Heather Meglino, President
Heather M. Meglino is the owner of Meglino Law, LLC. Her practice focuses on business owners and employers in various business and employment law matters. This includes making sure businesses are protected and in compliance with business and labor & employment laws. Heather also litigates cases including employment discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, overtime and unpaid wages, FMLA leave and disability issues, employment contracts, and other employment law claims under various state and federal laws. She also provides training to businesses and serves as in-house counsel for multiple companies. In addition to serving as CFAWL’s Secretary, Heather currently serves on the Harbor House Young Professionals Board. She is also the Rollins College Chi Omega Chapter Advisor, and the Communications Coordinator on the OCBA Young Lawyers Board. Heather volunteers as a Wish Granter for the Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida Chapter, and is this year’s Recruitment Chair on the Executive Committee for the annual Walk for Wises event.
Lauren Millcarek, President-Elect
Lauren Millcarek is a career law clerk for the Honorable Roy B. “Skip” Dalton, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, where she drafts orders on dispositive motions in complex, high-profile cases and assists the Judge with civil and criminal trials. She also served as Judge Dalton’s term law clerk at the beginning of her career. In between her clerkships, Lauren served as a litigation associate at Holland & Knight and then as a senior litigation associate at Shutts & Bowen. Lauren practiced complex federal litigation, specializing in multi-party business litigation, class actions, cyber-fraud, whistleblower disputes, and white-collar criminal defense. A frequent speaker on federal law topics, Lauren has been named a Best Lawyers in America One to Watch, a Super Lawyers Rising Star, and a Legal Elite Up and Comer. Lauren is active in the legal community at the local, state, and national levels. She currently serves as President-elect of the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers, the Eleventh Circuit Vice President for the national Federal Bar Association, and a member of the Florida Bar’s Federal Court Practice Committee. She has previously served as Chair of the Federal Grievance Committee in Orlando, President of the Orlando Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and a Fellow of the Florida Bar’s Leadership Academy. A proud double Gator, Lauren was elected the Executive Managing Editor of the Florida Law Review and the President of the UF Law Association for Women during her time in law school, and she now serves on the UF Law Alumni Council.
Nicolette Kramer, Secretary
Nicolette is a solo practitioner. Her practice focuses on community association law. She studied philosophy at Manhattan College and earned her Juris Doctorate from the Shepard Broad College of Law at Nova Southeastern University. Before starting her own firm, she gained experience as the senior associate at a boutique law firm that focused solely on the rights of planned communities. Nicolette has been a member of the Florida Bar since 2011 and is also admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. Nicolette joined CFAWL in 2018. She is an active member of the Orange County Bar Association, where she serves as Chair of the Health & Wellness Committee. Nicolette also serves as a Board Member for the Orange County Teen Court. Nicolette enjoys spending time with her significant co-habitant, Gary, and their chihuahua, Simon.
Celia Thacker Dorn, Treasurer
Celia Thacker Dorn is an attorney at Overstreet Law, P.A. where she practices probate, guardianship, land use, and local government law. The firm was started by Celia’s great grandfather Murray W. Overstreet Sr. in 1928 and has operated continuously in Kissimmee, Florida since that time. In addition to serving as CFAWL’s Treasurer, Celia is a past president of the Osceola County Bar Association, serves on the Boards for Community Legal Services of Mid Florida, The Florida Bar Board of Governors Young Lawyers Division, Orange County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Area Council, and The Florida Bar Health and Wellness Committee, and is a member of the Silver Spurs Club.
Nequosha Anderson, Treasurer-Elect
Nequosha Anderson is the owner of Anderson Law Firm PLLC (“ALF”). Her practice focuses on small business owners who need exceptional legal services in the areas of business and intellectual property law. She created ALF to have the core values of feeling seen, supported, and empowered as a business owner. She has assisted small business owners to create and protect their businesses beyond formation, including successfully protecting global multimillion-dollar brands. Nequosha also provides business consulting to clients who just need a little more “oomph” to get them started in the right direction for the business goals. Nequosha is an active member Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers and in her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and buying the latest tech gadget, lol! She is very excited to implement more technology into the role of Treasurer-Elect on the CFAWL Board for 2021-2022!
Amanda Sampaio Bova, Membership Director
Amanda Sampaio Bova currently serves as the Membership Director for CFAWL and in that capacity she hopes to welcome new and returning members and enhance the diversity of membership. Amanda has practiced law in Central Florida for over fourteen years and is Board Certified in Criminal Trial law. Amanda has a diversified legal career which includes both government service and private practice. She began her legal career as an Assistant Public Defender in Orange County where she handled thousands of cases, including misdemeanor, felony, and juvenile delinquency cases. She currently serves as a Senior Attorney at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Real Estate where she handles Administrative Complaints and appears before the Florida Real Estate Commission and Division of Administrative Hearings. Prior to joining the Department, Amanda ran her own law firm focusing on criminal defense and family law. Amanda earned her law degree from Florida State University College of Law, and her undergraduate degree from Eckerd College where she played NCAA Division II College Volleyball. She is active in her community and has held memberships and leadership positions in several local bar associations such as OCBA, GOAABA, and CFACDL. She was recently appointed by the Mayor of Orange County to serve on the Lake Price Advisory Board, and she has served the Florida Bar as chairwoman of the 9th Circuit Grievance Committee “D”. She is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell and was recognized by FAWL in 2019 with the Leader in the Law award. In her spare time Amanda enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, and traveling.
