Board of Directors

Timothy Steele

North American Title Company
2918 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Suite 201
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 243-8943

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.

Kevin Thomas
Chair, Insurers’ Section
First Vice President

Agents National Title Insurance Company
1505 Bonnie Burn Circle
Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 895-3370

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.

Karla Staker
Immediate Past President

Fidelity National Title Group
2400 Maitland Center Pkwy Ste. 200
Maitland, FL 32751
(407) 618-5094

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.

W. Jeffry (Jeff) Stein
Chair, Past Presidents’ Council

Alliant National Title Insurance Company
50 Windsormere Way, Suite 1010
Oviedo, FL 32765
(407) 901-9080

W. Jeffry Stein is Florida and the Southeast Regional Counsel and Senior Vice President for Alliant National Title Insurance Company. He is responsible for supervision of underwriting in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi and Tennessee as well as agent education. Jeff brings to this position 37 years as an attorney and 20 years of industry experience, including both underwriting and claims positions. Prior to coming to the title industry, Jeff was in private practice as an attorney-agent and abstract examiner. When not working as a member of the ALTA Forms Committee or a member of the FLTA Board and committees, Jeff can be found racing cars, taking professional quality pictures and helping with his wife’s horses

Nancy S. Baumann
Chair, Agents’ Section

Sun Title Insurance Agency, Inc.
3179 4th Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33704

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.

Marty Solomon
Chair, Governmental Affairs

Carlton Fields
4221 W. Boy Scout Blvd., Ste. 1000
Tampa, Florida 33607
(813) 229-4238

Marty Solomon has litigated for title insurers around the country for the past 16 years, from the Tampa office of Carlton Fields. He is a past chair of the FLTA Defense Roundtable committee, and first attended the Roundtable 13 years ago, with founding member Mark Brown. He is the co-chair of the Carlton Fields Real Property Litigation Practice Group, and its Title Insurance Industry Group. He typically handles coverage litigation, bad faith defense, defalcations, closing protection letter claims, market conduct examinations, direct litigation, and class action defense. He is an Executive Council member of the Florida Bar’s Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section (RPPTL), and the Co-Chair of its Real Property Litigation Committee. He has also been active with the Title Insurance Committee of the American Bar Association’s Tort and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS). He earned a B.A. in political science and sociology from New College of USF in Sarasota, and a J.D. from Tulane. He enjoys bicycling, photography, and skiing with his wife Trillany and their four children.

Cherie L. Blalock, CLC
Chair, CLT Institute Council

First American Title Insurance Company
3600 NW 43rd Street, Suite A-2
Gainesville, FL 32606
(352) 372-0474

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).

John T. LaJoie

First American Title Insurance Company
2082 Summit Lake Drive
Tallahassee, Florida 32317
(866) 905-5641

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-four years while managing claims, underwriting and regulatory divisions and lecturing on title insurance and real property title related issues.

JoAnne Quarles, CLC

Treasure Title Insurance Agency, Inc.
12200 W. Colonial Drive, Suite 200B
Winter Garden, FL 34787
Office (407) 654-8811
Cell: 407-758-4479

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.

Skip Straus

Enterprise Title, Inc.
10081 Pine Blvd – Ste. C
Pembroke Pines, FL 33026
(954) 431-2000

Skip Straus is General Counsel/Vice President of Enterprise Title, Inc., with offices in Pembroke Pines and Weston. He has owned Enterprise with his wife Donna Straus since 1995. He is also a partner in Straus & Eisler, P.A., a general practice law firm concentrating on real property matters, probate, business transactions, and real estate litigation. In 2000, Skip pioneered the nation’s first completely electronic purchase mortgage closing. He became an active member of FLTA in 2003, serving as Zone VP, Vice-Chair of Govt. Affairs, Agents Section Chair and President (2015-2016). He has always advocated for the title industry: aiding passage of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA); founding So. Fla Property Rec. Education Partnership (SF-PREPS); serving as a member of the Florida Electronic Recording Advisory Committee, which wrote the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act (URPERA); pushing for Estoppel Reform; and promoting the title agents as a member of the Florida Bar RPPTL. He is a proud member of ALTA. Skip graduated from Tufts University (B.A.) and University of Miami (J.D.). He and Donna have twin daughters, Stephanie and Jolie.

Melissa Murphy

Attorneys’ Title Fund Services, LLC
6545 Corporate Centre Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32822
(352) 538-7690

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.

Jim Moran

First International Title, Inc.
1999 N University Dr.
Coral Springs, FL 33071
(954) 905-3881

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.

Florida Land Title Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.

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Florida Land Title Association
P.O. Box 66145
St. Pete Beach, FL 33736

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