2021 Annual Conference and Gala - Presented by Upshift
Thank you for attending!
Community. Camaraderie. Collaboration. Celebration. – These are just some of the larger ideas that were realized at the OHLA 2021 Annual Conference & Gala, held on November 22 & 23 at the Hyatt Regency Columbus! This year the excitement of getting together as an industry was more awaited than ever as we got back to our first in-person Annual Conference since 2019. The theme #TogetherWeRise was integrated into every aspect of this industry celebration and rise we did with over 360 people in attendance! This forward momentum will be sure to take us into an exciting 2022!
With a whole new appreciation for in-person education sessions, attendees enjoyed brainstorming sessions on the industry’s biggest challenge – labor, at our “Let’s Talk Labor” kick-off session. Our experts helped curate ideas from attendees to serve as a basis for labor solutions going into 2022. Labor was also the focus at our Monday follow up session “Service Minded: Labor & Workforce Continuing Education and Community Service Opportunity” where education was led by our Education & Workforce Committee on labor resources available to members. To round out this session our Membership Committee put our hearts to work by engaging attendees in the creation of holiday notes for trafficking survivors, facilitated by Freedom a la Cart. The education did not stop there as HSMAI returned with a stellar Sales Track, featuring keynote Kendrick Shope and our industry’s very own Doug Blessing. Our Unique Lodging of Ohio Track tackled topics of ADA Website Compliance, traveler’s insurance, and content marketing. Other topics included workplace wellness, continuing efforts on diversity & inclusion and technology in hospitality.
The theme of technology in hospitality was ever-present at this year’s conference as OHLA showcased initiatives including the new Innovation & Technology Committee and the first ever Reverse Pitch Program. The Reverse Pitch Program was celebrated at our “Luncheon with Tech” featuring the three finalists of the program – ST Engineering Aethon, Conservation Labs, & RichTech Robotics. After presentations by these companies, attendees were allowed to pick their favorite, live. Coming out on top as our Members’ Choice was RichTech Robotics!
The gathering of the year was, of course, the Ohio Stars of the Industry Gala in which we celebrated the best our industry has to offer - our Ohio Stars Nominees! Attendees were greeted with our outstanding Gala Keynote speaker, Ken Greene, CEO of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) speaking on the importance of the American Hospitality Alliance and the economic impact of AAHOA ownership. Additionally, a new component to this year’s program was the incorporation of industry storytellers who shared with the attendance the silver lining of the past 18 months and how the industry, despite the hardships, persevered through it all.
This year at the Gala Dinner we spent some time to honor a light of the hospitality industry, the late Deidra Marshall. Many spoke about what Deidra meant to them both personally & professionally. In addition to these kind words, Deidra's legacy will now be memorialized in OHLA's Volunteer of the Year award - now known as the Deidra Marshall Heart of Hospitality Award. Each year, this award will be given to a volunteer who goes above and beyond the call of duty, serving beyond the walls of their property to help OHLA in its efforts to support Ohio’s lodging community.
With a record number of awards to present this year the ceremony was jumped into headfirst, and attendees got to hear stories of outstanding customer service, guest satisfaction scores, real life heroics, community involvement and so much more. Congratulations to the 2021 Ohio Stars of the Industry Award Winners!
