NCBF Excellence Award

Established in 2015, the NCBF Excellence Award recognizes an outstanding contribution to law-related philanthropy by an individual.

2020 Award Nominations

The application period for the 2020 NCBF Excellence Award is now open. The NCBF Excellence Award recognizes an outstanding contribution to law-related philanthropy by an individual. This award is a wonderful opportunity to recognize a bar foundation staff member or volunteer for a job well done.

Criteria & Deadlines

All NCBF members are invited to submit nominations. Nominations will be reviewed by the NCBF Awards Committee, and the award will be presented at the Saturday morning breakfast and business meeting during the 2020 NCBF Midyear Meeting, February 13-15, in Austin, TX.

This award is meant to recognize bar foundation volunteers, employees, and others within member bar foundations. Please note, an individual nominee need not be a dues-paying member of the NCBF (to allow for past bar foundation staff members and volunteers to be considered). Current members of the NCBF Board of Trustees are ineligible.

The deadline to submit a nomination is November 1, 2019. Please follow the link below to complete the nomination form:

2020 NCBF Excellence Award Nomination Form >>

The following distinguished members have received this recognition:

David White

2019 - David White is a long-standing Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation (KCMBF) board director and veteran, having served in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve for 27 years as a Lieutenant Colonel and recipient of the Legion of Merit. Dave used his experience to help KCMBF lead the initiative to form Military Matters in an effort to increase veterans’ access to legal and other support services, as well as to raise awareness of the problems faced by the veteran and military population as they reintegrate into civilian life. Dave’s military experience and connections, coupled with an unwavering dedication to the formation of the program, have resulted in tremendous success over the past three years. Military Matters officially launched in 2016, and under Dave’s leadership has facilitated more than 600 veteran referrals and partnered with five official community partners in Greater Kansas City to link veterans with a network of over 150 volunteer attorneys. Military Matters community partners include the Kansas City VA Medical Center, Kansas Legal Services, Legal Aid of Western Missouri, United Way of Greater Kansas City, and Veterans Community Project.

Deborah R Gross

2018 - Debbie Gross, Chancellor, Philadelphia Bar Association. Debbie Gross is a true trailblazer in her support for Philadelphia's public interest legal community and the advancement of access to justice. For more than 10 years, she has been a resilient advocate for the Philadelphia Bar Foundation's work, donating more than $150,000 to the Foundation during that time. As a Trustee, she has participated in the Grants Committee, the Finance Committee, the Annual Benefit Committee, the Development Committee, and many ad hoc Task Forces. During her Foundation Presidency, she dedicated time and resources to the 50th anniversary fundraising efforts, which included hundreds of personal phone calls and meetings with law firms on behalf of the Foundation.

Hon. Debra Walker

2017 - Hon. Debra Walker, Cook County Circuit Court judge.  Debra has a strong history of leadership in both bar foundation and bar association circles, having served on the NCBF Board of Trustees, as president of the Illinois Bar Foundation, and president of the Women's Bar Association of Illinois.  She chairs the Commission on Professionalism of the Illinois Supreme Court.

Colonel (USAF Retired) Martin

2016 -  Colonel (USAF Retired) Martin, former Executive Director of the Arkansas Bar Association and the Arkansas Bar Foundation.  Bill was active in the NCBF, having served two terms on the NCBF Board of Trustees and three years as NCBF Treasurer.  He was designated an NCBF Trustee Emeritus for his continuous and long-standing support and involvement in the organization. He continues to remain active in bar work, serving on the boards of both the Pulaski County Bar Association and the Pulaski County Bar Foundation, which he helped found.

Thomas R. Tinder

2015 - Thomas R. Tinder, Executive Director of the West Virginia Bar Foundation and a former NCBF president, who continues to be active in the NCBF.  In his acceptance remarks, Mr. Tinder noted that "faith, friends and family are the true essence of life."