Our Team

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

Meet Our Board Members Mike QuartararoMike Quartararo is the founder and managing director of eDPM Advisory Services, a consulting firm providing e-discovery, project management and legal technology professional services to law firms, corporate legal departments and service provider organizations He is also the author of the 2016 book Project Management in Electronic Discovery. Mike has been solving client problems using technology for 20 years and has built his career upon strategic and innovative thinking, leadership and operational skills he honed while working at the best legal organizations in the world. A former law firm director, project manager, database specialist and paralegal, Mike has decades of experience delivering e-discovery, project management and legal technology solutions. As an adjunct professor at Bryan University, Mike designed and taught a graduate program on e-discovery project management. He is graduate of the State University of New York and he studied law for one year at the University of London. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Certified E-Discovery Specialist (CEDS). He sits on the national board of the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists and is the ACEDS liaison member to the Advisory Committee of the EDRM at Duke Law School. Mike is a frequent contributor to Above the Law, where he writes about Legal Operations and he often writes and speaks on issues related to project management, e-discovery and litigation support.


Maribel Rivera, Director of Marketing, Communications and Events

Meet Our Board Members Maribel RiveraMaribel 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 is an emerging photographer and an accomplished professional in the legal technology space. With a strong background in sales, client solutions, management, and marketing, she currently holds the position of Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Sandline Global. Additionally, she serves as the Director of the New York Chapter of Women in eDiscovery and has been The Life Preservers Project Secretary since 2017.

Prior to entering the legal services industry, Cara held marketing positions in the fine art industry assisting with sales efforts, sponsorship negotiations, event planning and marketing. Now, she is passionate about bringing both the art and legal industries together to support causes close to her heart. 

Over the years, she’s volunteered and contributed to several nonprofits, but she’s particularly passionate about the Life Preservers Project—an organization that works to end human trafficking, raise awareness, advocate for survivors, and help restore their lives through art programming. 

Her photographs have graced both local galleries in New York and online international galleries. Cara earned an Honors degree in Literary Arts from Brown University, where her experience deepened her enthusiasm for the arts and commitment to nonprofit work.


Nikki Samuels, Treasurer

Nikki SamuelsYaneeke (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.




Lou Mancuso

Lou Mancuso is the Global Recruiting Director at eDiscovery Service Provider, Consilio based out of New York. With over 10 years of recruiting and sales experience in the eDiscovery industry, Lou developed and spearheads Consilio’s global recruitment department where his focus includes IT, Business Development, Finance, Operations, Human Resources, and Client Services.
Prior to Consilio, Lou was a Director of eDiscovery at Epiq Systems and a Managing Director at PeterSan Legal Staffing.
During his free time, Lou is the lead vocalist for the alternative rock tribute band, Jet City. Lou has been involved with Life Preservers Project since its inception in 2009 consulting on fundraising activities and providing music entertainment at events.



Jessie Torres

Jessie Torres is the Chief Strategic Counsel at McDermott Will & Emery based in their Miami office. He is a creative, dedicated, bilingual attorney leading the eDiscovery division for a global firm ensuring continuous progress and innovation through cutting edge technology and efficient processes. Prior to joining McDermott, he was a partner at Berger Singerman serving as Director of eDiscovery & Litigation Support. He has authored numerous Florida Bar-approved CLEs on eDiscovery. 


In prior roles, he was a Director of Review Management and Site Director for several national service providers working directly for Top 20 law firms leading countless eDiscovery projects with teams of over 250 people across multiple states including remote teams. He coached attorneys, trained review managers, and interacted with clients daily. He holds industry certifications including CEDS, Brainspace Analyst, Reveal AI, and Relativity Review Management and was an adjunct professor for 15 years in two fields: Law and Geography.