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2018 Speakers

Dr. Melissa Baumann
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Dr. Melissa Baumann became Provost and Chief Academic Officer at Xavier on June 15, 2017. Prior to Xavier, Dr. Baumann was Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Studies at Auburn University in Alabama, where she also served as Director of the Auburn University Honors College. Prior to joining Auburn in 2013, Dr. Baumann served as an administrator and engineering faculty member at Michigan State University.

Dr. Baumann earned her master’s and Ph.D. in materials science and engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Following her doctorate, Dr. Baumann was postdoctoral researcher at the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority. She earned a bachelor’s in metallurgical engineering from Michigan Technological University

Michael P. Bell is a former Mayor of the City of Toledo, serving the office of mayor from January 2010 to January, 2014.  Bell’s love of family and dedication to Toledo were behind his desire to lead his hometown through some of the most challenging times it had faced in decades.  He successfully took on and balanced a $48 million deficit without laying off any full-time employees.  By doing so, he was able to effectively stabilize city services during a critical time.


Mayor Bell’s life work has been in bringing people together to solve problems.  He worked to make Toledo a great place to do business and worked regionally and internationally to create a favorable business climate while removing barriers to progress.


Bell has over 23 years of executive experience as a Mayor, State Fire Marshal, and Fire Chief, managing multi-million dollar budgets, and over 2,500 employees, while working with multiple agencies and business interests.


During his fire service career, he served as a firefighter, rescue diver, paramedic, paramedic supervisor, and training officer before becoming Chief of the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department.  He was appointed in 1990 and served as Chief until 2007.  Michael was the first African American as well as the youngest person ever to lead a major fire department in the State of Ohio at that time.  He remained in that position for over 16 years.  Under his leadership the TFD earned the prestigious honor of Accreditation by the Commission on Fire Accreditation, a certification held by only the most elite fire departments.  During his time as Chief he served on the International Fire Chiefs diversity committee as chair for 10 years and received the President’s Award for his efforts in diversity.

Mr. Mike Bell
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In 2001, following the tragic events of September 11, Bell was tapped to lead the homeland security efforts of the region, bringing public safety organizations, hospitals, businesses, school districts and neighborhood organizations together to handle the challenges of that most difficult time in our nation’s history.


In 2007 he was appointed as State Fire Marshal by Ohio Governor Ted Strickland.  In doing so, he became the first minority to hold the position of State Fire Marshal.  In that position he implemented the “Everyone Goes Home” program, stressing firefighter safety.  That program earned the Seal of Excellence Award from the Firefighter Life Safety Initiative Program.


Mayor Bell grew up in North Toledo attending Spring Elementary School and Woodward High School where he was inducted into its Hall of Fame.  He is a graduate of the University of Toledo where he earned a degree in Education, with a concentration in business.  He was a three-year letter winner in football and co-captain his senior year.  He was named the UT Student of the Year in the field of Education during his senior year.  Mayor Bell is also a Golden T award winner from the University of Toledo.


Michael is the oldest of Norman and Ora Bell’s four sons.  He is predeceased by his brother Shawn.  His parents instilled in him many valuable lessons that he lives by, most importantly that you must treat people fairly and nothing good comes easy.


Mayor Bell has served on multiple community related civic organizations, volunteering his time and serving on such boards as the Boys and Girls Club, Red Cross, American Cancer Society, The Old Newsboys, Boy Scouts of America and Salvation Army just to mention a few.

Mr. Terry Cosby
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Mr. Cosby was raised on a cotton farm in Tallahatchie County in Northern Mississippi and started his career for Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in 1979.  He has held multiple positions within the Agency, including student trainee/co-op student, Soil Conservationist, District Conservationist, Area Resource Conservationist in Iowa, Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations and Assistant State Conservationist for Programs and Operations in Missouri, and Deputy State Conservationist in Idaho.  He has also acted in numerous positions in other States and NRCS National Headquarters.  He became the State Conservationist of the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Ohio in May 2005.


Mr. Cosby has been a life member of the National Organization of Black NRCS Employees since 2002.  He is a Past President of The Organization.


He attended high school in Charleston, Mississippi, and graduated from Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Education.  Terry is married and is the father of three children.  He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and attends Mt. Herman Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio, where he is a Deacon.  He enjoys hunting, fishing, and being a high school and college soccer referee.

