2014 Alumni Award Recipients

  • Five Capital University Law School alumni and a program critical to Capital’s student experiential learning were honored at the Law Alumni Association’s Ninth Annual Alumni Recognition Luncheon on Friday, April 11, 2014.

    The annual luncheon too place at the Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capitol Square. Like past years, the event was well attended with more than 250 alumni and friends of the Law School in attendance.

    Congratulations to our 2014 Alumni Recognition Award Recipients!

  • Georgeann Peters 

    Georgeann G. Peters, L’83, will receive the Josiah H. Blackmore II Dean’s Award, which recognizes outstanding service to the Law School and the Dean’s Office.

    Peters, a partner at Baker Hostetler, has more than 30 years of experience handling all aspects of employee benefits, executive compensation, and ERISA and tax compliance for both large and small clients. She assisted in the merger of two of the nation’s largest healthcare systems, has led the Baker Hostetler team engaged to assist an automotive industry client with a new “de-risking” approach for traditional pension benefits, and has assisted both existing clients and new industry groups in developing strategies to comply with the Affordable Care Act on a cost-effective basis.

    She is listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the area of Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation. She is co-leader of Baker Hostetler’s national employee benefits Team.

    She is a member of the American Bar, Ohio State Bar and Columbus Bar associations. She is a member and past chair of the Capital University Law School Board of Counselors, American Heart Association Circle of Red member, and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Kings Arts Complex.

     


     

  • Lewis George 

    Lewis C. George, L’89, will receive the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award. The award recognizes alumni for significant achievements in their legal occupations and notable contributions to the legal profession, the community and the Law School through activities and accomplishments.

    George is the chief counsel and deputy director at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). He oversees the Office of Legal and Acquisition Services, which includes 100 attorneys and other professionals working in legal services, state hearings, and contracts and acquisitions. He also manages all legal operations for ODJFS and provides guidance and advice to the director and executive staff.

    During the last 19 years, George has served as chief counsel at the Ohio Department Of Youth Services, Ohio Department of Public Safety and ODJFS. During that time, he has served as a chief counsel for four governors and 12 members of the governor’s cabinet. He helped create and implement a statewide training program for all governor’s cabinet agencies. This interactive training program prepared agencies for a variety of labor and employment-related issues, and ensured uniformity and consistency among state agencies.
    Before joining the Department of Youth Services, George was an adult felony prosecutor in Licking County, Ohio, and worked in private practice.

    At ODJFS, he led the development and implantation of a mediation program for the Office of State Hearings. He served five years on the parish council for the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Columbus, is a member of the American Association of Public Welfare Attorneys (AAPWA) and serves on the Central Regional Committee for AAPWA.

    In addition, he has taught at Franklin University for 10 years and was awarded a 2013 Teaching Excellence Award.
     


     

  • Scott Oelslager 

    State Sen. W. Scott Oelslager, L’02, will receive the Alumni Outstanding Service Award. The award is presented to a graduate who has performed significant voluntary service beyond the call of business or professional duty to the community and/or Capital University Law School.

    Oelslager represents the 29th Ohio Senate District, which encompasses most of Stark County. He brings 25 years of experience to the legislature, where he works to promote economic development and job creation on behalf of the people of northeastern Ohio.

    Before working in the legislature, Oelslager worked as an aide to former Ohio Congressman Ralph Regula. He also served as director of public relations for Malone College. He was appointed to the Ohio Senate in 1985, where the people of Stark County subsequently returned him for four additional terms.

    In 2002, he was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives, where he served as chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Civil and Commercial Law Committee. In 2010, he was again elected to the Ohio Senate.

    Oelslager’s vast institutional and legal knowledge led him to be named chairman of the Senate Finance Committee for the 130th General Assembly. He also is currently serving as vice chairman of the Reference Committee and a member of the Medicaid, Health & Human Services Committee; the Civil Justice Committee; the Commerce & Labor Committee; the Rules Committee; and the Tax Reform Ways and Means subcommittee.

