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Meet The Speakers & Roundtable Hosts

Friday, March 10, 2023

7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

St. Petersburg, Florida

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Meet The Speakers

Nick Curley  
Nick Curley is a Palm Beach fiduciary litigator with the law firm of Gunster Yoakley whose primary practice is high level probate, trust, estate and guardianship litigation. Nick is also a member of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar where he is the former Chairman for the RPPTL Section’s Guardianship, Power of Attorney  and Advance Directives committee as well as Co-Chairman for the section’s Guardianship Code Rewrite Committee. Fun fact, Nick was the original subject of the Where’s Waldo line of books, however was eventually removed from the books in favor of the titular hero after disputes arose regarding royalties for Nick’s name and likeness. In addition, Nick is the current author of multiple chapters in the Florida Bar’s Continuing Legal Education materials including chapters on the duties, responsibilities, and liabilities of a Guardian of the Property; Jury Trials in Probate; and Will Construction.

Sancha Brennan


SANCHA K. BRENNAN is a partner in The Brennan Law Firm in Orlando. Ms. Brennan’s practice is concentrated in the areas of commercial and residential real property, probate, guardianship, and small business transactions.

Ms. Brennan received her Bachelor of Arts from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida and her Juris Doctorate from the New England School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. Ms. Brennan is admitted to practice before all Florida state courts and the United States District Courts in the middle district of Florida and is a member of both the Orange County and Florida Bars.

She is on the Executive Council of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section’s of The Florida Bar. Ms. Brennan is currently serving as Chair of the Section CLE Committee and is past chair of its Legislative and Case Law Update Seminar Steering Committee. She sits as a member of the Board of Directors of the Central Florida Real Estate Council (CFREC), serves as Vice President of Programs and is past Chair of the Orange County Bar Association’s Real Property Committee and past Director of CFSGA, the Central Florida Chapter of the Florida State Guardianship Association. Also as a member of the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar, Ms. Brennan has lectured to attorneys, guardians, real estate agents and brokers on a variety of real property, guardianship and business related topics.

Shelley Perry

  Shelley is a trust and estates attorney who has also held senior fiduciary planning and administration positions in a multi-family office and corporate trust department, in addition to practicing in a boutique estate planning law firm. 

She founded Fiduciary Associates, LLC (f/k/a Lasting Links LLC) in 2016, and has since served many individuals and families as Independent Trustee, Personal Representative, Curator, and Agent under Durable Power of Attorney.

Shelley and her team serve as Independent Trustee, Personal Representative, Curator, Agent under Power of Attorney and Healthcare Surrogate. She began her fiduciary career practicing in a boutique estate planning law firm and has since held senior fiduciary administration positions in a multi-family office and corporate trust department. Shelley has served as an Adjunct Professor at Ave Maria Law School Estate Planning Clinic, and currently is a member of the Professional Fiduciary Council of Florida’s Executive Board. She is a licensed Florida Trust & Estates attorney, but focuses exclusively on fiduciary administration.

Theresa Barton


Theresa L Barton has been widely known and regarded as an expert in the field of elder care services, care management, disabled support and guardianship services in Florida for nearly 25 years. She and her staff have helped ease the burden of this often difficult journey for thousands of clients and families across the state though Guardian Care Management and Benefits Services, Inc.

In 1993, Theresa founded Guardian Care, providing professional guardianship services. Over the years, the services that GCMBS provides have grown to include life plan assessments and care management services to individuals, professional and their families. More recently GCMBS has been providing assistance for folks dealing with the APD system – Agency for Persons with Disabilities.

Theresa is committed to providing passionate and informed services across Central Florida to clients and families. She is also on a mission to empower and educate, nationwide, families, care providers, clients, legal, insurance and financial professionals in the constantly-changing world of elder and disabled care services.

With nearly 25 years of experience as a professional guardian and care manager, Theresa has seen it all! She has found placement for a client’s two elderly mules, flown across the country to locate a lost client, and sent burnt cash to the treasury department for replacement funds. And those are just the tip of the iceberg of unique stories that Theresa can talk about.