Peter Grady is a private investor and consultant, leveraging his extensive business background with a focus in the automotive sector.  He is the founder of Griggs Street Partners, a collection of highly skilled experts who assist small and mid-market companies through financial, operational, and leadership transitions.  Mr. Grady is currently a member of the Board of Advisors of Quality Metalcraft, Inc., Experi-Metal Inc. (auto suppliers), Stable of Speed (a Southeastern US racetrack and luxury performance car ownership experience venture), and data firm, Wiland Ultimate Data.  Other current ventures include leading the formation of a training start-up specializing in Augmented and Virtual Reality application, an interest in a Craft Brewery, as well as supporting a social impact fund that invests in social enterprises in under-resourced communities.


In 2015, Mr. Grady completed a 30+ year career with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles as a member of the Management Team until retirement in April 2015.  His most recent career included leadership roles as Head of Global Dealer Network Development, President and CEO of Maserati North America, and Head of Global Fleet Operations.  Grady led the creation, development, and launch of Chrysler Capital, the company’s retail financing arm, and maintained oversight of the venture until retirement. His other leadership roles within FCA included Chair of the company’s Diversity Council, Chair of the Market Investment Committee, member of key governing operations committees, and various sales and after sales positions in the US and internationally, including President of Chrysler Taiwan Ltd.

Mr. Peter Grady
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Mr. Grady has served on many industry Boards, committees, and task forces, and has been a frequent speaker at industry events.  In particular, he is recognized for his experience in the fields of franchise distribution, remarketing operations, auto finance operations, and leadership development.  He has been active in the United Way of Southeast Michigan, a strong supporter of Forgotten Harvest, engaged other charitable agencies across the US, and served on the Walter P. Chrysler Museum Board of Directors.



Mr. Grady is a graduate of St. Francis de Sales High School and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio.  A long-suffering Cleveland sports fan, his hobbies include boating, watersports, bird hunting, fly-fishing, and travel. He and his wife, Clare, reside in Rochester, Michigan and are blessed with three terrific children, a wonderful daughter-in-law, and a beautiful grand daughter.

Dr. Joel Harrington
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Dr. Joel Harrington is Centennial Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, with concurrent appointments in German Studies and the Graduate Department of Religion. He is a historian of Europe, specializing in the Reformation and early modern Germany (ca. 1450-1750), with research interests in various aspects of social history. He has published seven books, most recently Dangerous Mystic: Meister Eckhart’s Path to the God Within (Penguin Press, 2018).  His previous monograph, The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013), has been translated into thirteen languages and was named one of the Best Books of 2013 by The Telegraph and History Today. It has recently been optioned for a major film production.  His current book project is a study of the sixteenth-century mercenary Hans Staden, who published an influential account of his captivity among the Tupinambás of Brazil, including graphic accounts of ritual cannibalism.

Harrington has been awarded fellowships from--among others--the J.S. Guggenheim Foundation, the Fulbright-Hayes Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the American Philosophical Society. He has lectured widely in North America and Europe and he has resided as a visiting fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, Herzog August Bibliothek (Wolfenbüttel), Institut für Geschichte der Medizin (Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg), and Clare College (Cambridge).

Professor Harrington has taught a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses at Vanderbilt since his arrival in 1989, including the history of Christian Traditions, Reformation Europe, religion and the occult in early modern Europe, and early modern social history. He has also served in a variety of administrative positions, most notably as Chair of the History Department (2014-2018), Associate Provost for Global Strategy (2004-2011), and Director of the Center for European Studies (2000-2004).

Joel Harrington is a Toledo native. He is a 1977 graduate of St. Francis de Sales, with subsequent degrees from the University of Notre Dame (B.A. 1981) and the University of Michigan (M.A. 1983; Ph.D. 1989).  He currently lives in Nashville, TN with his wife, Beth and their two children, George and Charlotte.

Dr. Jack Hayes is a retired senior executive following a 47-year career in public and private sectors in the weather business.  Dr. Hayes began his career in the US Air Force Air Weather Service and rose to the rank of Colonel, completing his military service in the late 1990s as the Commander of the Air Force Weather Agency whose mission is to support Air Force and Army operations worldwide. 

