Board of Directors
Nora Doherty - President
Nora is an Illinois property tax attorney with extensive experience representing residential and commercial property owners in Cook County and throughout the state of Illinois.
Nora started working with Steve Pearlman in law school and has been an integral part of the establishment and growth of Steven B. Pearlman & Associates. She heads up the firm’s collar county and down-state practice, attends oral hearings before the Cook County Board of Review, and manages the firm’s specific objection docket of cases pending in Circuit Court.
Nora continually provides service to the practicing bar in her practice area. She has served in leadership positions for the Chicago Bar Association and Illinois State Bar Association. She has presented at several continuing legal education seminars. She is also active in the International Association of Assessing Officials, the Institute for Professionals in Taxation, and the Illinois Property Tax Lawyers Association. With her fellow board members, she established the Women’s Property Tax Association in Illinois in 2015.
Nora attended law school at Loyola University School of Law and received a JD in 2005. During her years in law school, she clerked in the Real Estate Tax Unit of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, worked at the federal income tax clinic at the law school, studied abroad in Loyola’s Rome Program, and held positions in real estate development firms as well as private law firms.
Nora grew up in Elgin, played basketball at Elgin Community College before transferring to Loyola University Chicago where she earned a BA in History with a minor in Natural Science in 2001, Cum Laude. She lives in Bucktown with her three daughters and is active in the St. Mary of the Angels parish and school.
Lena Y. Henderson - Secretary
Lena Y. Henderson currently works with the Cook County Board of Review for Commissioner Larry R. Rogers, Jr. handling property tax appeals.
Prior to joining the Cook County Board of Review she was a civil litigation associate with Power & Dixon, P.C. Lena received her Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from DePaul University and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School.
Lena is one of eight co-founders of the Women’s Property Tax Association (WPTA) and currently sits on the board as Secretary. She has held leadership roles in professional and nonprofit organizations including: President, Vice-President, and Board-Member-at-Large and has also served on various committees. In 2014 she received the Visionary Award from the Black Women Lawyers’ Association.
Ellen G. Berkshire - Treasurer
Ellen G. Berkshire is a founding partner in the firm of Verros, Lafakis & Berkshire. She has been practicing law in the area of property taxation since obtaining her JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law in May of 2003. This niche legal practice is complemented by her prior experiences working with large businesses as a telecommunications consultant. She also has a Masters in Information and Communication from Ball State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Indiana University. While in law school, Ellen served as a member of the Moot Court Honor Society successfully competing in several nationwide competitions.
Ms. Berkshire has had the opportunity to represent a wide range of clients throughout the state of Illinois and Michigan from property owners of small businesses to owners and operators of large industrial facilities and power plants. She represents numerous major commercial properties and has a great deal of experience and expertise in appealing the assessments of anchor department stores. She has successfully represented schools and religious organizations to obtain exemptions from ad valorem property taxes. Ms. Berkshire has represented clients before formal and informal administrative boards and tribunals as well as appellate district courts.
Ms. Berkshire enjoys teaching real estate law to assessors through the educational organization, the Illinois Property Assessment Institute. In addition to teaching, she continues to further her education in the realm of property taxation by regularly reading case law and the decisions of administrative agencies and through attending courses designed for both appraisers and attorneys. She is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the International Association of Assessing Officers, and the Institute for Professionals in Taxation. She is admitted to practice in the State of Illinois and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Nicole Annes - VP Membership
Nicole is an associate with the Law Offices of William J. Seitz, LLC, concentrating her practice on ad valorem property taxation matters, property tax incentives and exemptions, condominium law and landlord/tenant matters. She represents a range of commercial and industrial clients, from small business owners to utility companies, housing developers, owners and operators of gas stations, shopping centers, office buildings, and multifamily properties.
Nicole earned her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida, and both her J.D. and LL.M. in Healthcare Law from Loyola University Chicago School of Law (LUC). She was admitted to the Illinois bar in 2012.
While in law school, Nicole was President of the LUC Chapter of the Decalogue Society of Lawyers. She now serves as Board Member and Social Action Committee Co-Chair of the Decalogue Society of Lawyers and Associate Board Member of the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
Nicole is a member of the Chicago and Illinois State Bar Associations, American Bar Association, and Institute for Professionals in Taxation.