Amanda Lewis


Amanda Lewis is a Care Manager with EasyLiving Home Care and Care Management. She is currently enrolled at the University of South Florida where she will be completing her Bachelor's degree in Aging Sciences. She is a member of the Aging Life Care Association, which is the professional association for Care Managers throughout the nation. Amanda has invaluable experience working directly with clients as a Certified Nursing Assistant for over 8 years as well as a Care Coordinator for a home health agency for 1 year. This experience adds to her knowledge and makes her a more effective Care Manager, allowing her to better manage the care partners (caregivers) assigned to her clients. Amanda also has experience working with Professional Guardians, Trustees, and other fiduciaries making her familiar with the added challenges and responsibilities those relationships bring.

Amanda was always very close to her grandmother as a child and always had a deep desire to help people, especially those that could not necessarily help themselves. Working with the elderly allows Amanda to use her outgoing personality to win over difficult clients, which seems to have become her speciality and she finds this very rewarding. She is a problem solver and thinks outside of the box to find solutions. She has found that the fast-paced and ever-changing healthcare field is a great place to use her skills and experience, and make the most difference helping others.

Kyle Belz


Kyle Belz, an elder law attorney based in Sun City Center, Florida, provides legal services to people coping with aging, death, and other life events. Kyle received a Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law, magna cum laude, with a Certificate of Concentration in Elder Law. While in law school, Kyle served on the Stetson Law Review, received the Matthew L. Bender Elder Law Book Award for academic achievement in Elder Law and Estate Planning courses, was inducted into the National Order of Scribes for excellence in legal writing, and received the Victor O. Wehle Award for excellence in trial advocacy. Additionally, Kyle was recognized with the William F. Blews Pro Bono Service Award.

Kyle began his career as an attorney after working more than 8 years for the American Red Cross in several management roles. Kyle's experience helping individuals prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies prepared Kyle to serve clients who are coping with aging, death, and other life events.

Kyle is a fourth generation Floridian and top-ten ranked United Master's swimmer. Kyle serves on the advisory board of the Spurlino Family YMCA and the Board of Directors of the South Hillsborough County Chamber of Commerce.

Jason Waddell


Jason is a Board Certified Elder Law Attorney. In addition to Board Certification, Jason has received several awards and designations such as The Florida Bar Elder Law Section Member of the Year in 2014-2015 and more recently in 2016 the Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award for the 1st Judicial Circuit. Additionally Jason maintains the highest rating from the two largest peer review companies: AV rating with Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating TM, which is the oldest peer review rating company in the country. As well as 10.0 with AVVO.

When Jason Waddell arrived to this area in 2001 there were few Elder Law attorneys. The ones who were, practiced in a multi-practice setting. Jason watched what his peers elsewhere in the state and around the country were able to accomplish when their offices were able to focus only on Elder Law matters. This set in motion Jason's dedication to practice solely in the area of Elder Law. Nearly 20 years later Jason has put together a team able to provide a wide range of services within the umbrella of Elder Law for the Northwest Florida area.

Jason is extremely passionate about his chosen field of practice. While not a factor in his decision to develop an Elder Law practice, his own family's struggles with illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and the need for elder care over the past few years has intensified his desire to serve the elderly and his understanding of the need for elder law in our area. Jason sits on the both the Executive Council and Committee for the Florida Bar Elder Law Section. He is active in various non-profit organizations along the Gulf Coast which support his clients such as Area Agency on Aging, Council on Aging, and Covenant Alzheimer’s Services (which he has served as Treasurer for the past two years).

Elizabeth Williams

  Elizabeth Riker Williams, founder of Heritage Financial & Fiduciary Services, LLC, is a Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor (CTFA) and has been in the financial services industry for over 30 years. Elizabeth and her team partner with clients’ attorneys, investment advisors, accountants, and other advisors. Her firm supports individuals serving as trustee, personal representative, or guardian including trust administration, estate settlement, and accountings. Elizabeth serves as trustee, personal representative, or professional guardian of property. She provides litigation consulting and expert witness services. Her firm also provides services for bill payment, account reconciliation, organizing documents, budgeting and cash flow planning, philanthropic planning, and multi-generational planning. Originally from Gainesville, Florida, Elizabeth has lived in Jacksonville, Florida for over 30 years. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and was awarded the Phi Beta Kappa designation. She graduated with High Honors from the National Graduate Trust School at Northwestern University.

