THE OHIO STATE BAR FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES NEW OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF 2021 BOARD OF TRUSTEES

March 09, 2021


The Board of Trustees are volunteers who provide leadership and oversight in helping the Foundation with its mission of educating people on the rule of law and improving the justice system. The Board also will support the Foundation in the awarding of grants and the selection of award recipients, while also providing guidance in finance, membership, and fundraising.

“Our Board of Trustees come from respected law firms and legal organizations throughout Ohio and generously give of their time and expertise to thoughtfully guide the OSBF,” says Lori Keating, OSBF Executive Director.  “Through the Board’s leadership and direction, our organization awarded more than one million dollars in grants to non-profits across the state in 2020.  We have helped thousands of Ohioans to better understand the law, while improving the state’s legal system.  It is through the leadership of our Board that the OSBF continues to have this kind of impact on our communities.”

The OSBF’s new Officers and Trustees are:

President, Velda Hofacker—Columbus, OH

Recently retired, Velda Hofacker served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Court of Claims Defense Section of the Ohio Attorney General's Office for more than 30 years. In representing the state, she argued hundreds of cases before the Court of Claims, the Tenth District Court of Appeals, and the Ohio Supreme Court. After actively participating in the 2004 OSBF Fellows class, Hofacker has continuously served on various OSBF committees, including all standing committees: Executive, Development, Membership, Grants, Audit and Finance, and Awards Committees. Hofacker has participated in the OSBF’s Suits for Success and Light the Way campaigns, served as a judge for the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education mock trial program and volunteered her time with OSBF grantees. Hofacker has held a variety of leadership positions within her community, including serving as president of the Mid-Ohio Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She is passionate about helping those in need by volunteering at food pantries and clothing centers and by assisting victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. She is a frequent presenter about the Foundation to other bar groups and is a dedicated proponent of the OSBF mission.

 President-Elect, J. Kristin Burkett—Lancaster, OH

J. Kristin Burkett is a managing partner at Newark’s Burkett & Sanderson Law Firm. Practicing law for more than 30 years, Burkett represents criminal defendants both in federal and state felony and misdemeanor cases. She also is an approved Federal Attorney qualified to act as counsel in capital murder prosecutions in the State of Ohio. Burkett is involved with the Ohio State Bar Association (serving on the Board of Governors from 2013-2016), the Licking County Bar Association Executive Committee, the Fairfield County Bar Association, and the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

 New Trustee Michelle Kranz—Toledo, OH

Michelle Kranz began her work with the OSBF as a member of the Fellows Class of 2004 and was then elected to the Board of Trustees in 2010 and re-elected in 2012.  Practicing civil litigation at Zoll & Kranz in Toledo, Kranz was named one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the American Trial Lawyers Association.  In 2019, she received the Lawyer of the Year in the practice area of Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs in Toledo by Best Lawyers®. Kranz is the past president of the Toledo Bar Association and is still active in committee work.  Michelle currently serves on the Ohio State Bar Association Board of Governors.

“Michelle Kranz is an outstanding attorney dedicated to serving her clients, the bar, and her community. She is a past president of the Toledo Bar Association and recipient of the OSBF’s 2007 District 4 Community Service Award. We are delighted to welcome her to our 2021 Board of Trustees,” Hofacker said.  “With her keen insight, exemplary leadership, and dedication to the OSBF mission, she will be a valuable addition to the OSBF Board.” 

About the Ohio State Bar Foundation

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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