Pennsylvania Bar Association Honors County Bar Association Executive Directors

HARRISBURG (March 4, 2022) -- The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Conference of County Bar Leaders (CCBL) has honored all Pennsylvania county bar executive directors with Arthur J. Birdsall Awards. The awards recognize the exceptional efforts taken by county bar leaders to keep their association members informed, safe and active during the pandemic. The awards were presented during the 56th Annual Seminar of the Conference of County Bar Leaders held Feb. 24-26 in Lancaster.

Many county bar association executive directors quickly expanded their technological skills so their members could hold meetings and programs virtually thereby staying engaged and informed during the pandemic. Many developed new wellness programming designed to maintain social connections that were stressed, especially during the early months of the pandemic.

The Birdsall Award is given to a county bar executive who demonstrates professional excellence, who is committed to the success of his or her bar association and who significantly enhances the stature of that bar association. It is named in honor of Arthur J. Birdsall, PBA’s county bar services director who retired after nearly 40 years of support to local bar associations.

This is the first time in the history of the Birdsall Awards that there have been multiple award winners in a single year.

The Conference of County Bar Leaders, whose membership includes leaders from county bar associations throughout the state and from the Pennsylvania Bar Association, organizes a yearly educational conference focusing on the exchange of innovative bar association projects and ideas and on the development of mutually beneficial relationships among bar leaders who improve the legal profession.

Award winners include the following bar association executive directors:

  • B. Bohleke, Adams County Bar Association
  • Dave Blaner, Allegheny County Bar Association
  • Suellen Verlihay, Beaver County Bar Association
  • Kori Walter, Berks County Bar Association
  • Greg Nardi, Bucks County Bar Association
  • Janis Hackett, Butler County Bar Association
  • Robin Mitchell Hagins, Cambria County Bar Association
  • Sheri Ryan, Carbon County Bar Association
  • Ken Stanton, Centre County Bar Association
  • Matt Holliday, Chester County Bar Association
  • Shelly Sydnor, Cumberland County Bar Association
  • Patrice Merzanis, Dauphin County Bar Association
  • Bill Baldwin, Delaware County Bar Association
  • Julie Kresge, Erie County Bar Association
  • Garnet Gordon, Fayette County Bar Association
  • Amelia Ambrose, Franklin County Bar Association
  • Lisa Driendl-Miller, Lancaster Bar Association
  • Lee Ann Munley, Lackawanna Bar Association
  • JoEllen Thomas, Lawrence County Bar Association
  • Linda Kerkeslager, Lebanon County Bar Association
  • Ray Bridgeman, Bar Association of Lehigh County
  • Michele Frey, Lycoming Law Association
  • Debby Arner, Mercer County Bar Association
  • Denise Vicario, Montgomery Bar Association
  • Mary Beth Leeson, Northampton County Bar Association
  • Debra Moyer, Northumberland County Bar Association
  • Harvey Hurdle, Philadelphia Bar Association
  • Charlotte Green, Schuylkill County Bar Association
  • Alahna O’Brien, Westmoreland Bar Association
  • Kathy Sabol, Washington County Bar Association
  • Joe Burke, Wilkes-Barre Law and Library Association
  • Victoria Connor, York County Bar Association

  • Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access of legal services; and serve the lawyer members of the state’s largest organized bar association.