The Ohio State University Alumni Association

From left to right: Brigadier General Dana L. McDaniel, Michelle Chavanne, President Michael V. Drake and Merle Madrid.

Each year individuals are recognized at the Alumni in Government Luncheon for their dedication to advocacy and service to Ohio.

How Firm Thy Friendship Award

In recognition of one’s dedication to and advocacy for The Ohio State University in the public sector.

The 2016 How Firm They Friendship Award was presented to Merle Madrid.

Merle Madrid is director of legislative affairs for Ohio Governor John Kasich. He previously served as Kasich’s director of the Office of Public Liaison from 2012 to 2015.

Prior to joining the administration, Madrid served as political director at the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, and in the administrations of former Lt. Governor Bruce Johnson and Treasurer of State Joseph Deters.

Madrid is a native of Boardman, Ohio. He earned a degree in communications from Ohio State in 2003.

Distinguished Service Award

The Ohio State University Alumni Association's Alumni in Government Award recognizes individuals whose work as public employees has provided extraordinary benefit to Ohio citizens.

The 2016 Alumni in Government Distinguished Service Award was presented to Michelle Chavanne and Brigadier General Dana L. McDaniel.

Michelle Chavanne is general counsel at the Ohio Department of Higher Education. She joined the staff at the Ohio Board of Regents as assistant general counsel in 2007 and became general counsel in 2013.

Prior to joining the Ohio Department of Higher Education, Chavanne worked for the Legislative Service Commission from 2003 to 2007.

Chavanne is a native of Grandview, Ohio. She earned her Juris Doctor with Honors from Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law in 2001.

Brigadier General Dana L. McDaniel is director, Joint Staff, Joint Force Headquarters for the Ohio National Guard. He also serves as city manager for Dublin, Ohio.

In his Ohio National Guard role, McDaniel oversees joint staff programs that prepare the state for contingency operations in either a federal or state emergency, to include manmade or natural disasters. In his 35-year military tenure, he’s been awarded the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and multiple other recognitions.

McDaniel is currently a resident of Dublin. He earned a Master’s of Public Administration from Ohio State’s John Glenn College in 1990.

Previous Distinguished Service Award winners:


Jonathan A. Allison

Charles R. Moses


Jennifer A. Parker

Thomas L. Sherman


Paolo DeMaria

Rich Levin


Matt Schuler

Veronica Sherman


Mary C. Mertz

Dennis M. Papp


Tracy J. Plouck

Thomas J. Stickrath


Jan Allen

Tom Walsh

James Burley


Tony Bledsoe

G. Michael Payton


John Barron

Lisa Patt-McDaniel

Thomas J. Moyer


Andy DiPalma

Brian Perera