Speaker Biographies

Earl Barnes, II | Brian Donato | Jackie Ford | Jolie Havens | Mary Menkedick Ionno | Chris Meyer | Mark O’Leary | Eric Reeves | Justin Roberts | Jason Straight | James D. Thomas | Victor A. Walton, Jr. | Robin A. Wright, MPA

barnesEarl Barnes, II
Senior Vice President and General Counsel at OhioHealth

Earl Barnes is the Senior Vice President and General Counsel of OhioHealth. He is responsible for the legal, risk and insurance operations of OhioHealth.

Prior to joining OhioHealth, Earl was Vice President and General Counsel at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He also served as Vice President and General Counsel at Rockford Health System, as well as a partner in the law firm Gardner, Carton & Douglas.

Earl earned his B.A, cum laude, from Lake Forest College and his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

back to top


donatoBrian Donato
Chief Information Officer at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP

Brian Donato has worked in the field of Information Technology for over 20 years. With experience ranging from software developer to network architect to IT Director, Brian brings a broad technology background to his current position of Chief Information Officer at the law firm of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP.

Brian frequently provides technical consultation to the firm’s attorneys and clients on topics such as data analysis, data security, computer forensic investigation, ESI identification, preservation and collection, electronic records retention, and litigation preparation.

Brian has served on several advisory committees included the Technology and the Law Committee of the Columbus Bar Association, a technology consulting committee for U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio and, most recently, the Infrastructure and Interoperability Advisory Committee of the Supreme Court of Ohio. He has authored several articles on the interplay between technology and the law and frequently speaks about the role a technology specialist must play in successful litigation.

Brian received his B.A. from Miami University.
back to top


FordJackie Ford
Partner at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP

Jackie Ford is a partner in the Vorys Houston and Columbus offices and practices primarily in the field of labor and employment law and privacy.  Jackie’s practice includes all aspects of employment law, including employment contracts, policy development and training, and defending administrative charges and litigation.  She has conducted internal investigations for Fortune 500 companies, large universities, and employers of all sizes, and provides counsel regarding crisis management and related communication issues.

In addition to her practice, Jackie is the founder and former chair of Vorys’ Women’s Initiative and Advisory Board Chair for Girls, Inc. of Greater Houston.

Jackie received her B.A. from Oberlin College.  She received her J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law magna cum laude where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and notes editor for the Case Western Reserve University Law Review.  Ford is also a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP).
back to top


havensJolie Havens
Partner and Chair of Health Care Group at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP

Jolie Havens is a partner in the Vorys Columbus office and chair of the firm’s Health Care group.  She practices throughout the country with a focus on health care compliance and provider reimbursement. Her practice includes the creation of new provider sites, mergers, acquisitions, and other industry consolidation and integration models, as well as expanding provider operations.  Jolie also advises employers and group health plans in all industries on compliance issues related to the ERISA, the COBRA, the USERRA, HIPAA privacy, security and portability, electronic health records, Medicare Part D, and Medicare secondary payer and coordination of benefits issues.

Jolie received her B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University and her J.D. from The Ohio State University.
back to top


IonnoMary Menkedick Ionno
Assistant Vice President & Senior Associate General Counsel at The Ohio State University

Mary Menkedick Ionno advises and counsels the university regarding labor and employment issues, including issues arising under ADA, ADEA, OWBPA, FMLA, FLSA, Title VII, Fair Credit Reporting Act, USERRA, NLRA, Executive Order No. 11246 and state employment laws.

Mary represents the university against charges and complaints filed against the university, including complaints filed with the OCRC, EEOC, Office of Inspector General, NLRB, SERB, SPBR, and state and federal courts. Mary also negotiates with organized labor unions on behalf of the university. In addition, Mary advises senior university officials regarding immigration law.

Prior to joining Ohio State, Mary worked in several law firms where she represented businesses in labor and employment lawsuits, mediations, and arbitrations, and counseled clients on all aspects of labor and employment law. Mary continues to make presentations on labor and employment law topics to university audiences as well as to outside groups and organizations.

Mary received her B.S. in Exercise Physiology from The Ohio State University and her J.D. from The Ohio State University.
back to top


image002Chris Meyer
Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Majestic Steel USA, Inc.

Chris Meyer is the Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Majestic Steel USA, Inc., a steel service center headquartered in Cleveland.  He also oversees Majestic’s enterprise risk, business systems and office services areas.  His previous in-house experiences involved leadership roles at PNC and National City overseeing their litigation, government investigations and employment areas.  Chris also practiced as a trial lawyer for 15 years at a litigation/appellate firm in Denver and at a full-service Cleveland firm.

Chris received his B.S. from James Madison University and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.
back to top


Mark OLeary pictureMark O’Leary
General Counsel at GE Capital Industrial Finance

Mark O’Leary has been with GE for 35 years, having joined GE Information Services as Counsel, Transactions in 1981. Mark’s current position is General Counsel of GE Capital Industrial Finance. His past positions have included being General Counsel of GE Capital Corporate Finance, General Counsel of GE Capital Media & Communications Financing and General Counsel of GE’s satellite services unit, GE American Communications, Inc.

