Judges / Staff

Judge Gene Donofrio
Presiding Judge
Aaron Hively, Staff Attorney
Melanie Czopur-Gaffney, Staff Attorney
Rebecca Hively, Judicial Secretary
Judge Cheryl L. Waite
Jeffrey Hendrickson, Staff Attorney
Laura Canale, Staff Attorney
Teresa Barron-Lloyd, Judicial Secretary
Judge Mary DeGenaro
Emily Kristen Anglewicz, Staff Attorney
Kyde Kelly, Staff Attorney
Bobbie Knickerbocker, Judicial Secretary
Judge Carol Ann Robb
Kristen O'Horo, Staff Attorney
Melissa Bateman, Staff Attorney
Kim Moses, Judicial Secretary

CHERYL L. WAITE

Judge Cheryl L. Waite was elected to the Seventh District Court of Appeals in November, 1996 and reelected to that bench in 2002 and 2008. She served as presiding judge of this Court from February of 2003-2005. The Seventh District is comprised of eight counties; Mahoning, Columbiana, Jefferson, Carroll, Belmont, Harrison, Monroe and Noble, and hears all appeals arising from the trial courts in those counties except where, since 1995, the death penalty is imposed.

Judge Waite received her undergraduate degree with honors from Youngstown State University in 1982. She went on to receive her Juris Doctorate from Cleveland-Marshall School of Law, Cleveland State University in 1985 and was admitted to the bar that same year. She was admitted to practice in the Federal Court of Appeals in 1986 and the United States Supreme Court in 1992. Her memberships include the American Bar Association, Ohio State Bar Association, Youngstown State University Alumni Association, the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi and the Ohio Courts of Appeals Judges Association. She is currently serving as President on the Board of Trustees of the YWCA and is chair of its personnel committee. She is serving as President of the Board of Directors of Gateways Industries, Inc. after serving for 8 years on the Board of Directors of Gateways to Better Living, Inc. Judge Waite was appointed by Chief Justice Moyer to serve as the Court of Appeals representative on the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission from 2000-2004. She also served on the Ohio State Bar Association’s Committee on the Independent Judiciary and the Unjust Criticism of Judges.

After clerking for various law firms in both Cleveland and Youngstown during law school, Judge Waite was hired as an Assistant Law Director for the City of Youngstown in 1985, attaining the post of First Assistant. She also served as the City's acting Risk Manager beginning in 1991.

Judge Waite is married to Attorney Edwin Romero and together they live with their two children Alexis and Evan.

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GENE DONOFRIO

Judge Gene Donofrio joined the Seventh District Court of Appeals in February 1993. He obtained his B.A. degree in 1975 from Youngstown State University after which he studied at the University of Akron, College of Law. He was awarded his J.D. degree in 1978. After his admission to the Ohio Bar, Judge Donofrio was in the general practice of law for over 14 years. He also was an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for the City of Youngstown as well as Mahoning County. He also served as counsel for the Mahoning County Treasurer and also as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Ohio.

Judge Donofrio is a member of the Florida Bar and is a member of his local, state and American Bar Associations. Judge Donofrio also is a member of the limited faculty at Youngstown State University. He has additionally served as legal advisor and board member to alcohol and drug addiction programs and boards. Gene, born September 2, 1953, and his wife Janet, have three children and reside in Canfield.

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CAROL ANN ROBB

Judge Carol Ann Robb was elected to the 7th District Court of Appeals in 2014. She brings extensive experience as a trial court judge to the appellate bench. In 2001 she was appointed Magistrate for the Columbiana County Common Pleas Court before being elected Judge of the Columbiana County Municipal Court in 2005.

During her ten years as Municipal Court Judge, Judge Robb earned acclaim statewide and nationally for programs she initiated in the court. One such program was the mental health docket known as STAR, Successful Treatment And Recovery. STAR was the first mental health docket certified by the Ohio Supreme Court and has been used as the template for mental health courts throughout Ohio. Under Judge Robb's leadership, the Columbiana County Municipal Court was the first court in Ohio to address economic issues faced by defendants based upon "Bridges Out of Poverty". The Defendant's Getting Ahead program reduced recidivism for its graduates and helped them gain and maintain employment. It was adopted by fourteen (14) other courts in Ohio and by numerous other courts throughout the country. To promote employment, Judge Robb worked with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to put safe drivers back on the road. She also extended the use of electronically monitored house arrest to include indigent defendants, saving substantial tax dollars and providing equal justice to all defendants.

Judge Robb was appointed by Chief Justice Thomas Moyer and later by Chief Justice Maureen O'Conner to serve on the Ohio Supreme Court Specialty Docket Advisory Committee. After the Committee's recommendations were adopted by the Supreme Court, Chief Justice O'Connor appointed Judge Robb to serve on the Special Docket Commission, a position she held until her election to the Court of Appeals. She also served on the Ohio Judicial College, where she co-chaired the Specialty Docket Section. Since her election to the Court of Appeals, Judge Robb serves on the Ohio Judicial College, Appellate Court Committee.

Prior to taking the bench, Carol Robb practiced law in the Youngstown Area with the law firm of Roth, Stephens & Blair LPA (now known as Roth, Blair, Roberts, Strasfeld & Lodge LPA) before opening her private practice in Columbiana County. She practiced law for 18 years.

Judge Robb received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Youngstown State University in 1977. She studied in the Masters of Business Administration program at the University of Akron before enter law school at the University of Akron, receiving her degree of Juris Doctor in 1983. Judge Robb was admitted to the practice of law in Ohio in 1983, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in 1984, and Supreme Court of the United States in 1987.

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MARY DeGENARO

Elected to the Seventh District Court of Appeals in November 2000.

Judge DeGenaro is admitted to practice in Ohio (1986); U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio (1987); U.S. Supreme Court (1991); U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania (1993); U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth District (1994). She was in private practice for 14 years prior to her election, primarily general civil litigation and appellate practice. She also served on Poland Village Council (January 1998 through January 2001).

Education: Youngstown State University (B.A. 1983); Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University (J.D. 1986). During law school she served an internship with U.S. District Judge George White, and served as editor of the law school news magazine.

Judge DeGenaro is a member of the American Bar Association; the Ohio Bar Association; the Mahoning, Columbiana and Jefferson County Bar Associations; the Ohio Appellate Judges Association and the Ohio Judicial Conference. She is a charter member of the OSBA Appellate Practice Committee and chair of the education subcommittee, and is starting her third year as a member of the Ohio Judicial Conference Ethics Committee. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, and a member of the external advisory committee of the Ohio Center for the Advancement of Women in Public Service at Cleveland State University. She also teaches at the OSBA new lawyer training and volunteers with the Ohio Center for law related education high school mock trial competition.

Judge DeGenaro is married to Stephen A. DeGenaro, a home healthcare consultant and an inspector for a home healthcare accrediting agency. The DeGenaros have two sons.

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