PFAWL Board of Directors 2023-2024

Rebecca Deming

President

Rebecca Deming is the 2023-2024 President of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.

 

Rebecca has been loving living in St. Petersburg since 2019, and never plans to leave. She joined PFAWL to get to know other women attorneys in the community and expand her local network, and found her professional family in the group. She is honored to be in a position to help lead PFAWL over the coming years.

 

 

As an accredited attorney with the Veterans Benefits Administration, Rebecca runs ProVet Legal, P.A., a law firm focused on assisting disabled veterans and their families obtain their service-connected disability benefits. 

 

 

Rebecca’s early career path was influenced by her love for the law and her desire to contribute to the global war on terror. After working for two large international law firms, she joined the US Agency for International Development in 2011 and headed to Afghanistan to work on Rule of Law issues in support of US and NATO troops. After Afghanistan, Rebecca worked closely with a wide variety of military and civilian organizations in developing and complex environments. She has extensive experience working in Africa, Europe, and Central Asia conducting hands-on training and oversight of security sector reform, capacity building, educational, and institutional transformation projects. In addition to working as a Senior Human Rights Advisor for the US Department of State, Rebecca has taught lectures on human rights to UN Peacekeepers in Niger, Togo, Benin, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Rwanda, and Kenya.

Rebecca Deming

President Elect

Whitney Green is the 2023-2024 President Elect of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.

 

Whitney is a native and life-long Floridian. In 2009, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English at the University of Florida, cum laude. In 2012, she obtained her law degree from the Florida State University College of Law, with honors, and was admitted to The Florida Bar.

 

After law school, Whitney relocated to St. Petersburg. Wanting to focus her career on public service, she served for six years as a staff attorney in the Office of Court Counsel for the Sixth Judicial Circuit, followed by a three year tenure as an Assistant State Attorney in the Sixth Judicial Circuit where she specialized in postconviction litigation. Whitney currently practices local government law with the HIllsborough County Attorney’s Office, where she focuses on local regulation. 

 

In addition to PFAWL, Whitney has served ont eh board of the Junior League of St. Petersburg. She also volunteers with Lawyers for Literacy and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay’s school-to-work mentorship program. In her free time, Whitney enjoys yoga, trying out new restaurants, and traveling with her husband Henry and son Jude.

Alina Husain

Secretary

Alina Husain is the Secretary of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.

 

 

Elise Winters

Treasurer

Elise Winters is the Treasurer of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawers. 

 

Based in Clearwater, Elise K. Winters, P.A. assists clients in a range of commercial matters, including real estate, landlord-tenant arrangements, construction, corporate law, and business transactions. Ms. Winters has thirty years of legal experience and a diverse background and range of commercial expertise. Since 1980, she has personally managed all of her clients, representing a wide range of developers, commercial landlords, and businesses. With extensive litigation experience earlier in her career, Ms. Winters’ transactional clients regularly request her services as in-house counsel, so that she can oversee her clients’ trial attorneys when litigation arises.

 

Ms. Winters is a longtime officer and director of the Clearwater Bar Association, and served as President of that organization from 1991 to 1992. She is also a Past Chair of the City of Clearwater Downtown Development Board. Ms. Winters has received an award from the Florida Supreme Court in recognition of her pro bono work and devotion to public service. Ms. Winters received her B.S. and J.D. from the University of Florida, graduating with honors for both degrees. She was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1980.

Samantha Van Scoik

Membership Director

Samantha Van Scoik is the Membership (New Members) Director of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. 

Samantha is Division Director at Office of the Public Defender, 6th Judicial Circuit, Florida

 

Theresa Domenico

Awards & Grants Chair

Theresa A. Domenico is the Awards & Grants Chair of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.

 

 

Theresa A. Domenico is a Partner for Hall Booth Smith, P.C. in Tampa, Florida where she represents physicians, nurses, administrators, insurers, and other health care professionals in a wide range of litigation including medical malpractice claims, long term care litigation, personal injury, insurance matters, pain management and pharmaceutical laboratory compliance. She also counsels long term care providers on Medicare and Medicaid compliance, risk management, malpractice litigation and business management matters, and has conducted training seminars about federal and state healthcare laws and regulatory compliance for healthcare professionals throughout Florida.

Earlier in her career, Theresa served as a prosecutor for the State Attorney’s Office of the Sixth Judicial Circuit. Theresa earned a Juris Doctor degree from Stetson University College of Law, and she completed judicial internships with the late Hon. Patrick K. Caddell, Hon. William H. Overton, and the late Hon. M.E. Tillman, who formerly served as a New York State Supreme Court Justice. She also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, in political science with a minor in business administration from the University of South Florida. She often serves as a Judge for the Stetson University College of Law Trial Team and the National Collegiate Trial Team Competitions.

