Melinda Sue Eggert, Paralegal
Sue is a senior paralegal supervisor who has lived in the Tampa Bay area since 1980 and has worked in the legal field since 1980. Sue previously worked as a legal assistant and paralegal at Holland & Knight and Hill Ward Henderson, two large Tampa based law firms. She has focused on adoption since 1993 and has been Jeanne’s “right hand” since the inception of the firm with an unsurpassable dedication to her career and the clients we serve.
Sue is primarily responsible for termination of parental rights proceedings, contested matters, and training law firm and agency personnel. Sue has been heavily involved in some of the most significant adoption cases in Florida and has participated in over a thousand adoptions. She is married, has an adult son and daughter, and is enjoying her three grandchildren.
Daneille Stewart, Paralegal
Daneille joined the firm in 2002 and is a paralegal who works in the Naples office, handling the needs of our clients in Southwest Florida. Daneille has been working in the legal system since 1983 and received her paralegal certificate of completion from Florida International University in 1986. She received her Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) status in 1987 from the National Association of Legal Assistants and in 1988 from the Florida Association of Legal Assistants. Daneille is also a Florida Registered Paralegal.
Daneille received an Associate in Arts Degree in Criminology from Edison Community College in 1996 and received a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Criminology from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2006. Daneille is an associate member of the Collier County Bar Association. Daneille was a founding member of the Adoption Task Force of Southwest Florida, Inc. (ATFSF) and held numerous officer positions of the organization over the years. She has been featured in Florida Legal Assistant Today and the Naples Daily News. Daneille is married with three children, all of whom are adopted, and is a licensed foster parent.
Marcie Jolles, Paralegal
Marcie is a paralegal in the Tampa office who works closely with Heart of Adoptions, Inc. and also handles termination of parental rights cases, contested adoptions, and relative adoptions. She is a highly skilled professional, technologically savvy and a Florida Registered Paralegal. Marcie has been involved in the firm’s most complex adoption cases, from trial courts, appellate courts, the Florida Supreme Court to even the United States Supreme Court.
Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Marcie attended college at the University of Tampa, graduating cum laude in 2006 with a major in Criminology and a minor in Law & Justice. During her senior year at UT she began interning with the firm and started working full-time soon after graduation. Marcie is married and has a son.
Gretchen Patterson, Paralegal
Gretchen is a Paralegal in the Orlando office. She is primarily responsible for termination of parental rights cases, stepparent and second parent adoptions, relative and grandparent adoptions, non-relative cases involving older children, finalization of adoptions, adult adoptions, and name changes. She is financially astute, has a keen eye for detail, and has broad legal talents.
Gretchen graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies. Additionally, Gretchen became a Florida Registered Paralegal with the Florida Bar in April 2013.
Teresa Bischel-Harwood, Paralegal Assistant
Teresa joined the Law Offices of Jeanne T. Tate, P.A., in August 2017 as Paralegal Assistant. She brings a wide variety of experience with her and serves as administrative and paralegal liaison to the paralegals in our Tampa, Orlando, Naples and Merritt Island offices. Having business and accounting experience, she also assists in our Accounting Department.
Previously, Teresa was a Court Stenographer in Hillsborough County for several years, after which she became an entrepreneur in a computer consulting business where she managed the accounting department. Upon the adoption of her first child through Heart of Adoptions, Inc. in 2001, Teresa devoted her time to being a mother, while working remotely part-time from home. Over the course of ten years, Teresa was blessed with four beautiful children through adoption with Heart of Adoptions, Inc., all of which are open. Teresa devotes a lot of time and energy volunteering with her children’s school. After being asked to teach a preschool class, she went on to teach preschool for two years and Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten for seven years. Teresa has been very involved in the adoption community triad, from co-leading a birthmother support group, to adoption education, to speaking about and advocating open adoption. Being an adoptive mother of her four amazing children, Teresa is thrilled to be a part of our team and playing a part in the formation of forever families!
Vidisha Patel, Accountant
Vidisha Patel joined the agency in July of 2016. Vidisha is responsible for all asset, liability and capital account transactions, maintaining accounting controls by preparing and recommending policies and procedures, guiding accounting clerical staff by coordinating and answering questions, reconciling financial discrepancies by collecting and analyzing account information, maintaining financial security by following internal controls, preparing reports, and ad-hoc tasks. Vidisha holds a BS and MBA with an Accounting concentration and possesses eight plus years of precise skill sets and qualifications from her previous experiences at a Big-4 firm and Fortune 500 companies.
Judi Martin, Office Manager
Judi is the firm's office manager and works out of the Tampa office. Judi joined the firm in November of 2004 and ensures that operations run smoothly by providing administrative, operational, and facility support to the staff. She is a long term valued employee who keeps all the essential parts of our firm together. Judi was previously the office manager of a local architect firm and has lived in Tampa for over 20 years. She has a wonderful daughter, Ryan.
Jennifer Miller, Legal Assistant/Office Manager
Jennifer is a legal assistant and office manager in the Orlando Office. She recently relocated from the South Central Pennsylvania area in search of warmer weather and precipitation that does not require shoveling. She brings to the team previous experience working as a foster care case manager where she helped to facilitate adoptions through the foster care system. There, she was part of an approved affiliate with the Pennsylvania Statewide Adoption Network (SWAN). Jennifer graduated magna cum laude from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 2010. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology/Anthropology with a minor in Criminal Justice.Jennifer enjoys traveling with her husband. They are currently working towards completing a goal of attending a game in each major league baseball stadium. Jennifer is also looking forward to some of the tourist activities that Orlando offers as well as the proximity to many wonderful beach locations.
Kim Lewis, Paralegal
Kimberly is a Paralegal in the Tampa office. She is primarily responsible for termination of parental rights cases, stepparent and second parent adoptions, relative and grandparent adoptions, contested adoptions, non-relative cases involving older children, adult adoptions, interventions, search & reunion and name changes. Kimberly began her legal career while simultaneously obtaining her undergraduate degrees. She specializes in complex litigation and brings a wealth of knowledge to the firm having worked in many different areas of law.
Kimberly graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies and a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. Kimberly plans to further her educational pursuits and obtain her Juris Doctorate degree.