September 23, 2020 – Local attorney and community leader Fran Cole has been selected as recipient of the 31st Annual Col. William H. “Bill” Lambert Award, which is presented each year as part of Nevada City’s Constitution Day Celebration.

Holding her 2020 Col. Bill Lambert
Award, recipient Fran Cole is
pictured with Marching Presidents
founder David Parker
(President Martin Van Buren).

The prestigious Lambert Award is presented by the Famous Marching Presidents of Nevada City to recognize outstanding contributions to our community. The award is named in honor of the late Col. William H. Lambert, founder of Nevada City’s annual Constitution Day Parade.

“Fran Cole’s community service has reached nearly every level of our community,” said Marching Presidents founder and former Nevada City mayor David Parker. “”We are proud and honored to recognize her with our annual community service award.”

Cole, a 20-year local resident and partner in the Grass Valley law firm of Diamond, Baker, Mitchell and Cole LLP, has volunteered and provided legal guidance to numerous community groups, including the Famous Marching Presidents, with whom she portrays Lady Bird Johnson each year in the Nevada City Constitution Day Parade. This year’s parade has been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.

She is a longtime member and former board president of the Bear Yuba Land Trust and has served in leadership positions with Sammie’s Friends, the Nevada County Landmarks Commission, the Rüdiger Foundation, Community Beyond Violence and NCTV. She is very active with the League of Women Voters of Nevada County.

Cole graduated from the University of Vermont, completed law school at the University of Virginia and spent 11 years with Charles Schwab & Co. in San Francisco, rising to senior vice president, before moving to Nevada County. She resides on a ranch with her husband, Rocky Troth, and their eight horses. 

“I’m honored to receive this award,” said Cole. “Lawyers are rarely recognized in their communities. I’m happy to lead the way.”

The Marching Presidents announce the Lambert Award each year on the eve of the annual Constitution Day Parade, in which they have marched every year since 1988. The group eagerly anticipates returning to Broad Street in 2021.

Past Lambert Award recipients are retired city manager Beryl P. Robinson Jr., former mayor and city clerk Cathy Wilcox-Barnes, longtime parade organizers George and Pat Harper, former mayor Pat Dyer, the late real estate broker Jim Mackey, local writer Dave Carter, Chamber of Commerce executive manager Cathy Whittlesey, former mayor Steve Cottrell, businessman Bob Buhlis, retired Nevada County general services director Dennis Cassella, John Christensen, a leader of community efforts to establish the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum; cartoonist R.L. “Crabman” Crabb, business owners Lee and Susan Thurston, retired Nevada City public works director Verne Taylor, the late historian Edwin Tyson, the late folksinger/activist U Utah Phillips, former city engineer Bill Falconi, Marching Presidents organizer Patti Foster, retired school administrator Karen Chizek, musician Mikail Graham, retired county librarian Madelyn Helling, local builder Gary Tintle, former mayors Paul Matson and Reinette Senum, Nevada City Film Festival Director Jesse Locks, Nevada City musician and producer Paul Emery, homeless advocates Joanna Robinson and Cindy Maple, former Grass Valley mayor Howard Levine and Nevada City real estate broker Charlie Brock. Marching Presidents founder David Parker was honored with the group’s 20th anniversary award.

The Marching Presidents is a fun-loving and educational group that portrays all 45 U.S. Presidents with reverence, good humor and varying degrees of historical accuracy. For reliable information on U.S. Presidents, see