Leesa Sherman-Hochmuth, Certified Paralegal
Our Senior Immigration Paralegal since 2004, Leesa assists Ms. Mendoza with all types of immigration cases from professional and business-based visas to family immigration, consular processing and naturalization.
A Norfolk, VA native and proud retired Navy spouse, she graduated from Old Dominion University with a B.A. in English Linguistics. She is a two-time recipient of scholarships for paralegal volunteers to the Annual Conference of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and she enjoys volunteering each year at AILA’s local Citizenship Day events.
Leesa is an active member of the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). In 2008, she was awarded NALA’s Certified Paralegal (CP) credential, recognized by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Legal Assistants as a high level professional designation.
Grace Martinez, Client Services
Grace Martinez joined our team as a Client Services member in 2014. She is our Director of First Impressions and manages all administrative functions in the front office. Often times, she is the first person you speak with when calling our law firm. Her days are busy while answering the phones, scheduling appointments, opening and closing files and translating for our attorneys. She truly understands the art of providing our clients with a world-class experience.
Prior to coming onboard, Grace supported the Dean of Humanities at our local Tidewater Community College as an administrative office assistant where she was well-respected and loved by all. Her work history includes customer service, pre-school teaching, collections and many years of secretarial experience.
Grace earned her Associates degree in Applied Science from Tidewater Community College in Early Childhood Development and an Executive Secretarial diploma from Dover Business College.
She is the proud mom of beautiful triplet daughters and resides in Virginia Beach with her loving husband of 30 years. Grace is a native Spanish speaker, born in Ecuador and moved to the United States at the young age of eleven. When not working, Grace enjoys playing cards with her long-time friends, traveling to visit family and singing along to the best Latin songs of all times!
Shelley Blankinship, Marketing Manager
Shelley Blankinship joined us in 2016 as our Marketing Manager. Shelley’s primary focus will be expanding marketing efforts, enhancing our digital presence and streamlining other processes to make Gardner & Mendoza more effective.
Shelley spent over 10 years with Pilot Media Companies, where she was most recently the Sales Development Manager overseeing marketing, sales and distribution efforts for Pilot Media products in retail outlets. Prior to her role in marketing, she spent over 9 years in Human Resources, with her last role as Benefits Manager. Shelley holds a B.S. in Business Management from Old Dominion University.
Shelley left the workforce in 2011 to become a stay at home mom, and has since reentered on a part-time basis. Shelley and her husband Don have been married over 10 years, and currently reside in Virginia Beach with their two children Eva, 7 and Cole, 5. When not working, Shelley enjoys family time, fitness and soaking up rays!