Staff

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NCAJ Staff

Shannon Leskin

Executive Director

Shannon Leskin

Executive Director

Shannon Leskin began her tenure with NCAJ in 2019 and has served as interim executive director since June 2022. She is a management and governance expert with over 40 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Over the course of her career, Leskin has been privileged to work with some of our country’s finest nonprofit institutions in the arts, health and education sectors: The Smithsonian Institution, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, The United Way of America and Duke University, among others.


Highlights of her career include being the youngest managing director in the country of a fully professional LORT Theater. She was also a founding member of the creative team that launched the Non-Profits and Technology Conference Series, a national program teaching non-profits early adoption of digital technology. Leskin is proud to have coordinated APPEAL (AProgressive Palliative care Educational curriculum for African Americans at Life’s End), a national training program of Duke University Divinity School’s Institute on Care at the End of Life.

As NCAJ’s compliance & operations administrator, Leskin oversaw compliance and operations for all NCAJ entities and worked closely with the executive director on budgetary and financial management.

Leskin earned a bachelor of fine arts in theatre from Virginia Commonwealth University. Since moving from Los Angeles to the Triangle 27 years ago, she has served in board leadership positions for NC Child, Triangle Day School, Mallarme Chamber Players, SEEDS and The Rotary Club of Durham.

Shannon enjoys life in the Trinity Park area of Durham with her husband, Will, and rescue border collie mixes, Gracie and Murr.

Alicia Cook

CLE Manager

Alicia Cook

CLE Manager

Alicia Cook has been with the NCAJ team since 2021, joining the team as the Continuing Legal Education Manager. She brings a diverse background in political organizing, leadership and non-profit engagement experience. Prior to joining NCAJ, Alicia served as a North Carolina District Director with Progressive Turnout Project. Additionally, she has worked with organizations such as the North Carolina Justice Center and Public Allies North Carolina as a consultant to spearhead their community engagement efforts. 

Alicia’s duties at NCAJ include working alongside the Continuing Legal Education Director to aid in the coordination and management of NCAJs continuing education programs and trainings. 

Alicia is a graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University with a degree in political science. In her free time, Alicia enjoys binging Marvel movies, traveling and eating good seafood. 

Meisha Evans

Contract Lobbyist

Meisha Evans

Contract Lobbyist

Meisha brings several years of legal and policy experience to the EQV Strategic team. Most recently she served as Deputy Director of Government Affairs for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, working with legislators and stakeholders to advance the Department’s policy goals. 

She started her career as a Staff Attorney for the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence reviewing and litigating wrongful conviction claims for North Carolina inmates. During her tenure the Center exonerated two individuals who were wrongfully incarcerated for a total of 65 years. 

As a Policy Attorney for Disability Rights North Carolina Meisha worked on legislation impacting healthcare, education, and the criminal justice system. 

She received her bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech and her law degree from UNC School of Law. In her free time, Meisha tends to her extensive plant collection and serves as a board member for Arts Access, Inc.

Philip Isley

NCAJ Member & Contract Lobbyist

Philip Isley

NCAJ Member & Contract Lobbyist

Philip Isley began his tenure as a contract lobbyist for NCAJ in 2011. Since then, he has lobbied for a variety of clients across the state and nation, including the City of Raleigh and the City of Asheville.

He has practiced law in North Carolina since 1992, and served four terms on the Raleigh City Council. During his time on the council, Isley built lasting relationships with other elected officials and staff within Raleigh, Wake County and North Carolina. After joining the Raleigh firm Blanchard, Miller, Lewis & Isley, PA, he began significant work for clients before the City of Raleigh, Wake County, and the North Carolina General Assembly. His lobbying and governmental relations work is a substantial part of his practice.

Isley graduated cum laude from Washington & Lee University with a degree in European History and a concentration in English History. He graduated from the University Of Mississippi School Of Law in 1992.

He currently serves as a member of the Centennial Authority, Band Together, the Triangle Educational Assistance Fund, and has served on the last three Local Organizing Committees with the NCAA regional basketball tournament. Outside of his legal work, Isley’s interests include cooking, fly fishing and music.

Courtney Jones

Administration Manager

Courtney Jones

Administration Manager

Since joining NCAJ in 2018, Courtney Jones has played a key role in the organization’s administration. An executive assistant who has worked alongside legal association executives for over 15 years, Jones has extensive experience, both professionally and personally, with event planning and project management for events.  

