Meet our board members who work together to define the initiatives that help Life Preservers Project accomplish our mission. The team consists of members from various backgrounds who volunteer their time to help change the lives of those who have been victims of human trafficking and educate others on modern slavery.
Shana Pederson, Founder and Chairperson
Shana Pederson is the President and Founder of a 501(c)3 charity arts collective, Life Preservers Project: connecting the art and legal worlds to raise funds and awareness for the victims of human trafficking.
Shana is an artist showing in NYC galleries, with a Bachelors in Fine Art from Hunter College. She moved from the Wild West to New York in 1998 to join the family business, Pederson Guitars. In early 2000, Shana transitioned into Executive Legal Search, she has enjoyed working for top boutique executive legal search firms and leading national staffing companies. She founded Life Preservers Inc in 2009 as a way to incorporate her legal network along with her art background to effect the maximum amount of change for victims of Human Trafficking.
She is also the Charity Chair for Women in eDiscovery NYC. Co-Chair Membership for Legal Marketing Association NYC and on the Events Committee (2017) for Her Justice.
Mike Quartararo, Executive Director
Michael Quartararo is the is the Director of Litigation Support Services at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, and the author of the book Project Management in Electronic Discovery (eDiscoveryPM.com LLC, 2016). At Stroock, he is responsible for the development and implementation of Firm policy relating to the use of technology in litigation and he leads a staff providing consultative e-discovery, litigation support and technology services to 350 attorneys and paralegals and the Firm’s Fortune 500 clients. A graduate of the State University of New York, he also studied law in the UK. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Certified E-Discovery Specialist (CEDS). H sits on the national advisory board of the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), and he is the ACEDS liaison member to the EDRM Advisory Committee. He sits on the advisory board of Bryan University in Tempe, AZ, and he is a member of the board of Life Preservers Project, a New York-based charity. Mike frequently writes and speaks on issues related to project management, eDiscovery and litigation support.
Maribel Rivera, Director of Marketing, Communications and Events
Maribel Rivera is a Marketing Brand Specialist and Event Organizer focused on creating brand stories that influence for clients that include global organizations, small businesses and individuals. She develops brand strategies for legal technology and information governance companies so that an organization’s brand touch-points all work in harmony to create a positive perception in the mind of their clients and prospects. Her clients include the Information Governance Initiative, University of Florida Levin College of Law’s E-Discovery Project, BBA Technical, Bryan University, EDT Software and many more. Maribel is considered a social connector in the legal industry and can be found constantly networking, meeting new people and connecting them with others who can help them both professionally and personally.
Maribel has volunteered and donated to various charities and associations over the years. As a survivor of domestic abuse, she has dedicated her life to helping others find the resources necessary to survive. She became involved with Life Preservers Project in 2014 and has since shared her expertise to help the organization grow.
Cat Casey, Director of Fundraising
Catherine “Cat” Casey, is the Global Director of Practice Support for Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, specializing in eDiscovery, compliance, data analytics, information governance and cybersecurity. Cat has over a decade and a half of experience assisting clients with the complex eDiscovery and forensic needs that arise from litigation, expansive regulation and complex contractual relationships. Prior to joining Gibson Dunn, Cat was a leader in the Forensic Technology Practices for PwC and built out the antitrust forensic technology practice and served as the national subject matter expert on eDiscovery for KPMG. Cat frequently writes and speaks on the issues arising from an increasingly complex digital landscape.
Cat has been a supporter of Life Preservers project since 2015 and joined the board in 2017. She is also a co-founder of the “Fearless Network- Beyond #MeToo” organization affiliated with Life Preservers. As a survivor of sexual and domestic abuse Cat is passionate about advocating for survivors of human trafficking and providing the resources and education necessary to heal and rebuild their lives.
Cara Lemire, Secretary
Cara Lemire has been a business development professional in the legal industry for the past two years. She currently is a national account manager of eDiscovery at IST Management Services, Inc., a litigation support service provider with clients in the AmLaw 100 and Fortune 500.
Prior to entering the legal services industry, Cara had extensive experience in the fine art industry overseeing sales efforts, sponsorship negotiations, event planning and marketing at a storage facility. Now, she is passionate about bringing both industries together to support charities close to her heart. She graduated from Brown with Honors in literary arts. Her time at the University further solidified her passion for the arts and nonprofit work.
In her spare time, she is a writer, artist, art collector and activist. Over the years, she’s volunteered and contributed to a number of nonprofits, but is particularly interested in driving the noble work of Life Preservers Project—an organization that brings artists of all mediums together to eradicate human trafficking, raise awareness through art, advocate for survivors, and restore their lives.
Nikki Samuels, Treasurer
Yaneeke (Nikki) Samuels is a manager within the eData Practice Support department at Morgan Lewis and Bockius.
Nikki has over 12 years of experience in the legal industry with a background in international business and financial services discovery management. In her spare time, she loves taking Pilates classes, reading, traveling and cooking.
Nikki currently sits on the board of two other charitable organizations and resides in Hell’s Kitchen, New York with her husband and two pups.