This Board is the governing body of the Association as authorized by the NH Supreme Court. Its operation and role are defined in the NHBA Constitution, Article V, and NHBA Bylaws, Article III.
Public Sector Governor
Out of State Governor
- Belknap: Jesse W. Friedman
- Carroll: Leslie M. Leonard
- Cheshire: Monique M. Schmidt
- Coos: Scott J. Whitaker
- Grafton: Barry C. Schuster
- Hillsborough North: Kyle D. Robidas
- Hillsborough South: Kara M. Simard
- Merrimack: Heather A. Cherniske
- Rockingham: Paul B. Kleinman
- Strafford: Steven F. Hyde
- Sullivan: Vanessa M. Wilson
Jonathan M. Eck
Jonathan M. Eck is a shareholder and member of the litigation department at Orr & Reno, Professional Association in Concord, where his practice frequently involves handling business litigation, probate litigation disputes over inheritance and concerning fiduciary duties, and high-exposure tort claims. For the more than a decade now Jonathan has been on the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Board of Governors. Additionally, he previously chaired the Bar Association’s Committee on Cooperation with the Courts. Jonathan is a trustee with the New Hampshire Supreme Court Society (and formerly served as its vice president) and is a past member of the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire’s Federal Court Advisory Committee. Jonathan also is a past president of the Manchester Bar Association. He received the Bar Foundation’s Robert E. Kirby Award in 2015. Jonathan was a member of the 2018 Class of the Leadership New Hampshire program. Jonathan, who was admitted to the New Hampshire Bar in 2006, received his law degree from Vermont Law School and is a graduate of Colby College.
Paul W. Chant
Paul W. Chant is a shareholder with Cooper Cargill Chant in North Conway. He is a litigator, with an emphasis on personal injury, medical malpractice and workers’ compensation matters. He has practiced in Nashua and North Conway during his career.
Chant attended University of Vermont for undergrad and Boston University for law school. Paul is admitted to the New Hampshire and Massachusetts Bars.
Chant previously served on the NHBA Board of Governors as both a Hillsborough Country representative, Carroll County representative, and as a Governor-at-Large. He chaired the New Hampshire Bar Foundation (NHBF) Board during years where it generated the highest IOLTA revenues. He also served on and Chaired the NH Association for Justice (NHAJ) Board. Chant is currently a member of the Access to Justice Commission as a NHBA appointee.
Over the years, Chant has sat on and/or served as Chair or President of a wide variety of Boards, including the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council, The Barnstormers Theatre, The Ham Arena, the N.H. Charitable Foundation North Country Advisory Board, the Book Love Foundation, The Tamworth Foundation, the Nashua Chamber of Commerce and the CASA NH Board; he also serves as the Tamworth School Moderator.
As a young lawyer, Chant received the NHBA President’s Award for Service to the Public when he chaired the NHBA New Lawyers Committee. He has also twice received the NHAJ’s President’s Award for Service.
Paul is an avid skier and kayaker. He lives in beautiful Chocorua, NH with his wife Anne.
Christopher T. Regan
Christopher T. Regan is a graduate of Cornell University (A.B) and received his J.D. from Boston University in 1981. He came to New Hampshire to clerk for the Hon. William Batchelder at the New Hampshire Supreme Court. He worked for a 10-person law firm for four years, and now is toiling in the trenches as a solo or small firm practitioner, first in Dover and now in Durham. Regan was president of the Strafford County Bar Association in 2000-01 and is now Barrister in the Inns of Court. For the past 10 years, he has served as a lawyer/chair of the NH Compensation Appeals Board. Currently, he is moderator for the town of Durham.
Susan Aileen Lowry
Susan Aileen Lowry was admitted to practice in New Hampshire in 2008 after graduating magna cum laude from Vermont Law School. During law school, she was an Articles Editor for the Vermont Law Review and served as a judicial extern to Justice Denise R. Johnson of the Vermont Supreme Court and Magistrate Judge Robert J. Johnston of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. After law school, Susan had the privilege of working at the New Hampshire Public Defenders’ Office. She then entered private practice and has been practicing both civil and criminal law ever since.
