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Ginger F. MlakarAdvancement
SVP, Philanthropic Strategy & Growth and General Counsel
Executive Coordinator: Connie Gilbert, 216.615.7588
Ginger Mlakar serves as in-house legal counsel and manages the Foundation's legal affairs. Additionally, she oversees the teams that works with current donors, individuals, business owners, and their professional advisors to identify their charitable objectives and implement simple to complex strategies to accomplish their philanthropic goals. At the same time, Ginger connects non-profits to partnership opportunities with the Foundation. She came to the Cleveland Foundation in July 2009 after 16 years practicing law in estate, trust and charitable gift planning and administration. Her previous positions include partner in the personal succession and planning practice group at Thompson Hine LLP and of counsel in the estate planning and probate practice group at Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP. She is also a certified public accountant.
Ginger has served on the boards of several area organizations, including the Girl Scouts of Lake Erie Council, the Estate Planning Council of Cleveland, the Bay Village Education Foundation, the Bay Village Foundation, the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, the Cleveland Leadership Center, and as treasurer for the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation, and Bay Soccer Club. She was the president for the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation. She is currently on the board for the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils and is an AEP® Accredited Estate Planner. She has been a member of advisory groups for University Hospitals, the Cleveland Orchestra, and Case Western Reserve University. Additionally, she is an active fellow of the American College of Estate and Trust Council, and an Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Council member for the Ohio State Bar Association. Ginger is a frequent speaker on legal and tax issues surrounding charitable giving.
Ginger has been named among the Best Lawyers in America and the Top 50 Female Ohio Super Lawyers List by Law and Politics magazine. She was a member of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2014. Ginger has received the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association's Women in Law Making a Difference and President's Awards, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation's Outstanding Leadership Award, the Estate Planning Council of Cleveland’s 2019 Distinguished Estate Planner Award, and the 2022 Women of Professional Excellence from the YWCA of Greater Cleveland. She graduated summa cum laude from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and earned her juris doctorate from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.
Katherine M. LeParAdvancement
Manager, Legal Affairs
Kathy LePar is part of the Advancement team of the Cleveland Foundation and is responsible for processing new gifts, supporting the setup of new funds, preparing fund agreements and charitable gift documents, and serving as a liaison with the Finance team and other cross-disciplinary teams.
Kathy has more than 30 years of experience in the legal profession with specific expertise in the areas of estate planning, probate administrations, and asset liquidation. Before joining the foundation in September 2012, Kathy spent 13 years as a paralegal with the firm of Behm & Henry, LLC. Prior to that, Kathy spent nine years as a legal assistant/paralegal with Bowlus & Bowlus, Ltd. During her employment with Bowlus & Bowlus, Kathy also provided paralegal support for a number of years to Sara J. Sherick, Esq., and Roger W. Hafford, Esq., in the area of probate administrations.
Kathy is currently working toward obtaining her certified paralegal designation from the National Association of Legal Assistants.