Carmen Johnson – President
Carmen Johnson earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Miami and her law degree from Stetson University College of Law. Following her graduation from Stetson, Carmen worked in complex civil litigation in Tallahassee, Florida. She later served as a Staff Attorney with the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida where she focused on criminal and postconviction law.
Carmen joined the administration at Stetson University College of Law where she is pursuing her passion for higher ed administration and education law and policy. She works with admission compliance policies, recruiting, diversity initiatives and articulation agreements. Carmen is admitted to practice law in the state of Florida and has served as Secretary of the Fred G. Minnis, Sr. Bar Association. She is currently President- Elect of the Pinellas Chapter of the Florida Association of Women Lawyers after serving a term as Secretary and a two-year term as Director of Continuing Legal Education.
Kristina Feher – President Elect
Kristina Feher is the managing member of Feher Law, PLLC in St. Petersburg, Florida. Kristina practices in the areas of bankruptcy, family law, small business matters, and immigration. Kristina received her B.S. in Criminology from Barry University and her law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. Kristina is a St. Petersburg native and attended St. John Vianney Catholic School and Lakewood High School’s Center for Advanced Technologies (CAT).
She currently serves as a 6 th Circuit Representative (Ex-Officio) for The Florida Bar Young Lawyers’ Division Board of Governors. She is also an Adjunct Professor for St. Petersburg College’s Paralegal Studies Program.
Shavarne Dahlquist – Secretary
Shavarne Dahlquist is the Vice President – Sales and Service Support Manager
at Raymond James Trust, N.A.
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.
She resides with her husband, David, and two daughters, Sydney and Olivia, in Palm Harbor, Florida. In her free time, she enjoys reading, music, and spending time with family and friends.
Elise Winters – Treasurer
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.
Regina Kardash – Immediate Past President
Regina A. Kardash is an attorney with Persson & Cohen, P.A., and has represented municipal clients throughout Pinellas County. She serves as the Town Attorney for Indian Shores and Belleair Shore, and held previous appointments as the Assistant City Attorney for Pinellas Park, Assistant Town Attorney for Redington Shores and Town Attorney for Redington Beach. She has also advised boards, staff and departments for Tarpon Springs, Dunedin, Madeira Beach and Indian Rocks Beach. Regina was appointed to the Pinellas County Local Planning Agency, serving as Chairwoman in 2016. She has litigated cases for clients in County Court, Circuit Court and Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal. Regina has also served as a hearing officer for the St. Petersburg Housing Authority and was appointed to the Florida Bar’s Constitutional Judiciary Committee. She is a member of the Florida Bar, Middle District of Florida, St. Petersburg Bar Association and Clearwater Bar Association in addition to the Florida Association of Women Lawyers (FAWL) and Pinellas County Chapter of FAWL, where she has served in various Board positions, including Public Relations Director and Secretary. She has been awarded FAWL’s Leaders in the Law Award in 2013, and served on the state-wide legislative affairs committee. Regina has served as Editor of the St. Petersburg Bar’s Paracleteperiodical, and is a member of the Leadership St. Pete Class of 2010. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida Southern College in 2002 with a B.A. in Humanities with concentrations in both Art History and Theology, and briefly took master level classes in Art History at the University of South Florida before entering Stetson University College of Law, graduating with her J.D. in 2007.
Alexandra Taylor – Chapter Representative
Alexandra Taylor is an intellectual property attorney at Maxey-Fisher, PLLC, focusing on trademark and copyright prosecution, both domestically and internationally, as well as IP litigation.
A proud Florida native, Alexandra was born and raised on the east coast before attending Florida State University where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Advertising and English Literature, and was heavily involved in her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi. Alexandra’s love of advertising, coupled with her passion for writing, led her to Stetson University College of Law, where she earned her Juris Doctor and found a natural fit in intellectual property law.
Alexandra is presently the Chapter Representative of the Pinellas Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, as well as an active member of the St. Pete Young Professionals Public Policy Committee and Engage St. Pete as a Speakers Committee Member. She previously served as the Co-Chair of the St. Petersburg Bar Association’s YLS Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Laura Jo Lieffers – Director – Public Relations
Laura Jo Lieffers primarily practices in the area of construction law, while also practicing in the areas of commercial litigation and property damage litigation. Ms. Lieffers earned her Bachelor of Architecture, a professional degree, from Roger Williams University. She has experience in both traditional architectural practice and remedial design/construction. Combining her design and construction understanding with legal skill, she is able to help her construction clients throughout the planning and construction processes, while also handling any construction defect claims. Currently, her practice is dedicated almost exclusively to the representation of general contractors, subcontractors, developers, owners, architects, and engineers.
Megan Hurchalla – Director – Membership
Megan was born and raised in a small town in Maryland. She grew up close to the beach and spent most of her childhood on the water. She attended McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland, where she graduated with a degree in Biology – with thoughts of pursuing a career in medicine. Shortly after graduating, she changed her mind, packed her bags and moved to beautiful, sunny St Petersburg, FL.
Once in Florida, Megan worked for a pharmaceutical company focusing on microbiology, quality control and research and development. She realized that by going to law school she could still help to change the world for the better and keep her passion for science and medicine alive.
