J. Richard “Dick” Emens
A co-founder of the Conway Center for Family Business, Dick serves as chair of the Board of Trustees of the organization. He is co-author of the book “Family Business Basics: The Guide to Family Business Financial Success” and has written numerous articles on issues pertaining to family business.
A partner with Emens Wolper Jacobs & Jasin, Dick specializes in business and corporate law; oil, energy, pipeline, and gas law; family business law, and succession planning. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America in corporate law and in oil and gas law. He is a member of the Columbus, Ohio, Michigan, and American Bar Associations and holds Bar Admissions in Ohio, Michigan, and the United States Supreme Court.
Dick is deeply committed to creating academic opportunities for young people. He was a long-time board member of the Ball State University Foundation and is an emeritus trustee of Franklin University, where he is a past board chairman. He is a past president of the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation and has served as a board member of numerous non-profit and for-profit organizations.
Dick received his Bachelor’s degree at DePauw University and his J.D. at the University of Michigan.
Women in Family Business Peer Group Facilitator
Succession Planning Peer Group Co-Facilitator
Bea is a co-founder of the Conway Center for Family Business and serves as President and as an Advisory Board member. She is partner and CEO of the law firm of Emens Wolper Jacobs & Jasin, in Columbus, Ohio. Her practice focuses on succession planning, estate planning, general corporate law, contracts and the buying and selling of businesses, with an emphasis on family-owned businesses.
Bea serves as the Ohio President for the International Women’s Forum and serves as a director of TB Investment Properties and Insight Bank. She is on the Legal Advisory Board of the Columbus Foundation and Central Ohio Planned Giving. She has served on the executive committees of COSI, Greater Columbus Arts Council, Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Mt. Carmel College of Nursing, Greater Columbus News Bureau and Small Business Council.
Jill first joined the Conway Center in 2013. As Executive Director, she works closely with our members including facilitating the C-Level peer groups, developing educational program content and delivery, and engaging with business and community leaders throughout Central Ohio.
Jill has worked, volunteered, and held internships in non-profit organizations most of her adult life. It is no surprise, then, that she has a passion for connecting with and serving others. She currently serves on the board of Small Biz Cares.
Jill earned a Bachelor’s degree, with honors, from Pitzer College (Claremont, CA) and a Master’s degree (Phi Kappa Phi) in Women’s Studies from San Diego State University.
In her free time, she creates irreverent cross stitch samplers, tries to spend time with her two teenagers before they are completely grown and flown, and enjoys happy hour with clients and friends, especially if the venue makes a well-crafted, dirty vodka martini.
COO & Event Manager
Amy joined the Conway Center in 2016. She is responsible for managing day-to-day operations and for all details and logistics needed to execute smooth, successful events. Amy works closely with staff and facilitators, while connecting with and soliciting feedback from Conway Center members to offer engaging and informative groups, programs, and events.
Amy has extensive experience in association management having served as the Executive Director of a non-profit state healthcare association for over 20 years. She has a passion for working with and engaging members, and supporting businesses to ensure that their goals and expectations are met.
Amy earned her Bachelor’s degree in Health Information Management from The Ohio State University. Amy loves the outdoors - especially early morning runs, bike rides, and afternoon patio drinks with friends and family!
As a recent transplant from California, Olivia is still discovering wonderful things about Ohio every day. Working as an Administrative Assistant for the Conway Center is an ideal way to start her professional journey. It allows Olivia to excel in what she already enjoys, providing excellent professional support for the Conway team, while at the same time providing an amazing learning opportunity that not many are afforded at the beginning of their professional career.
Olivia is an avid reader, and you will rarely find her without a book. Still a newlywed, Olivia, her husband Riley, and occasionally her cat Raven enjoy spending time exploring Ohio.
Peer Group & Roundtable Facilitators
Ignite Your Business Roundtable Facilitator
Kelly is a Conway Center Advisory Board member and is the CEO and chief strategy officer of GREENCREST.
In 1990, Kelly was inspired to launch GREENCREST, a strategic marketing, advertising, public relations and interactive firm that provides direction for small- and mid-market privately-held companies. As a certified business consultant, an accredited public relations specialist and a certified brand strategist, Kelly leads her team in propelling businesses from market players to distinguished market leaders. Kelly understands what it takes to define a brand and turn that into an increase in market share and solid results. GREENCREST executes communications programs that begin with a solid marketing foundation and result in increased market penetration and awareness.
Kelly is a strategic advisor to CEOs, best selling author, speaker, and columnist for Smart Business magazine. She serves on the local boards of Neighborhood Design Center, The Entrepreneurship Institute, Association for Corporate Growth, Conway Family Business Center, the American Heart Association Columbus Metro Board, and St. Pius X Finance Council.
