PFAWL Board of Directors 2022 - 2023
Daniela “Dany” Carion is the 2022-2023 President of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.
Dany is an Attorney at the Linesch Firm, in Palm Harbor Florida, where she practices exclusively employment & immigration law. Born in Quito, Ecuador Dany brings a diverse background, which has made her an avid Immigration lawyer and human rights advocate. Having endured the difficult process of immigration, Dany understands both the emotional and legal issues associated with the immigration process. Dany attended American Washington College of Law, where she received her Juris Doctor Degree and specialized in human rights law and the cross section of environmental disasters and human trafficking.
Prior to coming to Florida Dany worked for Catholic Charities, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), and Service Employers International Union (SEIU). Dany’s work has earned her various awards, and she is a well regarded author concerning Indigenous and Immigrant Rights. Dany heads the Pro Bono section of the Linesch Firm, which is devoted to Human Rights. She works closely for the “Fight for 15” Campaign with SEIU, is a member of the Human Resource Committee to RCS Pinellas, and advises the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. 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.
Rebecca Deming is the President Elect 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.
Whitney Green is the Secretary 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 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 on the board of the Junior League of St. Petersburg and currently serves on the League’s nominating committee. 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.
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.
Membership Director (New Members)
Courtney Fernald is the Membership (New Members) Director of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.
Courtney is the Managing Partner of Englander Fischer, a boutique business litigation firm in St. Pete. Courtney graduated summa cum laude, second in her class, from Stetson University College of Law in 2007. While in law school, she served as Articles Editor and Recent Developments Editor for the Stetson Law Review. She was also a member of Stetson’s Moot Court Board and completed Stetson’s Honors Program. Upon graduation, Courtney was awarded the E. Harris Drew Memorial Award for excellence in written and oral advocacy, and the Victor O. Wehle award for excellence in trial advocacy. In 2016, Courtney became Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Appellate Practice. Certification is the highest level of evaluation by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the areas of law approved for certification. Courtney focuses her practice primarily on appellate law, but also represents clients in a wide variety of commercial litigation matters. She is a 2010 graduate of Leadership St. Pete, a division of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and one of the oldest leadership programs in the country, and currently serves on the LSP Alumni Association’s community service committee. She is also actively involved with the St. Petersburg Bar Association, and was elected to serve on the Executive Committee Board beginning July 2021.
Courtney lives in St. Petersburg with her husband, Jonathan, and their two children, Gabriella and Sebastian. Courtney and her family enjoy boating, swimming, and enjoying all that beautiful St. Pete has to offer.
Membership Director (Retention)
Amy Dilday is the Membership (Retention) Director of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.
An experienced practitioner, Amy is board certified by the Florida Bar in Appellate Practice. She is a partner at Englander Fischer, where she practices commercial litigation and civil appeals. Amy has handled appeals in every Florida District Court of Appeal and had argued cases before the Florida Supreme Court and the United State Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. She has been named a Best Lawyer among Appellate Attorneys in the Tampa Bay for 2020, 2021, and 2022. This is Amy’s second year on the Board of Directors for the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. She is also a board member for Lighthouse Counseling Services, Inc.
Nici Rea is the Awards Director of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.
Nici moved to Tampa from West Virginia in 2017 after graduating from West Virginia University College of Law. She is a proud alumna of Bethany College in Bethany, WV and Phi Mu Fraternity. As Director of Donor Relations at Community Foundation Tampa Bay, she works with the Foundation’s fundholders to inspire charitable giving and provides counsel to the Foundation as an attorney on staff. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her Labrador Cooper, going to the beach, and running.
Theresa A. Domenico is the Awards Committee 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.
Alina Husain is the Social Director of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.
Victoria Bell is the CLE 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.
CLE Committee Chair
Mercedes Buntz is the CLE Committee Chair 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.
Shavarne B. Dahlquist
FAWL State Chapter Representative
Shavarne Dahlquist is the FAWL State Chapter Representative of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.
