Merriam Webster defines “outstanding” as one who stands out from the crowd. And in that spirit, the Communication Section bestowed its highest honor to its most outstanding member, Jenna Grubb of the Toledo Bar Association, with the E.A. “Wally” Richter Leadership Award at the closing ceremonies of the 2017 Communications Section Workshop.
The Award is presented annually to an individual who is a member of the NABE Communications Section for outstanding achievement in the field of communications, for extraordinary service to colleagues in the National Association of Bar Executives, and for distinguished leadership of the Communications Section. This person must specifically create outstanding bar communications, publications and/or public relations, either working through the Section or an individual bar association, and demonstrate leadership, creativity, competence and commitment to the professional growth of professional bar communicators. By unanimous decision of the nominating committee, Jenna clearly fit the bill.
Jenna has been Director of Communications for the Toledo Bar Association (TBA) since 1998. At the TBA, Jenna is responsible for all publications, including the monthly TBA Newsletter and eNews, the TBA website, and the annual Legal Directory. In addition, she directs social media, media relations, community relations, and membership. TBA’s Executive Director Bradley J. Lagusch says “Jenna has been an invaluable resource when it comes to institutional knowledge and history and is an effective advocate for the organization and its services. Beyond sheer effectiveness on the job, Jenna is just a blast to work with on a daily basis - bringing humor and a positive vibe to the organization.”
In addition to being much lauded by her employer, Section members had no shortage of praise to heap upon our newest Wally:
“Our new Wally has long been a leading voice on behalf of local bars, one of NABE’s most important constituencies. Her warmth and wit have won her countless friends at bar associations large and small, making her a persuasive advocate for any cause she chooses to champion. No one is more respected and beloved in the NABE world than her.”
- Mark “Wally” Mathewson, Illinois State Bar Association
“Jenna is a leader I will always follow. It was my honor to serve on the NABE COMM council with her, and I have always counted on her guidance and support in my Section involvement. She made our Section very proud by serving on the NABE board too and I am grateful for her many contributions to our organization.”
Francine “Wally” Walker, The Florida Bar
“Jenna’s knowledge of issues affecting bar communications professionals is second to none. Moreover, her sense of humor and care for her fellow communicators has always made these interactions a true joy.”
Gary “Wally” Toohey, The Missouri Bar
“It struck me at the NABE meeting last week in NYC that Jenna is always front and center – whether at a NABE board meeting or the Section meeting. She makes everyone feel welcome, a part of the NABE family.”
Joyce “Wally” Hastings, State Bar of Wisconsin
“Jenna is the hub of the Section and has been for years, always front and center to greet people, to solve problems, and to raise her hand like a helium balloon when someone asks for volunteers.”
Ann Murphy, Bar Association of San Francisco and 2016 Ann Charles Award Winner
Prior to joining the staff of the Bar, Jenna was Director of Public Relations for Lourdes College in Sylvania, Ohio. She holds an A.B. from Saint Louis University and a Master of Liberal Arts from The University of Toledo.
She grew up in The Hill neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where she will return after retiring in 2018, to enjoy family and life, and maybe cook up a little pasta.
Like Jenna, our previous Wally winners enjoy spending quality time with their awards: