April 2021 04
3/18/21 4:24 PM
MAKE SHELFGENIE THE STAR OF SPRING CLEANING
12 NO INTEREST NO PAYMENTS
*On Approved Credit*
50% OFF INSTALLATION*
*Limit one offer per household. Must purchase 5+ Classic/Designer Shelves. EXP 5/31/21.
Enjoy more access to your kitchen with custom pull-out shelves for your existing cabinets. Schedule your FREE design consultation today! (614) 965-6389 shelfgenie.com
3/18/21 9:52 AM
The new DE&I
As diversity, equity and inclusion positions pop up at companies across Columbus, this growing field of professionals is full of optimism— and questions. Departments 05 Editor’s Note Let’s make this The Year to Fight Racism.
46 Leaderboards Columbus region family law firms
48 Office Space: Lower New space in New Albany designed by the team.
March 2021 Cover designed by Photos by Rob Hardin
Yogesh Chaudhary April 2021 l ColumbusCEO
3/18/21 4:46 PM
22 Spotlight: Nonprofit
62 E. Broad St., P.O. Box 1289 Columbus, Ohio 43216 Phone: 614-540-8900 • Fax: 614-461-8746
The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio has an ambitious agenda to help a neglected part of the state enjoy a better future.
24 Spotlight: Innovation
VOLUME 30 / NUMBER 4 Columbus Site Manager
Who says doctors don’t make house calls anymore? Mobile Med does exactly that in the Columbus region.
Alan D. Miller Publisher/General Manager
E d ito r ia l
Katy Smith associate eDITOR
Jess Deyo CONTRIBUTING EDITORS
Jeff Bell, Rebecca Walters D es i g n & P ro duct ion
Craig Rusnak ART DIRECTOR
08 Profile: A long and winding road
Yogesh Chaudhary Digita l
Regan Walsh has drawn upon a wide range of work experiences and her instincts to become a life coach devoted to helping clients figure out the way forward.
Julanne Hohbach ASSISTANT DIGITAL EDITOR
Brittany Moseley Ph otog raphy
16 Tech Talk
Associate photo editor
Virventi’s new platform is designed to put some zoom back into virtual events.
A dvert ising
Holly Beardsley Senior Multimedia Sales Executive
Mobikit founder Arnab Nandi is bullish about his mobility data infrastructure firm’s acquisition by Azuga.
Holly Gallucci Multimedia Sales Executives
Tia Hardman, Jackie Thiam
20 Spotlight: Small Business
Sports agent Ronnie Steward wants to help his clients win big by making savvy business moves.
Rebecca Zimmer M arke t ing
Lauren Reinhard PRESS RELEASES
Columbus CEO (ISSN 1085-911X) is published monthly by Gannett. All contents of this magazine are copyrighted © Gannett Co., Inc. 2021, all rights reserved. Reproduction or use, without written permission, of editorial or graphic content in any manner is prohibited. Publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited materials. Known address of publication is 62 E. Broad St., Columbus, Ohio 43215. Periodicals postage paid at Columbus, Ohio, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Columbus CEO, PO Box 460160 Escondido CA 92046
Toll Free: 877-688-8009
37 Women’s Leadership Women’s Small Business Accelerator co-founder Mary McCarthy sets her ambitions toward changing the narrative for businesswomen.
42 Workforce Development While these central Ohio institutions were rapidly shifting to a virtual world, the faculty was adjusting just as much as the students.
Otterbein University’s Drew Kasper was the No. 1 ranked Division III wrestler in the country in his weight class in March 2020. A story in the March issue misspelled his name. Mount Carmel Health System received only positive reports for its vaccination clinic patient experience, and there were no long lines. A story in the March issue mischaracterized patient satisfaction with the health system’s vaccination clinic.
H M c b b n
3/18/21 5:08 PM
90% of our business comes from personal referrals. This message is for the other 10%. How we attract new clients speaks volumes. More than anything, it tells you how we take care of existing clients. If you’re searching for a business law firm that generates results while building trust, you don’t need a referral. You just need to know how to reach us.
ONE COLUMBUS 10 WEST BROAD STREET SUITE 2100 COLUMBUS, OHIO 43215 614.221.3155 BAILEYCAV.COM
PERCEPTIVE. PRACTICAL. PERSONAL.
3/18/21 4:46 PM
NOW THROUGH MAY 14
3/18/21 4:20 PM
Editor’s Notes * ksmith@ColumbusCEO.com
Make this the Year to Fight Racism
hat a long, lonely 12 months it’s been. As the Year of No Hugs draws to a close and the vaccine takes root in our friends, family, colleagues and neighbors, The Year of Reunification begins, fittingly amid a beautiful spring. One of the things I missed most this past year was meeting new people—something I do routinely at work and outside of it. I did meet new people in 2020 and early 2021, though, if you count virtual meetings, which I’m pretty sure have entered the realm of complete legitimacy. One of my favorite such conversations was with Priscilla Hammonds and Adrian Sullivan, members of the Central Ohio Diversity Consortium. They shared their perspective on the past 12 months in the diversity, equity and inclusion space at corporations, a field advancing rapidly amid continuing calls for racial justice. Their story was an obvious one for our cover, and it’s told beautifully by writer Erica Thompson, a reporter at The Columbus Dispatch who covers the intersection of race, ethnicity and gender with business. Enjoy meeting Hammonds, Sullivan and seven other DEI pros in this issue, and I hope you find actionable takeaways in the conversation. Last summer’s protests may have died down, but the urgent need to fight racism has not.
Coming up Diverse Leaders in Law. The third installment of our series highlighting the legal industry’s efforts to advance women and people of color into leadership roles brings together four wellknown Columbus diversity, equity and inclusion pros to offer a roadmap for companies wondering how best to
build effective DEI programs. At 1 p.m. Monday, April 5, join us for a forum with Jocelyn Armstrong, director of inclusion and outreach at the Ohio State Bar Association; Kim Amrine, director of diversity and inclusion for sponsor Frost Brown Todd; Stephen Francis, president and lead strategist with Franchise D&I Solutions; and Kelly Atkinson, diversity and inclusion coordinator at lead sponsor Barnes & Thornburg. You can register for the free virtual forum, “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Where do I start?” at columbusceo. com/leaders. Best of Business voting open now. For the 14th year, our Best of Business poll will shine a light on the insurance companies, restaurants, law firms, dentists, educational institutions, orthopedists and more that have earned the admiration of our community. It’s our longest-running and most far-reaching recognition program, and the only one in which our readers get the final say.
Last year’s poll attracted a record 80,353 votes, with readers weighing in on 84 categories in 11 sections: business support services, education, financial, food and beverage, health care, legal, meetings and events, personal perks, real estate, workforce and Best of the Rest. Voting occurred from May through July. We’re changing it up this year and holding our voting through the spring. Winners will be recognized in the August issue of Columbus CEO and at ColumbusCEO.com. Voting closes May 14. Weigh in at columbusceo.gannett contests.com/Columbus-CEOs2021-Best-of-Business-Awards. Nominate an Everyday Hero. In these divisive times, The Dispatch family of brands again looks to honor those who perform extraordinary selfless acts to improve, heal and unite our community. The Columbus Dispatch, Dispatch Magazines and ThisWeek Community News want your help to recognize the heroes among us. Consider the social activist righting a wrong or the volunteer quietly aiding those in need. Later this year, we will publish a Dispatch section featuring their stories and honor them at a special event. Nominations accepted at dispatch. com/everydayheroes through April 9.
Katy Smith, Editor April 2021 l ColumbusCEO
3/18/21 4:58 PM
Breaking business news, in-depth features and authoritative reports — now from one consolidated business desk.
3/18/21 4:26 PM
Breakdown Compiled by katy smith + Infographic by Yogesh Chaudhary
5.3% January 2021
13.2% April 2020
Note: These numbers are not adjusted to account for seasonal differences. Source: Ohio Department of Job and Family Services/Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Columbus region and the state as a whole have gained back two-thirds of the jobs lost since the pandemic hit last March, while the unemployment rate has decreased significantly. Unemployment for the Columbus metropolitan area, which includes Franklin, Fairfield, Licking, Delaware, Union, Madison, Pickaway, Morrow, Perry and Hocking counties, since January 2020. April 2021 l ColumbusCEO
3/18/21 4:26 PM
profile By Virginia Brown + Photos by rob hardin
Regan Walsh Founder, Regan
Since: 2014 Age: 43 Business: Executive and life coach Employees: 1 Annual revenue: Would not disclose Previous: Chief storyteller for Flying Horse Farms; senior account manager for Ologie; senior sales representative for Eli Lilly; account executive for Magnet Communications. Education: Certificate in executive and
life coaching, New York University, 2014; bachelor’s degree in interpersonal communication, Ohio University, 1999.
Personal: Lives in Short North with her
husband and two daughters.
The road to here, the path to now A winding career path and the gift of intuition led Regan Walsh to a successful executive coaching business.
egan Walsh once quit a job after four days. Assigned to a women’s haircare client at a Columbus-based digital advertising agency, she felt uninspired and stifled. During those few days, something spoke to her— and it wasn’t the shampoo. It was her intuition. “I knew there was something bigger for me in my life,” she says. “I’m not going to use social media to
8 ColumbusCEO l April 2021
3/17/21 5:53 PM
engage with shampoos and conditioners, that’s not my style. I wanted to go big on something that would have an impact for the community.” She left the company, owning her new nickname, “One-Week Walsh,” and walked into a dirty warehouse, counting parts in shipping and receiving for her family’s business. Dirty hands were better than marketing clean hair. Soon after, she found a new job—a higher calling—at the gritty, startup nonprofit, Flying Horse Farms, which provides free camp experiences to children with serious illnesses. “When you have the courage to listen to your gut,” Walsh says, “you’re betting on your own dream, not other people’s dreams for you.” ••• Trusting the journey, even when the path is unclear, is one of Walsh’s assets. Varied jobs across industries may not all have made sense at the time, but they equipped her with the knowledge and expertise she brings to her career today as a life and executive coach. The owner of Regan Walsh LLC, she is a regular keynote speaker and seminar leader. She’s spoken to companies from Nike to Nationwide Insurance, QuickBooks to Scotts Miracle-Gro, for audiences ranging from 50 to 500. A contributor to Forbes and Harvard Business Review, her new book, Heart Boss, has earned praise from New York Times bestseller Amy Jo Martin, host of the “Why Not Now?” podcast, among others. The book is a memoir and self-help guide helping others discover what matters most, something Walsh has done, in one form or another, her whole life. ••• In the summer of 2019, Megan Shroy was exhausted. The founder and president of Worthington-based Approach Marketing had dedicated years to her business, often at the expense of other areas of her life, like family and health. “As this business grew—and we grew fast—I struggled with finding time for prioritizing my personal life— my kids and my husband,” Shroy says. “I wanted to be more intentional about doing that.” Having shared a mentor with Walsh at Ohio University, the two had stayed
in touch and Shroy invited Walsh to speak to her employees for an afternoon professional development session on finding balance. “It was super impressive,” Shroy says. “I thought, I need to practice what I’m preaching. I’m not the epitome of work-balance.” She had been buried by what Walsh calls “the invisible load,” something Walsh says affects women more than men: Packing lunches, managing kids’ sports schedules—all of the things women, most often, absorb in addition to work and family commitments. “It didn’t matter how much help I had, I still couldn’t keep up,” Shroy says. “I was running, and I was still behind.” She hired Walsh for a one-on-one coaching session. For three months, she met with Walsh biweekly for virtual sessions on balance, priorities, and taking out what Walsh calls “head trash”—self-doubt and “shoulds.” By centering on the eight elements of the “life wheel”—family, social life, career, financial stability, health, mind, time, personality—“She really helped me identify where I wanted to focus,” Shroy says. “But she also gave me accountability and practical steps on how to achieve that.” One simple fix came when she began using her work calendar for personal priorities. “That’s how I run my workday,” Shroy says. “I could schedule a walk in the middle of the day with my husband, or pick up my daughter from school, because I wasn’t going to book over it. It sounds so simple, but it helped me so much.” Shroy is one of many clients, mostly women, whom Walsh has helped to find balance and reconnect with their passions. “Understanding clients from that holistic perspective helps
The disease to please—these are the women who not only know they will do things right, but they say yes to everything because they don’t want to disappoint anyone. April 2021 l ColumbusCEO
3/18/21 9:44 AM
Regan Walsh on the art of listening, how women fall into the “perfection trap” yet fail to advocate for themselves, and ignoring the haters.
