The George Edgecomb Bar Association Executive Board: July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021
Travis J. Coy, Esq. President
Travis Coy serves as the President of the George Edgecomb Bar Association. He is an Assistant State Attorney with the Office of the State Attorney, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit wherein he is the Juvenile Division Chief. Prior to becoming Juvenile Division Chief, Travis was the Deputy Chief in Circuit Criminal Division A, where he prosecuted serious felony cases. Travis graduated from The Florida State University with honors in Communication Studies and a minor in Sociology. As a law student at Stetson University College of Law, Travis served as Associate Chief Justice of Stetson’s nationally recognized Moot Court Board, and as Treasurer and Parliamentarian of the Black Law Student Association. He functions as a member of The Florida Bar’s Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee and is a Barrister in the Tampa Bay Inn of Court. He is also the Vice President of the Tampa Bay Chapter of the National Black Prosecutors Association. Travis is a Tampa native and was Hillsborough High School’s first recipient of a GEBA scholarship.
Cornelius Demps, Esq., Vice President
Cornelius C. Demps serves as the Press Secretary for the George Edgecomb Bar Association and was named our 2018 Outstanding Young Lawyer’s Award winner. The Fort Pierce, Florida native earned his degree in Industrial Engineering from The Florida State University and his juris doctorate from Stetson University College of Law. He earned his certification in Stetson’s Concentration in Advocacy program and competed as a member of the Stetson Law Trial Team. He was bestowed the Victor O. Whele Excellence in Trial Advocacy award and inducted into the National Order of the Barristers. Mr. Demps is the Founding Partner of The Demps Law Firm, PLLC specializing in appellate and business law matters. After beginning his career an assistant state attorney serving as a trial prosecutor in New Port Richey, he would go on to serve as an appellate prosecutor at the Florida Office of the Attorney General in Tampa. During his time as an assistant attorney general, he argued cases before the Second District Court of Appeal, the United District Court for the Middle District, and the United States Court of Appeals for Eleventh Circuit. He has an AV preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, was named a Tampa Bay Business Journal Up and Comers 2017 nominee, listed on Florida Trend magazine’s 2018 Legal Elite for Government Attorneys, and is a Class IV fellow of the Florida Bar’s Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Leadership Academy. In 2019, Mr. Demps was listed among Florida Super Lawyer's Rising Stars in Appellate Practice.
Valeria Obi, Esq. Immediate Past President
Valeria Obi currently serves as Staff Counsel for Midland Credit Management, Inc. where she is responsible for providing legal advice in connection with the business’s operations and supporting corporate compliance with laws and regulations governing debt collection and related activities. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from The Florida State University and her Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law. Outside of the office, Valeria is heavily involved in various community activities. She is the Immediate Past President of the George Edgecomb Bar Association and currently serves as the Program Chair for the Hillsborough County Bar Association as well as Secretary of the Virgil Hawkins Florida Chapter of the National Bar Association. Valeria also serves as Co-Chair of the Pipeline Subcommittee for The Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on Diversity & Inclusion and serves on The Florida Bar’s Small Claims Rules Committee. She is a member of the Ferguson White American Inn of Court and is a member of the St. Petersburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. Previously, Valeria was selected as a fellow for The Florida Bar’s William Reece Smith, Jr. Leadership Academy, Class VI and graduated in 2019. From 2017-2019 she served on the Board of Director’s for a non-profit organization called Solita’s House and served as a Big Sister through Big Brother Big Sister of Tampa Bay. She previously served as Co-Chair of the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Leadership Institute from 2017-2018, after graduating from the class in 2016. Valeria has also received special recognition including the George Edgecomb Bar Association’s Outstanding Young Lawyer’s Award in 2015 and their President’s Award in 2017. She was also selected as a 2017 Notable Nole, a recognition program honoring young FSU alumni. She was also recognized by receiving the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2017 40 Under 40 Award.
Dionne Jones, Esq., Treasurer
Dionne Jones serves as the Treasurer of the George Edgecomb Bar Association and graduated from the University of Florida College of Law as a Council on Legal Education Opportunity Fellow. As a native of Tampa, Dionne has served as a Co-Chair of Diversity and Community Action for the Hillsborough Association of Women Lawyers. She has also volunteered with Bay Area Legal Services in the Volunteer Lawyers program. As a member of the George Edgecomb Bar Association, Dionne has served as Co-Chairman of the Role Model Committee for multiple years as well as Chairman of the Scholarship Banquet Committee. Dionne was awarded the President’s Award for two consecutive years. Dionne is also a graduate of University of South Florida with a Ph.D. in Higher EducationLeadership and worked as a faculty member for several years. She was selected by the Provost to be an integral part of the Diversity Task Force for the recruitment and retention of faculty of color. Currently, Dionne serves as an Assistant State Attorney with the 13th Judicial Circuit and was recently installed as a founding Executive Board member and Secretary of the National Black Prosecutor’s Association-Tampa Chapter. Dionne continues to be intimately engaged in the community where she serves on the Executive Board of Trustees for Tampa Preparatory School and is the Chair for the Strategic Planning/Implementation Committee. As a trustee, she has also served as the Risk Management Committee Co-Chair, and dedicated her time to the Governance Committee, Community Engagement Committee, and By-Laws Committee. Dionne is also a faithful volunteer with Bay Area Legal Services "iLawyer" program and is a member of the Florida Bar’s Children’s Issues Committee.
