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2011 News

PACO Celebrated the Holidays

PACO celebrated the holidays with its members with a fun, festive holiday social at The Chiller Easton on December 10. PACO members, guests, and children were able to ice skate with Santa, decorate ornaments, decorate cookies, participate in broomball games, and win gifts and goodies during the holiday drawings for adults and children. When asked what his favorite part of the evening's events was, three year-old Nik Bowers (nephew to PACO Public Relations Representative Mindi Schaefer) stated "skating with my daddy and Santa on the frozen water [also known as the ice to those older than three]."

"From guests laughing as they attempted to ice skate for the first time to kids getting excited about the prize drawing, I believe the event was a huge success. Before the event was over, I had received tons of wonderful and positive comments about the event. I cannot thank my PR Committee enough for their help with the event. They have been great!" stated Mindi Schaefer.

The PACO Public Relations Committee wants to thank the following sponsors: GOLD - Poling | Petrello, Columbus Bar Association, Baker Hostetler, Anderson Reporting, Capital University Law School, and National Corporate Research; SILVER - Rennillo Deposition & Discovery, Key Evidence, EDiscover-E, and Experis; BRONZE - IKON; GENERAL AND DRAWING DONORS - Jackie Grime, Jamie Imes, Lori Slaughter, Charity Crouse, Simone Carpino, Clicks, National Corporate Research, and Don Slowik (partner of Slowik & Robinson).

PACO collected gloves, mittens, hats and scarves for donation the Salvation Army. PACO Public Relations Representative Mindi Schaefer will be collecting these items until December 23, 2011. Please contact her at or 614/737.2914 to arrange pick up or drop off of your donations.

Pictured: PACO's Public Relations Commitee members

Click here to view all photos from the 2011 Holiday Social...


PACO / LASC Pro Bono Wills Clinics and CLE Update

In November, LASC sponsored another CLE to train attorneys and paralegals who volunteer at the PACO / LASC Pro Bono Wills Clinics which are held once or twice each month. One hundred fifteen attorneys and paralegals attended the CLE. Our thanks to Eric McLoughlin and Bob Rafferty, the two attorneys who presented the course, and to Magistrate William Reddington from the Franklin County Probate Court who shared opening remarks. And the greatest of thanks to Becky Cain, Felicia Minor, and their colleagues at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company who hosted the event and provided a superb venue for the course. It was really fantastic.

We have the first seven Wills Clinics for 2012 scheduled, and enough attendees at the CLE signed up to fully staff each of them. More Clinics will be scheduled in the coming weeks.

In 2011, we served a total of 130 people via the Wills Clinics for a combined monetary value of legal services provided in excess of $80,000. We have enjoyed the participation of 30 attorneys, 26 paralegals, and 16 law or paralegal students who volunteered at least once this year at a Wills Clinic, and we averaged 13 volunteers per Clinic.


PACO's Holiday Extravaganza

Mark your calendars for PACO’s annual holiday party to be held on December 10, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. at The Chiller Easton. From ice skating, ornament making, and door prizes, this year’s event is sure to be a crowd pleaser. The Public Relations Committee will be issuing the formal invitation in the coming weeks. “After last year’s event at The Chiller, I received a tremendous amount of requests for a repeat this year at The Chiller. PACO members, as well as the families and friends of the membership, had a blast last year and the PR Committee looks forward to even more fun this year,” as stated by Public Relations Representative, Mindi Schaefer.

PACO will also be accepting donations of new gloves, hats, scarfs, and other winter apparel for kids to adults for donation to an area charity in Central Ohio. For more information on attending this event, donating winter items, or sponsorship of this event, please contact Mindi Schaefer at or 614/737.2914.

Pictured, left to right: Members of the Public Relations Committee: Erin Cafferkey, Mindi Schaefer, & Penny Zupp (all of Poling | Petrello)


2011 PACO Candidate Forum

The Paralegal Association of Central Ohio held their Annual Candidate Forum at the CBA, on October 5th. Seated, from left: Barb Pfeiffer and Andrea Peoples, candidates for Franklin County Municipal Court Judge; Lori Tyack, candidate for Franklin County Municipal Court Clerk. Back row, from left: David Young, Jim O'Grady, Dwayne Maynard, and Eric Brown, candidates for Franklin County Municipal Court Judge.


Participate in PACO's Mentoring Program

PACO’s Mentoring Program began with a vision of senior paralegals guiding and leading student and junior paralegals down a path to success within the paralegal field. The Program flourished into a networking collaboration between paralegals of all experience levels and specialties. In the age of a shaky economy, networking in any profession has become a must for all.

