D.A.W.L. Board Members
Melissa Kuffel, 38th President
Melissa graduated from The John Marshall Law School in 2008. Shortly thereafter, she began her career with the Cook County Public Guardian’s Office where she represented abused and neglected children in DCFS care. It was there that she developed a deep passion and dedication to helping children and families in the legal system. After 7 years of dedicating her life to public service and to the children in DCFS care, Melissa decided to branch out into Family Law. She joined Sullivan Taylor and Gumina in 2015 and then joined Mulyk Laho, LLC in 2018 focusing on family law and DCFS cases. In February of 2021, Melissa started her own firm, Kuffel Law, LLC. where she continues to practice family law and handle DCFS appeals and adjudications. Melissa is very involved in her community. She is being Installed as the President for the DuPage Association of Women Lawyers (D.A.W.L.). She is also a Kendall County Bar Association Board Member since 2021. She was also the DCBA Child Advocacy Chair in DuPage County in 2019. Melissa is also passionate about volunteering for Meals on Wheels. Melissa has presented many CLE programs for the Bar, lectures for the Bar and publishes articles on how DCFS works and how to navigate DCFS Appeals. She was also nominated as a Super Lawyer’s Rising Star in 2021 and in 2022.
Megan Gieseler, First Vice President
With more than a decade of experience across multiple areas of practice, Megan Gieseler brings a well-rounded perspective to helping her clients navigate complex and nuanced issues. Megan is a zealous advocate and a skilled negotiator. She focuses her practice on complicated dissolution matters, including contested parental responsibility (formerly known as custody) cases, orders of protection/DCFS, guardianship, business evaluations and complex financial issues. An accomplished trial lawyer and litigator, Megan is always careful to consider the best interests of her clients and tailors her legal strategy to produce effective results based on their needs and priorities, either through negotiation, or judicial intervention, when necessary.
Andrea L. Collins, Second Vice President
Andrea is a Partner at SpyratosDavis LLC in Lisle, Illinois. She is a 2013 graduate of Elmhurst College, where she majored in Business Administration and Political Science, and played on the women’s soccer team. She graduated from The John Marshall Law School in January 2016. Andrea practices civil litigation and focuses her practice primarily in the areas of insurance defense, personal injury, subrogation, commercial litigation, and arbitration. She is active in the legal community and has presented continuing education programs to local and national bar associations. Outside of work, Andrea enjoys volunteering her time with the Western DuPage Special Recreation Association and Therapy Dogs International, and competing with her dogs in agility.
Natalie Lamphier, Third Vice President
Natalie Lamphier is an associate attorney at Dussias Wittenberg Koenigsberger, LLP, which she joined in 2019. Natalie represents clients in a wide variety of family law matters with a focus on handling issues in contentious divorces. Natalie and her firm practice exclusively in the area of family law, including high-net worth litigation, and business valuations. Natalie earned her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law in the state of Minnesota in 2015. Outside of her work, Natalie has a deep love of history, donuts, and classical music.
Nisha B. Parikh, Treasurer
Nisha B. Parikh practices in the areas of mortgage foreclosure, bankruptcy, and creditors’ rights. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University (2001) and a graduate of Thomas M. Cooley Law School (2009). Prior to attending law school, Nisha worked as a Case Worker for Children Services and as an Investigator for Juvenile and Domestic Court. She is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois and in the United States District Court for the Northern, Central, and Southern Districts of Illinois; United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan; United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana; and the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. Prior to joining Diaz Anselmo & Associates, P.A., Nisha worked for various consumer bankruptcy firms in the Chicagoland area. She is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, Phi Alpha Delta, the Chicago Bar Association, the American Bankruptcy Institute, the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees and the Bankruptcy Association of Southern Illinois. Additionally, she is fluent in Gujarati.
Amanda M. Zannoni, Secretary
AAmanda Zannoni is an attorney focusing her practice in the areas of Trust and Estates litigation, Probate and Trust administration, and Estate Planning in DuPage County, Kane County, Cook County, and other collar counties. Amanda has served on the D.A.W.L. board as Secretary since 2020, and is dedicated to serving the community by uplifting female professionals in their education and careers. You can contact Amanda at (630) 668-8500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maria "Gabby" Antoniolli, Director
Maria “Gabby” Antoniolli began her legal career as an Assistant State’s Attorney with the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office where she gained significant trial experience in a wide variety of cases. Prior to joining McSwain Nagle & Giese, P.C., Gabby worked as an associate attorney at a family law firm in DuPage County where she practiced primarily in family law matters including the divorce, allocation of parental decision-making and parenting time (formerly custody and visitation), child support, spousal support, relocation, orders of protection, and prenuptial/postnuptial agreements.
