The Cactus Quarterly Newsletter - 3Q 2018 Print

President's Report

It never crossed my mind that the first quarter of my term would end with the loss of a dear friend, our President-Elect, Lisa Kelly. Words cannot express the impact this loss had on me personally. But, I am very grateful for the precious memories I have working closely with Lisa, including our times as roommates during many ALA Conferences. She will be dearly missed.

Over the next month, I will be focusing on our upcoming Business of Law Conference scheduled for Friday, August 10th at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch. Lisa Kelly did an amazing job planning this event, with exciting sessions by top notch speakers (many from the ALA National Conference). I am honored to be able to see this event through, and hope we have a full house to honor Lisa’s hard work. Registration and sessions details are available on our website.

The last few months have been action packed with Chapter activities, including our Chapter Social at the Hotel Palomar (thank you Total Networks and Special Counsel). We also enjoyed packing food for Feed My Starving Children at our Community Connection Event. Our Chapter also hosted several noteworthy Specialty and Education Lunches during the last few months.

In May, I joined fifteen our of Arizona Chapter members at the ALA Annual Conference in National Harbor (near DC). Two of our Chapter members attended thanks to scholarships provided in part by Arizona Office Technologies and Pacific Office Automation. Also, as a direct result of Sharon Williams’ hard work, our Chapter was awarded the Presidents’ Award of Excellence. Thank you Sharon for all of your efforts!

In addition to the robust education received during the ALA Annual Conference, there were many networking highlights. Our Chapter had the pleasure of hosting ALA members visiting from Canada at our Chapter Happy Hour. In addition, many of us attended some impressive Chapter Business Partner events during the conference. It is always a pleasure getting to spend time with our Chapter Business Partners in a relaxed setting.

In July, some of our Board members will be traveling to Denver to attend the ALA Chapter Leadership Institute (CLI). CLI is designed to help us fine turn our leadership skills, and network to discover new approaches to enhance Chapter offerings. We look forward to bringing back some fresh ideas.

In closing, I look forward to seeing all of you at our Business of Law Conference in August. Please know that our Board plans to address next steps related to the vacant President Elect position at our Board meeting in August. Until then, we appreciate your patience and understanding.

By: Sonji C. Le Blanc

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Tribute to Lisa Kelly

We write this with great sadness of the sudden and untimely loss of our Arizona Chapter President-Elect, dear friend, and colleague, Lisa Kelly. Lisa left us far too soon on July 5, 2018. 

Lisa was a beautiful woman, inside and out, and she was a trusted friend to many. She had a gentle and caring nature that brought comfort to those around her. Lisa was an extraordinary organizer and leader, and authentic in every sense of the word. She was our rock, supporting us with her gentle and caring nature. Lisa was thoughtful and kind, and her magnetic smile and vivacity will be missed. 

Lisa leaves behind her loving husband, Kevin, and Heather, her beautiful daughter who was her world.  She was an amazing mother and wife who laid a strong foundation for her family. Lisa’s beautiful spirit will live on through Heather. 

We know Lisa will be watching us from above, kicking us when we are being hard-headed, and nudging us in the right direction when we are going astray.  Until we meet again, dear friend.

Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard, but always near. Still loved, still missed and very dear. - Unknown

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Letter from the Editor

Is there such a thing as a ‘good’ meeting?

Meetings are not only one of the most important ways for employees to communicate within organizations, but they are also the way that teams get their work done. Individual team members may work on tasks outside of meetings, but team meetings give members the opportunity to come together to determine the team’s goals, its plans for achieving its goals, and who will do what — and when.

A bad meeting will be unfocused, have too many attendees, unprepared attendees, and be a time waster.

A successful meeting will empower, communicate, develop work skills and leadership, and be morale boosting. Most of all, it will move the work of the organization forward.

Three tips to help you achieve a successful meeting:

  1. Set the agenda (have an objective) and send it out ahead of time
  2. Start on time, end on time (maintain focus!)
  3. End with an action plan (follow up in writing “who will do what by when”)

A meeting isn’t just about talking – have fewer but better meetings. Yes - meetings can be good – align your team towards success!

By:  Jackie McAferty


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Mental Toughness

I don’t know about the rest of you, but 2018 is proving to be a year that is hell bent on challenging everything in my life…career, family, friends and relationships. There have honestly been days when I just wanted to disappear but yet there is something in me that just won’t let me do that.  I guess it’s mental toughness.  The literal definition of mental toughness is “the ability to work hard and respond resiliently to failure and adversity; the inner quality that enables individuals to work hard and stick to their long-term passions and goals.”  So, it made me think, is mental toughness just something you have or is it something you learn and develop?  Before researching or giving it much thought, I would have likely said, it’s just something you have or are.  But if I really think about where my mental toughness comes from I’d have to say it is something I learned growing up.  My teachers were my parents, especially my father, and my coaches.  They taught me that to achieve goals (or “win”) you must 1) work hard…really really hard 2) learn from your mistakes and failures 3) try again…and again…and again…never give up.  But just like everything worth having in life, you must work for it.  And your mental toughness is no exception.  Below are the things I am personally planning to improve upon because I know by working to practice good habits of mind and attitude, I will strengthen my mental toughness. 

