Upcoming events

    • Fri, April 26, 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
    • The Nest Co-working: 1245 South Sunbury Road Suite 102 Westerville, Ohio 43081
    • 13

    6 Secrets to Building a Stronger Brand

    Join NAWBO member and CEO of Elephant Creative Co.Cari Jones for an engaging and interactive candid conversation that encompasses a workbook element to help you actually start to strategize your brand during the session rather than just sit and take note! Attendees will leave this session with: 

    1.  Tools to assess your current brand 
    2. Strategic steps to strengthen your brand language and visuals 
    3. Understanding and developing your unique selling point and value proposition   
    4. How to choose which platforms are best for exposing your brand on social, digital and traditional media.

    This is a NAWBO Candid Conversation you do not want to miss! 

    mEET cari jones, elephant creative

    Cari Jones serves as Elephant Creative Co. President and Herd Leader. With over 12 years serving as designer, art director and marketing director for a number of companies both large and small, Cari knew it was time to start her own her adventure in 2016 when she founded Elephant Creative Co. 

    Cari and Elephant creative serve a large number of clients for their branding, advertising, and graphic design needs, but her niche is in strategic brand development and creation. Her ability to bridge the strategic and creative elements of brand development helps her and her clients create memorable, lasting and engaging brands. 

    Hosted by:


    Registration is free for members and corporate partners. Registration is requested.

    Guests may register for $25

    • Wed, May 08, 2019
    • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
    • Brady Ware & Company, 4249 Easton Way Suite 100

    Our Member Orientation is an opportunity for all members to meet other NAWBO members as well as our board members and NAWBO Columbus Staff. During the meeting you will learn how to best utilize your membership and how to take advantage of all of the value and benefits that NAWBO Columbus provides.

    Additionally, you will be introduced to the board of directors, learn how to navigate the website and sign up for programs and events, and discuss how you can get involved in a committee!

    There is no cost to attend, but registration is encouraged. So that we may have an accurate count for lunch, please register by 5/7/19. 

    • Thu, May 09, 2019
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • 679 West Spring Street Columbus, OH 43215


    As we evolve from the "Just Say No" culture of the 1980's, today we find ourselves in a haze of marijuana legalization throughout the United States.  Not only have many states legalized medical marijuana use, others are now legalizing pot for personal use, banning "discriminatory" employer practices, creating Driving Under Influence exemptions and creating many other laws and regulations that affect your workplace.  2018 was a year when more employer questions, concerns, obligations and dilemmas arose in this developing legal area. 
    Too many employers still believe that if their state bans marijuana use, they are safe from this changing tide in the law, untrue.  Numerous federal laws, as well as conflicts between state laws, directly impact employers. Every employer must understand the effect in the workplace of both marijuana legalization on business and the cultural erosion of our ban on drugs.  This interactive panel discussion moderated by NAWBO Columbus VP of Programming Karlena Wallace, will offer you compliance tools and best practices to keep your company goals both legal and in sharp focus!


    •  Marijuana legalization in the U.S., including the politics, pros and cons  

    • Medical marijuana 

    • Understanding the impact on federal laws, state laws and statutory construction issues  

    • FMLA & ADA 

    •  State and federal discrimination and criminal laws 

    • Case Studies 
    •   Policy issues including, codes of conduct, drug testing, alcohol, and travel and reimbursement, etc. 
    • Best HR Practices 
    •   Foreseeable changes as we progress into the next half decade


    Panelist: Dyann McDowell, Training Marbles

    Dyann McDowell is an insightful and compassionate Training and Development Consultant who brings over twenty four years of hands-on Drug-Free Workplace experience including development, employee and supervisor training and program oversight, program administration and consultation. With nearly 30 years as a Supervisor/Manager and 15 years of Human Resources Consulting, Dyann brings hands-on experience and techniques to your leadership team. -Bachelors of Science in Marketing from the Ohio State University and completed the course work for Psychology with a focus on Substance Abuse. Pending Board certification and testing.

    Training Marbles. Inc. was established as a turn-key provider for training services to directly serve and support the workplace with development, program delivery and maintenance

    Panelist: Sharon Delay,  BoldlyGO Career and HR Management, LLC

    Sharon DeLay,HR consultant, business owner, and trainer, is the owner and President of BoldlyGO Career and HR Management, LLC (dba GO-HR), a HR consultancy working almost exclusively with small and micro businesses across five areas: general HR, recruiting and on-boarding, training and development, benefits and benefits consulting, and career and corporate outplacement. The company also provides HR project work for larger companies, with their biggest client being a $1 Billion oil and transportation company with 1,600 employees.

