Public Servants Merit Awards

The 73rd Annual Franklin A. Polk Public Servants Merit Awards Luncheon will be held on Friday, September 18, 2020 at the Westin Hotel in downtown Cleveland. Members of the legal community will gather to recognize and congratulate the selected court employees for their outstanding dedication and commitment to public service. While we recognize that the current health emergency has significantly disrupted many events, we are optimistic that we will be able to unite this fall for one of our Bar Foundation’s most meaningful events.

The plan to honor deserving public servants was inaugurated in 1947 by the late Raymond D. Metzner, a past President of the Cuyahoga County Bar Association (CCBA). CCBA Past President Franklin A. Polk served annually as continuous chairman until 1986. Mr. Polk was involved with this program until his passing in 1991. In 1986, the Public Servants Merit Award was renamed the "Franklin A. Polk Public Servants Merit Award" to honor Mr. Polk's dedication and outstanding service to the CCBA and CCBF.

Each year city, county, state and federal courts and clerks of courts offices are asked to nominate non-elected employees for their years of outstanding service to the legal profession, the general public, and our justice system. These merit awards are given for long and faithful service, devotion to duty, wise counsel, unfailing patience, and assistance to the public and members of the Bench and Bar of this county.

In 2009, the Cleveland Bar Foundation and Cuyahoga County Bar Foundation unified as the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation. The CMBF is honored and proud to continue this annual tradition providing an opportunity for celebration that is so meaningful to the judges, clerks, and court staff. The event welcomes more than 400 or more attendees annually, including the judges and clerks of court who will accompany the honorees.

We are in an extraordinary time, but we look forward to gathering the legal community together again to celebrate the career contributions of those extraordinary public servants who have and continue to keep the justice system serving our community. Details for sponsoring and tickets are coming soon! 

2019 Honorees

In the history of the event, more than 350 Cuyahoga County residents have been honored as outstanding public servants, representing in total more than 8,500 years of exemplary public service. Their names are displayed on a distinguished plaque in the entry lobby of the Cuyahoga County Courthouse at One Lakeside Avenue.  

Linda Brooks , Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division
Craig Fromwiller, Cuyahoga County Probate Court
Robert Furda, Cleveland Municipal Court
Tiffany Jennings, Cleveland Municipal Court, Clerk's Office
Marilyn McKean, U.S. Department of Justice
Stephania Pryor, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
Michelle Smith, Cleveland Municipal Court, Housing Division
Cynthia Stanton, Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court
James Starks, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
Jeannie Zupan, Cuyahoga County Clerk of Courts Office

Thank you to our 2019 Sponsors!

Gold Sponsors:
McDonald Hopkins LLC
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP 
Tucker Ellis LLP

Silver Sponsors: 
Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP
Calfee Halter & Griswold LLP
Frantz Ward LLP
Thompson Hine LLP
Ulmer & Berne, LLP
Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP
Walter Haverfield LLP

Bronze Sponsors: 
Kohrman Jackson & Krantz
Kronenberg & Belovich Law LLC
Lazzzaro Luka Law Offices
Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis
Lee Ann O'Brien

Individual Sponsors: 
Rosanne Aumiller
Louise Dempsey
Leslie Wargo
Kelly M. Zacharias