Directors’ Biographies

Northern District:

Director A – Tabitha Craig

I graduated with my A.A.S. in Legal Business and Office Technology from Moberly Area Community College in 1991. I became determined to get my Bachelor Degree in 2007 and in 2013, I received by B.S. Degree in Paralegal Studies and graduated cum laude from Kaplan University. I continue to broaden my education and hone my skills through attending CLE classes at the Missouri Bar Association quarterly meetings and through the Missouri Paralegal Association.

 

Currently, I am employed at Lovett Law LLC in Milan, Missouri where we practice family, probate, real estate and criminal law. Family and Criminal law have always been of great interest to me so I am very happy in my position. I continue to study and learn Missouri Rules of Civil Procedure and the Statutes that affect our practice areas.

 

I was very excited when I joined the Missouri Paralegal Association in September, 2015. I hold a great deal of regard for the values and goals the Missouri Paralegal Association has assembled. Furthering our profession is a personal mission for me and the Missouri Paralegal Association is a great catalyst for that pursuit. I enjoy writing and have had an article published in the MPAlert.

 

Along with my involvement in the MPA, I periodically volunteer with Hospice and Disaster Relief.

Director B – Jenn Moden

I graduated from Northwest Missouri State University in December 2004 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology. Immediately following graduation, I was a Substance Abuse Counselor within the Missouri Department of Corrections and then a probation and parole officer for 10 years. Most recently I was the lead officer for the Buchanan County Domestic Violence Court program.

In January 2014, I returned to school to obtain an Associate’s degree in Legal Studies and Paralegal Certificate. I am scheduled to graduate with such in December 2017. In September 2016, I accepted a position with the Buchanan County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office as a Paralegal. Being new to the field, serving on the Board is an honor and wonderful experience to grow as a paralegal.

Director C – Lorie Burnley

I graduated from Missouri Western State College in December 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with emphasis on Legal Studies. I also have an Associate’s Degree in Art from Maple Woods Community College. I also have my Paralegal Certificate from Missouri Western.

I have worked at Office of The Chapter 13 Trustee since May 1998. I worked my way from file clerk to my current job, Paralegal Bankruptcy Specialist. I have been a paralegal since January 2004. I have only worked in Chapter 13 bankruptcy law. I am married and have a 5-year-old little girl. I also have a dog and a cat. I like to read, hang with friends, watch TV. I am currently the social media person for the Missouri Paralegal Association. Also, I am currently serving as the Missouri Paralegal Association treasurer.

Director D – Karla Hardin

I have been a paralegal for 27 years. After graduating from Missouri Western State University with degrees in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies, I began my career working for a solo practitioner. I then moved on to work as a loan closer in the mortgage business, a freelance paralegal doing probate work, and worked as a paralegal for a small litigation firm. These experiences led me to my current job as a Paralegal Bankruptcy Specialist for the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee for the Western District of Missouri. I have been at my current position for approximately 12 1/2 years.

 

I have been a member of MPA ever since the organization was created. I have held various positions within the organization including the posts of President, First Vice President, Second Vice President and Secretary. In addition, I have also held various committee chair positions. I am extremely proud to be a paralegal and love my profession. I feel that MPA provides us with a way to share a united voice in issues related to our profession. I am proud to call myself a member and I am excited for what MPA has achieved to date and extremely excited to see where it will go in the future.

Eastern District:

Director A – Amanda J. Chapman

I am a litigation paralegal at the law firm of Brown & Crouppen PC, primarily focusing on insurance defense matters, including class action, municipal law, personal injury, business litigation, and breach of contract. Here, I am responsible for managing high-volume document production, eDiscovery, data mapping/preservation, obtaining and summarizing documents, people investigations, preparing and responding to written discovery, preparing matters for trial/mediation/deposition, and identifying/vetting appropriate expert witnesses.