    She finished a two-year term as the VP of Communications for the NAWBO Columbus board in April 2017, and is the recipient of the NAWBO Columbus 2015 Women’s Business Champion. 

    Panelist: Nickole Ross, Noohra Labs 

    Nickole Ross is the COO of Noohra Labs, winner of a provisional license to process/manufacturer medicinal marijuana in Dayton Ohio. She has over 9 years’ experience in operation management and business marketing, completing a BA in Business Organizational Management at Ashford University. Ross is co-founder of Elevation VIP, a cannabis infused dinning collective in Los Angeles, CA.  Here Ross utilized personal industry relationships and knowledge to help market an innovative and healthier way to consume edibles with proper dosing with Chef Andrea Drummer. This method of infusing edibles through fine dining sparked national attention, prestigious publications and partnerships with top brands throughout the medical marijuana industry.   After entering the medical marijuana industry 7 years ago as marketing director for Elevation VIP. Nickole took her experience and expertise to expand Fre-Flo Distribution operations team and marketing vision. 

    Ross's goal is to continue to educate and build awareness of the power and benefits of medical marijuana in her home state Ohio, by partnering with strategic cannabis business committed to changing the way people think about the marijuana through high-quality, safe products.

    Panelist: Melanie Williamson, Fishel Downey Albrecht & Riepenhoff LLP

    Melanie J. Williamson is a Partner with Fishel Downey Albrecht & Riepenhoff LLP.   The focus of Melanie’s practice is civil litigation with an emphasis on civil rights litigation and governmental liabilities and immunities.  Melanie has significant litigation experience.  She has appeared before the Sixth Circuit, State Court of Appeals, trial courts and administrative agencies.  

    Melanie also presents seminars and training on a variety of topics including discrimination and harassment and law enforcement liability. Melanie has presented to the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association and the County Loss Control Coordinators Association. Melanie is a member of the Federal and Ohio State Bar Associations, Columbus Bar Association and the Defense Research Institute.   

    • Fri, May 10, 2019
    • 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
    • Versa (Studio 2) 1201 Dublin Rd. Columbus, OH 43215

    Leveraging Business Certifications to Grow and Scale Your Business with Pat Gibson, Merry Korn & Noni Banks

    NAWBO Columbus is pleased to welcome Pat Gibson, Senior Advisor to SBA Administrator at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), to Columbus. Ms. Gibson has a wealth of entrepreneurial experience in the nonprofit and business sectors, having founded and operated two successful businesses. Thanks to the passage of HB494 in November 2018 by the Ohio Legislature, we now have the first-ever Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification for Ohio in place.

    Pat, a friend and mentor to many women entrepreneurs in Columbus, will share practical ways to leverage business certifications at all levels - national, state and local. Additionally, she will discuss how the SBA can assist women in growing and scaling your greatest asset - your business.

    Pat will be joined by Merry Korn, CEO of Pearl Interactive and Noni Banks, CEO of The Diva Movement, who will share personal stories about the ways they have grown successful businesses by leveraging certifications.

    Register today! Space is limited.

    About the Speaker:

    Pat Gibson, Small Business Administration 

    Gibson has been a nonprofit senior executive, an entrepreneur and strategic communications consultant who founded and operated two companies. Prior to joining SBA, she served as an interim Chief Operating Officer for a nonprofit organization, realigning messaging, outreach and strategy. As Chief Communications Officer for DIA (the Drug Information Association), she led the introduction of a new branding and communications strategy, and reorganized operations supporting marketing, membership and publications.

    Gibson was a partner and co-founder of Healthcare Integrity Group, an early stage venture, where she led a team of healthcare industry and IT experts in designing a commercially viable product enabling a patient engagement process standard across medical and non-medical disciplines, leveraging innovative healthcare IT. She spent 23 years growing and evolving PMG Communications, a strategic communications agency, into a million-dollar business with clients spanning Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit associations and state and federal government.

    Gibson has served on the global Board of Directors for the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) and was the founding President of Women for Economic & Leadership Development (WELD), a multi state nonprofit focused on leadership development for women.  Gibson received her B.S. degree in Communications and Business from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN.

