June 2022

CUL Board Continues Tradition of Diverse Leadership

Organization adds Stephanie Shaw and Beth Murphy to the Board


Committed to exemplifying the value and importance of recruiting diverse talent, expertise, genders and races to leadership, the Board of Trustees of the Columbus Urban League (CUL) recently added two new members: Stephanie Shaw, Vice President – Enterprise Technology for The Wendy’s Company and Beth Murphy, Senior Vice President, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel for Grange Insurance.

Shaw brings more than two decades in-depth knowledge of technology infrastructure to CUL, in addition to specific Diversity, Equity and Inclusion experience at The Wendy’s Company. She has earned numerous awards, most recently as one of the National Diversity Council’s Top 100 Women in Technology and as Wendy’s 2018 Community Ambassador of the Year for her service to Alvis.

Murphy began her legal career in 1998 and now leads a team of attorneys and compliance specialists who ensure Grange responds to regulatory, judicial and legislative rulings and policies. She has volunteered extensively in the community, serving on the Boards of St. Stephens Community House, Melissa’s House and currently Handshake America, and professionally, as past chair of the Ohio Association of Mutual Insurance Companies and the Association of Oho Life Insurance Companies.

“Stephanie and Beth are great leaders who will contribute significantly to CUL’s continued evolution as a leader in achieving social justice and racial and gender equity,” said Jim Negron, CUL Board Chair. “We also appreciate that both of them represent some of Central Ohio’s strongest corporate allies when it comes to implementing diversity, equity and inclusion policies. It is critical that our Board exemplify and demonstrate the value of the principles for which we advocate.”

Shaw and Murphy join:

  • Stephanie Green, Senior Vice President and Director of Private Banking for Fifth Third Bank, (Secretary, Member, Finance Committee) who brings nearly three decades in banking and extensive community board service experience;
  • Hussein Awada, Senior Director of Financial Planning & Analysis, Covermymeds, (Member, Audit Committee) who, in addition to 12 years in corporate finance, also has supported entrepreneurial enterprises that employ single moms;
  • O’Neal Saunders, Senior Managing Counsel for American Honda Motor Co., Inc., (Chair, Nominating & Governance Committee and Member, Executive Committee) who directs a wide range of commercial legal actions for the car manufacturer and who has nearly three decades experience in public and private legal practices;
  • Brandon Nelson, MBA, Market Executive/Executive Director, JPMorgan Chase Bank (Chair, Marketing & Fundraising Committee). In addition to extensive knowledge of middle market companies’ banking needs, Nelson was an inaugural member of his company’s Diversity and Inclusion Council;
  • Darren Shepard, MBA, Vice President– Utilities for American Electric Power (Member, Executive and Finance Committees and Young Professionals Advisor). Shephard’s professional career spans thirty years in the power generation industry. He also is past Chair of the Salvation Army Board, a licensed professional engineer and Chapter President of the American Association of Blacks in Energy;
  • Jim Negron, Executive Vice President, Corna Kokosing Construction Company (Chair, Member Nominating & Governance Committee). A 35-year veteran of the construction industry, Negron also has extensive community involvement, including serving on the Board of Catholic Social Services and Jazz Arts Group and volunteering for My Brother’s Keeper and Builder’s Exchange of Central Ohio;
  • Mark Halpin, Tax Managing Director, KPMG (Chair, Audit Committee). With 15 years background in tax issues for a variety of entities, Halpin also led his firm’s Columbus Inclusion & Diversity Council and People First Council in addition to mentoring 15 local employees, serving on the Board of Director for Ohio Court Appointed Special Advocates Association and as a volunteer mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio;
  • Nicole Barnes Marshall, Global Head of Inclusion & Diversity, Pinterest, (Vice-Chair Chair HR/Personnel Committee), brings more than 20 years extensive knowledge of diversity, equity and inclusion issues through positions at LBrands, Aon and IBM. She also is on the National Urban League Diversity Advisory Board and serves as a Board member for the United Way of Central Ohio;
  • Vinita Clements, Chief Human Resources Officer, Nationwide (Member, HR/Personnel Committee). With 18 years in various human resources roles for Nationwide, Clements also is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, Senior HR Executives Council and past board member of the Ohio Foundation for Independent Colleges;
  • Viren Patel, Senior Vice President, Commercial Relationship Manager, Huntington Bank, (Member, Finance Committee). Patel’s professional experiences include two decades working with entrepreneurs and middle market companies on their banking needs. He seeks out innovative ways to serve the community, including encouraging more than 40 colleagues to regularly volunteer with Junior Achievement;
  • Tim Tokish, Senior Vice President, Shared Services, NiSource (Treasurer, Chair, Finance Committee). Tokish has an extensive background in corporate finance and customer service in a utility environment, in addition to volunteering for organizations such as the United Negro College Fund and the Homeless Families Foundation;
  • Salil Verma, Chief of Staff, Olive (Member, Marketing & Fundraising Committee). Passionate about using technology to drive change that benefits people, Verma offers unique insights after a quarter century working in digital transformation and IT. A Leadership Columbus alumni, Verma also is a three-time Ohio Health Prism Award nominee.

The Columbus Urban League is Central Ohio’s oldest and most successful social justice and racial equity advocate. The 104-year-old organization ranks among the top five percent of all National Urban League affiliates and was recently one of only ten organizations across the country to earn funding from One Million Black Women for a pilot Incubate Her program. CUL fostered more than 140,000 interactions in one year during the COVID pandemic and offers holistic initiatives to boost Black wealth, education, earning power, business growth and family stability despite long-standing implicit biases. CUL intentionally leads real change to achieve greater equity for Black families throughout Central Ohio and a more inclusive economy that benefits all.

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