President - Melanie Hicks, CP
Melanie Hicks, CP obtained an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies in 1994 from the College of West Virginia now known as University of Charleston, Beckley. She has worked for over 20 years for sole practitioners in real estate, civil litigation, family law and criminal law areas of the legal field. Melanie incorporated Paralegal Solutions, LLC in 2008 and now works as a freelance paralegal for numerous attorneys and firms performing real estate work, litigation support and contract review. She became a member of LAPSWV in 2008 and passed the NALA certifying examination in March 2010. Melanie was elected as LAPSWV’s Secretary for 2011 to 2012, NALA Liaison for 2012 to 2013, First Vice President for 2013 to 2014, and President for the 2014 to 2015 term. She has been nominated by LAPSWV for the NALA Affiliate Award for 2012 and 2014, and is a member of NALA’s Leadership Enhancement and Preparation (LEAP) Class of 2014.
First Vice President - Sherri L. Rasmussen
Sherri L. Rasmussen attended Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1985. She has been a litigation paralegal for 20 years and is employed with The Masters Law Firm, LC, focusing in mass and class action litigation and products liability cases. Sherri has been an active member of Legal Assistants/Paralegals of Southern West Virginia (LAPSWV) since 2009, serving on the Audit Committee from 2010-2012, and as Treasurer for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 fiscal years. She has been a member of National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) since 2013 and is an active member of West Virginia Association for Justice (WVAJ) legal assistants program.
Second Vice President - Mica Spratt
Mica Spratt is employed by Lamp Bartram Levy Trautwein & Perry, PLLC as a litigation paralegal. She has been employed with Lamp Bartram Levery Trautwein & Perry for seven years. Mica received her Bachelors Degree in Music/Vocie and also received a minor in Psychology from West Virginia Wesleyan in 2007. She has been a member of Legal Assistants/Paralegals of Southern West Virginia (LAPSWV) since 2013. Presently, she is studying for the NALA certifying exam.
Treasurer - Treasurer
Secretary - Donna S. Hughes
Donna S. Hughes has been employed by the law firm of Kay Casto & Chaney PLLC in Charleston, West Virginia for 27 years. She was hired as a legal secretary and held that position for five years after which she became a paralegal in the firm’s litigation department, working primarily in insurance litigation and criminal defense. Prior to her employment at Kay Casto & Chaney she was a legal secretary at the firm of Hamilton, Burgess, Young & Pollard in Oak Hill, West Virginia. She started her legal career after college graduation, working for Fayette County Judge Charles Garvin. Donna is a graduate of West Virginia Institute of Technology with a B.S. degree in Business Education. She has been a member of LAPSWV since 2009 and has served on the Membership, Newsletter, and Standing Rules Committees.
NALA Liaison - Rhonda Swartz, ACP
Rhonda Swartz, ACP, is employed by a government agency. During her career with that office she has earned numerous performance and distinguished service awards. She has been a member of the legal profession for approximately 25 years. Her experience includes 11 years as a legal assistant for a sole practitioner and a plaintiff’s firm. Rhonda earned an Associate in Administrative Science and an Associate in Secretarial Science/Information Administration from Glenville State College with high honors in 1991. In 1995, she graduated with a Regents Bachelor of Arts from Glenville State College with high honors. She obtained the CLA/CP certification from the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) in September 2000, and the Advanced Paralegal Certification (ACP) in 2015. Rhonda is currently an active member of NALA. She is a founding member of LAPSWV (2004 to present) and served as Second Vice President, First Vice President, and President. During her tenure, she also served on various committees which include the Education/Scholarship Committee, Audit Committee, and Membership Committee. Rhonda is an active member of The West Virginia Bar Association, Legal Assistant Division (2002-present).
Parliamentarian/Historian - Tammy L. Welch, ACP
Tammy L. Welch, ACP recently changed careers, branching out to begin her new profession as a claims consultant with the West Virginia Mutual Insurance Company, beginning August 1, 2013. WV Mutual Insurance Company is the only non-profit, member-owned medical liability insurance company in West Virginia. Tammy was previously employed as an Advanced Certified Paralegal, Trial Practice, in the litigation department of Jackson Kelly, PLLC for 14 years, where she assisted attorneys in the firm's litigation department, focusing primarily on Medical Liability defense. Tammy received her Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) in January 2000, her Advanced Paralegal Certification in Trial Practice in April 2013, and is an active member of the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). Tammy is a WV licensed insurance adjuster and passed her insurance license exam after only 12 days on the job at WV Mutual. Tammy has been an active member of LAPSWV since 2004, serving as LAPSWV's NALA Liaison (2005-2006 and Janua7ry 2010-June 2010), and as LAPSWV's Parliamentarian/Historian from June 2008 to January 2010, and June 2010 to June 2012). She is currently serving an appointment as Parliamentarian/Historian for the 2014-2015 term. Tammy is a member PIAA, a member of Defense Trial Counsel of WV, a member of the Paralegal Liaison committee of Defense Trial Counsel of WV, a member of the Legal Assistants' Committee of The West Virginia State Bar, and an Advisory Board member for the Paralegal Studies Program for BridgeValley Community & Technical College, South Charleston, WV. Tammy was a member of the Executive Committee honored by LAPSWV as the 2009 Paralegals of the year and was individually honored as the LAPSWV 2011 Paralegal of the Year.