When you were 38, an older coach told you that you weren’t experienced enough to be a professional life coach. How did you respond to that? At that moment, I felt down, thinking oh my gosh, I’m not going to have enough credibility, even though I had had all of this real-life experience and experience from New York University. I couldn’t let that derail me. Instead I was able to [dismiss] that, and recognize that my experience would get me where I wanted. No matter what the haters are going to say, you just have to be strong enough to keep following your gut and putting one foot in front of the other. How do you gain your clients’ trust? I’m a very good listener, and I can find meaning behind what people are telling me, and I stay curious. When you ask questions and have an open mind—I hear what it is they’re trying to achieve, without [ulterior motives]. I’m not the best coach for everybody. And the No. 1 thing that I tell anybody on our initial call is, I might not be the best fit. And if I’m not, I will help them find the best fit. What barriers to balance and success do women have that men often don’t? The women that I’ve coached fall into the perfection trap. Perfectionists know that they will do things right, so they say yes to everything. They also weigh everything equally. When
you’re a perfectionist, you’re constantly applying your preference to every project, and you don’t focus on the requirements. If you’re leading a team, you’re constantly picking apart what your team is doing, even though they might be meeting the requirements for the job. Micromanagers can lose the trust of their team, because they’re always adding value, which means they’re taking away from their people. It’s common for women to want to make others happy, too, right? Yes, I call it having “the disease to please,” saying yes to all things and all people, because you don’t want to disappoint anybody. You constantly put your needs on the backburner, and you take care of everybody else first. And at the end of the day or the week, you are exhausted, overwhelmed, you’ve got nothing on your to-do list done, but everyone else around you is happy. Can you talk a bit about women and self-promotion? Women tend to be horrible at being their own publicity person. That means they’re getting passed over. I’ve seen this time and time again. Women I’ve coached have male colleagues, and the male colleague will say, I’m going to be a partner. And the woman is ... exceptional, but she’s not talking about being a partner. But you have to ask for what you want, you have to raise your hand.
to understand the big picture of what matters to them and why,” Walsh says. One part therapist, Walsh encounters a few consistent barriers to success and balance that are specific to women: perfectionism and what she calls “the disease to please.” “These are the women who not only know they will do things right, but they say yes to everything because they don’t want to disappoint anyone,” she says. She shared an example of a successful head of purchasing for a major grocer. “She was about to leave a job of 20 years to move her family, sell a house, find new schools—and she was stressed about Easter baskets,” Walsh says. “She has a stay-at-home husband,” Walsh says. “I asked her, could you not empower your husband to take care of the Easter baskets?” Another client, who was working 60 to 70 hours a week, admitted to staying up late, eyeing Pinterest for the perfect cupcakes to bake for her child’s classroom. “I told her, the kids don’t care if your cupcakes look like spiders or if you just give them a HoHo,” Walsh says. Asking for help is a key component of Walsh’s strategy for women. She suggests easy fixes, like streamlining the daily wardrobe to reduce decision fatigue, and getting child care or cleaning services when feeling overloaded. “We have all the tools, but if we just ask for help, we could get so much more done,” Walsh says. She notes that many women, afraid to share their successes or ask for what they want, get passed over for opportunities. “You have to raise your hand and ask for what you want,” she says. “Be confident in sharing your wins. It’s not arrogant to celebrate your wins.” Many of Walsh’s clients feel disconnected from their lives or have lost their passions, she says. For those women, she teaches the importance of personal disruption. “You start to lose your sizzle and that excitement,” she says. “You constantly need to disrupt yourself.” For a stay-at-home mom, disruption might be serving on a board, volunteering at the school district or taking a class. “Once you understand your focus areas, it’s about going big on those things,” Walsh says.
10 ColumbusCEO l April 2021
3/17/21 5:53 PM
3/17/21 5:53 PM
newsletter ackstage pass to the Arch b r u City Yo Visit ColumbusMonthly.com and sign up for our weekly newsletter that includes special events, important conversations, exclusive giveaways and more.
Most importantly, “What you are not changing, you’re choosing. There is power in choice. You have to own your authority and your power to choose.” Walsh recently shared some of these tips, virtually, with a roomful of women at the law firm Vorys Sater Seymour and Pease. Britt Schmidt, chief legal talent and inclusion officer with the firm, engaged Walsh to speak to the company’s women’s affinity group on aligning well-being, personal and professional growth, values and purpose. Not long after the session, Schmidt received a text from an attorney: “The biggest takeaway was that I have power over my own time, so I’m not checking my email in the morning,” the text read. “I’m owning my day, and I have Regan to thank for that.” During the session, Schmidt says Walsh’s energy was palpable. “It’s just infused in everything she does— in her body language, the tone of her voice, the speed and excitement. Her hands are moving, she’s emotive and it really captures you,” Schmidt says. “You can tell she’s passionate about what she’s sharing.”
An innate gift The youngest of six children, Walsh grew up in Worthington in a conservative Roman Catholic family. From an early age, she grappled with learning differences. Tested and observed for dyslexia, though never formally diagnosed, she struggled in school. “Things that were easy for my peers and siblings were hard for me,” Walsh says. “My teachers always said that I worked too hard for the grades I earned.” Rather than test scores, Walsh focused on people. “As a young kid, I was always raising my hand for student council and running for class office, because I knew I would never get the highest grades, and I wasn’t the best athlete,” she says. “My innate gift is to know people and to be able to connect with people.” During her senior year, a new girl started at Walsh’s high school. “She was from the South, transitioning into this upper-middle-class suburb in Ohio. I thought, she doesn’t know anybody,” she says. Compassion kicked in, and Walsh
12 ColumbusCEO l April 2021
3/18/21 9:59 AM
COLUMBUS CHAMBER ANNUAL MEETING
April 28 | Virtual Production & Summer 2021 | In-Person Networking Adapt. A word that holds renewed value in our community’s ever-changing “normal”. How is your business adapting to changes and challenges, and maybe more importantly, how is your business embracing this opportunity to refocus in 2021 and beyond? Join the Columbus Chamber of Commerce for its two-part Annual Meeting and hear directly from regional leaders who have exuded resiliency and adaptability as they share their stories. Speakers like Jeni Britton Bauer, David Berson, Shawn Holt, Brett Kaufman, and The Edge Sisters will take our virtual stage through a series of mini keynotes, and attendees will have the chance to celebrate the Chamber’s 2021 Columbus Award and Small Business Leader Award recipients, two honors that are more relevant now than ever before. Adapt will kick off with a virtual program in April followed by an outdoor and in-person networking session this summer.
Jeni Britton Bauer
3/17/21 5:54 PM
Special advertising opportunities coming in Columbus CEO
JUNE 2020 COLUMBUS PARTNERSHIP Columbus CEO explores the most pressing issues facing the city’s most influential business and civic organization.
BUSINESS RESOURCE GUIDE The guide is a source of valuable information from industry experts on such key topics as workforce development and employment law, among many others.
BUSINESS LAW This story will focus on how a trusted attorney can keep your business running smoothly.
CEO LEADERBOARD • Temporary Employment Agencies Space Deadline: April 30
For advertising information, call 614-540-8900 today or email email@example.com
invited the new girl to sit with her for lunch. “We didn’t become best friends, but I helped her make that network. I’ve always been one to get people in the right hands.” At Ohio University, she chose a fitting major—interpersonal communication—and engaged in campus leadership. As a sophomore, she served as president of her sorority, a post usually held by an upperclasswoman. Her first job after college was for a New York City-based agency, creating live events for companies like Lucent Technologies and AT&T, before the dotcom bust. “I was really lucky to land that gig, and it allowed me to work under an incredibly nurturing woman,” Walsh says. That woman was Colleen Mohan, who today serves as a senior vice president of brand marketing for NBCUniversal Media. Walsh had been set up with Mohan through an Ohio University program that paired students with companies. “I remember in that conversation being simply charmed,” Mohan says. “Regan was everything that you would
Women tend to be horrible at being their own publicity person. That means they’re getting passed over.
want in a young employee—enthusiastic, authentically curious, not rehearsed at all.” The interview was informational, but Mohan offered Walsh a job. Once Walsh’s boss, Mohan now calls Walsh a friend and mentor. She’s not surprised at Walsh’s successful coaching business. “She’s not afraid of the truth. She will tell you exactly what she thinks,” Mohan says. “But she puts it back on you to make decisions. You can’t hide from her.” A common theme throughout Walsh’s life was helping friends, family or colleagues find clarity in transition. “I started noticing compliments. I make people feel really good, feel heard, help them solve problems,” she says. “I started to notice that as one of my core strengths.” Corporate America wasn’t a good fit. After 9/11, Walsh got laid off, but she landed at a pharmaceutical company. “It certainly wasn’t my highest calling,” she says. “When you’re 24 years old and you have a rent check to pay, you do what you have to do.” When she moved home to Columbus, she got a job with Ologie, a marketing agency, working on creative branding for clients like Capital University and Cardinal Health. And after the one-week job marketing hair care products, she began working at the children’s camp. “I got to build the brand from the ground up and use all of the skills I had gained from every career chapter,” she says. A seminar led by Columbus life coach Chasity Kuttrus proved a pivotal moment. “I recognized how in love I was with human development and being someone’s ally,” she says. She was 38 when she decided her calling was to become a life coach. At the time, another coach told her she wouldn’t be taken seriously until she was 40. “I had worked for a family business, a startup, a coaching company, and I had seen a lot. At that moment, I felt doubt, but I was able to recognize that my experience would get me where I was trying to go. “If you’re passionate about your path, you know you’re on the right track,” Walsh says. “It’s gut instinct. You have to be strong enough to follow your gut. My instincts have never steered me wrong.” Virginia Brown is a freelance writer.