Vanessa Ferguson, Esq., Secretary
"Vanessa Ferguson serves as the Secretary for the George Edgecomb Bar Association. The Orlando native obtained her Bachelor Degree in Criminology, with a concentration in Legal Studies, from the University of South Florida St Petersburg. She also attended the University of Dayton School of Law and graduated in two and a half years with a certification for her Intellectual Property concentration. While attending law school, Ms. Ferguson pursued extensive studies in Intellectual Property, the Internet of Things and privacy issues related to both subjects. Vanessa is currently the managing director at her firm, Ferguson Legal, which focuses on data privacy, intellectual property, and general business law."
Janee T. Prince, Esq., Press Secretary
Janee’ serves as the Press Secretary for the George Edgecomb Bar Association. She is an Assistant Public Defender at The Law Office of Julianne M. Holt, Public Defender 13th Judicial Circuit, where she defends the rights of indigent individuals in Circuit Criminal Felony Division I. Originally, from Detroit, Michigan, Janee’ graduated from Michigan State University College of Law in 2016 Janee has always been committed to increasing awareness of the issues that people of color and women face in the legal profession. In law school she published an article in The University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Social Change, entitled "Can I Touch Your Hair?" Exploring Double Binds and the Black Tax in Law School, 20 U. Pa. J.L. & Soc. Change 29 (2017). She is a former Editor-in-Chief and Content Director for Ms. J.D.org. She is also a member of the Florida Association of Women Lawyers and is a Barrister in the Tampa Bay Inn of Court.
Keyara F. Marshall, Esq. , Parliamentarian
Keyara F. Marshall serves as the Parliamentarian for the George Edgecomb Bar Association. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies and minor in Business Administration (Finance Concentration). She received her Juris Doctorate from Stetson University College of Law. While at Stetson she served as an Ambassador and was actively involved with the Black Law Student Association serving as President and Secretary during her time at Stetson. Keyara is Counsel for Citi, where she handles corporate legal matters for Citi Private Bank's North America Ultra High Net Worth, High Net Worth and Law Firm Group client segments. She also participates in the Citi Volunteer program assisting outside of work with nonprofits and non-governmental organizations supported by the Citi Foundation.
Norman Harris, Esq. , General Counsel
Norman Harris graduated from LaGrange College with a major in English and a minor in Philosophy and Religion. He went to Graduate School at Emory University and Chandler School of Theology where he received a Master’s in Divinity. He attended law school at Mercer University School of Law and currently manages his own firm, Champions for Justice, P.A. where he specializes in personal injury, criminal defense and music entertainment. Norman also serves as Assistant General Counsel for the Southwestern Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ and Vice President of Arts Conservatory for Teens. He is also an Executive Board Member of Tampa Hillsborough Action Plan, and is a Writer for Emerge Magazine
Jane A. Rose, Esq., At Large Member
Jane A. Rose is a BV Distinguished rated attorney who currently serves as Board Member at large of the George Edgecomb Bar Association. Ms. Rose has dedicated her legal career to government service. She is a Senior Assistant County Attorney with the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office, in the Employment & Regulatory Services division. Since 2002, she has also practiced in the office’s Water & Environmental Management Division and Municipal Services Division. Ms. Rose is a former Senior Assistant Attorney General with the Economic Crimes Litigation Division of the Florida Attorney General’s Office in Tallahassee, FL, and a former Assistant Counsel with the United States Navy, Office of Counsel in Philadelphia, PA. Ms. Rose is a native of Boston, Massachusetts. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Arts degree, magne cum laude, and from Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, DE. Ms. Rose has made Florida her home since 1990. Ms. Rose has been a dedicated member of GEBA since 2002 and in 2016 received GEBA’s President’s Award for her commitment, loyalty, unwavering support, time, care and humility in all that she does for the organization. Ms. Rose serves on The Florida Bar’s Judicial Administration & Evaluation Committee. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers, and is a member of The Pearl Society of Bay Area Legal Services, Inc.
LaKisha M. Kinsey-Sallis, Esq., At Large Member
LaKisha M. Kinsey-Sallis serves as one of the At-Large members for the George Edgecomb Bar Association. She graduated magna cum laude from Florida A & M University and earned her juris doctorate from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. The school recognized her trial advocacy skills by naming her a Philip H. Corboy Trial Fellow. LaKisha is Of Counsel at Fisher Phillips. She has extensive experience representing private and public sector employers of all sizes and across several industries including hospitality, retail, healthcare, education, public housing, and technology. She is a 2012 graduate of the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Leadership Institute and currently serves as the National Legal Advisor to Jack and Jill of America, Inc. As an At-Large member, Lakisa is an ambassador for GEBA at various organizations including Junior League of Tampa and the Florida Bar’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Judge Jessica Costello serves as GEBA's Judicial Liaison. Appointed to the bench in March of 2019, Judge Costello presides over County Civil and Domestic Violence Injunction Cases in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit. She was previously an Assistant Statewide Prosecutor with the Florida Attorney General's Office of Statewide Prosecution where she prosecuted cases involving human trafficking, gangs and counter terrorism. Judge Costello serves as a judicial appointee to the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet, and the Florida Supreme Court Criminal Court Steering Committee. Named Florida's Gang Prosecutor of the Year in 2015, Judge Costello has been named to Florida Trend magazine’s ‘Legal Elite’ since 2014 and was named to the Tampa Bay Business Journal's 'Up and Comers' Hall of Fame in 2016. She was named a 'Woman of Color Leading Change' by the YWCA of Tampa Bay in 2017, received the University of Florida's Outstanding Young Alumni award in 2018 and named an Honorary Inductee into Florida Blue Key in 2020. She received her B.A. from the University of Florida and J.D. from Florida State University College of Law.