IGS Energy Ohio Full-Service Housekeeper of the Year
★ Richard Porter, Mills Park Hotel
IGS Energy Ohio SEL Housekeeper of the Year
★ Carole Moyer, Fairfield Inn & Suites Columbus New Albany
Ohio Server of the Year
★ Judy Gyorky, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cleveland Downtown Lakeside
Ohio SEL Attendant/Host of the Year
★ Elaine Blackman, Aloft Cleveland Airport
Ohio Full-Service Front Desk Associate of the Year
★ Frederick Moore, The Tudor Arms Hotel – a DoubleTree by Hilton
Ohio SEL Front Desk Associate of the Year
★ Nicole Miller, Residence Inn Dayton Beavercreek
Ohio Supervisor/Manager of the Year
★ Omar Jones, InterContinental Cleveland
Ohio SEL Jack of All Trades
★ Bonnie Coldiron, SpringHill Suites Cincinnati Midtown
Ohio Full-Service Engineer of the Year
★ Scott Kobulnicky, InterContinental Cleveland
Ohio SEL Engineer of the Year
★ Brian Crabbe, Residence Inn Columbus Downtown
Ohio Service Superstar of the Year
★ Olga Jimenez-Thompson, InterContinental Cleveland
Allied Member of the Year
HSMAI Sales Leader of the Year
★ Michael Balyeat, Hyatt Regency Columbus
Motive CBD Unique Lodging of Ohio Property of the Year
★ The Casa & The Villas at Gervasi Vineyard
ServiceMaster Restore Ohio Full Service General Manager of the Year
★ Nic DiLillo, Crowne Plaza Cleveland at Playhouse Square
ServiceMaster Restore Ohio SEL General Manager of the Year
★ Lindsay Barnett, Hampton Inn Athens
Morgan Stanley Ohio Hospitality Leadership Team of the Year
★ SJB Management Leadership Team
Ohio Charitable & Community Involvement Award
★ InterContinental Cleveland
Ohio Legislators of the Year
★ State Representative D.J. Swearingen
★ State Senator Matt Dolan
Deidra Marshall Heart of Hospitality Award
★ Nicole McCabe, Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls
Annual Conference Feedback
The Annual Conference is one of the most important events for the hotel industry each year. Your feedback is important to us and shows us know how we can keep improving your experience year after year.
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Monday, November 22, 2021
|3:00 - 3:50PM||Let's Talk Labor: Attracting Top Talent to Our Industry|
|4:00 PM - 4:50PM||
|5:00 - 5:45PM||Service Minded: Labor and Workforce Continuing Education & Community Service Project|
|5:00 - 5:45PM||ULO & Owner/Management Company Receptions|
|5:30 - 6:30 PM||Cocktail Reception|
|6:30 PM||Ohio Stars of the Industry Gala|
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
|7:30 - 8:30 AM||Attendee Breakfast in Exhibitor Experience|
|8:30 - 9:30AM||Opening General Session: The Value of a Team|
|9:30 - 10:00AM||Exhibitor Experience Break|
|10:00 - 10:50AM||
Breakout Sessions I
|10:50 - 11:20AM||Exhibitor Experience Break|
|11:20AM - 12:10PM||
Breakout Sessions II
|12:00 PM||Silent Auction Closes|
|12:20 - 1:40PM||Luncheon & OHLA Annual Meeting|
|1:50 - 2:40PM||
|2:40 - 3:00PM||Exhibitor Experience Break|
|3:00 - 3:50PM||Conference FINALE - "High Hopes"|
|4:00PM||Final Auction Pickup|
2021 Annual Conference & Gala Sessions
LET'S TALK LABOR: ATTRACTING TOP TALENT TO OUR INDUSTRY
This kick off session focuses on our industry’s greatest challenge – labor. Come together to wrap our minds around where our industry stands in the eyes of our employees and future employees; how we compare to other industries as a potential employer and what you can do to make sure your are finding and hiring top talent out of what feels like a dwindling labor pool.
SERVICE MINDED: LABOR & WORKFORCE CONTINUING EDUCATION & COMMUNITY SERVICE OPPORTUNITY
We continue to offer solutions with a labor focused education session led by the OHLA Education & Workforce Development Committee. You will explore potential solutions to your hiring questions with the assistance of our workforce partners, helping us expand that dwindling labor pool. We will wrap this session by putting our minds and hearts to work, giving back through our community service project for our partners at Freedom a la Cart, supporting survivors of trafficking.
DO YOU FEEL SECURE?
Cyber Security is everyone’s responsibility—not just your IT team’s. Take part in this energy-filled and engaging session about the easy and impactful ways you and your associates can help protect critical company information.
EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE IN TIMES OF EMERGENCY
Emergency situations strike unexpectedly, and your staff needs to be prepared not only with the right tools, but the right mindset. Hear from our panel of agency partners on the best ways to tackle an emergency encounter calmly and carefully.
WIL: 10 RULES FOR SUCCESS, INNOVATION, CREATIVITY AND CONNECTION
As a continuation of OHLA’s most recent Women in Lodging MasterMind Program attendees will experience a greater in-depth discussion about Brené Brown’s Top 10 Rules For Success and how they can impact your personal & professional life.
THE VALUE OF A TEAM
Based on his new book releases “If You Build it They Will Stay: Your Guide to Connecting Generations in the Workplace” and “Chasing Happy at Work” author, former seasoned hotelier and VP of Customer Success at Upshift, Chris Cano will be discussing the importance of genuinely valuing your team and methodologies to help employee retention.
THE FUTURE IS NOW—TECH IN HOSPITALITY
Ever wish you had an on-demand second set of hands? That wish is slowly becoming reality with the entrance of service technology entering the hospitality space. Learn about how co-bots and other machines are looking to assist you in your daily operations.
WORKPLACE WELLNESS—SHIFTING THE ENERGY
In our current environment, creating time for mental breaks is no easy task, but it is more important than ever. This session will walk you through important steps to help control your energy management and shift your mindset to help you stay focused, avoid burnout, and operate in a more positive space.
ARE THEY SEEING THE LADDER?
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is more than just a phrase these days and rightly so. We are lucky to be in an industry where diversity is highly valued and abundant. Now, we need to make sure these candidates don’t just get the job, but also are able to excel and grow. Are your employees seeing the career ladder?
LUNCHEON WITH TECH: OFFICIAL TECH REVEAL
OHLA’s new innovation & technology initiative provides hotel owners & operators direct input into companies that can develop solutions for our industry— streamlining for efficiency, saving on labor and increasing profitability. Join us for the Luncheon with Tech: Official Tech Reveal on Tuesday as we unveil the top creative proposals collected through the OHLA Reverse Pitch Program for tackling some of our industry’s greatest challenges. And, don’t miss the chance to include your vote as we select and award live a Members’ Choice in Tech for the top slot.
We will visit the essence of the travel experience in a unique way. Attendees will come out of this session having a process to enjoy work again even when it’s chaotic\ and create moments of magic for customers that turn them into a walking advertisement of your business—both of which increase sales and decrease turnovers with direct ways for each to increase customer satisfaction, increase sales, and increase employee job satisfaction (cutting the cost to hire and retrain). It is time to fall back in love with our industry.
HSMAI Sales Track
DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS
Employers are finding it difficult to stay fully staffed which is costing money in loss of sales, decreased customer satisfaction, and the added cost to hire and train someone new. This session allows us to have some fun and get real about the challenges facing the industry. Attendees will leave this session feeling seen, valued, and realizing the grass isn’t greener on the other side.
Attendees will be introduced to the foundations of Authentic Selling® so that they are able to recognize and capitalize on ways to surprise and delight customers. Through each of these foundations, attendees will learn tangible ways to implement them into everyday work even in the current\ environment, when we’re wearing all the hats.
WHAT TO SELL? REIMAGINE & REPACKAGE WORKSHOP
Think outside the box when it comes to selling your property. Learn new ways to increase incremental revenue, upsell your product, and unique ways to package. Come out of this session ready to approach sales in a new way.
ULO “Campfire” Reception
Mixing and mingling is a conference favorite pastime. The ULO Council is proud to host a compliant, safe reception for innkeepers and independent lodging professionals to connect with new friends and old around the “campfire.”
TRAVELER’S INSURANCE—SHOULD WE OR SHOULDN’T WE?
Join in on a roundtable discussion & conversation about different opportunities for travelers’ insurance offerings in a time of continuous change.
