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Our Mission

The International Practice Management Association (IPMA) is the premier resource for information and education on the management of paralegals and other practice support professionals in law firms and law departments globally. Its mission is to advocate for the effective use and management of these professionals, to promote and enhance the proficiency and professionalism of its members, and to provide thought leadership to the membership, the legal industry and the public at large on the value of utilization and management of paralegals and other practice support professionals.

Speaker Bios

As always, this year's speakers are proven leaders, strategists, practitioners, and peers. No matter how long you've been in the legal industry or what position you hold at your organization, there's always something more to learn.
 

JESSICA BAZIK
Business Process Re-engineering: What Records Management Can Do for You
Jessica Bazik has served in the Legal Records and Information Management Industry for over 17 years. She is currently a Records Supervisor with Nelson Mullins, a firm of 500+ attorneys and 17 offices nationwide. Jessica spearheaded the Business Processing Re-engineering initiative at Nelson Mullins, which helped practice teams eliminate waste, reduce costs, increase value, and ultimately improve the quality of service to clients. She is an advocate for electronic records management and has led the way for conversion of many client records to electronic file storage. Jessica holds a B.S. in Management Information Systems from East Carolina University. She also serves as a member of the Association of Records Managers and Administrators and the International Legal Technology Association.

   

RHONA BERGER
Managing Difficult Conversations  |  Managing Conflict in the Workplace
Rhona Berger joined the OMERS team in April of 2015 as an Enterprise Learning and Development Consultant. After spending the first 18 years of her professional life in information technology, Rhona began her transition into the field of Learning and Development by teaching Business Systems and Analysis at Seneca College. Today, more than 16 years later, Rhona is an experienced leadership development professional and holds an Honours Certification in Adult Education, is a Certified Training and Development Professional (CTDP) and a Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC). Inspired by the ah-ha moments of others, Rhona's passion is people who want to be their best self. With a home in Ontario, Canada, Rhona is a weekend northerner where she lives with her husband and best pet friend, Gizmo.

   

TERRIE CAMPBELL
Multi-Generational Approach to Drive Firm Growth
Terrie Campbell is the Chief Executive Officer of Esquire Deposition Solutions having joined the company in 2015 as Chief Operating Officer to drive improved and consistent operating practices. As CEO, Terrie is committed to premium client care, achieving optimum effectiveness, and enabling true innovation. She is well-versed in change management, operational process and methodology design, output management and optimization, vertical solutions, and strategic design. Terrie has many years of experience studying generational workforce behaviors and is a driving force behind engaging Millennials in the legal industry.

   

CAROLINE CENIZA-LEVINE
Resilience in Work and Life: Overcome Obstacles to Your Success  |  In Leadership: Is It Better to Be Feared or Loved?
Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a career and business expert, writer, speaker, and co-founder of SixFigureStart®. Caroline has coached executives from leading firms including Amazon, American Express, Condé Nast, Goldman Sachs, Google, Pfizer, and Tesla. Prior to launching SixFigureStart® in 2008, Caroline spent 15 years in strategy consulting, executive search, and human resources. Caroline has been a repeat guest on CBS, CNN, CNBC, and Fox Business and has been quoted in major media outlets, including BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fortune, Inc, and Success Magazine. Caroline is a career columnist for Forbes.com and formerly wrote for CNBC, Money, and Portfolio. She is the author of three books: Jump Ship: 10 Steps To Starting A New Career (2015, Forbes Media); Six Steps To Job Search Success (2011, Flat World Knowledge); and How the Fierce Handle Fear: Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times (2010, Two Harbors Press). Caroline teaches Professional Development and Negotiation courses at Columbia University and is a graduate of Barnard College. A classically trained pianist at Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music, Caroline stays active in the arts, performing stand-up comedy.

   

DANIELLE COHEN
Managing Difficult Conversations  |  Managing Conflict in the Workplace
Danielle Cohen joined the OMERS team in September of 2010, most currently holding the role as Manager, Enterprise Learning and Development. She is an experienced leadership development professional and is a Certified Training and Development Professional (CTDP). Danielle gets her energy from working with employees across the organization and helping teams grow and increase their effectiveness. Danielle is an avid reader with a thirst for knowledge and will always welcome new book recommendations!

