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OSBF honors OSBA executive director for lifetime of service

Denny L. RameyDenny L. Ramey was named an Honorary Life Fellow at the Ohio State Bar Foundation’s (OSBF) Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on Nov. 9 at the Hilton Columbus/Polaris.

Having served as the executive director of the Ohio State Bar Association and as treasurer of the OSBF for 26 years, Ramey believes a leader should “give people permission to fail” to get the best work from them. He commented, “Why would people risk new ideas if they weren’t secure in trying out an idea that might not succeed? I didn’t just want to be a gate gatekeeper, as a leader, who always wanted to reach the top of the ladder, but I wanted everyone else to reach the top of their ladders, too.” While successfully employing this mindset, Ramey has been recognized as an innovative bar leader.

Over the years, Ramey has guided both the OSBA and the OSBF through numerous changes and expansions, which have not only strengthened both organizations, but enabled each to better cater to the needs of Ohio’s lawyers. OSBF President Heather Sowald offered, “Denny’s 26 years of service as the treasurer of the OSBF represents a remarkable tenure. During that period of time, he witnessed several transformations of the Foundation as it moved from a research-based organization to a vital statewide grant-maker.” She added, “The entrepreneurial spirit he brought to the OSBA filtered throughout the entire OSBA family, and the OSBF benefitted greatly over the years from that work.”

Ramey is the first non-lawyer to gain the title of OSBF Honorary Life Fellow. In further recognition of his service, the OSBF Board of Trustees recently voted to change the name of the Distinguished Community Service Award to the Ramey Award for Distinguished Community Service. “The recognition is very special to me and a bit overwhelming,” said Ramey, whose service has also been recognized by other organizations. In 2006, Ramey received the Bolton Award for Professional Excellence, the highest honor given by the National Association of Bar Executives. In 2011, the OSBA gave Ramey its highest honor, the Bar Medal.

In addition to his service on behalf of Ohio’s lawyers, Ramey has volunteered his service on the executive advisory board for Ohio University’s College of Business Administration and as a member of the nominating council for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. He is also a former member of the advisory board for the Greenbrier resort and a current member of several professional associations.

Ramey received his BBA in management and economics from Ohio University and his MBA from Capital University. Born and raised in Portsmouth, Ohio, Ramey is a 1965 graduate of Portsmouth High School.

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