WHAT DOES ADA WEBSITE COMPLIANCE MEAN FOR YOU?
Learn how to keep your webpages current and out of the crosshairs by hearing from our marketing and legal experts. Bring your questions and walk out of this session feeling confident in understanding the legal liability.
DID YOU LIKE MY POST? 👍
Review the dos and don’ts of social media content marketing and get back to basics with TwoSix Digital.
2021 Annual Conference and Gala Speakers & Special Guests
With over 25 years of IT experience ranging from systems management and cloud-based solutions
architecture to incident response, Dan has held leadership roles in IT operations, software
development, and risk management organizations in both large-scale global enterprises and
entrepreneurial start-ups. Born a New Englander and raised a Mid-Westerner before relocating
to the PNW, Dan now splits his time between Seattle, Cleveland, and the Florida Keys. Aside from
enjoying travel to all corners of the globe, his hobbies include reading, hiking, and searching the dark
web for lost data.
DR. FREDERIC BERTLEY
Dr. Bertley is a scientist, scholar, and evangelist for innovative thinking, ideation and challenging
the status quo. As President and CEO of COSI, Dr. Bertley is shepherding the leading Central
Ohio science center to its next great iteration in a legacy of successful science center history.
Prior to being President and CEO of COSI, Dr. Bertley was the Senior Vice President for Science
and Education at the Franklin Institute where he oversaw a diverse portfolio of initiatives supporting
innovation in STEM learning, the partnership with Science Leadership Academy (SLA), The Color
of Science, as well as departments and programs that capture the history and legacy of The Franklin
Institute such as the Benjamin Franklin Awards Program. After graduating from McGill University where
he studied Physiology, Mathematics and the History of Science, and earned a Ph.D. in Immunology, Dr.
Bertley worked internationally in preventative medicine and basic vaccines in Haiti, The Sudan, and the
Canadian Arctic. Bertley continued this focus by joining a vaccine research group at Harvard Medical
School focusing on the development of DNA vaccines for HIV/AIDS. Dr. Bertley’s international footprint
also includes collaboration on educational and science projects in Egypt, Paraguay, Senegal and the
Caribbean. Dr. Bertley sits on the boards of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, the National
Veterans Memorial and Museum, Experience Columbus, the Association of Science and Technology
Centers and numerous other organizations. Dr. Bertley has keynoted and been an invited speaker at
several distinguished institutions including The United Nations, The White House, and the National
Academy of Sciences. He has received numerous honors, some of which include: an Honorary Doctorate from Otterbein University, Dell Inc. Inspire 100 World Changers, Harvard Medical School Dean’s Service Award, Columbus CEO’s CEO of the Year, Columbus Business First’s C-Suite Award, Philadelphia Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, Philadelphia Business Journal’s Minority Business Leader of The Year, the George Washington Carver Award, The President’s Award (Merck), Citation from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and two Mid-Atlantic, National Academy of Television and Science EMMYSTM.
Olga is the Brand Strategist for Rozum Café. She has been with the project since November 2020.
Rozum Robotics is an international company, backed by a development team in Belarus. Being an
engineering company they produce robot manipulators which are the key element in the robotic
coffee kiosk, its only worker. The first version of Rozum Café was produced at the beginning of
2019, and since then the project has significantly evolved. Now Cafés are operating in Belarus and
Saudi Arabia. A contract has just been signed with a Cyprus company. Olga sincerely believes in
robotics and its integral part in human future life.
