BOARD OF DIRECTORS

President: Melissa J. Cook, FRP

Melissa Cook is originally from Michigan and has been working in the legal field for 18 years.  She currently works for Peterson & Myers, P. A., in Lakeland, Florida where she works in the transactional practice group which focuses on Commercial Real Estate, Banking and Finance, Corporate Governance, Mergers and Acquisitions, as well as Agricultural transactions. She has been involved with Tampa Bay Paralegal Association, Inc. for 16 years and has been a director or officer in that time frame. She looks forward to continuing to serve TBPA and its members in the year ahead.

 

Melissa and her husband have recently become “empty – nesters” as both of their daughters are now attending Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida and both will soon be graduating.  Melissa has recently gotten the “Travel Bug” and has been enjoying time tent camping and traveling with her husband as well starting a new hobby of photography.  When not traveling you will find Melissa and her husband spending as much time with their daughters when possible as they too will be “spreading their wings” and starting their own lives very soon.



Contact Melissa here. 


President-Elect: Frank Steinbeck Jr., FRP

 


With over five years of civil litigation experience, Frank joined Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta PA in 2012 as one of the firm’s paralegals devoting himself 100% to the area of marital and family law.


Frank’s professional certifications and accreditations include Florida Registered Paralegal status through the Florida Bar in 2012. In 2007, Frank was invited to join the Phi Theta Kappa honors society based on his superior academic performance and high moral standards while pursuing his Associate’s degree.


Frank is an active member serving on the Board of Directors of TBPA focusing on its mission to setting the standard for excellence for the paralegal profession through its work on regulations, ethics, and education.


Frank is also a member of the Knights of Columbus in New Port Richey and he speaks and writes Italian.


Contact Frank here.


First Vice President: Linda Woolard, FRP




Contact Linda here.

Second Vice President: Emily Merlin, CP

  

Emily Merlin is working in-house as the director of contracts management at Atos Digital Health Solutions focusing on IT Agreements for McLaren Health Care Corporation working with in-house attorneys, internal stakeholders, financial team and outside vendors. Prior to that she was a contracts manager working in-house at HealthPlan Services, Inc., a Wipro company, for five years and with WellCare Health Plans for ten years. She has over 25 years of experience as a Certified Paralegal working in contract negotiations and management, real estate, corporate compliance, mergers and acquisitions, healthcare, telecommunications and complex litigation.


Emily is a founding Officer of TBPA and has been an active member since its inception in the fall of 2000.  She has served in various capacities on the Board of Directors and as Chair on several Committees during her tenure as a member.  In addition, Emily is currently serving as Past President and Voting Officer with the Florida Alliance of Paralegal Associations, Inc. (“FAPA”), which TBPA is an Association Member.


Emily has a Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Administration from the University of West Florida (“UWF”) as well as two (2) Associate’s Degrees, one of which is in Paralegal Studies and the other in Music (Opera as the focus).  In addition, Emily achieved and continues to maintain the designation of Certified Paralegal ("CP") from the National Association of Legal Assistants (“NALA”).  During her leisure time, Emily enjoys spending time with her family and friends, scalloping during the summer, sailing/boating, singing at church, walking along Bayshore and the Riverwalk and cheering on the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team and Tampa Bay Rays baseball team.


Contact Emily here.


Secretary: Irene Hahn, CRP


Irene Hahn is a Core Registered Paralegal employed by Drummond Wehle Yonge LLP. The firm’s focus is Probate, Estate Planning and Formation of Corporations. She is working toward her Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies at HCC and has previously attended Kalan University earning a book award for exemplifying superior research and writing skills and was named on the Dean’s list each semester. She is also studying for NALA’s Certified Paralegal Exam.


Irene is a Tampa native. She enjoys going to the beach, kayaking on the Withlacoochee River and frequents Tampa’s theme parks. She is always looking for new adventures to keep life interesting.


Irene has been a member of TBPA since December 2012 and is looking forward to being more involved in the Organization.


Contact Irene here.


Treasurer: (Interim) Frank Steinbeck Jr., FRP


With over five years of civil litigation experience, Frank joined Sessums Black Caballero Ficarrotta PA in 2012 as one of the firm’s paralegals devoting himself 100% to the area of marital and family law.


Frank’s professional certifications and accreditations include Florida Registered Paralegal status through the Florida Bar in 2012. In 2007, Frank was invited to join the Phi Theta Kappa honors society based on his superior academic performance and high moral standards while pursuing his Associate’s degree.


Frank is an active member serving on the Board of Directors of TBPA focusing on its mission to setting the standard for excellence for the paralegal profession through its work on regulations, ethics, and education.


Frank is also a member of the Knights of Columbus in New Port Richey and he speaks and writes Italian.


Contact Frank here.

Director: Katie K. Turley, M.S., CP, FRP


Katie is a Florida native and has been working in the legal field for over 10 years.  She earned her Certified Paralegal (CP) designation through NALA and her Florida Registered Paralegal (FRP) designation through the Florida Bar.  She is employed at the law firm of Lieser Skaff Alexander, specializing in commercial litigation.


While in graduate school, she worked at the law firm of Motley Rice, LLC, in the Anti-Terrorism and Human Rights Department on the 9/11 Team.  Katie has a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Charleston Southern University in Charleston, South Carolina, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude.


Shortly after graduating, Katie and her chef husband, Bobby, got married in Charleston’s historical district.  She and her husband are avid foodies and enjoy attending local food events, dining in local restaurants and trying new and exotic cuisines.  In her spare time, Katie enjoys offshore and inshore fishing, attending sporting events and spending time with her husband and their golden retriever, Albert.


Contact Katie here.


Immediate Past President: Yvonne DeAntoneo


Yvonne Lewis DeAntoneo is a paralegal working in-house for State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company at their local trial counsel office, Kevin Korth & Associates in St. Petersburg, Florida.  She has been with State Farm since 2017.  Prior to that, Yvonne worked in a similar position for Nationwide Insurance for several years. Before she worked in-house, Yvonne spent approximately 20 years as a litigation paralegal in the Tampa Bay area and briefly in the Philadelphia areas working for various medical malpractice, nursing home defense and personal injury firms. 

 

Yvonne obtained her Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies from St. Petersburg College and a Bachelor’s in Literature from the University of South Florida.

 

In addition to currently serving as TBPA’s President Elect, Yvonne is a founding member of TBPA, serving as TBPA’s first President and in various roles on the board and in different committees over TBPA’s 20-year history. 

 

With a passion for the paralegal profession, Yvonne also served on the national board of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations.  With NFPA, Yvonne has previously served as Vice President and Director of Membership (2015-2019) and Region III Director (2013-2015). 

 

When not working or volunteering her time on the TBPA Board of Directors, Yvonne enjoys spending time with her family, including her two teenage daughters, Katherine and Sarah.  Yvonne is an avid reader and pet lover.

TBPA is a voluntary professional association and does not make any representation, endorsement or guarantee as to the quality, reliability, competency, accuracy, business practice/standards/ethics, or professionalism of any member of TBPA.  TBPA does not conduct background checks or any other form of due diligence on any person or business applying for membership with TBPA.

 



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