girls who lead summit 2019 speakers

Girls Who Lead Summit 2019

Program Speakers

Melissa Blackburn

Haven Collective

Backed by 18 years of operations management experience, Melissa brings an eye for detail and deep understanding of corporate culture to Haven.  She has a track record of proven success implementing process improvements to help startups scale while keeping an eye on the bottom line. Her passion and energy are an inspiration to others also working hard on side-hustles. These are key reasons she has built relationships that last. Her vast network will benefit Haven’s community by connecting them with the right people and resources when they need them most. As a professional new to the work-from-home mother lifestyle, Melissa brings a unique perspective to help build amenities and features in the space that matter to those who are also attempting to run a business and a family in parallel.

Melissa will be speaking on Entrepreneurship at the Girls Who Lead Summit.

Eva Bradshaw
Aspirations Regional Affiliate Manager (RAM)

As a Regional Affiliate Manager for the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Award, Eva supports volunteer affiliate teams’ efforts to recognize young women and their educators. Prior to NCWIT, Eva served as the director of online learning at Zane State College. She has been an IT professional in higher education for over 25 years, empowering young women in local community after-school programs and mentoring female professionals entering the IT workforce. Eva enjoys sharing her IT career journey with other women to encourage them to contribute their unique talents. She lives in Columbus, Ohio and has a strong love for the Ohio State Buckeyes, her husband (John) and two grown daughters.


Eva will be leading a round table around Women in Tech at the Girls Who Lead Summit.

Lauren Burke
Data Scientist Abercrombie & Fitch 
Director of Operations – Women in Analytics

Lauren loves finding creative solutions to complicated problems. She is a Data Scientist at A&F and the Director of Operations for Women in Analytics, an organization that promotes visibility to women making an impact in the analytics space. Lauren graduated from The College of Wooster in 2017, where she studied Mathematics and completed a Senior Thesis investigating machine learning heuristics as solution techniques to a large-scale Traveling Salesman Problem in order to optimize a road trip through every National Park in the continental United States. Lauren is passionate about initiatives that promote women and girls in STEM and currently serves on COSI’s Young Professional Board and as an Advisor for #BuiltByGirls.

Lauren will be speaking on Women in STEM at the Girls Who lead Summit,


LeeAnne Cornyn
Director of Children’s Initiatives
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s Office

LeeAnne Cornyn holds a B.A. from Miami University. After graduating from Miami, she served as a Teach For America corps member, teaching 8th grade science in the Crenshaw Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. She earned a J.D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. LeeAnne began her legal career as an Assistant Attorney General within the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. In 2015, she was named Director of Children’s Initiatives for then Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. LeeAnne continues to serve Ohio’s children as the Director of Children’s Initiatives for Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. In this role, she focuses on maternal and child health, early childhood education, and foster care issues.

LeAnne will be speaking on Public Policy at the Girls Who Lead Summit.

Jessica Flemming, PhD
Radiobiologist – The James Cancer Center, Department of Radiation Oncology
CEO & Co-Founder – Cap City Biohackers

Jessica Fleming received her PhD in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from The Ohio State University in 2012.  After completing her degree, she joined Dr. Arnab Chakravarti’s laboratory in the Department of Radiation Oncology to build upon her scientific career in cancer research. Specifically, her work at the James is focused on identifying the genetic components of a tumor that contribute to disease aggressiveness and treatment resistance.  With this information she hopes to develop novel clinical tools and personalized treatment strategies that result in complete cancer remission.

In 2015, Jessica co-founded The Cap City Biohackers with David Taffany.  The Cap City Biohackers is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating greater access to scientific tools and education in order to promote scientific literacy and advance an innovative community. Their organization is focused on three important aspects: STEM education, citizen science, and entrepreneurship.  Currently, they are working towards opening a science maker’s space (aka the Cap City Biospace) which will serve as a scientific hub, providing members of the community, scientists, students, entrepreneurs, and hobbyists with a space to access scientific lab equipment as well as the expertise and guidance to conduct experiments and connect with fellow science enthusiasts. Since its founding, the Cap City Biohackers has formed an innovative community around the life sciences and is a novel resource for Columbus serving all backgrounds and demographics.

Jessica will be leading a roundtable on Biohacking at the Girls Who Lead Summit.

Honorable Mary Lightbody
State Representative

19th House District

The sixth of seven children, State Rep. Mary Lightbody grew up a country girl in Pepper Pike, Ohio. She earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a doctorate in science education from The Ohio State University. She has spent the last 27 years teaching both in K-12 education and at the collegiate level in Central Ohio, most recently in a position at Ohio State’s Newark campus. Rep. Lightbody is a fearless advocate for her constituents in the 19th Ohio House District, fighting to make quality, affordable healthcare coverage available to all Ohioans as well as leading the way on policies that support working families—like reforming a broken education system and standing up for Ohio workers.

In addition to her full-time teaching career, Lightbody is the mother of three grown children, and has served as a deacon at her church, as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Westerville Public Library and in leadership positions with state and national science teachers’ professional associations.

Honorable Mary Lightbody will be speaking on Public Policy at the Girls Who Lead Summit.


Danielle Lim

Haven Collective

Danielle brings the creative vision to the Haven team. As a work-from-home professional for over a decade, Danielle not only understands our community, she is a foundation within our community. With 15 years of experience in venture capital and marketing, Danielle’s expertise enables her to craft the unique elements needed to bring successful startup stories to life. Having a rich involvement with local organizations like Green Columbus, Glass Axis & Net Impact, her connections within and around Columbus bring a dedicated and passionate network of individuals and company relationships that give our community the passion and purpose to succeed.

Danielle will be speaking on Entrepreneurship at the Girls Who Lead Summit.

Lisa Swartzwelder
Director of Shuttle Operations & Flight Administration

L Brands

Lisa has studied and worked in aviation her whole career. With an undergraduate degree in Aviation and an MBA, she currently is the Director of Shuttle Operations and Flight Administration for L Brands, Inc. Other leadership roles include being President of Columbus Humane Board of Trustees, and serving as a Board member for Leadership Columbus and The Ohio Business Aviation Association where she Chairs the workforce development committee. Lisa is passionate about creating awareness and pathways for girls in aviation.

Lisa will be speaking on Aviation at the Girls Who Lead Summit.

Becky Watts
Government Affairs Director
G2G Consulting

Becky Watts is a Government Affairs Director with G2G consulting, a full-service government affairs consulting firm based in Cleveland, Ohio, Washington, DC and Columbus, Ohio.  Becky joined G2G in 2008 and leads the company’s strategies for accessing government funding for clients. With two decades of experience working in and with federal, state and local government, Becky knows first-hand how to secure funds for growing businesses, municipalities, academic institutions and non-profit organizations.

A member of Beth Israel-The West Temple, Becky also serves on the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Jewish News.  She resides in Lakewood, Ohio with her husband and three children, and newest family addition: puppy Greta.

Becky will be speaking on Public Policy at the Girls Who Lead Summit.