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PAF Leadership Team

2022 State Leadership Team

 

Kristina M. Schiraldi, MBA, ACP, FRP, – President 

Kristina M. Schiraldi is an Advanced Certified Paralegal with over 18 years of corporate and transactional experience.  In 2004, she joined a global manufacturing company, headquartered in Deerfield Beach, Florida to work alongside the company’s first General Counsel to create an in-house legal department.  Then, in January 2022, Kristina relocated to Orlando to establish an in-house legal department for a national engineering firm at its corporate headquarters.  Kristina received her BA in Sociology, with a minor in Legal Studies, from the University of Central Florida, and her MBA from Florida Atlantic University, with a concentration in International Business.

Kristina has been an active member of The National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. (“NALA”) since 2007 and The Paralegal Association of Florida, Inc. (“PAF”) – Broward Chapter since 2016.  In 2019, she was elected to President of Broward where she worked very closely with her Treasurer and PAF’s State Board to maintain interest and grow the Chapter’s membership.  Kristina is a strong supporter of the paralegal profession and continues to mentor young legal professionals who aspire to become paralegals, while emphasizing the importance of becoming certified.  
 
Recently, Kristina was elected the 2022 President of PAF where she looks forward to building on the strong foundation created by her predecessor and colleagues in moving our initiatives forward to increase our membership, strengthen our relationships, and provide more benefits for paralegals all over the Sunshine State.  

Just as the old proverb reads, “Many people’s help or involvement is needed to achieve some goal”.  An abbreviation of that proverb reads, “It takes a village”.  PAF is our Village.


 

Sherry Webber, CP, FCP, FRP – First Vice President

Sherry Webber has been a Litigation Paralegal in the Palm Beach County Attorney’s Office since 2005.  Before that working in the private sector, handling both plaintiff and defense assignments for firms in and around the Palm Beach County.

Since joining PAF, Inc. and her local Palm Beach County Chapter in 1999, she has served on the PBCC Executive Board in almost every capacity, including as Law Week Chair since 2004; and Career Network Chair since 2017.  She is current President of the Palm Beach County Chapter.  On the State level, she became the Editor of “In Brief” in 2014;  2nd Vice-President for two terms (2018-19 and 2019-20); and is honored to be the 1st Vice-President.

Sherry feels there is truth to Mahatma Gandhi's words " The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."

 

Jody L. Buck, ACP, FPC, FRP – Second Vice President

Jodee L. Buck is an advanced certified paralegal with more than 20 years of legal experience primarily in the fields of Real Estate, Civil Litigation, Corporate, and Government law. She has worked for the past 13+ years at Dill, Evans & Rhodeback in Sebastian, Florida. Jodee received her AA degree from Keiser University in 2004 and completed her paralegal certification with the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) and is a member of NALA. Keiser University featured Jodee in a testimonial commercial for their institution. In 2006 Jodee also completed the requirements to become a Florida Certified Paralegal as well as a Florida Registered Paralegal. In 2021 Jodee completed the requirements to become an Advanced Certified Paralegal in Real Estate. She is a past President of the Paralegal Association of Florida, Inc., and remains a member of the Treasure Coast Chapter. She has devoted many years supporting the United Way and March of Dimes. Jodee has been with her husband since 1997, and they have a beautiful daughter and reside in Vero Beach, Florida. She also has a Boston Terrier, and 2 cats, snakes and a squirrel. Jodee’s hobbies include dancing, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

 

Michele L. Gray, FRP – Secretary

Michele Gray is a Florida Registered Paralegal who has worked in Lakeland, Florida for more than 20 years and has specialized in workers’ compensation and employment law for over 32 years. She received her Florida Registered Paralegal designation from The Florida Bar in 2009. Michele has been a member of the newest Polk County Chapter since 2019 and is currently on the Board as President. Michele is also a member of NALA.


 

Jillian T. Beckendor, CP – Treasurer

I've worked exclusively for K/S Attorneys at Law since 2018. Jillian graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Safety Administration. In 2020, I obtained my certification as a Certified Paralegal through NALA and became a Florida Registered Paralegal in late 2021. I monopolize on my multitasking skills and personability to provide efficient, detailed, and dependable support to the attorneys and their respective Clients. From complex litigation cases to real estate transactions, I am involved from beginning to end.