  1. Stay objective and deliver the same level of performance regardless of what you’re feeling.
  2. Keep your troubles in proper perspective and carry on when everything else seems to be against you.
  3. Be flexible and adaptable.
  4. Don’t take things personally. Instead focus on what you can control.
  5. Maintain positivity when you encounter negative people. Elevate them and don’t allow naysayers to ruin what you are trying to accomplish.
  6. Keep your attention and focus on the long-term.
  7. Don’t fear failure but be ready for setbacks. View failure as an opportunity to grow and improve, not a reason to give up. Learn the lesson and move forward.
  8. Be patient and view everything as a work in progress. Anything worthwhile takes hard work and endurance.
  9. Have self-control and realize your strength is in your ability to manage the way you respond.
  10. Don’t complain about the things you can not control and recognize the one thing you can always control is your own response and attitude.
  11. Find contentment in your own achievements and what you are going to achieve. Don’t waste time being envious of anyone else.

Becoming a mentally strong person takes practice and mindfulness. Some days are certain to be better than others.  I encourage you all to think about your own mental toughness and what areas you need to improve upon to strengthen and develop your skill. 

By Katie Bryant, CLM


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National Conference Recap

2018 National ALA conference: A time for new friends and self-reflection

I’ll admit it… I’m typically a lucky person. I have a career which I thoroughly enjoy, great family and friends, and honestly, I’ve won many raffles and drawings over the years. I realize this seems a bit braggadocio, but I feel it needs to be stated to emphasize my feelings towards winning a scholarship to the 2018 ALA National Conference in National Harbor MD. My feelings were initially that of excitement! However, after returning from the conference, I can’t help but feel it was probably the best prize I’ve ever won for many reasons (and I’ve won some doozy’s). Yes, I love to travel, yes, I love getting away from the daily grind to learn in a different environment. But there was so much more that went into making this conference an amazing experience for me.

I decided to go to National Harbor a few days ahead of the conference, so I could do some sight-seeing. It goes without saying that I had tons of fun and ate tons of seafood, and I am now addicted to lobster rolls and Maryland crab cakes. I spent quality time with several of my fellow ALA Arizona chapter members which is always welcome since we are all so busy these days. I got to know my chapter members better, and I formed what I hope to be some life long friendships with people I had only known before as acquaintances. Thank you Lisa and Christine, for taking me under your wings.

Now on to the conference itself… when I initially saw the number of sessions available, I felt overwhelmed. I usually try to choose a few sessions that tie into my HR role and a few sessions in which I can learn about a different position such as accounting, IT, etc. I decided to try something different this time. I chose sessions in which I could reflect on how I was handling the various challenges of HR with regards to staff interaction and communication. My favorite sessions that I felt I gained the most knowledge were “Creating an Empowered Environment” presented by Jennifer Hill and “Preventing Workplace Violence – Managing the Troubled Employee” presented by Glen Kraemer J.D.

Having gone to a previous presentation by Jennifer Hill, I knew I was in for a treat and she did not disappoint during this session. “Creating an Empowered Environment” taught me to recognize bad behavior and not give attention to it while in the process, rewarding the good behavior of staff and attorneys. It taught me not to assume someone is a bad seed because everyone else says so. By keeping this in mind, I can work singlehandedly to empower my employees thereby improving the overall firm culture and day to day work environment. The session was lighthearted but brought out an awareness in me and an eagerness to handle some challenges differently within my firm.

I admit that the “Preventing Workplace Violence” session was not lighthearted and the mood in the room was very somber as we discussed several recent shootings which had occurred in schools and the workplace. However, out of all the sessions I attended during the 2018 ALA National conference, this one had the most impact on me. Not only was Glen Kraemer, J.D., an amazing speaker but he also provided such relevant and relatable examples of workplace violence that I left the session feeling a bit fearful. The scenarios discussed were ones that could happen to anyone at any time. This session provided warnings of odd behavior to be concerned with, some ways to handle the termination of potentially dangerous individuals, and disability law/ accommodation of troubled employees. Before attending this session, I thought I was doing my due diligence to prevent workplace violence by organizing safety drills and ensuring we had a plan in place should an active shooter situation occur. However, that is simply not enough and it’s important to recognize that these threats can come from individuals we see and work with daily. This session truly impacted me and if you want proof, there is a lovely, very flattering picture of me during this session (I look very serious, maybe a little stressed to say the least) which was displayed on tv’s at the conference.