14 ColumbusCEO l April 2021
3/18/21 11:30 AM
TELL US ABOUT YOUR EVERYDAY HERO In these divisive times, The Dispatch family of brands again looks to honor those who perform extraordinary selfless acts to improve, heal and unite our community. The Columbus Dispatch, Dispatch Magazines and ThisWeek Community News want your help to recognize the heroes among us. Consider the social activist righting a wrong or the volunteer quietly aiding those in need. Later this year, we will publish a Dispatch section featuring their stories and honor them at the event. Nominations accepted from March 1 through April 9.
Nominate your Everyday Hero today at Dispatch.com/everydayheroes
3/17/21 6:32 PM
Tech talk By Cynthia Bent Findlay
Husband-wife entrepreneurs do virtual events their way The couple behind multiple popular organizations is betting on their new platform.
oom fatigue is a thing— frankly, fatigue about talking about Zoom fatigue is a thing. A pair of married entrepreneurs heading event-oriented businesses is trying to fix that with a new online meeting and membership platform that they hope will take on Zoom, Microsoft Teams and the other big videoconferencing players. Nicci Sprouse-Grosso and Derek Grosso call themselves “connectors at our core.” Sprouse-Grosso is founder of A-List Introductions, a matchmaking firm for the career-conscious, and social platform Second Date Social. Grosso is founder and CEO of the Columbus Young Professionals Club. When the pandemic began, the
175 S. Third St., Suite 200 Columbus, Ohio 43215 Virventi.com Business: Events and membership
Founders: Nicci Sprouse-Grosso and Derek Grosso Employees: Six full-time Launch date: January 2021 Investment to date: $200,000, self-funded
couple began to pivot to virtual events—and they were struck by the gaps left by existing platforms. “While they’re accessible, the focus just isn’t on allowing the user to have a human connection,” says SprouseGrosso. “We saw a need with our businesses for virtual events that offered more focus on user engagements that would allow us to replicate the in-person experience.” There was also a need for meeting analytics, Grosso says. The pair hired Columbusbased Qstart Labs to build a better platform last summer. Virventi, the result, lets users create, promote and track events and their members. Virventi users can host a concert, conduct a workshop with breakout rooms, or offer onboarding sessions. Target users might be book clubs, nonprofit organizations, even speed dating services. Users also can manage membership databases, ticket payments, communications and event marketing. Analytics show how you’re doing engagement-wise. It’s a one-stop platform, Grosso says, that can do the things that Zoom, MailChimp and EventBrite do in one package. Sprouse-Grosso emphasizes the more interactive, more intimate social experience Virventi provides. “It’s all about creating the small group conversations where the real networking happens,” she says. Virventi launched into sales mode Jan. 1 after a few months of beta testing. Sprouse-Grosso says the company is in talks with investors. “According to Fortune’s Business Insights report, the global videoconferencing market was a $5.32 billion market, and projected to be $10.92 billion by 2027, and these are prepandemic numbers,” Grosso says. Cynthia Bent Findlay is a freelance writer.
Veeam aims to dominate data protection Veeam, born in Columbus and now a global presence, recently released a new version of a key product that it calls a game changer in the backup protection and anti-malware security market. Veeam Backup & Replication v11 offers several standout features, including hardened Linux backup repositories, “immutable backups,” says Rick Vanover, the company’s senior director of product strategy. Vanover says another new feature, continuous data protection, is even more of a market disrupter this spring. He says the key is that Veeam users can now unify management and protection of all workloads in one central platform, with rapid recovery and low complexity. Veeam, launched in Columbus in 2006, was acquired by Insight Partners for $5 billion in early 2020 and now has offices and clients around the world, though CEO Bill Largent and more than 325 employees are in Columbus. Veeam is bidding to become a market leader in the hybrid cloud market, and a relocation of headquarters from Switzerland should be a part of that plan, though Insight has not yet announced a new U.S. headquarters. Vanover says the company will only continue to grow its local footprint.
16 ColumbusCEO l April 2021
3/17/21 5:52 PM
Columbus CEO presents Diverse Leaders in Law, a quarterly discussion from local thought leaders advancing gender and racial equity in the legal profession at a critical time. Diversity, equity and inclusion programs are more important than ever as firms seek to advance gender and racial equity, and clients and employees increasingly demand that they do so. Whether you are a firm or other organization that is newer to the game, an individual looking to get in the game, or just looking to up your game, this panel will help you strategize about how and where to jump in. Moderator: Katy Smith, editor of Columbus CEO Panelists: Jocelyn Armstrong, director of inclusion and outreach, Ohio State Bar Association Kim Amrine, director of diversity and inclusion, Frost Brown Todd Stephen Francis, president and lead strategist, Franchise D&I Solutions Kelly Atkinson, diversity and inclusion coordinator, Barnes & Thornburg
3/17/21 5:52 PM
The Mobikit team with CEO Arnab Nandi, front row, second from right
By Jess Deyo
Mobikit announces acquisition by Californiabased Azuga Photo courtesy MOBIKIT
olumbus-based mobility data infrastructure company Mobikit has been acquired by Azuga, a global vehicle analytics provider based in Fremont, California. Together, the two will streamline the data collection process for insurance providers, brokers and others. Founded in 2019 by Arnab Nandi, Mobikit hit the ground running with advanced software that helps streamline vehicle insights into an easy-toread workflow. Azuga, founded in 2013, is a provider of vehicle diagnostics, such as how fast fleet drivers travel, accelerate, brake and more. It’s no surprise there is overlap between the companies — that’s how the two became acquainted. In mid2020, a client was utilizing both Mobikit and Azuga, and the opportunity for collaboration became apparent, Nandi says.
From there, the two companies went into partnership. With Azuga collecting fleet data and Mobikit organizing it into an algorithm, they can make it easier for insurers to assess the data and offer faster quotes. In the months that followed that first collaboration, it was clear there was more value in completely joining forces, Nandi says. “One of the benefits was that because we had the partnership before, we already built out a working relationship,” Nandi says. “Strangely enough, the pre-acquisition and postjoining forces fairly feels like we’re
still doing the same things, but now in a more formal fashion.” Mobikit’s eight employees will now join Azuga’s 500-plus team, but will continue to utilize the Columbus office at 421 W. State St. Whether Nandi will retain his CEO title has not been settled. The company plans to hire in Columbus in the near future, he says. The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. As a computer scientist, Nandi expresses excitement for the acquisition for the opportunity to contribute to the growth of telematics on a larger scale.
Photo courtesy JILL HOFMANS
Jill Hofmans lands at See Kids Dream See Kids Dream has named Jill Hofmans to the role of executive director. She began the job in February and oversees the nonprofit’s fundraising and strategy efforts. Hofmans steps into the new role with two decades of nonprofit and program management experience. Most recently, she served as the executive director and vice president at the Conway Center for Family Business. For Hofmans, the decision to take the new role wasn’t one made lightly. When stepping
down from her role with the Conway Center, she didn’t see being an executive director again in the future. However, the mission of See Kids Dream to empower youth to make change reignited her desire to serve. “I had goosebumps,” Hofmans says. “I watched videos of how this program impacts the kids in our schools, so here I am. It’s unbelievably inspiring to watch.” See Kids Dream partners with local schools to offer servicelearning programs that help children in the community
develop skills for long-term success. Together, the kids identify a community in need and work together to create impactful change. While the program currently serves elementary-aged students, Hofmans and her team of four hope to also serve middle school and high school students. “I can’t even imagine these kids who get to go through [the program] their whole education career, what they’re going to come out with,” Hofmans says. “They’re going to change the world.”
18 ColumbusCEO l April 2021
3/17/21 5:51 PM
3/17/21 5:51 PM
spotlight By Earl Hopkins + Photo by Doral Chenoweth
Expanding opportunity Columbus sports agent Ronnie Steward seeks to help players succeed beyond the field or court.
n the seven years he has worked in the sports management business, entrepreneur Ronnie Steward has noticed a trend of missed opportunities, leaving many athletes without the resources needed to expand their brands outside of their sports. Following experience as a sports representation executive at New York City-based Roc Nation Sports and as the business manager of NBA player Trey Burke, Steward decided to launch his own endeavor—Focus Sports Ventures. “Times are changing in terms of how you represent the athlete, and it’s more than just contract representation, and it’s more than just direct management,” he says. “Now, guys are looking to get into media, merchandise, operating and executing events, and venture capital as well.” Steward, 31, says more professional athletes are driven to expand their networks looking for financial opportunities. But un-
Focus Sports Ventures focussportsventures.com Business: Sports representation agency
with emphasis on helping athletes build business beyond sports.
Founder: Ronnie Steward Employees: 3 Launched: Jan. 1
“I want to provide a platform with trusted services and network for the young athletes emerging from Columbus who are entering this new world of uncharted territories with millions of dollars in the balance.” Ronnie Steward, founder, Focus Sports Ventures fortunately, he says, they are often hampered by sports representation companies that operate in their own interests as opposed to the client’s. Steward’s Focus Sports Ventures, which launched Jan. 1, will work with rising and established athletes to ensure they garner opportunities under the company’s six verticals – management, merchandise, media, events, investments and venture capital. The company already is adding clients: in addition to Burke, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Malik Harrison, a Walnut Ridge High School graduate and former Ohio State player, and Columbus Crew SC winger Derrick Etienne Jr. also have signed on. “I want to provide a platform with trusted services and network for the young athletes emerging from
Columbus who are entering this new world of uncharted territories with millions of dollars in the balance,” Steward says. Given the size of the sports industry, Steward says he is focused on building the business in Columbus first. Having grown up in the South Linden neighborhood, he had dreams of creating a meaningful business in his hometown and giving athletes with ties to the capital city the resources they need. Linda Logan, executive director of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, says the firm’s mission fits right into the city’s fabric, one centered on innovation and collaboration. But to continue breaking barriers in the sports industry, Logan says it requires young and ambitious profes-
20 ColumbusCEO l April 2021
3/17/21 5:50 PM
sionals such as Steward to take risks. “All of these barriers are coming down because of people taking a chance,” Logan says. “The fact that he’s from here, wants to come back and wants to do that for other people, it’s extraordinary.” With having high-profile agents such as Rich Paul at Klutch Sports and Juan Perez of Roc Nation Sports as mentors, Steward says their experiences gave him a better sense of how to build his company, especially as a Black entrepreneur. Along with serving Columbus athletes, Steward aims to inspire Black children to take on sports management roles. As a former basketball player at the University of Akron, he says it’s important for kids to know they don’t have to wear a jersey to have influence in the industry. “Kids that come from where we come from a lot of times think that they have to be the athlete or be in the front, and if they’re not, then there’s no way for them to be involved in the sport,” Steward says. “For me, it’s huge because I’ve walked that line.” Burke, who graduated from Northland High School and played collegiately at Michigan, has known Steward since the fifth grade and says he is one of the most diligent and honest people he knows. The current Dallas Mavericks guard adds he is confident Steward’s newest venture will inspire children in the inner city and suburbs to explore entrepreneurship and break the stereotypes surrounding what Black success looks like. “I feel like platforms like [Steward’s] are very important because it gives young kids who look like us hope and more opportunity than what we were told — rap, go to the league, or sell dope/drugs,” Burke notes in an email. “That’s reality. It may sound like the same story, but our youth needs direction.” As he looks to hire a few employees this year, Steward believes Focus Sports Ventures could expand beyond Columbus. His ultimate goal is for the company and its athletes to have partial ownership of sports franchises and stadiums, which will further separate it from other sports representation companies.