I also believe it is important to give back to my community, which I try to do by way of volunteering. I was the Co-Chair of the Professional Development Committee of the Women’s Foundation of Florida in 2021 wherein I worked together with other women to create networking opportunities and other resources procured to empower women in the workforce. I also serve as the Treasurer of the South Florida Paralegal Association and am dedicated to providing current and future paralegals with all possible resources that may aid in their success. I love the paralegal profession and would love nothing more than to mentor and guide others through the legal profession.

A true native of Florida, Jillian enjoys true crime documentaries and podcasts, bowling, and loves spending time playing with her dog Lucy, a Chihuahua/Jack-Russel Mix that was rescued from Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria and adopted by Jillian and her family.
 

Asha Maharaj-Lucas, FRP – Immediate Past President 

Asha Maharaj-Lucas has been a paralegal 20 plus years, beginning her career in the Federal Court System in the Northern District of New Jersey. In 2004, she relocated to Tallahassee. She is a strong advocate for the paralegal profession and focuses on strengthening resources and education for those currently in the profession, while inspiring budding students beginning their careers!

Asha has been diligently working with the Big Bend Chapter to continue its growth and stay competitive with local legal associations. She is currently the Immediate Past President of the Big Bend Chapter and has served as the President, and Vice President, and has served on the community service committee, job bank committee, and seminar committee as well as newsletter editor for the Chapter.

She also serves as Committee Chair for the State Scholarship Committee and Seminar Committee. Asha is also a member of the Florida Bar Enrichment committee where she is the Chair to the Specials Project Subcommittee. Asha received the NALA Affiliate award for 2019. (Email)


Ricki Witte, ACP, FRP - Parliamentarian 

Ricki Witte joined PAF under its former name of Florida Legal Assistants, Inc., around 1978 as a student member while attending the Legal Assisting Program at Miami-Dade College, and became an active member upon graduation and passing the CLA exam.  She served on the state board as a regional director (back before chapters) and was a founding member of the Broward Chapter. In the Broward Chapter, Ricki has served as treasurer, president, and parliamentarian and was a regular attendee at PAF state seminars.  After 9 years in personal injury and commercial litigation, Ricki worked for 31 years for Joseph G. Young, Esq., in Fort Lauderdale in estate and trust litigation.  She was among the first Florida Registered Paralegals from 2008 until her employer’s death in 2016. Since then she has been working part time for two sole practitioners in probate and guardianship.

Ricki enjoys sewing additions to her 14th century wardrobe as a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, participating in volunteer activities as a member of CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), League of Women Voters, and is a ham radio operator.

 

Heather Rice, FRP – NALA Liaison

Heather Rice is a Florida Registered Paralegal with Avera & Smith in Gainesville, Florida. She specializes in catastrophic injury and wrongful death litigation. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Florida State University. She has served as President for the the Big Bend Chapter and is currently serving as 1st Vice President.  She is also a member of the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). In 2021, Heather was appointed by the Florida Bar to serve on the Florida Registered Paralegal Enrichment Committee and she is a member of the Animal Law section of the Florida Bar.




Additional Board Members

Chapter At Large Director - vacant

Michelle Ridge, Director (Chapter President – Big Bend)

Laura-Ann Heller, Director (Chapter President – Boca Raton)

Donna Drymon Etter, Director (Chapter President – Brevard)

Carol Goraczko, Director (Chapter President – Broward)

Barbara Pease, Director (Chapter President – First Coast)

Hillsborough Chapter Director - vacant

Sherry Webber, Director (Chapter President – Palm Beach County)

Chrystal Lunsford, Director (Chapter President – Pinellas)

Michele Gray, Director (Chapter President – Polk)

Janet Poklemba, Director (Chapter President – Southwest)

Eva Gonzalez, Director (Chapter President – Suncoast)

Kristen Remling, Director (Chapter President – Treasure Coast)