Directors/Officers

OFFICERS

President : Wanda Steudel
Email: president@naltea.org

Wanda has spent over half her life working in the Land Title Business. Newly married and moving to a state 2000 miles away from her home in Ohio, she went to work for Chicago Title as a “Searchers Assistant” in Las Vegas Nevada. Her duties were to make copies from microfiche from a list of documents given to her from the Title Examiners. She soon trained as a Searcher/Examiner.

In time she moved back to Ohio and started work for Lawyers Title as a Searcher/Examiner. In 1982 Lenders Service hired her as their Title Agent. She worked in the Vendor Management Industry for fifteen years; as a Title Agent, Closing Agent, and Vice President and Regional Director.

In 1997 she struck out on her own and started the title search company AccuSearch Co. Because of the many contacts she made over the years, AccuSearch is able to complete searches in all 50 states, however most of their work is in Ohio & 10 states surrounding it.

Wanda is very proud to be a founding member of NALTEA, where she has served as a Board Member, Treasurer & twice as President. Her main objectives are to be an advocate for searcher/abstractors, to raise awareness of our profession, and help people understand just how important our work is to the Title Industry.

She and her husband Richard (also a title veteran) live on an 80 acre farm with 3 horses, a dog & 3 cats. She also has 3 children & 5 wonderful grandsons ages 4 to 23. She enjoys spending time with family & friends, traveling, hiking, baking, and of course horseback riding.


Vice President : Jill Kissell
Email: vicepresident@naltea.org

Jill Kissell is the current Vice President of NALTEA. She has been a member since 2006, earning her NALTEA Master Abstractor Designation at the New Orleans conference on January 20, 2008, and has served NALTEA in many capacities, including Director, Secretary, Vice President and President.

Jill began her career in real estate research in the legal industry working as secretary and then legal assistant for several law firms over a 20+ year time span. In the 1980s, while working for a real estate/probate/income tax attorney, Jill assisted in the preparation of the first Iowa State Bar Association Probate Manual. It was with this same law firm that Jill learned what an “abstract of title” is, what history the abstract should contain, and how to examine an abstract for status of title.

Over the course of her career as a legal assistant, Jill gained expertise in several different areas, including real estate. In 1993 she began free-lancing as a legal assistant, and in 1997 she was approached by a start-up title company looking for legal assistants to do “current owner” searches in Iowa. She began doing these title searches on a part-time basis, while working full time as a legal assistant, until 2003 when the workload as a title searcher far out-paced her legal assistant responsibilities, so she quit her full-time job, started A-1 Abstracting & Research, bought an ad on Source of Title, and the rest is history.

On a personal level, Jill is a past Master Gardener and gardens avidly at home. Heirloom tomatoes are one of her favorites, but her three large gardens on her two-acre plot of ground produce many yummy veggies and fruits, along with beautiful perennial and annual flowers that provide great habitat for multiple species of birds and bees and other wildlife. This year the deer have made a comfy home in her corn patch!

Jill is looking forward to retirement in the next couple of years when she plans to travel and spend lots of time with her family in Oregon, Illinois and Indiana, and her friends in California, Georgia, Florida, Missouri, and many other spots throughout the country. Towards that end she is constantly keeping her eye out for an abstractor who enjoys the challenge of commercial and complex searches to fill her shoes when she retires. A NALTEA certified abstractor would be her first choice!!! If you know someone, CALL JILL.