Next Gen Leaders Peer Group Facilitator
As a leadership consultant and executive coach for Integrated Leadership Systems since 2006, M.J. Clark helps company leaders plan for ownership and management succession and foster more authentic communication in the workplace. She helps executives better manage stress, become more assertive, develop emotional intelligence and fine-tune leadership and management skills.
M.J. has extensive experience providing leadership consulting and training for several family-run businesses in Ohio including Matesich Distributing, Equity, Moody Nolan, Thompson Concrete, Claypool Electric, and Heiberger Paving, among others.
M.J. has a master's degree in organizational communication from The Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Ohio University. She is the author of two books Shut Up and Lead: A Communicator’s Guide to Quiet Leadership and Shut Up and Manage: A Quiet Leader’s Guide to Engaging Others.
Human Resources for Roundtable Facilitator
Sharon DeLay is a highly credentialed HR expert, a dynamic business owner and community leader, and a popular author and presenter. She is the founder, visionary, and President of GO-HR, an HR consultancy that spans the key areas of HR strategy, compliance, recruiting, training, non-traditional benefits design, and outplacement. GO-HR specializes in small and micro business human resources nationwide, but their successes range up to include a client with $1billion+ in revenue with over 1,500 employees.
Sharon is the treasurer of HRACO, Central Ohio’s HR trade membership organization, and is a board member of Camp Wyandot, a 90-year-old non-profit organization that provides camping experiences for kids.
Sharon is the 2020 recipient of the Conway Center's Supporter of Family Businesses Award and is a regular contributor providing timely important information to Conway members. Sharon also received the 2021Business Person of the Year awarded by the Westerville Chamber of Commerce. GO-HR is a 2019, 2020 and 2021 winner of Columbus CEO Best of Business Awards for HR Services. Sharon was also honored as 2019 HR Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award by Columbus CEO magazine.
Leadership Development Peer Group Facilitator
Jonathon McKay is a founding partner at PATH, a data-driven growth strategy firm. Jonathon helped found the company based upon the belief that people are an organizations most valuable component of success and those organizations who share that belief will achieve long-term sustainable growth. He has created and delivered unique, effective growth programs for national and international organizations. With a comprehensive approach to the employee and customer experience, Jonathon helps clients develop customized metrics to create benchmarks, increase engagement and evaluate program impact. In addition, Jonathon is a frequent speaker on data-driven growth strategies and has executed more than 100 training sessions for organizations across the nation.
Jonathon graduated from John Carroll University from the Boler School of Business with a BS in Economics. He has achieved Net Promoter Score Associate status and has presented to executive teams, professional associations and the broader professional community on how to drive growth by focusing on the human experience.
Jonathon is also a music-lover whose personal mission is to take in shows at the most renowned venues around the world. He’s on a perpetual search for the best places to camp and hike. (He’s open to suggestions!)
Leadership 2.0 Peer Group Facilitator
Donna is the founder and president of DM360 and is a certified coach and strengths communicator. While her coaching and workshops have taken her across the globe, Donna is a proud Ohioan (currently residing in Powell). Donna regularly works with leaders in healthcare firms, family owned businesses, school districts, and women’s leadership organizations.
After earning a certification from The John Maxwell Team as a Certified Speaker, Trainer and Coach, Donna went on to gain a Leadership Vision Consulting certification as a Strengths Communicator. Donna has extensive training, certifications and continuing education from Coaches Rising in Developmental Coaching, Embodied Transformation and Presence-Based Coaching.
Donna’s passion for coaching & facilitating can be traced back from her early career in the pharmaceutical industry to her most recent 16-year tenure in the apparel industry where she has built an extensive following of private clients and coached a team of over 80 members in 15 states.
Donna has been honored for her contributions to NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners), as well as recognized nationally for driving 10% growth per year and generating revenues in excess of $6.8 M annually for cabi, LLC. These collaborations have resulted in impressive process improvements for her clients.
Succession Planning Peer Group Co-Facilitator
Meredith’s practice at Taft/ is focused in the area of sophisticated wealth transfer, estate planning and administration, tax planning for individuals, corporations and partnerships, business succession planning and general corporate representation. She frequently advises high wealth individuals on how best to structure and implement wealth transfer and estate planning vehicles such as GRATs, dynasty trusts, family limited partnership and limited liability companies. She also represents estates, businesses and individuals in IRS audits. She regularly forms and advises nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations.
In addition to her estate planning and tax practice, Meredith also advises business owners regarding structuring complex transactions, entity formation, succession planning, mergers and acquisitions and other corporate needs. She has developed a special focus on representing business owners who are involved in the development, installation and construction of energy facilities, as well as oil and gas leasing and development transactions. She frequently collaborates with members of the firm’s Environmental practice.