Shattering the Ceiling

From the May 2013 issue of Columbus CEO
  • Leslie Bumgarner
  • Lisa Schweitzer Courtice
  • Christine Poon
  • Elaine Roberts
  • Sheri Tackett

Don’t miss a special Columbus Metropolitan Club forum featuring the executive women. The event kicks off a new “What’s On Your Mind?” series, presented by the CMC, Columbus CEO and Cassidy Turley.

The forum, moderated by Kristyn Hartman of WBNS-10TV, will be held at noon May 1 at The Athletic Club of Columbus. The event is open to the public, but advance reservations are required. To register, go to or call (614) 464-3220, ext. 1.

Leslie Bumgarner

Industry: Financial

Job: President and CEO of Telhio Credit Union, 1998 to present

Background: Six years as vice president for Telhio’s business development and lending services; one year as senior vice president with Star Bank; 11 years in managerial positions with CityFed Mortgage Company

Education: Bachelor of science in business administration from Ohio State University

Community Involvement: See Kids Dream, director and chair; Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio, trustee

Quote: “Investing in relationships is the most important thing.”


Lisa Schweitzer Courtice

Industry: Nonprofit

Job: Executive vice president, community research and grants management for the Columbus Foundation, 2011 to present

Background: Eight years as vice president, community research and grants management for the Columbus Foundation; one year as division director at the Columbus School for Girls; four years as executive director of the Childhood League Center; five years as director for the Clinic for Child Study and Family Therapy in Akron; five years as director of the National Scholarship Program in Washington, D.C.

Education: Holds a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University, a master’s degree from West Virginia University and a doctorate from the University of Akron

Community Involvement: Board member of the Columbus School for Girls, Learn4Life and Ohio Wesleyan University; member of the United Way of Central Ohio Home and Strengthening Individuals and Families impact councils

Quote: “Understand what the needs are, then develop strategies with the changing needs.”


Christine Poon

Industry: Higher education

Job: Dean of the Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, 2009 to present

Background: 13 years as group and worldwide chairman of Johnson & Johnson; 15 years in international executive positions with Bristol-Myers Squibb

Education: Bachelor’s degree in biology from Northwestern University; master’s degree in biology/biochemistry from St. Louis University; and a master of business in finance from Boston University

Corporate and Community Involvement: Board member of Prudential Financial Inc. and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.; supervisory board member of Royal Phillips Electronics

Quotable: “Business leaders need to be comfortable with being fiercely competitive—but not at the expense of sacrificing your character, your values, or the interest of the very people that you’re serving.”


Elaine Roberts

Industry: Aviation

Job: President and CEO of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, 2003 to present

Background: Two years as executive director of the Columbus Airport Authority; six years as executive director of the Rhode Island airport Corporation; 12 years in management with the Indianapolis Airport Authority

Education: Bachelor’s degree in English and sociology from Western Kentucky University; master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Louisville; law degree from the Indiana University School of Law

Corporate and Community Involvement: Board member of The Columbus Partnership, Experience Columbus, Columbus Region Logistics Council and State Auto Financial Corp.

Quote: “There are so many elements of success depending on who the constituency is.”


Sheri Tackett

Industry: Energy

Job: Founder and CEO of Delta Energy, 1997 to present

Background: 11 years in senior management positions with Ashland Inc.

Education: Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Kentucky; executive development programs at Indiana University’s Kelly School of Business; graduated from Southern Methodist University’s school for energy executives

Community Involvement: Advisory board member of Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD); board member of Make-A-Wish Foundation and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; chair of the Columbus chapter of the Tiffany Circle Society of Women Leaders of the American Red Cross

Quote: “The first five drafts are never going to cut it. [Go] above and beyond—under-promise and over-deliver when you get to that meeting.”