From 2000 to 2012, Dr. Hayes held several senior leadership positions within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO).  Within NOAA, he was the Director of the National Weather Service (NWS) Office of Science and Technology and developed the master plan for infusion of new science and technologies into NWS weather forecast operations nationwide.  He was also the Deputy Director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service and played a lead role in the agency’s response to Hurricane Katrina.  During a two-year assignment as the WMO’s Director of the World Weather Watch, he coordinated modernization plans for the Global Weather Observing, Data Processing and Forecasting Systems supporting government weather services worldwide.  Dr. Hayes culminated his government career as the Director of the National Weather Service from 2007 to 2012, where he oversaw the creation of the agency’s strategic plans to improve weather and climate services over the next decade.  In this position, he was also the US Permanent Representative with the WMO for weather and climate.

Col. Jack Hayes, PhD
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Following retirement from government, Dr. Hayes was the Vice President and Senior Executive Account Manager for Weather Products for the Harris Corporation from 2012 until his retirement in 2018.  In this position, he provided strategic guidance for Harris products supporting the Nation’s new generation of geostationary and polar-orbiting weather satellites. Since March he has been consulting part-time for the Baron Weather Company in Huntsville Alabama as they expand their weather business operations internationally.

Dr. Hayes has received several awards, including Presidential Rank Award and recognition, in 2003, as one of the Top 100 Information Technology Executives in the Federal Government.

Dr. Hayes is a 1966 graduate of St Francis de Sales High School, and holds a Ph.D. and a Master-of-Science degree in Meteorology from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, His Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics is from Bowling Green State University.  He and his wife, Sharon, have three adult children and seven grandchildren and live in northern Virginia just outside the Nation’s Capitol.

Mrs. Lori Johnston

LORI JOHNSTON, President, ProMedica Insurance Corporation.  Prior positions: Prior to assuming this role, she was Chief Information Officer at ProMedica. Other positions Johnston has held at ProMedica include President and Chief Administrative Officer for ProMedica Physicians, Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer of ProMedica St. Luke’s Hospital, Senior Vice President of ProMedica Continuum Services and Senior Vice President of Finance. Johnston earned a Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Toledo and a Master of Business Administration at The Ohio State University. She is active in the community serving on the boards of Toledo Mud Hens and Walleye sports teams, Compassion Health Toledo, St. Ursula Academy as well as the Advisory Council for the Area Office on Aging of Northwest Ohio.

Mrs. Johnston resides in Grand Rapids, Ohio with her husband, Mark.

Wade Kapszukiewicz was elected mayor of Toledo, Ohio on November 7, 2017 and took the oath of office on January 2, 2018, becoming the 58th mayor of the city.

Creating a regional water system, increasing the size and diversity of the police force, improving educational opportunities for Toledo’s youngest residents, and consolidating city government functions are among Mayor Kapszukiewicz’s top goals.

During his first year in office, the city of Toledo passed a balanced budget (the first unanimously passed since 2013), hired 80 new police officers, resurfaced more miles of roads than any year in the past two decades, created a bike share program, secured funding to clean up the long-blighted former Champion Spark Plug site, and helped lead a neighborhood coalition to save historic St. Anthony Catholic Church from demolition. Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz reflects on first 100 days in office

Most notably, Toledo City Council unanimously passed Mayor Kapszukiewicz’s plan to create a regional water system that will share decision-making authority with suburban partners while ensuring long term affordable water rates. Forward Progress on Regional Water

Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz

To promote greater transparency in city government, Mayor Kapszukiewicz launched a monthly "Wednesdays with Wade" public meetings series. Wednesdays with Wade Article

Mayor Kapszukiewicz was Lucas County Treasurer from 2005 until 2018. While treasurer, he worked to change state law in 2010 to allow for the creation of county land banks, founded the Lucas County Land Bank, and served as its chairman since Augus, 2010.

Mayor Kapszukiewicz served one term on the Lucas County Board of Education and was later a Toledo city councilman for nearly seven years. He was first elected to city council in 1999 and then re-elected in 2001 and 2003. When he began his service on Toledo City Council, at age 26, Mr. Kapszukiewicz had the distinction of being the youngest person to serve on the legislative body in 25 years.

Mayor Kapszukiewicz was recognized in 2006 as a “20 Under 40” community leader, and in 2010 ESOP gave him its “Above and Beyond” award. In 2012, the mayor was again honored by ESOP, this time earning its “Rooted in ESOP” award. The Toledo City Paper named him one of its “Big Idea Toledoans” in 2014 for his work creating and leading the Lucas County Land Bank, and again in 2018 for his commitment to pursue an ambitious agenda as mayor.