 

I obtained a B.S. in History and Social Studies Education from Missouri Valley College and paralegal certification through Adams State College. In 2011, I obtained national certification as a Registered Paralegal (RP) through NFPA and have maintained this designation since. In 2014, I was honored with the St. Louis Paralegal Association’s Paralegal Legend award.

 

An active member of several professional associations, I bring nearly 15 years of experience in the legal field to the table and work hard promoting the profession. I have served as a mentor to paralegal students and junior paralegals, have presented at CLE seminars locally and nationwide on countless topics, and have been given research credit in publications and training materials. Professional affiliations include Missouri Paralegal Association, St. Louis Paralegal Association, National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Women in eDiscovery, and EDEN.

 

I obtained a B.S. in History and Social Studies Education from Missouri Valley College and paralegal certification through Adams State College. In 2011, I obtained national certification as a Registered Paralegal (RP) through NFPA and have maintained this designation since. In 2014, I was honored with the St. Louis Paralegal Association’s Paralegal Legend award.

An active member of several professional associations, I bring nearly 15 years of experience in the legal field to the table and work hard promoting the profession. I have served as a mentor to paralegal students and junior paralegals, have presented at CLE seminars locally and nationwide on countless topics, and have been given research credit in publications and training materials. Professional Affiliations include Missouri Paralegal Association, St. Louis Paralegal Association, National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Women in eDiscovery, and EDEN.

Director B – Yvonne Martinez

I have been a paralegal for 25 years, in both traditional and non-traditional roles. Currently, I am working as the Senior Corporate Paralegal for Peabody, in St. Louis, Missouri. My background is in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, securities law, corporate governance, FCC licensing, healthcare and government regulations.

 

Prior to my position in St. Louis with Peabody, I worked for Rural/Metro Corporation, in Scottsdale, Arizona, the nation’s second largest ambulance company. I enjoy challenging roles and my time at Rural/Metro allowed me to expand my boundaries and work in the non-traditional role of Senior Director of Legal Affairs, for nearly ten years. My experience has included projects such as leading due diligence teams, closing stock and asset purchase transactions, appearing before the Federal Communications Commission, sitting on my company’s policy committee and running the day-to-day operations of a large corporate law department.

 

I attended both St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley and Webster University and I have my degree in Legal Studies. I am also a Registered Paralegal, through the National Federation of Paralegal Associations.

 

I am a proud native of St. Louis and I am thrilled to be home again after living in Phoenix, Arizona for 16 years. I am excited about the future of our profession and I look forward to interacting with MPA members throughout the state.

Director C – Kathy Widman

Kathy has been the paralegal for a nursing home corporation for over eight years. Her job duties include approving requests for medical records along with ordering medical records for cases. She works with three in-house attorneys handling nursing home litigation, employment claims, contracts, insurance and corporate governance.

 

This session will provide an overview understanding of HIPAA and explain why a paralegal needs to know about the Act. How to obtain medical records, what is included in electronic medical records, how to summarize medical records and how to prepare medical records as exhibits will also be discussed.

Director D – Jeannean Fenske

I began working in the legal field in 2001 as a receptionist legal assistant for Phillip Morse. In 2004, I began working at Sindel Noble in St. Louis, MO. I initially worked as a paralegal doing family law, estate planning and personal injury cases. In 2007, I was promoted to Office Manager and then in 2009 also took on the position of paralegal for partner Travis L. Noble, Jr. who specializes in defending Driving While Intoxicated and Federal Drug cases. Our firm handles a variety of cases including personal injury, family law, and recently expanding to negligent supervision.

 

I began attending paralegal classes in 2001 at St. Louis Community College – Florissant Valley and then transferred to Maryville University. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Paralegal Studies from Maryville University – St. Louis in 2005.

 

I have a passion for passing on my paralegal knowledge and teaching others about the profession specifically as it relates to criminal law and DWI. I have presented at several CLE seminars on many topics as it relates to the paralegal’s role. I have also been asked to consult on law office organization and job roles within small firms specializing in criminal law.

