Zenda S. Heafner, CP

MPA NALA Liaison

“Times, they are a changing!” 2020 has truly been a year of challenges for the entire World. COVID-19 hit us with a vengeance, but the MPA Board took it in stride and tried to continue operations as usual or as normal as we could make it. The Board has taken the opportunity to continue offering the Membership with interesting speakers via our You Tube page and to obtain CLE hours for those that need them without our monthly meetings. The Board had discussed getting our monthly luncheon speakers recorded and uploaded onto You Tube, but COVID-19 rushed our hands. Hope you are taking advantage of our “new way of life” and watching some of the speakers. I have watched a presentation and really enjoyed it.

MPA was not the only one that had to change with the times. NALA had to make the hard decision in June to cancel the 2020 NALA Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Instead we participated in the 2020 NALA Convention @ Home. This was the largest turnout in NALA history with almost 900 participating in the 3-day long virtual classes. There was not as many classes offered, but of the classes offered they proved to be very interesting and very informative. NALA did not let this virus slow them down. We had virtual Meet-N-Greets, installation of Officers, and meetings with each other via Zoom, and visiting with our USA wide network of friends.

I have also been participating in an extended virtual presentation that speaker John Bermingham, Esq. of Pennsylvania, graciously agreed to continue speaking on the First Amendment. I took this class during the 2020 NALA Convention @ Home and have participated in First Amendment Part II and Part III. Looks like we are having a Part IV and possibly Part V with so much going on around us. Who knew the First Amendment could be so interesting? Well with everything going on in America these days with Black Lives Matters, the protesters nationwide, discontinuation of the Confederate Flag, as well as changing the Mississippi Flag, the First Amendment has really been challenged. If you would like to check in on the 2020 NALA Convention @ Home, NALA has recorded the speakers’ presentations and are available for NALA Members to view.

The 2021 NALA Convention is scheduled to be held in Louisville, Kentucky, July 22 – 24, 2021. I have said this for years, and you are going to hear it again. If you have never attended a convention, you are missing out. It is a great learning experience, networking and a little mini-vacation all rolled into one. I have been attending the NALA Conventions since 2002 when I attended my first one as the President of MALA n/k/a MPA. I have only missed two in all these years and hated that I was not able to attend due to unforeseeable circumstances.

I really have enjoyed representing MPA as your NALA Liaison in the past and hopefully in the future as well. As all of you may or may not know, this is MPA’s 40th Anniversary. If COVID-19 will let us, The Board has some fun times scheduled at our September meeting. We have planned a great Fall Seminar and also have the NALA President, Melissa Hamilton, coming to speak during our luncheon portion of the event. This is also Paralegal Day. Please try to attend.

The Mississippi Association for Legal Assistants, Inc. (MALA) now the Mississippi Paralegal Association, Inc. (MPA) could not have begun and survived without all the volunteers and members throughout the years. The following is a list of the Past Presidents. If you know any of them, please tell them about our celebration or give us their information, and one of the Board Members will get in touch with them. At our 25th Anniversary, all but one, Past President attended. We hope that we can get that participation again. Get out there and help us find these Great Past Presidents!! The days are counting down, so here we go.

1980 - 1981 Rachel C. Davis Spencer

1982 Annie Lou Abel

1983 Becky D. Wooley

1984 Pauline H. Cochran, CLA

1985 - 1986 Lee A. Myers

1987 Annis P. Breland

1988 - 1989 Stacey L. Smith Ferreri

1990 Melissa E. Thomas Darden

1991 - 1992 Connie M. Cavanaugh Harrington

1993 - 1994 Debra D. Hammack

1995 Stacey L. Smith Ferreri

1996 Elizabeth S. Woods, CLA

1997 Allison K. Ainsworth Scott

1998 - 1999 Janet I. Thomas, CL

2000 - 2001 Jacqueline M. Watkins, CLAS

2002 Zenda S. Heafner CP

2003 - 2004 Dee Haas, CP

2005 LaTricia M. Nelson, CLAS

2006 Kimberly S. Badillo

2007 Ginger Sullivan

2008 - 2009 Gwen Burgess, CLA

2010 Sarah L. O’Neal ACP

2011 - 2012 Donna Alderman, ACP

2013 Darleen T. Dozier, CLA

2014 - 2015 Steven J. Jones

2016 Glenisa Jiles

2017 – 2018 Betty Todd, CP

2019 – 2020 Christy Roberts, ACP

I am still in Texas working, but working from my apartment. We have not been in our office since Mid-March. We have been fortunate to work from home via the internet, but the days are long with the solitude. I am not complaining because I am healthy and taking all precautions as we have been instructed. Dear Friends, Colleagues and MPA Members, here is wishing you all the best for you and your family during these trying times. Stay safe, healthy and happy. Hope to see you all in September.

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