Mr. Kapszukiewicz received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from Marquette University in 1994 and was named the valedictorian of the College of Communication, Journalism, and Performing Arts. He received a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan in 1996.

After receiving his master’s degree, Mr. Kapszukiewicz worked for two years as the Policy Analysis and Research Director of the New Ohio Institute, a public policy research organization that studied issues affecting Ohio’s urban areas. In April 1998 he accepted the position of Manager of Planning and Development at the Lucas County Mental Health Board, where he worked until he began serving on Toledo City Council. While on City Council, Mr. Kapszukiewicz taught a course in American Government at Owens Community College and also worked at COMPASS, a social service agency that works with people with drug and alcohol addictions.

Mr. Kapszukiewicz is an adjunct professor at Lourdes University, where he teaches a night course in urban policy.

An avid baseball fan, Mayor Kapszukiewicz had his research published in the Spring 2016 edition of the Society for American Baseball Research journal. Article by Wade Kapszukiewicz

Mr. Kapszukiewicz is a parishioner at Gesu Roman Catholic Church. A resident of Toledo since 1973, Mr. Kapszukiewicz was born in San Diego on October 30, 1972. He and his wife, Sarah, celebrated their 17th wedding anniversary in 2018. They live in the Old Orchard neighborhood of Toledo and have two children, Emma and Will.

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur
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Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur is the longest serving woman in the House of Representatives where she serves on the powerful Appropriations Committee and Steering and Policy Committee. The first Democratic woman in history to serve on the Defense Appropriation s subcommittee, Kaptur also serves as Ranking Member of the Energy and Water subcommittee. Previous committee assignments include Veterans Affairs, Banking, and Budget.


A lifelong Ohioan with family roots in Poland and Ukraine, Congresswoman Kaptur is nationally known for her successful effort to authorize construction of a World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. The memorial was dedicated in 2004. She is a leader in the commitment to ensure proper care and compensation for veterans and their families and has dedicated her efforts throughout her tenure in Congress to put America’s veterans and their families first.


Marcy Kaptur brings a solid record of caring service to Ohio’s Ninth District. Recognized as one of the 25 Hardest Working Members of Congress, Congresswoman Kaptur is a tireless advocate for her district, which runs along the Lake Erie coastline and includes parts of Lucas, Ottawa, Erie, Lorain, and Cuyahoga Counties. She is a committed champion of the American auto industry, American energy independence, renewables, and the burgeoning energy storage industry. Kaptur has diligently pursued real results with a solid record of accomplishments including initiatives developing our ports, rail transportation, airports, and highways; clean-up of the waterways adjacent to Lake Erie; development of initiatives to enhance the earnings potential of Ohio crops; shipping of federal cargos on the Great Lakes; acquisition of wildlife refuges and shoreline recreation; and expansion of the university-related research. She is a leading voice in the effort to utilize the natural resources of Ohio’s Northern coast toward job development, sustainable energies, and coastal tourism.

Marcy Kaptur has been a leader in national efforts important to northern Ohio communities including those to address the foreclosure crisis, calling for accountability and sound policy. She continues to fight for economic security, retirement security, energy security, educational security, health care security, and national security for every American. Further, she has long championed equal application of America’s fundamental liberties, including voting rights, worker rights, expanding opportunities and ensuring educational rights, and guaranteeing due process under the law.


Congresswoman Kaptur co-chairs both the Polish and Ukrainian Caucuses in the U.S. House of Representatives and remains dedicated to the democratic institution - building across the globe. She has spearheaded private charitable efforts for peoples of underdeveloped nations, including Ukraine and Vietnam.


Before being elected to Congress, Kaptur practiced as an urban planner and as an urban advisor to President Jimmy Carter. The first in her family to attend college, she earned a scholarship from the University of Wisconsin and earned her undergraduate degree in history. She received a Master’s Degree in urban planning from the University of Michigan and was pursuing doctoral studies at MIT when asked to run for U.S. Congress. Kaptur is the author of “Women of Congress ” a Congressional Quarterly book.