PACO’s Mentoring Program provides an avenue for this type of networking which has enabled recent Capital University Law School Paralegal Program Graduate Erin Cafferkey to obtain her first paralegal job with Poling | Petrello in Columbus, Ohio. “PACO’s Mentoring Program allowed me to learn from an experienced paralegal, to meet more people in the profession, and complete an externship. These experiences taught me beyond the textbooks during my program, leaving me to be more prepared to enter my first job. Most importantly, these opportunities directly lead to my job at Poling | Petrello. I highly encourage student paralegals to join this program” as stated by Erin Cafferkey. PACO’s Mentoring Program continually accepts applications for senior paralegal Mentoring mentors, junior paralegal mentees, and student paralegal mentees. If you are interested, contact Program Committee Chair Mindi Schaefer at

Pictured, left to right: Penny Zupp, Paul-Michael La Fayette, Erin Cafferkey, and Mindi Schaefer: The Poling | Petrello team celebrates the graduation of its newest paralegal.


PACO's Executive Board 2011-2013 Plans for the Future

As PACO's Executive Board for 2011-2013 begins its plans for the future, the organization will remain focused on one of its main goals: strengthening bonds within the legal community. PACO strives to build lasting bonds of support with its paralegal members, student paralegal members, sustaining members, attorneys, and the entire legal community. The Executive Board members President Renee Tomko; President-Elect Mindi Schaefer, Vice President Rebecca Cain; Assistant Vice President Kathy McGranahan; Secretary Angela Assi; and Treasurer Karen Stone are accessible to every member of PACO and the legal community. Each board member truly believes supporting each other is the best way for everyone to succeed.

PACO is also very grateful to those outside of PACO who support not only the organization, but its members. From the attorneys who support their paralegals to the friends who support each other, success begins with this bond of support.

PACO would like to thank CBA President David Bloomfield, Jr. for his support and participation in the installation ceremony. PACO would also like to thank the following sponsors Event Host and Gold Sponsor Columbus Bar Association; Gold Sponsors: Anderson Reporting; InfoVision21; Baker Hostetler; Capital University Law School; and Poling | Petrello; Silver Sponsor: Ediscover E; Bronze Sponsor: Lumen Legal; and Promotional Sponsor: Key Evidence. Their support is truly vital to PACO's success and appreciated.

Click here to view all photos from the Installation Ceremony...


PACO Members Recognized with OSBA Paralegal Certification

On July 22, 2011, the OSBA recognized the OSBA Paralegal Certification Class of 2011. PACO would like to congratulate the following members for achieving this milestone: Kathy Austin (Wiles Boyle Burkholder & Bringardner); Laura Ezzie (Manley Deas Kochalski, LLC); Connie French (Sowald Sowald Anderson & Hawley); Jacquelyn Harrington (Law Office of Richard Taps); Rebecca Long (Wiles Boyle Burkholder & Bringardner); Dianne May (Wiles Boyle Burkholder & Bringardner); Elizabeth Robertson (Tyack Blackmore & Liston, Co., LPA); Teresa Scharf (Newhouse Prophater Letcher & Moots, LLC); Shannon Todd (Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC); Amy Boyd (Wiles Boyle Burkholder & Bringardner); and Stephanie Foster (Abercrombie & Fitch).

PACO would also like to thank the PACO Paralegal Certification Committee that provided study group sessions at Capital University Law School in advance of the exam. The Committee consisted of Chair Mindi Schaefer (Poling | Petrello), member Nadine Valco (Reminger, Co., LPA), and member Debbie Sekerak (Wiles Boyle Burkholder & Bringardner).


Concordance Litigation Management Software

LexisNexis representative Melisa Twomey, Esq., gave an informative presentation on current and new Concordance Litigation Management software, to PACO Members on June 23rd.

Elections & Oscars Celebration for PACO

Paralegal Association of Central Ohio celebrated their annual Elections & Oscars Party with a luncheon at the Columbus Bar Association and the awarding of numerous awards to its members.

Congratulations to the Oscar Winners for 2010-2011 including Outstanding Member- Mindi Schaefer (Poling | Petrello); Outstanding Committee Members- Kristin Gordon (Dagger, Johnston, Miller, Ogilvie, & Hampson) & Karen Stone (Slowik & Robinson); Outstanding Board Members- Vicki Babbert (Schottenstein, Zox, & Dunn) & Renee Tomko (Baker Hostetler); Outstanding New Member- Karen Huebel (Columbus Zoo); Outstanding Committee Chair- Amanda Coleman (Nationwide); and Paralegal of the Year- Teresa Scharf (Newhouse, Prophater, Letcher & Moots).

