LPI Chapter Spotlight: Mt. Diablo LPA

Location: Walnut Creek, CA

Established: 1969

In October 1968, a group of wise women came together to organize an association comprised of legal secretaries in Walnut Creek, California. Attending this meeting were LSI’s then President, Bette Barton (1968-1970) along with other LSI officers, Betty Lou West (Executive Secretary), Rena Legge (Treasurer), Catherine Ryan, PLS (Parliamentarian), and Virginia Haines, PLS (LSI Dictionary).  Julie Vargo, who was named as temporary chairman of this organizational meeting, called the meeting to order. There were 55 present, including guests.

At this meeting, it was moved, seconded, and carried that the name of our organization would be “Diablo-Contra Costa County Legal Secretaries Association.” However, this name was not meant to be when at a November 1968 meeting the LSI President informed the group that the name was not acceptable according to LSI’s Bylaws and that a new name would have to be chosen. Thus, Mt. Diablo Legal Secretaries Association came to be.

At the Third Regular Meeting of the Board of Governors of Legal Secretaries, Incorporated, held February 22, 1969, Catharine Ryan, PLS, LSI Parliamentarian presented a Resolution for adoption to approve Mt. Diablo Legal Secretaries Association’s charter. The very first officers of MDLSA were:

President                            Luverne Williams

Vice President:                  Birdeena Thomas

Secretary:                           Ellen Byers

Treasurer:                           Meta Zaharis

Governor:                           Judy Peckinpaugh

In approximately September 2005 MDLSA changed its name to Mt. Diablo Legal Professionals Association.

MDLPA has always maintained the importance of education and each regular meeting features speakers presenting topics important to the legal field. Over the years MDLPA has participated in charity projects, hosted educational workshops, and hosted events, both social and educational, for members and guests. When Covid hit we were able to offer our meetings via Zoom and we continue to have our meetings this way, occasionally meeting in person to give our members the opportunity to network.

Notable MDLPA members:

Mary J. Beaudrow, CCLS, LPI President (2014-2016)

Beverly Miller, LPI Parliamentarian (2002-2004)

Current Officers (2023-2024):

President:                           Carolina Ramos, CCLS (also a member of LPI’s Continuing Legal Education Silo, Criminal/Family Law.

Vice President:                  Cheryl L. Kent, PLS, CCLS (also a member of LPI’s Publication Revisions Committee)

Secretary:                           Vacant

Treasurer:                           Maria Bishop, CCLS (also a member of LPI’s CCLS Certifying Board)

Governor:                           Natalie J. Chop, CCLS

Parliamentarian:               Mary Lou Floyd, CCLS (also Chair of LPI’s Continuing Legal Education Silo)


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