Akron Law to recognize honorees at annual awards event


The University of Akron (UA) School of Law will recognize its 2024 outstanding alumni, student, and faculty award recipients at the Akron Law Alumni Association (ALAA) Annual Awards event on Tuesday, April 23 from 7:30- 9 a.m. in Paul E. and Dorothy G. Martin Ballroom located in the Jean Hower Taber Student Union.

Following the event, a complimentary professional conduct CLE will be offered at the School of Law, David and Ann Brennan Court Room 180, 150 University Ave. 44325.

Outstanding Alumni Awards

An Outstanding Alumni Awards honoree must be a living graduate of Akron Law who has demonstrated service to the law school, the community and/or profession; possesses outstanding professional accomplishments; and consistently demonstrates professional integrity. The 2024 honorees are:

Hon. Frank G. Forchione

Hon. Frank G. Forchione, '86

Judge, Stark County Court of Common Pleas General Division

See biography
Mary Z. Seidel ‘95

Mary Z. Seidel, '95

Athletic Director and Community Liaison, Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament Parish

See biography
Nathan Yun ‘92

Nathan Yun, '92

General Counsel, Navien, Inc.

See biography

Register Here

The John R. Quine Award

This award is presented annually to an adjunct professor of law who has most successfully combined a practical approach to the teaching of law with a scholarly approach to the private practice of law. The 2024 recipient is Louis F. Wager (’84), who is a professor of IP courses at the School of Law.

Student Leaders Awards

  • Student Bar Association President: Elijah J. Hardee
  • Akron Law Review Editor-in Chief: Roger A. Boyer
  • Law Alumni Association Student Director: Kathleen Ainsworth

The Thomas G. Byers Memorial Award Faculty Practical Publication

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor Michael Gentithes

The Thomas G. Byers Memorial Award Faculty Scholarly Publication

Professor Vera Korzun


Contact Andreas Ellis at ellis@uakron.edu or (330) 972-5298

Outstanding Alumni Award Recipient Biographies

Hon. Frank G. Forchione ‘86

Judge Frank G. Forchione is a 1986 graduate of the University of Akron School of Law, where he was named a Bracton’s Inn Outstanding Senior Student and was a winner of the Client Counseling Competition.

While at Akron, Judge Forchione began working as an intern at the Canton Law Department and was immediately named Assistant Canton City Prosecutor upon passing the Bar. In 1994 Judge Forchione was named the Canton City Prosecutor and served that office for 15 years. During his tenure he was selected as a special prosecutor for over nine different cities or counties for high profile cases. In 2009 his work as special prosecutor in Wayne County was the focus of the HBO documentary, “Death on a Factory Farm.” In 2009 Judge Forchione was elected to the Stark County Common Pleas Court bench and reelected unopposed in 2014 and 2020.

In 2016 the University of Akron awarded him the Outstanding Alumni Publication Award. Meanwhile, Judge Forchione has been published in over twenty legal journals or magazines. In 2018, the Ohio Association for Justice provided him the honor of the Outstanding Jurist Award for the State of Ohio. He is founder and chairman of the Stop Heroin From Killing Committee, which has targeted the opioid epidemic that is engulfing Ohio. For his work, in 2023 he received the Angel of Justice Award from the Stark County Association for Justice. He is also a long-term member of the nonprofit agency, “Wishes Can Happen”, which provides wishes for children with debilitating diseases. In June of 2023 he took over and is serving as President of the Stark County Bar Association. Judge Forchione has been a three-time speaker at the Law School’s Winter Institute.

Mary Z. Seidel ‘95

Mary Z. Seidel ‘95 worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC for the U.S. House of Representatives prior to attending Akron Law. This is where she developed her passion for law and politics. She credits Akron for providing her with a law degree that opened many doors of opportunities to further her career as a lawyer and lobbyist.

She spent 20 years serving as the Vice President and Director of Federal Affairs for the Reinsurance Association of America (RAA) in Washington, DC. RAA is the leading trade association representing US and global property and casualty reinsurance companies and brokers doing business in the US. She was RAA’s chief representative and spokesperson to Congress and the Administration. She was responsible for promoting a legislative and regulatory environment that ensured the property and casualty reinsurance industry remained globally competitive and financially robust. She led the association efforts to formulate strategy and manage all federal issues in consultation with RAA member company CEOs, general counsels, and tax directors. She actively engaged for the RAA in many coalition activities supporting business and insurance industry legislative priorities.