Ben Blanquera is a husband, dad, thought leader, entrepreneur, geek, and unabashed advocate
for technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. Ben is Vice President for Covail (fka Columbus
Collaboratory), a tech enabled professional services provider that partners with enterprises to
reduce risk and improve efficiency through proven solutions in the areas of Advanced Analytics/
AI and Cyber Security. Prior to joining the Columbus Collaboratory in 2015, Ben held numerous
senior leadership roles, including VP of Growth Hacking for Pillar Technology, VP of IS for Progressive
Medical, Director of the Columbus Technology Council, and Director at Owens Corning. Ben is a
frequent conference speaker on a wide range of topics including project management, enterprise agile,
entrepreneurship and lean startup. Teams that Ben led have gained numerous industry recognitions,
such as Computerworld’s 100 Best Places to Work in IT, InformationWeek 500 and TechColumbus
Innovation Awards. Additionally, Ben was named by Computerworld to its Premiere100 list of top IT
leaders nationwide in 2011. Ben holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Rutgers
University as well as a Masters in Organizational Development from Bowling Green State University. Ben is also PMP and six - sigma certified. As a community leader, Ben cofounded TechLife Columbus and is the curator of Columbus Startup Digest.
HARMONY EXECUTIVE SERVICES
As a 30-year veteran of the hospitality industry, Doug has a life-long passion for creating
experiences, and helping others connect with clients & guests. During his 12-Year tenure as a
Regional Vice President of Sales & Marketing and Property Sales Director for industry leader
Concord Hospitality, Doug was instrumental in the concept, design, and implementation of
the “Dynamic Sales Training” program, and led the class instruction for over a decade. Doug
also became a certified Marriott Access Edge Sales Trainer in 2017, and has received awards in
Leadership, Sales Excellence, and Community Service. As an independent consultant, Doug continues
to approach Sales and Service with an infectious energy.
Barbara Burgess has had a varied career in the service industry including teaching at the university
level, acting as Director of Congregational Development at a Nashville church, and running
the Alanon Family Services Office of Middle Tennessee. Currently she is loving helping people
achieve their goals as a John Maxwell Certified Coach.
Talent has always been our most valuable resource, but it took a pandemic for employers to realize
it. Chris has spent more than 20 years in the hospitality industry cultivating, growing and engaging
talent for major hospitality brands like Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Westin, and Hard Rock Hotels and
Casinos. Chris’ passion for people led him to become a certified Executive Coach and D.I.S.C.
consultant focused on helping people activate their strengths. As an award winning General Manager,
Chris was able to build amazing places to work which led him to write two books. “If You Build It
They Will Stay” focuses on harnessing the power of connected generations in the workplace. “Chasing
Happy at Work” is a blueprint for creating an environment that engages your team through the mass
customization of the employee experience. The principles and practices discussed in these books will
help any leader create an environment that attracts, retains, and engages employees. Now, as the VP of Customer Sucess for Upshift, Chris is able to connect leaders and talent on a much larger scale. Chris is the host of the Hospitality Leaders Podcast. He is also a father, husband, triathlete, and ultra marathoner.
JESSICA COFFMAN, MSCMHC, LPCC, NCC
HEALING HORIZONS THERAPY
Jessica Coffman is the owner and lead therapist at Healing Horizons Professional Counseling.
She has worked many positions over the years in the mental health field from peer support,
therapeutic program worker, case manager and now therapist. Jessica received a Bachelor of
Specialized Studies from Ohio University 2009 and a Master of Science Clinical Mental Health
Counseling from Walden University 2016. Jessica’s focus has been crisis and trauma. She is trained
in EMDR, Prolonged Exposure Therapy as well as Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD. Jessica
hopes to help one person help themselves so that they can carry it forward.
Michael T. Evans is the contract lobbyist for the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association. In July 2012,
Michael founded All Phase Consulting, a government affairs solutions company, after serving as
OHLA’s Director of Government Affairs and Communication between 2008 and 2012. As OHLA’s
contracted lobbyist through All Phase Consulting, Michael will continue to manage numerous
legislative programs, prepare and offer testimony, draft amendments to legislation, initiate
grassroots campaigns, and assists in PAC strategy development for OHLA. Evans’ government affairs
experience stems from state legislative campaigns, lobbying in the executive, state and local branches,
and trade association management. As a result, she has a vast knowledge of both issue and candidate campaign strategy.
