Highlighting A. Tereasa Rerko and More (Women’s History Month)

March 24, 2021

Video Transcript

Hello, this is Vince Quatrini from the law firm of QuatriniRafferty. Today, celebrating Women’s History Month. The law firm of QuatrainRafferty welcomes the opportunity to celebrate women. And to thank the many women who have contributed to the success of our firm over four decades, nearly.

I want to point out two women particularly that are part of the foundation: Joyce Vivio and Marie Kozink. They were with us from day one, and for almost 28 years thereafter. Thank you Joyce and Marie!
It’s our women lawyers our accounting personnel, our paralegals, our secretaries, and our other support staff. All of the women who along these many years have provided the structure and the support and the foundation for this law firm.

We also want to highlight the three women attorneys in our firm this month, during Women’s History Month: Tereasa Rerko, Joyce-Novotny Prettiman, and Jessica Rafferty. Today, I want to talk to you about Tereasa Rerko.

Four decades ago, women did not go to law school, but Tereasa did. When she graduated, she came here to the law firm of QuatriniRafferty, and now his partner; proud of it that she is with our law firm. And she’s been in two primary practice areas over these years: Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability.

Tereasa started at California University of Pennsylvania and then went on to Duquesne Law School. What I want to share with you is that Tereasa wasn’t satisfied with all she’s done, so she went back and got a masters in conflict resolution. She’s now qualified to also be a neutral mediator in litigation. Like I’ve said, she helped build both our Workers’ Comp and Social Security Disability practices.

Let’s talk about Tereasa outside of the confines of the law firm, in our community. That’s where she’s also shined for many years. Seventeen (17) years with the girl scouts. First it was the girl scout council of Westmoreland, where she was chair and then they expanded it to Western Pennsylvania. Part of the United Way. Part of the Executive Women of Westmoreland. ParentWISE, a group that supports families where child abuse has occurred. Tereasa spent many years with them. And accessAbilities, a disability oriented organization.

So, all of that, let’s go back to her professional qualifications. She’s been part of a national organization of Social Security representatives. We call it an “Oscar,” so that’s on the national level that Tereasa gains information and shares information.

So it’s fun to say “Thank you Tereasa!” and “Bravo Tereasa!” So, let’s say thank you also to all of the women who have made a difference in our lives, personally as well as professionally. And then let’s enjoy Women’s History Month. Thanks very much. This is Vince Quatrini from the law firm of QuatriniRafferty.

Hi! I’m Tereasa Rerko. I’m one of the attorneys here at QuatriniRafferty. I’ve been with this firm since 1983. First as a law student, then as an associate, and then as a partner. I’ve been working with Vince Quatrini all of that time, Dennis as well, and the three of us came to this location and formed this firm. I’ve been here ever since and it’s been a journey. A fun journey. A lot of different areas of law that I’ve practiced. At the beginning when it was the three of us, I did lots of things. I have had the fortune of being able to focus my practice most recently on Social Security Disability. I’ve also very recently finished a master’s degree in conflicts resolution and have added Mediation to our practice.

One of my very first influences in my life, female, was actually a fictional character Nancy Drew. I read all Nancy Drew’s books, couldn’t wait to get to the library to get the latest book and read them, and I found that I was intrigued by solving problems. And that’s what she did, so she might have been fictional, but she did influence me.

By seventh grade, I knew I was going to law school, and I never wavered from that career choice despite having my high school counselor tell me “Girls should not be lawyers.” Obviously, he was wrong.

The other influence in my life has been my mom. My mom at 43 found herself a widow with four children from the ages of 14 to 22. I was third in line, and I saw how she struggled. How she struggled to make ends meet, how she struggled to keep the family together. We lovingly say my mother is “A One-Strong Woman,” and she has been a wonderful influence on my life. Very fortunate to say that we celebrated her 90th birthday a couple of weeks ago and she’s still going strong.

So, when I had times in my life when it wasn’t easy to make it through college or make it through law school, when I wanted to give up, I would have to sit back and say “You know, I can do this. She did it without a college education and certainly I can do it,” and so more than anyone, she has been a positive female influence in my life and I still look up to her to this day and look to her for guidance.

As we move forward and I get closer to the point where I may be done practicing (a lot of years yet, but I’m getting it to that point), I wonder what will happen with the profession and women lawyers. And I hope that the fact that I’ve put forth a positive influence. We have two other wonderful women attorneys in this firm as well. I hope that we are an example to anyone who is out there thinking about going to law school, being an attorney, but especially women who want to do it because it’s a wonderful profession, it’s rewarding; we get to help people every single day that we are here working. And that’s what keeps me coming back to do this job, because it’s not a job, it’s a life. And, one that has been very good to me, and I hope I have contributed to sufficiently. Thank you.