The Circle

Ken Kennedy – High Point, NC
Managing Member

From music to technology consulting, Ken Kennedy’s expertise and experience as a small business owner and consultant is as diverse as his talents. Ken started his company in the Legal Technology Industry in 1985, setting up networks and legal software for law firms. He continued to grow his business for over twenty years, becoming an influential leader in the legal technology software community and forming strong relationships with clients, consultants, and vendors. His creative solutions for complex problems as well as his deep understanding of a myriad of applications and database systems defines him as an innovator and mentor. In 2006, Ken co-founded Circle Management Group, and has been working alongside Laura ever since.

A North Carolina native and an accomplished vocalist and musician, Ken continues to perform in concerts throughout the United States and internationally with his band, big bands, and symphonies.

Email:  •  Direct Phone:  336-841-2187 x 221

Laura Kennedy – High Point, NC
Managing Member

Laura’s creativity, technical knowledge, teaching, and management skills are the foundation of her success in the Legal Technology industry. She is a co-founder of Circle Management Group and before that was the founder of McCord Consulting. Laura is in-demand as a speaker as well as an advisor to law firms, government agencies, insurance companies and various other professional services organizations throughout the country. She sits on the Advisory Boards of multiple software companies and consultant organizations and is a respected leader in the technology community. Laura has the rare gift of being able to not only analyze and develop complex workflows and solutions, but the ability to explain and teach them in a clear, concise manner that is accessible to staff regardless of their technical competence.

In her spare time, Laura enjoys traveling, spending time with her family and friends, horses, creating pottery and jewelry.

Email:  •  Direct Phone:  336-841-2187 x 301

Kelly Plunkett – Hillsboro, OR
Managing Member

Kelly Plunkett has been integral in the development of consultant training programs for several applications throughout the course of her 20-year career in Technology Consulting. Well-versed in SQL and the technical aspects of the software she supports, Kelly has the ability to create unique solutions and reports to solve complex needs and requirements.

Additionally, Kelly was a key player in Circle Management Group’s development and is the inspiration to both the name of our company and the emphasis on CMG Partnership. Her experience, wisdom and guidance come through in all areas of her communications and interactions with clients and vendors.

Kelly enjoys staying on top of software trends and constantly learning new things. This extends to her personal life, as she loves to travel to new places, learning about their histories and culture. She and her husband have a goal to take this love of travel to the next level and paddleboard around the world.

Email:  •  Direct Phone:  503-747-2875

Bill Ayres – Cary, NC

Bill Ayres served as the Customer Support Manager for Time Matters for seven years. His broad knowledge of the application functionality, front-end and back-end operations and internal workings of the LexisNexis support operation make him an excellent Time Matters consultant and a huge asset to our consulting team. Before settling in with LexisNexis, Bill also spent 7 years in systems maintenance and as the customer support manager for TML Information Services, troubleshooting both hardware and software issues. Along with being an expert on legacy products such as LexisNexis, Bill also keeps up-to-date on software trends and can advise clients on newer cloud-based options for their businesses. Bill joined Circle Management Group in 2010 and since then has become one of the pillars of Circle Management Group’s Managed Services division and has continued to use his extensive knowledge of Time Matters to serve our customers.

Always prepared with a great joke or story, Bill enjoys spending time with his family and friends and learning about new and classic cars.

Email: • Direct Phone: 919-415-1806

Kelly Jones – Chandler, AZ

Kelly Jones is an honors graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance. She uses her previous experience as a Chief Technology Officer, owner and co-operator of an accounting and tax preparation firm and a Small Business Start-Up Specialist to share her knowledge with her clients and others as a frequently promoted speaker on technology issues. She has presented on billing, accounting, security and business processes for local and national accounting professional organizations, legal technology conferences, and law schools as well as on an international speaking tour. Her primary focuses include billing and accounting efficiency, document and case management, business process management and training. Never one to sit still for long, since joining Circle Management Group in 2013, Kelly has helped grow the company’s small business and government market by pairing her technical know-how with her impressive skills in troubleshooting, e-marketing, and professional communications.

She also continues her love and previous career of dance and movement through Pilates instruction and the occasional choreography request.