David Tressler is Senior Counsel at Waymo, a self-driving technology company based in Mountain View, California that builds on software and sensor technology developed in Google’s labs since 2009.  Waymo's self-driving cars have driven 10 million miles on public roads in 25 U.S. cities.  Tressler is Waymo's lead legal advisor for product development and safety, cybersecurity, and litigation.  


Prior to joining Waymo Tressler was a partner at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago, where he represented global clients in a variety of industries for over 10 years.  He earned his law degree from Harvard Law School, where he was also a Hewlett Fellow at the Harvard Negotiation Research Project. He has published academic papers on negotiation in the Harvard Negotiation Law Review and with the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College.  Prior to studying law, Tressler worked for the Brookings Institution, a non-partisan public policy think tank in Washington D.C., and Share Our Strength, a non-profit organization committed to fighting hunger.  He earned degrees in economics and history from Xavier University and is a 1995 graduate of St. Francis de Sales High School.  


In addition to his civilian career, Tressler is a military intelligence and civil affairs officer in the United States Army Reserve.  He has served with a number of units in Illinois, Europe, and California and deployed in 2010 to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  He lives in California with his family.     

Mr. David Tressler
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Col. Jay Updegraff

Jay Updegraff, Colonel, USAF (Ret) is a 1986 graduate of St Francis de Sales HS and a 1990 graduate of the US Air Force Academy (BS Engineering Mechanics)  He is also graduate of The Ohio State University (MS Engineering Mechanics). During his Air Force career, Colonel Updegraff flew 3,900 hours, mostly in the KC-10 Extender air refueling aircraft and the C-5 Galaxy cargo aircraft, including combat and combat support sorties into Iraq during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.  He served as the Commander of two Air Force organizations, and was a Distinguished Graduate of the Air Force’s Squadron Officer School and Air Command and Staff College. Additionally Colonel Updegraff graduated from the U.S. Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies and the Air War College.


During his military career Colonel Updegraff served as an Instructor Pilot and Evaluator pilot, and was selected as Chief of Training, responsible for the academic and flight training of 230 aircrew members.  He also has extensive command and control experience having served twice as a Command Post Duty officer and Chief of Command Post, responsible for the execution of operational and flying training missions. In 2006 he served in a joint staff position with US Northern Command, where he authored the organization’s first Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Concept of Operations, as well as executing Defense Support of Civil Authority (DSCA) plans and operations for domestic disaster relief events.  In 2008 he deployed to Southwest Asia for four months, to serve as the Air Mobility Directorate Deputy Chief, in the Combined Air Operation Center, responsible for the planning and execution of all daily cargo, air refueling and patient evacuation airlift missions for

Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI Freedom. As a Lieutenant Colonel, he commanded a Global Mobility Squadron that deployed to Haiti in 2010 to run airfield operations at the Port-au-Prince International airport during the international earthquake relief effort.  Prior to his retirement in 2014, Colonel Updegraff served as the Vice Commander (and then interim Commander) of the Civil Air Patrol-USAF, providing oversight, liaison and support to the USAF’s Auxiliary (Civil Air Patrol) and their 550 aircraft fleet and 64,000 volunteers, executing a $35 million Cooperative Agreement to support AF missions.


He now serves as an MD-11 cargo aircraft pilot for Federal Express Airlines, in Memphis, TN.  Jay lives in Montgomery, AL with his wife Becky, son Dan, and daughter Catherine.

Ryan Wichman was born and raised in Bowling Green, Ohio. His interest in weather started in grade school where he decided being a TV weatherman would be a 'cool' job when he grew up. After graduating from Western Illinois University with a degree in Meteorology he took a job at a TV station in Quincy, IL. Ryan came to work for WTOL 11 in 2011. Following the 2014 Toledo Water Crisis, Ryan has worked with local agriculture leaders, politicians and algae experts

to highlight Lake Erie water quality issues. 

Mr. Ryan Wichman
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Dr. Chris Winslow
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Dr. Chris Winslow received his B.S. from Ohio University and both his M.S. and Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University.  Since 2004 Chris has been a fixture at Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory, first as an instructor and research supervisor, but now as the Director of both the Lab and the Ohio Sea Grant College Program.  Prior to joining OSU and Ohio Sea Grant, Chris was an Instructor at BGSU (2002-09) and an Assistant Professor at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (2009-11).

Past Speakers
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