Leading the Way Award (previously the Founders' Award) 

It started with a speech by Justice Alice Robie Resnick, April 1991, that sparked the idea about establishing a statewide women’s bar association. Nurtured by Justice Resnick, the Honorable Patricia Hemann and Pamela Hagle Hultin, this spark turned into a vision and on September 23, 1991, the Ohio Women’s Bar Association became a reality. Twenty-six women attended that first meeting. This award was named after the twenty-six women, along with the first class of founding members, and recognizes an outstanding woman attorney who has contributed to the legal profession.

In 2018, the award was combined with the Ohio Women's Bar Foundation's Leading the Way Award and continues to honor outstanding women lawyers who demonstrate exemplary leadership in the legal profession and their communities and commitment to the promotion and enhancement of women in the legal community by inspiring and mentoring other women to raise their performance to the same high standard.

Founders Award Recipients:

1998 | The Justice Alice Robie Resnick Award of Distinction (Supreme Court of Ohio)
1999 | Pamela N. Hultin (McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Haiman Co., L.P.A.)
2000 | Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Hemann (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio)
2001 | Barbara J. Smith (McDonald, Hopkins, Burke & Haber Co., L.P.A).
2002 | Louise P. Dempsey (CSU's Cleveland-Marshall College of Law)
2003 | Magistrate Judge Vernelis K. Armstrong (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, Western Division)
2004 | Sandra J. Anderson (Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease, LLP)
2005 | Mickey Rabin
2006 | Joyce D. Edelman (Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur, LLP)
2007 | Holly Taft Sydlow (U.S. Attorney's Office) & Kerin Lyn Kaminski (Giffen & Kaminski, LLC)
2009 | Judge Mary Jane Trapp (Eleventh District Court of Appeals)
2011 | Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor (Supreme Court of Ohio)
2013 | Deborah Platt Majoras (Procter & Gamble)
2015 | Judge Benita Y. Pearson (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio)
2017 | Yvette McGee Brown (Jones Day)

Leading the Way Award Recipients:

2013 | Susan Jacobson (Cardinal Health)
2014 | Justice Judith Lanzinger (Ohio Supreme Court)
2015 | Jeanette Knudsen (The J.M. Smucker Company)
2016 | The Honorable Betty Montgomery
2017 | Michelle Roe (Thirty-One Gifts)
2018 | Marilyn McClure-Demers (Nationwide)
2019 | Helen Mac Murray (Mac Murray & Shuster LLP)
2021 | Judge Laurel Beatty Blunt (10th District Court of Appeals)
2023 | Janice Pierce Tucker 


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