The creation of the Franklin County Guardianship Service Board was the idea of Former Franklin County Probate Judge Robert G. Montgomery.
Shortly after taking office, Former Judge Montgomery identified the two biggest issues with the current guardianship program as:
1) How to find suitable guardians, and
2) How to pay them.
Former Judge Montgomery wanted to transition the current guardianship system from an attorney based system to a social services based system.
Former Judge Montgomery wanted the professionals who provide the treatment or care for people under guardianship to be part of the solution. A partnership was soon formed with David Royer, Chief Executive Officer of the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County (ADAMH) and Jed Morison, Superintendent/CEO of the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities (FCBDD).
With the help of Senator Jim Hughes, Former Judge Montgomery’s legislation was passed into law on September 15, 2014 through the enactment of R.C. 2101.026. This legislation authorizes the Guardianship Service Board’s creation and existence.
Melissa Messina is a dual graduate of Capital University, obtaining her bachelors and law degrees respectively. She also obtained a Masters in Business Administration from Franklin University after law school while working full time.
Melissa has spent the better part of her career in public service administration. She started out as a manager of the Civil Division of the Franklin County Municipal Court Clerk’s office, then went on to work for and manage two Franklin County Offices. In both offices, Melissa was the person directly in charge of daily operations and interactions with other county and city agencies as well as fostering relationships with external stakeholders. After a brief time in the private sector at a multi-state foreclosure litigation law firm, Melissa returned to public service as the Director of the Franklin County Guardianship Service Board in the fall of 2022. This role allows her to use her education as well as her connections and understanding of government and public assistance to lead an outstanding team with the mission of helping a group of vulnerable members of the Franklin County Community.
Meet Our Director