   
   

TRACIE CROOK
Leading an Organizational and Business Transformation
Tracie Crook is the Chief Operating Officer of McCarthy Tétrault. As COO, Tracie is responsible for the leadership, strategic direction, and continuous advancement of services operations to deliver optimized support and value to the firm's clients and lawyers. She brings significant operations experience to her role along with a track record of developing and implementing strategies, practices, and high-performing teams to result in more efficient, effective, and responsive organizations. Tracie was one of 60 women executives identified globally and one of two in Canada to be included as a Lean In Circle Champion in Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In Circle program. She is also the regional Canadian Chair of the Young President's Organization's Women's International Network Executive Committee.

   

STEVEN F. GRIFFITH
Hot HR Topics, USA: Off-Duty Conduct
Steven F. Griffith is a shareholder in the New Orleans office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC where he assists clients in various industries, including affordable housing, construction, hospitality, and marine. Steven has represented or advised clients regarding matters in over 35 states, ranging from the defense of nationwide class and collective actions to smaller business disputes. His practice includes a focus on unique wage and hour issues, and he defends nationwide collective actions brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as related class actions across the country. His experience also includes extensive litigation experience on civil rights claims, Title VII, the ADA, FMLA, and ADEA. Steven has represented clients before the Louisiana Department of Insurance, Louisiana Department of Justice, United States Department of Labor, and the EEOC. Prior to practicing law, Steven served as judicial clerk for Chief Justice Pascal F. Calogero, Jr. in the Louisiana Supreme Court from 2000 to 2001.

   

KRISTIN GUYTON
Recruiting in Today's Legal Marketplace
Kristin Guyton is a Senior Consultant with Beacon Hill Legal - a national staffing firm that has been named one of America's fastest-growing private staffing firms by Staffing Industry Analysts, Inc. and one of the fastest growing companies by Inc. 500. Beacon Hill Legal consults with law firms and corporations to provide the very best attorneys, paralegals, and legal support professionals on both a direct-hire and interim basis.

   
   

MICHELLE HESS
How Paralegal Managers, Educators, and Career Officers Can Collaborate for the Benefit of All
Michelle Hess is the Paralegal Manager for Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP. She is a graduate of the Master of Paralegal Studies program at The George Washington University. Michelle received her Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2012. In 2000, she received an Associate of Science Degree in Paralegal studies from Hillsborough Community College, graduating with Highest Honors. Michelle obtained the Advanced Certified Paralegal Designation in Discovery in 2010 and Trial Practice in 2013. She has worked with notable Florida law firms in various areas of litigation and trial practice, including commercial litigation, intellectual property litigation, media law, medical malpractice, nursing home litigation with an emphasis on fraudulent corporate schemes, and technology and on arbitrations, mediations, and trials across the nation. Michelle has lectured to paralegals on trial practices through the Institute of Paralegal Education, sat on panels for COALSP and the Arkfeld ASU eDiscovery conference, and spoke on eDiscovery at the GW Alumni Association annual eDiscovery conference.

   

JIBRAN ILYAS
Current Trends in Information Governance and Cybersecurity
As the Vice President at Stroz Friedberg's Cyber Resilience practice, Jibran Ilyas serves as one of the firm's investigative leads for high profile data breaches, and in turn, leverages this knowledge for organizations seeking proactive security assessments. Jibran specializes in data breaches related to Economic Espionage, Nation-State Cyber Espionage, Payment Card Data, Cyber Crime, and Banking Fraud. His research has been featured by many news organizations, and caught the eye of the United States Secret Service (USSS) where he conducted forensics training and has worked closely with them and other law enforcement agencies to track and ultimately arrest major cyber criminals. In 2008, he was respectfully credited with being the first researcher to publish a whitepaper on memory dumping malware and its connection to large scale breaches in the retail industry. Visa Inc. soon thereafter issued Jibran's findings in a two-page "Visa Data Security Alert."

   

KUSHAL ISMAEL
How Paralegal Managers, Educators, and Career Officers Can Collaborate for the Benefit of All
Kushal Ismael is the Employer Outreach Coordinator for The George Washington University's College of Professional Studies (CPS). He is responsible for developing and coordinating employment opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students and alumni of CPS. Prior to joining The George Washington University, Kushal worked with Burness Communications, a global communications firm supporting nonprofits, and has worked for various political campaigns in Northern Virginia. Kushal earned a B.A. in Political Science and International Development Studies from McGill University.

