20th Annual Justice Robert Benham Awards for Community Service

On March 9, 2019, the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, in partnership with the Ronald J. Freeman Black Law Students Association, hosted the 20th Annual Benham Awards for Community service at the Georgia State University Student Center.


The Lifetime Award honorees for the 20th Annual Benham Awards are as follows: The Honorable P. Harris Hines of Marietta and the Honorable Willie J. Lovett, Jr. of Atlanta. The district honorees for the 20th Annual Benham Awards are as follows: Mr. Robert F. Mikell, Statesboro; Mr. Christopher Cohilas, Albany; Ms. Christina Folsom, Valdosta; Ms. Cheryl L. Milton, Macon; The Honorable Clarence F. Seeliger, Decatur; Mr. Gordon Lane Joyner, Atlanta; Ms. Deepa Subramanian, Atlanta; Ms. Stephanie Leigh Steele, Marietta; Ms. Julia Greene, Gainesville; Ms. Regina M. Quick, Athens.


In keeping with Justice Benham’s desire to foster camaraderie between lawyers and judges, the State Bar’s Creative Connections Sub-Committee of the Committee on Professionalism, chaired by Joshua I. Bosin, secured lawyer and judge volunteers to display their artistic talents during the awards ceremony. Confirmed musical entertainment for the Creative Connections portion of the program included: Norman Barnett, Laurel Boatright, Kevin Wilson, Abbey Martin, and several other members of the Atlanta Bar Association Bard Show Performers; Hon. Chung Lee and the Korean American Saxaphone Ensemble; Judge Gail Tusan and “Always Wanted to Dance”; Patricia Buonodono, Brad Ketch, and GSU Student, Vonciel T.Bryant. Confirmed visual artists included: Rosalind Rubens Newell, O.V. Brantley, and award recipient Cheryl L. Milton (quilts); Phil Sandick (photography) and Judge Phinia Aten (painting). The “after party” entertainment featured the Specific Deviations Band (Cobb County Superior Court Judge LaTain Kell, attorney Vic Valmus, Attorney Jeremy Abernathy, Attorney John Lyndon, and a few others). Once again this year, Commission member, Judge Carla Wong McMillian, served as the Commission’s “Guest Tweeter.” Volunteer, Jena Emory, served as the Commission’s guest tweeter photographer.  The Commission is grateful to all of the many people (approximately 85) who volunteered to make the 20th Annual Justice Robert Benham Awards for Community Service a huge success. The Commission also spearheaded a community service project as part of the awards ceremony this year, thanks to a suggestion from Commission member, Judge Susan Edlein. The Commission created 30 food baskets that were used as table centerpieces. The food staples in the baskets were donated to the Atlanta Community Food Bank. The Awards Ceremony would not have been possible without the generous assistance of all of the sponsors as follows.




Community Service Sponsor

Don C. Keenan

Keenan Law Firm






Libation Sponsors




Hon. J. Antonio DelCampo

DelCampo & Grayson, LLC

William C. Gentry

Gentry Law Firm LLC



H. Emily George

George & Wallach, L.L.L.P.

Hon. Patricia Killingsworth

BAY Mediation & Arbitration Services




June Rowan Bishop

Ann Baird Bishop
Sponsler Bishop Koren & Hammer PA

Laverne Gaskins


Additional information about the program is located on the Commission’s website here.