Gentry Byrnes

  Gentry is the Chief Fiduciary Officer and Co-Founder of Adelphi Trust Company. She has a 29-year legal and fiduciary career most recently serving as the Chief Fiduciary Officer of Raymond James Trust, N.A. managing a team of fiduciary professionals nationwide with 8 billion in assets. Prior to that, Gentry was the Senior Regional Trust Manager for the Tampa Bay, Sarasota, Naples and Central Florida markets for Wells Fargo, previously Wachovia, and a senior trust officer and team leader at Bank of America. Gentry started her career with the law firm of Fisher and Sauls, P.A. where her practice included estate and trust administration, estate planning and guardianship. She frequently speaks on fiduciary issues and is involved in the state and local bar associations. Gentry is passionate about giving back to the community and has served on the boards of Brookwood, A Young Women’s Residence, Great Explorations Children’s Museum as well as leadership roles in her church. She is a past president of both the St. Petersburg Bar Association and Suncoast Estate Planning Council and remains active in both organizations. Gentry is currently the treasurer of the St. Petersburg Bar Foundation, chair of the Will for Warriors program at Stetson College of Law, a founding member of the Professional Fiduciary Council of Florida and a member of the Stetson Elder Law Advisory Board.

Tammy Farrell


Tammy joined Citizens Bank & Trust in 2016 and currently serves as a Sr. Trust and Wealth Advisor, working with clients throughout Polk County, Eastern Hillsborough, and beyond. Tammy’s primary focus centers on fiduciary administration, estate planning, and client wealth management, with advisory expertise in philanthropy and family governance. With over 40 years of experience, her role is to provide education, advice and assistance to individuals and families in the development and management of their wealth and legacy goals.

Prior to joining Citizens Bank & Trust, Tammy served as Vice President and Trust Advisor with The Northern Trust Company for nearly 11 years. Prior to that she worked with Salem Trust Company and NCNB (NationsBank/Bank of America) as a Relationship Manager in the Institutional Trust Department, where she worked her way through the ranks from a pension payments clerk to relationship manager/advisor.

Tammy and her husband Greg have lived in the Tampa Bay area for nearly 40 years and grew up near Charleston, West Virginia. She and her husband enjoy spending time with their Labradoodle named Winny. They enjoy living on a golf course, where they spend time playing golf with friends. She is involved with her church and serves as a Guide for Walk Thru Bethlehem and enjoys being an AWANA Sparks Leader.

She is a Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor (CTFA), and a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®), and has an A.S. Degree in Business Administration from Hillsborough Community College.

Julie Goddard


As a legal guardian, Julie has worked with the senior and disabled population for seventeen years. After obtaining an undergraduate degree in Political Science with a Master of Arts Degree in Criminology, Julie was set to fight crime. But as luck would have it, Julie fell into a career as a guardian and has loved the senior population since. She did put the degrees to work as an adjunct professor at the University of Tampa where she taught for almost ten years. When not working, Julie can be found running just about anywhere from Bayshore to the Upper Tampa Bay Trail. Julie also enjoys watching her niece play softball, spending quality time with her family and traveling -- but for no more than a few days at a time!

Betsy Leslie


Betsy Leslie began serving as a Professional Fiduciary in 2015 and opened Tampa Bay Fiduciary, LLC in 2018. She serves as an Independent Trustee, Personal Representative, Agent under Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogate, Curator and other roles of agency.

Betsy attended SUNY Herkimer and transferred to University of Tampa where she received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 1992. Betsy worked for a multinational corporation before returning to school. She graduated with her Juris Doctorate from Florida State University in 1997. She served as an Assistant State Attorney at Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office. Betsy enjoyed teaching as an adjunct professor at the University of Tampa.

Betsy is a founding member of the Professional Fiduciary Council of Florida where she currently serves on the Executive Board and as Membership Committee Chair. She is involved with Bridges International for the University of South Florida hosting international students for bi-monthly events and volunteers as a career panelist for Florida State University.

Pam Keller

  Pamela Keller, Esq. focuses her practice in the area of civil litigation. Ms. Keller’s litigation practice includes commercial, transactional, construction, real estate, guardianship, probate, trust and exploitation litigation. Her elder law practice includes complex and contested guardianship and probate matters, preparation of estate planning documents, guardianship, probate and trust administration and Medicaid planning. Ms. Keller has over 30 years of experience trying civil cases in New York and Florida in the Federal and State courts. In addition to bringing cases to verdict, Ms. Keller also is skilled in alternative dispute resolution, appeals and administrative hearings. In her elder law practice, she has developed a caseload of matters involving elder exploitation, successfully retrieving assets and property taken from aged clients by unscrupulous family members and others. As an advocate for the elderly, Ms. Keller has helped bring about Florida legislation and program funding that aids in protecting families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of Dementia.

