Public Servants Merit Awards

The 71st Annual Franklin A. Polk Public Servants Merit Awards Luncheon was held on Friday, August 25, 2017 at the Westin Hotel in downtown Cleveland. Members of the legal community gathered to recognize and congratulate the selected court employees for their outstanding dedication and commitment to public service.

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 government agencies are asked to nominate eligible employees for their 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.

A complete wrap-up of the event can be found in the October issue of the CMBA Bar Journal. 

Please contact Sarah Charlton, Special Events and Facility Planning Coordinator with any questions at (216) 539-5974. 

2017 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.  

We congratulate the 2017 Honorees:

Lisa Beeble, Parma City Council
John T. Bilinski, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
Kathleen Boval, Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court
Sonja J. Colwell, Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court
Liz Cullen, Cleveland Municipal Court, Housing Court Division
Rita Haynes, Cleveland Municipal Court
Jacqueline A. Johnson, Federal Public Defender’s Office
Lynda L. Lewis, Cuyahoga County Probate Court
Judith Mathews Nash, Rocky River Municipal Court
Mary Ann Schmuck, Cleveland Municipal Court, Clerk’s Office
Michael W. Vaccaro, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Clerk’s Office


Thank you to our 2017 Sponsors!

Calfee Halter & Griswold LLP
Laborers Local 860
Reminger Co., L.P.A.
Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP
Tucker Ellis LLP
Walter Haverfield LLP
Thompson Hine LLP
Giffen & Kaminski, LLC
Kronenberg + Belovich Law LLC
Lazzaro Luka Law Offices, LLC
Mary Catherine Barrett
Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis
Schneider Smeltz Spieth Bell LLP
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
Ulmer & Berne LLP
Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP
Rosanne Aumiller
Hon. Diane J. Karpinski
Kelly M. Zacharias