Anel Bautista, Director
Anel Bautista is a Senior Associate at McCalla Raymer Leibert Pierce, LLC and was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 2018. Since then, she has focused her legal career on serving large financial institutions in foreclosure and title related matters. She briefly transitioned to assisting individual clients with their family law, estate planning, real estate, and business law needs but eventually returned to foreclosure. Anel grew up in St. Charles, Illinois and graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s in Journalism. She is the proud daughter of Mexican immigrant parents and the first in her immediate and extended family to graduate from college, as well as obtain a graduate degree. After obtaining her B.A, Anel attended Elgin Community College where she received her Paralegal Certificate and was a founding member, editor, and contributing writer of the college’s legal publication The Spartan Law Review. She worked as a paralegal for 7 years and then pursued a law degree. Anel continued to work as a paralegal while she attended The John Marshall Law School in Chicago where she was a contributing writer of the school’s newspaper The Decisive Utterance. She was also secretary of the John Marshall Law School Corporate Law Association, a member of the Business Enterprise Law Clinic, and a member of the Latino Law Student Association. At her current firm, Anel is an active member of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, the LGBTQA+ Employee Resource Group, the Women’s Employee Resource Group and leads the firmwide quarterly bookclub. In her spare time she volunteers with The Geneva Women’s Club and Feed My Starving Children, reads many, many books and spends time with her family, friends and two-year-old Pup Philippe.
Stephanie Kopalski, Director
Stephanie was awarded a Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law in 2016, where she served as a legal research assistant to her constitutional law professor. She is fluent in Polish, conversant in Spanish, and wishes she remembered more of her French. As a litigator, Stephanie represents clients involved in commercial and business litigation, including breach of contract, shareholder and partner disputes, breach of fiduciary duty, trade secrets, business torts, and fraud, as well as estate and trust disputes, among others. On the transactional side, Stephanie has taken companies from start to finish, i.e. formation, operation, growth, and exit through merger or acquisition.
Sharon Falen, Director
Sharon Falen has committed herself to advocacy in family law since the inception of her professional career. Sharon received her bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and her Juris Doctor degree at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, earning a Certificate in Child and Family Law. She served as part of the Executive Board of the Children’s Legal Rights Journal, and she worked in Loyola’s Child Law Clinic representing youth in abuse and neglect cases and serving as guardian ad litem in contested divorce proceedings. Since her admission to the Illinois Bar in 2015, Sharon has had experience in domestic relations, special education law, adoption, and juvenile court matters. She has served as guardian ad litem in both probate and domestic relations proceedings. Sharon is a certified family law mediator. She currently works as a family law attorney at STG Divorce Law. Sharon is a member of the Mental Health Section Council with the Illinois State Bar Association and volunteers as a member of the Naperville Junior Women’s Club. In her free time, Sharon loves to backpack, read, and try new recipes, and she is an unabashed fan of 90s pop rock.
Victoria C. Kelly, Immediate Past President
Victoria (Vicki) Kelly is a partner at Grunyk Family Law, where she takes great pride in navigating her clients through complicated family law issues. She is a tireless advocate when dealing with some of life’s most sensitive matters, including divorce, child support, custody, domestic violence, pre-nuptial agreements and postdecree issues. She goes above and beyond to ensure that no stone (or asset) goes unturned. She loves a challenging case that requires her to think of an innovative resolution. In addition to her work as a lawyer, Vicki loves spending time with her family. She is thrilled to be raising two young daughters. The most important goal in her life is to be a good role model for her girls. She is a huge sports fan, always cheering on her favorite Chicago teams, specifically the Blackhawks, Bears and Cubs. Vicki grew up on the south side (yes, still a Cubs fan) of Chicago and now resides in the south suburbs. She attended Quincy University for her undergraduate, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Finance. She also played on the softball team at Quincy. She then earned her Juris Doctor from Northern Illinois University.