The CMBA knows lawyers...and we know leadership.  We're combining two of our strengths into one program specifically designed for the needs and interests of our members. Launching this fall: the CMBA's Leadership Academy.  

Announcing the Inaugural CMBA Leadership Academy Class

An esteemed panel of past and present CMBA presidents, trustees and bar leaders selected 34 attorneys to participate in the inaugural class of the CMBA Leadership Academy. This 10-month program will provide leadership and professional development programming for two different groups of attorneys: Emerging Leaders (minimum 5 years legal experience) and Established Leaders (minimum 15 years legal experience). Monthly sessions for the Leadership Academy will kick off in September and conclude in June 2018.

2017-2018 Emerging Leader Cohort members:

Jennifer A. Alexander, Cuyahoga County Probate Court
Elizabeth A. Batts, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP
Kari Ann Lillibridge Burns, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
Monica Christofferson, Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court
Julie C. Cortes, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland
Brandon D. Cox, Tucker Ellis LLP
Kendra Davitt, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
Christopher G. Dean, McDonald Hopkins LLC
Katy M. Franz, Eaton Corporation
John W. Hofstetter, Kastner Westman & Wilkins, LLC
John D. Lazzaretti, Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP
Todd K. Masuda, Schneider Smeltz Spieth Bell LLP
Justin L. Monday, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP
Matthew W. O'Brien, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
Amanda M. Roe, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP
Justin C. Withrow, Law Office of Michael C. Hennenberg, Esq.

2017-2018 Established Leader Cohort members:

Awatef Assad, Cuyahoga County Department of Law
Christopher J. Carney, Brouse McDowell
Lisa Gasbarre Black, Catholic Charities Diocese of Cleveland
Jodi Spencer Johnson, Ice Miller LLP
Lori R. Kilpeck, Ziegler Metzger LLP
Andrea R. Kinast, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
Patrick J. Krebs, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
Lori Ann Luka, Lazzaro Luka Law Office
Harold (Hal) O. Maxfield, Jr., Cavitch, Familo & Durkin Co., LPA
Daniel L. Messeloff, Tucker Ellis LLP
K. Vesna Mijic-Barisic, Cleveland State University
Tom Mlakar, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland
Kelli Kay Perk, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office
Scott J. Robinson, Schneider Smeltz Spieth Bell LLP
Joseph M. Saponaro, FisherBroyles LLP
Lori Wald, Intentional Lawyer
Kristin L. Wedell, Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, P.C.
Christopher Zirke, Corporate United, Inc.

What will the Leadership Academy offer?
Each cohort will meet monthly, September through June, and gain hands-on experience through highly interactive sessions. Programming will range from leadership style to rainmaking and business development to building a stronger financial acumen.  Every session will feature presentations by and conversations with some of the most accomplished lawyers in our community.  A sample of our confirmed speakers include:

Tom Anderson - SVP Regional Wealth Executive, Huntington National Bank 
Julie Clark - Senior Director of Leadership Development, BVU  
Bruce G. Hearey - Shareholder of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Bruce M. Hennes - Managing Partner of Hennes Communications
Catherine M. Kilbane - Sr. VP, GC & Secretary, The Sherwin-Williams Company
Joseph R. Leonti - VP, General Counsel & Secretary, Parker Hannifin Corporation
P. Kelly Tompkins - EVP & Chief Operating Officer, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.

For a detailed description of the Academy sessions, including dates, click here.

The application process is currently closed. We'll have info on the 2018-19 process posted later this fall.

Who should apply?

Whether you are emerging from the crowd within in your organization, or you have established yourself as a go-to leader, we want to inspire and challenge you to drive your successes to the next level.  As a member of our inaugural class, you will: 

  • Connect with our profession's preeminent leaders including judges, GCs, Managing Partners and more;
  • Further develop the skills you need to take your legal career as far as you want to go;
  • Create long-standing relationships with your fellow cohort members;
  • Capitalize upon opportunities to flex your leadership muscles in the civic arena; and 
  • Earn CLE credit.

What is the application process?

Applications will be considered for two cohorts: one for Emerging Leaders (minimum 5 years legal experience) and Established Leaders (minimum 15 years legal experience). Each class will be limited in size to maximize individual engagement. Candidates must have a demonstrated passion for the profession and civic engagement, a genuine commitment to expanding leadership development, and an excitement for building relationships with a broad cross-section of lawyers and leaders in greater Cleveland.