2011 annual meeting awards

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CMBA Honored Award Recipients at its Fourth Annual Meeting

CLEVELAND – June 21, 2011 – The winners of three prestigious awards were recognized Friday, June 10 at the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s (CMBA) Annual Meeting at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center.

The Honorable William K. Thomas Professionalism Award
Established in 2001 and named for the late Judge William K. Thomas, the Professionalism Award is awarded to a lawyer or judge who has significantly contributed to the enhancement of professionalism in the Greater Cleveland legal community by exemplifying the goals of the Ohio Supreme Court's 'A Lawyer's Creed' and 'A Lawyer's Aspirational Ideals'. The winner need not be a member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.

The CMBA presented this year’s award posthumously to Thomas S. Kilbane, who was a partner at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey L.L.P. and served with distinction as the chair of its litigation department for many years. “We suddenly and tragically lost one of our bar’s true legends this April, and so we present this award with a heavy heart,” said Michael N. Ungar, outgoing CMBA president. “Whether you had the privilege of knowing Tom in the capacity of adversary or co-counsel, partner or associate, or judge or arbitrator, you knew that you were in the presence of greatness and witnessing professionalism at its finest. He was as tough a trial lawyer as they come, but always treated people with the utmost dignity and respect.”

Justice for All Volunteer of the Year Award
The Justice for All (JFA) Committee serves as the oversight committee to coordinate and support the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s pro bono and public service programs. In this capacity, the committee annually recognizes a volunteer for his/her outstanding service to the community of Greater Cleveland. This year, the CMBA honored Steven E. Wolkin with its Volunteer of the Year Award

“Throughout this past year and his entire legal career, Steve has truly led by example by providing pro bono services and volunteer public service directly benefiting the children and indigent citizens of Cuyahoga County,” explained Ungar. “He does so much for our community through his work with the Guardian ad Litem Project and more, and suffice it to say that he is one of those volunteers who provides ongoing inspiration to all of us who understand the importance of giving back to our community.”

President’s Award
Each year, the President’s Award is given by the outgoing president of the Association for exceptional service to the Bar and our community. This year, President Michael Ungar presented the award to Hugh E. McKay of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP.

“It’s hard not to be inspired by Hugh McKay, with his boundless energy and his trademark sense of humor,” said Ungar. “Hugh’s continued contributions to our Association and Foundation are remarkable. Not only was he the vision behind our highly successful 3Rs Program – which just finished its 5th year and is a national model for civic engagement in public schools – but this year he led a highly successful recruiting campaign for our Bar Foundation’s Fellows Program, which enables our Foundation to continue to fund the many pro bono and community outreach programs serving Greater Cleveland.”

In addition to the award presentations, the 2011 CMBA Annual Meeting included the swearing in of the new 2011-2012 officers and trustees of the CMBA. The incoming officers are: Barbara K. Roman, President (Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis); Carter E. Strang, President-Elect (Tucker Ellis & West LLP); Jonathan B. Leiken, Vice President (Jones Day); G. Christopher Meyer, Treasurer (Squire, Sanders & Dempsey L.L.P.) and Robert D. Anderle, Vice President of Membership (Seeley, Savidge, Ebert & Gourash Co., LPA).

“Although I’m surely going to miss this job, I am pleased to have such stellar leadership right behind me,” remarked Ungar. “Barbara’s passion for this bar and her ability to make excellent decisions on its behalf have revealed themselves repeatedly to me. Soon those outstanding traits will be obvious to all.”

The six new CMBA Board Trustees, each serving a three-year term, are: Cathleen M. Bolek (Bolek Besser Glesius, LLC), Brent M. Buckley (Buckley King), Ian N. Friedman (Ian N. Friedman & Associates, L.L.C.), Joseph N. Gross (Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP), Richik Sarkar (Ulmer & Berne LLP) and Darlene E. White (Gallagher Sharp).

For questions or additional details about the awards or the Annual Meeting, please contact Rita Klein at (216) 696-3525.

About the CMBA
The nonprofit Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association operates as a center for legal professionalism in the region, promoting the highest ethical and professional standards. Serving the largest legal community in the state, the CMBA has more than 5,500 members. Learn more at www.clemetrobar.org.