Leadership Center Objectives

Effective leadership is essential for advancing both individuals and organizations in the 21st century global business environment. Leadership involves the ability to properly influence others toward a unified goal. Additionally, leadership is an art that involves life-long learning. With this in mind, Franklin University supports and advances today’s and tomorrow’s leaders through its Leadership Center.

Each of the Leadership Center’s unique programs focuses on a level of leadership aimed at improving and developing leadership skills and competencies in today’s managers and leaders. A primary goal of the Leadership Center is to ensure today’s managers and leaders have the capabilities necessary for leadership effectiveness in the 21st century.

Our Mission

The Franklin University Leadership Center inspires the creation and sharing of knowledge and innovative leadership practices through advanced teaching and transformative learning experiences in our dynamic, rapidly changing global community.

Foster participation in a global community focused on pursuing sustainable business and leadership excellence. 

Demonstrate and promote leadership skills and competencies for leaders at all levels.

Engage in transformative learning and scholarship. 

Develop opportunities to learn and apply intellectual leadership practices.

Create modes of experiential learning that have a global impact.

Establish and share business and leadership best practices.

Mason Leadership Symposium

Join us for our annual symposium to raise the level of leadership in business, nonprofit organizations, government, and educational institutions throughout central Ohio.

Learn More

Hall Leadership Series

Designed to focus on the skills and competencies needed by existing and upcoming leaders and managers for optimal effectiveness in the 21st century business environment.

Learn More

Sales Speaker Series

Supporting careers in professional selling by providing training to members of the business community that will empower them to grow professionally enabling economic development, enhance the professionalism of the sales force, and provide service to the sales profession.

Learn More

Advisory Board

Alissa Amidon-Carbonaro

Alissa Amidon-Carbonaro is an experienced real estate professional with a focus on specialty retail. 

Initially drawn to Columbus from Buffalo, N.Y., for a position with Cardinal Health, Alissa accepted a role with The Limited (now L Brands) in 1997, supporting the U.S. growth of multiple brands including Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, The Limited, Express, and Abercrombie & Fitch. 

Alissa held a variety of roles in real estate as well as in finance and information/data management. Her most recent assignment as VP of international real estate focuses on the growth of Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret across 70+ countries. She works closely with strategic, regional franchise partners to deliver compelling real estate around the globe.  

Alissa holds bachelor’s degrees in history and political science from the University of Rochester, as well as an MBA with a concentration in leadership from Franklin University. 

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Alissa has served on various philanthropic boards and volunteers her time with nonprofit organizations. She is passionate about travel, loves good wine and rides annually in Pelotonia to support cancer research. 

A resident of German Village, Alissa and her husband Joe share their home with their two dogs, Izzie and Gigi.  

Karen Fowler

Karen M. Fowler is a trusted, business-focused, collaborative diversity, equity and inclusion leader with experience working in domestic and global corporate, nonprofit and higher education environments. She has over 30 years of increasingly complex positions supporting company board members, CEOs, general managers, university presidents and world-wide client groups across most business functions and industries. 

She is an effective strategist and change agent with a proven track record of accomplishment in leading organizational initiatives, building programs, managing change, and influencing employees at all levels.

Karen has certifications in leadership development (DDI), unconscious bias, and disability etiquette and awareness. She has been a featured speaker at national and local conferences on topics ranging from Women in Leadership to People with Disabilities.  

Karen continues to mentor women in college and young female professionals. She is extremely active in the community and holds leadership roles in many organizations including Dress for Success, Jazz Arts Group-Columbus and Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD).

She is married to the love of her life and has an adult son, a fabulous daughter-in-law and two grandsons. 

Derek Grosso

Derek Grosso is an entrepreneur, connector and community-builder. He founded the Columbus Young Professionals (CYP) Club in 2005 and has grown it into the nation’s largest association for young professionals – with more than 30,000 members – while maintaining a focus on advancing careers, community, conversations and culture for emerging leaders across central Ohio. Through his leadership, the CYP Club has helped create thousands of personal and professional connections, contributed more than 100,000 volunteer hours, and raised more than $600,000 for charity since its inception. In 2020, Columbus Business First named the CYP Club No. 7 on its Corporate Citizenship Top 100 list, having donated $225,520 of in-kind donations to charity. 

He is also co-founder and CEO of Virventi, a tech startup that brings virtual events and people together with a focus on the social experience. 

He studied entrepreneurship and small business management at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He proudly serves the community through his volunteer work. He lives in Upper Arlington with his wife Nicci and daughter Hannah.