 

After being a single mother for over 10 years, I remarried in 2013 and now have 4 boys, 3 girls and several more that call me “Mom” along with several grandchildren. In my free time, I love reading, camping and being outdoors. I am a member of Missouri Paralegal Association (MPA), National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) and Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL).

Southern District:

Director A – Talyia Leeper

I graduated Missouri State University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business. During the time I was in college, I was also working full time as a paralegal for the Prosecuting Attorney in Stone County.

 

When it came time to pursue a career in business, I just couldn’t leave litigation. I was hooked! I was a trial assistant with the prosecutor’s office for seventeen years and directly assisted the Prosecutor in over one hundred jury trials. Subsequently, I moved to Springfield and took a job as a litigation paralegal with Polsinelli, PC where I worked on several document intensive commercial litigation cases. After five years, Polsinelli pulled out of the Springfield market and I took a position at Lowther Johnson assisting with commercial litigation as well as insurance defense and personal injury.

 

I am new to MPA but I understand the importance of coming together as peers uniting for a common purpose. I am a member of the Junior League of Springfield where I sit as committee chair and will be moving into a board position in the fall. I am married with two adult children and three amazing grandchildren.

Director C – Kerry B. Noe

I am a Senior Litigation Paralegal with Spencer Fane, LLP in Springfield, MO. I have been in the paralegal profession continuously since 1983 and have had many unique and rewarding opportunities to work on interesting and complex litigation throughout my career, actively participating in countless bench and jury trials in State and Federal Courts. My responsibilities include work in all aspects of litigation, including client/witness interviews, pleadings, discovery, trial preparation/attendance and appeal work. I have been a presenter at various seminars and CLEs attended by paralegals, attorneys and judges on several key litigation topics including Effective Investigation Techniques, Trial Preparation from Start to Finish, Litigation Essentials and Ethics for Paralegals. I have previously twice served as the President of MPA and have been on the board of MPA since 2009.

 

Immediately after graduation from high school, I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served my country for 4 years. After receiving an Honorable Discharge, I returned home to Missouri and attended Drury University in Springfield, MO with a dual major in Psychology and Criminal Justice. I began my legal career at that same time, becoming employed as the first paralegal for the Springfield Law Firm of Farrington & Curtis while attending college. I have generally worked for the same attorneys my entire career, with Farrington & Curtis being acquired by Husch & Eppenberger (now Husch Blackwell) in 1997. In 2014, several attorneys from Husch Blackwell left to start the Spencer Fane office in Springfield and asked me to come with them. I have been with Spencer Fane, LLP ever since and continue to assist in complex and protracted litigation, including commercial litigation, employment discrimination, class actions, domestic relations and other types of general litigation disputes.

 

I have been married since May 2013, and in August 2016, my beautiful wife Liz and I welcomed into the world our first child – Elliana Sarah. In my spare time, I enjoy outdoor activities, am an avid Star Trek fan/memorabilia collector and thoroughly enjoy travel throughout the world. I have a particular passion for visiting wineries and adding to my already significant collection of wines stored in the private wine cellar in my home in Springfield.

Director C – (open)

Director D – Brandi Delleville

I graduated from William Woods University with a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies in June of 2017. I have been a paralegal for 10 years. I started my career as a legal secretary with the Public Defender’s office and then transitioned into a Paralegal role emphasizing in Criminal Law. After four and a half years with the Public Defender’s office in Greene County, I accepted a position with Polsinelli in Springfield, MO. I mainly focused on litigation and appellate work. After the closing of the Polsinelli Springfield office, I moved to Lowther Johnson, a large local firm in Springfield. I had a variety of roles that I filled as a paralegal focusing mainly on personal injury. I have worked in many areas of the law, including family law, criminal law, civil litigation, appeals, probate, and contract law. I have an extensive background in trial work.

 

I am now employed with Jack Henry and Associates, a large banking software company. I serve as a paralegal in the legal department preparing contracts and other litigation issues throughout the company.

 

I am also a member and in leadership with the Junior League of Springfield where we promote volunteerism and prepare women for leadership roles within the community.