   

DOUG KAMINSKI
Current Trends in Information Governance and Cybersecurity
Doug Kaminski has more than 20 years' experience on four continents with extensive experience in compliance, information governance, and eDiscovery. He has delivered over 300 CLE seminars and has had articles published in many noted association and legal publications. Working closely with legal counsel, Doug has helped them understand the most effective processes and technologies to manage complex workflows and generate maximum quality, accuracy, cost reduction, and ROI. His unique abilities and knowledge of the field have made him a trusted advisor to some of the world's most highly regulated companies. Doug has helped hundreds of companies including 12 of the Fortune 50, helping them design and implement information governance programs that improved upstream data retention practices to create significant savings in downstream eDiscovery costs.

   

MARY MACK
Trends in eDiscovery
Mary Mack is the Executive Director of the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS) and an eDiscovery pioneer with more than a decade of strong credibility and sound leadership within the eDiscovery community. Mary is known for her skills in relationship and community building as well as for the depth of her eDiscovery knowledge. Frequently sought out by media for comment on industry issues, she has spoken at venues including Gartner Symposium, the American Bar Association International Law Committee, the Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Conference, and others. Mary is the author of A Process of Illumination: The Practical Guide to Electronic Discovery, considered by many to be the first popular book on eDiscovery, and the co-editor of the Thomson Reuters West treatise, eDiscovery for Corporate Counsel.

   

TONI MARSH, JD
How Paralegal Managers, Educators, and Career Officers Can Collaborate for the Benefit of All
Toni Marsh, JD, is the founding director of The George Washington University's paralegal studies programs and an Associate Professor of Paralegal Studies. She designed and launched the paralegal studies program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and designed the first-ever formal paralegal program in the nation of Tanzania at the University of Bagamoyo. Professor Marsh teaches Legal Writing, American Jurisprudence, and Contracts and presents regularly on paralegal careers, unauthorized practice of law, and paralegal utilization to increase access to justice and firm profitability.

   

MEGAN MCGREW
Legal Project Management
Megan McGrew is the Business Support Legal Project Management Attorney at Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell and Berkowitz, PC in their Jackson, Mississippi, office. As LPM Attorney, Megan is responsible for internal development, implementation, and support efforts for the firm's legal project management initiative, BakerManage. Megan has more than 10 years of project management experience stemming from her work in political and disaster recovery arenas. Megan is a frequent presenter on legal project management, having spoken for several attorney, paralegal, and project management groups. In addition to her duties as LPM Attorney, Megan is also highly involved in several bar organizations - including being a three-term board member of the Mississippi Women Lawyers Association - and is also assisting in driving the firm's Process Improvement initiative, having received her Lean Process Improvement Certification, and, as of June 2017, her candidacy for a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

   

ALAN MCKIERNON
Hot HR Topics, USA: Off-Duty Conduct
Alan has 15 years of Human Resources experience, with the past 9 years at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC.  During that time, he has seen the Firm through tremendous growth.  In addition to his role as HR Manager, Alan helped create and now co-chairs the Firm's wellness committee, BakerFit. Alan is a member of SHRM and the Memphis Business Group on Health. 

   
   

GARY MELHUISH
IPMA Talk Live: Peer-to-Peer Roundtable Discussions
Gary Melhuish is the Manager of Litigation Support Services in the Philadelphia office of Ballard Spahr, LLP. Prior to joining this firm in 2006, he was the Legal Assistant Director in the Washington, D.C. office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP. Gary has over 30 years' experience as a paralegal including more than 20 years as a paralegal manager. He is a Past President of the International Practice Management Association (IPMA). He was Adjunct Faculty at the Georgetown University Paralegal Studies Program from 2002 through 2005 where he taught Legal Ethics and Legal Technology. Gary is a former member of the ABA's Approval Commission of the Standing Committee on Paralegals and serves on the National Federation of Paralegal Association's PACE Advisory Committee.

   

VANESSA PATON
Hot HR Topics, Canada
Vanessa Paton practices in the areas of litigation, employment, insurance, and health law. She handles a variety of litigation matters, including employment law issues such as wrongful dismissal, human rights, and statutory compliance issues, as well as commercial litigation, medical malpractice defense, and insurance defense work. Vanessa has appeared before the New Brunswick Court of Appeal and the Federal Court of Appeal. Her clients range from individuals experiencing a variety of legal issues to national and international corporations and insurance companies.

   

VANESSA A. RUSSELL
Recruiting in Today's Legal Marketplace
Vanessa A. Russell is the Senior Manager of Recruiting & Retention at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., an Am Law 100 firm and one of the largest labor and employment law firms representing management in all types of employment-related legal matters. Vanessa has been with the firm for over four years, recruiting nationally out of their Indianapolis office. While Vanessa personally focuses on lateral attorney recruiting, she and her team oversee all recruiting and retention activities at Ogletree Deakins including filling firm legal and admin staff vacancies. Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Vanessa was an Organizational Development Director at a wealth management firm headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.