Public Sector Governor
Lindsey B. Courtney
Lindsey B. Courtney is currently the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Office of Professional Licensure and Certification, the state agency responsible for administering occupational licensing boards in New Hampshire. Born in Georgia and raised in Massachusetts, Lindsey attended Northeastern University and thereafter New England School of Law, where she was a recipient of the Sandra Day O’Connor Award. Lindsey clerked for the New Hampshire Superior Court and practiced medical malpractice and personal injury law at Abramson, Brown & Dugan, before joining the Department of Justice as litigation counsel to the Department of Health and Human Services. Lindsey has served on the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association since 2014 and is presently the NHWBA Vice President. She is co-founder of the NHWBA Women to Women Project, designed to unite women attorneys with female inmates at the New Hampshire State Prison for Women for the purpose of providing general legal information. Lindsey has been an active member of several associations, including most recently as representative to the American Association of Health and Human Services Attorneys.
Jason B. Dennis
Jason Dennis is a 2003 graduate of Roanoke College, a 2008 graduate of Indiana University Maurer School of Law, and a 2017 graduate of the NHBA Leadership Academy. Jason, an attorney with the firm of Hastings Law Office, P.A. in Fryeburg, ME, is a general practitioner who has handled matters ranging from administrative law to personal injury to zoning. Although a general practitioner, Jason focuses his practice on municipal law and civil litigation. Jason works with his clients in Maine and New Hampshire to develop practical, cost effective—sometimes creative—solutions to their legal needs.
Catherine E. Shanelaris
Catherine E. Shanelaris is a founding member and partner with Shanelaris & Schirch, PLLC in Nashua, NH. She earned her B.A. in political science from the University of New Hampshire at Durham and her J.D. from University of New Hampshire School of Law (formerly Franklin Pierce Law Center) in 1992. Cathy is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association, Nashua Bar Association and Women’s Bar Association. She was formerly the chief staff attorney for the New Hampshire Division of Child Support Services and served as a county governor for the New Hampshire Trial Lawyers Association. Cathy practices law in the domestic relations area including divorce, child support, parenting and guardianship matters. She is a trained marital mediator. She is a member of the NHBA’s Family Law Section and the NHBA’s Pro Bono Governing Board. Cathy is the Hillsborough South County representative for the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association. She was appointed by the New Hampshire Supreme Court to the Access to Justice Commission. Cathy is a frequent lecturer on family law topics at continuing legal education programs and is the author of several Bar Journal and legal articles relating to family law issues.
Kristin G. Fields
Kristin G. Fields is a lifelong resident of central New Hampshire. She is a graduate of Holderness School and Southern New Hampshire University. Kristin graduated from University of New Hampshire School of Law in 2011. Immediately following her admission to the bar in November 2011, she worked as a fellow at New Hampshire Legal Assistance in Concord, assisting low income residents across the state in matters of housing and unemployment benefits. Kristin served as the vice president and treasurer of the Belknap County Bar Association in 2013. Kristin Joined Martin, Lord & Osman, P.A. in May of 2015, after operating as a solo practitioner in Ashland, NH. Kristin focuses primarily in the areas of family law and civil litigation. Prior to practicing law, Kristin was in the accounting field for several years. Kristin resides in Holderness with her husband and daughter. She enjoys attending her daughter’s field hockey, basketball and softball games, as well as her dance performances.
Christine M. Hanisco
Christine Hanisco is an attorney with The Stein Law Firm, PLLC in Concord, and is licensed in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Her practice is focused on third party family building through adoption and assisted reproductive technology, as well as estate planning. Prior to joining Stein Law, she was a public defender for almost 12 years. Presently, she is a member of the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association, the NHBA’s Family Law and Trust & Estate Law Sections, the American Bar Association’s Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee, and Chairs the Grievance Committee for the Society for Ethics in Egg Donation and Surrogacy. In 2021 she was elected Vice President of RESOLVE New England’s Board of Directors and is Chair of its Governance Committee. She is a graduate of New York Law School (2000) and Saint Anselm College (1993).
