General Session Speakers
The Honorable Laurel A. Beatty
Judge, Franklin County Court of Common Pleas
Judge Laurel A. Beatty attended Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, where she received a B.S. in Psychology magna cum laude in 1996. She subsequently attended Vanderbilt University Law School and received a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1999.
Judge Beatty was licensed to practice law in Ohio in November 1999. Judge Beatty started her legal career at Frost Brown Todd (formerly Frost & Jacobs) in Cincinnati, Ohio where she was a member of the litigation department, focusing primarily on commercial and diet drug defense litigation. Judge Beatty then returned to her hometown of Columbus and joined Kegler Brown Hill & Ritter where she was a member of the litigation, creditor's rights and bankruptcy, and government affairs departments. Afterward she handled small business, probate, and personal injury matters for Otto Beatty, Jr. & Associates where she sat first and second chair in several trials.
Judge Beatty then served as Director of Legislative Affairs and Counsel to the Voting Rights Institute for the Ohio Secretary of State. In that role, Ms. Beatty served as liaison to Ohio's legislative process and represented the Secretary of State with the Ohio General Assembly and 88 county boards of elections. She also oversaw the drafting of legislation, obtained sponsors for bills, and provided testimony and information on bills pertaining to the Secretary of State's office on the state and federal levels.
In 2009 Governor Ted Strickland appointed Judge Beatty to serve on the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. In this capacity, Judge Beatty has jurisdiction over felony criminal cases, administrative appeals, and civil matters in which the sum or matters in dispute exceed $15,000.
Business First of Columbus selected Ms. Beatty with its "Forty under 40" award in 2005, an honor given to forty people under the age of forty who have demonstrated leadership ability in his or her chosen field, achieved notable career success and committed themselves to civic participation. Ms. Beatty served on the Board of Trustees for the Franklin County Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board and was also selected for the inaugural class of the African American Leadership Academy. Active in her community, Ms. Beatty has volunteered for the Children's Hunger Alliance and the Columbus Bar Association's Homeless Project. Ms. Beatty currently is a member of the Board of Trustees of the YWCA of Central Ohio and Alvis House, a community based rehabilitation and corrections facility. She also serves on the Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence Legal System Task Force.
TyKiah Wright, WrightChoice, Inc.
Executive Director and Founder
As Executive Director and Founder of WrightChoice, Inc., TyKiah Wright can be described as highly self-motivated and ambitious. Ms. Wright holds two degrees from Wright State University--a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management and a Masters in Business Administration. Wright believes that faith is the key to all of life's challenges and urges us all to dream the un-dreamable and think the impossible.
TyKiah is dedicated to showing the importance of embracing diversity in the workplace. She understands the needs of businesses and students alike, and has committed her organization to recruiting, developing and linking the members of tomorrow's workforce to today's opportunities. To date, WrightChoice, Inc. has worked with various national, regional and state corporate sponsors, including BMW Financial Services, State Farm Insurance, Huntington Banks and the . Students are placed in internships in the Central Ohio area, and the organization is looking to expand its services to Southwestern Ohio.
In addition to WCIP, Ms. Wright is also the State Director for the Ohio High School High Tech program, which is design to promote science, math, and technology educational and workplace opportunities for high school students with disabilities. She has also established WrightChoice Consulting, LLC. As a consultant she facilitates organizational-wide disability awareness training and provides tools for managers to effectively hire and retain employees with disabilities.
TyKiah is a member of Wright State University's Alumni Board of Directors and other community and professional organizations including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Fisher College of Business's Diversity Advisory Committee and Human Resource Association of Central Ohio. She also is a former governor-appointed councilmember to the Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council. Currently, TyKiah serves as a Commissioner for the City of Columbus Community Relations Commission. Ms. Wright has been featured in Ebony Magazine as one of the "30 Leader's Under 30" for 2006 and is featured in Who's Who is Black Columbus publication. She also is a recipient of Wright State University's African American Alumni Award of Excellence. In 2007 Ms. Wright was one of two recipients of the Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award, presented to emerging leaders with disabilities by the American Association of People with Disabilities.
Curt Moody, Mood-Nolan
President and CEO
Principal-in-Charge of Design
Award-winning architectural designer Curtis J. Moody, FAIA has been involved in the design of projects that exceed several billion dollars in construction over the last 37 years. A winner of the prestigious Whitney M. Young, Jr. award as an outstanding African American Architect in the United States in 1992, Curt's designs have won more than 147 design citations, including 23 from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and 30 from the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), more awards than any other minority architectural firm in the United States. Moody-Nolan is the only firm to be recognized in consecutive years with AIA Ohio Gold Medals. Curt was awarded the AIA Gold Medal in 2007. Moody-Nolan was awarded the AIA Gold Medal Firm of the Year Award in 2006.
In 2002, Curt was given the Distinguished Service Award from The Ohio State University, being one of only three recipients that year. Recently, Curt was reappointed to serve as a peer reviewer for the Architect/Engineer selection panel for the General Services Administration (GSA) Design Excellence Program. Curt and the firm have been featured in numerous publications including Architectural Record, Fortune 500 and MBE Magazine. Curt has been an invited speaker for numerous professional programs and civic associations, including the key note speaker for Ohio Dominican University (where he was also presented with an honorary degree in 2008), Wisconsin AIA Convention and The Ohio State University School of Architecture. Curt has served on design award program selections for the National Urban Design Program in DC and several AIA affiliates. The firm has published two monographs: Aesthetics Function Technology (2002) and Responsive Architecture (2008).
- The Ohio State University Ohio Union, Columbus, OH
- Ithaca College New Athletics and Events Center, Ithaca, NY
- International African American Museum, Charleston, SC
- Cincinnati Public Schools School for Creative and Performing Arts, Cincinnati, OH
- Purdue University Recreational Sports Center Expansion and Renovation, West Lafayette, IN
- The Ohio State University Recreation and Physical Activity Center (RPAC), Columbus, OH
- The Ohio State University Jerome Schottenstein Center, Columbus, OH
- Morehouse College Forbes Arena, Atlanta, GA
Ann Fisher, WOSU
Ann Fisher began her journalism career in Grand Rapids, Michigan at the Grand Rapids Press. She moved to the Buckeye State in 1987 to write features for the Blade of Toledo. She covered local and state public affairs until 1989, when the Blade transferred her to Columbus to cover state government and politics. In 1998, Ann moved to the Columbus Dispatch, where over the course of a decade, she worked as a reporter, editorial writer, editor and columnist. In Sept. 2009, Ann went on the air at WOSU 820, where she is executive producer and host of "All Sides With Ann Fisher," a daily, two-hour talk show devoted largely to public affairs, lifestyle, literature and the arts.
She lives in Worthington with her husband Jeff Martin and their son.