Our sincerest thanks to our sponsors, speakers and attendees who participated in our 2017 Annual Meeting and Conference! For more information about future events please click here


THURSDAY, MAY 11, 2017
12:30 – 1:00 PM CLE Check-In and Networking Pre-Function Area
1:00 – 1:15 PM Welcome
Conference Chair: Lisa M. Kathumbi, Partner, Bricker & Eckler LLP
Hickory Room 1
1:15 – 2:00 PM

A View from the Top: Lessons in Leadership

Kickoff Speaker: Carrie Hightman, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, NiSource, Inc. 
Q & A Moderator: Grace Royalty, Career Law Clerk to the Honorable Michael R. Barrett, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio

Hickory Room 1
2:00 – 2:15 PM Networking/Transition Break Foyer
2:15 – 3:30 PM

A View from the Bench: Past, Present and Future
(1.25 hours of Attorney Professional Conduct CLE)

When the National Association of Women Judges was formed in 1979, it had 100 members. Today, it has more than 1,250 members. However, outdated perceptions of gender and leadership are not limited to corporate America. They often enter the courtroom. During this session, a panel of diverse women judges will reflect on their legal careers and their time on the bench. Learn about the challenges they faced, how they overcame them, and what advice they would give to attorneys who seek to follow in their footsteps and those appearing before the bench.

Moderator: Judge Laurel Beatty Blunt, Franklin County Court of Common Pleas

Judge Kim Wilson Burke, Hamilton County Drug Court
Judge Mary DeGenaro, Seventh District Court of Appeals of Ohio  
Justice Judith L. French, Supreme Court of Ohio 
Judge Benita Y. Pearson, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
Judge Marilyn Zayas, First Appellate District Of Ohio

Hickory Room 1
3:30 – 3:45 PM Networking/Transition Break Foyer
3:45 – 5:00 PM

The Art of Communication: Negotiating Salary and Promotion and Retaining Top Talent
(1.25 hours of CLE)

Research shows that effective and ongoing communication between leaders and their teams decreases attorney attrition. Additionally, the Carnegie Institute of Technology has found that 85% of an individual’s success can be linked to their personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. This CLE session is designed to help lawyers refine negotiation skills, improve communication skills, and find the power to ask for more. Panelists will also provide organizational leaders with strategies for engaging and retaining top talent.

Moderator: Erin E. RhinehartPartner, Faruki Ireland Cox Rhinehart & Dusing, P.L.L.

Andria M. Beckham, Manager, Legal-Compliance, The Scotts Company LLC
Dr. Rhonda Reagh, Ph.D, Trainer, Consultant, Personal and Executive Coach, Reagh & Associates
Matthew A. Rich, Shareholder, Katz Teller
Dawn R. Rosemond, Partner, Director of Diversity, Professional Development and Inclusion,
Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Hickory Room 1
5:00 - 5:30 PM

A Report on Gender and the Law
(0.50 hours of CLE)

The Women's Fund of Central Ohio commissioned The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity to explore the connection between gender norms, implicit biases, and the existing disparities between women and men in central Ohio. The research shows that gender norms and implicit biases related to those norms have a significant impact on the lives of women and girls, men and boys, how we see each other, how we see ourselves, and ultimately how gender is valued in society. The first step to disrupting these invisible forces is raising awareness. This session will provide a closer look at the research and results, including the impact on the legal profession. The session will also provide strategies for creating positive solutions where unintentional gender disparities exist.

Nichole E. Dunn, President & CEO, Women’s Fund of Central Ohio
Eleana Drakatos, Attorney, Yacobozzi |Drakatos LLC
Hickory Room 1

5:30 – 6:00 PM Reception Check-In and Networking Pre-Function Area
6:00 – 8:00 PM Honoring Women in Government Reception

Government Committee Co-Chairs:
Yukiko Yee, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Ohio Attorney General
Magistrate Amy B. Koorn, Attorney, Franklin County Probate Court

Featured Guest: Justice Sharon L. Kennedy, Supreme Court of Ohio
Sponsored by:

FRIDAY, MAY 12, 2017
8:00 – 8:45 AM Check-In and Networking Pre-Function Area
8:45 – 10:00 AM

General Counsels Speak: Top Priorities for 2017 and Beyond
(1.25 hours of CLE)

“What’s Keeping You Up at Night?” This is a question that is commonly asked of General Counsels. This session provides a rare opportunity to hear from an industry diverse panel of General Counsels. Panelists will discuss the areas that are of greatest concern to them, as well as identify universal issues and opportunities, such as cyber security, controlling costs, and increasing diversity and inclusion.