Debbie Farrell has been in the hospitality industry for over 25 years, with experience and expertise
in accounting, financial analysis, and data visualization for both full and select service hotels.
Debbie’s background in Accounting has enabled her to understand all aspects of how each
revenue and expense component drive hotel results. Her current role as Vice President of Analysis
allows her to use that background to create visuals and models that produce actionable items that
help move the company forward.
Ken Greene serves as president and CEO of AAHOA, the world’s largest hotel owners association.
Prior to joining AAHOA in June of 2021, Ken’s career included successfully leading hospitality
organizations for more than two decades in the United States and around the world. His
leadership at global hotel brands like Radisson Hotel Group, Cendant Corporation (now Wyndham
Hotel Group), resulted in significant positive change in culture, growth and financial performance.
Ken has served on several hospitality industry boards and is a frequent speaker at major international
conferences. He was also CEO of Greenehouse Consulting LCC, a Florida-based management and
advisory services company. His background in hospitality will help advance and protect the business
interests of the nearly 20,000 AAHOA Members. Ken is an MBA graduate of the University of Texas at
Dallas, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Swarthmore College in Swarthmore,
Michael Hamilton graduated from Ontario High School before attending Ohio State University.
He has completed the Insurance program through the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State
University and graduated in December 2015. While at Ohio State, Michael served as treasurer
of Alpha Sigma Phi and on the House Corporation Board. Michael is working currently on ARM,
Associate in Risk Management and on earning his CPCU, which stands for Chartered Property and
Casualty Underwriter. Michael is a licensed agent in Property, Casualty, Life and Health Insurance.
Michael specializes on Commercial and Business insurance.
Alan has been in the hotel hospitality business for over 30 years. Alan is the Vice President of
Operations for SJB Management Inc. based in Athens, OH. He enjoys working with the Ohio and
West Virginia communities where his hotels are located. He attended Paul Smith College in upstate
New York. Although growing up in West Virginia, he also lived in New York for several years where
most of his relatives live in the central region. Alan currently lives in West Virginia and has a set of
twin girls (27) and a son (19) at Marshal University – Huntington. One of Alan’s greatest past times is
connecting with and meeting new people and building relationships.
Jake Huckaby is the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives with READY Robotics, a venture-backed
startup company and creator of a first-of-its-kind operating system for industrial automation. Prior
to joining READY, Jake worked for Energid Technologies, where he worked on both research and
business development efforts with their robot simulation and control software. Jake has also worked
for Universal Robots, where he provided training and support to customers across North America in
collaborative robot use and application development. Jake has years of experience working with robots
in various industries, and has developed robotics systems for Boeing, NASA, and DARPA. Jake holds PhD
and MS degrees in Robotics from Georgia Tech, and a BS in Electrical Engineering from BYU.
Tim presents with 30 years experience in the Safety and Security disciplines. As an USAF Veteran, Tim
was assigned to a Security Forces Unit providing dignitary protection, safety & security duties to
nuclear facilities and security risk management solutions. Upon leaving the military, Tim attended
North Central State College receiving his AAS in criminal law, police sciences and finishing up in
business administration studies. In 1993, Tim received a State of Ohio law enforcement certification
and after 20 years of service he retired. During his tenure in law enforcement Tim served on various
federal and local task force units, received certifications as a field training officer, hostage negotiator, DRE officer, community outreach specialist, and personal defense trainer. As a community outreach specialist Tim created and taught various safety & security programs working with local businesses, community organizations and schools. In 2018, Tim noticed an opportunity to address the hospitality service industry’s need for safety and security solutions. As a result, Tim created “SafetyFirst 101.com” to provide safety & security risk management solutions to the hospitality community. Tim currently provides TurnKey security solutions, safety training programs and educational awareness programs related to the opioid crisis, human trafficking, and civil unrest incidents, affecting the safety & security in and around hotel and lodging facilities, to ensure associates and customers peace of mind.