Ms. Dahlquist received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Bachelor of Arts in Criminology from the University of Florida. Prior to attending law school, she worked in the Probate Division of the Howard Forman Clerk of Court, focusing on trust and estate administration. Ms. Dahlquist earned her Juris Doctor in the top 25th percentile from Barry University School of Law in 2006.
Upon graduating from law school, Ms. Dahlquist accepted a two-year clerkship with the 15th Judicial Circuit in West Palm Beach, serving as its Judicial Law Clerk and Criminal Appeals Coordinator and concentrating on probate, civil, criminal, family, and juvenile law. Subsequently, Ms. Dahlquist practiced with a small boutique firm in West Palm Beach, specializing in estate planning, probate and trust administration, corporate law, and civil litigation.
Ms. Dahlquist is a member of The Florida Bar and Clearwater Bar Association, and is privileged to serve on The Florida Bar Standing Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. She has also been on the Board of Directors for the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association of Women Lawyers for several years and is active in several organizations in the community as well.
Joelle Bordeaux is the Sponsorship Director of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.
Sponsorship Committee Chair
Stephanie Willis is the Sponsorship Committee Chair of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.
Public Relations Director
Kathleen (Katie) McCarthy is the Public Relations Director of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.
Kathleen is a licensed Attorney in the State of Florida, the State of New York, and the District of Colombia. Kathleen is a member of the Junior League of Saint Petersburg. She is also an active member of the Saint Petersburg Bar Association and is currently serving on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.
Social Media Chair
Rosie Baxter is the Social Media Chair of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.
Rosie was born and raised in Tampa. She traveled north to FSU to get an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice/Criminology. Rosie came back to the Tampa Bay Area for Law School. Rosie recently graduated from Stetson Law with a concentration in Social Justice Advocacy. She has been a part of PFAWL ever since her 1L year. Today she practices criminal law as an Assistant State Attorney in Dade City.
Rosie is a dog mom to two girls, Mia and Harley, you will likely see Rosie with her dogs at future PFAWL events. Rosie has also been working to build connections with Pasco FAWL to bring the 6th Circuit closer together and looks forward to seeing you at future events!
Creative Committee Chair
Lauren Kerr is the Creative Committee Chair of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.
Lauren practices almost exclusively in construction law, working to reach efficient and effective resolutions for her clients, which typically include general contractors and
Lauren moved to Florida in 2013 to attend the University of Florida Levin College of Law. She has been a member of PFAWL for six years, having served on the board for three. In addition to PFAWL, Lauren is a member of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law section of the Florida Bar. Outside of her practice of law, Lauren enjoys volunteering with the Junior League of Tampa and exploring as many new travel destinations as possible.
Young Lawyers/Pro Bono Director
Mattaniah Jean is the Young Lawyers/Pro Bono Director of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.
Avery Sherrer is the FAWLS Representative for the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.
Immediate Past President
Meredith Gaunce is the Immediate Past President of the Pinellas Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. Meredith was the 2021-2022 President of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.
Meredith specializes in helping business owners understand and navigate employment laws. For the past 14 years, Meredith has strived to protect her clients from legal exposure and poise them for success and growth. She graduated from Emory University in 2004 with her B.A. in Political Science and Spanish and then received her J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law in 2007 where she was the Founder and President of the Animal Legal Protection Organization (“ALPO”).
After relocating to St. Petersburg in 2010 Meredith began working for the Labor and Employment firm Ogletree Deakins. In 2013, Meredith left the firm to become an in-house attorney for a corporation handling their employment matters and corporate contract needs. In 2016, Meredith decided it was time to share her knowledge and passion with the local business community in St. Petersburg and opened Gaunce Law with her husband Andy. She has been a Super Lawyers Rising Star in Employment and Labor Law for the past four years and has been the only attorney in St. Petersburg receiving this designation for the past three years. She is the President of the local chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. In her spare time, she makes jewelry and runs after her 5-year-old son Noah and two dogs.
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!