Distinguished Alumni 1991

Past award recipient bios as they appeared in that year's event program (*deceased)

GEORGE B. DAVIS AWARD: Danferd C. Avis, ‘51 BBA

When Dan Avis attended CSU’s predecessor, Fenn College, he was a varsity basketball player, student council representative and office of the Lamda Tau Delta Fraternity. His involvement with CSU has continued. From 1986 through 1988, he was President of the CSU Alumni Association and served two terms as President of the Athletic Alumni Association. 

From 1988 to 1990, he was National Vice Chairman of the Alumni/Friends Annual Appeal of the Annual Sustaining Fund. He is currently a trustee of the Fenn College Co-op Endowment Fund, part of The Cleveland Foundation. 

Avis, who earned his bachelor of business administration degree in 1951, is president of Foresight Agency, Inc., a life and health insurance agency. He is also executive director of a non-profit trade association of eight funeral homes in Lorain and Cuyahoga counties. He has volunteered for the YMCA/YWCA, Parma City Schools, the Kiwanis of Parma, the Parma Heights Chamber of Commerce, the Parma Community Hospital, the Boy Scouts, Junior Achievement, and the Parma-South Presbyterian Church. 

Avis has received community awards from Padua High School, the Parma Heights Chamber of Commerce, the Parma Education Association, and the Ridgewood YMCA.

EMERGING LEADERSHIP: Edward L. Bitterman, ‘81 BA 

At a time which children are increasingly turning to drugs and alcohol to escape problems, people like Edward Bitterman represent a flicker of hope. As prevention education coordinator for the Shaker Heights Youth center, Inc., Bitterman teaches students how to be effective role models for elementary school children. In 1989, he planned the Center’s first weekend-long retreat, bringing together students from throughout Cleveland to discuss health issues. 

Bitterman earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from CSU and received his master’s degree in health education from Kent State University in 1989. One of his most valuable experiences has been serving as a volunteer on the Townhall II Crisis Hotline in Kent. 

He is a member of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Association of Ohio, a board member of the Western Reserve AIDS Foundation, and is on the planning committee for Justice Center’s Victims Rights Week Program. 

He was named “One of the 90 Most Interesting People in Cleveland for 1990” by Cleveland Magazine, and has received the Outstanding College Student of America Award, the Outstanding Young Men of America Award, and the National Dean’s List Award. 

CIVIC ACHIEVEMENT: Nona M. Burney, ‘75 MA/’81 JD/’97 Ph.D.

Nona Burney became involved with the Law and Public Service Magnet School when it was just an idea. After earning both her master of science and juris doctor from CSU, she was appointed the head planner of the school, then in its formative stages. Now, as assistant principal, she is responsible for the administration of the school, which is part of the Cleveland Public School system.

Burney earned her bachelor of science at Northwestern University and draws her administrative expertise from a solid base of teaching. She taught social studies, black history, law, and economics at Collinwood High School from 1971 to 1981. 

In addition to being a member of associations such as the Ohio Bar Association, the American Bar Association and Leaders for Equity in Education, she has also served as chairperson of the PRIDE 28 Steering Committee, a nonprofit community organization. She is currently serving as chairperson of the Cleveland Police Review Board, after having served two years as a member of that organization. She is a member of the United Missionary Baptist Church, where she has taught Sunday School and supervised the Youth Choir.

EMERGING LEADERSHIP: Scott C. Finerman, ‘87 JD

When Scott Finerman began his job search after graduating from the University of Michigan in 1982, what he liked best about the accounting firm at Cohen & Company was its corporate philosophy: a philosophy that values community service and hard work. Today, as a partner in the firm, he shares his expertise with entrepreneurs and small businesses. Finerman continues to be dedicated to community service, within and outside of his profession. 

A 1987 graduate of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Finerman has been particularly active in the Cleveland City Club. Since 1984, he has worked to increase and diversify that organization’s membership, and currently is treasurer. He also is treasurer of Citizens for Cleveland City Council and director of finance for the Cleveland Sports Legends Foundation. Since 1989, he has been a board member of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Alumni Association. He has been vice president of membership for the University of Michigan Club of Cleveland since 1983. 

His professional dedication is evident in his work with the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants and its Cleveland chapter, where he has promoted communication with students and educators. He is also an advisor to the Cuyahoga County Bar Association’s Budget Committee.


As a judge, Ann McManamon is aware of the social problems that tear at the fabric of society. She currently serves as judge of the Eighth District Court of Appeals and has worked to resolve such problems, particularly illiteracy and unemployment. She helped establish the Greater Cleveland Literacy Coalition, serving as founding chairperson for two years. She also was instrumental in the passage of a bill which, in appropriate cases, provides for alcohol-dependent individuals to be placed in medical treatment facilities rather than jails.

After earning her juris doctor from the Cleveland-Marshall Law School in 1950, she passed the Ohio Bar Examination and entered practice. Since then, she has served as Clerk of Olmsted Township, a partner in McManamon & McManamon, and presided as Cleveland Municipal Court Judge and Common Pleas Judge. McManamon also participates on the Board of Trustees of St. John Hospital and the YMCA; the Board of Overseers of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law; and the Board of the Alcoholism Services of Cleveland.

She has received the Women’s Equity Action League Award, the Cleveland-Marshall Law School Outstanding Alumnus Award, the Project: Learn Friend of Literacy Award, and the YWCA Career Women of Achievement Award.