columbusalive.com the Arts the Eats the Community and more
Stay up to date by signing up for our newsletter @columbusalive
Earl Hopkins is a reporter with the Columbus Dispatch. April 2021 l ColumbusCEO
3/18/21 12:29 PM
spotlight By Jess Deyo + Photo by rob hardin
Funding the future Foundation for Appalachian Ohio creates opportunities for a revitalized region.
ppalachia is full of success stories: John Glenn, former U.S. senator and first to orbit Earth; Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback; and Kyle Zimmerman, founder of nationally recognized nonprofit First Book, to name a few. However, the community has endured more than
“When I look across Southeast Ohio, I see a region abundant in visionary and capable leaders who have chosen to spend their lives advancing opportunities for others.” Cara Dingus Brook, CEO, Foundation for Appalachian Ohio
Foundation for Appalachian Ohio
35 Public Square, Nelsonville 45764 appalachianohio.org Mission: To create opportunities for the
people of Appalachian Ohio by supporting and inspiring philanthropy.
CEO: Cara Dingus Brook Employees: 16 Revenue: $17.7 million in 2020 Funding sources: 75% donations and
grants; 25% investment and fee income
Cara Dingus Brook its share of economic turmoil. The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio aims to rewrite that narrative. Founded in 1998 with a $1 million state grant, the foundation is tasked with uplifting the region and creating opportunity. Decades ago, it launched with I’m a Child of Appalachia, a program now paired with a fund, designed to change the mindset of the community by telling stories of the region’s successes. “Appalachia is confronted with stereotypes,” says Cara Dingus Brook, CEO of the nonprofit. “If we look across the U.S., Appalachia has been marginalized. There has been a lot of
poverty, a lot of intractable challenges and a lot of misperceptions about what being Appalachian is.” Brook grew up in the region and remembers her childhood peers continuously facing barriers to opportunity. First serving as an intern at the foundation, she was appointed CEO in 2007 at age 25. For many of the organization’s early years, Brook recalls the team raising about 80 percent of the annual budget themselves, evidence of a deep philanthropy gap that runs through southeast Ohio. Instead of large corporate donors, something the region lacks, much of the funding for
22 ColumbusCEO l April 2021
3/17/21 5:49 PM
services, and simply keeping the lights on, was up to the team. Knowing their time could be used more intentionally, Brook and the team established a so-called initial philanthropic offering (IPO) in 2014, a fundraising model that relies on developing an asset base for more permanent dollars. Starting out, the goal was to identify 100 shareholders who each would give $32,000 for a combined $3.2 million, enough for five years of operation. Long term, the goal was to raise $100 million in 15 years. Seven years later, the IPO has raised $128 million. The goal has ambitiously been upped to $1 billion, with hopes of making $55 million in grants each year — a jump from the $5 million the organization disbursed in 2020, which included 990 grants to nonprofit and public organizations. It also offers scholarships. For Megan Wanczyk, vice president of communications and programs, the IPO is a major milestone. “I’m proud of how the foundation [is] unapologetically saying, we need to grow these permanent resources, we need to grow these in-depth endowments,” Wanczyk says. “That is what will make a long-term difference.” Although not native to the region, board member Jeffrey Chaddock and his husband willed 97 percent of their assets to the organization. “I’ve always fought for the underserved and the areas that are underdeveloped,” he says. “I love the down and out organizations. It’s low cost, high impact philanthropy. “To see what certain nonprofits do south of [state] Route 37 in Ohio is amazing,” says Chaddock, who is also a board member of the Columbus Museum of Art. The gifts from the IPO have contributed to opportunities and partnerships all for the benefit of the community. “When I look across southeast Ohio, I see a region abundant in visionary and capable leaders who have chosen to spend their lives advancing opportunities for others,” Brook notes. “My message is one of gratitude. Now is the time to think big about our region’s future. We need to be bold, strategic and collaborative. Collectively, we have so many assets to leverage.”
Lawyers with one mission: to advance yours. Discover the modern law firm. Taftlaw.com
COVID-19 Testing for your company
Partner with GnomeDX to provide a customized program for your organization’s needs.
The GnomeDX complete COVID-19 testing program: 24 hour result turnaround RT-PCR Testing (the CDC’s gold standard) Sample kits provided at no cost Daily courier or shipping at no cost Onsite sample collection by registered RNs
We provide testing for: Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Physicians, Employers, Schools, Athletic Programs
To get started:
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 614-431-6414
Jess Deyo is associate editor. April 2021 l ColumbusCEO
3/18/21 12:28 PM
spotlight By JESS DEYO + Photo by ROB HARDIN
Reviving the house call Mobile Med allows patients to receive care from the comfort of their homes.
fter falling ill in the 1930s, it was common to make a call and wait for a doctor to arrive for care in the comfort of your home. Since then, medicine has advanced and house calls have ceased to exist for the most part. Columbus-based Mobile Med is bringing them back. Mobile Med was launched in June 2019, and the healthcare workers who made it happen are
“We’re small, we’re Columbus small — and Columbus proud. We want to make people healthy and we want to give them time and expense, but also we want to bring everybody up.” Dr. Ryan Cantzler, co-founder, Mobile Med
Mobile Med mobilemed614.com
Business: Mobile healthcare
provider traveling to patients to treat common illnesses, injuries, Covid-19 and more.
Founders: Nurse practitioner Jill Parak, Dr. Ryan Cantzler and physician assistant Gregory LaFontaine Employees: Seven part-time Revenue: Would not disclose
Greg LaFontaine, Jill Parak and Ryan Cantzler
passionate about the revival of the house call. Now from a smartphone, perhaps while lying on the couch, patients in central Ohio can get medical advice in minutes. For co-founder Ryan Cantzler, a board-certified emergency room physician at Mount Carmel Health System, painting a picture of the convenience of Mobile Med is easy. Perhaps a parent is juggling three kids, working to make dinner, and cuts their finger while cooking. Instead of a two-hour urgent care wait and impromptu child care arrangements, the solution can be found in minutes over the phone thanks to Mobile Med, Cantzler says. The idea of Mobile Med was brought to Cantzler by longtime coworker and co-founder Greg LaFontaine, a physician assistant for over a decade. While the two have spent many hours in the hospital together, they’re also neighbors in Worthington and frequently spend time together with their children. As
busy parents themselves, the idea of a mobile clinic was perfect. “Everything we do now, we get delivered to us, whether it’s groceries, Amazon packages,” LaFontaine says. “Our whole thought was, why not provide a healthcare provider who can come to your house?” Another asset to Mobile Med is co-founder Jill Parak, a certified nurse practitioner, healthcare provider at Kenyon College and wife to Cantzler. She previously worked in the emergency room alongside her husband and LaFontaine but stepped away to care for her daughter. For the three co-founders and four additional care providers, Mobile Med is a side hustle aside from their regular work. Each provider dedicates time to the company by collaborating as a team to ensure constant phone coverage. From stitches, common illness, ear infections and more, Mobile Med is equipped to offer a solution. If not, they will advise what the next steps
24 ColumbusCEO l April 2021
3/17/21 5:49 PM
should be. To make an appointment, patients can call or download the Spruce - Care Messenger app to their smartphone, which allows easy communication between the physicians and the patient. Initially, the takeoff of Mobile Med didn’t offer much headway, Parak says. After, the success is comparable to a roller coaster — with the 2019 flu season, business increased, but with the onset of Covid-19, many were cautious about seeing a doctor at all. In late 2020, however, house calls began to increase. “The thought of having a provider come to your home and potentially see you on your porch or in your garage, people were very receptive to that,” Parak says. Mobile Med offers Covid-19 testing and services, including rapid antigen and PCR testing, which determine if the patient is currently infected by the virus. They also offer antibody testing and will coordinate testing for small businesses. Despite the convenience of Mobile Med, a hurdle for the team has been the inability to accept insurance. However, bills can be filed with insurance agencies out of network. Patient bills range from $50 to $99 with Mobile Med, compared to an average of $50 to $250 at an urgent care. For Cantzler, LaFontaine and Parak, the perks of running Mobile Med are centered around the ability to spend time with people and get them the resources they need to be healthy. Parak, who was accustomed to patient interaction as a nurse, is particularly fond of the opportunity to connect with those she treats. Her favorite memory is a simple one: sitting on a patient’s porch and talking about school with a fellow parent. As more patients learn about Mobile Med’s services, the team hopes to spread to other cities, like Cincinnati, and have the workload for three full-time employees, LaFontaine says. They also hope to partner with local medical practices. “We’re small, we’re Columbus small — and Columbus proud,” Cantzler says. “We want to make people healthy and we want to give them time and expense, but also we want to bring everybody up.” Jess Deyo is associate editor. April 2021 l ColumbusCEO
3/17/21 6:31 PM
Building Better Businesses Series: Character of Leadership
About BBB Building a better business starts with trust. When businesses work with us to build trust inside their organization, they develop a strong and lasting reputation that our entire community recognizes. Building a Better Business Series We believe that better businesses have the opportunity to impact people and communities positively. This series celebrates the teams that earned a BBB Torch Award. By putting intentional focus on character, culture, community and customers, they reach their goal to be a better business.
Branch Insurance Rooted in Character How do leaders within Branch Insurance strive to live and lead with high character?
works to develop tools to lower prices and helps those in need through our nonprofit entity SafetyNest, which was created and is exclusively
Branch Insurance was founded with the goal of
funded by Branch.
restoring insurance to its original intent: a force for communal good. We sell a product of “we’ll be there for you, just in case.” That product requires a high level of trust from its purchasers.
How are staff members empowered to carry out day-to-day interactions with high character?
Believing that Branch’s growth is inextricably tied
Steve Lekas, CEO/Co-Founder
to the trust of our members, an implied code
The goal is to empower all team members
of conduct exists for leadership, for our staff,
through information, discussions, and
and for everyone at Branch. It can be difficult to
modeling our cultural behaviors to create real
live up to a brand narrative of “getting back to
transparency. Our mission, our brand narrative,
getting each other’s back” but we’re excited to
and our commitment to our culture are the
be given the opportunity to do just that by so
prominent tools that empower our employees to
act with high character. Ethics is at the heart of Branch and our “Roots” help us operate ethically
What are intentional practices that Branch has in place to help customers see a commitment to character?