Moderator: Michelle Proia Roe, Vice President, General Counsel, Thirty-One Gifts

Robert E. Bostrom , Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Abercrombie & Fitch
Susan DiMickele, Esq., Senior Vice President, General Counsel, National Church Residences
Mark S. Howard, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, Nationwide Insurance
Angelique Strong Marks, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, MAHLE Industries, Inc.
Sheryl Creed Maxfield, Chief Counsel, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine

Ballroom 2-3
10:00 - 11:15 AM

Reaping the Benefits of Diversity & Inclusion:The Business and Economic Return
(1.25 hours of CLE)

Are diversity and inclusion competitive differentiators? According to a McKinsey research report, gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform their peers and ethnically-diverse companies are 35% more likely to do the same. Additionally, the Catalyst Research Center has found that companies with more women board members statistically outperform their competitors over time. Drawing on the perspectives of legal, business and community professionals, this session will focus on how diversity and inclusion impacts the bottom line and present strategies and best practices for increasing diversity and inclusion.

Moderator: Marilyn T. McClure-Demers , AVP, Associate General Counsel, Corporate & Intellectual Property Litigation and Discovery, Nationwide Insurance

Kimberly S. Amrine
, Member and Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Frost Brown Todd LLC
Mark MacNaughton,Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer, Medical Segment, Cardinal Health, Inc. 

Jeffrey B. Jones
, Shareholder, Littler Mendelson P.C.
Myra L. McKenzie-Harris, Associate General Counsel, Employment Division, Walmart
Barb Smoot, President & CEO, Women for Economic and Leadership Development

Ballroom 2-3
11:15 – 11:30 AM Networking/Transition Break
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Annual Meeting Luncheon:

Luncheon Speaker: Lucy Helm, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Law & Corporate Affairs, Starbucks
Swearing-In Ceremony: The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit (Retired)

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM Networking

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Program

1:30 – 3:00 PM

Networking Reception

Sponsored by:


Annual Meeting Sponsorship available!

Click here for Sponsorship Package details, or contact the OWBA & OWBF office
at admin@owba.org or 866-932-6922

Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsors


Bronze Sponsors

Columbus Bar Association Managing Partners' Diversity Initiative |Barnes & Thornburg LLPN | Dinsmore & Shohl | Ice Miller LLP | OCLC |OhioHealth |Ohio State Bar Association|Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP |Roetzel & Andress | Squire Patton Boggs | Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease 

Location Details 

Nationwide Hotel & Conference Center

100 Green Meadow Drive South

Lewis Center, OH 43035

All events and programs for the OWBA and OWBF Annual Meeting & Conference will be hosted at the Nationwide Hotel & Conference Center. 

Free onsite parking is available. 

Hotel Accommodations

Overnight accommodations made at the Nationwide Hotel for this event will receive a discounted room rate of $139, before taxes and fees. 

Please call (614) 880-4300 and state that you are with the "OWBA Room Block" to receive this discounted rate. 

Availability is limited. If you need assistance in making reservations, please call the OWBA & OWBF office at            (866) 932-6922.


Member Rates

  • Full Conference (May 11-12) - $250
  • Honoring Women in Government Reception (May 11) - Free
  • Annual Meeting Luncheon Only (May 12) - $50
  • Thursday, May 11, CLE Sessions Only - $120
  • Friday, May 12, CLE Sessions Only - $120
  • All CLE Sessions (May 11-12) Only - $200

Non-Member Rates

  • Full Conference (May 11-12) - $395
  • Honoring Women in Government Reception (May 11) - $25
  • Annual Meeting Luncheon Only (May 12) - $100
  • Thursday, May 11, CLE Sessions Only - $150
  • Friday, May 12, CLE Sessions Only - $150
  • All CLE Sessions (May 11-12) Only - $270

Ohio Women's Bar Association | 136 South Keowee Street | Dayton, Ohio 45402 | Phone (866) 932-6922 | Email admin@owba.org

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