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Lee Fisher and Peggy Zone Fisher To Receive 2021 Richard W. Pogue Award for Excellence in Community Leadership and Engagement - CMBA News and Information

CMBA Updates & Legal News

Posted by: Brennan Donnellan on Nov 23, 2020
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Award To Be Presented at 16th Annual Rock The Foundation Virtual Gala on Saturday, February 13th Broadcast Live from The Music Box Supper Club

They are the ultimate Cleveland power couple. Lee Fisher, Dean at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, and Peggy Zone Fisher, President and CEO of the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, have an unparalleled history of leadership in business, politics, law and community service. All of us who live and work in Northeast Ohio have benefited from their more than four decades of civic engagement.

Because of that unmatched commitment to the betterment of our community, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation (CMBF) is proud to award its highest honor, the Richard W. Pogue Award for Excellence in Community Leadership and Engagement, to Lee Fisher and Peggy Zone Fisher.

CMBF will present the award live on Saturday, February 13th, 2021 at The Music Box Supper Club. The public is invited to share in honoring these worthy recipients via Facebook Live and Zoom. The award is the highlight of our Rock the Foundation 16 Virtual Gala, featuring live entertainment and interactive fun for all. “The Best Party in Cleveland” promises to continue to live up to its reputation as it raises funds and awareness to support the CMBF’s “Next Generation Campaign” which is building bridges to success and opening doors to opportunities for greater Cleveland students. 

CMBF President Carter Strang said, “It has been my distinct honor and pleasure to have known Lee and Peggy for many years. Not only do they have long and distinguished careers as dynamic, impactful community leaders, but they have also engaged and empowered others to make our community more just, diverse, equitable, and inclusive.”

During Lee’s tenure as Dean of The Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, the college had the nation’s second-highest increase in national rankings; created innovative leadership education programs; strengthened community and alumni ties; and increased its commitment to justice reform. 

Lee is a member of the CMBA Board of Directors and a frequent speaker at CMBA continuing legal education seminars (CLEs) and programs. Consistent with his passion for developing the next generation of legal and business professionals, Lee has ensured Cleveland-Marshall’s sustaining partnership in CMBA pipeline programs, including the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Legal Academy and the Louis Stokes Scholars Program which provide Cleveland and East Cleveland high school graduates with on-campus experiences. To date, four CMBA pipeline alumni have graduated from C-M Law, and another two are currently enrolled at the law school. 

Dean Fisher presents the JD to Brandon Brown, a graduate of CMBF’s Louis Stokes Scholars Program. Brandon has gone on to mentor students and give back to the programs and people that supported him.

Before joining Cleveland-Marshall, Lee’s diverse career spanned a variety of private and public service roles including Ohio Lt. Governor, Ohio Attorney General, state senator and representative, Director of the Ohio Department of Development, Chair of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission, and leadership roles with numerous non-profit organizations.

Peggy Zone Fisher has been a Cleveland business and community leader for more than forty years. She is President and CEO of the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio (DCNEO), which is dedicated to lifting up our next generation by eliminating bias, bigotry, and racism across America. DCNEO programs serve more than 10,000 northeast Ohio students and educators from over 150 schools and organizations in nine counties.  Under Peggy’s leadership, DCNEO has expanded to more Ohio counties, significantly increased the number of schools with which it works, and broadened its engagement with young professionals through the groundbreaking LeadDiversity program.  

Before her post at DCNEO, Peggy was president and owner of one of Greater Cleveland’s largest women-owned businesses, Zone Travel, Inc. She also served as one of eleven commissioners on the National Commissioners of the White House Conference on Small Business, chaired the Ohio Governor’s Advisory Council for Travel and Tourism, and led Ohio Governor Richard Celeste’s China Trade Mission. Peggy was also a delegate to the first-ever White House Conference on AIDS and was honored by the AIDS Task Force of Greater Cleveland for her leadership on AIDS issues.  

In recognition of her many accomplishments, Peggy has received a variety of recognitions. She was named one of the Top 20 Women Business Owners in Northeast Ohio by the Women Business Owners Association, received the Captain Cleveland Award from the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland, and was the first recipient of the Today’s Woman Award by the Altrusa Club of Cleveland. 

Peggy has also contributed her talents to a variety of nonprofit boards of directors including the Lutheran Medical Center, the AIDS Task Force of Greater Cleveland, Community West Foundation, Neighborhood Progress, Inc., and Adoption by Gentle Care. 

Lee and Peggy have two children, Jason, a Los Angeles filmmaker, daughter-in-law, Katelyn, and Jessica, a 2018 graduate of Cleveland State University. They also have a granddaughter, Violet.

Please join us in congratulating our 2021 Richard W. Pogue Award Winners. To help honor these extraordinary leaders and sponsor Rock 16, email Caitlin Peterson at For more details about the fun as Rock turns Sweet Sixteen, visit



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