officers & directors

The executive board members of the Illinois Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys are the leaders in the field of elder law.  Our executive board consists of prominent attorneys who are committed to this area of law as evidenced by the large number of articles, publications, and seminars authored by these individuals.  These attorneys devote hours and hours of time to our organization and to furthering the practice of elder law in compliance with the NAELA code of ethics.  

All of our executive board members continue their education through the attendance and participation in local, State, and National conferences, where they learn, introduce, present, and share the most sophisticated legal strategies and techniques available in the field of elder law.

We are truly honored to each of these esteemed attorneys as part of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Executive Board, and our proud to introduce these individuals to you:

Officers

MELISSA JOHNSON | PRESIDENT 

Melissa Johnson is a partner at Generation Law where she focuses her practice on contested guardianships, decedents estates and trust contests. She is the current president of the Illinois chapter of NAELA as well as a member of the ISBA Elder Law Council. Most importantly, Melissa is married with four small children and in her spare time loves to read, listen to true crime podcasts, and attend concerts.

MALLORY MORENO| PRESIDENT ELECT

Mallory Moreno is a Principal and Chuhak & Tecson, P.C. and devotes her practice to her passion of advocating on behalf of the aging population and individuals with disabilities, many of whom are unable to speak for themselves. Her extensive experience helping clients find a sense of peace during their moments of crisis, such as losing a loved one, being faced with unforeseen health problems, experiencing family strife or planning for expensive long-term care, are what Mallory finds most rewarding about the practice of law.

Mallory’s practice focuses in adult guardianships, both contested and non-contested, estate and trust administration and litigation, including financial exploitation, will and trust contests, fiduciary disputes, issues of capacity, powers of attorneys, undue influence, financial exploitation, citations and fraud. Clients value Mallory’s compassionate, pragmatic and collaborative approach to resolving issues while she remains conscientious of their unique needs, tailoring plans accordingly. A large portion of her practice is also dedicated to long-term care planning, Medicaid, Medicaid appeals, estate planning, special needs planning and disability law.

Mallory is a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA), which is an exclusive honor bestowed to a select group of attorneys by the National Elder Law Foundation. As of 2021, there are only 17 CELAs in Illinois providing creative solutions for clients who are faced with elder law issues.

Mallory serves as President-Elect for the Illinois Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (IL NAELA), an organization that is closely involved in advancing legislation on behalf of elder law attorneys and their clients, which ensures that she stays abreast of the latest legislative updates in this space. She also chairs many of IL NAELA’s committees. Mallory is also a reoccurring faculty speaker for Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) as well as other organizations. In addition, Mallory serves as co-chair of the young lawyers’ section of the Chicago Bar Association’s Serving our Seniors Committee.

For the past five years, Mallory was named an Emerging Lawyer from Leading Lawyers, which is an honor awarded to less than 2% of all lawyers in Illinois. Super Lawyers named her a Rising Star in 2021 and 2022, and she was given the Distinguished Lawyer Designation from the Expert Network, a leading invitation-only network for professionals who have contributed meaningfully to their field, who can demonstrate a distinct perspective on the future of their profession and are considered thought leaders.

Community service plays an important role in Mallory’s life. Mallory, along with a family member who has disabilities, volunteers for the Special Olympics. She believes that her personal experiences involving the challenging issues clients with disabilities face enhance her ability to provide swift and thorough resolutions to legal issues. She also volunteers and is a board member of a not for profit called W.A.L.L.S., Inc. (Working Adults Learning Lifelong Skills), which is a life skills center for adults with disabilities.

In her free time, Mallory and her family enjoy outings at the zoo, traveling (when it’s safe), and visiting grandparents, family and friends. Other activities people may find her engaging in include reading, cooking and crafts.


PAIGE FOX |VICE PRESIDENT

Paige N. Fox brings compassion, understanding and knowledge to her practice of elder law. She takes great pleasure in helping clients and their family members as they cope with complex and unfamiliar situations that are often emotionally overwhelming and mentally tolling. As an associate in the Estate Planning & Asset Protection group, Paige finds that helping clients and their families find a course of action with which they are comfortable and advising them on how to achieve their long-term goals in order to feel secure as they age is the most rewarding part of her practice of law.

Through her work within the Estate & Trust Administration & Litigation group, Paige assists clients with estate planning, special needs planning, asset preservation and Medicaid planning, trust administration, probate estates, adult guardianship, negotiations with long-term care facilities, contract review and overall assistance with navigating difficulties that may come with aging. She considers herself an advocate for her clients, confronting an area of law that is often complicated and unfamiliar to most families. Client service means fighting for what is in the best interest of each client while also remaining transparent, honest and understanding. Paige is able to empathize with clients while also communicating complex issues in a thorough, yet simplified, way so that they are able to better understand and appreciate the specific matter and difficult circumstances.

As the 2022 vice president in the Illinois Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), and chair for the NAELA Education Committee, Paige continues to develop her skill-set and knowledge on elder law and related legal matters. Early on, while attending law school, she took an interest in assisting individuals who are in their most vulnerable states, where she worked in the juvenile division of the Office of the Public Guardian. She also volunteered with the Center for Disability & Elder Law’s adult guardianship help desk, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, Equip for Equality and the Chicago-Kent Self Help Web Center. These experiences sparked her advocacy and passion for fundraising and pro bono work.

