Council Awards

The Estate Planning Council offers two annual awards:

Distinguished Estate Planner  - The purpose of this award is to honor a local individual accountant, attorney, financial planner, insurance professional, philanthropic professional, trust officer, or other related professional, for their outstanding contributions to their respective field. The recipient may currently be engaged in practice or recently retired (having practiced in the last year) but must have been involved in their respective field of estate planning for a minimum of 15 years and must have been a member of the Cleveland council for at least 5 years in some point of his or her career. The recipient should reflect, in practice, the goals for which our council was organized:   
  • to further the education of the members of the council and of the public;
  • to promote cooperation and to foster a better understanding of the proper relationship among professionals of different disciplines; and
  • to provide a better understanding of estate planning as a whole and of the services that various professionals can render to the public

Those eligible to receive the award must hold one of the following: Accredited Estate Planner®, Attorney (licensed to practice in State of Ohio), Certified Financial Planner®, Certified Public Accountant, Certified Trust & Financial Advisor (TO), Certified Wealth Strategist®, Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy®, Chartered Financial Analyst, Chartered Financial Consultant®, and/or Chartered Life Underwriter®.

As such, the criteria for the award might include teaching, speaking, authorship, service to the Council, professional, civic or charitable service and creativity or accomplishment in development of services, products, solutions, legislation, etc.

Past recipient includes P. Thomas Austin (2001), J. Donald Cairns (2002), Robert M. Brucken (2003), Jeffry L. Weiler (2004), Roger L. Shumaker (2005), Herbert L. Braverman (2006), James G. Dickinson (2007), Marcia J. Wexberg (2008), Stephen H. Gariepy (2009), M. Patricia Culler (2010), Gary A. Zwick (2011), Matthew F. Kadish (2012), M. Elizabeth Monihan (2013), Radd L. Riebe (2014), Joseph M. Mentrek (2015), Howard B. Edelstein (2016) Patrick J. Saccogna (2017), Alan D. Gross (2018), Ginger F. Mlakar (2019), Don Laubacher (2020), Lisa Roberts-Mamone (2021), James A. Goldsmith (2022), and Janet L. Lowder (2023). 

Exceptional Service - In 2008, the Estate Planning Council of Cleveland board approved a discretionary Exceptional Service Award to be presented at its annual meeting.  The purpose of the award is to recognize a member (or members) of EPC who has made a substantial impact on the estate planning community as a whole locally or on a statewide basis through his or her efforts during the past year.  Consistent with the discretionary and exceptional nature of the award, the board envisions that it may not be awarded each and every year.   

The selection criteria for the award is as follows:   
  • Must be a current member of the EPC.
  • May be either in active practice or retired.
  • Must reflect, in practice, the goals for the EPC:
  • Must be for exceptional service during the past 12 months (roughly from May 1st to April 30th) and it is intended not to be recognition of a lifetime of service. 

Examples of the type of service to be considered might include the development or the expansion of services, products, solutions, education, and legislation in the fields of philanthropic planning, tax, insurance, estate planning, probate and trust law that have an impact on the estate planning and community at large. 

Previous recipients of the Distinguished Estate Planner Award and officers of the Estate Planning Council are excluded from consideration. Current Board members may be considered to the extent that their exceptional service is outside of the scope of their regular Board duties.  This award recognizes exceptional service within the last twenty-four (24) months and by design is not intended to recognize a lifetime or full career of service.

You can also see a list of past Distinguished Estate Planner and Exceptional Service Award recipients by visiting the "Member Directory" page of this website.