Cass County Deputy Friend of the Court becomes Certified Court Executive

Published 1:09 pm Tuesday, May 14, 2024

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CASSOPOLIS — Cass County Deputy Friend of the Court Ravan Bakeman graduated from the National Center for State Courts Institute of Court  Management as a Certified Court Executive Thursday, May 2.

To be certified as a CCE, applicants must complete thirteen courses focused on accountability and court performance, caseflow and workflow  management, budget and fiscal management, project management, purposes and responsibilities of the  courts, workforce management, visioning and strategic planning, leadership, modern court governance,  educational development, executive decision making, operations management, and public relations. 

Bakeman graduated as a Certified Court Manager in a virtual ceremony in 2022. However, the  CCE graduation on May 2nd was held in person at the Michigan Supreme Court for Michigan program  graduates. Before 2016, candidates for the programs would have to travel to Williamsburg, Virginia for  the CCM and CCE certifications. The Michigan Court Administration Association (MCAA), with the  guidance of the State Court Administrative Office, worked together to obtain a grant to bring  the programs to Michigan to make them more accessible and affordable for Michigan court employees. 

The first Michigan cohorts of CCMs graduated in 2019 and 2021. The two groups were combined to  create a CCE class that had just recently graduated. Bakeman was able to join the Michigan CCE cohort after completing her CCM virtually. 

Chief Justice Elizabeth Clement delivered the commencement speech for the 2024 Michigan CCE  graduating class. The graduating class included 40 Michigan court professionals and significantly  increased the number of certified court executives in the state from less than 10 to nearly 50. With the  graduation ceremony in Lansing, Bakeman’s family was able to join her for the special occasion. 

“Having Chief Justice Elizabeth Clement deliver our commencement speech at the Hall  of Justice made the day even more special,” Bakeman said. “Having my family there to see so many Michigan court  leaders in one place added to the joy and pride of the moment. It was very rewarding for me to have my  family witness firsthand the results of hard work and dedication.” 

Bakeman joined the Cass County Friend of the Court as the Deputy Friend of the Court in 2022. As the  Deputy FOC she serves as the direct supervisor for all FOC staff, assists in ensuring that all mandated  and administrative duties of the FOC are carried out, and serves as second in command to the FOC  Director, Sarah Mathews. Bakeman also aids Mathews in her role as the Circuit/Probate/Family Court  Administrator carrying out court administrative duties as needed.  

“Mastery of the thirteen core competencies in the ICM CCM and CCE programs in only a little over two  years while working full time, is not only impressive but also demonstrates Ravan’s commitment to continuing to serve the Cass County community as an effective and dedicated court employee and  leader,” said FOC Director and Circuit/Probate/Family Court Administrator, Sarah Mathews. Mathews  is also an ICM Certified Court Executive, having graduated from the program in 2023. 

The NCSC is a non-profit organization founded in 1971 and acts as a hub of information and resources  available to court systems across the country. NCSC’s training courses for court employees help keep state  court operations consistent across the nation and provide court professionals with the knowledge, skills,  and abilities needed to be effective managers and dynamic leaders.