Following a 44-year career in the judicial system, including nearly 19 years in Ottawa County, Court Administrator Kevin J Bowling announced his plans to retire on January 14th. This announcement began a four-month recruitment and selection process that was completed earlier this month.
The national recruitment process resulted in numerous applications, including candidates from several Michigan jurisdictions, several states (AZ, CA, NV, PA, UT), and Canada. Based on the Interview Panel assessments, a thorough review of all application materials, and input from all judges, the Chief Judges selected Trial Division Director Susan M. Franklin as the next Circuit/Probate Court Administrator.
Ms. Franklin’s credentials for this position include a Bachelor of Arts in English (GVSU), a Master of Public Administration (GVSU), and a Juris Doctor cum laude (MSU College of Law), as well as SCAO certifications (CEO, Mediation) and MSP LEIN certifications. As a member of the State Bar of Michigan (P66047) Ms. Franklin developed court specific experience serving as Law Clerk for the 9th Circuit Court in Kalamazoo, before moving into private legal practice for 12 years with Williams Hughes, PLLC in Muskegon. For nearly four years, Ms. Franklin has served with distinction as the 20th Circuit Trial Division Director – leading many of our staff who directly assist the Circuit Judges and help maintain daily courtroom operations. In addition to being a State Bar member and member of the Ottawa County Bar Association, Ms. Franklin is an active member of the Michigan Association of Circuit Court Administrators and the National Association for Court Management.
Due to the hard work of all the Circuit/Probate judges and employees, the Ottawa County Courts have developed a reputation as a high performing jurisdiction. Building on this reputation of success, the Courts are looking forward to Susan Franklin’s leadership while pursuing strategic goals and continuing strong collaborative relationships with community, County, and State partners.