Secretary :  Nicole McFadden 
Email: secretary@naltea.org

As a native Californian, I grew up surrounded by a loving family and was raised near the beach.  As a young adult, I worked full time as a Secretary/Administrative Clerk for an underwriting company while going to night school working towards my Associates of Arts Degree in Business Management. I met my husband (of 24 years now) in 1991 in my home town of Orange County.  In 1996, we were blessed with a beautiful daughter who currently is studying the sciences at the University of Northern Iowa.  In 1998, I changed my career path to Early Childhood.  I went back to school and became a Master Teacher, Site Supervisor, Director and Mentor.  I worked with children ages 6 months to 5 years throughout a 20 years span and have enjoyed this career for it was a true calling for me!  My family and I decided in 2010 to relocate to my husband’s home state of Iowa for it was a long-term goal for us.  We moved here 7 years ago to raise our daughter in a more wholesome environment and couldn’t be more pleased with the transition.  I continued working in early childhood until June 2016 and in July 2016 I took a job working at A1 Abstracting & Research as the Administrative Assistant and have been enjoying it for little over a year now. I have learned so much about the Abstracting business and all that it encompasses.  I travel frequently with my boss getting to know the different counties and get to explore the history of the land and families that live here in Iowa.  I truly enjoy all that this industry offers and look forward to continuing my growth in the Abstracting and Research business.I was introduced to the NALTEA Organization and volunteered to be the Secretary to further my growth in this industry.


Treasurer : Joanie Ripley
Email: xxxxxx@naltea.org

Joanie became involved with the Real Estate Title Business in 1997 when she agreed to work one day a week to help out a friend with the financial part of her business. That one day a week eventually became a full time job as Financial Manager of AccuSearch Co.

Over the years Joanie has learned quite a bit about the land title business. Along with her financial responsibilities, she has done everything from customer service, document filing, quality control, & is currently Director of Operations.

Joanie is a founding member of NALTEA and has been Chairperson of the Events & Planning Committee since its beginning in 2004. Joanie has been responsible for planning conferences. Over the years NALTEA has had conferences in Ohio, Texas, Virginia Florida, California, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Illinois. In 2014 Joanie also accepted the board appointment as Treasurer for NALTEA.

On her artistic side, Joanie creates and sells Jewelry, which is on display at a local gallery.

Joanie and her husband Jim have been very active over the years with sailing, skiing, and snowmobiling. They have most recently sold their Canadian vacation home and are now traveling the US in their RV Motor Coach with their two cats

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Wanda Steudel
Email: president@naltea.org

Wanda has spent over half her life working in the Land Title Business. Newly married and moving to a state 2000 miles away from her home in Ohio, she went to work for Chicago Title as a “Searchers Assistant” in Las Vegas Nevada. Her duties were to make copies from microfiche from a list of documents given to her from the Title Examiners. She soon trained as a Searcher/Examiner.

In time she moved back to Ohio and started work for Lawyers Title as a Searcher/Examiner. In 1982 Lenders Service hired her as their Title Agent. She worked in the Vendor Management Industry for fifteen years; as a Title Agent, Closing Agent, and Vice President and Regional Director.

In 1997 she struck out on her own and started the title search company AccuSearch Co. Because of the many contacts she made over the years, AccuSearch is able to complete searches in all 50 states, however most of their work is in Ohio & 10 states surrounding it.

Wanda is very proud to be a founding member of NALTEA, where she has served as a Board Member, Treasurer & twice as President. Her main objectives are to be an advocate for searcher/abstractors, to raise awareness of our profession, and help people understand just how important our work is to the Title Industry.

She and her husband Richard (also a title veteran) live on an 80 acre farm with 3 horses, a dog & 3 cats. She also has 3 children & 5 wonderful grandsons ages 4 to 23. She enjoys spending time with family & friends, traveling, hiking, baking, and of course horseback riding.


Debi Merrill
Email: xxxxxxxxx@naltea.org

Debi Merrill heads up the Education Committee at NALTEA. She is a graduate of the Institute of Paralegals at the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Real
Estate Law. After years of working in Iowa and California at Law Offices, Banks, Real Estate and Appraisal/Survey Firms, Debi opened her own Title Search
Company, SearchQuest, Inc. in 1998. Since opening, SearchQuest has expanded to searching all 95 counties in Tennessee. Merrill has built an excellent reputation
for good work with a great eye for detail and organization.

Debi is a NALTEA Certified Abstractor and has served NALTEA previously as Vice President, hosting an annual convention in Charlotte, NC and has been elected
and re-elected to serve on the Board of Directors. Her dream for NALTEA is that they will continue to work toward a time when the title industry returns to a
quality product with long term savings, over the expedited and cost cutting, non-certified search.

In her spare time, Debi enjoys reading, traveling and sailing the ocean blue with her husband, Richard.


