Our purpose is to promote the leadership, advancement and interests of women attorneys through professional education, networking and the exchange of ideas between our members, local bar associations, business and the community.

  2017 OWBA Award Recipients Recognized at Annual Meeting Luncheon 

OWBA bestowed several awards during the luncheon to recognize individuals and organizations that had demonstrated tireless effort towards bettering the legal field for both women and minorities.

The President’s Choice Award is intended for an individual who exemplifies the spirit of leadership, dedication and passion for the profession and for the life-long friendships made through OWBA and OWBF. The award was bestowed by 2016-2017 OWBA President Marilyn McClure-Demers to Erin Rhinehart, Faruki Ireland Cox Rhinehart & Dusing P.L.L., for her commendable work as OWBA District 2 Trustee and for her leadership of the 2016 New Admittee Reception.

The Family Friendly Award is intended for a legal employer in Ohio who best exemplifies the commitment to work-life balance arrangements and assures that lawyers can both take care of their families and pursue successful careers. OWBA presented the 2017 award to Squire Patton Boggs for their achievements in promoting a culture of equal participation, advancement and retention of women within a traditionally male-dominated profession.

The OWBA D&I Sponsor Award is designed to recognize a legal professional who has individually championed the careers of women attorneys and the topic of diversity and inclusion. James (Jim) Johnson, Founder of Summer Work Experience in Law, was honored with the 2017 OWBA D&I Sponsor Award for his constant demonstration of a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout his years of service.

The OWBA D&I Champion Award was created to recognize a company, firm or professional organization that has demonstrated leadership and sustained commitment to diversity and inclusion. The 2017 D&I Champion Award was presented to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for their innovation in creating an inclusive work environment, promoting organizational culture change, supporting its teams of professionals and engaging the career-opportunity pipelines of the future.


OWBA and OWBF Annual Meeting and Conference hosted on May 11-12, 2017 in Columbus. 

The Ohio Women’s Bar Association and the Ohio Women’s Bar Foundation brought together hundreds of women and men in the legal profession on May 11-12 for their Annual Meeting and Conference. The 2017 Annual Conference featured remarks from Nisource Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Carrie Hightman as the events Kickoff Speaker, hosted a variety of enriching CLE sessions, a reception honoring women in government and the Annual Meeting Luncheon. During the luncheon, new board members for OWBA and OWBF were inducted, the Leadership Institute graduates were recognized, and awards were distributed to both deserving individuals and organizations. The highlight of the Luncheon was the Keynote Address given by the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Starbucks, Lucy Helm, who spoke to the audience with empowering words about her professional journey and advocacy for women in the law. We would like to share our sincere congratulations and regards to our 2017-18 OWBA and OWBF Board of Trustee members -

OWBA Board of Trustees: President Lisa Kathumbi, President-Elect Tara Aschenbrand, Vice President Judge Mary DeGenaro, Treasurer Lisa Whittaker, Secretary Sherri Dahl, Immediate Past President Marilyn McClure-Demers, District 1 Trustee Beth Naylor, District 2 Trustee Erin Rhinehart, District 3 Trustee Nancy Sabol, District 4 Trustee Judge Marie Hoover, District 5 Trustee Carolyn Davis, District 6 Trustee Marguerite Zinz, District 7 Trustee Judge Michelle Miller, District 8 Trustee Theresa Rakocy, District 9 Trustee Judge Katrina Cook, District 10 Trustee Catherine Strauss, District 11 Trustee Mary Jane Trapp, District 12 Trustee Melissa Schuett, At-Large Trustee Karen Adinolfi, At-Large Trustee Judge Noceeba Southern, At-Large Trustee Sue Wetzel, At-Large Trustee Meghan Hill, At-Large Trustee Kate Wexler, OWBA/OWBF Board Liaison Vanessa Nichols.

OWBF Board of Trustees: President Stephanie Chmiel, Vice President Leslie Wargo, Treasurer Yukiko (Kiko) Yee, Secretary Kimberly Eversole Jones, Immediate Past President Sommer Sheely, Leadership Institute Trustee Cheri Budzynski, Leadership Institute Trustee Amy Ikerd, At-Large Trustee Amy Ahn-Roll, At-Large Trustee Pramila Kamath, At-Large Trustee Elizabeth (Libby) Shaffer, At-Large Trustee Angela (Angie) Paul Whitfield, At-Large Trustee Katherine Wolfe, OWBA/OWBF Board Liaison Vanessa Nichols.



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