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Ohio State Bar Foundation inducts new Fellows

CONTACT:  Kate Clements 800-282-6556 or 614-487-4450

COLUMBUS – (June 6, 2013) The Ohio State Bar Foundation (OSBF) inducted 47 attorneys as Fellows at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center on June 5. Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and OSBF President Thomas D. Lammers presided over the ceremony.

Membership in the Foundation is an honor extended to those lawyers and judges who adhere to the highest ideals of the legal profession and are dedicated to serving their communities. Each year the Foundation invites a select group of civic-minded lawyers to become Fellows. Over the course of 13 months, the Fellows volunteer their time to projects that promote the Foundation’s mission of improving the justice system and enhancing public understanding of the law.

“It’s important for lawyers to promote the mission of the Foundation,” said Chief Justice O’Connor, an honorary Fellow of the OSBF. “Through the minds, energies, and talents of these attorneys, we will leave a lasting legacy.”

In addition to Chief Justice O’Connor, Justice Judith A. Lanzinger was also in attendance to welcome the new Fellows to the Foundation.

Each Fellow must be nominated by a peer and then pass a selection process to be extended an invitation to join the Foundation. “Our Fellows are the best of the best,” said OSBF President Thomas D. Lammers. “Each year, they donate hundreds of hours to support their local and statewide communities. Their dedication to the legal profession and to the public is unwavering.” Fellows also make a financial commitment that fuels the OSBF statewide grant- making program.

Stephanie D. Adams, of Dublin, is an attorney with The Law Offices of Gary L. Grubler and serves as house counsel for Grange Insurance. Adams serves on the Ohio State Bar Association’s (OSBA) Council of Delegates and is a mentor at the University of Akron. She is a member of the OSBA, the Thomas J. Moyer Inn of Court and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.

Tony M. Alexander, of Dayton, is an attorney Burton Law LLC, where he focuses his practice on business law. Alexander serves on the board of volunteers for the American Cancer Society and on the board of directors for both the Foodbank, Inc. and the Wright State University Alumni Association. He is a member of the OSBA and the Dayton Bar Association, and serves as a mentor with the Entrepreneur Center.

Adam C. Armstrong, of Dayton, is an attorney with the law firm of Freund, Freeze & Arnold, where he focuses his practice in the areas professional negligence, consumer and business contractual disputes, real estate disputes, close corporation, shareholder disputes and quasi-contractual disputes. He is a trustee of Reach Out Montgomery County Ohio and the University of Dayton Law School Alumni Association. He also serves as a big brother for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Miami Valley and is a mentor for the Miami University Pre-Law Program. Armstrong is a member of the OSBA and the Dayton Bar Association.

Mary Amos Augsburger, of Columbus, will become the executive director of the Ohio State Bar Association in July.  She is a board member for the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation and was named a “Rising Star” by Ohio Super Lawyers in 2009.

Bob Bartlett Jr., of Dayton, is an attorney with the firm of Faruki Ireland & Cox P.L.L., where he focuses his practice on the areas of the first amendment, defamation, privacy, access to news, the freedom of information act and commercial business litigation. Bartlett is a past chair of the OSBA’s Media Law Committee and the Dayton Bar Association’s Appellate and Trial Practice committees. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyer and serves as a Federal Bar Examiner.

Jonathon L. Beck, of Dayton, is an attorney with the firm of Young & Alexander Co., L.P.A., where he focuses his practice on the areas of civil litigation, business law and subrogation. Beck serves as a volunteer lawyer for the Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project. He also donates his time to the Dayton Area Red Cross and the Dayton Neighborhood Leadership Institute. He is the vice chair of the Dayton Bar Association’s Certified Grievance Committee and is a member of the OSBA’s Insurance Law Committee.

Hon. Eve V. Belfance, of Akron, is a judge for the Ninth District Court of Appeals. When not sitting on the bench, Belfance serves as a board member for the Akron Bar Association Foundation and the Women’s Endowment Fund. She also donates her time to the Summit County Alcohol Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services Board. Belfance is a member of the Akron, Lorain County, Medina County, Wayne County and Ohio State bar associations.

Tricia C. Bell, of Dayton, is an attorney with the firm of Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLP, where she focuses her practice on the areas of federal, state and local government contract issues. She is a 2012 graduate of the Ohio State Bar Association’s Leadership Academy and serves as an Adjunct Professor for Franklin University. She also donates her time as a board member of the Kirkmont Preschool. Bell is the chair of the Federal Bar Association’s State Contacting Group and is on the Student Programming Committee for the Ohio State University’s Arts & Sciences Alumni Board.