Mary Kathleen Fitzgerald - VP Programs
Mary Kathleen (“Mary Kate”) Fitzgerald is a partner at Fitzgerald Law Group, P.C. She began working in the property tax field over 16 years ago as a clerk and has been practicing law since her admission to the Illinois Bar in November, 2011. Ms. Fitzgerald’s practice is limited to representing owners and users of commercial, industrial, and investment-grade real estate in Illinois. She has represented a wide range of clients before local assessors, local Boards of Review, the Circuit Court of Cook County, and the State of Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board.
Mary Kate graduated in May, 2011 from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She graduated from Marquette University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Writing Intensive English. Mary Kate grew up in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago and attended St. Ignatius College Prep.
Mary Kate is a member of the Institute for Professionals in Taxation and regularly attends conferences held by the organization
Tanya Scribano - VP Technology
Tanya is the Owner of a software-solutions company called Property Tax Automated Solutions, Inc. She helps clients streamline processes through database automation. Her lead focus is automating Property Tax Law and she is the creator of TaxAppealPro software.
Tanya began developing software applications to run on the Microsoft platform in 1997 and started up her own company in 2013.
Tanya has a B.S. Degree in Computer Science from Governors State University and is an active member of the Chicaqo Access User Group (CAUG). She is also a co-founder of the Women’s Property Tax Association (WPTA) and currently acts as the Vice President of Technology. To contact Tanya, please visit her website at http://www.PTAutomatedSolutions.com
Susan Z. Ulman - VP Philanthropy
Susan Z. Ulman, MAI has extensive consulting and narrative appraisal expereience for the purposes of ad valorem real estate taxation, condemnation, estate taxes, mortgage lending, leased fee and leasehold estate analysis primarily in the Chicago Metro Area. Properties include offices, industrial, R & D facilities, senior housing, multi-family, retail, vacant land, cemeteries, health care facilities, golf courses and portfolio valuations. Zimmerman Real Estate Group, Ltd. is a WBE and DBE certified organization founded in 1986.
Sue holds the MAI designation along with a litigation certificate from the Appraisal Institute. She was a director of the Chicago Chapter of the Appraisal Institute from 2012-2014 and received a Chicago Chapter Distinguished Service Award in 2013. Sue is a member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Coalition of Appraisal Professionals (ICAP) 2015-2017.
She is an active memeber of numerous real estate organizations including the Appraisal Institute, Chicago Real Estate Council, CREW and REFF.
Joanne P. Elliott - Board Member at Large
Joanne P. Elliott is a Partner at Elliott & Associates. She began practicing law in 1984 and has focused her practice exclusively on real estate tax matters since 1993. Joanne’s practice is focused on representing community associations, hotel owners and various commercial property owners. She has represented thousands of property owners before local assessors, county Boards of Review, the Property Tax Appeal Board and the Circuit Court of Cook County. Joanne has also assisted numerous clients in securing real estate exemptions, class 6b, class 9 and class 8 tax incentives and incentive renewals.
Throughout her career, Joanne has been involved in leadership capacities in several bar and trade associations, including:
• The American Bar Association (ABA), Member of the Real Estate Section Council
• The Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), Member and Past Chairman of the State and
Local Taxation Section Council
• Illinois Property Tax Lawyers Association (IPTLA), Founding Member
• National Association of Bar-Related Title Insurers (NABRTI), Past Executive Director
• Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, Member
• International Association of Assessing Officials, Member
• Northwest Suburban Bar Association, Member
• Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc., Member and Past General Counsel
Joanne has testified frequently before the Illinois legislature and county Boards of Review on behalf of various bar and trade associations. She is a frequent author and lecturer on real estate tax issues and has written educational material for the Illinois State Bar Association and the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education. In addition, she has been a guest speaker at various programs for the International Association of Assessing Officials, the Illinois State Bar Association, Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund and the Northwest Suburban Bar Association.
Joanne received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University and her Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School, where she was a member of their Law Review.