Megan graduated from Stetson University College of Law in 2014 with a passion for pursuing
intellectual property law.
In 2015, Megan opened her own firm, in St Pete, where she practices all areas of intellectual property law, with a main focus on patent and trademark prosecution. When Megan is not busy protecting her clients’ rights she enjoys reading, kayaking, star gazing and astrophotography, and spending time with her husband and their three small dogs.
Mercedes Buntz – Director – Awards
Mercedes Buntz uses her 18 years of legal experience to help bring order and peace of mind to clients and their loved ones during life’s major events, such as births, illnesses, deaths, marriages, divorces, changes in financial circumstances (loss of job, retirement, or inheritance), or a change in state of residence.
As the founder of Mercedes Buntz Law, PLLC, Mercedes practices in Wills and Trusts, Probate, Bankruptcy & Consumer Issues. She is practically a Florida native, having moved to Clearwater at a young age from Puerto Rico. Mercedes is a proud graduate of The Florida State University College of Law and of The University of Central Florida. Before opening her own law firm, she worked for almost ten years with the UAW Legal Services Plan, where she worked almost exclusively with retirees.
Mercedes is passionate about helping clients make informed decisions to suit their unique wishes and circumstances, which allows clients to retain control, protect their independence and assets, and avoid unintended consequences. In her practice, Mercedes hopes to continue to serve the special needs of retirees, and also the needs of those in the Hispanic community.
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, and BNI – Business Connections chapter.
Cindy Campbell – CLE Programs
Cindy spent seven years in private practice as an estate-planning attorney before joining Raymond James. Her specialties include tax, estate and charitable gift planning, estate settlement and probate, and trust administration. Cindy holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Mount St. Mary’s University, in Maryland; a Juris Doctor from the University of Dayton School of Law, in Ohio; and an LL.M. in taxation from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, and she is licensed by the New Jersey State Bar Association. Cindy’s memberships include the Suncoast Estate Planning Council, Junior League of St Petersburg, and the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers – an organization for which she serves on the board of directors.
Though she’s lived in several states, Cindy is a native of New Jersey. She enjoys swimming, biking and kayaking.
Nicole Bell – Director – Social Programs
Nicole attended the Florida State University majoring in English Literature and minoring in Spanish. After completing her undergraduate studies, Nicole pursued her passion for research and writing by attending Stetson University College of Law. While in law school, Nicole participated in the Stetson’s Elder Law Center, volunteered in the annual Special Needs Trust Conference and Wills for Warriors. She also served as an executive board member for the Stetson Law Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Association and an editor of the Journal of International Aging Law & Policy. Nicole law clerked for an Estate Planning and Probate attorney as well as for Raymond James Trust. From these experiences, Nicole learned the importance of listening to each individual’s needs as no single approach is right for everyone. She believes each plan should be personalized according to one’s particular wishes.
Nicole was admitted to the Florida bar in 2016 and currently works at Legacy Protection Lawyers, where she assists clients with their estate planning, probate, asset protection, and business matters. Nicole is a member of the St. Petersburg Bar Association, Suncoast Estate Planning Council, and the Pinellas Seminole Club. Nicole stays very involved with the Pinellas County community and hopes to accomplish many things during her tenure with PFAWL.
Jennifer Edwards – Director – Young Lawyers Section
Jennifer Edwards is a contract attorney located in St. Petersburg, FL. She first found
her spark in business while working with a fortune 500 company during the pursuit
of her degree in business administration at the University of South Florida. Shortly
after, she realized her desire to attend law school and graduated in 2014 with her
JD/MBA from Stetson University College of Law. Jennifer currently serves as the
Young Lawyers Director for the Pinellas Chapter of Florida Association of Women
As a young attorney, Jennifer found her heart and passion lies in advocating for
children’s best interests through the Guardian Ad Litem Program. In 2017, Jennifer
was the recipient of the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Pro Bono Award for her
service with the Program.
Jennifer was born in Frankfurt, Germany and moved to sunny Florida as a young
child. Keeping her heritage close to her heart, she travels to Germany as often as
possible. She currently lives in Seminole, FL with her husband Shawn and their two
Vanessa Albaum – Pro Bono
Vanessa Albaum is an experienced trial lawyer and a recent addition to the Sisco-Law team. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Central Florida in 2005 and her law degree from Florida Coastal School of Law in 2011. She was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2011.
Vanessa served over three years as an Assistant State Attorney in the Fourth Judicial Circuit in Duval County, Florida, and in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County, Florida. While with the State Attorney’s Office, she specialized in the prosecution of career criminals and tried more than 25 jury trials, charges included attempted murder, armed robbery, and armed carjacking. Since leaving the State Attorney’s Office, she has practiced in the areas of medical malpractice, auto negligence, and criminal defense.
Vanessa is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
In August of 2014, Ms. Albaum was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award presented by the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency. She is a member of the Florida Bar Association (Young Lawyers Division), St. Petersburg Bar Association, Florida Association for Women Lawyers (Women’s Health Awareness Chair), Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers (CLE Director), and the Pinellas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.