Julia Thomas
Email: xxxxxxxxx@naltea.org

As an advocate for thorough property research with integrity, Julia Thomas got her start in real estate title in the mid-90's. Along the way she was fortunate to have had many mentors who patiently answered questions and pointed her in the right direction while she worked as an independent researcher in the Northeast Ohio County courthouses and administration buildings. In 2001 she founded Athena Research, Inc. and began to establish and expand the business, training and mentoring her employees from apprentices to masters in property research fundamentals.
Now a seasoned veteran of the title industry, Julia's goal is to educate those who work within the industry and the general public about the benefits of a “turn over every stone” style of examining real property records performed by an onshore workforce; she knows from experience that researching property records with a conservative, discerning eye is the only tried-and-true way to create a research product with integrity.

Julia also aspires to foster a community of Title Abstractors, Attorneys, Examiners and others in the Public Records Researcher sector. This community should have a space to share peer-reviewed information and solve the big problems facing our large and multi-faceted industry together. Julia is grateful to be a NALTEA board member, seeing it as an opportunity to elevate awareness and promote the role of examiners, researchers and abstractors in the larger industry.

In her "free" time Julia can be found getting lost in her favorite mountainous desert wilderness near Las Vegas, Nevada.  She finds dodging rattlesnakes and cactus, baking in the sun and scaling rock walls satisfying and exhilarating.  Being engaged in outdoor life helps her process the crises that a common day in the title industry often bring.  Julia is also a mom to two amazing young ladies, and four geriatric house pets.

If you have title on your mind, reach out to Julia any time for a thought-provoking and lively discussion!


Darren Miller
Email: xxxxxxxxx@naltea.org

Darren started out in the title business at the age of 13 pulling and printing documents off the old microfiche machines after school and on the weekends. He was promoted to the customer service department and began learning the ins and outs of the title insurance industry.
In 2001 he was offered a position in Sacramento with the national lender division of First American. There he learned more about the searching and examining side of business and was consistently the highest producer in the department.
After a couple years he was recruited to Placer Title, the largest privately owned title company in California. While at Placer he was awarded numerous times for his production, accuracy and leadership. He was promoted to the Assistant title manager in charge of over 75 employees, searching, examining, typing and recording. Darren was instrumental with changes to the department’s procedures that increased production substantially and decreased liability.
In 2006 Darren formed E-Abstract, with the goal to produce accurate search packages in a timely manner done by title professionals, for title professionals.
Darren has also been a vendor manager, mortgage broker and has done consulting work with various title companies as well.
E-Abstract has been in business now for over 10 years and continues to provide clients with quality title information.
In his spare time Darren likes to mountain bike, camp, walk his yorkie Tina and catch up with shows on Netflix.


Greg Savad
Email: xxxxxxxxx@naltea.org

Greg Savad has been a full time title abstractor since 1986. He started searching during summers and school vacations when he was 12 years old. Greg did cover records and miscellaneous searching for the first few years which enabled him to be mentored by the more experienced searchers in the record room. His father was owner of one of the larger title agencies in the state so he was exposed to all the different parts of the title process.

Greg is a third generation title searcher and licensed title reader. He remains involved with the New Jersey Land Title Association, having served with the liaison committee. He was a county representative in the Title Abstractors Association of New Jersey and their president for a decade.

He has primarily searched in one county for his entire career, having decided many years ago that being well versed in one county was the best path. Without that detailed knowledge, he would not be able to produce the quality product that he desired so stay put he has.

A native of New Jersey with close ties to the title industry throughout the state, Greg can bring a slightly different perspective to the discussions that NALTEA will need moving forward. He feels the future of the independent abstractor is at a crossroads. Greg shares that as the data becomes more readily available online and consequently, worldwide, the pressure for lower prices is increasing while the competence of those creating the environment for lower prices is decreasing. The expertise of the entire title industry has slipped as well, so the understanding of what we do and the true value of it has also dropped in importance.

In his spare time Greg volunteers (and has for over 15 years) for a county organization that helps kids involved in the juvenile justice system. He also enjoys listening to jazz and reads; not industry material, but for pleasure.