FISHER PHILLIPS LLP
Samuel Lillard is a partner in the firm’s Columbus office. His practice focuses on general
employment litigation, arbitration, and mediation. Samuel is a seasoned litigator with over 20
years of experience in representing employers in all Ohio and federal courts, as well as a number
of regulatory agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the
Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the Department of Labor (DOL), the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA), and the Office of Unemployment Compensation. He also advises both private
and public sector employers on various employment and personnel matters, including issues that arise
under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), drug testing
policies, workplace safety, sexual harassment, employee discipline, wage-hour matters, protecting
trade secrets and confidential corporate materials, and the drafting and enforcement of non-compete/
nondisclosure agreements. Samuel is also an Allied Member of the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association,
and a frequent lecturer to the hospitality industry on various employment topics, including public
accommodations under the ADA. Samuel been included in Ohio Super Lawyers every year since 2009.
INN & SPA AT CEDAR FALLS
Nicole is the General Manager at The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls. In her 14 years there she has
been a Licensed Massage Therapist, a reservation agent, a breakfast cook, the office manager
and the Assistant Innkeeper. As General Manager, her focus is revenue management and staff
development, but she works in every department as often as possible. She loves working with so
many diverse staff and enjoys meeting travelers from all over the world. In her free time she loves
to travel with her husband, Ian and step-daughter Mikayla. Her favorite place on this earth is Pelee
FISHER PHILLIPS LLP
Mathew may not be one of those table-pounding attorneys, but make no mistake, he is a fierce
litigator. His ability to speak calmly and reasonably as well as to ask questions and actually
listen to the answers makes him an especially strong negotiator and effective in advocating for
his clients’ best interests. Mathew’s employment law practice is multidimensional. He defends
employers against a wide range of employment claims ranging from unlawful discrimination,
harassment and retaliation to wrongful discharge and wage-and-hour violations. He litigates these
claims throughout the country in both federal and state courts, as well as before administrative
agencies, like the Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Ohio
Civil Rights Commission. Mathew has been selected for inclusion in the Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars since 2018.
Peter Seiff is the CEO of ST Engineering, Aethon and oversees all aspects of company operations
including engineering, manufacturing, sales and support. He has worked in robotics for over
25 years, specializing in non-traditional and unstructured environments. He has held leadership
positions at Aethon since 2004 and prior to becoming CEO, held the position of Sr. Vice President
of Business Development where he was in charge of all revenue-producing activities. Prior to Aethon
he launched and grew a new robotics business for Automated Healthcare, which was acquired by
McKesson, where he held leadership positions in sales and product management. Peter has a BA in
Economics from Brown University.
Foundationally, Todd is a Sales and Marketing Leader who has enjoyed a wonderful 30-year career.
He’s helped Fortune 500 companies gain market share. He’s worked to make the private sector
prosper. He’s helped family businesses reach new heights. He’s experienced the victories and
endured the failures of entrepreneurship. He’s found that authentic business is business delivered
via humans working empathetically as one. Todd is a graduate of The University of Akron. He’s
married to his high school sweetheart, Lindsie. They have two wonderful children, Alexandra and
Kendrick Shope is the creator of Authentic Selling® the most trusted sales process online for over a
decade. After leaving a top-performing corporate sales career spanning nearly 15 years, Kendrick
turned her unique way of selling with empathy into the #1 sales process online. Kendrick’s
reimagined way of selling finally puts the business owner in the driver’s seat of what feels pushy,
providing you with tangible tools to close more customers without sacrificing your integrity.
Combining her decades of sales expertise with her love of pop culture, selling can actually be fun
and feel like helping rather than being a bully. Kendrick and Authentic Selling® have been trusted by
Fortune 500 companies, featured on NBC, Steve Harvey, Forbes, Reader’s Digest, INC, and delivered
the keynote address for universities, conferences, and training around the globe.
