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Distinguished Alumni Award Luncheon 2014

The 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award Luncheon will be on Friday, May 16, 2014, at 12:00 p.m. at the Phoenix Achway Ballroom, 812 Race Street - Downtown Cincinnati.  This year the College of Law will be recognizing Hon. P. Daniel Fedders ‘61, Barbara J. Howard ‘79, and Sharon J. Zealey ‘84. Rsvp by May 2 to Peggy Ruwe at

(View Invitation) (RSVP card)

Hon. P. Daniel Fedders '61

Judge Fedders was originally appointed to the bench in January 1971 and continually served in that capacity until his retirement from the Warren County Common Pleas Court after thirty-two consecutive years.  He was the Presiding Judge of Warren County Common Pleas Court from 1986–2003.

Judge Fedders has been honored by the Ohio Supreme Court on multiple occasions, and, in 2002, was honored by the Miami Valley Trial Lawyers Association as its outstanding Common Pleas Judge of the Year.

He has also held the positions of Law Director of the City of Springboro and the City of Franklin; Assistant County Prosecutor, Warren County; and Judge, Miami River Conservancy Court.

In addition to his service through the bench, Judge Fedders has been active in a number of community organizations.  He served as the Director of the Franklin Public Library for thirteen years and has been an active member of the Franklin Optimist Club since 1967.  He has also served as a Planning Board Member and Board Member of the Community Correction Center in Warren County since 1994.

The Warren County Bar Association honored Judge Fedders in 2011 as he has been the epitome of judicial integrity, honesty, and competence.
Judge Fedders and his wife, Carol, are the parents of six children, 19 grandchildren, have been married for 56 years, and family time is the joy of their life.



Barbara J. Howard '79

Barbara J. Howard is the principal of the law firm of Barbara J. Howard Co., L.P.A., a practice that focuses in family law.  She has been certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a Family Relations Law Specialist since 1999.  Howard is also trained in Collaborative Law, and is a member of the Cincinnati Academy of Collaborative Professionals.

Howard is a past president of the Ohio State Bar Association and of the Cincinnati Bar Association.  She chairs the Moyer Legacy Committee of the OSBA and led a fundraising effort to endow a professorship in the late Chief Justice’s name and to endow annual fellowships for students attending Ohio law schools.  Howard serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Ohio Bar Liability Insurance Company and as Chair of its Underwriting Committee.  She is a member of the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on the Certification of Attorneys as Specialists and serves on the Board of the Volunteer Lawyers for the Poor.

She is very active in the American Bar Association where she has served in the House of Delegates since 1986.  She is Ohio’s State Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates.  She has held a variety of positions in the American Bar Association, having just completed her term as Chair of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Membership.  She served six years as a member of the ABA Journal Board of Editors.  Howard has been one of nine attorneys and judges working through the OSBA Family Law Committee to re-write Ohio’s spousal support statute.  

Howard is also active in non-legal aspects of the Cincinnati community.  She has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Xavier University since 1995 where she serves on its Executive Committee, Nominations and Governance Committee, and Finance Committee.  She also serves on the Boards of Trustees of the Athenaeum and of Cincinnati Union Bethel.

Howard gave the commencement address to the University of Cincinnati College of Law Class of 2011.  She received the Xavier University 2010 Distinguished Alumna Award, and the first female graduate to be so honored.  Howard also received the Cincinnati Bar Association’s 2010 Trustees’ Award.  In addition, she received the 2010 Alumna Achievement Award from St. Ursula Academy in Toledo.  Best Lawyers in America named her this region’s 2013 “Lawyer of the Year” in Family Law.  She has been named a Super Lawyer in Family Law since 2004.  

Howard received her undergraduate degree from Xavier University where she currently serves as Vice Chair of its Board of Trustees, as well as Chair of its Academic Affairs Committee.  She graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1979.  While there, she competed in The National Moot Court Competition finals.  She was Chair of Law Women and a member of the Order of the Barristers.  In 1999, she received the Nicholas Longworth Award from the College of Law.  She recently taught a law school course with Dean Bilionis.  She has been on the Board of Visitors since 1992.  Howard is a native of Toledo.


Sharon J. Zealey '84

Sharon is the Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer and Associate General Counsel of The Coca-Cola Company.  In addition to managing the global compliance program, she serves as Co-Chair of the Company’s Ethics & Compliance Committee.  As Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, Sharon has travelled to over 30 countries, most of them have been emerging nations. During her tenure as Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer at The Coca-Cola Company, the compliance program has been honored nationally for the effectiveness of the Local Ethics Officer network of 100 company counsel worldwide and received the Corporate Integrity Award from Transparency International – USA.

Prior to joining The Coca-Cola Company, she was a partner in the commercial litigation practice group at Blank Rome LLP.  Sharon served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, appointed by President William Clinton.  She served on the U.S. Attorney General's Advisory Committee.  She was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division for three years before being appointed U.S. Attorney.  She also served as Deputy Attorney General for the State of Ohio. 

Sharon is currently Co-chair of the United Nations Global Compact, Working Group on the 10th Principle of Anti-Corruption.  The Working Group is a collaborative effort of the United Nations to bring together business, civil society, and governments to work to eliminate corruption.  She is an active participant on the World Economic Forum, Partnering Against Corruption Initiative, and Transparency International, USA, Corporate Counsel Forum.  She also serves on the Board for the National Association of Former United States Attorneys and the National LGBT Bar Association Foundation. 

She has served on the U. C. Law Board of Advisors, the U.C. Law Dean Search Committee, U.C. Law Adjunct Faculty for six years.  She has previously been recognized as a recipient of the Nicholas Longworth III Alumni Achievement Award for Distinguished Public Service and was the keynote speaker for the U.C. Law Hooding Ceremony of 2013.