Ohio Supreme Court's Administrator Reflects on Career
By Stephanie Beougher - April 23, 2014
Steve Hollon has overseen the administrative operations of the Ohio Supreme Court for the last 15 years.
One of only five people to serve in the constitutionally created position of administrative director, Hollon will be leaving the court to become the executive director of the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission.
"It truly has been great fun and a great honor. I've been given the freedom to do a number of different things which I think have helped improved our operation and I'm very proud of those accomplishments. But after 15 years it is time to look for that next challenge and the new chapter in my life," Hollon said, adding that he leaves with a great sense of accomplishment.
One visually evident accomplishment is the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center, which has been home to the Supreme Court since 2004. The 15-story Art Deco style building erected in the 1930s as a state government building was standing unused when the late Chief Justice Thomas Moyer decided it would be the perfect place for the court to relocate from its cramped space at the Rhodes State Office Tower. Hollon oversaw the construction and the move.
"We were spread out all over the place and, those offices that we did have, we were very compressed and people sitting nearly on top of one another. It did not make for a good work environment. You feel like you're in a supreme court building here. You feel like you're coming here to do important business and that says a lot about what the building is for."
Hollon also said the updated administrative structure and the creation of a judicial services division have been important improvements since he started in 1999.
"We're doing outreach to the judges, court administrators, and clerks around the state to bring them best practices with regard to any number of different things. There's the use of guardian ad litem or foreign language interpreters in the courts, and the way we've leveraged technology to help the courts through the Ohio Courts Network," he said.
Hollon has served under 16 justices and three Chief Justices, including current Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor.
"I think the first major accomplishment is that he's been able to maintain this job for almost 15 years given the variety of personalities that he's had to deal with, especially the justices," O'Connor said. "It's important to have an administrative director who helps to make the trains run on time and that sort of stuff, but we have such an excellent support staff in this institution that I'm looking to Steve, and have looked to Steve, for a more global perspective and he's always been able to deliver that perspective. I'm going to miss that, and it's going to be hard to replace, but that's definitely a trait of somebody who will eventually take that job."
When asked what he'll miss the most, Hollon said, "I will miss the staff, the interaction with staff, and the interaction with the justices. The team we've assembled, how we've allowed staff, the directors of their offices to come up with ideas on what they think might work to improve their operations. Just that interaction back and forth on a daily basis with the staff is the thing I'll miss the most."
Hollon's last day is April 29, with Assistant Administrative Director Mindi Wells to serve as interim administrative director until a permanent replacement is named.