    Noni Banks, Founder of The Diva Movement 

    Noni is the inspiring founder of The Diva Movement, a business and leadership development organization for women. The rapid growth of this organization, is a result of her gift to nurture the strengths and passions of women .

    With a passion for uplifting and encouraging women, Noni Banks founded The DIVA Movement with the mission of empowering, inspiring and motivating women to thrive.

    Founded in 2012, The Diva Movement was created to provide support, tools and resources to help women succeed.  Noni has created a diverse community of women who are taking their lives to new levels by being women of purpose and action.

    Noni is known for building relationships, expanding community connections and advancing the mission of organizations including Mothers Against Drunk Driving and HandsOn Central Ohio, where she served as Senior Victim Advocate and Director.  She is a nationally recognized and accomplished community organizer ,trainer and professional development professional. As a grassroots organizer, community leader and bridge builder, she worked to create relationships that created opportunities, access to resources and programs to protect some of the most vulnerable populations in Ohio.

    Merry Korn, CEO of Pearl Interactive

    Merry Korn, owner, an experienced businesswoman with a master’s degree in social work, honed her business skills as senior vice president of marketing for American Health Holding, Inc. – a national medical management firm based in Worthington, Ohio. As part of a team of four founders, Korn grew American Health’s business from a startup company in 1993 to a firm that today has over 300 employees and 20 offices nationwide.

    During Korn’s tenure with American Health Holding, she coordinated a multi-disciplinary team to develop a national disease and demand management program. These programs provided protocols on preventive health care and progressive disease states. Specially-trained nurses provided contact center health and disease education services to inbound callers wanting education and resource referrals.

    In 2004, she founded Pearl Interactive Network, a social enterprise that blends a for-profit business with a social mission that provides work opportunities to the most challenged populations. Through her leadership, the company has grown to more than 500 employees in 26 states. Pearl gained traction among the world’s largest federal government contractors, and positioned the company as a niche staffing and project management firm that provides federal prime contractors with mandated certifications and a GSA schedule. Korn is actively working with her team to develop a presence in the insurance and IT verticals.

    Hosted  by: 


    $10.00 NAWBO Member Ticket

    $10.00 NAWBO Corporate Partner Ticket

    $25.00 Guest Ticket

    Special Pricing for VERSA and Diva Movement Members. Registration code required. 

    • Tue, May 14, 2019
    • 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
    • 1 Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 43215

    NAWBO Columbus Legislative MEET & GREET

    Be an Influential Advocate for Your Business!

    The National Assoc. of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) was founded on the conviction that women business owners are entitled to a level and equitable playing field when starting and growing their businesses.

    Every day at NAWBO Columbus, we work to deepen relationship with policy makers and track legislation that has the potential to affect you and your business – positively or negatively.

    Right now, dozens of laws, rules and regulations are being introduced or are pending. With Governor DeWine taking office, newly elected legislative leaders and new directors of state agencies, now is the time to influence their thinking and work around topics such as: workforce development, paid family leave, government innovation, and unemployment compensation reform.

    Your legislators want to hear from you so they can make sound, informed decisions.

    Join us for our Legislative Meet and Greet on May 14th to make your voice heard by leveraging your valuable experiences as a woman business owner. You and your company are critical as Ohio’s economy grows and diversifies! The new Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification was a big win for women, supercharging your competitiveness in Ohio and across state lines. However, there is much more work to do and we need your help!

    Special remarks by Secretary of State Frank LaRose. 

    Thank you to all of our Public Policy Sponsors: 

    Please register in advance for this event. 

    A late fee will be charged after 12:00 pm on Friday, May 10, 2019.

    Cancellations made after 4 pm on Monday, May 13, 2019, will not be refunded.

    Special Notes:

    Registrants agree to the NAWBO Columbus photography release unless they have otherwise notified the communications committee.


    • Wed, June 12, 2019
    • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
    • Brady Ware & Company, 4249 Easton Way Suite 100

    Our Member Orientation is an opportunity for all members to meet other NAWBO members as well as our board members and NAWBO Columbus Staff. During the meeting you will learn how to best utilize your membership and how to take advantage of all of the value and benefits that NAWBO Columbus provides.

    Additionally, you will be introduced to the board of directors, learn how to navigate the website and sign up for programs and events, and discuss how you can get involved in a committee!

    There is no cost to attend, but registration is encouraged. So that we may have an accurate count for lunch, please register by 6/11/19.