Allie Lavoie Marketing Coordinator  |  Dallas, Texas

Allie Lavoie is the Marketing Coordinator at Vela Wood. Her role includes executing firm content and communications, coordinating firm awards, and managing brand merchandise and social media accounts.  Allie graduated from The University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. She was a part of Kappa Delta Sorority and served as Vice President of Finance. Before moving to Texas, she finished a marketing internship with The First Dink Foundation, a non-profit Pickleball organization. She enjoys cooking, wine and cheese tasting, playing pickleball, traveling, and trying local restaurants in her spare time.

Allie has a food channel on Tik Tok and Instagram where she shares her culinary creations of toast.


Amy Nieto Executive Assistant  |  Dallas, Texas

Amy Nieto is an Executive Assistant at Vela Wood. Her role includes managing and coordinating calendars, drafting engagement letters, and supporting VW Partner Carr Staley. She is appointed as a Notary in the State of Texas. In her spare time, she enjoys art, going to concerts, doing DIY projects (she considers building Ikea furniture as DIY), and reading.

When Amy turned 18 her parents hired an Elvis Presley impersonator to wake her up and sing, “happy birthday” to her. He said to her, “Honey, I’m usually going to bed at this hour.” It was 6:30am!


Ashley Burnett Austin Office Coordinator & Executive Assistant  |  Austin, Texas

Ashley Burnett is the Vela Wood Austin Office Coordinator & Executive Assistant. Her role includes carrying out administrative tasks and ensuring the office is operating smoothly. She is also the Austin Coordinator for VW FWD, the firm’s social change initiative. Ashley graduated from East Carolina University obtaining a B.S. in Communication with a concentration in Journalism. Prior to joining Vela Wood, Ashley has experience in both employment and criminal defense law. Ashley enjoys running and cleaning. Her favorite activity is discovering a new spot in Austin to hang with her golden retriever, August.

Ashley was in the movie, Talladega Nights.


Branlyn Yarbrough Client Account Manager  |  Las Vegas, Nevada

Branlyn Yarbrough is the Client Account Manager at Vela Wood. Her role includes managing accounts receivable and monthly billing processes as well as overseeing client intake.

Branlyn is in the process of obtaining her personal trainers certification.


Diana Do Dallas Office Receptionist  |  Dallas, Texas

Diana Do is the receptionist in the Dallas office at Vela Wood. Her role includes overseeing many of the daily operations that support our entire team, including processing legal documentation, drafting engagement letters, and handling client communications. She is also a Notary in the State of Texas. Diana graduated from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, with a Bachelor of Psychology. Prior to joining Vela Wood, Diana was a legal assistant for a small personal injury law firm in Fort Worth, Texas. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, weight training, exploring nature, and listening to podcasts.

Diana enjoys coffee so much that she started a coffee blog.


Danielle Fields Billing Analyst  |  Dallas, Texas

Danielle Fields is the Billing Analyst at Vela Wood. Her role includes supporting the finance team, maintaining and updating client file tracking systems, responding to potential clients and scheduling consultations, as well as onboarding new clients. Danielle graduated from Texas Christian University with a B.A. in Political Science where she was the director of Word of Truth Gospel Choir for two years. In her spare time she enjoys yoga, reading, and spending time with her Cocker Spaniel named Bear.

If I had to eat one type of food for the rest of my life, it would be tacos.


Jacob Grunewald Billing Analyst  |  Dallas, Texas

Jacob Grunewald is a Billing Analyst at Vela Wood. His roles include reviewing client invoices, billable hours, collections, and supporting the financial department. Jacob graduated from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, with a B.A. in Business Administration. Prior to joining Vela Wood, Jacob was a Financial Manager with Graybar Electric where he provided financial and credit services for clients across the country. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, visiting local festivals, and browsing art museums.

Jacob has met Will Smith and Tony Romo.


Jasmine Williams Austin Office Receptionist  |  Austin, Texas

Jasmine Williams is the Receptionist in the Austin office at Vela Wood. Her role includes overseeing many of the daily operations that support our entire team, including processing legal documentation, managing, scheduling, and client communications. Jasmine graduated from Huston- Tillotson University in Austin, Texas with a B.A. in Political Science and minor in pre-law. Jasmine is currently studying for the LSAT and awaiting law school admission for Fall ’23. In her spare time, she loves to read, go on adventures, enjoy nature, and try any kind of food that she can get her hands on!

