Board of Directors
Kevin D. Thomas is Senior Vice President, Florida State Manager and Underwriting Counsel for Agents National Title Insurance Company and is based in Winter Park, Florida. Prior to joining Agents National he spent 12 years as Vice President and Florida Underwriting Counsel at another major title insurer and as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Director of Alliance Title of America, a Florida title insurer owned primarily by title agents until its acquisition by a major title insurer in 2003. He began his career in the title industry in 1985 and served as State Underwriting Counsel for other national title insurers specializing in commercial transactions. He is a member of the Florida Bar and has lectured extensively on title insurance and real property law. He served as a Staff Assistant to the President in the Carter White House. He received a B.A. in Foreign Service and International Politics from Pennsylvania State University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore.
Nancy S. Baumann
Nancy has been a title insurance professional in St. Petersburg, Florida for over 30 years. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, Nancy taught special education for seven years before coming to Florida, when she joined Florida Title. She opened her own successful business, Sun Title Insurance Agency, Inc. in 1996. Nancy’s husband is Phil Baumann, a Tampa estates and trusts lawyer. They have three adult children and four grandchildren. When not working, or attending to family matters, Nancy and Phil, both licensed pilots, have been flying their plane throughout the United States and beyond for more than 16 years. Many of their flights are to attend professional meetings. Nancy is an active supporter of the MacDonald Training Center, an organization helping disabled persons to fully live the lives they choose, and the Judeo-Christian Health Clinic. That clinic is staffed entirely by volunteers to serve the medical needs of the working poor. She is also a member of the Florida Land Title Association (FLTA), the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and a member of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club.
Tim Steele oversees the West Florida Division of North American Title Company. He is responsible for all management and operational aspects of the four offices in that division, ranging from Tampa, Lakeland, Spring Hill to south Hillsborough County. He joined North American Title about four years ago, after practicing law as a real estate attorney, and as an assistant county attorney for Pasco County. He has extensive experience in drafting local ordinances and representing governmental bodies. Tim graduated from Stetson College of Law in St. Petersburg, and earned his Bachelors of Science degree in wildlife biology from Arizona State University.
Leonard (Len) Prescott
Leonard (Len) Prescott is Florida State and Regional Counsel for First American Title Insurance Company and is located in Coral Gables, Florida. With a varied background in securities, insurance, and real estate, Len uses his first-hand experience and broad industry perspective to oversee the activities of the company’s Florida Underwriting Department. Along with crafting solutions to even the most complex underwriting issues, Len develops and presents educational programs for First American’s Production Staff and Agents throughout the State, and frequently represents the interests of First American and its title agents in regulatory matters. Prior to joining the company as Florida State Counsel, Len served as Underwriting Counsel in Miami for several of the largest national title insurance underwriters. He graduated, summa cum laude, from the University of New Hampshire, and is a member of the Academic Honor Society Phi Beta Kappa. He received his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. Len is a 2013 National Excellence Award Winner for First American, is a proud member of the Florida and American Land Title Associations and the Real Property Sections of the State Bars for Florida and Maryland.
Ms. Murphy obtained her B.S. degree from Florida State University and her J. D. degree from the University of Florida. Prior to joining The Fund, she was in private practice in Gainesville for over 30 years, with a focus on real property transactional law. Ms. Murphy was a Fund agent and her firm has been in The Fund Top 25 several years. She also served as the Trustee from the 8th Judicial Circuit to Attorneys Title Insurance Fund, Inc. for 14 years prior to becoming General Counsel of The Fund. Ms. Murphy was an adjunct professor at the University of Florida for many years prior to moving to Orlando, teaching real property law at the law school and in the Masters of Science in Real Estate program in the business school. She serves on the Executive Council of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar and was Chair of the Section in 2005-2006.
Cherie L. Blalock, CLC
Cherie Blalock is an Account Executive for First American Title in the North Central Florida area. She is responsible for agency development and sales, Continuing Education (CE) seminars and presentations for approximately 70 attorney and retail agents in a 15-county area. Cherie has more than 30 years of experience in the title insurance industry. She is a licensed Florida title agent and was a Manager/Closing Agent for 18 years. Currently a member of the Education Committee with the Florida Land Title Association (FLTA) and holds the FLTA professional designation of Certified Land-Title Closer (CLC).
Karla J. Staker is a Vice President and State Underwriting Counsel with Fidelity National Title Group in Maitland, Florida. She received a J.D. and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Florida. Karla later received bachelor degrees in accounting and business administration from Florida Southern College. Except for a brief stint in private practice, Karla has been an underwriter with Fidelity National’s group of underwriters since 1986. She is a member of The Florida Bar and is board certified in Real Estate Law. She is also a member of the Executive Council of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar. She serves as a co-vice chair of the Section’s Title Issues and Standards Committee.
John T. LaJoie
John T. LaJoie is Vice President and Senior Operations Counsel – Agency Division, for First American Title Insurance Company. He is based in Tallahassee, FL. He received his B.B.A. degree (Accounting) from the College of William and Mary and his Juris Doctor degree from the Nova Center for the Study of Law (now Shepard Broad College of Law at Nova Southeastern University). He is a Board Certified Real Estate Lawyer. He is also a former member of the Executive Council of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar. He has served as President of the Florida Land Title Association and has been counsel for First American Title Insurance Company for thirty-five years while managing claims, underwriting and regulatory divisions and lecturing on title insurance and real property title related issues.
