January 26, 2007
New development at the Foundation: a modest proposer
Engaging and winning may best describe the Columbus Bar Foundation’s new director of development. Ben Zox - short of name, long on contributions.
Zox co-chaired (with Jack Chester) a recent capital campaign for funding the Foundation’s mission, promoting access to the legal system and improving administration of justice. He now has agreed to enter the next stage of development, meeting with potential donors to recount the mission - plain talk about the work of the Foundation, most specifically what it does and why it needs extraordinary support.
This is not unfamiliar territory for Zox. He was a player in the Foundation Fellows program started in 1985, president of the Foundation in 1990 - a constant advocate for expanding the resources that allow for strengthening the local justice system and enhancing development of our lawyers in the areas of professionalism and diversity.
As Columbus Bar president (1986-87), Zox is remembered for initiating the committee for Minorities in the Legal Profession, led by Norton Webster and Guy Reece, charged with planning the Minority Clerkship program which stands strong today, having prospered for two decades.
Constant in his concern about the community, Zox set up a special Community Service committee to identify, prioritize and adopt community projects for the Bar. He viewed community service as the vehicle that makes an attorney a professional. And in the process, he said, “we cannot help but better the image of our profession.”
On the lighter side, Zox allowed himself to be “needled” by Bar Briefs when the publication, going through a redesign phase, determined to copy the Wall Street Journal with its pin-prick style of head-shots, still part of the Journal’s “look.” (Alex Lagusch was needled as well - and those portraits are safely stored in the Bar archives.) And it was Zox, supporter and promoter of Pilot Dogs, Inc., who helped us connect with the organization when we wanted to feature those extraordinary canines on our 2002 directory cover.
As director of development, Zox once again will take the opportunity to increase the strength and value of the profession to the community. Quoting Zox from his Bar leader days, the same words are relevant today, “…lawyers should view their primary allegiance as not being to other lawyers, but to all people.”