   

SHARON SCHWEITZER, JD
Access to Culture: 6 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Interaction
Sharon Schweitzer, JD, is a cross-cultural consultant, international business etiquette expert, award-winning author, and the founder of Access to Culture. As a global citizen, she has lived and traveled to more than 70 countries on 7 continents. She speaks French and some Czech. Sharon helps business leaders and organizational teams understand global cultures—and the tremendous role these cultural nuances play in establishing strong, successful international business relationships and increasing revenue. She is the author of the best-selling book, Access to Asia, and was a 2016 winner of the British Airways International Trade, Investment and Expansion Award (small business category) at the Greater Austin Business Awards. She is currently a board member of the following organizations: Global Thinkers Forum, London; South Texas College of Law, Houston; and the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

   

ERIC A. SEEGER
Trends in the Legal Profession
Eric A. Seeger is a principal of Altman Weil, Inc. and works with law firms in the areas of strategy formulation and execution, practice group planning and training, merger search, and organizational issues including administrative audits and succession planning. He directs Altman Weil's market research department where he conducts client surveys and client interviews for law firms and market research projects for legal industry vendors. Eric is the co-author of Altman Weil's influential Law Firms in Transition Survey and has published more than twenty articles in legal industry publications.

   

KAREN DUNN SKINNER
Lean Process Management, Part 1: Bringing an Innovator's Perspective to Your Own Work  |  Lean Process Management, Part 2: Getting the Right People Doing the Right Job at the Right Time
Karen Dunn Skinner is a senior attorney and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt with over 20 years of international experience in corporate-commercial, regulatory, and education law. She is co-founder and principal at Gimbal Canada Inc. - specialists in Lean practice management and continuous improvement in legal and business processes in law firms, in-house legal departments, and public sector institutions. Karen offers clients a powerful combination of legal experience and process improvement skills. She teaches, speaks, and writes regularly on the application of Lean in the legal profession and facilitates projects that improve the practice and the business of law. Karen earned her B.Sc. from Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, and her Bachelor of Common Law (LL.B.) and Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.) degrees from McGill University’s Faculty of Law. She is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Lean Six Sigma Sensei from Villanova University and has been a member of the Quebec Bar for more than 20 years.

   

DAVID SKINNER
Lean Process Management, Part 1: Bringing an Innovator's Perspective to Your Own Work  |  Lean Process Management, Part 2: Getting the Right People Doing the Right Job at the Right Time
David Skinner is a senior attorney, Lean practice management advisor, and senior management executive with more than 20 years of experience in the legal, venture capital, and biotechnology industries. He is co-founder and principal at Gimbal Canada Inc. - specialists in Lean practice management and continuous improvement in legal and business processes in law firms, in-house legal departments, and public sector institutions. A certified Lean Six Sigma expert, David is an author, speaker, university and CLE lecturer, and process improvement facilitator who applies Lean to the practice and the business of law. David earned his B.A. from Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, and his Bachelor of Common Law (LL.B.) and Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.) degrees from McGill University’s Faculty of Law. He is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Sensei from Villanova University and has been a member of the Massachusetts, New York, and Quebec Bars for 25 years.

   

MELISSA STEWART
Business Process Re-engineering: What Records Management Can Do for You
Melissa Stewart has over 10 years of law firm records management experience at Nelson Mullins where she is the Records Supervisor for multiple firm offices. She is passionate about ensuring firm employees have the knowledge and resources needed to efficiently manage client matter records and has guided multiple practice teams through Business Process Re-engineering initiatives resulting in increased productivity and information portability. Currently, she is a member of her firm’s File Trail Implementation Team working on a transition away from LegalKEY RMS. Melissa has a paralegal certificate and an Associate’s Degree in Public Service, is a member of ARMA International, and has served on the board of the South Carolina Coastal ARMA Chapter for the past nine years.

   

KAYLEE WALSTAD
Trends in eDiscovery
Kaylee Walstad is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS). She works with the eDiscovery community to assist service providers, law firms, corporate legal departments, and government entities - from litigation support staff and attorneys to IT, security, and compliance professionals - gain eDiscovery knowledge through ACEDS training vehicles. Kaylee acts as part of the ACEDS Chapter Team, assisting current chapters and working to facilitate the start-up of global chapters.