Prior to joining NCAJ, Jones worked as part of the governmental affairs team at the North Carolina Bar Association. She assisted with the development and implementation of the legislative program and was involved in the lobbying efforts at the North Carolina General Assembly, where she had built working relationships with legislators and legislative staff during her time on the NCGA staff.  

In her role as executive assistant, Jones supports the executive director in all organizational functions, including matters involving leadership, members and staff.  She assists the operations and compliance administrator and the outside accounting firm with financial and administrative matters, including daily operations, budget and yearly audit preparation. She also serves as staff liaison to the Board of Governors, Executive Committee, Nominating & Awards Committee, the Hispanic/Latino Legal Issues Division and the Immigration Law Section.  

Jones earned a bachelor of science from Meredith College.  

When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family at the beach making memories at the sandbar and on the boat fishing. She lives in Willow Springs with her husband, LJ, and their son, Whit. 

Hallie Kennedy

Director of Marketing & Communications

Hallie Kennedy

Director of Marketing & Communications

Hallie Kennedy has been with NCAJ since 2019. She is a digital marketing and brand expert with over 12 years of both agency and in-house experience representing and consulting with corporations and organizations in the hospitality, non-profit, higher education and legal sectors. Prior to joining NCAJ, Kennedy led marketing and communications strategy at the North Carolina Bar Association and worked closely with a large portfolio of national and regional law firms and international non-profits as a digital project manager at New Media Campaigns in Carrboro. 

In her role as marketing & communications director, Kennedy leads NCAJ’s efforts on all digital brand management, including social media strategy, email marketing, web design and development, search engine optimization and accessibility standards. She also serves as staff liaison to NCAJ’s Auto Torts & Premises Liability Section and Professional Negligence Section.

As a former leader of the Raleigh chapter of the Legal Marketing Association, Kennedy enjoys presenting to attorneys, law students and legal marketing professionals on best practices in digital marketing for the legal profession. She also supports her alma mater, St. Mary’s School of Raleigh, as a member of its alumnae council.

Hallie graduated magna cum laude from Wofford College with a bachelor of arts in English and a concentration in creative writing.

When she’s not working, Hallie can be found with her husband and young daughters enjoying every bit of joy, culture and food that downtown Durham has to offer. 

Sam McGee

Legal Affairs Counsel

Sam McGee

Legal Affairs Counsel

Sam McGee is a partner at Tin Fulton Walker & Owen, PLLC. He is a graduate of Yale Law School, Wake Forest University and Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College.

Early in his career, Sam worked for both the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the Supreme Court of North Carolina. During his 24 years of law practice, Sam has recovered over $100 million for his clients, including multiple seven figure verdicts, and recoveries of at least seven figures in North Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, Georgia and New Jersey. Sam has also handled numerous appeals, most notably being involved in three cases in two different states defeating binding arbitration for nursing home cases.  

For the majority of his career, Sam has been active in the North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ), serving two terms on the Board of Directors, two terms as a Section Chair, and multiple terms on the Legal Affairs Committee. He has also written two amicus briefs for NCAJ. Sam has served on the Amicus Committee of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), is on the Board of Directors of the Southern Trial Lawyers Association (STLA), and has taught CLEs and written published articles for all three of these organizations.   

Veronica McKoy

Director of Continuing Legal Education

Veronica McKoy

Director of Continuing Legal Education

Veronica McKoy has been with NCAJ since 1997. She began her tenure with NCAJ as an administrative assistant in the Membership Department. She held many roles within the organization before becoming the director of Continuing Legal Education in July 2021.

McKoy has over 27 years of experience in non-profit association work. Prior to joining NCAJ, she worked with the North Carolina Chiropractic Association as the membership secretary. 

As director of Continuing Legal Education, McKoy oversees the CLE programming for NCAJ. She also serves as staff liaison for NCAJ’s Education Committee, Employment Law, Disability Advocacy and Eminent Domain sections.

McKoy is a graduate of North Carolina Wesleyan College where she remained on the dean’s list and graduated cum laude with a bachelor of arts in justice studies.

Outside of work, she enjoys sewing, crafting, Carolina Panther football, Atlanta Braves baseball and, most of all, spending time and traveling with her family.