Branch Insurance ®
We developed a set of guideposts to help align
BBB Accredited Since 2019
and effectively each and every day.
How is Branch’s commitment to high character and integrity reinforced and celebrated?
our growing team, we call these our “Roots”. They are the seven cultural values that Branch
By continually giving our team the opportunity
was founded upon, both in the context of
to celebrate one another and receive recognition,
workplace culture and in the way we treat each
we empower them to think differently, be more
Hear more about how Branch Insurance
other, our community, our members, and the
involved, and develop deeper connections with
is building trust in their organization by
world around us. These “Roots” ensure that our
one another and the members we serve. Giving
listening to BBB’s podcast at
team is continually acting with high character,
back is also deeply ingrained in our culture. Our
treating each other with respect and kindness,
work with SafetyNest is the most tangible way
and living those values in every way we operate
Branch lives its values. It reinforces to our team
our business. In addition, we have maintained
that we’re doing so much more than selling
strong communication with our members about
insurance – we’re committed to being a force for
how we pass along savings. Branch consistently
2020 Torch Award Recipient: Character
3/18/21 10:53 AM
Torch Awards for Ethics
Now Accepting Entries & Nominations
BBB’s Torch Awards for Ethics shines a spotlight on businesses and organizations that exemplify trust in our community.
To learn more about the criteria and entry process or to register for one of our information sessions, visit
3/18/21 1:34 PM
As diversity, equity and inclusion positions pop up at companies across Columbus, this growing field of professionals is full of optimism—and questions. Story by Erica Thompson Photos by Rob Hardin
The new DE&I
Ralph Smithers Jr.
Rhonda Talford Knight
28 ColumbusCEO l April 2021
3/18/21 4:51 PM
April 2021 l ColumbusCEO
3/18/21 4:51 PM
drian Sullivan remembers the nightmares. He remembers the tears. He remembers the fatigue. It was shortly after George Floyd, a Black man, died in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. White police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes and was charged in Floyd’s death. It certainly wasn’t the first time Sullivan had seen the death of a Black man on television or social media. But in the midst of a global pandemic, it was as if everyone was at home paying attention, grappling with the systemic inequalities in law enforcement. “No one could go out and assume their daily lives in a normal fashion and look away from what happened,” says Sullivan, a diversity and inclusion manager with Cardinal Health and vice president of the Central Ohio Diversity Consortium, an organization that brings together the area’s DEI professionals. “The world watched it. And it was somebody who looks like me.” What followed was a summer of racial justice protests and widespread examination of systemic racism — especially as it became apparent that Black people were disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Racism was declared a public health crisis by the state of Ohio, Franklin County and the city of Columbus. Companies and organizations in central Ohio and across the country posted Black Lives Matter statements online to show solidarity. Some even took to the streets. In June, Nationwide held a rally in the Arena District to acknowledge the many Black people across the country killed by police. Sullivan was watching with cautious optimism. “It was great to see, but there’s always this hesitancy of, ‘Do you really mean it?’ ” he says. “We really want to see what you stand for. Prior to George Floyd being killed, [diversity, equity and inclusion] jobs were on the chopping block [amid the pandemic].” But in the aftermath of the racial justice protests of 2020, companies and organizations have stepped up their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Many have created DEI roles and made commitments to diversify their boards, staff, suppliers and charitable
Adrian Sullivan Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Cardinal Health
[Last year], there were companies letting Black and brown workers go left and right and blaming it on the pandemic. There were restaurants that weren’t protecting their wait staff, which was probably primarily low-income individuals, women and minorities. They weren’t protecting them in a pandemic, but were quick to throw up a black square and say, ‘We stand in solidarity.’ We really want to see what you stand for. The next generation of the workforce is watching. I think we forget sometimes that the population of consumers is also the population from which you choose your workforce.”
efforts. They have hosted ongoing internal conversations about racism and created special committees. For example, Ohio State University formed a task force on racism, which has called for adding Black, indigenous and people of color [BIPOC] to the faculty. Central Ohio DEI leaders say this increased attention has empowered them to take bolder steps to make an impact and shift the industry. But some are wondering just how long the momentum will last. “This is literally like a coach calling your number, saying, ‘You’re going into the game right now,’ ” Sullivan says. “You’ve got five-star athletes
running around on the field, giving everything they’ve got, because we don’t know when we’ll get another shot to make this kind of impact again.” ••• Once centered around affirmative action efforts, diversity, equity and inclusion terminology and practice are constantly evolving. For many DEI professionals, diversity denotes characteristics such as race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and perspective. Inclusion is fostering a workplace where people are valued. Equity, a recent addition, ensures individuals have the same access to opportunity — including promotions and mentorship — while recognizing that some employees have been systemically disadvantaged. Unfortunately, corporate America is still a long way from being a diverse environment. According to a 2019 study by the Center for Talent Innovation, only 3.2 percent of all executive or senior leadership roles at for-profit companies are held by Black professionals. And they hold less than 1 percent of CEO positions at Fortune 500 companies. In the nonprofit sector, Black professionals account for only 6 percent of executive director roles, according to a 2017 study by Battalia Winston. And the 2017 BoardSource Leading with Intent Survey found that Black professionals comprise just 8 percent of boards. To address this issue, a slew of DEI
30 ColumbusCEO l April 2021
3/18/21 6:32 PM
I would challenge any company that said that they couldn’t tie diversity and inclusion to the bottom line. For instance, we know that Black women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs. So, as you’re making small business loans, what does the percentage of those loans going to Black women look like? Think about retail and the African American community’s buying power. If you’re trying to sell products, what does that portion of your product sales look like? Are you targeting those communities? You want people to feel it in their heart, but there’s also a dollarsand-cents tie to this as well.”
leadership positions were created following the summer of 2020. Locally, the YMCA of Central Ohio named Erik Farley as its first-ever senior vice president of equity and inclusion in January. A month later, Columbus State Community College named Almar Walter as its first-ever vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion, while the Central Ohio Transit Authority named Monica Jones its first-ever chief equity officer. As a consultant with 20 years of DEI experience, Rhonda Talford Knight has been coaching clients through DEI assessments and strategy. “What we’ve heard is, ‘We thought,
Angela Bretz Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Nationwide Insurance
Qiana Williams Vice President of Culture, Engagement & Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer, OhioHealth
The first thing I tell folks is to recognize that it is an absolute journey. The efforts and work that you’re putting in place today, you won’t see those materialize into tangible things tomorrow, and maybe not even next year. Be intentional and purposeful about what it is you want to focus on. There may be a lot of things that you want to change. If you try to take on everything at once, you spin your wheels and you don’t really get those tangible wins.”
because we were revenue-generating and folks weren’t complaining, we were OK,’ ” says Talford Knight, who owns a consulting company. “They’re looking at the actual landscape of their own organization and saying, ‘Oh my gosh, I am surrounded by a bunch of white guys.’ ” As the DEI hiring wave rolled on, Talford Knight had a concern: Some workplaces still don’t get it. “You’re not seeing job descriptions call for experience,” she says. “And then they say, ‘Well, we’re not sure what budget we’re going to be able to put with it. And we’re not sure if we’re going to have a team or the resources.’ ” Knight stressed the need for diversity roles to be created in the C-suite — chief diversity officer positions — reporting directly to the CEO. And when clients say they don’t have money for DEI, Talford Knight advises them to “go find it,” or coaches them on how to ask leadership for the funding. “We find the money for the things that we want to do,” she says. “Organizations [that don’t fund DEI efforts] are going to be set up for failure right out the gate. We ask the question, why hasn’t anything changed? If you keep hitting your head up against the wall, you’re going to see the same results.” ••• The YMCA of Central Ohio positioned itself for success by establishing an anti-racism council to advise its president and CEO. And Erik Farley April 2021 l ColumbusCEO
3/18/21 4:52 PM
Erik Farley Senior Vice President of Equity & Inclusion, YMCA of Central Ohio
I think there’s a need to be more mindful of well-being. This work takes a lot of energy and you’re pouring into people constantly. You’re providing feedback and coaching and re-direction, and you’re being forthright about dignity and human rights. A lot of that takes courage. There is a need to be intentional about your approach to your work, but also making certain that you conserve enough energy to have a life outside of work. That’s important.”
stepped into the role of senior vice president of equity and inclusion, bringing DEI experience from Denison University and other colleges. In his opinion, the declaration of racism as a public health crisis was a “clarion call” for the DEI industry. “It’s always been important to me personally, and a lot of people in my own circles, but it is a public statement that this is something we all should have a vested interest in,” he says. “And so that, in many ways, brings credibility to the work.”
The YMCA, one of the region’s largest nonprofits, has added BIPOC staff to its executive team. The organization also is examining language used in job postings and during the interview process to make the hiring process consistent for everyone. “It’s actually a recognition that there are systems at play and ways of thinking that are racist,” Farley says. “Being honest and upfront about that is critically important. Are there opportunities to be intentional about transforming our workforce to be representative of the world around us?” Representation includes multiple demographics, but the industry is currently focused on race — and for good reason, says Talford Knight. “A true DEI expert will allow the organization to ensure that there’s gains across the board while focusing on the unconscious bias and the issues around race, because, at the end of the day, BIPOC is missing from leadership positions across the nation in C-suites and on boards.” Since the summer of 2020, multiple studies have exposed the lack of racial diversity on corporate boards, which hire CEOs, determine pay structure,
guide company strategy and ultimately hold leadership accountable. Underrepresented ethnic and racial groups make up just 12.5 percent of board directors, according to a 2020 analysis by Institutional Shareholder Services, which studies corporate governance. A 2021 report by BoardProspects found that 60 percent of the country’s 3,000 largest publicly traded companies lacked a Black director. The board recruitment platform also reported that among the nearly 27,000 board members, just 5.4 percent are Black. In Columbus, DEI professional Steve Francis helps organizations identify the many highly capable candidates for boards through his consulting firm, Franchise D&I Solutions. “You see the same or usual suspects getting appointed to corporate boards from minority communities,” he says. “My experience is that they are looking for folks with either accounting, legal or corporate governance [experience] and former CEOs. However, there’s plenty of chief diversity officers out there that I believe corporate boards should be open and more intentional about bringing on their
32 ColumbusCEO l April 2021
3/18/21 4:52 PM
“I can have a seat at the table, but is my voice being heard? We are not doing the real work of DEI if we’re not landing in the space of belonging. You can measure engagement and you can measure retention. Research shows that when there’s a sense of belonging, people are engaged and they stay. Guess who has the greater sense of belonging? White males. Why? There’s white males across the cascade of leadership positions. You have to talk about behavioral change, but you also have to talk about systems, policies and procedures that ensure that belonging.”
