By Lottie L. Wathen, Whitham Hebenstreit & Zubek LLP
No, this is not an article about William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but for some reason, those words seemed to be appropriate as I took to the Internet (dictionary.com and its companion thesaurus.com) to look for a suitable alternative for the title, Vice-Chair. I was not able to find a synonym for that specific compound word so I had to break it down. There are many synonyms for “chairperson” including: administrator, captain, director, leader, moderator, monitor, principal, speaker and spokesperson. My favorite, and the one which I feel seems most appropriate to describe our Vice-Chair, is symposiarch (I suppose it would actually be vice-symposiarch in this case.) According to dictionary.com, a symposiarch is defined as “1) the president, director or master of a symposium; 2) a toastmaster.” Just in case you are curious, symposium has many definitions, but the important one is “a convivial party.”
I have had the privilege of attending social events where Laura E.A. Thirion (the Vice-Chair of the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Paralegal Committee) was one of the hosts. There is no doubt in my mind that in addition to her stellar reputation as a strong litigation paralegal, Laura certainly qualifies as a symposiarch. She is able to combine warmth, humor and her vibrant personality, while still maintaining a professionalism that truly makes her stand out.
Laura, who began her legal career in 1998 as a legal secretary for a one-man firm in downtown Indianapolis, received her Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies in 1999 and has been working as a paralegal since that time. Laura is currently employed by Kightlinger & Gray LLP in the Indianapolis office, working under the supervision of multiple attorneys in the area of insurance defense/personal injury. Other professional experience includes business litigation, personal injury (plaintiff and defense), white collar criminal defense, nursing home defense, and medical malpractice defense.
In addition to her paralegal experience, Laura has also previously performed litigation technology support services and has experience with multiple eDiscovery review platforms. She is not only serving as our Vice-Chair, but she is also actively involved with the Indiana Paralegal Association, where she sits on the Board of Directors as its Marketing/Public Relations Director, and is a member of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations.
In her free time Laura tinkers around with photography, is a huge fan of reading (murder/mysteries), enjoys doing jigsaw puzzles with her mother, spending time with her 15-year-old niece and being a mother to her bull mastiff, Bettis, and her Siamese-mix cat, Cowher. Laura would love to have a beachfront office in the Bahamas; however, she feels it best her office be located in downtown Indianapolis, where she is sure to get more work done (i.e. earn a paycheck).
I may not be a William Shakespeare, and Laura may not be a rose, but whether we call her Vice-Chair or Vice-Symposiarch, I can assure you that the Paralegal Committee is fortunate to have a leader like Laura.
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