LCLD Program Dir. Lori Lorenzo; Members Kurt Tunnell, MP, Bricker & Eckler, and Patricia Hatler, GC, Nationwide; Rhonda Comer, GC, Nationwide Children’s Hospital; and LCLD Pres. Robert Grey (seated, L to R), with Fellows. (Photos by Ira Graham III)


On May 14 and 15, LCLD Fellows engaged with leaders of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Bricker & Eckler LLP for a special Leadership Lunch Plus event in Columbus, Ohio. At the core of the event was the traditional Leadership Lunch component on May 15, where LCLD Members Patricia Hatler, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal and Governance Officer at Nationwide, and Kurt Tunnell, Managing Partner at Bricker & Eckler LLP, shared their personal and professional journeys with attendees over lunch.

The group of Fellows in attendance at Bricker & Eckler’s offices gained insights from Hatler and Tunnell on achieving success, seizing opportunities, and remaining relevant in the face of major change in the legal profession. Among some of the advice, Hatler (below, right) noted that self-awareness is key to success and that the Fellows should be open-minded to all opportunities and avoid “tunnel vision.”

Authenticity is the distinguishing characteristic that drives success, Tunnell added (below). He also explained that communicating authentically is the key to building relationships. Further, Tunnell urged that, “To remain relevant as the profession faces disruptive change, we have to stay committed to delivering personal value—not just legal opinion.”

Another integral component of the event was a panel discussion about the elements of successful legal pitches for litigation and transactional work. The panelists included Rhonda Comer, General Counsel and Senior Vice President at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Inc., Tamre Edwards, AVP, Associate General Counsel, Nationwide (2014 Fellow); George Leal, Senior Counsel at The Procter & Gamble Company (2013 Fellow); Terri Meldrum, System Vice President and Associate General Counsel at LCLD Member organization OhioHealth Corporation; and new Member Mark Smolik, VP, General Counsel, and Secretary at DHL/Exel, Inc.

As part of the discussion, four Fellows presented their own mock pitches to the panel. “It was invaluable to receive individualized advice on improving my pitch from such a diverse panel,” said Anne Goodwin, a 2014 Fellow and Partner at Squire Patton Boggs LLP. “The panelists provided honest and helpful feedback that triggered a great discussion amongst the group.”

The feedback on pitches also benefited the rest of the audience. “It was extremely useful to actually witness pitches and hear real critiques from the people who hire,” said Robert Croft, a 2015 Fellow and Partner at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP. “I can’t say enough how much that got me thinking about my own approach and what things I can change.”

Additionally, the Fellows engaged in a networking reception on May 14 with Fellows of Nationwide and Bricker & Eckler, and Nationwide Law Department leaders, as well as dinner at Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse.

LCLD would like to extend special thanks to everyone who was involved in making this special event possible, especially featured speakers and LCLD Members Hatler and Tunnell, as well as the Fellows who planned and/or moderated elements of the event: Tamre Edwards, Katie Giumenti, Linda Lu, and Marilyn McClure-Demers.

If you're interested in speaking at, or hosting, a Fellows Leadership Lunch, please contact Fellows Program Manager Nichole Velasquez.

Authors' Note: Lori Lorenzo is LCLD's Program Director. Jessica Smith is LCLD's Communications & Marketing Manager.

Photo Gallery

Photography by Ira Graham III, courtesy of Bricker & Eckler LLP.