Congratulations to the newly elected 2011-2013 PACO Executive Board including Treasurer- Karen Stone (Slowik & Robinson); Secretary- Angela Assi (Columbus Bar Association); Assistant Vice President- Kathy McGranahan (Nationwide); Vice President- Rebecca Cain (Nationwide); President-Elect- Mindi Schaefer (Poling | Petrello), and President- Renee Tomko (Baker Hostetler).

Pictured, left: 2010-2011 PACO Executive Board
Pictured, right: Nicki Willis with Teresa Scharf, Paralegal of the Year

Click here to view all photos from the event...


Paralegal Day: May 16, 2011

Thank you to those who were able to make it to PACO's Paralegal Day 2011 festivities on Monday. What a great time! Congratulations to this year's service award recipients - Sarah Smith, Lisa Gillespie, Becky Hetzler, Michelle Carrion, Kristine Krenik, Leslie Tackett, Nadine Valco, Lucinda Miller, Jo Williams, Shelley Stevens, Roshan Kandawalla, Vicki Babbert, and Dianne May.

Thank you to the following PACO Paralegal Day 2011 sponsors: GOLD: Anderson Reporting, ProFile Imaging, Rennillo Deposition & Discovery, Capital University Law School, and Info Vision 21; SILVER: Poling | Petrello and Key Evidence; BRONZE: Clicks, National Corporate Research, Thornsberry Reporting, and Subpoena Service Plus; and GENERAL: Cake, Hope, & Love, Spectrum Reporting, and Slowik & Robinson.

A very special Thank You to our Paralegal Day Guest Speaker Judge Amy Salerno, Luncheon Hosts Anderson Reporting, and Happy Hour Hosts ProFile Imaging.

Click here to view photos of the event...


OSBA Paralegal Certification Exam Scholarship Winners Announced

With the proceeds from the PACO Holiday Social in December, PACO was able to offer scholarships to members who are sitting for this year's OSBA Paralegal Certification Exam in May. During the April General Membership meeting, PACO Members Stephanie Foster and Shannon Todd were each awarded $250 scholarships for the exam. Congratulations to both Stephanie & Shannon!

PACO would also like to wish GOOD LUCK to all exam takers! Study hard and stay positive! You will succeed!

Photo, left to right: Renee Tomko (PACO Acting President), Shannon Todd (Winner), Mindi Schaefer (PACO Paralegal Certification Study Group Chair), and Nadine Valco (PACO Paralegal Certification Study Group Chair Assistant). Not Shown: Stephanie Foster (Winner)


2011 NFPA/Thomson Reuters Scholarship

The NFPA is offering their 2011 NFPA/Thomson Reuters Scholarship for paralegal students. Click here to download the application. The first place scholarship winner will receive $3,000 and the second place scholarship winner will receive $2,000. This is a great opportunity that every student should consider applying for.

The deadline to submit your application and all supporting documents is July 1, 2011. Please review the application and if you have any questions, please email Stephanie Foster at The two scholarship recipients will be invited to attend the NFPA Annual Convention in Minneapolis, MN to accept their scholarships!


Reception for Nell Chambers, March 23, 2011

A reception was held at the Columbus Bar offices on Wednesday evening, March 23 to wish Nell Chambers safe travels and continued success as she and her family transition to new opportunities in Albuquerque (NM).

Nell recently resigned her paralegal position at Dinsmore & Shohl, and simultaneously stepped down as president of the Paralegal Association of Central Ohio, a leadership role she has filled since July 2009 and previously from 2004 to 2006.

Under Nell’s direction, the wonderful relationship between PACO and the CBA was forged in 2004 and affiliations between PACO and several supporting vendors have since been created, all of which are the envy of many paralegal and bar associations across the county.

Judge Stephen McIntosh, President of the CBA, Jill Snitcher McQuain, Executive Director of the CBA, and Katie Essex, Past President of PACO, each spoke at the reception in recognition of Nell’s leadership.

We will miss Nell greatly and appreciate all she has accomplished here and wish her will in future endeavors.

Pictured, from left: CBA President Hon. Stephen McIntosh, PACO President Nell Chambers, CBA Executive Director Jill Snitcher McQuain

Click here to view more photos from the reception...

Read PACO news from 2010...

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