Susan Blasik-Miller, of Dayton, is an attorney with the firm of Freund, Freeze & Arnold, where she has extensive experience defending doctors, hospitals, long term care providers, businesses and employers in a wide variety of claims. Blasik-Miller is a past president of the Dayton Bar Association, the Dayton Bar Foundation, the Society of Ohio Healthcare and the Ohio Chapter of American Board Trial Advocates.  She is the chair of the Greater Dayton YMCA Board of Directors and is a board member for the Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project.

Jenna L. Bouhall, of Akron, is an attorney for the Summit County Court of Common Pleas. Bouhall is a 2012 graduate of the OSBA’s Leadership Academy, and donates her time as an assistant coach for the Ohio High School Mock Trial Program. She currently serves as a member of the Applicant Committee for the Akron Bar Association and is a volunteer with the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank. In addition, Bouhall is also a barrister with the Scanlon Inn of Court.

Melinda K. Burton, of Dayton, is an attorney with the firm of Faruki Ireland & Cox P.L.L., where she focuses her practice in the areas of employment and business litigation. Burton is a member of the Ohio Women’s Bar Foundation, and donates her time to that organization’s Leadership Institute. She is also a member of the OSBA and the American Bar Association.

Christopher F. Cariño, of Akron, works as employment counsel for The Lubrizol Corporation. He currently serves on the OSBA’s Council of Delegates from District 11 and is a 2012 graduate of the OSBA’s Leadership Academy. Cariño is a board member of the Akron Civic Theater and is a Fellow of the Akron Bar Foundation.

Kendra L. Carpenter, of Columbus, is a partner in the firm of Sprankle Carpenter LLC, where she focuses her practice in the areas of family and business law. Carpenter donates her time to the American Bar Association’s Pro-Bono Military Project and Capital University Law School’s Legal Clinic. She serves on the board for Central Ohio Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and is a 2011 graduate of the OSBA’s Leadership Academy.

Patrick B. Cavanaugh, of Toledo, is an attorney with the firm Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook, where he focuses his practice in the areas of insurance coverage, medical malpractice and commercial litigation. He currently serves as the chairman for the Toledo Bar Association’s Grievance Committee and is a board member of the Society of Ohio Healthcare Attorneys. Cavanaugh is also a member of the OSBA.

John C. Childers, of Minerva, is a partner in the firm of Childers and Smith.  He is the secretary for the Carrollton Rotary Club and donates his time to the Carroll County Foundation. Childers serves on the OSBA’s Council of Delegates as well as its Board of Governors. He is also a past president of the Carroll County Bar Association.

John D. Clark, of Massillon, is a director with the firm of Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co., L.P.A., where he centers his practice in the areas of estate planning, probate, elder law and business law.  Clark is a board member of the David YMCA, and chairs its Strong Kids Committee. He also serves on the Stark County YMCA Endowment Fund Committee, and as a member of the OSBA’s Council of Delegates. In addition, Clark is a council member of the OSBA’s Estate Planning Trust & Probate Law Section.

Sarah A. Corpening, of Oregon, Ohio, is the executive director of the Toledo Bar Association. She donates her time to the Lucas County Family Council, the Lucas County Children’s Trust Fund, and the Exchange Club of Maumee Bay. In addition, she volunteers with Rescue Incorporated, Ohio’s primary resource for emergency mental health care. Corpening is also a member of the Agency Directors Association.

Christopher F. Cowan, of Kettering, is a partner in the Dayton firm of Cowan & Hilgeman, where he focuses his practice in the areas of business law, family law, estate planning and probate law. He is the president of the Dayton Lawyers’ Club and a board member of the Dayton Rehabilitation Services Agency. Cowan donates his time to the Supreme Court of Ohio’s mentoring program as well as the Dayton Bar Association’s Ethics and Estate Planning Committee. He is also a past treasurer of the Dayton Bar Association.

Ronald D. Cramer, of Marion, is a partner in the firm of Michel, Davis & Cramer. Cramer donates his time to the Marion Community Foundation, the Marion Noon Kiwanis, and the Palace Cultural Arts Association. He is a past president of the Marion County Bar Association and a current member of the board of trustees for the Marion branch of The Ohio State University. In addition, Cramer is a member of the American Bar Association.

