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Justice Kathryn Zenoff receives Frank Ware Award

The award recognizes a person who exemplifies a high level of excellence in service to others.

Illinois Appellate Judge Kathryn Zenoff received the 2015 Frank Ware Award of Excellence from United Way of Rock River Valley.

The award recognizes a person who exemplifies a high level of excellence in service to others, human service advocacy and an unwavering commitment to the community. It honors the spirit of the late Frank Ware, longtime president and CEO of Janet Wattles Center, which merged with Rosecrance in 2011.

Zenoff was born in Chicago and graduated from both Stanford University and Columbia University Law School. She practiced law in the private sector in New York City and Chicago and served as assistant state’s attorney in Cook and Winnebago counties. Zenoff was appointed to associate judge in the 17th Circuit in 1995 and served in several other judicial roles until her most recent assignment in 2007 to the Second District Appellate Court.

Zenoff worked with Frank Ware to design, create and open a mental health court – called the Therapeutic Intervention Program (TIP) Court – in February 2005. Central to the model, both pre- and post-guilty plea for either a misdemeanor or felony, is a multidisciplinary team of legal and treatment professionals who assess participants’ needs and risks and then provide what’s termed “wraparound services.”

Back in November at the first Rosecrance Forum, Zenoff recalled how Ware and Rosecrance President/CEO Philip Eaton worked together to provide integrated dual-disorder treatment to TIP Court participants. Zenoff said after “Frank died a sudden and untimely death, Phil picked up the gauntlet for both of them.”

Her nomination for the Frank Ware Award of Excellence said this:

“Justice Zenoff works tirelessly for mental health in Winnebago County and throughout the state. She is an advocate for consumers, their families, the community and the justice system. Her guidance and direction are sought by community leaders, mental health providers and the court system. She is regarded as a leader among leaders.”

Zenoff is the fifth recipient of the Frank Ware award since its inception in 2011. The selection process was led by a volunteer committee of community leaders.

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