boards, specifically for the purpose of helping that organization navigate DEI issues. It’s a mindset shift. They still don’t consider diversity to be a frontline operational imperative for their organization, so they don’t view that as a necessary component of their board structure, either.” Incremental progress is being made following the George Floyd protests. The BoardProspects study also found that 62 percent of Black director appointees made between 2019 and 2020 occurred in the seven months after Floyd’s death. The nonprofit sector is also re-examining its boards. Locally, the United Way of Central Ohio tackled this issue by conducting a 2019 study on non-
Ralph Smithers Jr. Assistant Vice President, Diversity and Community Relations, Encova Insurance
Rhonda Talford Knight CEO & Founder, Knight Consulting Group
profit board diversity and inclusion in Columbus. Although 65 percent of residents are white, 80 percent of board members surveyed were white. In response, the United Way now requires its funded partners to have diverse boards — mirroring Franklin County demographics — by 2025. The sudden attention to board diversity is bringing up tough conversations, says Shayne Downton, the United Way’s chief diversity and inclusion officer. “We’re having to navigate through a question of, do they really want me there? Do they really want my ideas, or do they just want my face?” For Qiana Williams, facilitating difficult conversations last summer
was critical. As OhioHealth’s chief diversity officer and vice president of culture, engagement and inclusion, she says she felt a license to “lean in” more than she ever had before. “I was telling our white leaders and our white associates, I’m going to do sessions just for you,” she says. “And I’m going to ask you to not ask your Black co-worker to educate you.” Williams was encouraged by OhioHealth CEO Stephen Markovich, who made public statements and intentionally characterized George Floyd’s death as a murder. “He was showing up in the right way, which also further emboldened me to show up in a more full way,” she says. Williams says OhioHealth “When I was in college in the ‘80s, if you had told me what we would be going through now, I would have been horrified. Things haven’t been perfect, but I can say that, until a few years ago, you could see things getting a little better. Now, they’re getting worse. We have to work through it. We have to keep an eye on the business case [for diversity]. It took 400 years to build up some of these systems. It may take more than the time that I have left in my career to fix it. We’re going to do the best we can. We just have to show our value.”
April 2021 l ColumbusCEO
3/18/21 5:04 PM
Priscilla Hammonds AVP, Diversity & Inclusion and Community Relations, Grange Insurance
The events of last summer illuminated the need for focus toward progress in diversity, equity and inclusion across our nation. Following the protests, we saw a huge surge in companies seeking to create or revise their DEI strategies and/or hire DEI professionals to include social justice components. I’m hopeful we can maintain and increase that momentum, pushing companies to ‘walk the talk’ and support the hard work we have ahead of us in the specific actions that are needed. DEI experts have been guiding this work for years and are increasingly vital to help create strategies that drive deliberate dialogue and systemic change as we engage workplaces in diversity, equity and inclusion as part of a global commitment to social justice.”
has been working on issues of race for the past few years. “Health equity is directly aligned to diversity and inclusion,” she says, stressing the importance of patients
seeing physicians who look like them and interacting with a culturally competent care team. “If our patient experience scores are not where they need to be, then someone could potentially choose a different healthcare institution.” OhioHealth is also working to diversify its leadership, she says. “If a diverse swath of the community doesn’t see us as an employer of choice, then we won’t be able to attract the top talent,” she says. “Talent is driving our revenue. So, in order to ensure that we’re recruiting the best and the brightest, we know that we have to ensure that those folks see our place as a destination.” In other words, Williams, like a lot of other DEI professionals, is passionate about demonstrating the business case for diversity. “I would challenge any company that said that they couldn’t tie diversity and inclusion to the bottom line,” she says. “You want people to feel it in their heart, but there’s also a dollarsand-cents tie to this as well that people really need to understand.” To foster accountability, OhioHealth’s manager and executive bonuses are directly tied to data-driven
progress. Williams and other DEI professionals recommend that companies use metrics to measure progress, and build out DEI pages on their websites to increase transparency. Of course, not all measurement is quantitative, especially for companies that aren’t in a position to hire a large number of people. Ralph Smithers Jr., assistant vice president of diversity and community relations at Encova Insurance, says it’s important to prepare the workplace for a changing population. “How do people feel about their organization?” says Smithers, who also leads implicit bias training at the company. “What do the engagement surveys say? I’ve had people say, ‘Hey, because of some of the things that I get to be involved with through our associate resource group, this really makes me feel much more a part of our company. It makes me want to stay. It makes me want to go and refer someone.’” To ensure that a diverse committee is making decisions on charitable funding, Smithers has appointed leaders from those associate resource groups. And they regularly volunteer in diverse communities.
34 ColumbusCEO l April 2021
3/18/21 5:06 PM
I don’t know anyone that’s getting equity right. Equity is the piece that levels the playing field. It’s about giving people what they need to be successful, and sometimes that means giving people more of it to catch up. What we’ve learned is that we haven’t come as far as we thought, but there is hope. We’ve created the framework, we’ve built the structures within our organizations, and we have the value statements. Now, we have to figure out how to apply it. We have a lot more work to do.”
According to DEI professionals, their work requires exceptional communication skills, empathy and a willingness to advocate for all populations, not just one’s own demographic. While people of color have traditionally held these roles, there is consensus that anyone can do the job — as long as they have the experience, commitment and ability to avoid centering themselves. While gaining experience in the HR department is still a common path to a DEI role, pursuing online DEI certification can also be helpful. In the meantime, professionals can be advocates for DEI at their companies no matter their current positions. “If your organization has values that center around diversity, equity and
Shayne Downton Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, United Way of Central Ohio
inclusion, lead with those in your own work,” Downton says. “If they don’t have those [values], ask why not. That will get you noticed.” And asking for conversations with DEI professionals is an effective tactic Smithers used when he transitioned to his current role. “I basically went out and got to know every single person that would have lunch or coffee, and I always bought,” he says. Smithers adds that the Central Ohio Diversity Consortium was an invaluable resource. Co-founded and led by Priscilla Hammonds, the nonprofit encourages collaboration between DEI professionals to advance the field. “We’re always supporting each other,” he says. “We see our mission
not only being for our respective companies, but we also seek it for the greater community.” Consortium vice president Adrian Sullivan hopes to reach even more people and make a greater impact while the spotlight is still on the DEI industry — and before society returns to a semblance of normalcy following the pandemic. “I’m waiting to see what the first six months after we’ve had mass vaccination look like, and if people will forget everything we just went through,” he says. “I hope that we are still kicking and thriving and going strong.”
Each high school and certainly each college and university should have a curriculum on diversity, equity, inclusion and racism, for that matter. Just as we have a steady crop of graduates that go on to be CFOs, CMOs and CIOs, you’ll have folks coming out as CDOs [chief diversity officers]. There’s more to the C-suite than CIO, CMO and CFO. We’ve got to really work on this mindset that diversity is valuable. It’s a critical, frontline operational imperative. And it starts with the education system designing itself to produce diversity professionals who go into corporations as diversity leaders on a routine basis.”
President and Lead Strategist, Franchise D&I Solutions
Erica Thompson is a reporter with the Columbus Dispatch.
April 2021 l ColumbusCEO
3/18/21 6:31 PM
TELL YOUR STORY Custom Publishing
SPECIAL SPECIAL ADVERTISING ADVERTISING SECTION SECTION
MORE THAN A MUSEUM
90 YEARS SOLVING
8 TH ANNUAL EASTON FASHION NIGHT
STYLE ON POINT
A BIG PRESENCE GETS BIGGER
2019 F ALL FASHION TRENDS
SPECIAL COMMUNITY REPORT FOR COLUMBUS MONTHLY READERS
#EnjoyEaston E A S T O NTO W N C E N T E R . C O M
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
A Columbus Monthly Suburban Section
Transforming Children’s Mental Health Through an Unprecedented Community Commitment
In partnership with JobsOhio September 2020 ColumbusCEO
BIG LOTS BEHAVIORAL HEALTH PAVILION
Parent’s Guide begins on page 21
Work with our award-winning team at Dispatch Magazines to produce custom sections to reach our affluent, engaged and influential audiences, as well as overruns for spreading your message. Contact us at email@example.com or 614-461-8723.
3/18/21 4:36 PM
BUS MONTHLY READERS
S TH PAVILION
al Health Through ity Commitment
Grow and flourish Mary McCarthy is helping women entrepreneurs reach their full potential. By Laura Newpoff + Photo by Rob Hardin
n 2014, Mary McCarthy and Caroline Worley attended the first Women’s Leadership Conference that was launched by Betty Collins on behalf of accounting firm Brady Ware & Co. A few years earlier, McCarthy and Worley co-founded the Women’s Small Business Accelerator and thought the event would be a good place to make connections. A few months later, Collins, a director at the accounting firm, attended the accelerator’s annual
fundraising gala and was impressed by the event. She approached the duo to see if they’d like to be partners for the leadership conference’s second year and they answered “yes.” The partnership helped grow the event from 44 outside attendees in the first year to 350 in 2019. The pandemic, however, halted that momentum in 2020 when the event was canceled. This year, the event is being held virtually in July and will feature a nationally known keynote speaker, breakfast power panel, breakout sessions, awards, exhibits, networking and a cocktail hour. “We really believed in Betty Collins and her desire to grow women leaders within Brady Ware and the community,” McCarthy says. “We felt then and still feel now that leadership for women entrepreneurs is very important. We must continue to grow our leadership abilities as our businesses grow.” McCarthy also believed that intentional networking was crucial, and a conference focused on women would provide that opportunity. The accelerator also received the net
Founder, YMT Consultants; co-founder, Women’s Small Business Accelerator In position since: 2009; 2012 Age: 61 Education: B.S. in business administration,
Community involvement: Advisory
board, city of Columbus diversity and inclusion; advisory council, Otterbein Leadership Advisory Board; advisory council, Tolles Career & Technology Center; public policy committee, NAWBO Columbus
proceeds of the event that supported it and ensured its programs could be provided for a low fee. McCarthy’s involvement in the conference is just one of the many ways she’s been impacting the lives of women – and entrepreneurs in general – in central Ohio for years. Because watching entrepreneurs begin, grow and flourish is her lifelong passion, McCarthy founded April 2021 l ColumbusCEO
3/18/21 4:37 PM
Who’s moving and shaking this Week? Find out when you become a Columbus Ceo insider sign-up today at ColumbusCeo.com
As a musician in the Jazz Arts Group Columbus, Byron Stripling uses music to uplift the community. His jazz helps him travel the world, but Columbus is his home, and there’s no place he’d rather make his art. Learn more about Byron’s story and other Columbus artists, performances, exhibitions, concerts, public art and more at ColumbusMakesArt.com.
