2020-2021 GSCBWLA Leadership

Officers

Sheena Benjamin-WisePresident
Kadisha PhelpsVice President
Candice Michael, Secretary
Natalie E. Oce
, Treasurer
April Martindale, Historian
Brendalyn EdwardsImmediate Past President

Directors

Etta Akoni
Mark Berrios-Ayala

Romona H. Carr

Iris A. Elijah
Ashley Gantt
Janeen Lofton
Michelle Prescott
Nakia Ruffin
Sherria D. Williams


Sheena Benjamin-Wise, Esq. • President

Sheena Benjamin-Wise practices Marital and Family Law in Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach Florida, serving Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties. Ms. Benjamin-Wise’s work primarily focuses on marital and family law litigation and collaborative divorce cases, parental rights and paternity, and other child-related matters for the past 18 years.

In addition to being the President for Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association, she is an active member of the community and current member of the Broward BNI Networking Fortune Builders Chapter since 2015, and a member of the Greater Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce and Leadership North Broward 2014.

Sheena has been an active member of the Florida Bar Family Law Section Executive Council Member since 2009. She currently serves as the Co-Chairperson of Legislation Committee, and previously served as the Co-Chair of Children’s Issues Committee, Chair of the Ad Hoc Diversity and Inclusion Committee and Section Liaison, Co-Secretary of Legislation, Co-Chair of Ad Hoc Probate Jurisdiction Committee and a member of Finance Committee, as well as the Chair of Membership Committee (2008-2011); Co-Chairperson of Rules and Forms Committee (2010-2011); Commentator Family Law Section Newsletter – Contributor (2008-2009). She believes in her continued work with the Family Law Section to serve the Florida community.

Some of the honors received are Super Lawyer (2020), Rising Star Super Lawyers (2010 and 2011), Rising Star, Florida Bar Executive Council of Family Law Section (2008), Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award (2008) (2009) (2005), Florida Bar Family Law Section Rising Star (2009), Florida Bar Family Law Section Keeper of the Flame Award (2010), Featured in HERLIFE Spotlight, HER Magazine April 2014, Florida Bar Family Law Section Chair’s Award of Merit (2017), and Florida Bar Family Law Section Spotlight Award (2018).

Ms. Benjamin-Wise graduated from the University of Miami and Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center. She is of Haitian decent and was born in Brooklyn, New York. She currently lives in Coral Springs, Florida with her husband and her two children.

Kadisha Phelps, Esq• Vice President 

Kadisha Phelps is an associate of the Miami office of Sweetapple, Broeker & Varkas, P.L. A native of Long Island, New York, Kadisha has worked in both the Miami and Boca Raton offices of the firm since the fall of 2006, after graduating from Washington and Lee School of Law. While at Washington and Lee, Kadisha participated in the Virginia Commonwealth Clearing House, a legal clinic where she assisted court-appointed attorneys in defending capital cases and served as a legal intern at the New York Stock Exchange’s Enforcement Division.

Kadisha completed her Bachelor of Arts in History at Florida State University, with minors in Black Studies and Urban and Regional Planning.

In Tallahassee, Kadisha held prominent government internships with then U.S. Senator Bob Graham and Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth, as well as RBBO Public Relations LLC, a leading lobbyist firm at the Florida capitol.

Kadisha has successfully litigated in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, handling both the plaintiff and defense side of matters for numerous business owners, defending various south Florida developers during the recent real estate crash and representing former NFL players in various complex business and investment disputes. Kadisha’s primary practice area is in General Commercial Litigation.

photoCandice Michael, Esq Secretary 

Candice L. Michael, Esquire is a licensed Florida attorney, practicing marital and family law with a focus on children’s issues, domestic violence, and divorce.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology with honors from the University of Florida in 2009, and her Juris Doctor degree from Howard University School of Law in 2014.  Ms. Michael was admitted to license law in the state of Florida in 2014. 

Following graduation, Ms. Michael has served as a Judicial Law Clerk in the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands, and later developed her career as a litigation attorney while working for Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc. and Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc.  She has successfully advocated, and obtained favorable results, for countless clients in marital and family law cases, including but not limited to contested divorces, guardian advocacy, relative adoption, paternity, temporary custody by extended family members, and child support matters.  Ms. Michael also has litigation experience with private and federally subsidized landlord-tenant defense work.

Natalie E. Oce, Esq. Treasurer