January Volunteer Spotlight

January 2022 Volunteer Spotlight
Cheryl Nodarse, ACP

Cheryl Nodarse, ACP, was first elected to the NALA Board of Directors in 2013, a feat she considers her greatest professional accomplishment. She served as NALA Director for three years, then later as NALA Treasurer for two terms before being elected NALA Secretary, a position she currently holds.

Cheryl graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Central Michigan University and an Associate Degree from the paralegal program at Lansing Community College. She is both a Certified Paralegal and an Advanced Certified Paralegal (Land Use). She is also a licensed realtor and contributing author to NALA’s Facts & Findings magazine.

Cheryl’s favorite aspect of paralegal work is its ever-changing nature. She says, “Each day brings a new challenge, so the job never gets old!” Her advice to all paralegals – from newbies to experienced, litigation to corporate, and everything in between – is to cut themselves some slack. “It seems a very typical paralegal trait to be self-driven,” she says. “However, the downside of that trait is that we can be our very harshest critics. Kelly LaGrave has a somewhat famous saying among her friends and colleagues that often comes to mind when I’m beating myself up: ‘But did anyone DIE?!’ It’s okay to make mistakes; turn them into learning experiences and continue trying to be better all the time.”

Cheryl married her college sweetheart. The two just celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary. They have two grown children who both live just a short drive away from their home in Saint Johns, Michigan. The couple’s only “baby” left at home is a west highland terrier named Tank. “The name was not our choice,” Cheryl says. “He was a rescue and that was the name he came with, which turned out to be surprisingly apropos!”

Cheryl says her favorite hobby by far is traveling. She also enjoys long walks – but nothing too strenuous. “I found out the hard way this past year in Maine’s Acadia Mountains that I have neither the nerve nor the stamina for serious mountain hiking,” she jokes.

Another favorite hobby is reading. She says she has far too many favorite books and authors to choose just one. She is mostly drawn to historical fiction and loved the book Outlander. As for a favorite television show, she says “My family got me hooked on the Dexter series, so I am enjoying the re-boot of that series.”

When asked who she would want to meet, past or present, Cheryl replied, “I would love to meet my ancestors who made the journey to the United States. I find immigrant stories fascinating, and would have so many questions, including: What was daily life like in the homeland? What motivated the move? What was the game plan upon arrival? What must it have been like to know you might never see family members again? All the questions come to mind in touring places like Ellis Island and in reading genealogical reports; while those places and things can give the basic facts, they cannot fill in the details of individual experiences and emotions.”