Jeffrey Lawler

Jeffrey Lawler, regional vice president with Nationwide Financial, serves financial professionals by designing complete financial plans using strategies that will enable clients to prepare for and live in retirement.

Jeff is a lifelong resident of Columbus, Ohio, and graduated from The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He spent three years with PaineWebber serving clients directly, before joining Nationwide in 2003. Jeff earned his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) in 2004, Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation in 2011, and Chartered Advisor of Senior Living in 2018. Jeff prides himself on being a lifelong learner and always seeking to understand before providing solutions. For the past 17 years, Jeff has served financial firms and their advisors building relationships and providing solutions to their client goals and dreams. 

Jeff lives with his wife Jaime and four children Sam, Will, Addie and Jack. He has completed a marathon and four half marathons. Jeff’s passion’s lie in spending time with his family and giving back to his community. An avid sports fan, he spends much of his time at fields, diamonds, basketball courts or tracks supporting his favorite athletes.

Maureen Metcalf

Maureen Metcalf is a highly respected executive advisor and the visionary founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Innovative Leadership Institute. Committed to creating a better world through exceptional leadership, Maureen guides her clients in elevating the quality of their leadership talent pool.

Recognized as a Fellow of the esteemed International Leadership Association, Maureen is also an accomplished author. Her international award-winning book series on innovative leadership, including the acclaimed "Innovative Leaders for Health Care," received the prestigious International Book Award.

Beyond her writing achievements, Maureen extends her influence through her captivating international podcast, "Innovating Leadership: Co-creating our Future," ranked in the top 1% of podcasts globally. As the host, she leads engaging discussions on cutting-edge leadership practices, garnering a wide and appreciative audience.

Maureen's expertise is highly sought after in leadership, as evidenced by her regular contributions as a writer and expert contributor to Forbes.com. Her esteemed Forbes Coaches Council membership further solidifies her role as a trusted authority in the field.

With a passion for education, Maureen has imparted her knowledge to students across various universities as an esteemed educator. She serves as the Vice President of James Madison University’s School of Strategic Leadership Studies Advisory Committee and Franklin University’s Mason Leadership Center, demonstrating her commitment to advancing the study and practice of strategic leadership.

Sean McKibben

Sean McKibben is a senior executive healthcare leader with a proven record of accomplishment leading successful growth, expansion and operational improvements of healthcare organizations. His significant achievements include safety, quality, and patient experience improvements, leadership development and building high-performing teams, service line expansion and enhancement, business development, physician relations and recruitment, profitability improvement, graduate medical education and community relations.

After a successful tenure as president of Mount Carmel Grove City (previously Mount Carmel West Hospital), Sean currently is a business advisor for Rev1 Ventures, a Columbus-based incubator and investor that provides strategic advice and capital to help scale start-up companies. He currently is advising four healthcare start-up organizations. 

Sean has been honored numerous times for his professional achievements including Lifeline of Ohio’s Administrator of the Year and ViaQuest’s Business Partner of the Year. A frequent speaker at many state and local events, he was included in Crain’s Cleveland Business’ 2008 Forty Under 40 class and is distinguished as a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. 

Sean and his wife Cindy reside in Dublin, Ohio and are proud parents to four children. He enjoys a wide variety of activities including serving on nonprofit boards and community organizations, watching his children’s athletic events, golf and tennis.

Stephanie Revish

Stephanie Revish is currently the vice president of Finance Transformation at Cardinal Health, a Fortune 16 company. In this role, she is responsible for partnering across the enterprise and with the business process outsourcing partner to drive multimillion-dollar efficiencies and insights by leveraging process standardization and data and analytics while also integrating digital tools and technology. Prior to this role, she supported various areas within Cardinal Health’s medical segment including Medical Solutions, a multibillion dollar commercial, product and services organization.  

A graduate of Leadership Columbus, Stephanie participates in a number of leadership efforts focused on the advancement of the Columbus community, mentorship and diversity in the workplace. She serves on the board of directors for both Lutheran Social Services and Pacesetters Unlimited. She is the recipient of the 2020 Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Luminary Award, the 2020 National Diversity Council’s Top 50 Financial Leaders Award and the Fischer College of Business Project Thrive Alumnus of the Year Award.

In addition to Cardinal Health, she has worked at Henry Schein, PricewaterhouseCoopers and OCLC. Stephanie earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from The Ohio State University. 

Stephanie lives in Powell with her husband Jerome and two daughters, Madison and Sydney.