Kathleen M. Mahan
Kate is a Litigation Partner at Hinckley Allen, located in their Manchester, New Hampshire office. She practices in a wide range of intellectual property matters, including trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrights, as well as business disputes related to corporate governance, non-compete conflicts, contract actions and other professional disagreements in both state and federal courts, arbitration proceedings, and appeals.
Kate received her J.D., cum laude, from Suffolk University and her B.A., cum laude, from Saint Anselm College. Prior to joining Hinckley Allen, Kate worked a business boutique law firm for more than twelve years, and clerked for both the New Hampshire Supreme Court and the New Hampshire Superior Court.
Kate is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Foundation Board of Directors as well as the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Committee on Cooperation with the Courts. She also is a long time member of the Daniel Webster-Batchelder Inns of Court. Outside the legal profession, Kate serves on the board of her
Though James Shepard was born and raised in NJ he has spent the entirety of his professional life in NH. (Except for a brief stint in Maryland for Law School and a year post graduation clerking for Maryland’s equivalent of a superior court judge).
Prior to law school James was a police officer for five years in Littleton, NH. Upon moving back to NH he obtained a job as counsel for the NH Banking Department, then moved on to the NH Department of Safety where he served as a prosecutor for the last 12 years. Jim also maintains a small side practice mostly consisting of family law cases. This side practice gives him the grounding he needs to regularly take on Pro Bono family law cases and DOVE cases.
James previously served on the board of governors as the Merrimack County representative for two terms and during that time was appointed to serve on the Pro Bono board upon which he continues to serve. Attorney Shepard currently serves as a panel member of the Bar Association’s Domestic Violence Advisory Counsel.
Shepard describes himself as a “rare bird” in the bar because he is a government lawyer who also has a solo practice in a “totally different area of law.”
“I think that gives me a unique perspective on the services offered by the bar association and the demands put on the membership by some of our agreements with the court,” he says.
Over the past year James says he’s spent the majority of his free time building an addition on his house and raising goats. He looks forward to being involved with the board once again. “I ran for the board again,” he said, “because I missed the level of service and involvement in the operation of the organization that I experienced in my last turn.”
Belknap County Governor
Jesse W. Friedman
Jesse Friedman is a partner at Friedman & Bresaw, PLLC in Meredith, NH. He currently focuses his practice on statewide criminal defense, family law and personal injury.
Jesse entered into private practice after almost two decades at the New Hampshire Public Defender’s Office in Laconia. As the Managing Attorney of that office from 2007-2019, Jesse was involved in the creation and implementation of numerous alternative sentencing programs including diversion, pretrial services, compliance court and drug courts in both Belknap and Carroll counties.
Jesse received his J.D. from Vermont Law School and his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York. He has twin children that are currently finishing their Junior year of college. Jesse resides in Holderness where he has lived since moving to NH in 2000 and continues to volunteer his time serving as a member of the Belknap County Recovery Court Team and the Carroll County Adult Drug Treatment Court Team.
Jesse said he’s looking forward to learning more about the Board of Governors and finding ways to apply his skills to help others during his time there.
Jesse credits Ed Philpot and Richard Guerriero as major influences in his decision to run for the Belknap County Governor position. “Honestly, it was Ed and Richard, talking to me and encouraging me to be involved,” Jesse says. “They made me think about it more and made me realize there’s a bigger picture out there. I think my years at the public defender’s office shaped the attorney that I am today… but I didn’t always think about the rest of the pieces that other people are working on and realize how dynamic and expansive the Bar and the practice of law in NH actually is. So it was the combination of those guys being in my ear and also moving into private practice and thinking about the bigger world.”
Jesse said he’s looking forward to learning more about the Board of Governors and finding ways to apply his skills to help others during his time there.
Carroll County Governor
Leslie M. Leonard
Leslie Leonard is a partner, at Cooper Cargill Chant, PA. She received her J.D. from the Franklin Pierce School of Law, Cum Laude 2006, and earned a B.A. from the University of N.H., Cum Laude. Attorney Leonard was admitted to N.H. Bar in 2006, the Massachusetts Bar in 2006 and the Maine Bar in 2014.
