People Week of 3/22/2021

Staff Writer

Wood County court administrator retires after 30 years

After three decades of serving the Wood County Court of Common Pleas, Mary Bodey will retire as court administrator at the end of this month.
“I wasn’t quite 18 when I started working part-time for Kurfess and Pollex Law Offices in 1976,” Bodey said. “I was going to school at the time, and I knew that I really enjoyed legal studies and accounting.”
She put the skills she acquired in school to work and hasn’t looked back since, she said.
In 1991, Bodey was asked to serve as the civil case manager for Wood County Common Pleas Judge Charles Kurfess. Eight years later, she was selected to lead the Common Pleas Court as the first court administrator in Wood County.
Besides overseeing the non-judicial functions of the court, including the Administrative Office and the Jury Commission, Bodey’s responsibilities have included court-wide human resource management, implementation of administrative policies, budget management, and strategic planning.
“Court administrators essentially ensure the business of the court runs smoothly so that the judges can do the work they have been elected to do,” said Bodey’s successor, Brandy Hartman.
During Bodey’s tenure, among many other projects, she was integral in:
• Researching and implementing a reliable jury system. While her office had previously reached out to an average of 250 potential jurors per month, she saw that number increase to 1,000 potential jurors per month over time. Her execution of the use of software provided by Jury Services Incorporated delivered a reliable yet time-saving approach to jury management.
• Representing Wood County alongside state leaders as a member of the board of trustees for the Ohio Jury Management Association. In this capacity, Bodey assisted Judge Reeve Kelsey with his role in writing the Jury Modernization Act of 2012. While Bodey served as a trustee for OJMA, the association received the National Center for State Courts’ 2016 G. Thomas Munsterman Award for Jury Innovation.
• Writing a grant in collaboration with Hancock County to spearhead the Court’s Dispute Resolution and Mediation Program. In 2003, the program began as a pilot for the Ohio Supreme Court. Bodey’s implementation of the program has afforded Wood County residents a means to achieve conflict resolution in an expedited manner, while reducing their cost.
Bodey says her philosophy for success is “all about listening to others and having the ability to problem-solve.”
Hartman said, “Not only are court administrators responsible for leading, planning, developing, and coordinating all aspects of the court; they must also work to cultivate productive working relationships with the judiciary.”
During her tenure, Bodey prioritized relationships with her colleagues. Her best memories at the courthouse revolve around the people and her camaraderie with the staff, she said.
Hartman, who most recently served the county as Director of Office Operations at the Wood County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, began her new role as court administrator and has been working alongside Bodey since November.


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association