Trent A. Dougherty, of Columbus, is general counsel and chief legal analyst and advocate for the Ohio Environmental Council’s Agriculture & Clean Water, Clean Air & Energy, and Legislative Affairs policy programs. He donates pro-bono legal services for environmental- and conservation-focused non-profit organizations. In addition, he is an active volunteer with St. Joseph’s Montessori School. Dougherty is a board member for the Ohio Association of Justice and serves as a presenter for the OSBA’s annual Environmental Law Seminar.

James A. Dyer, of Dayton, is a partner in the firm of Sebaly Shillito & Dyer, where he focuses his practice on litigation. Dyer serves as a trustee for the Kids in Need Foundation and for the Dayton Chapter of Juvenile Diabetes. He is also a trustee of United Theological Seminary, and the Joy Outdoor Education Center. Dyer donates his time to the United States District Court’s Federal Mediation Program and is a member of the American Bar Association, the OSBA and the Dayton Bar Association.

William M. Emley Sr., of Bolivar, is a partner in the Canton office of Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs LLP, where he focuses his practice in the areas of creditors’ rights and bankruptcy. Emley is a past president of the Tuscarawas Valley Local School Board of Education, the Zoar Community Association, and the Zoar Village Council. He donates his time as a trustee for the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Orchestra and the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Stark County. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the OSBA, the Tuscarawas County Bar Association and the Stark County Bar Association.

Denise Ferguson, of Akron, is a sole practitioner who focuses on domestic relations law. She donates her time as a Teen Mom Group Volunteer and is a member of the Akron Bar Association’s Appeals and Common Pleas Court Committee. Ferguson is a 2012 graduate of the OSBA’s Leadership Academy and also serves as a member of the Scanlon Bell Inn of Court.

James P. Fleisher, of Dayton, is an attorney with the firm of Bieser, Greer & Landis, LLP, where he focuses his practice on the areas of business litigation, white collar criminal defense, military law, asset forfeiture, commercial law and personal injury. He is a board member for Partnerships for Success, and donates his time to the Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project. He is the past president of the Dayton Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and a master of the Carl D. Kessler Inn of Court. In addition, Fleisher is also a member of the Dayton Bar Association Federal Practice Committee, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Mark S. Floyd, of Cleveland, is the executive vice president of employment for the DDR Corporation in Beachwood. Floyd is a member of the Cleveland Ballet Executive Committee and the Cleveland Orchestra Steering Committee. In addition, he serves on the OSBA Board of Governors and is a member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Executive Committee. Floyd is also a trial fellow of the Litigation Council of America.

Gregory M. Gantt, of Dayton, is a sole practitioner and focuses his practice in the areas of litigation, mergers and acquisitions. Gantt donates his time to the Volunteer Lawyers Project and is a member of the Mayor’s Leadership Council of Dayton. He is a trustee for the Ohio Association of Elections Officials and a presenter for the OSBA’s Continuing Legal Education program.

Douglas E. Graff, of Columbus, is a partner in the firm of Graff & McGovern, LPA, where he focuses his practice in the areas of regulatory, disciplinary and administrative matters. Graff serves on the OSBA’s Administrative Law Committee and its Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Section. In addition, he is a member of the American Bar Association, the Columbus Bar Association and the National Health Lawyers Association.

William F. Hayes, of Perrysburg, is a sole practitioner in Bowling Green. He donates his time to speak on aviation law at events and is a speaker at the Perrysburg Annual Continuing Legal Education Seminar. A member of the OSBA, he serves on the Aviation Law Committee, and also belongs to the Wood County Bar Association and the Henry County Bar Association.

James L. Jacobson, of Englewood, is an attorney with the Dayton firm of Pickrel, Schaeffer & Ebeling, where he focuses his practice on estate planning, trust and probate law. He is the president of the Lawyer’s Club and a member of the Dayton Bar Association’s Probate Law Committee. Jacobson is also a member of Ohio Jewish Communities, as well as the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton and the Chabad of Greater Dayton.

Tabitha Justice, of Centerville, is an attorney with the Dayton firm of Subashi & Wildermuth, where she focuses her practice on the areas of education law, transportation law, municipal and police liability, and labor and employment law. She is the former chair of the Governmental Liability Committee for the Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys and is a 2012 graduate of the OSBA’s Leadership Academy. Justice is also a member of the American Bar Association as well as the Dayton Bar Association, where she serves on the Federal Practice Committee.