Mark has a JD from Fordham University, and an undergraduate degree in Computer Information Systems from Manhattan College. He is admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia and is authorized House Counsel in Illinois.
back to top


ReevesEric Reeves
General Counsel and Managing Director at Duchossois Capital Management

Eric Reeves is General Counsel and Managing Director of Duchossois Capital Management, the private investment firm of The Duchossois Group’s (“TDG”). In addition to managing the firm’s legal affairs, Reeves is involved with general management and sourcing transactions and investments.  While at TDG, from 2010-2014, Eric also served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary to The Chamberlain Group, TDG’s largest operating business.

Prior to joining TDG, Eric was a partner in the Corporate Department of McDermott Will & Emery, counseling and advising corporate clients on a variety of transactional and general corporate governance matters. Eric began his career as an attorney in Jones Day Chicago’s Corporate Department.

Eric received a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from The Ohio State University.
back to top


robertsJustin Roberts
Partner at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP

Justin Roberts is a partner in the Vorys Cleveland office and a member of the litigation group.  He counsels clients on white collar crime and government enforcement issues including grand jury investigations, SEC enforcement actions, IRS investigations and whistleblower complaints.  He has significant experience in securities fraud litigation including: accounting fraud, insider trading, stock option backdating, market manipulation, broker self-dealing,  investment adviser fraud and matters arising out of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  Justin also assists clients with internal investigations and crisis management issues.

Prior to joining Vorys, Justin served for over 10 years as an assistant U.S. attorney in the major fraud and corruption unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio. During this time, he tried significant matters involving investment adviser fraud, false certifications in government contracts, tax evasion and corruption involving a sitting state court judge.  He has argued a dozen cases before the U.S. Courts of Appeal for both the Sixth and Ninth Circuits.  Before working in the Northern District of Ohio, he served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the white collar and economic crimes section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada where he focused on securities and corporate fraud. Prior to that, Justin worked as an associate in the Corporate Criminal Investigations section of an international law firm in Washington, D.C.

Justin earned his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law and his B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Texas at Austin.
back to top


StraightJason Straight
Senior Vice President, Chief Privacy Officer – Cyber Risk Solutions at UnitedLex

Jason Straight has more than a decade of experience assisting clients in managing information security risks, data breach incidents, data privacy obligations and complex electronic discovery challenges. Prior to joining UnitedLex, Jason held numerous leadership positions at a leading global investigations and cyber security company, most recently as a managing director in the cyber investigations practice. Jason began his career as an attorney at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobsen in New York. As a recognized domain expert and Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP), Jason is a frequent speaker and author on topics relating to data privacy, cyber security, data breach response and computer forensics.

Jason earned his B.A. in International Studies from Macalester College and his J.D. from University of Minnesota Law School.
back to top


ThomasJames D. Thomas
Partner at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP

Jim Thomas is a partner in the Vorys Columbus and Cleveland offices.  After clerking with Judge David D. Dowd, Jr., United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio, he began his professional career in 1989 as an associate at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey in Columbus, Ohio. He served four years as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Ohio before rejoining Squire where he became the Global Litigation Group Practice Leader responsible for more than 250 legal professionals worldwide.  In 2014, he joined Vorys as a partner in the firm’s litigation group.  He regularly presents and advises on topics key to leadership development for which he draws upon his judicial and leadership experiences in creating and delivering these programs.

Jim received his B.A. from Adrian College.  He received his J.D. cum laude from the University of Toledo College of Law, where he was an editor-in-chief of the University of Toledo Law Review.
back to top


WaltonVictor A. Walton, Jr.
Partner at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP

Victor Walton is a partner in the Vorys Cincinnati office and a member of the litigation group. He has significant experience defending government contractors and health care entities in proceedings brought under the False Claims Act by the government or whistleblowers. Victor’s work includes complex litigation, including defense of financial institutions and corporations in commercial disputes including multiple class action defense in accounting, consumer, employment and commercial class actions. He has considerable experience in health care, pharmaceutical, lender liability, construction and privacy litigation and represents a broad array of clients in civil and criminal government investigations as well as conducting corporate internal investigations.

Victor received his B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
back to top


WrightRobin A. Wright, MPA
Researcher and Training Facilitator at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity

Robin Wright is a Researcher and Training Facilitator within the Race & Cognition Program at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. In this role, Robin works to expand our understanding of the ways in which unconscious cognitive forces influence our behavior and contribute to racial disparities in our society. She has facilitated trainings with dozens of institutions across the country including educators, police officials, court personnel, health care providers, social workers, and more.  Additionally, Robin is the co-author of the most recent editions of the State of the Science: Implicit Bias Review — a comprehensive review detailing the real-world implications of implicit racial bias.

Prior to joining the Kirwan Institute, Robin worked with non-profit grassroots organizations and policy institutes at all municipal levels for the expansion of opportunity, racial justice, and inclusive policy-making.

Robin attained her Master’s in Public Administration from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University as well as a B.A. in Pan-African Studies from Kent State University.
back to top
See a list of representative speakers from the 2015 IN-HOUSE Essential conference here.

For more on the 2016 Conference see Overview |   Schedule |  Speakers |  Organizers