meet your Bainbridge township officials


Lorrie Sass Benza

Lorrie Sass Benza, Trustee

Mrs. Benza grew up in Chester Township where her father was a township trustee for 12 years.

Mrs. Benza served as the Chief Assistant Prosecutor and Director of the Civil Division for the Geauga County Prosecutor’s Office where she worked from 1992-2000, representing all of Geauga’s townships as well as numerous county departments. She then worked in private practice before seeking elected office.

Benza has served on the:

– Bainbridge Township Zoning Commission
– Bainbridge Township Board of Zoning Appeals
– Geauga County Planning Commission
– Coalition of Large Ohio Urban Townships (CLOUT) executive committee
– Geauga County Dangerous Wild Animal Response Team
– United Way Services of Geauga County Board of Directors

Mrs. Benza has also volunteered as a coach working with local students through activities of Kenston Community Education. She is a graduate of the Leadership Geauga program and continues to be an active alumna in their programming opportunities. Benza is President of the Geauga County Township Association and serves on the steering committee for Geauga County’s General Plan project.

She is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University and Pepperdine University School of Law. Her husband, Michal Benza, is a criminal defense attorney specializing in capital habeas representation as well as a professor at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Law. The couple has three children, all of whom have attended Kenston schools.


Jeffrey S. Markley

Jeffrey S. Markley, Trustee

Mr. Markley was elected in November 2005 and is currently serving his fourth four (4) year term as Township Trustee. Mr. Markley’s current tenure continues through December 31, 2021. Mr. Markley serves as the liaison to the Service Department, represents the Township on the Bainbridge-Solon JEDD board and the Chagrin Valley Intergovernmental Council, and a member of the Geauga Metropolitan Housing Authority board.

Mr. Markley has been a resident of Bainbridge since 1993, living in the picturesque Lake Lucerne subdivision. He is a registered landscape architect with the State of Ohio and principal of Markley Design Group, a Bainbridge Township-based Land Planning and Landscape Architecture firm. He currently serves as city planner for the City of Independence. Mr. Markley is also involved with Ohio Stream Preservation, a locally-based, state-wide conservation organization, serving as its Executive Director.

Mr. Markley served on the Bainbridge Township Zoning Commission from 1997 – 2002 and participated on the Citizens Advisory Committee to help develop the township’s vision plan. He was a member of the Township’s Park Board, beginning in 1994 and serving as chairman from 2000 – 2004. Mr. Markley was active in the development of River Road Park and the S.R. 306/I-422 Interchange Beautification project and developed the landscape maintenance program for all of the township’s parks, cemeteries, and facilities.

Locally, Mr. Markley was a member of the Lake Lucerne Architectural Review Board and led the community’s successful effort to dialog with the Oho Department of Transportation (ODOT) in the re-location of Chillicothe Road (S.R. 306). He served as coach and volunteer for the former Kenston Athletic Association (now Kenston Community Education, “KCE”), served as a member of the KAA Advisory Committee for the transition to KCE, was a co-founder of Kenston Futbol Club (a youth travel soccer program) and a parent volunteer for Cub Scout and Boy Scout Troop 102 in Bainbridge. Mr. Markley frequently donates professional design and consulting services for a variety of Kenston-based initiatives including the Kenston High School Varsity baseball and softball fields, the entrance to the Kenston High School Stadium, the Gardiner School Soccer Fields (now the Kenston Bus Garage), playground projects and other worthy community efforts.

Mr. Markley is a graduate of Walsh Jesuit High School (1982), Miami University (1986, BA), and the Ohio State University (1989, MLA). He is married to Lori and they share two children, Garrett and Elise. The family is active members of Holy Angels Church in Bainbridge Township. Mr. Markley enjoys playing tennis, is an avid skier, tinkering with a ’37 Chevy, and watching/playing soccer.


Kristina O'Brien

Kristina O'Brien, Trustee

Kristina O’Brien was elected to the Bainbridge Township Board of Trustees in November 2015. This is Kristina’s first time serving as an elected public official. Since 1994, Kristina worked in the private sector, running and eventually owning several successful businesses in the real estate title insurance industry.

For the year 2019, Kristina is the liaison for the Service Department. Also, she is the township representative to the Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Inc.

Kristina was born and raised in Northeast Ohio and is married to Greg O’Brien. In 1999, they chose to reside in Bainbridge Township to raise their family. The O’Briens have three sons, Josef, William, and Shane. Kristina volunteered on the St. Joan of Arc School P.T.O. and was a member of the finance committee at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin School (“NDCL”) which reported to the Board of Trustees.

Kristina is a graduate of Notre Dame Academy (now NDCL) (1986), Xavier University (B.A., 1990), and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (J.D., 1994).


Janice S. Sugarman

Janice S. Sugarman, Fiscal Officer

Janice S. Sugarman has served as Fiscal Officer to Bainbridge Township since December 2014. For two years prior to that, Mrs. Sugarman worked at the Bainbridge Township Fire Department as Administrative Assistant to the Fire Chief.

Mrs. Sugarman grew up in Rochester, NY, moved to Ohio in 1990 and has resided in Bainbridge Township since 1997 when she married her husband, Pete.

Mrs. Sugarman worked for 19 years at technology companies before deciding to become a stay-at-home mom in 2005. For 13 years, she volunteered her time on the Kenston Schools PTO boards, serving six years as President. She was also a member of PTO Council and served on the board of the Chagrin Valley Women’s League. Since 2019, she has been a member of the Leadership Geauga board.

Mrs. Sugarman is a graduate of the State University of New York at Geneseo with a BA degree in Communications. She has two sons, Lou and Joe, who both attended Kenston Schools. Her husband, Pete, also graduated from Kenston and runs a family business that has been in Bainbridge Township since 1975.