In her free time, Theresa enjoys the beach, yoga, traveling, and trying new local restaurants.

 

Victoria Bell

Programming Director

Victoria Bell is the Programming Director of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.

 

 

Ms. Bell helps businesses buy and sell real estate, and resolve contractual disputes through at RVC Realty, Inc. in Tampa, Florida. Victoria grew up in Florida and graduated from Stetson University in Deland, FL with her bachelors degrees in Political Science and Religious Studies. 

 

 

Victoria attended Stetson University’s College of Law in Gulfport, Florida and joined the Office of the Public Defender for the Sixth Judicial Circuit after graduation, where she worked tirelessly to defend clients who had been accused of misdemeanor, juvenile, and felony crimes. Victoria left the Public Defender’s office to work in private practice handling various areas of law including criminal law, family law and real estate. Victoria lives in Palm Harbor with her husband and two children and enjoys visiting the beach and local parks with her family.

Mercedes Buntz

State FAWL Representative

Mercedes Buntz is the State FAWL Representative of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.

 

 

Mercedes helps residents of Tampa Bay and of surrounding counties plan in order to save their loved ones money, time, and aggravation in the future. As the founder of Mercedes Buntz Law, PLLC, Mercedes focuses on Wills and Trusts, Probate, and Trust Administration to help clients plan for and navigate life’s major events.  She is a Spanish speaker and practically a Florida native, having moved to Pinellas County, Florida at a young age from Puerto Rico. Mercedes graduated from The Florida State University College of Law and The University of Central Florida.  

 

Mercedes uses her 24 years of legal experience to help clients make informed decisions about estate planning and probate.  By informing clients about positive choices available and recommending options that suit the clients’ unique personal and financial needs, Mercedes helps clients keep control over what happens to themselves and their assets.  Whether clients have a large or modest estate, they deserve the peace of mind from knowing their wishes will be honored and from providing loved ones a legacy in the most effective and efficient way. 

In addition to being a member of PFAWL, Mercedes is a member of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law and of the Elder Law sections of the Florida Bar, the Clearwater Bar Association, the Tampa Hispanic Bar Association, the Guardian Association of Pinellas County, and BNI Business Connections chapter.

Jessica Hathaway

Sponsorship Committee Chair

Jessica Hathaway is the Sponsorship Committee Chair of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.

 

A native Floridian, Jessica earned her undergraduate degree from Florida State University, double majoring in Political Science and Social Science with a minor in Psychology and a concentration in Economics. At FSU, she was an active member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Women’s Fraternity. Jessica then attended law school, where she excelled academically and earned Book Awards in Residential Real Estate Transactions and Common Interest Communities.

 

After law school, Jessica moved to St. Petersburg and joined the law firm of Keith A. Ringelspaugh, P.A., later Ringelspaugh & Hathaway. There she represented clients in hundreds of real estate and property cases including foreclosures, ejectments, and evictions.

 

Jessica has a long record of community involvement. She is a former Flotilla Staff Officer with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, an active member of both the St. Petersburg Bar Association and the Pinellas Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers and a regular volunteer with Community Law Program.

 

Amber Sherwood

Public Relations Director

Amber Sherwood is the Public Relations Director of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. 

 

Amber is Assistant State Attorney for the Sixth Judicial Circuit, Special Victims Unit.

Callie Grabel

Social Media Chair

Callie Grabel is the Social Media Chair of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.

Sue LaGree

Social & Community Chair

Sue LaGree is the Social & Community Chair of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.

 

 

Ama Appiah

Creative Flyer Chair

Ama Appiah is the Creative Flyer Chair of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.

 

Ama earned her Bachelor of Science degree at the State University of New York College at Buffalo, cum laude, with a specialization in graphic design.  She freelanced as a graphic designer prior to entering the study of law.  She also worked as a legal assistant and paralegal for the U.S. Small Business Administration – Disaster Assistance Office in Niagara Falls, NY. The Disaster Assistance Office provided federal loans and grants to those who suffered physical damage to their homes and physical and/or economic injury to their businesses as a result of a natural disaster.

 Ama earned her law degree from Albany Law School in Albany, NY, in 2003.  It was there that she gained extensive appellate experience. She interned for a substantial amount of time with the Albany County District Attorney’s Office Criminal Appeals Division. She also interned for the Hon. Thomas J. McAvoy in the U.S. Northern District Court of New York, as well as with the Corporations Division of the New York State Department of State. Upon graduating from law school and moving to Florida in 2003, Ms. Appiah worked for a solo practitioner whose practice focused on criminal and general civil litigation.