Amber Nimocks

Marketing & Communications Manager

Amber Nimocks

Marketing & Communications Manager

Amber Nimocks joined the NCAJ team in 2019. Before her time in the world of legal organizations, she spent two decades as a journalist. Her experience includes reporting, editing, radio production, media analysis, digital media strategy and print and video project management. Her byline has appeared in USA Today, The Washington Post, The News & Observer of Raleigh, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Our State magazine and Edible Piedmont. Nimocks is the former editor of North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, and prior to NCAJ, she worked in communications and outreach for the North Carolina Bar Association, where she edited the award-winning North Carolina Lawyer magazine. 

Nimocks serves on the board of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh, where she uses her professional experience with nonprofits to help guide UUFR’s efforts to build a strong and welcoming congregation that empowers its members to serve the world.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she holds a bachelor of arts in religious studies and is a proud veteran of The Daily Tar Heel.  

Nimocks lives in downtown Raleigh with her husband, Josh Shaffer, their son Sam, one dog and one cat.  

Allison Parker

Membership & Database Manager

Allison Parker

Membership & Database Manager

Allison Parker joined NCAJ in 2020. She has worked with associations for nine years and in the nonprofit sector industry for 14 years. Prior to her role with the NCAJ, Parker served as member engagement manager at a healthcare IT association.

She began her career with nonprofits at a food bank and has held program management and administrative roles with Habitat for Humanity and Meals on Wheels. At these organizations, she oversaw objectives in member engagement, recruitment and retention, database administration and implementation, event and meeting planning, volunteer management, sponsorship development and marketing.

In her current role, Parker develops and executes NCAJ’s annual membership renewal and new member acquisition campaigns. She also oversees the data management, training, support and reporting of the AMS, system migrations, and development of the standard operating procedures. She also serves as staff liaison to NCAJ’s Family Law Section and the New Lawyers Division.

Parker volunteers her time with her daughter’s elementary school PTA and Girl Scout troop and has held multiple roles with local advocacy groups.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in psychology from the University of South Carolina Upstate, in Greenville, S.C., and began her educational career at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.

Parker lives in Wake Forest and has been a resident of the Triangle for more than 16 years. In her spare time, she enjoys being with her family. Among other leisure activities, she also likes traveling, running, hiking, fitness classes, book club, gardening, cooking and baking.

Megan Sullivan

Finance & Operations Manager

Megan Sullivan

Finance & Operations Manager

Megan Sullivan joined the NCAJ team as a bookkeeper in 2022 before becoming finance & operations manager. Before coming to NCAJ, she spent two years at MPC Certified Public Accountants as a client services specialist where she served a variety of clients, including NCAJ.

Prior to her work at MPC CPA, Sullivan worked for six years as the operations and finance manager for the arts nonprofit Artspace. At Artspace, Sullivan oversaw all financial aspects of the nonprofit and maintained the historic building in downtown Raleigh. Her favorite aspect of working at Artspace was the relationships she cultivated with the artists and the vendors she relied on to keep the building running. 

Sullivan has a master of fine arts in sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art and is very active in the Raleigh arts community. When not adding the numbers, or visiting art galleries, she likes to run outside, spend time with her daughter, and spend as much time as possible laughing.

Zane Stilwell

Contract Lobbyist

Zane Stilwell

Contract Lobbyist

Sonja Way

Membership & Sections, Divisions and Caucus Manager

Sonja Way

Membership & Sections, Divisions and Caucus Manager

Sonja Way has been with NCAJ since 2013, and most members know her as the first face that greeted them when they arrived at the old Annapolis Drive building. Currently, she serves as NCAJ’s coordinator of membership, sections, divisions and caucus. Way has worked as an administrative assistant for 12 years. Prior to relocating to Raleigh, she lived in New York City where she worked as an office manager for six years.

At NCAJ, she facilitates all aspects of standard office functions, providing clerical and office support to management and staff. Way believes that any organization’s most valuable assets are its clients and members and she enjoys assisting with various issues.

In her personal time, Way enjoys dancing. And she and her husband can often be found spending time with their sons, cooking and playing board games.

Kevin Wilkinson

Contract Lobbyist

Kevin Wilkinson

Contract Lobbyist

If you are a member of the public seeking legal assistance…

Please note that we do not have any attorneys on staff who can assist with pending litigation or concerns, as we are an association that provides support and legal education for trial lawyers and legal assistants in North Carolina. To search in our member database for an attorney in your location who may be able to assist you, we encourage you to visit our public Member Directory.

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