Scott A. King, of Dayton, is a partner in the Dayton office of Thompson Hine LLP, where he focuses his practice in the areas of business litigation, emerging technologies and product liability litigation. He is a trustee for the Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project and a Fellow of the Dayton Bar Foundation. King is a member of the Mortgage Bankers Association as well as the Dayton Bar Association. In his spare time, King coaches girls fast pitch softball. 

Thomas A. Knoth, of Dayton, is a partner in the firm of Thompson Hine LLP, where he centers his practice in the areas of business litigation, health care and product liability litigation. Knoth donates his time to the Greater Dayton Area Volunteer Lawyers Project. He is a master of the Carl D. Kessler Inn of Court, a member of the OSBA and a former trustee for the Dayton Bar Association. In his spare time, Knoth coaches youth basketball for both the Holy Angels Catholic Church and Oakwood Select Basketball.

James G. Kordik, of Dayton, is a partner in the firm of Rogers & Greenberg LLP, where he focuses his practice in the areas of taxation, business law, real estate, estate planning, and estate and trust administration. Kordik is the treasurer of the Volunteer Lawyers Project. He is a member of the OSBA’s Corporate Law Section, the Ohio Society of CPAs, and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. In addition, Kordik volunteers as a wrestling coach at Troy Christian High School.

William M. Lane, of Westerville, is a member of the Columbus firm of Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, where he focuses his practice in the areas of trust and estate law, real estate law, construction law, non-profit and for-profit corporate law, and administrative law. He is a Fellow of the Columbus Bar Foundation and a member of the Columbus Foundation Legal Advisory Committee. Lane is member of the board for Bexley Hall Seminary, and chairs its Audit Committee. An administrative law member of the Rotary Club of Columbus, he is also a member of the OSBA, the American Bar Association and the Columbus Bar Association.

Joseph L. Ludovici, of East Liverpool, is an attorney with the firm of Aronson, Fineman & Davis Co., L.P.A., where he practices in the areas of family law, social security disability law, personal injury and criminal law. Ludovici serves on the East Liverpool Hospital Board of Trustees as well as the OSBA Board of Governors. He is a member of the Certified Grievance Committee for the Columbiana County Bar Association, and is also a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Jennifer J. Morales, of Cincinnati, is a partner in the firm of Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL, where she focuses her practices in the areas of commercial and securities litigation, class action litigation and appellate law. Morales donates her time to the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s Law School Mentoring Program. In addition, she is a member of the OSBA Council of Delegates and has also participated in the OSBA’s Silent Partners Program.

Jennifer L. Myers, of Columbus, is of Counsel with Poling Law. She volunteers for the Make a Wish Foundation, as well as Capital University’s Career Services. In addition, Myers is a Mock Trial Competition Coordinator. She is a member of the OSBA’s Worker’s Compensation Committee and Juvenile Law Committee. She is also a member of the Delaware County Bar Association’s Domestic Relations Committee and its Juvenile Law Committee.

Carol H. O’Brien, of Worthington, is the prosecuting attorney for Delaware County. She volunteers for Olentangy Relay for Life, the American Heart Association, and is a board member of the Central Ohio YMCA. She is also the head coach for Delaware County Special Olympics Gymnastics. O’Brien is a member of the OSBA, the Delaware County Bar Association, the South Carolina Bar Association and the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association.

Elizabeth M. Shaffer, of Cincinnati, is an attorney with the firm of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, where she focuses her practice in the areas of litigation, and antitrust and trade regulation. Shaffer serves as secretary of the WAVE Foundation Board of Directors and donates her time to the Wills for Heroes Foundation. In addition, she serves on the American Cancer Society Advisory Board of Directors and volunteers with its Road to Recovery program. Shaffer is a member of the OSBA, the Cincinnati Bar Association and the Kentucky Bar Association.

Jennifer L. Strazzella, of Bay Village, is an attorney with the Cleveland office of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, where she focuses her practice on the development and documentation of complex single and multiple bank commercial loan transactions. She serves as the chair of the banking Commercial and Bankruptcy Committee for the OSBA. In addition, Strazzella is a member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, the National Association of Bond Lawyers and the Turnaround Management Association.

Michael J. Todak, of Perrysburg, is an attorney with the Sylvania firm of LaValley, LaValley, Todak & Schaefer Co., LPA, where he focuses his practice on the areas of business, taxation, estate planning and administration, and real estate. Todak serves as the chair for the Diocese of Toledo Retirement Plan for Lay Employees and is a member of the Toledo Estate Planning Council. He is the president of the Toledo Bar Association, and is a member of the OSBA and the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants. In his spare time, Todak volunteers as a youth athletic coach.