Jim Moran is the CEO of First International Title, based in Coral Springs, FL. He is graduate of the State University of New York at Brockport with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business. He joined First American Title in 1987 in Garden City, NY, later joining Fidelity National Title and transferring to Florida, to run their South Florida Direct Operations. In 1998, he rejoined First American to help them establish Direct Operations in Miami Dade and Broward Counties. In early 2009, he started First International Title Inc., with a goal of becoming a statewide title agency, currently operating in 36 locations throughout Florida. Jim and his wife, Marilyn, reside in Lighthouse Point, they have five children and two grandchildren.
JoAnne Quarles, CLC
JoAnne is the President and Owner of Treasure Title Insurance Agency, Inc. located in Winter Garden, FL. In 1971, JoAnne started her career in the title insurance industry in Orlando, FL and was employed by Chicago Title Insurance Co. f/k/a Continental Title Corp, f/k/a Orange Title & Guaranty Co. preparing title research and title reports; Construction and Loan Administrator, and as Secretary to the in-house Counsel assisting in Development and Commercial transactions. In 1977 she became the Group Branch Manager for American Title Insurance Company, with responsibility for Winter Garden and Windermere. After the merger of American Title into Meridian Title and then into Fidelity National Title in 1992 her offices were closed and she began a short-term employment as Area Manager with Gulf Atlantic Title. After a medical leave, she opened Stewart Title of Orange County, Winter Garden Office, as Branch Manager, in 1993 where she obtained the Stewart Title’s “Volunteer of the Year” award. In May of 2001, she ventured out to open her own company, Treasure Title where she remains active in commercial, residential, agricultural and church closings, marketing and managing the operation. JoAnne has served the West Orange Community in many capacities, as Chamber President and Board Member, Bank First Advisory Board Member and Chairperson, YMCA Board Member, Member of the Central Florida Women’s League. Currently she is a Lifetime Ambassador for the West Orange Chamber Ambassadors, where she also received Ambassador of the year award. She enjoys boating, fishing and traveling.
Shelley Stewart, CLC
Shelley Stewart, CLC, is President/CEO of Southern Title Holding Company, LLC a leading independent title insurance agency in the state of Florida. She returns to the Board of Directors after serving as Agent’s Section Chair in 2006-2007 and President in 2008, in addition to chairing numerous committees including Government Affairs. She is currently chair of the Data Call Committee and serves on the ad-hoc committee reviewing remote online notarization legislation. Shelley forged relationships with the state’s regulators and provided valuable insight when she was appointed by the Governor to the 2008 Title Insurance Industry Study Council. In addition, she worked tirelessly to educate legislators and regulators alike on the impact of financial reform on the thousands of small title agents throughout the state. Shelley has been instrumental in assisting with the development, and testifying regarding the consequences, of key legislation that has impacted title insurance agents across the state, including estoppel, file and use, data call, premium tax, licensing requirements, lien laws, and many others. Shelley earned the prestigious Raymond O. Denham Service Award in 2014, was twice named a Top Woman in Title, and has earned numerous other industry related honors. In addition to her role as President and CEO of Southern Title, she serves as FLTA - Government Affairs Committee, Data Call Committee Chair, Forms Committee, Past President’s Council, Co-chair and Trustee of the VBIA’s Housing for Tomorrow Political Action Committee, FHBA - 2nd VP and ALTA - Government Affairs, Best Practices Task Force, Federal & State Advocacy Committee.
Lindsay Hall Harrison
Lindsay R. Hall Harrison is Underwriting Counsel at Alliant National Title Insurance Company’s Oviedo office. Lindsay was born in Toronto, Canada, grew up in Portland, Oregon and received her B.A. in Social Sciences from Portland State University. She moved to Florida to attend Barry University School of Law and remained in the Orlando area following graduation. Lindsay has practiced as a litigation attorney representing lenders and servicers in foreclosure proceedings throughout Florida’s courts, managing partner of a boutique real estate law firm and title company, and was previously Associate General Counsel of a large, national mortgage lender. Lindsay is a past board member and committee chair of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, a past board member of the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers, past board member of the Women’s Counsel of Realtors Central Florida Chapter, current board member of A Gift For Music, and serves as an appointed member of the City of Maitland’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Lindsay was named as a 2015 Nominee of the Orlando Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business and was also bestowed with the Florida Association for Women Lawyer’s Class of 2015 Leaders in the Law award. Lindsay and her husband Andrew live in Maitland with their 2-year old daughter and enjoy scuba diving, kayaking, and travelling.
Mike LaRosa is the COO for the Florida Agency Network (FAN), a conglomerate of independent title agencies, settlement service providers, and innovative technology companies within the State of Florida. Mike is based in the Tampa Bay marketplace. He received his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida in 1995, in addition to his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Florida, College of Law in 1998. A 20 year title insurance veteran, he began his career with First American Title straight out of law school as Associate Counsel at the company’s divisional headquarters in Tallahassee. Over the years he was exposed to various aspects of the business, and eventually relocated to Tampa to help manage the Partnership Division, tasked with the creation and management of Affiliated Business Arrangement title agency partnerships. In 2007 he transitioned over to the Agency Division, running Agency sales and production for the Tampa Bay Area, ultimately growing into the role of Florida State Agency Manager, and then three years ago he took on his current role with FAN. Mike regularly lectures on title-related topics, with a specific focus on RESPA and compliance matters. When he’s not speaking on an industry topic or involved with multiple industry associations, Mike likes to spend time outdoors with his family or traveling, and he is a healthy-lifestyle/fitness enthusiast.