Bricker celebrates milestone anniversaries with several attorneys
Demonstrating commitment to the firm and loyalty to their clients, six Columbus attorneys are celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2017. Sally Bloomfield, Mike Gire, Craig Haddox, Diane Signoracci, Jerry Allen, Frank Merrill and Catherine Ballard all came to the firm as young attorneys and, for several decades, have helped shape the firm with their outstanding work, their valued leadership and their notable accomplishments. The impact of these individuals extends beyond the walls of our firm. They are leaders in their field and their communities, and we offer them our congratulations.
Sally Bloomfield celebrated 40 years with Bricker & Eckler in March 2017. In 1979, Sally became the first woman admitted to the partnership, and she has built an exemplary public utility and administrative law practice in her four decades as a member of our team. Among her many accomplishments, she is credited with the development of the firm’s successful pro bono service initiative. A highly respected member of Ohio’s legal community, Sally’s contributions include past leadership roles with the Columbus Bar Association, the Columbus Bar Foundation and the Ohio State Bar Foundation. She currently oversees important work as chair of the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority, and she also serves as Ohio co-chair of the American Bar Foundation.
Mike Gire, a member of our 1977 first-year class, celebrated 40 years with Bricker & Eckler in June 2017. A highly esteemed member of our health care team, Mike has been instrumental in building the firm’s reputation as a leader in health care law. During his career, he has participated in more than 75 hospital mergers or corporate affiliations for the development of local hospital networks. He is also one of only two Ohio lawyers ranked in Band 1 for Health Care Law by Chambers USA. Beyond his practice, Mike has lectured on health law at medical schools and law schools, and he serves on Franklin University’s Advisory Board for Masters and Doctorate programs in Healthcare Administration. He has received numerous honors, recently being recognized for lifetime achievement in health care by Columbus CEO magazine.
Craig Haddox, a longtime member of our real estate team, celebrated his 35th anniversary with Bricker & Eckler in May 2017. Craig joined the firm straight out of law school, and he continues to play a key role in the growth and development of Bricker’s real estate practice. Along with his successful work, he has also held many respected leadership roles within the firm, including serving on our Executive, Compensation, and Opinion Letter Review Committees. As real estate counsel for development of wireless transmission networks and counsel for other owners and developers in all aspects of real estate transactions and financings, Craig is held in high regard by our clients and other lawyers. It is no surprise that year after year, he receives Best Lawyers recognition.
Diane Signoracci celebrated 35 years with Bricker & Eckler in August. Diane joined the firm as an associate in 1982 and has built a notable health care practice at Bricker over the past three-and-a-half decades. A disciplined and well-respected member of our team, her excellent work on behalf of our clients has been recognized for many years by Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA and Ohio Super Lawyers. In fact, Ohio Super Lawyers named Diane to its list of Top 25 Women three times, and Best Lawyers in America honored her as its 2013 Columbus Health Care Lawyer of the Year. In addition to her many accomplishments, Diane is also a sought-after speaker, giving many presentations on health-related topics to those in the industry. Of special note, for the past 12 years, Diane has traveled back and forth between our offices, client sites and Montana, the latter being where she maintains a home office (across the road from retired Bricker partner Marty Baxter and her husband), and where she resides with her dogs, cats and two Arabian horses named Edie and Monty.
Jerry Allen has played a key role within our business law and tax practices and in the growth of our work for nonprofit clients over the past three decades. Consistently recognized by Best Lawyers in America, he was named Columbus Lawyer of the Year (Litigation and Controversy Tax) in 2014. In addition to his outstanding legal work, he has been an integral part of the firm’s diversity and inclusion efforts through his previous leadership of the D&I Committee. Among the numerous honors he has received are the David D. White Award, given by his alma mater, Capital University Law School, and the Ohio Diversity Council Multicultural Leadership Award. Jerry’s positive impact on the local community extends beyond the law to the arts, with service on the board of the McCoy Community Center for the Arts and in his role as chair of the Columbus College of Art & Design Board of Trustees, as well as in his past involvement with the Greater Columbus Arts Council, the Columbus Museum of Art and the King Arts Complex.
Frank Merrill has been with Bricker & Eckler for 30 years, having joined the firm as an associate in May of 1987. He currently heads the Energy/Utilities industry group and has a longstanding environmental law practice, which includes serving as environmental counsel for the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association. His excellent work for our firm’s clients has resulted in consistent recognition and honors during his career at Bricker, including being named 2014 Columbus Lawyer of the Year in the area of Litigation-Environmental Law by Best Lawyers. Frank’s strong leadership skills and contributions as a member of the Executive Committee at our firm are highly valued, and he played a significant part in the evolution of our diversity and inclusion initiatives during his time as chair of the D&I Committee.
Catherine Ballard celebrated her 30th year as an attorney at our firm. First hired as a legal assistant in 1979, she worked with Bricker for three years before heading to law school at Ohio State and was also a law clerk for the firm after her second year. Following graduation and a two-year clerkship for the late Judge Holschuh of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Catherine joined as an attorney in 1987 and became a partner in 1994. A talented member of our Health Care team, Catherine works with clients in the areas of medical staff integration, clinical integration and peer review matters, and she has also provided strong leadership of our affiliated consulting company, The Quality Management Consulting Group (QMCG), for six years. In addition to her successful practice, she is a frequent speaker at national forums on a wide range of health care topics, including quality management, credentialing and peer review, medical staff governance, fair hearings, ethics and related patient care issues. She also serves as a member of organizations like the American Health Lawyers Association and the Society of Ohio Healthcare Attorneys and chairs the board of the Lower Lights Christian Health Center.