Email:  •  Direct Phone: 480-795-6814

Andrea Giltner – Hollywood, FL

Andrea Giltner has more than 20 years of experience as a software consultant specializing in practice management, time & billing and document management applications. With special expertise in customer relationship management, project management, process improvement and documentation, she has built her career helping firms of all sizes.  She has extensive experience managing application projects through all the phases of implementation including: software installation, database customization, database configuration, data migration, administrator and staff training and application support.

Andrea graduated from Florida International University with a degree in Business Administration with a focus on Management Information Systems (MIS). She also achieved her Associates in Applied Science degree concentrating on Office Technology – Legal Secretary. Circle Management Group has been lucky to have Andrea as a team member since 2010.

After work, Andrea manages to stay on the go – whether she is cycling, running, helping out in her community, or cheering on one of her three children at their various sport events.

Email:  •  Direct Phone:  954-962-6476

Kevin Bross – Butler, NJ

Kevin’s interest in computers sparked when he was a young teen. He always enjoyed taking things apart to see how they worked, so when his parents gave him an Atari 800 as a gift, it did not take long for him to tear open the joysticks, wire up his room, and code a custom alarm system from scratch. That tech interest multiplied over the years, and in 1984 as a 17 year-old high school senior, he founded his first company, Advanced Legal Systems, where he implemented word processing solutions and custom legal practice management database systems. Today, Kevin is the President of Abacus Consulting, LLC, a managed services firm in Northern New Jersey focused on the Legal market. Abacus Consulting provides managed IT services, cloud based VOIP telephone systems, disaster recovery solutions, and custom legal practice specific software solutions.

Kevin is Married with two children and lives on a quite lake in Northern New Jersey. He has far too many hobbies for his own good, but particularly enjoys playing piano and writing and recording music. He also enjoys boating, cooking, creating craft cocktails, and will hopefully write a novel someday.


Email:  •  Direct Phone:  973-492-5953 x200

Maria Shust – Cleveland, OH
Senior Consultant
Project Engineer

With an interest in computers and puzzles beginning at a young age, Maria Shust quickly realized her gift for creative problem solving. After 8 years of experience wearing the hats of Legal Assistant, Paralegal and Office Manager in a law firm, Maria decided to take the leap into the consulting world. For the last 13 years, she has helped companies with their most complex database management, reporting and processing needs. Maria has worked at Circle Management Group for the past 6 years specializing in training, document assembly, and heavy and detailed SQL work and reporting, and says she still feels excited and challenged by the work she does.

Maria shares her life with her wonderful son, Oscar, her partner Derek and his son, and their family dog, Champ. They stay active and enjoy camping, caving, and other forms of exploration in her home state of Ohio and throughout the United States. When not on the move or in front of a computer, you can mostly likely find Maria cooking for or entertaining her family and friends.

Email:  Direct Phone: 336-841-2187 x 312

Debbie Caughron – High Point, NC
Office Manager

After graduating with a degree in Business Management and Marketing from UNC Greensboro, Debbie Caughron began her career selling insurance. However, she took time off from the insurance industry to  raise her two children, and eventually began working part-time in Ken Kennedy’s office. Debbie has worked tirelessly behind the scenes since the inception of Circle Management Group, making sure that the office runs smoothly and efficiently every day.

The chances are that if you have called into our office you have had the pleasure of having a conversation with Debbie. When she is not assisting clients, Debbie enjoys traveling, spending time with her family and friends, fishing on the North Carolina coast, and listening to gospel music.

Email:   Direct Phone: 336-841-2187 x 222

Mary Laura Kennedy – High Point, NC
Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Mary Laura began her career at Circle Management Group as an intern the summer after she graduated from UNC Asheville with a degree in Literature. What began as an hourly position mostly consisting of data entry and occasional document review, grew organically into a full-time marketing and administrative position. Throughout her time with Circle Management Group, Mary Laura has continued to hone her marketing skills to boost the company’s brand and our clients’ knowledge base.

If she is not attending a concert or in a bookstore, you will probably find Mary Laura spending her spare time outside somewhere with her big, goofy dog, Jolene.

Email:   Direct Phone: 336-841-2187 x 313