Ashley Wright, Membership Co- Director
Ashley Wright serves as an Assistant Statewide Prosecutor for the Florida Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, where she investigates and prosecutes multi-circuit level organized crime. She graduated Cum Laude from the University of Florida and earned her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. Ashley is highly dedicated to her career and commitment to public service. In addition to her involvement as CFAWL’s Co-Membership Director, Ashley continues to serve as an active leader within the Central Florida community. Ashley serves as a Florida Bar Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Leadership Academy Class IX Fellow, President-Elect of the Paul C. Perkins Bar Association, member of the National Black Prosecuctors Association and the Orange County Bar Association. Ashley’s God-given purpose in life is to empower, inspire, and positively enrich the lives of girls and women in her community. She is the Founder of “Becoming Black Female Barristers” – a unique social community for aspiring law students to interface with licensed attorneys to foster personal and professional development. She is also the Founder of “Worthy of the Crown Pageant Coaching, LLC” – a full-service pageant coaching and consulting business whose mission is to empower girls and women to excel in life and pageantry. Ashley also served as the Inaugural Chairwoman of the Pace Center for Girls Young Professionals Board in Orange County and is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, travelling, practicing yoga, and spending time with family and friends.
Jennifer Smith Thomas, Programs Director
Jennifer Smith Thomas is a partner at Rumberger Kirk and focuses her practice in the areas of casualty and commercial litigation. In particular, Jen represents commercial and residential premises owners, including associations, public entities, and businesses in premises liability actions, including slip/trip and falls, negligent security, and personal injury defense matters including catastrophic injury and/or wrongful death suits. Jen also represents product manufacturers in personal injury suits. Her commercial litigation experience includes the representation of banks, creditors, financial institutions and title insurance companies in complex business litigation and real property disputes. Jen also has significant appellate, bankruptcy, and post-judgment collection experience.
Bethany Szewczyk, Programs Co-Director
Bethany Szewczyk grew up in upstate New York, leaving the state to attend undergraduate college at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. After graduating with honors, she worked with local lawyers and judges at the Onondaga County Bar Association in Syracuse, New York for three years, coordinating Continuing Legal Education events. The environment inspired Bethany to relocate to central Florida to pursue her dream of attending law school. Bethany is a proud graduate and alumni of Barry University School of Law. She has been licensed to practice law in the state of Florida since 2011. Her focus throughout law school was in Environmental & Energy Law, participating in the school’s Environmental Law Clinic, leading to a position with Siemens Energy upon graduation. After seven years in a corporate environment, Bethany took the leap into her own solo practice, realizing her dreams to use her law degree to help people through the most difficult times in their lives. Focused on Family Law and Probate, Bethany chooses clients and cases that are challenging and rewarding, as these are the areas of law that are usually the most difficult and emotionally challenging to both clients and attorneys alike. She works closely with the Legal Aid Society of the OCBA, regularly taking on Guardian ad Litem cases on a pro bono basis for children in dependency cases as well as senior citizens in nursing homes in need of guardianship. When Bethany is not in the office, she enjoys CrossFit and Peloton workouts, cooking, reading, and spending time with friends and family and her two cats, Thunder and Duke. She is often traveling with her boyfriend, Sean, who is a Master Electrician. They share a son, Gauge, middle school class clown and star athlete.
Lori Wurtzel, Public Relations Director
Lori Wurtzel is the co-owner of Wurtzel Law, PLLC. Her practice focuses on criminal and family law, with an emphasis on post-conviction and appellate issues. Prior to opening her law firm with her husband, Lori was a devoted Public Defender in the Ninth Judicial Circuit. Lori is also an active member of the Central Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (CFACDL), the League of Women Voters, and the Second Harvest Young Professionals Council. Lori earned her B.S. at Vanderbilt University and her J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law. In addition to her professional endeavors, Lori is the proud mother of two young daughters.
Sharlene Stanford, Young Lawyers Director
Sharlene Stanford joined the legal team of IDignity in March 2020. As Legal Counsel, she diligently represents clients in applying for and obtaining their government issued identification documents. IDignity is a non profit organization founded in 2008 and has served over 23,000. IDignity assists individuals with breaking barriers to gain access to social services such as housing, healthcare, education, employment, and finances. Ms.Stanford is a Central Florida native and attended the University of Central Florida where she graduated with her Bachelor of Arts majoring in Political Science with a Minor in Legal Studies. She is a graduate of Florida Coastal School of Law where she served as the Director of Membership for the National Black Law Students Association. Sharlene is an active member of the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers, and in her free time, she enjoys mentoring law school students, attending church, volunteering, and spending time with family and friends. She is very excited to serve as the Young Lawyers Director on the CFAWL Board for 2021-2022!