Michael Kangas


Michael is a shareholder at Baumann Kangas Estate Law. He concentrates his practice in the areas of trust and estate litigation, probate administration and guardianship law. Michael representative clients include trustees, beneficiaries, personal representatives, guardians, and those defending or challenging documents such as wills, trusts, beneficiary designations, and deeds.

Michael is active in the Florida Bar’s Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section and is a member of the Probate Law and Procedure Committee, the Trust and Estate Litigation Committee, and the Guardianship Law and Advanced Directives Committee. He is also a member of the Florida Bar’s Probate Rules Committee (2016-2019). Michael is a member of the Hillsborough County Bar Association (HCBA) and was the Co-Chair of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the HCBA for 2014-2016.

Meet The Roundtable Hosts

Caitlin Powell


Caitlin M. Powell joined the Trust & Estates team of Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns, LLP, as a probate, trust, and guardianship litigator in July 2019. Caitlin represents individuals and entities across Florida in a range of matters related to probate, trust and guardianship administration and disputes.

Caitlin has focused her career on probate, trust and guardianship law since law school, when she volunteered at the North Florida Office of Public Guardian, Inc., and worked with attorneys practicing trusts and estates law in Tallahassee and Tampa. After law school, Caitlin first practiced in Naples, Florida focusing on estate and trust administration and litigation. Caitlin then practiced in Miami, Florida, focusing on probate, trust and guardianship administration and litigation, including matters involving undue influence, exploitation of vulnerable adults, and civil theft.

Caitlin is an active member of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar and is a member of the Probate Law and Procedure Committee and the Guardianship, Power of Attorney, and Advance Directives Committee. Caitlin was born and raised in Tampa, Florida and enjoys visiting the Tampa Bay area’s spectacular beaches and parks.

Lea Anne Groover


Lea Anne Groover possesses over 30 years of experience in fiduciary, legal, wealth management, business, and personal finance services. Among her strengths are innovative problem solving, strategic foresight, and conflict resolution. An amiable relationship builder, she engages clients with expert written and verbal communication skills. She is recognized for her exceptional proficiency in estate planning, trust administration, and fiduciary litigation support.

Ms. Groover is an Adjunct Professor at Florida A & M School of Law. She is currently teaching upper level, Trusts and Fiduciary Administration course.

Ms. Groover most recently served as the Vice President and Senior Fiduciary Advisor for PNC Bank in Orlando. During her tenure, she was responsible for engaging in fiduciary decision making by executing the terms of any plan or document in which PNC served as trustee. She successfully managed complex, litigious relationships involving various assets, multiple internal departments, and outside counsel.

Stephen Timmer

  Stephen B. Timmer is an addiction treatment specialist with an extraordinary talent in drug and alcohol interventions as well as being a therapist/counselor for individuals suffering from chemical dependency, drug and prescription addiction, alcoholism and related mental health disorders. Steve has a unique ability to use his advocacy skills, problems solving, solution orientation and knowledge of the psychology of addiction and related disorders to facilitate treatment and family solutions to the problems of addiction. Steve has a unique perspective of the adventures of life and the challenge of overcoming addiction as similar to a scuba dive, a mountain climb, a surf or sailing exhibition or a marathon. All life's endeavors require commitment, dedication, discipline and divine inspiration.

Magistrate Sean Cadigan

  Sean Cadigan is a graduate of the University of South Florida and Stetson University College of Law. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1989 and was in private practice in the Tampa Bay Area until late 1992, when he began his career with Florida’s State Courts System. He was appointed as a General Magistrate in late 2000. He started his current assignment in 2004 when he joined the Probate, Guardianship & Mental Health Division of the court in Tampa. His primary responsibilities relate to incapacity and guardianship cases. Additionally, he hears cases under the Baker Act, relating to mental health issues, and guardian advocacy cases, relating to persons with a developmental disability. In mid-2007, Magistrate Cadigan also began serving as the Program Director for the 13th Judicial Circuit’s Elder Justice Center. He has served on a number of statewide task forces and committees, including two terms each on The Florida Bar’s Probate Rules Committee and the Florida Supreme Court’s Task Force on Substance Abuse & Mental Health.