Photo: Stephen Pariser | Design: Formation Studio
YMT Consultants in 2009 to help microbusiness owners navigate challenges and opportunities with expert resources, rather than by trial and error. As part of her venture, she developed entrepreneurial curriculum including: The Aspiring Entrepreneur, The Inspired Entrepreneur and The Determined Entrepreneur. Other accomplishments include: • Securing one of eight $1.4 million Small Business Administration national contracts to implement a new initiative – ScaleUp America. It graduated 90 entrepreneurs between 2014 and 2017. • Securing Columbus pilot program Accelerate Columbus – Scale-Up & Grow to train 39 entrepreneurs in 2019. The program involved 51 percent of individuals with low or moderate income and 30 percent with extremely low income. Participants were 68 percent diverse, and 5 percent broke the $1 million mark after completing the program. • Partnering with the city of Columbus in 2020 to mentor 167 microbusi-
“[McCarthy] is able to see the bigger picture and say, ‘These are the areas you need to address.’ She also either knows people to connect you to, has been through [a situation] herself or tells you where to go to get the information.” AnnaMarie Cua owner, Beauty Box Organic Salon & Spa
38 ColumbusCEO l April 2021
3/18/21 4:37 PM
ness owners through the ColumbusFranklin Covid-19 Fund to apply for CARES Act grants. Of the participants, 34 percent completed their applications and secured more than $650,000 in grant funding. McCarthy and Worley founded the accelerator in 2012 and since then have mentored more than 800 women entrepreneurs and provided them access to education and training. Programming has grown by 150 percent since its founding, and more than $1 million in program and event fees has been generated. The idea came after McCarthy read a SBA report written in 2007. It sparked a question. If all things were equal, such as education and income, why are male-owned businesses succeeding more than woman-owned businesses? The report spelled out a number of issues, she says. For example, if a man says he wants to start a business, he is told, “Good luck.” But if a woman wants to start a business, she is asked, “How are you going to run a business and care for your family?” “While these things [aren’t] new, the question to me was, what do we need to do to ensure we are not still hearing these things in the future?” McCarthy says. “What the WSBA decided we needed was accountability combined with support and connections.”
2021 Virtual Short North Gala Join us on Sunday, April 18 • Enjoy the Food and Drinks of the Short North Arts District from home • Support Local Businesses • Contribute to the Art + Soul of Columbus Buy tickets at ShortNorth.org/Gala
WITH SUPPORT FROM:
Responding to the pandemic Even though she wouldn’t be able to help put on the leadership conference in 2020, that didn’t stop McCarthy from looking for ways to help women in business who were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, not only from a work standpoint – think nail and hair salons and massage operators whose businesses got shut down—but also from a childcare perspective. So, like many others, McCarthy pivoted. The accelerator started a business crisis team to provide free mentoring, launched a pitch contest that aired March 11 and awarded $7,000 in prize money, and began a grant program that had given out $11,000 as of early March. McCarthy also got to work to help structure this year’s conference in a
Presented by American Electric Power Foundation
LEARN MORE |
April 2021 l ColumbusCEO
3/18/21 5:19 PM
“This has evolved into something I never could have imagined. We’ll have this all over the country if [the participants] get it out to their databases.” Betty Collins, director, Brandy Ware & Co.
virtual world. She did all of that while running her business and the accelerator’s regular programming while helping with the childcare needs of her grandchildren. The conference this year will feature Peggy Klaus as the keynote. She’s a leadership and communications expert whose clients range from startups to the Fortune 500 and the author of two best-selling books. She’ll talk about the themes of one of those books – “BRAG: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It.” The Better Business Bureau of Central Ohio has signed on as a sponsor this year for the event, which will also feature dozens of speakers and presenters from a wide range of backgrounds. “This has evolved into something I never could have imagined,” Collins says. “We’ll have this all over the country if [the participants] get it out to their databases.” The accelerator’s regular programming includes the Inspired Entrepreneur program that helps business owners develop an elevator pitch, a completed business plan
Race where you are.
and a monetized business. AnnaMarie Cua, owner of Beauty Box Organic Salon & Spa in Columbus, participated in the program last year. She and the rest of her class of 10 persisted during the health crisis via Zoom as they put their plans together and prepared for a formal presentation. Cua says she’s always worked for herself and describes her approach as “winging it the whole time.” The salon has been in business for five years and Cua hopes to grow it through franchising with McCarthy’s help. “I have big goals and dreams, but I get lost in the details,” Cua says. “[McCarthy] is able to see the bigger picture and say, these are the areas you need to address. She also either knows people to connect you to, has been through [a similar situation] herself or tells you where to go to get the information. She’s very straight to the point and doesn’t let you give excuses. She calls it as it is and makes you face the things you don’t want to face head on.” Laura Newpoff is a freelance writer.
I race for my mom.
May 15, 2021 COLUMBUS, OHIO
May 15, 2021 Register today at COLUMBUS, 2021 OHIO raceforthecure.org
Register today at
raceforthecure.org ® ©2020 Susan G. Komen . ®
©2020 Susan G. Komen .
We race to save lives.
rese I race for
40 ColumbusCEO l April 2021
3/18/21 4:37 PM
what % of US adults say they read magazines in the last 6 months?
This includes 95% of those under 35 and 95% of those under 25.
MILLION THAT’S AN INCREASE OF 18 MILLION SINCE 2012. (MRI-Simmons, Fall 2012-2019)
THE MAGAZINE ROAS OF $6.51 WAS DOUBLE THAT OF THE TV ROAS OF $3.23, AND MORE THAN DOUBLE OF THE DIGITAL ROAS OF $2.43. (NCSolutions 2005-Q12019)
(MRI-Simmons, Fall 2019)
HOW MANY ADULTS AGES 18+ READ MAGAZINES?
when advertisers were asked which medium offers the highest ROAS, which was the highest overall?
THE PRINT MAGAZINE INDUSTRY IS GROWING 139 new print magazine brands with a frequency of quarterly or greater were introduced in 2019 (Samir “Mr. Magazine” ™ Husani Monitor 2020)
MAGAZINES REACH PREMIUM AUDIENCES IN HIGH-INCOME HOUSEHOLDS*
At a greater rate than newspapers, internet, radio or TV * Household income $250K+ (MRI-Simmons, Fall 2019)
compared to top tech sites MAGAZINES outperform reaching
WOMEN AGES 18+ (MRI Media Fusion)
PRINT STIMULATES EMOTIONS AND DESIRES PRINT IS PREFERRED BY THE MAJORITY (EVEN MILLENNIALS) PRINT READERS EXPERIENCE MORE FOCUSED ATTENTION AND LESS DISTRACTION, WHICH DRIVES SENSORY INVOLVEMENT CONTRIBUTING TO GREATER READER IMPACT, COMPREHENSION AND RECALL. (MPA, Scott McDonald, Ph.D. Nomas Research)
For advertising information call Columbus CEO at 614-540-8900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For your complimentary subscription to Columbus CEO visit columbusceo.com.
Information provided by
3/18/21 4:37 PM
How these central Ohio institutions continued to teach students while also learning themselves. By Laura Newpoff
n March 6, 2020, Otterbein University was hit with a malware attack that took its computers, phones and systems offline. Actions as simple as swiping into the cafeteria were suddenly impossible. Of the services affected was the ability to access Blackboard, a learning management system for students and faculty that allows for online and blended courses. It would be an understatement to say the timing couldn’t have been worse. Within days of the attack, universities across Ohio, including Otterbein, suspended in-person classes and sent as many students home as they could following the onset of Covid-19. The push toward remote learning happened immediately. Otterbein had to scramble. Kathryn Plank, Otterbein’s associate provost for curriculum, teaching, learning and mission, says faculty and staff immediately pulled together and bought burner phones and set up remote hot spots. The Academic Support Center created resources for students to learn online, faculty revamped coursework, the Center for Teaching and Learning held hundreds of workshops and practice sessions for remote learning and the information technology office purchased more equipment — such as cameras that could broadcast teacher lectures from classrooms — and software and Wi-Fi were updated. By March 16 classes resumed and students were able to finish the spring semester in a virtual world. “Everything had to be redone,” Plank says. “But so many people
Courtesy FRANKLIN UNIVERSITY
Adapting in a crisis
came up with so many creative ways to keep things going. (The situation) opened up possibilities we hadn’t thought of before. As they say, ‘Necessity is the mother of invention.’ ”
“We went from 30 percent of course delivery being virtual to 100 percent overnight, and we were able to build out our summer schedule and then fall and spring to each time make it better and more understandable.” Martin Maliwesky, associate vice president of academic affairs, Columbus State Community College
Franklin University was ready for online learning when the pandemic hit. Creativity to adapt to remote learning is a theme among universities across central Ohio when it came to their pandemic response. Here are highlights about how they persevered in a virtual world. In the months that followed the news of Covid-19, Otterbein employed a number of tactics including moving to alternate spaces, using new technology, encouraging student involvement and being thoughtful about student workload and well-being. Alicia Rich, assistant professor of biology and zoo science, designed a remote seminar that brings in experts from all over the world for students to interview via Zoom each week. After the university was forced to shift its wildlife rehabilitation practicum to a remote format due to outbreaks at the Ohio Wildlife Center, the department purchased motion-activated wildlife cameras and shifted the class to teach students how to use cutting-edge technology to monitor animals remotely. Plank says a fall survey found that students were generally satisfied with the summer semester and how courses were revamped. Embracing online learning was seemingly easier for them, she says, than the social isolation that came from missing campus life, sports and social activities. Similarly to many other institutions, some of the faculty at Columbus State Community College had no experience conducting courses online. But all of them, even adjunct faculty, had experience using
42 ColumbusCEO l April 2021
B S W
3/18/21 4:33 PM
Build a Stronger Workforce With Franklin University For more than 115 years, Franklin University has served our students and the central Ohio community by providing in-demand programs that work for busy adults. Through our FranklinWORKS initiative, we partner with nearly 100 organizations, like OhioHealth, Discover Financial Services and the City of Columbus, to provide innovative education options that foster employee development and business growth.
Partner Services + Offerings Tuition Discount Programs No-Cost Master’s Degree Cohort Programs Leadership Development Programs Customized Curriculum Skill-Specific Microcredentials Seamless Administrative Processes Dedicated Partnership Support Team
To learn more about the education options available through FranklinWORKS, contact:
Best Continuing Education Offerings
Best MBA Program
Franklin makes it possible. Franklin makes it personal.
Whitney Iles, Director of Partnerships and Client Management Whitney.Iles@franklin.edu 614.947.6702
Franklin University is nonprofit and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org/800.621.7440).