Jasmine is the first out of her twelve siblings to graduate from college.


Joel Mathew, CPA Director of Finance  |  Dallas, Texas

Joel Mathew is the Director of Finance at Vela Wood. His role includes overseeing the finance and billing operations for the firm. Since joining Vela Wood, he has focused on establishing financial processes, monitoring expenditures, and cash flow forecasting. Prior to joining Vela Wood, Joel was a consultant with Embark Consulting and was an auditor with EY, working in various industries for both companies. Joel has a BBA and a MS in Accounting from Southern Methodist University and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the State of Texas.

Joel was an intern with the marketing department of the Dallas Mavericks while he was at SMU!


Kait Palmer Event Coordinator   |  Dallas, Texas

Kait is the Event Coordinator at Vela Wood. Kait coordinates all firm events, including internal team events, lunch and learns, volunteer opportunities, sponsorships, and our annual VW Abroad trip. She graduated magna cum laude from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with a B.S. in Marketing and Organizational Communications as well as a minor in Sports Program Planning. Upon moving to Texas in 2021, she accepted a position with the Texas Rangers as a Game Day Coordinator where she worked with them for the 2021 season. In her spare time, Kait enjoys exploring new cities, reading, and going to concerts.

Kait spent 6 weeks solo traveling the Pacific North West before moving to Dallas!


Kim Faussete Paralegal  |  Dallas, Texas

Kim Faussete is a Paralegal at Vela Wood. Her role includes assisting attorneys and clients with corporate governance and transactional matters, conversions and mergers, debt and equity financings, and federal and state regulatory filings and notices. Kim is a Notary Public in the State of Texas and prior to working at Vela Wood, Kim spent 3 years in banking. She has been with Vela Wood for over 7 years. In her spare time she enjoys traveling the globe, which often includes her birthplace in the UK.

Kim rescued a turtle from her dad’s lawn mower as a teen and has cared for Bob for over a decade. She sorely misinterpreted the longevity of life for a turtle and has since managed to pass him off (thankfully) for care and keeping to another VW employee.


Kristina Derr Paralegal  |  Claremore, Oklahoma

Kristina Derr is a Paralegal at Vela Wood. Her role includes supporting attorneys with corporate transactional assistance as well as litigation and liquor permitting matters. She is a remote employee based out of Claremore, Oklahoma. Kristina graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies from the Metropolitan College of Legal Studies in 2002. She obtained her Certified Paralegal certificate in 2009 and maintains an Advanced Certified Paralegal accreditation. Prior to joining Vela Wood, Kristina was a 15-year litigation paralegal for Holden Litigation. She has over 23 years experience as a paralegal serving in different areas of the law, including criminal defense, oil and gas litigation, medical malpractice, and general insurance defense. In her spare time, Kristina enjoys gardening, building yearly Halloween props to add to her already voluminous collection, and yelling at her two dogs (and husband).

Kristina once had a job repairing toilet tanks for commercial airplanes.


Lexie Bauman Legal Secretary  |  Dallas, Texas

Lexie Bauman is a Legal Secretary at Vela Wood. Her role includes assisting attorneys with entity formations, formatting transactional documents, and preparing electronic closing binders. Lexie graduated from The University of Texas at Arlington with a B.A. in Political Science and is currently pursuing her paralegal certification at the Center for Advanced Legal Studies.

Lexie is from New Orleans, so she knows what a real parade is.


Marjorie Scott Gunn Paralegal  |  Dallas, Texas

Marjorie Scott Gunn is a Paralegal at Vela Wood. Her role includes supporting attorneys with corporate transactional assistance, equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, entity formations, and conversions. Marjorie graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, with a B.A. in Philosophy and a minor in Sociology and Human Rights. She also obtained a certificate in Paralegal Studies from the University of Texas in Austin. Prior to joining Vela Wood, Marjorie was an Investment Funds paralegal at a big-law firm. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the piano, DIY projects, and traveling.

Marjorie is a self-taught pianist.


