a paralegal and will well represent PAR in the national forum.

Vice President Programs/Education: Jeanne Chabot. Chabot is currently a litigation paralegal at Ernstrom & Dreste but also has extensive real estate experience. Litigation work, however, is her strong preference. She recently was a member of the firm's team of attorneys and paralegals who prepared and presented a day long seminar including a very realistic mock trial. She is beginning her second term as the PAR's program director. You'll never see her other than calm and poised despite her hectic responsibilities. Her secret for relieving stress is her routine of high energy aerobic workouts at the athletic club.

Vice President Programs/Education: Melinda Muldoon. PAR will continue to benefit from Muldoon's focused dedication to keeping PAR's members connected as she begins her second year as PAR's communications' officer preparing and distributing the monthly calendar and interim e-mail notices to members. She has a B.S. in sociology from Wells College and a Paralegal Certificate from Syracuse University. She is a paralegal in Kodak's marketing, antitrust, trademark & litigation section of the corporate legal department. She is an avid golfer and is very happy that the season is here at last!

Vice President Membership: Beverly Noren. She is currently a corporate paralegal at Underberg & Kessler specializing in intellectual property, commercial lending and corporate law. Her paralegal studies were completed at the New York University, Paralegal Institute in New York City. She has a B.A. from Knox College and has done graduate work at the New School for Social Research in New York City. Noren unwinds from her busy days by enjoying a bicycle ride, reading a new novel, or catching the latest movie. PAR is very happy that Bev has returned for a second term as the membership director.

Vice President Employment: Ruth Warlick. She is also a second term, returning officer to the board as director of PAR's employment/job bank. She is currently a real estate paralegal at Davidson, Fink, Cook, Kelly & Galbraith, LLP. Although she as been a paralegal for the past 12 years her educational roots are in sociology and elementary education with a B.S. degree from Roberts Wesleyan College. Warlick loves to garden and to read. Traveling to Chatham, Mass. is also high on her list of preferred pleasures.

Vice President Newsletter: Mary Gaudio. She is new to PAR's board this year and is jumping in with both feet as editor of the newsletter. Watch out! She is planning some surprises for PAR's advertisers and members. Currently Gaudio is a real estate paralegal at Harris, Chesworth, O'Brien, Johnstone, Welch & Leone. Her degree is from MCC. As the mother of two teenage girls she can keep you informed about the upcoming generations' preferences, foibles and concerns.

Vice Presidents - Directors at Large: Jaci Prosperi and Monica Mohammed. They are the stars of the new board. Traditionally, directors-at-large assist with various projects throughout the year. This year, however, both have committed to lead major initiatives for PAR. Prosperi will be PAR's pro bono chair and is energized to double, triple, or even quadruple PAR's volunteer hours. Mohammed is the chair of PAR's 2004 major "Kick-off" fall dinner event and the chair of the Paralegal of the Year Award Committee for 2005.

Prosperi is a paralegal at Brenna & Brenna, PLCC and specializes in all aspects of Medicaid, trust & estates administration and fiduciary income tax. Although new to the firm, you may have heard her on WHAM earlier this year when the Sunday morning Brenna & Brenna law show featured changes with Medicaid. Prosperi completed her under graduate studies at Nazareth College and has a paralegal certificate from the National Institute for Paralegal Studies. She is high energy and highly organized so its not surprising to learn that she is also a marathon runner.

Mohammed is relatively new to the Rochester legal community having moved here only a couple years ago. I think she called PAR about 10 minutes after the moving truck pulled away, which shows how dedicated she is to the profession. Currently she is a litigation paralegal at Cellino and Barnes. PAR is happy that her move into a new house went smoothly; not an easy thing when you're juggling a career with raising a teenager and a grade-schooler. Welcome to the board, Mohammed.

Pamela Lyle is a paralegal in the Marketing, Anti-trust, Trademark & Litigation Department at Eastman Kodak Co. and is president of the Paralegal Association of Rochester.

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