3/18/21 4:33 PM
Courtesy FRANKLIN UNIVERSITY
David Decker, Franklin University Blackboard, the vehicle the school uses to disseminate information like syllabi and grades to students, including in-person learners. That eased communication during a time of heightened uncertainty. Martin Maliwesky, Columbus State’s associate vice president of academic affairs, says administrators heard quickly from faculty that Zoom was being well received. The school bought Zoom licenses and it became its preferred virtual option. Columbus State was keenly aware that not all students had access to the same technology tools outside of campus, especially those from rural areas, and responded by finding a vendor to buy retooled mobile phones that students could use as a mobile hotspot if Wi-Fi wasn’t available. The school also repurposed and made available some of its internal hardware to faculty and students. “It was one of the greatest successes we could attest to,” Maliwesky says. “We went from 30 percent of course delivery being virtual to 100 percent overnight, and we were able to build out our summer schedule and then fall and spring to each time make it better and more understandable.” Ohio State University developed a set of sites that became the center
of its educational strategy during the pandemic. Keep Teaching, Keep Learning and Keep Working provided information and resources to keep all areas of the school operational, offer mental health support and foster a sense of belonging. OSU also embraced Zoom, and platform usage increased 2,350 percent after spring break with 47,000 meetings taking place per week. Usage of Canvas, the school’s learning management system, soared by 333 percent during the crisis. Requests for tech support also jumped by 271 percent, prompting the university to quickly train 40 volunteers to work the help desk. The school also built more than 40 online workshops that received more than 10,000 views. Liv Gjestvang, associate vice president of learning technology, says faculty members helped students make the transition. She was impressed by Nicole Kraft, associate professor in the school of communication. “She went to campus and took pictures of different spots and made them available as Zoom backgrounds,” Gjestvang says. “It allowed them to feel a sense of connection with campus.” “She stepped away from her academic charge and really stepped into that space (of) ‘How are you doing?’”
“Most of the schools that had not previously been involved in online higher education were really thrown for a loop by this. We wanted to contribute to help our colleagues understand that online higher ed has its own pedagogical principles, its own technical principles and assessment principles that are followed to design courses properly.” David Decker, president, Franklin University Gjestvang says. “I saw a lot of faculty doing that.” For Franklin University, the pivot to online learning was perhaps the least dramatic among local universities. President David Decker says 90 percent of students were learning online before the pandemic, so its infrastructure was well developed. The school quickly saw a role, however, in helping other institutions make the shift. Many, he says, had no previous experience with online education. Through its International Institute For Innovative Instruction Franklin provided a series of webinars for community college faculty and academic leaders across Ohio. “Most of the schools that had not previously been involved in online higher education were really thrown for a loop by this,” Decker says. “We wanted to contribute to help our colleagues understand that online higher ed has its own pedagogical principles, its own technical principles and assessment principles that are followed to design courses properly. That increases satisfaction among faculty and students during a time when they are going through a huge adjustment psychologically.” Laura Newpoff is a freelance writer.
44 ColumbusCEO l April 2021
3/18/21 4:33 PM
Columbus Monthly is among the best city magazines in the country. Don’t take our word for it. Ask the national City and Regional Magazine Association, which honored Columbus Monthly with first-place honors for general excellence in 2018 (we were among the top five magazines in 2020, 2019 and 2017) for our circulation size. Subscribe and you’ll get 12 issues of Columbus Monthly, plus six niche pubs. That’s a lot of award-winning journalism for $1.50 a month.
Here’s what’s in store for you with a one-year subscription: • 12 issues of Columbus Monthly • 2 issues of Home & Garden • 1 issue of Restaurant Guide • 1 issue of Best Driving Vacations • 1 issue of Giving • 1 issue of Health
Subscribe or renew your annual subscription to Columbus Monthly for $18. Go to columbusmonthly.com or call 877-688-8009.
3/18/21 4:33 PM
Family Law Firms
Ranked by number of full-time attorneys in the Columbus region, and for ties by family law attorneys and family law cases handled in 2020, respectively
Firm 1 Bailey Cavalieri 10 W. Broad St., Suite 2100, Columbus 43215 614-221-3155 baileycav.com
2 Isaac Wiles 2 Miranova Place, Suite 700 Columbus 43215 • 614- 221-2121 isaacwiles.com
3 Taft Stettinius & Hollister 65 E. State St., Suite 1000, Columbus 43215 614- 221-2838 taftlaw.com
4 Strip Hoppers Leithart McGrath & Terlecky Co.
575 S. Third St., Columbus 43215 614-228-6345 • columbuslawyer.net
5 Dagger Law 144 E. Main St., Lancaster 43130 740-653-6464 daggerlaw.com
6 Grossman Law Offices 32 W. Hoster St., Suite 100, Columbus 43215 614-221-7711 grossmanlawoffices.com
7 Friedman & Mirman 1320 Dublin Road, Suite 101, Columbus 43215 614-221-0090 friedmanmirman.com
8 Kemp Schaeffer & Rowe 88 W. Mound St., Columbus 43215 614-224-2678 ksrlegal.com
9 Lawrence Law Office 496 S. Third St., Columbus 43215 614-228-3664 ohio-family-law.com
10 Barr Jones & Associates 150 E. Mound St., Suite 200, Columbus 43215 614-702-2222 barrjoneslegal.com
wnd = would not disclose Source: Survey of Family Law Firms Information compiled by Rebecca Walters
46 ColumbusCEO l April 2021
Full-time attorneys in the Columbus region
Family attorneys in the Columbus region
Family law cases handled in the Columbus Region
Work represented by family cases in 2020
Columbus region managing partner Types of cases handled
Head of family practice
Estate planning, trusts, probate
Robert Dunn Robert Dunn
Adoption, divorce, custody/child support, elder law, pre- and postnuptial
Elder law, custody/child support, divorce
Custody/child support, divorce, elder law
Adoption, divorce, custody/child support, elder law
Adoption, divorce, custody/child support, prenuptial
Adoption, divorce, custody/child support, mediation
Mark Landes Joanne Beasy Janica Pierce Tucker Eugene Lewis
Adoption, divorce, custody/child support, elder law
Adoption, divorce, custody/child support, elder law
Adoption, divorce, custody/child support
The CEO Leaderboard features selected topics each month. The July Leaderboards will feature Columbus region law firms, IT consulting firms and commercial mortgage lenders. The deadline for inclusion in those surveys is Monday, May 10. If you would like your Columbus region company to be considered for an upcoming CEO Leaderboard, contact Rebecca Walters at rwalters@columbusCEO.com. Information included in this survey was provided by the companies listed and was not independently verified.
3/17/21 5:44 PM
s region g
Wouldn’t you like to be looking at your home? Ask your Realtor to market your home in the Executive Living section of Columbus CEO Magazine!
East of I-71 call Telana Veil at (614) 469-6106 or e-mail at email@example.com West of I-71 call Amy Vidrick at (614) 461-5153 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
RE/MAX TOWN CENTER
CUTLER REAL ESTATE
Joe and Patty Evans (614) 975-7355 www.joeandpattyevans. realestate
Neil Mathias (614) 580-1662 email@example.com
DEER RUN - A limited number of building lots available in this exclusive private gated community. Deer Run is a secluded, private lush wilderness in the heart of Dublin. Bring your own builder and design your dream home in one of the last centrally located communities in the city of Dublin. Acreage from 2-3+ Acres and Pricing starting at $825,000/lot. www.deerrunoh.com
7528 ROSS AVE - This custom built home with +6200 sq ft of finished living space with a walkout lower level has hdwd floors throughout the first floor with EXTRA LARGE: office, dining room, music room, great room, bedrooms and walk out basement. Deck + 2 stone patios+ room to play in the backyard, 3 car garage across from Tartan Fields golf course. $895,000
KELLER WILLIAMS EXCEL REALTY
KELLER WILLIAMS EXCEL REALTY
Michael Bean (614) 565-7400 firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Bean (614) 565-7400 email@example.com
MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT #6 - Straight from the cover of Architectural Digest and overlooking the 6th green rests this incredible 10,000+ SF soft contemporary ranch home in Muirfield Village Estates. Incredible views of the golf course from most every room in the home. 2000+ SF great room with walls of glass .Don’t miss the in home car showroom, wine cellar, 12seat movie theater, endless pool, and weight room. $3,100,000
DEEP WATER O’SHAUGHNESSY - Incredible 2-acre deep water Scioto riverfront property. 5,200+SF of sprawling 1950’s stone ranch at the point of the peninsula on the west bank of O’Shaughnessy Reservoir. Nearly 500 feet of river frontage including the private cove. In ground pool, patio area, and massive deck. 100+ year old oaks throughout. Complete custom kitchen renovation you have to see. Walk-in cooler/wine cellar. Multiple stone fireplaces. $1,950,000
STREET SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY
Carrie Spielman (614) 205-0820 carrie.spielman@ sothebysrealty.com
Greg Skinner (614) 537-1994 Greg@soldby gregskinner.com
1581 WOODLAND HALL DRIVE, DELAWARE, OH 43015 - One of Central Ohio’s most exquisite properties. Set on 2.8+ acres and surrounded by mature wooded lot with ravine. Complete privacy. Gorgeous custom patio and resort-style pool & pool house. LL with Wine cellar, theater, arcade, gym & entertaining space.
4692 SAINT ANDREWS DR IN PINNACLE - Luxurious former model loaded with upgrades. Stunning 1st floor Master Ranch Plan w/ gorgeous 4 season room. Abundant windows & light, captivating granite kitchen, central raised island & work space, walk in pantry, SS appliances. $399k
3/18/21 4:38 PM
By JESS DEYO + Photos by Rob Hardin
Lower 8131 Smith’s Mill Road, New Albany 43054 lower.com
The fast-growing financial services technology firm’s new office space is reflective of the team’s ambitions: dream big.
Bentos Cafe For lunch, the office hosts a local catering company with an ever-changing menu. Lower Lounge Pool tables, TVs and pub seating — the office boasts two spacious lounges. Relax, unwind Cozy nooks are found all around the office to enjoy a quick bite or a break.
Cozy welcome Desks aren’t for everyone. Instead, some team members opted for a casual, inviting meeting space.
There’s no confusion when guests step into the space — they’re greeted promptly by the company logo. Visit columbusCEO.com for a full article on the space.
Game space Two shuffleboards for some midday competition. Brand building An uplifting blue, the brand team designed their space — and the rest of the office.
48 ColumbusCEO l April 2021
3/17/21 5:44 PM
GET YOUR FREE ESTIMATE TODAY! CALL 614-965-6227
www.simplebathohio.com 614-965-6227 • 6155 Huntley Road, Suite M | Columbus a new tub, shower or a whole new bath. CD-0006276878-01
Not to exceed 10% of purchase. Not Valid with any other offer. Not applicable with financing options. Expires May 31, 2021
0% DOWN FINANCING options available
3/18/21 10:23 AM
An organized home office you’ll love to be in.
With a Closets by Design® home office, you can be productive in style. Our custom desks are designed with efficiency and taste in mind, and they can be combined with wall shelving and cabinets to create the ultimate home work space. Give your home business an upgrade.
columbus .closetsbydesign.com Terms and Conditions: Discount applies to any compete custom closet, garage or home office unit. Not valid with any other offer. Free installation with any complete unit of $600 or more with incoming order at the time of purchase only. Offers expire 2/28/21.
18 month FINANCING AVAILABLE *OAC
3/18/21 9:52 AM
Read the April 2021 issue of Columbus CEO, Central Ohio's leading business publication.