Ohio State Bar Foundation announces new officers and members of Board of Trustees

February 20, 2020


COLUMBUS, OH (Feb. 20, 2020) – The Ohio State Bar Foundation (OSBF) is pleased to welcome four new members to its Board of Trustees this year. The Trustees are composed of volunteers who provide leadership for all aspects of the Foundation, including awarding of grants, selection of award recipients, and guidance in finance, membership, and fundraising.

“The OSBF consistently relies on its Trustees to help move the organization forward,” said OSBF Executive Director Lori Keating. “This year, we have a group of distinguished attorneys from diverse backgrounds who will bring new insights to our board discussions and decision making.”

The OSBF’s new Officers and Trustees are:

President, Mark Kitrick
Mark Kitrick is founding partner at The Law Firm of Kitrick, Lewis & Harris. Throughout his 39-year career, Kitrick has earned the trust and confidence of more than 10,000 clients facing serious personal injury and wrongful death issues. Kitrick also represents clients in complex litigation and consumer class actions. He has been rated one of the best lawyers in America for more than 14 years, is AV rated with Martindale Hubble for more than 25 years, is one of the top 50 attorneys in Columbus for more than 12 years, and one of the top 100 lawyers in Ohio for the last few years. Kitrick is past president of the Ohio Association for Justice, is past president of the Franklin County Trial Lawyers Association, and served two terms with the Columbus Bar Association. Kitrick was elected to OSBF’s Board of Trustees in 2015 and has served on the Executive Committee, Development Committee, Membership Committee, Grants Committee, and Awards Committee.

“The OSBF is the largest nonprofit bar foundation in the United States, and I am humbled and excited to be able lead our incredible organization through 2020 with an outstanding board,” said Kitrick. “This year, I’m focusing on sharing the OSBF story with more Ohioans - both lawyers and citizens - and continuing our granting of hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to nonprofit organizations across the state to advance our mission.” 

President-Elect, Velda Hofacker
Velda Hofacker will become OSBF President on January 1, 2021. Hofacker has been an Assistant Attorney General in the Court of Claims Defense Section of the Ohio Attorney General's Office since 1988. She has handled hundreds of cases involving a myriad of substantive areas of law before the Court of Claims, the Tenth District Court of Appeals, and the Ohio Supreme Court. Hofacker has served on numerous committees for the OSBF and is currently Membership Committee Chair.

New Trustee R. Benjamin Franz
R. Benjamin Franz is an environmental attorney focusing on the Clean Air Act and air pollution law and policy at Marathon Petroleum Corporation in Findlay. In his role, he oversees environmental legal support for Marathon Petroleum’s Refining organization and each of the company’s 16 refineries. In addition to serving on the Board, Franz also will serve on the Development Committee and Grants Committee.

New Trustee Ronald L. Kahn
Ronald L. Kahn is a retired Partner of Ulmer & Berne LLP in Cleveland, retiring in 2016 after a 43-year career. During his career, he focused on taxation, employment law, health care law, estate planning, and corporate law issues. Kahn also helped develop The Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland, Inc. after being approached, along with other parents, by Dr. Samuel Gross of University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital with the idea. In 2016, Kahn was awarded the OSBF’s Ramey Award for Distinguished Community Service, an honor given annually to an Ohio attorney whose career has been exemplified by a lifetime of service to the public and the community. In addition to serving on the OSBF’s Board, he also will serve on the Audit & Finance Committee and Awards Committee.

New Trustee Marley C. Nelson
Marley C. Nelson is an Assistant State Public Defender at the Office of the Ohio Public Defender in Columbus. In her role, she helps indigent residents of Ohio through appellate advocacy and hearings before the Adult Parole Authority. In addition to Nelson’s legal practice experience, she has more than 15 years of experience in competitive speech, moot court, which is a mock court composed of a single argument per side, and mock trial, which is an imitation of a trial. In addition to serving on the Board, she will also serve on the Membership Committee and Development Committee.

New Trustee Sarah K. Skow
Sarah K. Skow is an attorney with Spengler Nathanson PLL in Toledo. She has a diverse litigation practice, primarily in the areas of complex business litigation, professional malpractice defense, and tort litigation. Skow has been recognized by Ohio Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” since 2012 and by Toledo Business Journal as a “Who’s Who in Toledo Area Law” since 2016. She was awarded OSBF’s Statewide Community Service Award for Attorneys 40 and Under in 2015. Recently, Skow was instrumental in helping the OSBF host its first legal clinic with the moms of Mom’s House in Toledo and was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio’s Advisory Group. In addition to serving on the OSBF Board, Skow also will serve on the Grants Committee and Membership Committee.

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The Ohio State Bar Foundation is a 501(c)(3) grantmaking organization. It is the largest bar foundation in the United States and works to advance the law and build a better justice system. Each year, the OSBF awards hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to nonprofit organizations across the state of Ohio. For more information about the Foundation, or to donate, please visit OSBF.org.

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