Eve Lumsden, Young Lawyers Co-Director
Sonia McDowell, FAWL Representative
Sonia Henriques McDowell is an associate at Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A.. Her areas of practice include the defense of health care professionals and entities including: doctors, nurses, physical therapists, advanced registered nurse practitioners, hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and CCRCs. Sonia also handles the defense of personal injury and premises liability matters. Sonia has significant experience in handling appeals and financial services litigation. She gained extensive trial experience as an Assistant State Attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit where she handled the prosecution of felony crimes for three years and worked with specialized task forces focusing on drug trafficking cases involving lengthy minimum mandatory sentences. Sonia received her Juris Doctor from Barry University – Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, Orlando, Fla., in May 2009, is a member of The Florida Bar and is also admitted in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Lauren Robertson, OCBA Representative
Tina Leger, Director at Large
Tina Leger is an Associate Attorney at the Davey Law Group and practices in the areas of Guardianship, Guardian Advocacy, and Estate Planning. A native of Orlando, Florida, Tina earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and Juris Doctor degree from Florida Coastal School of Law. She is a member of the Florida Bar, the Orange County Bar Association, and Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers, having served on various committees and Board of Directors throughout the years. She received the Florida Association for Women Lawyers Leader in the Law award in 2021. Tina’s passion is helping others, and she strives to impact her community through her work at the Davey Law Group and her volunteer efforts. She enjoys organizing and participating in fundraisers, making donations, and attending charitable events. In her personal life, Tina is a member at Grace Church Orlando, an athlete at CrossFit Orlando, a novice golfer of Ladies Links at Dubsdread Golf Course, and an avid paddleboarder.
Heather Kolinsky, Director at Large
Heather is a Professor of Practice at Washington & Lee University teaching Legal Writing and Professional Responsibility. Her scholarly writing focuses on the areas of gender and the law, parentage, and corporate personhood. She most recently served as a term law clerk to Magistrate Judge Gregory J. Kelly of the United States Middle District Court. Before that, Heather was an appellate practitioner focusing on civil and family law appeals. Heather received her LL.M. from Emory University, her J.D. from Rutgers University, and her B.A. from Stetson University. Heather is a member of the Appellate Practice Section of the Florida Bar. She has served on the Executive Council and currently serves as the section’s editor for The Florida Bar Journal. She is a member of the Orange County Bar Association and the Central Florida Navy League. She is a mother to two fabulous kids, loves to travel and kayak, and is a slow but enthusiastic runner.
The Honorable Denise Beamer, Judicial Liaison
The Honorable Denise Kim Beamer is a Circuit Court Judge for the 9th Judicial Circuit serving Orange and Osceola counties. Judge Beamer is the first Korean-American Circuit Court judge in the State of Florida. Prior to becoming a judge, she served as a Senior Assistant Attorney General with the Office of the Florida Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division, and an Assistant State Attorney with the Miami-Dade Office of the State Attorney. Judge Beamer is very involved within the community as she is an active member of the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers, Orange County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section of the OCBA, Greater Orlando Asian American Bar Association, and coached mock trial at Barry University School of Law. As a mock trial coach from 2011-2015, Judge Beamer coached 5 teams to win national and state championships, setting a record as one of the most successful coaches in the school’s history. Prior to becoming a judge, she served as a member of the Florida Bar Grievance committee, worked to represent children as a Guardian Ad Litem, and assisted in the preparation of free wills and estate planning for Orange County first-responders, veterans, and law enforcement officers. Judge Denise Beamer is married to Judge John Beamer (the conversations are fascinating!) and have three beautiful and active children.
Mary Walter, Immediate Past President
Mary Walter is an senior attorney at Liebler, Gonzalez & Portuondo, focusing on appellate practice and litigation support. In this role, she has advocated on behalf of her clients throughout the state in a variety of practice areas, including financial institution litigation, commercial transactions, real estate law, and general civil litigation. Mary is a Board Certified Appellate Specialist. Prior to joining Liebler, Gonzalez, Mary represented national and statewide insurance companies in liability and coverage disputes involving personal injury, product liability, and contract issues. She is a member of the Florida Bar and has been admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. She has been on the Executive Council for the Appellate Practice Section of the Florida Bar and also serves as the chair of the Outreach Committee. Mary is a native of Winter Park, Florida. She earned both her undergraduate degree and juris doctorate degree from Florida State University. While in law school, she served as Co-Editor in Chief of the FSU Business Review and was a member of the Phi Delta Phi Honor Society and the Order of the Coif. Mary was also a proud member of the World Renowned Florida State University Marching Chiefs, and remains active in the alumni association.