On Friday, April 30, 2021, at the OWBA-OWBF Annual Meeting and Conference former OWBA Presidents – Lisa Whittaker and Mary DeGenaro – presented the 2020 and 2021 President’s Choice Awards.
Each year the President’s Choice Award is presented to 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 recipient is selected by the OWBA Outgoing President.
Lisa Whittaker presented the 2020 OWBA President’s Choice Award to Jennifer Battle, Partner at Carpenter Lipps & Leland LLP. During the event, Lisa Whittaker shared:
“Jennifer Battle has been an active member of the OWBA for several years, and in 2019 joined the OWBA Board of Trustees and has faithfully served as the Chair of our D&I Committee. Under her leadership of the D&I Committee, Jen facilitated the crafting of a statement addressing racism and senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. To follow this statement, Jennifer led the coordination of a virtual CLE with an esteemed group of panelists to discuss racism, justice, and the legal system. This CLE engaged hundreds of men and women throughout Ohio and beyond to have critical conversations about systemic racism and implicit bias. Additionally, Jen has been instrumental in evaluating our D&I Awards program and contributing thoughtful changes to the award criteria. Jennifer is now the 2021 OWBA Treasurer on the Executive Committee.”
Mary DeGenaro presented the 2021 OWBA President’s Choice Award to Jayme Smoot, Vice President, Corporate Sustainability and External Affairs Operations, at Nationwide in Columbus. During the event, Mary DeGenaro shared:
“Jayme is the 2021 President-Elect of the OWBA has always been an active member of the OWBA and Officer of the OWBA Executive Committee for several years, providing thoughtful guidance and insight as the OWBA faced new challenges in dealing with the virtual reality thrust upon us, and also putting the OWBA’s mission into action and keeping the organization as a relevant voice in the D & I space for our profession. In 2020, Jayme coordinated a virtual CLE in our D&I CLE Series focused on systemic racism and racial inequity in the in-house environment. She coordinated a diverse and experienced group of General Counsel’s and CEOs, and then moderated an engaging conversation on how in-house legal departments can best counsel their internal clients and constituents about issues of systemic racism and racial inequity within their organizations. Jayme has proven to be an excellent partner with our 2020 Awardee Jennifer Battle, and I am excited to see the OWBA’s progress as Jayme moves up the ranks in our organization’s leadership and make her mark on both the OWBA and the legal profession.”