During her years of practice, Leslie has always striven for a collegial, collaborative relationship with the attorneys she has had the pleasure to work with. She is active in her local community in North Conway, currently serving on numerous boards and as a member of various organizations: NH Association for Justice, current member; Carroll County Bar Association, current President; Gibson Center, 2017-present, Board Member; Jen’s Friends Cancer Foundation, 2019-present, Board Member.
Leslie’s practice areas include family law, estate planning and real estate planning. The catalyst for her decision to become an attorney, she explained, came while reflecting on her time in Colorado, where she worked as a paralegal.
“At one point I looked around and I realized ‘I’m as smart as the lawyers I work for, why shouldn’t I be going to court representing clients and doing all the things lawyers do,’” she explained.
After her time in the west Leslie returned to her roots, went to law school, and eventually migrated north to the mountains of NH. After law school Leslie clerked in the Hillsborough South (Nashua) Superior Court from 2006-2008 and then worked at a law firm in Portsmouth- Boynton Waldron- for a year and a half before making the move to Carroll County. Leslie has been fortunate to practice in Carroll, Coos and Belknap counties since March 2010, when she began practicing with her colleagues at Cooper Cargill Chant.
She said she welcomes the opportunity to use her energy, experience and positive attitude, to serve the attorneys practicing in Carroll County and the NHBA to make the practice of law even better for all who work in this area.
Cheshire County Governor
Monique Schmidt is a public defender in Keene. In 2011 she graduated from Roger Williams University with a B.A. in American studies. She worked for Greenpeace in Boston, organizing communities around climate change and corporate abuse issues. There she developed a lifelong dedication to public service and advocacy. In 2017, she graduated from Roger Williams University School of Law, became a member of the N.H. bar, and went directly to work for the N.H. Public Defender in Keene.
Though she is a Massachusetts native – born and raised in Boylston, and currently living in Lancaster – Cheshire County is home away from home. She looks forward to the opportunity to serve the Cheshire County and connect with members of the legal community.
Coos County Governor
Scott J. Whitaker
Scott J. Whitaker is an assistant county attorney with the Coos County Attorney’s Office. His primary responsibility is to prosecute felony-level cases at the superior court while working with local and state law enforcement officials. Prior to working as a prosecutor, Scott was an associate with Waystack Frizzell, Trial Lawyers, a local law firm with a state and federal civil practice. A 2014 graduate of the University of New Hampshire School of Law, Scott was a member of the Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program and served as the 2013-2014 Chief Justice for the UNH Moot Court Advisory Board. He is a proud graduate of both Plymouth State University and White Mountains Community College.
Grafton County Governor
Barry C. Schuster
Barry Schuster has practiced business, real estate and municipal law since 1978. He represents individuals, businesses and municipalities in a wide range of transactions and resolving disputes involving land use, real estate and corporate and business matters. A trial lawyer with thirty-five years of experience, Attorney Schuster regularly appears before municipal boards, litigates in New Hampshire and Vermont trial courts, and has appeared in more than thirty appeals before the Supreme Courts of New Hampshire and Vermont. He also served for many years as a superior court mediator.
Attorney Schuster actively participates in a number of civic organizations and has served on the boards of health care organizations, bank advisory committees and numerous community service boards and committees. He was elected to the Lebanon School Board for eight years and chaired the Board for a three year term where he has served for over 20 years. An active cyclist, he and his wife have logged miles biking over hill and dale throughout N.H. and Vt., over mountain passes in Colorado and “cols” of the French Alps.
Attorney Schuster is a graduate of Brown University and Villanova University School of Law and pursued a year of study at the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College.
Attorney Schuster is admitted to practice in New Hampshire and Vermont and is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association, Vermont Bar Association and the Grafton County Bar Association.
