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Directors at large

OCPA's Directors at Large have a vital role in ensuring the organization runs smoothly and for the benefit of our members.  Our team is committed to deliver value and opportunities to our members.

Jennifer Burton

Jennifer graduated with an Associate of Science degree in paralegal studies from South Coast College.  She currently works as a Paralegal at Starting Over, Inc., a nonprofit organization, which involves post-conviction relief, expungement, criminal defense, civil and family law.

Jennifer came to OCPA in 2020 as a student liaison and quickly became a Co-chair for the Criminal Section.  She has been actively involved in many of the MCLE events, including the 2021 and 2022 Educational Conferences. In 2022, she was a director at Large for the OCPA Board and became a member of NALA

In 2022, she would like to continue to assist hosting with criminal and other MCLE presentations.  Most importantly, she will bring her enthusiasm and support to make this excellent paralegal association even better and stronger. 


Wendy Cifuentes

Wendy Cifuentes is a paralegal at State Farm Insurance Companies. She received her B.A. from California State University, Fullerton, and her paralegal certificate from the University of California, Irvine. Ms. Cifuentes has been in the legal field for almost a decade now. 

During this time, she has had the opportunity to learn, develop and gain expertise. Ms. Cifuentes began her career with State Farm as a college intern supporting the Administrative Support team. Upon graduating, in 2014, she was promoted to Legal Secretary and was in this role for five years. Ms. Cifuentes is passionate about continuous learning and self-development. 

In 2017, she set a goal to attain her paralegal certificate and reached that goal by December 2018. Her hard work and dedication paid off; in January 2019, she was promoted to paralegal. Ms. Cifuentes currently supports three attorneys, including the firm’s Managing Attorney. On a day-to-day basis, she works on civil and probate matters, working on initial filings, responding to discovery, and preparing for trials. 

Ms. Cifuentes is also part of State Farm’s National Diversity & Inclusion Committee, where she works with colleagues nationwide to bring awareness, knowledge, and education regarding diversity and inclusion to State Farm employees.  

Karen Dahl

Karen is an in-house senior corporate paralegal with 20 years of experience in the following areas: corporate governance, securities, regulatory insurance, and compliance. She is currently working for Automobile Club of Southern California, a non-profit mutual benefit corporation. She worked for 16 years as a corporate paralegal at a publicly traded title insurance corporation. She quickly moved up the ranks to senior and found a securities paralegal position at Autoweb, Inc., a public corporation in the online automobile business, where she worked for 2 years.

Karen earned her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine (“UCI”). She also completed her Paralegal Certificate Program from UCI Extension and she is in process of obtaining her Certified Corporate Governance Professional designation from The Society of Corporate Governance.

Karen is passionate about the paralegal profession as a career choice and she’s excited to share her passion, enthusiasm, and knowledge with others, in addition to raising the bar for paralegals to become more proficient in their specialty and skillful in their chosen path. Karen plans to provide guidance by contributing to OCPA’s culture with strategic focus and effectiveness as well as serve as an ambassador and advocate for the association. 


Kevin Franklin

Kevin currently works for Envista Holdings Corporation as a Corporate Paralegal. Kevin received his paralegal certificate from Santa Ana College ABA Paralegal program.

As a new paralegal, Kevin wants to make a positive impact and significantly invest, by way of service, on the future of OCPA. His 2023 goals include giving back to the organization that has tremendously assisted him as a student. In addition, he wants to strengthen mentorship and diversity within the local paralegal community.

As a former professional baseball player for the Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves, Kevin understands and wholly subscribes to the foundational principles of the “team” concept to accomplish the mission.  Kevin is committed to bringing his spirit of excellence and passion to serve OCPA in this role.

E. Penny Gutierrez

E. Penny Gutierrez received her Paralegal Certificate from Fullerton College and has a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. 

Penny currently works as a Civil Litigation paralegal at Walworth, with previous experience in Family Law, Estate Planning, and Criminal Defense. Penny has over 12+ years of experience and has assisted in Federal and State Court proceedings.

