Two Michigan residents receive Lifetime Achievement Awards

Thomas M. Haskel of Grayling, a longtime juvenile officer and court administrator, and Marilyn F. Stephen of Jackson, the former director of the Office of Child Support for the Department of Human Services, are the 2012 winners of the Daniel J. Wright Lifetime Achievement Award.

DHS and the Michigan Supreme Court present the Wright Award to recognize exemplary, long-time service to Michigan children and families. Haskel and Stephens were honored last week at the Michigan Adoption Day ceremony at the Michigan Hall of Justice in Lansing.

DHS Director Maura D. Corrigan said that Haskel and Stephen "are fitting recipients of this award for their lives of service to Michigan families. Like Dan Wright, they are people of intelligence, tenacity, and compassion - and they are extraordinarily effective."

Haskel is the administrator of the courts in Crawford County and also serves as a juvenile court officer and referee. A graduate of Central Michigan University, where he received a bachelor's degree in social work, Haskel began working with juvenile offenders and other at-risk youths in 1981, and created community service and work project programs as an alternative to detention.

Stephen served as director of the DHS Office of Child Support for 10 years before her retirement earlier this year. A former Jackson County assistant prosecutor, Stephen helped lead the effort to upgrade Michigan's automated child support payment processing system by federally-mandated guidelines. While OCS director, Stephen oversaw over 2,300 child support workers serving over one million Michigan families annually. More than $14 billion in child support was distributed to Michigan families during her tenure.

The Wright Award was established in honor of the late Daniel J. Wright of Grand Ledge, an attorney and longtime leader in child support and child welfare reform.

Published: Mon, Nov 26, 2012

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