Marlene Torres, of Columbus, is a sole practitioner who focuses her practice in the areas of taxation law, real estate law, foreclosure defense, employment law, domestic relations and juvenile law, wills and probate law, business incorporation, mediation and dispute resolution. She donates her time to the Save the Dream Foreclosure Program and the Low-Income Tax Clinic. In addition, Torres is a member of the OSBA, the Columbus Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

Audrey E. Varwig, of Columbus, is an attorney with the Columbus office of Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, P.C. where she focuses her practice on the areas of automobile accident litigation, bodily injury litigation, business torts, civil litigation, commercial litigation, employment law and much more. Varwig donates her time to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and serves as her firm’s campaign coordinator for the Operation Feed Law Firm Challenge. She is a member of the OSBA, the Columbus Bar Association and the Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys. In addition, Varwig is a 2012 graduate of the OSBA’s Leadership Academy.

James K. Weaner, of Defiance, is a partner in the firm of Weaner, Zimmerman, Bacon & Yoder LTD. Weaner donates his time to the United Way and to the Kids Creation Playground at Diehl Park in Defiance. He serves as vice chair for the Sherwood State Bank and treasurer for the Defiance County Bar Association. Weaner also serves on the OSBA Board of Governors and chairs its Audit Committee. He is a trustee for the Yokefellow Retreat Center and also donates his time to the Defiance College Purple and Gold Club.

Rebecca L. West-Estell, of Toledo, is a sole practitioner. President of the Thurgood Marshall Law Association, she also serves on the West Toledo YMCA Executive Board of Managers, and is a trustee for Legal Aid of Western Ohio and Advocates for Basic Legal Equality. She serves as a regional secretary for the National Bar Association and is a member of the OSBA’s Solo Practice Committee.

Merle F. Wilberding, of Dayton, is an attorney with the firm of Coolidge Wall Co., LPA, where he focuses his practice in the areas of corporate and business law, real estate, tax, non-profit corporations, business planning, shopping centers law and zoning law. He is the 2012 recipient of the Ohio State Bar Foundation’s Honorary Life Fellow Award, one of the foundation’s highest honors. Wilberding is a founding trustee of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation, and serves on the board of the Greater Dayton Foreign Trade Zone. He also serves on the Dayton Sister Cities Committee and the Montgomery County Board for Library Resources. He is a member of the Advisory Council for the Wright State University College of Liberal Arts as well as the University of Dayton Law School. In addition, Wilberding donates his time to both the Dayton Bar Association Volunteer Program and the Oral History Project.

Jason A. Wuliger, of Kirtland, is an attorney and a recipient of the Ohio State Bar Foundation’s District 18 Community Service Award for Attorneys 40 & Under. He donates his time to the Feed Lake County Food Drive and is a board member of the Lake County Blue Coats. Wuliger is also a trustee for the Lake County Bar Association and serves as the first vice president of the Fine Arts Association in Willoughby, Ohio.

About the Ohio State Bar Foundation       

As the charitable arm of the Ohio State Bar Association, the Foundation advances the philanthropic interest of the Ohio’s lawyers to recognize excellence, improve the justice system and enhance public understanding of the rule of law.  For more information about the Ohio State Bar Foundation, please visit www.osbf.net. 

Note to editors:  Home zip codes:  Adams 43016, Alexander 45429, Armstrong 45458, Augsburger 43212, Bartlett Jr. 45419, Beck 45419, Belfance 44303, Bell 45324,Blasik-Miller 45419, Bouhall 44312, Burton            45342, Carino 44313, Carpenter 43214, Cavanaugh 43617, Childers 44657, Clark 44646, Corpening 43616, Cowan 45419, Cramer 43302, Dougherty 43212, Dyer 45458, Emley, Sr. 44612, Ferguson 44301, Fleisher 45440, Floyd 44122, Gantt 45419, Graff 43215, Hayes 43551, Jacobson 45459, Justice 45459, King 45459, Knoth 45409, Kordik 45419, Lane 43082, Ludovici 26034, Morales 45236, Myers 43221, O'Brien 43015, Shaffer 45140, Strazzella 44140, Todak 43551, Torres  43229,Varwig 43221, Weaner 43512, West-Estell 43607,  Wilberding 45409-2506, Wuliger 44094; Photos available upon request. Contact Kate Clements at kclements@osbf.net

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