NSMBA Profiles

Untitled Document

Sheryl King Benford

Since April 2000, Sheryl King Benford has served as the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority's General Counsel and Deputy General Manager for Legal Affairs. GCRTA was named North America's Best Public Transit System by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) in 2007. She supervises a staff of 35 employees who handle litigation, labor issues, workers' compensation, risk management, safety, and the office of equal opportunity.

Attorney Benford was the first African American to serve as Law Director for the City of Shaker Heights. She was the first African American woman to serve as Assistant Dean at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University.

She is a past president of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association, Cleveland Chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials and the Cuyahoga County Law Directors Association. Ms. Benford was the first African American to serve as President of the Ohio Municipal Lawyers Association. She is currently President Elect of the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA). Ms. Benford is also a member of the American Public Transit Association (APTA) Legal Affairs Committee.

Ms. Benford is affiliated with a number of volunteer organizations. She is Secretary of the Board of the Cleveland Sight Center and is the first woman and the first African American to serve as Chair of the Board of The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio (formerly NCCJ).

She has received the Distinguished Alumna Award from the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association, was named a "Woman of Note" by Crain's Cleveland Business, and was listed in the "Top 500 Most Influential Women in Northeast Ohio" by Northern Ohio Live Magazine.

Ms. Benford received the Charles Rhine Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in local government law from IMLA; The George B. Davis Distinguished Alumni Award for her service to Cleveland State University. She has been recognized for advocacy and commitment to fair housing by both The Housing Research and Advocacy Center and Cuyahoga Plan of Ohio.