I truly enjoyed every minute of the conference and hope that my luck continues so I’m able to attend another ALA conference soon.

By:  Jennifer Goodman

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Total Networks

Security Awareness Tips for your Business

A recent study of 330 global IT professionals, sponsored by Sophos[1], found that 77% of IT professionals received regular reports of phishing attacks from the end-users they support. While anyone in the office may be the target, the study indicates that Accounting and Finance are targeted in nearly 60% of attacks and that a majority of respondents experienced attempted impersonation of senior managers. This particularly dangerous combination is commonly done to request a fraudulent wire transfer. Even a single click on the wrong link by a single employee can create a substantial problem, such as a ransomware infection or data breach.

Despite these threats, the report indicates that 62% of businesses fail to implement a security awareness testing program. Additionally 62% of respondents do not use data loss prevention (DLP) software to search for, classify and manage particularly sensitive data.

Here are some ways to build a security awareness program for your office:

  • Educate your staff on IT security best practices


The common thread in the vast majority of cyber-attacks point to the weakest link in your IT network – your employees. The foundation is recruiting and thorough background checks. On an ongoing basis, comprehensive IT security training and awareness programs help establish a culture of security and compliance. All new hires should complete an IT security training course. Train all of your employees with fresh content annually. Post security awareness posters around the office. Additionally, consider providing short training opportunities throughout the year, such as weekly videos or scheduled newsletters for constant reminders. A continuous cycle of assessment, education, reinforcement, and measurement maximizes learning and lengthens retention. 

  • Conduct periodic simulated phishing campaigns


A simulated phishing campaign is a great tool to test, assess and educate your staff about the latest phishing tactics hackers are using. Most tools offer on-the-spot training that is required for anyone who mistakenly clicks on a “malicious” link. Management can review reports of the campaign activity to make adjustments to the firm’s security policies and see if employee awareness improves over time. This is critical for all employees, and pay extra care to accounting and finance staff. An FBI report from 2017,[2] reports over $5 Billion Dollars in Wire Transfer fraud over a little more than 3 year period. The report lists several scenarios, including foreign wire transfers (which can be extremely difficult to prosecute). The risk of financial loss via wire transfer is high, even for domestic wire transfers, as they are difficult to trace or reverse. 

  • Perform a dark-web breach assessment of your employees


You might be surprised to learn how many of your employees have compromised usernames, passwords or other personally identifiable information (PII) being sold on the dark web. Reviewing a report of dark web activity could help identify employees who may need extra training.

  • Develop a culture of healthy skepticism & multi-step verification


Scenarios often involve phishers masquerading as trusted business executives, vendors, or lawyers. Implementing at least a two-stage approval process for significant financial transactions can go a long way to prevent wire or check fraud. Encourage your staff to question any message that seems out of place, and have a policy for how they can report suspicious emails. If possible, include job roles that require a separation of duties and job rotations for personnel who manage access to sensitive data. If your firm size is too small to rotate job duties, business owners can periodically audit who has access to sensitive data and perform regular reconciliation review.

Expect the criminals to be extremely convincing. Every day they are crafting emails that are harder to identify. In fact, people are far more likely to click on phishing emails than genuine marketing emails. We live in dangerous times. Start implementing practical steps to train your staff and reduce your risk.

Stephanie Kinsey

Total Networks
4201 N. 24th Street, Suite 230
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(2nd Floor of the State Bar of Arizona Building)

Stephanie is the co-owner, CEO and CFO of Total Networks. The Total Networks team provides outsourced IT and strategic technology consulting to professional businesses. Their team is the first and only Arizona IT company to earn the CompTIA Security Trustmark, certifying that Total Networks meets or exceeds security best practices. For more information, email Stephanie at

[1] "Phishing Temperature Check - Freeform Dynamics."

[2] "Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) | Business E-mail Compromise ...." 4 May. 2017,

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Thompson Reuters


Countless methods exist to ease your office's evolution to paperless. The ideal approach largely depends upon your office's preferred definition of paperless. Once your office has defined its goals and identified the potential benefits, the structure for your transition can be established. A few possible tactics are below.

"Paper-Lite" Approach

If the majority of your office is resistant to the paperless transition, consider a "paper-Lite" process instead. Even If your office is not embracing a fully paperless conversion, you can still achieve an office with considerably less paper. Setting a realistic and achievable goal is key. With expectations clearly defined you can avoid disheartening attempts or failures in moving to a fully paperless office.

Phased Approach

Progression to paperless may be achieved through a phased route. This approach requires establishing steps that will enable you to set a reasonable pace towards achieving a paperless office. Here are some steps to consider:

  • Establish a schedule to back-up and test digital files;
  • Scan beginning at intake, but also scanning more recent files that are still open into a digital format;
  • Digitize signatures and Letterhead;
  • Develop a matter centric system with electronic matter files and consistent naming structure; and
  • Encourage filing of inbound emails either by setting a deletion time period for untouched emails or removing "file" > "save as"


Task – or Practice – Area Oriented Approach

Certain tasks or practice areas within the office may be easier to translate to a paperless process. For example, strictly focusing on client intake and file opening tasks will allow your office to begin with files that are still open.

