Debra and Michael

The Mostly Legal Podcast: Episode 4 "A Servant Leader's Journey"

Amanda Koplos

Michael Bumgarner (President, ALA) and Debra Elsbury (Immediate Past President, ALA) join the show to discuss everything from the hurdles that come with huge career transitions to the power of titles within a firm. They also discuss how one can progress into leadership within ALA.

In the legal community, it’s easy to feel like the dumbest person in the room because let’s face it, you’re surrounded by so many great minds and imposter syndrome is real. But both Debbie and Mike have some tips on how to overcome this. And if that wasn’t enough to pique your interest, they also have a haunted house story!

About the Guests

Debra (Debbie) Elsbury, CLM

Firm Administrator for Threlkeld Stevenson

Debra attended Marian College and earned her Certified Legal Manager (CLM) in November 2009. Debbie is a very involved member of ALA and the Indiana Chapter since 2003, having served her chapter in various roles and now serving ALA as Immediate Past President. Debbie and her husband, Mark are the proud parents of 3 and grandparents of 8. They live on a grain and livestock farm, mainly raising corn, soybeans, and various livestock, along with random wildlife – some welcomed, some not so much.

Michael Bumgarner, CPA, CLM, CGMA

Chief Executive Officer for Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC

Michael Bumgarner, CPA, CLM, CGMA is the Chief Executive Officer for Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC, a defense litigation practice in West Virginia. Mike earned his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting at West Virginia University (WVU) and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is a member of the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants where he also serves as a Director-At-Large. Mike became the first person in West Virginia to obtain the Certified Legal Manager certification and since then, he has been very involved with the ALA. Mike has held various leadership positions in ALA, including serving on the CLM Certification Committee, Regional Representative and was appointed to the ALA Board of Directors in 2017. Mike currently serves as the President of ALA.

Mike and his wife Jayme have 3 sons, all three are also WVU alumni. Mike spends most of his free time outdoors, whether it’s golfing, hunting, or fishing. He also never skips an opportunity to go watch professional sporting events and concerts whenever possible.

Episode Resources

Debra Elsbury's Firm- Threlkeld Stevenson

Michael Bumgarner's Firm- Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso


ALA Indiana Chapter

ALA Volunteer Opportunities

ALA Leadership Opportunities

Chapter Leadership Institute (CLI)

Organizations and More:

Thanks for tuning in! Join us next week for a special episode with Mark Bridgeman.

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