    Oelslager has been honored numerous times for his work in the General Assembly. He has received the J. S. “Sandy” Sander Award of Merit from the Massillon Area Chamber of Commerce and the Doris L. Allen Minority Caucus Outstanding Legislator Award from the Ohio Education Association. He was named a 2011 Champion for Children’s Health by VOICES for Ohio’s Children. He has also been named Legislator of the Year by the Ohio Nurses Association and the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers. 
     


     

  • Natalie Furniss 

    Natalie Trishman Furniss, L’02, will receive The Young Alumnus of the Year Award. The award recognizes a CapLaw graduate born on or after July 1, 1973, who has made significant achievements in his/her legal occupation and has made notable contributions to the legal profession and the community.

    Furniss is a partner in Bricker & Eckler LLC’s litigation group. She serves as co-chair of the firm’s insurance industry litigation group and as chair of the firm’s recruiting committee. Her national litigation practice includes insurance litigation and financial product litigation for several large national insurance and financial product companies.

    She has been named an Ohio Rising Star by Ohio Super Lawyers several times and was selected as a member of the Ohio State Bar Foundation Fellowship Class of 2007. The latter group created a program and reference materials for young adults to better understand their legal rights and obligations upon aging out of the foster care system.

    In 2010, Furniss was selected from a national group of applicants as one of 23 attorneys to participate in the American Bar Association’s TIPS Leadership Academy. She is an active participant in several ABA committees, including the ABA TIPS Ethics Committee and the Taskforce on Leadership and Diversity Initiative. She also is presently the chair of the American Bar Association’s TIPS Life Insurance Committee.

    Furniss has a strong interest in the arts and supporting arts organizations. She serves as a member of the board of directors of The Lancaster Festival and is a past member of the board of directors for the Girl Scouts Ohio Heartland Council, the United Way of Fairfield County and BalletMet Columbus. During her tenure on the BalletMet board, she assisted in establishing a young professionals’ organization, MetPremier.

    Furniss has been recognized as an Ohio Rising Star by Ohio Super Lawyers in 2007, 2011, 2012 and 2013. She is a member of the Defense Research Institute (DRI) and the American Health Lawyers Association, as well as a member of the federal, state and local bar associations. 
     


     

  •  Dan Miller 

    Daniel B. Miller, L06, will receive the Graduate of the Last Decade (G.O.L.D.) Award. The award is presented to a graduate who has made significant achievements in his/her occupation and has made notable contributions to the legal profession and/or the Law School.

    Miller is a senior associate with Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur LLP. He primarily represents clients in commercial litigation matters, including intellectual property disputes, breach of contract cases, workplace personal injuries and unfair competition. Miller also has represented builders in cases involving claims of defective construction, breach of warranty and violations of consumer protection statutes. He has significant experience with eminent domain proceedings, telecommunications regulation and reinsurance contracts.

    Before joining Porter Wright, Miller served as a law clerk for the Hon. John D. Holschuh, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Ohio, from 2006 to 2007.

    Miller serves on the Clintonville Area Commission, which makes recommendations related to the Clintonville area to Columbus City Council and facilitates communication and cooperation between neighborhood groups, city officials and developers.

    He has been recognized in the Rising Stars Edition of Ohio Super Lawyers in 2012, 2013 and 2014. He is a member of the Ohio State, Columbus, Federal and the American Bar associations.

    He is a member of the Columbus Cancer Clinic Young Professionals and is a Columbus Computer Community Outreach Program Volunteer. He is a member of the Capital University Alumni Association Board and the Capital University Alumni Association Bar Mentoring Program, and serves on the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training.
     


     

  • Susan Simms 

    The Capital University Law School Externship Program will receive the third annual Impact Award. The program’s director, Professor Susan Simms, will accept the award.

    The Impact Award is given annually to the Capital University Law School program or person that contributed most to the legal development and career of the person making the nomination.

    The externship program is comprised of 150 sites around Central Ohio. CapLaw students work at these sites with practicing attorneys, getting experience in courts and other legal settings while earning course credit.

    The program helps participating students develop professional skills in the fastest, most effective way possible – by experience. It is an integral part of the experiential learning that takes place at the law school and one of the ways Capital University Law School prepares its students to become polished legal practitioners.