Nicholas Guzowski, CP

Nick currently works as a litigation paralegal for VIZIO, Inc.. Nick received his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from UC Santa Barbara and his paralegal certificate from UCI in September of 2019. While in school he was a student advisor to the OCPA and got to see how the organization is run.

Nick received his NALA Advanced Certified Paralegal designation in March of 2022 in Contract Management and would love the opportunity to help other working paralegals obtain their CP or ACP designationsWhile in school, he was a student advisor to the OCPA and is the current NALA Certified Paralegal Review Course Instructor. 

Julianna Hallsted, MLS, SHRM-CP

In addition to her extensive experience in real estate and finance, particularly in regulatory and compliance matters, Julie is experienced in corporate, labor and employment, intellectual property law, and contracts administration and management.  She is currently employed as Sr. Contracts Consultant at the regional headquarters of a corporation with service offices in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States

Julie holds a master’s legal studies degree from Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, a BA in organizational administration/organizational leadership from Chapman University, Brandman Campus, and obtained her AA degree and paralegal certificate from Coastline Community College as well as certificates in business, HR, and supervision/management. She holds the NALA professional designations of Certified Paralegal and Advanced Certified Paralegal (Trademarks and Contract Administration/Management) and Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and SHRM-CP. 

Julie has been a member of OCPA since she began her paralegal studies in 1992.  She currently serves as Secretary and has served as director, CP review course chair, corporate/real estate section chair, intellectual property section chair, NALA liaison, VP Administration, VP Policy, and President.  She is a graduate of the NALA LEAP (Leadership Enhancement and Preparation) program and recipient of the NALA Affiliated Associations Award and OCPA Lifetime Achievement Award.  Julie would be honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve OCPA in its mission to facilitate paralegal education and the advancement of the paralegal profession.  

Kelley Jones-Horwood

Kelley Jones-Horwood is a Southern California native with over 20 years of experience as a legal education administrator. She is currently the Fullerton College Paralegal Studies Program administrator. In addition, she has extensive experience as a paralegal in family law and as a workers’ compensation adjustor earning a California Self-Insured Certificate.

She completed her undergraduate degree at California Baptist University in Public Administration and is currently in the last semester in pursuit of both an Associate of Science degree and Certificate in Paralegal Studies at Fullerton College. She is an active member of several professional associations including the American Bar Association, Orange County Paralegal Association, and the National Association of Legal Assistants.

Tammy Manning-Dickerson, MBA, CP

Tammy Manning Dickerson, MBA, CP, has served in many capacities with the Orange County Paralegal Association for over eight years.  She is a past President, Member of the Board of Directors, Hospitality Co-Chair, Section Co-Chair for Corporate Law, and Treasurer.  She was also the Chairperson for the 2014 Educational Conference with the Orange County Paralegal Association. She has previously served as chair of the domestic violence committee for the Langston Bar Association and as Vendor Relations Chair for the Minnesota Paralegal Association.

Tammy has over 20 years of experience as a paralegal, and currently works as a global legal operations manager for Envista Holdings Corporation, a publicly traded company. In her role, she manages the legal department, handles various types of corporate contracts, governance, mergers, litigation, employment, and product liability matters. Tammy earned both her masters and bachelor’s degrees from California Baptist University and is a Certified Paralegal through the NALA. She has been a guest speaker on corporate law at University of California Riverside, University of California Irvine, and The Legal Secretaries Association. 

Tammy believes that her desire and dedication to mentorship in the paralegal community, and her belief in the Orange County Paralegal Association’s mission, will allow her to serve as a successful Director at Large to all our members. 

Louis Martinez

Louis graduated from California State University, Fullerton with his Bachelor of Science in Health Science. Soon after, he obtained his Paralegal Certificate from Santa Ana College in 2019. Louis worked at Callahan & Blaine, APLC for seven years where he has held various roles, including the role of paralegal.  Louis recently started a new position as a Paralegal with Knobbe Martens LLP.

Louis joined the OCPA while earning his paralegal certificate and served as a Student Liaison in 2018 to be a bridge between the OCPA and Santa Ana College paralegal students. By actively attending board meetings, he was able to participate and volunteer in numerous OCPA events. Working closely with the organization has inspired Louis to provide the same support he received and spread it to others within the legal community of Orange County.