 Ms. Appiah was a Special Assistant Public Defender with the Tenth Judicial Public Defender’s Office, in felony criminal appellate cases for 16 years, from 2005 – 2021. She has also acted as a Program Attorney for the Sixth Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program, and as an Appellate Senior Program Attorney for the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program from 2007 to 2009. She represented the Guardian ad Litem Program in District Courts of Appeal throughout the state of Florida.

Ms. Appiah has been running her solo practice since 2008. Her practice areas are: appeals, creative arts & entertainment law, and trademark & copyright law.

 Ms. Appiah was the editor of, and a contributing author in, the 4th edition of Cultural Issues in Criminal Defense (Juris 2015).  She has also been published in the March 2019 edition of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) magazine, The Champion.

In 2018, Ms. Appiah received the Leaders in the Law award from the Pinellas Chapter of Florida Association of Women Lawyers.  In 2017, she received an Honorable Mention Pro Bono Service award from the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida.

She has been a previous member of several professional organizations including the St. Petersburg Bar Association, Clearwater Bar Association, and Fred G. Minnis Bar Association. Ms. Appiah is currently a member of the Pinellas Chapter of Florida Association for Women Lawyers.  Ms. Appiah has served on the boards of several community non-profits including Creative Clay, Inc., Gulfcoast Legal Services, and League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area.

In addition to her law practice, Ms. Appiah is the managing partner of a.Appiah Designs, LLC, a fine arts and graphic design business based in St. Petersburg, FL. She participates in exhibits in the Tampa Bay area and around the country, as well as provides graphic design and social media services for businesses and non-profit organizations.

Ama is admitted to practice in Florida state courts, and in the U.S. Middle District Court of Florida. 

 

Jessica Cassidy

FAWLS Representative

Jessica Cassidy is the FAWLS Representative for the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.

 

Daniela Carrion

Immediate Past President

Daniela Carrion is a Partner and Shareholder at Linesch & Carrión. Dany is currently the Chair of the Employment Law Section for the Clearwater Bar and the President of the Pinellas Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers (PFAWL).

For the past two years (2021 and 2022), Dany has been named a Rising Star in Superlawyers, a distinction awarded to less than 2.5% of attorneys nationally, and in June 2022, she received the Leaders in the Law Award.

Born in Quito, Ecuador, Dany brings a diverse background, which has made her an avid Immigration lawyer and human rights advocate.

Dany graduated from the University of Central Florida (UCF) and attended American Washington College of Law, where she graduated cum laude and received her Juris Doctor Degree. Prior to joining the Firm, Dany worked for Catholic Charities, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), and Service Employers International Union (SEIU) in Washington, DC.

As part of her employment advocacy, Dany has handled various complex litigation cases in Federal and State Courts, including violations pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, False Claims Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and the National Labor and Relations Act, amongst others. As a litigator, Dany has successfully obtained adverse findings against nationwide corporations. When it comes to immigration cases, Dany is known to take complex immigration cases, which often come to her after clients have lost hope.

Dany has also been involved with the CARA pro bono project by providing on-the-ground legal support at the Artesia, New Mexico, and Dilley, Texas Family Detention Centers, as well as locally through various organizations which provide pro-bono clinics and representation.

Interested in Joining the PFAWL Board of Directors?

There are always opportunities to join the PFAWL Board of Directors! If you’re interested and would like to become involved, please complete the form below. Would you like to become more involved but maybe not commit to a board position yet? You can join a committee!

Presidential History:

2022 - 2023: Daniela Carrion

2021– 2022: Meredith Gaunce

2020– 2021: Nicole Bell

2018- 2019: Kristina Feher

2016 – 2017: Regina Kardash

2014 – 2015: Jennifer Codding

2013-2014: Alexandra White

2012 – 2013: Kyleen A. Hinkle

2010 – 2011: Robyn Featherston

2007 – 2008: Donna Rose

2005 – 2006: Donna Rose

2003 – 2004: Susan Hartman

2001 – 2002: Elise Winters

2019 – 2020: Shavarne Dahlquist

2017 – 2018: Carmen Johnson

2011 – 2012: Brittany Maxey-Fisher

2009 – 2010: Robyn Featherston

2008 – 2009: Robyn Featherston

2006 – 2007: Donna Rose

2004 – 2005: Susan Hartman

2002 – 2003: Elise Winters