Some key accomplishments include leading the efforts on the following RAA legislative priorities that were enacted into federal law: 1) reinsurance provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act, 2) the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) reauthorization, 3) the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA). She was invited and enjoyed being present for the Presidential signing of each of these laws.

She led efforts to successfully establish authorization in the Dodd-Frank Act for the Federal Insurance Office to work with the United States Trade Representative to negotiate a “Covered Agreement” with the European Union to benefit U.S. reinsurance companies doing business in Europe. This law allows for a level playing field for US reinsurers doing business abroad.

She helped achieve inclusion of specific language in NFIP reauthorization that would help the NFIP manage their catastrophe risk by securing private reinsurance, which resulted in significant benefits to policyholders and U.S. taxpayers. Allowing NFIP to purchase private reinsurance ensured that NFIP’s losses, after major catastrophic events, were no longer completely taxpayer and debt financed.

After the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, she played an integral role as a lead representative of the coalition to establish TRIA and reauthorize it multiple times. TRIA was a key component for the economic stability in US cities and communities as it provided commercial policy holders the ability to obtain terrorism risk insurance. Such insurance was scarce and unavailable after the attacks. She helped steer initial post 9/11 efforts to create the program and keep it intact in 2001, 2005, 2007, and 2013 with the latest approval from Congress in 2015.

She represented RAA in defeating numerous legislative attempts to create a federal reinsurance catastrophe fund for hurricane losses. A federal cat fund would put the US government in the business of reinsurance and would undermine the U.S. private reinsurance market and expose U.S. taxpayers to significant losses.

Throughout her career she served as a keynote speaker or panelist throughout the country, and abroad, presenting on congressional and regulatory issues.

Prior to joining the RAA, she worked for a leading government affairs firm: William & Jensen. She represented financial institutions on banking and securities legislation in Congress. This was her first job upon graduating law school.

After 25 years as a lobbyist, she turned to her other passion— sports and community involvement. She is currently the Athletic Director and Community Liaison for the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament Parish in Washington, DC. The program has over 500 student athletes. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Holy Cross Health Foundation and is active in numerous charitable organizations in the DC area. In 2006, she established the Mary Z. Seidel Scholarship Fund at Akron Law. She has a BA from Bowling Green State University. She grew up in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

Mary and her husband Joe, and daughter Maria reside in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Nathan Yun ‘92

Sang (Nathan) Yun serves as General Counsel of Navien, Inc. in Irvine, California, and is the head of the legal and risk management. His responsibility at Navien, Inc. reaches North America and with the parent company in Korea. Outside of his role in Navien Inc., Yun also teaches as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.

Previously, Yun worked at Yun Law firm where he handled various major injury cases for the Plaintiffs. One notable case in Yun’s legal career was Eun Ha Lee, et al. v. Pupil Transportation Cooperative (JPA) where he represented the Plaintiffs in the wrongful death of their Autistic Son (Paul Lee), who was left in the bus on a very hot day. This case eventually settled for $23,500,000.00 in 2017. As a result of Paul Lee's death, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the "Paul Lee School Bus Safety Law" on September 27, 2016. Further, Yun was a finalist for the 2018 Consumer Attorney of the Year Award presented by Consumer Attorneys of California, “Making School Buses Safer for Students After a Tragic Death.” Previous to Yun Law Firm, Yun served as General Counsel & Chief Administrative Officer, and a member of the Board of Directors at Samsung Chemical (USA), Inc. He managed the day to day operation of the departments including administration, corporate and human resources. In addition, Yun managed the legal matters for business conducted in North and South America & South Korea. His role focused on legal matters internationally while assisting other divisions in the company. His career at Samsung span from 2001 to 2014 working for US subsidiaries of Samsung Corporation, Samsung Cheil Industries, Inc and Samsung SDI, Inc. Previously to Samsung, he worked at various law firms including Hong & Chang (associated office of Kim & Chang, the largest law firm in Korea).

Yun is the founding member of the Southern California Alumni Chapter in 2009 and it's first California representative of the alumni chapter. Since graduating from University of Akron School of Law, he has practiced entirely in the State of California.