Hillsborough North County Governor
Kyle D. Robidas
Since 2013, Kyle D. Robidas has worked as a staff attorney at the New Hampshire Public Defender (Manchester, NH), where he defends indigent clients. He is a member of the Hillsborough County North Drug Court Team, liaison to the Manchester Veterans Court, and a member of the New Hampshire Public Defender Trial Skills Training Team. He is also an active mentor to several new lawyers. Robidas is a graduate of Norwich University and the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Kyle is a native of New Hampshire, originally from Colebrook. When he is not practicing law he enjoys spending time outside with his family.
Hillsborough South County Governor
Kara M. Simard
Kara M. Simard is a staff attorney at the New Hampshire Public Defender (Nashua, NH) where she represents people accused of crimes who cannot afford a lawyer. Prior to representing indigent defendants, she worked for a law firm in Manchester, New Hampshire practicing primarily in civil litigation.
Kara serves on the National Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union as the New Hampshire Affiliate Representative. She has been serving on the Board of Directors of the ACLU of NH in different roles since 2010. Kara served for many years on the Board of the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association, serving as President from 2016-2018, and is currently a sustaining member. Kara is a member of the Executive Committee of the Manchester Bar Association and served as its President from 2015-2016. Kara is also a member of the NHBA Ethics Committee and the New Hampshire Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Kara received her J.D. from Suffolk University Law School and her B.A. from Stonehill College. At Suffolk, she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Suffolk Transnational Law Review. Kara grew up in New Hampshire and is committed to serving the public, the legal profession, and giving back to her community.
Merrimack County Governor
Heather A. Cherniske
Heather Cherniske is an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Hampshire in the Civil Division. Prior to that, she worked at the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office for over eight years. While at the office, she worked as an assistant attorney general in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Criminal Bureau, and as the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security fraud prosecutor. Prior to working at the Attorney General’s Office, Heather worked as an assistant Concord city prosecutor for two years. She also worked as a New Hampshire Superior Court law clerk in the Rockingham County Superior Court. Heather is an active member of the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association and held various positions on the board of directors. Additionally, she is a member of the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee. She received her undergraduate degree from the Pennsylvania State University in 2007 and graduated from the University of New Hampshire School Of Law in 2010.
Rockingham County Governor
Paul B. Kleinman
Paul B. Kleinman is a Boston University Law School graduate and have been a lawyer for the last 35 years since 1986. I have been the managing partner in my law firm, Bouchard, Kleinman & Wright for the past 20 years. My practice focuses on complex civil litigation. I have served as the vice chair on the Bar’s Insurance committee and have been involved in specific projects such as the Pro Bono call marathons. As I get into the later stage of my career, I would like to give back in a more significant way to the legal community that has been so supportive of me through the years. This is why I seek to serve on the Board of Governors for Rockingham. I do believe that my background and experience will allow me to be a valuable addition to the Board and the NHBA. I am a member of the Charles Doe Inn’s of Court. I previously served on the Board of New Generations and presently serve on the Board of Great Bay Services who provides supports for developmentally disabled individuals. My wife and I have four children and reside in Brentwood, NH. I am currently a member of the Town of Brentwood Planning Board.
Strafford County Governor
Steven F. Hyde
Steven F. Hyde is a 1998 graduate of UNH (Durham) and a 2001 graduate of Massachusetts School of Law at Andover. He is a 2002 admittee to the Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine Bars, each by examination. He worked as a solo practitioner from 2002 through 2006, as an associate at Shaines & McEachern, P.A. (Portsmouth, NH) from 2006 to 2007, and as Managing Member of Coakley & Hyde, PLLC from 2007 through 2021. Steven’s current solo practice, Law Offices of Steven F. Hyde, PLLC, focuses in serving the needs of clients in real estate and business litigation primarily in Strafford, Rockingham, Carroll, and York counties.
Steven is a 2019 appointee to the New Hampshire Real Estate Commission where he serves as the Attorney Member and also as the Commission’s Chair. Steven currently serves also as a Trustee on the Massachusetts School of Law Board of Trustees, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Charles C. Doe American Inns of Court and the Skyhaven Flying Club (formerly the UNH Flying Club).