In her free time, Paige is an active volunteer with the Chicago Bar Association (CBA) Wills for Heroes Foundation, providing essential legal documents to first responders free of charge; the CBA Lawyers in the Classroom program, helping second through eighth grade students better understand the U.S. Constitution, our legal system and law-related careers; and Elara Caring Hospice, offering support to hospice patients and their families. Paige also volunteers with Activate CHI, Bears Care, FairVote Illinois, Misericordia, the NAACP, Salvation Army, One Brick Chicago and We The Action. In 2021, Paige started her own project, #DoBetterChi, which consists of fundraising and collecting donations to create bags of food items and toiletries for individuals in Chicago’s Uptown area who are currently experiencing homelessness.

Paige is involved in a variety of coed sports and Zumba. She also enjoys playing fantasy football and attending and watching any and all sporting events. She is a diehard Chicago Bears fan and enjoys Chicago sports teams overall, but throws her own curveball into the mix as she is also a lifelong fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. In addition to sports and advocacy work, Paige loves arts and crafts, playing engine-building board games and spending time with her friends and family, including her grumpy cat and new puppy, who are the best of friends.

LINDA M. STROHSCHEIN | TREASURER 

Linda M. Strohschein is the principal of Strohschein Law Group, LLC, a boutique estate planning and elder law firm with offices in St. Charles and Wheaton, Illinois. She concentrates her practice on Estate and Long-Term Care Planning, Guardianship, Estate and Trust Administration and Probate Litigation. Ms.Strohschein is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation. Although CELA is not required by the State of Illinois, this title is earned through a multi-faceted process and the attorney must successfully pass a comprehensive certification exam to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of Elder Law. She is a frequent speaker on a variety of estate planning and long-term care topics. Ms. Strohschein is a current member of the Kane County Bar Association. In addition, she is also a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and serves as the Treasurer of the Executive Board for the Illinois chapter.  Ms. Strohschein received her B.A. from George Mason University and her J.D. from the John Marshall Law School.

KAYE DESELMS DENT | SECRETARY

After almost a decade devoting herself to her Elder Law practice, the importance of this rewarding area of law hit home when Kaye’s husband and law partner was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in 2020 at the age of 51. Fortunately, after the initial struggle to obtain a diagnosis, the Dents were able to successfully execute the plan they’d never imagined using at this stage in life, with two teenagers still at home.


Kaye attended law school with plans to practice disability law. Having worked her way through college at the University of Illinois in Urbana assisting students with disabilities, she graduated from Hofstra University School of Law in 1996. She initially worked with a non-profit providing legal services exclusively to persons with disabilities, and, after years of practice as both a State’s Attorney and Public Defender, she now operates Dent Law Offices, Ltd., where she provides an array of Elder Law and estate planning services, focusing on Nursing Home Planning and Special Needs Planning. As a member of Elder Counsel, Wealth Counsel, Kaye also serves as Secretary for IL NAELA (National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Illinois Chapter), Kaye has an array of resources available for her clients’ planning needs. Kaye serves on the board of IL NAELA and as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois. She also serves on the board of the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation Advisory Board for Effingham County and Chairs the Fifth Circuit Pro Bono Committee of the Public Interest Law Initiative. She has also served as President of the Effingham Noon Rotary Club. Kaye enjoys accepting pro bono cases referred from various nonprofit agencies, a very rewarding part of the practice of law. Kaye speaks frequently to public groups regarding Estate Planning, Nursing Home Planning, Special Needs issues and other topics.


When not working, Kaye enjoys gardening and fishing with her family, as well as traveling. Seeing the world through her teenagers’ eyes is proving very rewarding and has provided them with a wide range of experiential learning opportunities. They have traveled the entire width of the country via automobile, visiting many Civil War battlefields and other National Parks sites, for a total of 29 states and 15 foreign countries visited together. Kaye believes that the security and peace of mind a good plan offers allows people to enjoy life more fully- and her family agrees, more than ever.

DAWN WEEKLY | IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT PRESIDENT  

Dawn M. Weekly is a solo practitioner whose firm, Legacy Law Firm, LLC is in Sandwich, IL.  Dawn received her J.D. from Northern Illinois University in 2004 and thereafter served a two-year clerkship with the Michigan State Court of Appeals in Grand Rapids, MI.   

Dawn has been a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys since 2009 and she has served on the Legislative Committee for several years.  She is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association as well as several local bar associations.  She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Fox Valley Community Services organization and the Veterans Legal Aid Society. 

In her spare time, Dawn plays in the Indian Valley Community Band and the Talk of the Town Swing Band, where she plays clarinet, saxophone, flute, and oboe.  Her bowling average is 165. 

Directors

AMY DELANEY

ELIZABETH FINK

MELISSA KALLIO

CATHERINE LENERT
HELEN MESOLORAS

JAMES SIEBERT

Illinois Chapter
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc.
Copyright
© 2017 NAELA
All rights reserved.


The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. (NAELA) was founded in 1987 as a professional association of attorneys who are dedicated to improving the quality of legal services provided to people as they age and people with special needs.
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software