COLLABORATIVE TO END HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Marya is the Director of Programming at the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking, where she
develops tailored training curricula surrounding human trafficking education and awareness to
diverse audiences. She works with multi-disciplinary teams to strengthen their efforts in engaging
with victims by using best-practice approaches in trauma-responsive techniques. She is a national
presenter, and she has a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Tiffin University.
Previously, Ms. Simmons was the Operations Manager at Canopy Child Advocacy Center and the
Victim-Witness Unit Supervisor at the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, where she supported
victims and witnesses throughout the judicial system process. Prior to joining the Cuyahoga County
Prosecutor’s Office, she was a Justice System Advocate for victims of sexual assault at the Cleveland
Rape Crisis Center where she supported survivors of sexual assault in that role. Marya is adept to
working with diverse populations, providing crisis intervention, and supporting women diagnosed with
chemical/alcohol dependency and mental health illnesses. Ms. Simmons is a Registered Advocate with
Senior Standing with the state of Ohio, serves on the Executive Committee for the Cuyahoga County
Sexual Assault Response Team, actively supported victims associated with Cuyahoga County’s CODIS
Task Force (Untested Rape Kit Initiative) from 2013 through 2018, and she received the Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor’s Office’s 2016 award for Distinguished Contributions to Victim Advocacy.
INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL GROUP
Michele Steele-Jordan is currently the Area Director of Training, Development & Quality for
InterContinental Hotels Cleveland cluster. In her current role she is responsible for the strategic
planning and execution of employee & leadership development training at all levels, to include
onboarding, customer service, branding, executive leadership, quality and compliance. Michele
holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management from the University of Phoenix. She is also
a graduate of the University of Technology, in Kingston Jamaica where she earned an Institutional
Management and Catering Diploma. She is an active member of the International Coaching Federation
and Association for Talent Development.
Teal leads a’parently with a personal commitment to help employers recruit and retain working
parents. After her own pandemic-inspired career shift, Teal knew it was time to take a role where
she could make a difference for the countless families who are trying to juggle careers and
care. For the first 15 years of her career, Teal led growth and partnerships for digital agencies
Oneupweb, and Mindstream Interactive, where she was in charge of relationship management,
strategic business development, and client satisfaction. At a‘parently, Teal oversees relationships and
account growth, enabling our clients to move the needle on employee perception and satisfaction
among working parents. She also directs the a’parently Coalition, a unique partnership of experienced
women leaders and strategists who deliver solutions to our clients and partners.
Joe Vargo is Digital Strategy Manager for Quest Digital. He has previously served for more than
15 years in various marketing roles at destination marketing organizations like TourismOhio and
KIM WHITE, M.ED.
Kim is the Learning and Performance Consultant within Nationwide Retirement Institute (NRI), a
department in Nationwide Financial. This organization delivers differentiated value to associates,
financial advisors, leaders, and partners through programs that help them effectively grow both
personally and professionally. Kim has spent more than 17 years working with topics of human
performance, energy management, and leadership. She has been able to leverage her degree
in Health Education (Otterbein University) and a master’s degree in Education Administration &
Curriculum with a specialty in Professional Development (Ashland University). In addition to her
teaching licensure in Special Education (The Ohio State University), Kim holds her Professional Teaching License from the State of Ohio’s Department of Education in Health. Kim holds her Business Coach Certification from the World Coach Institute (WCI) and Fitness Instructor Certification from the American Exercise Council (ACE).
Exhibitor Experience Participants
2021 Exhibitor Toolkit -
Anything and everything you would need to know about exhibiting at the 2021 OHLA Annual Conference all in one place!
Exhibitors at the 2021 OHLA Annual Conference & Gala
Advanced Floor Care
Evolution Energy Partners
Pure Property Solutions
Would you like to exhibit at OHLA's Annual Conference? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 614-461-6462
2021 OHLA Annual Conference Sponsors -- Thank you for your support!
Receptions & Activities
Ohio Stars of the Industry Naming Rights