When he is not working or serving in one of the foregoing capacities, Steven serves the Town of Middleton, New Hampshire as a patrolman with the Middleton Police Department and as an adjunct professor at the Massachusetts School of Law. Additionally, he enjoys boating, flying, and hiking and is currently working on the New Hampshire 48 “four-thousand footers” and smaller New Hampshire peaks.
Sullivan County Governor
Vanessa M. Wilson
Vanessa M. Wilson was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and raised in a town not too far from there, namely, Guilford. She graduated high school there and obtained a B.S. from the University of Connecticut and a J.D. from New England School of Law in 1983. She became a member of the N.H. Bar shortly thereafter.
Vanessa was in private practice in Sullivan County for 28 years, and then worked for the Cheshire County Attorney’s Office for 3.5 years. She currently works as a Staff Attorney for DCYF in the Claremont office.
Vanessa has served on many bar committees in the past. Having finally gotten the last of three children off to college, She wanted to become involved again, and was on the Board of Governors early on in her career, back in 1988-1990.
ABA Association Delegate
Mike Iacopino is a criminal defense lawyer. He began his career in the Manchester office of the New Hampshire Public Defender Program from 1984 through 1987. He is senior shareholder at Brennan Lenehan Iacopino & Hickey in Manchester NH where he has practiced for 34 years. His practice includes representation of accused people and businesses in state and federal court. Mike is the current Chair of the New Hampshire Bar Association Legislative Committee. Mike also served for many years on the Committee on Cooperation with the Courts. At the ABA he is a member of the Criminal Justice Section, the Administrative Law Section and the Environment, Energy and Resources Law Section. Mike is a former CJA Panel Representative for the federal District of New Hampshire and a former member of the CJA Panel Selection Committee. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Public Defender Program. He received his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of New Hampshire in 1980 and his law degree from Suffolk University Law School in 1984. He is admitted to practice in the New Hampshire state and federal courts, the First Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.
ABA Association State Delegate
Jennifer L. Parent
Jennifer L. Parent is a director and chair of the litigation department in the McLane Middleton law firm in Manchester, with particular focus on business and employment litigation. She served as President of NHBA from 2011-2012. She served as President of the National Conference of Bar Presidents from 2018-2019, which provides programming to state, local, and metro bar leaders nationally. Parent also served as President of the NH Women’s Bar Association from 2000-2002 and as President of the New England Bar Association from 2018-2019. She served on the NHBA Board of Governors from 2004 to 2008, representing Hillsborough County North. She has participated in a number of task forces and committees of the NH Bar Association, including, co-chair of the Bench Bar Conference in March 2015 and chair of the Committee on Cooperation with the Courts from 2013-2016. Early on, she was active in the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association, serving as the District 3 Representative for NH and MA. Parent received her law degree from Suffolk University Law School, summa cum laude, and was admitted to the NH Bar in 1995. She received the Robert E. Kirby Award, honoring excellence in advocacy, civility and professionalism of a lawyer under 40 years of age, from the NH Bar Foundation in 2003. She received the 2009 Philip Hollman Gender Equality Award. Parent served as NHBA’s Association Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates from 2015-2020. As State Delegate, Parent chairs New Hampshire’s delegation in the House of Delegates.
ABA Association New Lawyer Delegate
Susanne Gilliam formed Gilliam Legal LLC as a solo practice after her graduation from New England School of Law | Boston in 2015. She lives in Massachusetts and is an active member of the bar there as well as in New Hampshire. She initially focused on elder law and mediation. However, when asylum seeking families were being separated at the border, there was an urgent need for lawyers to provide pro bono help to detained parents. Susanne volunteered with Immigration Justice Campaign twice and found the work so compelling that she switched to working with asylum seekers full time. Susanne has been an active member of the New Hampshire New Lawyers Committee, the Women’s Bar, and the New England Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She is also a member of the American Bar Association and state specific bar organizations. Susanne’s undergraduate degree is in Computer Science and she spent two decades as a programmer on operating systems and networking before going to law school.
View a list of past NHBA presidents from 1873 to today.
Contacting Members of the Board of Governors
For complete Board Member contact information, please log into the NHBA Member Directory (above) or call the NHBA office at (603) 715-3279.