Specific practice areas within the office may be more conducive to "going paperless." If so, it makes sense to focus on these areas first. To identify which areas, you'll need to consider both the workflow of the practice area and the personalities of its members. When evaluating practice area candidates, consider beginning with a practice group that is:

  • Composed of individuals based in a single Location;
  • Smaller in size;
  • A strong leader in terms of technology adoption; or
  • Undergoing renovations. 


Click here to learn more about Thomson Reuters tools for your paperless initiative.

Tina Tierney, Esq., MBA
Client Manager
Thomson Reuters
Tel: 612-532-1677


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Pacific Office Automation

Simplifying Communications

With everyone being on the go today, communicating information quickly can enhance the attorney-client experience.

In September Pacific Office Automation acquired Trans-West Network Solutions strengthening our resources and allowing us to bring a full suite of Unified Communication products to market. This acquisition allows us to fulfill all our clients technology needs.

  • Copiers/Printers/Scanners/Fax
  • Document Scanning & Cost Recovery Systems
  • Managed IT Services
  • Computer & Server Hardware (HP, Microsoft, Dell)
  • Document Management Systems
  • Postage Machine, Folder Inserters & Shipping Solutions (Pitney Bowes & FP).

And now

  • Hosted Unified Communications
  • Premises Unified Communications
  • Private Cloud Unified Communications

“Because communications are central to the success of every law firm. In a profession that depends on swift, accurate information, a missed message can mean mistakes, delays, or worse.” Source, Mitel

What is Unified Communication? (UC)

Unified Communication (UC) is a communications platform that combines multiple streams of communication. For the end user, it puts all emails, voicemails, calls and texts in a single queue allowing users the ability to sort through any and all business communications with a single interface. That interface can be your desktop, your tablet, your laptop or your smartphone. It also allows access to that information remotely from your home, courtroom, or when traveling. Unified Communication also allows mobility so end users can work remotely from anywhere. And of course collaboration. Collaboration enables employee’s to stay connected and share information via voice, video, chat, desktop/data sharing, conferencing and presence.

What does all this mean to your firm?

Each firm has specific needs, some of the reasons you should be considering UC:

  • Improve client relationships by improving communication
  • Replacing an obsolete system
  • Reduce overall telecommunications costs
  • Single Number Reach
  • Integrate mobile devices
  • Allow employees to work remotely
  • Consistency between multiple offices
  • Staff productivity
  • Audio/Video Web Conferencing
  • Desktop Sharing


T.J. Weisenburger
Field Sales Manager
Pacific Office Automation
Tel: 480-305-5500
Cell: 602-790-6881

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Arizona Office Technologies

Information About Arizona Office Technologies

AOT started as a small local company and has provided proven leadership and powerful results since 1985.With the support of our customers and employees, we established a national presence when we were acquired by Global Imaging Systems, Inc in 2001. In 2007, Xerox purchased our parent company, Global Imaging as a wholly-owned subsidiary. As of today, Global Imaging Systems operates 200+ locations across the country with 4,000+ employees serving 150,000+ customers

Over the past 30 years, AOT has become the pioneer in managed print services. AOT is managing over 21 Million prints per month through the State of Arizona. At AOT, we provide 100% local parts and supply inventory. AOT has a live Customer Call Center based in Phoenix, Arizona. Our certified analysts and technology engineers, provide immediate technical support. Currently, 1 out of 3 service calls are fixed remotely and instantaneously, thus eliminating the waiting time for a technician to arrive. We use multiple automated reporting tools to ensure supply and billing accuracy. We use Link 360 to monitor the toner levels and automate supply orders so the customer no longer manages the ordering of toner. All our billing is done locally and in-house. We can set up specific AP processes to fit your law firm’s needs. Through our Assessment process, AOT will review the culture, Inventory of Technology, Usage, Captured costs and tailor a solution to achieve your Law Firms long term goals.

Give us a call today and schedule an appointment with our Team to come and review your printing and office technology needs.

Andrew Belew
Major Account Executive
Arizona Office Technologies
Direct: 602-346-3043 | Mobile: 480-518-5590
4320 E. Cotton Center Blvd. #100 | Phoenix, AZ 85040

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ALA Resources and Useful Links

Business of Law Conference

Registration is open for the Business of Law Conference.  Hear from top leaders about management, leadership, human resources, and legal trends.

August 10, 2018

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch

Register at:

How to Get Senior-Level Buy-In for New Technology

Adopting New Approaches for Today’s Legal Secretary

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