Doug Ross

Dr. Doug Ross is a professor and chair of the Business Administration Program at Franklin University. Dr. Ross has extensive experience in the marketing field, both from a corporate and academic background. 

With 25 years in the academic sector, Dr. Ross is a distinguished international speaker, on a range of topics. Additionally, he’s recognized for his consulting experience in both large and small corporate settings as well as in the goods and services marketing. 

He received his doctorate in business administration from New Mexico State University, and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Colorado State University.

As a respected faculty member at Franklin University, Dr. Ross has earned the distinction of being the only educator to receive the Columbus American Marketing Association Marketing Professor of the Year honor, a record five times (1999, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2014). In addition to his many awards for marketing excellence, Dr. Ross was awarded the Robert L. Bailey Teaching Award at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, a distinction bestowed by Franklin students each term to acknowledge the professor who was most influential in their programs. A top-ranked professor, Dr. Ross was also awarded the Franklin University Teaching Excellence Award.

Christine Seebon

Christine Seebon joined Franklin University as an adjunct over a decade ago. She teaches in the business graduate and undergraduate programs and has taught extensively in the marketing program. Christine enjoys teaching both domestically and internationally. She facilitates reflective discussions, has listening skills, manages collaborative classrooms, and provides constructive feedback. With over 25 years of business expertise, Christine also brings practical experience and insights into her courses. She provides motivation and positive reinforcement through coaching, action plans and accountabilities. Christine readily adapts to diverse environments and is culturally sensitive. 

Christine is forward-thinking and results-oriented with a strong record of accomplishment. She is a consultant and has held roles such as leadership coach, marketing director, business strategist, product manager, and relationship manager. Christine is practiced in relationship development, listening to needs, questioning for clarification and deeper insights, responding to requests, providing relevant solutions, and communicating openly. 

Christine obtained her MBA from the University of Dayton and her bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University. Christine continued her education through professional and academic conferences and is currently completing her Doctor of Business Administration. She has five rescue dogs and enjoys family, travel, kayaking, off-roading, and being athletic.

Sam Sharp

Sam Sharp is an inspirational leader, mentor and collaborator with a consistent track record of excellent results over 25 years in enterprise technology. 

He possesses global expertise in product management, technical sales, business development, sales strategy and channel management. Sharp was responsible for $4 million in channel revenue at start-up Elastic representing 300% growth. 

At Oracle, he drove global strategy for $1.6 billion of channel revenue for Middleware and Business Analytics and was responsible for building Middleware Sales organization up to $300 million annual revenue. 

Sam’s experience spans federal, state and local, and commercial markets working for Oracle, Elastic, Microsoft, ConsenSys and Blue Yonder. He has focused his career on enabling enterprises across industries to leverage software in transformational solutions. His knowledge areas include technical depth in cloud (IaaS, SaaS, & PaaS) enterprise architecture, business intelligence, integration and big data. 

Sam is a graduate of George Mason University with a degree in design and management of information systems.

Ricardo Vanella

Ricardo Vanella delivers more than 30 years of expertise in advising global corporations, institutions and NGOs on business development, marketing, communications and international engagement. He is an experienced speaker, speechwriter, author, TV and radio producer, and presenter.

He is a member of The SPECTRUM Group and supported diverse projects funded by the United Nations, European Union, U.S. Department of Commerce, USAID and Inter-American Development Bank.

In addition to his consulting work, Vanella serves on the boards and in the executive leadership of several professional member organizations. Previously, Ricardo was a board member of Global Ties U.S., the American national office for 100 councils that work in partnership with the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program.  

Vanella has a law degree from the National University of Cordoba, an MBA from Bocconi University in Milan, and a specialization in international business from The American University of Paris.

He is a graduate of the National Defense University’s Strategy and Defense Policy Program at the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, as well as the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program on Globalization and International Trade.

Zenios Zenios

Zenios Zenios is the owner and CEO of 3 Pillar Homes, a custom home builder and land developer in central Ohio, founded in 1999. Zenios is also a mixed used commercial developer and real estate investor. 

Zenios has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from The Ohio State University and an MBA from Franklin University. 

He is a board member at Buckeye State Bank and an organizer and board member of Locality Bank. Zenios served on the board of the Building Industry Association of Central Ohio and in 2010 served as the board president. 

Zenios received the Forty Under 40 award from Columbus Business First, and 3 Pillar Homes has received the publication’s Fast 50 award multiple times. 

Zenios lives in Powell with his wife Matina, who also has her MBA from Franklin University. The couple has two sons, Michael and Christos.