Louis wishes to serve the OCPA and all its members as a Director at Large to deliver the best networking and educational opportunities possible and take on the responsibility of continuing to build the organization through hard work and diligence.

Joi Millett, ACP, CAS

Joi served as Vice President of Administration for 2018 and 2019, has been a member of the Board of Directors for the past 6 years and seeks to expand her contribution to the paralegal community.  Joi has worked primarily in Family Law for over 10 years and enjoys the personal experiences which come with working in Family Law. 

Joi has earned her Advanced Certified Paralegal certification, as well as a California Advanced Specialist in Discovery certification, through the National Association of Legal Assistants.  Joi earned her certification in Early Childhood Education from Citrus College in Azusa, California, and was a member of the newspaper staff while attending. Joi worked as a Preschool Teacher while obtaining her Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies from Platt College in Ontario, California, earning an award for Excellence in Legal Research and Writing.  Joi speaks regularly at paralegal programs with University of California, Irvine, Fullerton College, Fremont College, Irvine Valley College and Santa Ana College. 

The Orange County Paralegal Association has a long legacy of success that Joi has admired and has been fortunate to be involved over the past eight years.  Joi looks forward to spending another year serving the paralegal community in Orange County.

Danielle Olson

Danielle is a passionate community organizer and a paralegal with Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP. Danielle has spent over a decade running the day-to-day duties of the law firm and is an integral part of the team and its culture. In 2022 Danielle was the OCPA MCLE coordinator and will continue in this role in 2023, in addition to serving as the Hospitality Chair.

Danielle is heavily involved in helping our communities in every possible way, including dog rescue, clothing the homeless, supporting veterans, and providing critical personal supplies to the underprivileged. She has spearheaded the Backpacks4Life program for eight years, providing thousands and thousands of backpacks to local churches, parents, schools, and the homeless.

Her educational background includes an AA and Certificate in Paralegal Studies 12/2019, Coastline Comm. College, Certificate in Human Resources Management 12/2019, Coastline Comm. College 2022 - Present, Coastline Comm. College General classes to obtain BA, 20 years Human Resource/Payroll Generalist in the legal field, three years Intake Specialist Paralegal, 16 years at Bisnar Chase as Executive Assistant/HR Manager/Paralegal (Personal Injury/Product Defect), 2019 - 2021 Military Mamma Network Local Board, 2017-2022 Navy Mom Support Group Coordinator, 2014-2022 Backpacks4life Coordinator.

Brandon Sharp

Brandon graduated from the University of Massachusetts Global with a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies, a Minor in Criminology, and his Paralegal Certificate. Brandon is currently a Paralegal at the firm of Hueston Hennigan, LLP, based out of their Newport Beach office. In addition, he is also a Notary Public for the States of California & Nevada. Brandon is also an adjunct professor of Paralegal Studies at the University of California, Irvine Continuing Education Division. 

Brandon brings the unique experience of over 15 years in technology, combined with over five years of legal experience, to the profession. Brandon is passionate about educating future paralegals and serving the OCPA membership. Brandon has volunteered throughout the year at various OCPA events, serving as the Historian, capturing the major events – such as the annual NALA Conference, OCPA 45th Anniversary Cruise, and the 2022 educational conference – on film and in pictures. Brandon looks to continue this effort in a more official capacity as a board member in 2023, continuing to educate and inspire the next generation of legal professionals and expanding the membership of OCPA.

When not at work or in the classroom, Brandon enjoys seeing the world, singing, and taking in live theatre. Cruising is his preferred method of travel, allowing him to visit various countries and beaches and learn about various world cultures. As the 2002 National Vocal Grand Champion, you may have seen Brandon perform in various entertainment venues, such as Disneyland, and heard his voice on various commercials and TV shows. Brandon also maintains a season subscription to the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, CA. When unable to use his tickets, Brandon donates them back to the Pantages, where they are, in turn, donated to local theatre students.

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