2012 Penguins of the Year | Dennis and Janet Haines

Dennis and Janet Haines have worked diligently to make an impact in many aspects of their lives. They are fine and upstanding people. They have raised two great daughters and have three beloved grandchildren. They have worked to make lives better for many hard-working individuals. They have spent countless hours making sure that less-fortunate people have the same opportunities as everyone else. And they are some of the most die-hard Youngstown State Penguins fans the university has.

For all of those reasons, and many more, Dennis and Janet Haines are the 2012 Penguins of the Year.

Dennis saw his first Youngstown State football contest in the early 1950's at Rayen Stadium. He climbed through a hole in the fence to watch the game. He has been a YSU sports fan for nearly 60 years.

Together, the two have seen many milestones in Youngstown State Athletics history. They were in Statesboro, Ga., in 1991 when the Penguins defeated Marshall to win their first-ever FCS National Championship. Since that first trip, they have been to every title game since. They made the trip to Penn State to see the women's basketball team play their first NCAA Tournament game in 1996. Also, they were on hand to celebrate at Eastwood Field when the Baseball program won the Horizon League Championship in 2004.

Among the first sporting events their grandchildren attended were YSU football, basketball and baseball games. For YSU, they sponsor the Haines Family Player of the Game as selected by the YSU Radio Broadcasters, have an endowed Athletic Scholarship - Attorney Dennis and Janet Haines Scholarship - and contribute to the department in many other ways.

Janet admits that Dennis had to do some work to get her to go to YSU sporting events at first. A native of Cincinnati, she is a long-time Cincinnati Reds fan, and baseball was her favorite sport. However, once she was hooked, her passion for YSU athletics grew quickly.

Dennis is the Managing Partner of the law firm of Green Haines Sgambati Co., L.P.A. He is licensed to practice law in the courts of the State of Ohio and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

Attorney Haines is a member in good standing of the Ohio State Bar Association, and the Mahoning County Bar Association. Attorney Haines carries the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory's highest rating, a.v.

Attorney Haines' practice has included, among other things, the preparation for and the trial of a broad range of labor and employment-related cases, including actions under the Employee Income Security Act [ERISA-401(k)]. Attorney Haines has represented both employees and employers on constitutional issues, employment-at-will issues, matters related to employment discrimination, and matters involving the National Labor Relations Act and the State Employment Relations Act.

Attorney Haines has lectured before numerous teachers' associations about teachers' constitutional and collective bargaining rights and has been a lecturer regarding employment matters at seminars sponsored by the State Employment Relations Board and Cleveland Marshall Law School.

He is the 2005 recipient of the Mahoning County Bar Association Professionalism Award, given annually to an individual who displays exemplary dedication to the standards of the legal profession and demonstrates personal integrity.

His areas of practice include Labor Law, Pension and Retirement Law, Civil Rights and Employment Law. Throughout his career, he has represented labor unions, employee associations, individuals who assert violations of their civil rights, wage and hour claimants and personal injury clients.

Actively involved with the Ohio Education Association in helping create the State of Ohio Collective Bargaining Law, he was recognized by the OEA for exemplary actions and untiring efforts to win recognition of the Constitutional and legal rights of teachers in Ohio.

He has also been commended by numerous local police agencies for his collective bargaining work on their behalf, including the Youngstown, Boardman, Niles and Austintown FOPs and the Mahoning County Sheriff Deputies. He also is a member of the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee.

Several of his cases have made law through the years and he has participated in three cases before the United States Supreme Court including the Youngstown Police Residency case.
Additionally, he has handled, without charge, cases involving the protection of civil liberties and civil rights, and was active in the establishment of the Northeast Ohio Legal Services Association which provides legal assistance for the poor.

He is a 1959 graduate of Ohio University and graduated from George Washington University Law School in 1962. He worked for two years at the Law Firm of Traxler & Malkoff prior to his role at Green Haines Sgambati.

Janet and Dennis both graduated from Ohio University where they first met. While Dennis went on to study law, Janet earned a degree in Journalism, with minors in English and Biology.

She returned to Cincinnati after graduation and spent three years teaching English and journalism at Green Hills High School where she created a class in journalism. Later she moved to Denver, Colo., where she worked as an insurance underwriter and did private tutoring. Once she reconnected with Dennis, she moved back to Ohio.

For the next three years she taught English at Cuyahoga Falls High School. While at Cuyahoga Falls, she was awarded the Martha Holden Jennings Scholar Award for classroom excellence.

Janet and Dennis married in 1967. After their daughters were born, Jan became a stay-at-home mom. During the girls' growing-up years she spent much time volunteering for their activities and at the school in a variety of ways. When the girls went away to college she continued volunteer work and especially enjoyed her 10 years teaching English as a second language at the English Center. She has also spent the last 15 years at the Heritage Manor nursing home and continues there today.

Janet and Dennis have two daughters, Julie and Jill, and three grandchildren Adam, Allie and Ryan.