Mirth Hinojosa Legal Secretary  |  Dallas, Texas

Mirth Hinojosa is a Legal Secretary at Vela Wood. Her role includes assisting attorneys with entity formations, formatting transactional documents, and preparing electronic closing binders, and she is a Notary in the State of Texas. Prior to Vela Wood, Mirthelid was the head of the Human Resources department at a small Dallas construction company.

Mirth is that said VW employee that will care for and keep Bob the Turtle.


Lisa Nelson COO  |  Dallas, TX

Lisa Nelson is COO at Vela Wood. Her role includes leading firm operations and HR. Lisa graduated from the University of Western Australia with a B.A. in Industrial Relations and Italian and earned an M.B.A. from Southern Methodist University. Prior to joining Vela Wood, Lisa was the CHRO for Match Group and an Adjunct Professor within the Management and Organizations department at Southern Methodist University. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys traveling, attempting to master the piano, and spending time with her husband, kids, and dogs (not always in that order).

Lisa had a unique opportunity to tap dance with Sammy Davis Junior.


Liz True Senior Paralegal  |  Lexington, North Carolina

Liz True is the Senior Paralegal at Vela Wood. Her role includes supporting attorneys and clients with debt and equity financings, mergers & acquisitions, entity formations and conversions, corporate governance, cap table and option plan management, complex closings, and much more. Liz also provides training and guidance to the legal staff and law clerks as the legal staff manager. Liz enjoys crochet, embroidery, jewelry making, fishing, camping, hiking, archery, board games, singing in the shower, dancing in the kitchen, feeding the homeless, registering voters, and sticking it to the man.

Liz almost met Lou Diamond Phillips once.


Nikki Rosema Marketing & Event Manager  |  Dallas, Texas

Nikki Rosema is the Marketing & Event Manager at Vela Wood. Her role includes brand strategy, content development, client relations, and event management. Nikki graduated summa cum laude from Southern Methodist University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Religious Studies. Nikki feels she lucked out getting to work for Vela Wood as her first job out of college and has been with the firm since 2016!

Nikki has trypophobia, an aversion to the sight of irregular patterns or clusters of small holes or bumps (it’s a real thing!). Honeycombs and sponges repulse her, so keep them far away!


Rhiannon Le Parmentier Paralegal  |  Austin, Texas

Rhiannon Le Parmentier is a Paralegal at Vela Wood. Her role involves supporting attorneys through complex transactions. Rhiannon graduated from The University of Texas School of Law in Austin, TX with an LL.M. and from University College London with an LL.B. Prior to joining Vela Wood, Rhiannon founded a legal services startup, was a software engineer, and educator. In her spare time, Rhiannon enjoys swimming with her two-year-old daughter, and their golden retriever.

Rhiannon has sung choral music for Her Majesty the late Queen Elizabeth II and His Majesty King Charles III.


Shammie Abagnale Operations Manager  |  Dallas, Texas

Shammie Abagnale is the Operations Manager at Vela Wood. Her role includes managing the operations team, ensuring that all clerical duties run smoothly, handling accounts payable, onboarding new employees, coordinating travel arrangements, and monitoring lead channels and projects. She is also the Dallas Coordinator for VW FWD, the firm’s social change initiative. Shammie graduated cum laude at United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya. Before moving to the U.S., Shammie worked in China as an Office Coordinator at a travel agency and was a part-time teacher. When she is not spending time with her family, she enjoys binge-reading any book she can get her hands on.

Shammie speaks more than five languages.


Shena Phagan Paralegal  |  Hots Springs Village, Arkansas

Shena Phagan is a Paralegal at Vela Wood. Her role includes preparing and submitting entity filings with various State offices, corporate governance assistance, and transactional assistance. Shena graduated from Pulaski Technical College with an Associates of Arts in Paralegal Technology in 2004. Prior to working for Vela Wood, she was a Paralegal for 8 years with Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, PLLC, working with various practice groups involving Mergers & Acquisitions in the Public and Private sector, Corporate Governance, Banking and Real Estate industries, SEC filings, and State entity filings.

Shena loves sports. She may have started a tradition in her family when her softball team won 2nd Regionals and went on to Nationals. Since then, both of her girls have placed in or won a fast-pitch World Series. Now she is waiting to see if her boys will do the same in baseball.


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