Magistrate Keela Samis

  Keela R. Samis is a general magistrate for the Sixth Judicial Circuit in the probate, guardianship, and mental health division. She began her legal career as an Assistant State Attorney for the Sixth Judicial Circuit, Pinellas County, Florida. She joined the Sixth Judicial Circuit in 1989 as a child support hearing officer/general magistrate and has conducted hearings in family law, child support, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, guardianship. involuntary commitment for mental health and substance abuse and traffic. She is from Maryville, Tennessee and is a graduate of the University of Tennessee (B.A. 1985) and Stetson University College of Law (J.D. 1988).

Robin Arentsen


Robin became a professional guardian and VA-appointed fiduciary in 2017, after helping her Dad navigate the last years of his life. Her previous jobs include management positions in Customer Service, which she feels have been very beneficial in this business. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. Robin currently works with 9 veterans and 15 guardianship cases; she enjoys working with her veterans and clients--and being a part of this rewarding community.

Lisa Smiler


Lisa Smiler has been an appointed member of the Florida 13th Judicial Circuit Guardianship Examining Committee since 2013, and a professional guardian and care manager since 2016. Lisa is also the President and founder of Freedom Payee Services, Inc,. a 501 © (3) organization, that provides representative payee services to vulnerable populations

For more than 25 years prior, she worked in the local government and not for profit community service network addressing the needs of vulnerable elderly populations. She was an inaugural appointee to the Hillsborough County Commissioners Council on Aging.

Her varied skills include social service program design & administration, fiscal management, grant writing, assisted living facility management, and management of intergenerational volunteer programming through federal initiatives of the Corporation for National and Community Services.


Lona Di Cerb

Tamara Cribbens  

Marianne Fisher


Marianne Fisher attended the University of Cincinnati majoring in Civil Engineering, and the Ohio College of Applied Science, majoring in Construction Management. She has served as a Certified Professional Guardian since 2018.

Marianne first worked for HealthSouth Corporation as a member of their corporate acquisition team. Constant travel convinced her to move back to Florida fill time where she became the Chief Operating Officer for Florida Community Cancer and Imaging Centers. After three years of overseeing eighteen outpatient centers, their physicians, and two-hundred seventy-five employees she became the Chief Executive Officer for Oakhurst Medical Clinic and East Bay Medical Center a primary care group of internal and geriatric medicine physicians with two large clinics and a staff of forty-five. After twenty years in December of 2017, she successfully sold the group. Marianne presently is President and CEO of Safe Harbor Eldercare Services, LLC which is a consulting company helping seniors and their families navigate the complex issues they encounter in todays aged lifestyle. Using thirty years of resources and networks she has established in the Pinellas/Hillsborough area provides our clients an experienced CEO to act in their best interest. She currently serves on the GAPC Board of Directors, Seminole Chamber Foundation, and the Seminole Lake Rotary Foundation.

Sarah Butters


Sarah Butters is a shareholder at Ausley McMullen and has extensive experience in estate, trust and related litigation; the preparation of wills, trusts and sophisticated estate planning techniques; and the administration of probates and trusts. She frequently serves as an expert witness and consultant on high stakes disputes.

Sarah represents personal representatives, trustees, corporate fiduciaries, beneficiaries and numerous national charities in all aspects of trust and estate administration. She has extensive litigation experience in elective shares, spousal rights, undue influence, incapacity and breach of fiduciary duty cases.

Sarah regularly testifies before the Florida House and Senate on legislation impacting the law of wills, trusts and guardianships.

Sarah is the Chair of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar and a Fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel. She is an Adjunct Professor at Florida State University's College of Law where she teaches law of wills and trusts and is also a Past President of the Tallahassee Regional Estate Planning Council.

Nancy Teten

  Nancy Teten, LCSW, MCAP, CCFC, MSW, MA, received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of South Florida in Tampa. She received her first graduate degree as a Master of Arts in Aging Studies from the University of South Florida in Tampa and later completed her second graduate degree as a Master in Social Work from the University of South Florida in Tampa.She has lectured extensively on topics including addictions, dual diagnoses, social work, mental health disorders, forensic psychiatry, incarceration and the aging process (gerontology). She also functions as an Examining Committee Member to Determine Incapacity for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit of Hillsborough County (for the last 20 years) and is a Psychological Consultant for a local Assisted Living Facility. Her career spans more than 35 years and has included working full – time, while attending the university ,to achieve each of her degrees. 

Professional Fiduciary Council of Florida
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