President's Award

Awarded, at the discretion of the president, to that attorney(s) who has contributed enormous effort towards the furtherance of the president's goals and priorities during his or her year as president. (Award established in 1996).

2020 Recipients

Dr. Kolette A. Butler is a native Arizonan and a licensed attorney and psychologist in the state of Arizona. She earned her JD at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU (and is friends with many Wildcats too!). After law school she clerked on the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One with the Honorable Michael Brown. She then took a position with a national firm working on cases of Fortune 500 companies. During her legal career, a family circumstance prompted Dr. Butler to pursue a doctorate in psychology. She earned her PsyD from Midwestern University and opened a private practice focusing on forensic psychology, trauma and complex mental health issues.

Dr. Butler’s practice has evolved into coaching teens and adults to identify and leverage their strengths to create a life they are excited about living. She is passionate about human behavior and helping people transition from enduring life to enjoying life. She is a frequent presenter for groups such as the State Bar of Arizona and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and enjoys opportunities to share her discoveries with colleagues. Outside of work Dr. Butler thrives on nature, her people, poetry and quality time with her dog.

Hon. Donn G. Kessler (ret.) was a judge on the Arizona Court of Appeals from 2003 to June 2017. He is an adjunct faculty member of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU, teaching a course on mindfulness for the past five years. Prior to becoming a judge, Donn was Deputy Attorney General for the State of Hawaii, served in the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, and was an associate and later a partner or a shareholder in several firms and a staff attorney for the Arizona Supreme Court.

Donn began studying Buddhism and mindfulness in the 1990s. He presented at the national 2010 Mindful Lawyer Conference in Berkeley. Donn has presented programs on meditation and mindfulness at numerous Arizona State Bar Conventions, two Arizona Judicial Conferences, the Lawyers as Peacemakers and Healers Conference, the 2013 Finding Happiness in the Law Program, and the annual meeting of federal administrative law judges in Scottsdale in 2016. Donn was a founding member and is now emeritus board member of the Mindfulness in Law Society (MILS), a national group promoting mindfulness in the law. Donn was chair for MILS’s 2018 program on Mindfulness and the Path to Lawyer Well Being in Chicago, which was cosponsored in part by the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility and the State Bar of Arizona.


Previous Recipients

The award has been presented to:

2002     Janet Napolitano
Hon. Robert B. Van Wyck
Hon. Barry C. Schneider
2003 Craig Y. Fujii
Danny R. Ortega, Jr.
Neal Kurn
Barry Wong
Michael R. Rooney
Richard H. Whitney
2004 Art Hamilton
Kathleen A. Mayer
Thomas M. Thompson
2005 Colleen A. Lomax, Esq.
Hon. Rebecca A. Albrecht
Paul Bennett
Edward F. Novak
2006 Diane L. Drain
Jenae R. Naumann
Michael L. Walker
Rawuel Centeno-Fequiere
David B. Rosenbaum
2007 Michael L. Gallagher
Michael Allen Berch
2008 Herbert I. Zinn
Mari I. Valenzuela
Sal J. Rivera
Larry J. Cohen
John W. Rogers
William G. Klain
2009 Pamela A. Treadwell-Rubin
Patrick J. McGroder III
Jessica Gifford Funkhouser
2010 Saji Vettiyil
Brigadier General Richard Gregg Maxon
2011 Maret Vessella
Amy K. Rehm
2012 Senator Jon Kyl
Alan P. Bayham, Jr.
2013 Hon. Janet Napolitano
Lawrence F. Winthrop
2014 Patricia Lee Refo
2015 Robert E. Schmitt
William C. Porter
2016 Thomas M. Ryan
Alex Lane
2017 Thomas L. Hudson
Sheena S. Chiang
2018 Larry W. Suciu
2019 Charles W. Wirken
Laura Zeman-Mullen
2020 Dr. Kolette A. Butler
Hon. Donn G. Kessler (ret.)
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