19 December 2019

Bauman Recognized With Spirit of Service Award

Mary Bauman, chair of Miller Johnson’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice and of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, has been recognized as the 2019 recipient of the John W. Cummiskey Spirit of Service Award. The award acknowledges an individual who has made significant and outstanding contributions to the community through volunteering. The Award is named after John Cummiskey, a founding member of Miller Johnson and namesake of the State Bar of Michigan’s award for Pro Bono contributions.

Throughout her career Ms. Bauman has put volunteering and service to the community at the front of her efforts to make a difference in West Michigan. She has held leadership positions on the boards of numerous community organizations, including as the Chair of the Board of Trustees at Hope College for 5 years, with 12 years in total served on the board at her collegiate alma mater. She has served on the West Michigan Advisory Council for Inforum; the board of the Western Theological Seminary; the Board of Benefit Services and editorial council for the Church Herald of the Reformed Church in America; the board of the Grand Rapids Guidance Clinic / Arbor Circle; the Forest Hills Educational Foundation; and the Board of Directors at Blythefield Country Club.  Ms. Bauman always persevered to improve the involvement and perspective regarding diversity and inclusion of the organizations she served.

Ms. Bauman has chosen Beer City Dog Biscuits to receive the Cummiskey Spirit of Service Grant, a $1,000 donation from the firm in honor of the Award. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Beer City Dog Biscuits provides dogs with delicious treats and Adults with Developmental Disabilities with vocational training and employment. The organization is tailored to meet the unique abilities of each volunteer and employee to enable them to participate in all aspects of the business: planning/forecasting demand, assembling, baking, labeling and weighing bags, packing, and processing orders. Additionally, employees identify sales opportunities, calculate costs, count cash and credit sales and make bank deposits. Leadership volunteers assist and guide in the process with each stage intentionally created to support project-based learning and work skill development that enables employees to learn valuable life skills.

The Cummiskey Spirit of Service Award was created to coincide Miller Johnson’s 50th Anniversary in 2009.  Each year’s nominees are evaluated on these criteria:

  • Activities/achievements in the past calendar year
  • Acting as a role model for colleagues by her or his spirit of service through living the firm’s values of honesty, integrity and respect for others, and achieving outstanding results in community outreach
  • Specific involvement with activities that support Miller Johnson’s four key areas of Community Contributions: enriching the community; promoting a more diverse workplace; helping underserved populations; and building the future
  • Activities and personal efforts that have had a significant impact and results on the community illustrating the individual’s efforts to go “above and beyond” to make a difference.

Other finalists for the Cummiskey Spirit of Service Award in 2019 included Neil Marchand and Steve Van Stempvoort.

Miller Johnson has been dedicated to clients and community for 60 years.  Today, the firm has 100 attorneys practicing from offices in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. A full-service firm, Miller Johnson’s attorneys provide legal counsel to businesses and individuals in areas such as employment and labor, mergers and acquisitions, economic development, employee benefits, estate planning and litigation.

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