Josh Harrison is President of Improving – Columbus where his primary responsibility is business development, talent acquisition, along with building and sustaining trust within the company and IT community. He initially joined Improving in 2012 as Vice President of Consulting, and lead the consulting team to grow revenues from $1.5 million to over $5 million.
Active in the community, Josh is a graduate of the 2016 class of Leadership Columbus. He serves on the board of directors for the Columbus Metropolitan Club, Besa, and is the Board Chair for Gladden Community House.
Co-founder + Principal
Barry specializes in business building, brand strategy and marketing. Since 2003, he has launched three (and sold two) strategic consulting businesses and worked with more than 500 businesses from pre-revenue startups to publicly traded companies to help drive margin and identify differentiated brand positions.
A qualified hotel manager in Ireland, Barry spent five years as part of the management teams of luxury hotels and cruise lines, circling the globe twice. He established Ireland’s first food & beverage control consultancy, and launched Barkeeper, an award-winning online subscription service for bar owners to manage more efficient and profitable businesses, expanding to the UK and the US, and adding a digital marketing agency in 2010.
In 2012, Barry’s businesses were acquired by Buzztime, Inc. (NYSE: NTN) who hired Barry as Chief Marketing Officer to lead brand strategy, market development and help determine the strategic direction of the company in line with growth potential and market opportunity.
Co-founder + Principal
Haley is a brand and communications consultant with 20+ years experience working with Fortune-500 companies, non-profit organizations and startups to elevate storytelling and build differentiated brand positions.
Prior to founding Storyforge, Haley spent 16 years with L Brands (NYSE: LB), most recently as Vice President of Internal Communications directly supporting the company’s founder and chairman in strategic, leadership and internal communications, designing and implementing messages, communications strategies and engagement campaigns to reach 100,000 global employees. As head of the internal communications function for the enterprise, she was additionally responsible for all change communications including mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations and reductions in force.
In her life before retail, she worked in the non-profit sector, supporting a DC-based liberal arts accreditation agency, producing special events and directing and stage managing theater in NYC.
John Lowe joined Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in 2009 as Chief Executive and part-owner after receiving a late-night call from his long-time friends, Jeni Britton Bauer and Charly Bauer. The couple knew they had created something amazing, and they knew their friend was just the person to help it skyrocket. John took the leap to the four-shop ice cream company based on his belief that Jeni Britton Bauer was a once-in-a-generation talent who was making the finest ice cream the World had ever known. Since John joined Jeni’s, the Company has grown to more than 30 shops, from LA to DC, and has “gone national” with its pints on the freezer shelves of more than 1,800 of America’s finest retailers. The Company has received innumerable accolades, from a Time Magazine headline asking, “Can The Best Ice Cream In America Be Its Biggest?” to Inc., Fast Company, and Fortune, as well as “Best Dessert” and “Best Product Line” “Sofie Awards” from the Specialty Food Association. John has appeared on Bloomberg and MSNBC, but generally remains behind the scenes in favor of the Company’s founder, who remains its creative driving force. For the company’s handling of a 2015 outbreak of listeria monocytogenes, including its transparency with consumers and management through the crisis, John received the Specialty Food Association 2016 Business Leadership Award.
Prior to Jeni’s, John served in numerous leadership roles with General Electric Company, including stints as General Counsel of GE’s Business & General Aviation startup and its Aviation Services Global Operations, a $14B P&L operating 35 MRO facilities and joint ventures around the globe. While at GE John served as an Officer of GE Honda Aero Engines, a joint venture created to power HondaJet. John began his legal career with Kegler Brown, where he was twice named a Rising Star by Ohio Super Lawyers, was a 40 Under 40 recipient at 29, and was cited by the Columbus Bar Association and Columbus Public Schools for his “volunteer work, mentoring and commitment to Columbus-area youth.”
John is as an outside director of White Castle Company, and serves on the advisory boards of Watershed Distillery and Acre Farm-to-Table-To-Go. He serves on the boards of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and the Columbus Youth Foundation. He is a graduate of University of Illinois, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, GE’s famed Manager Development Course, the Human Performance Institute’s Executive Course, and most recently, Harvard Business School’s Young American Leaders Program. John is dad to three boys, 7, 9 and 12, and loves coaching their basketball teams. He is married to their mother, Catherine L. Strauss, a partner with IceMiller who primarily handles high-profile litigation for large corporations.
Derek DeHart is a Product Owner at CoverMyMeds, whose mission is to help patients get the medication they need to live healthy lives. As a Product Delivery professional with over 15 years of leadership experience, Derek serves technology teams by helping them to discover the next most valuable thing to deliver to their customers. Derek also serves as Chief Operations Officer and member of the Board of Directors for DACA Time, a non-profit social enterprise he co-founded to reduce the cost and complexity associated with completing immigration forms. DACA Time was recognized as The Metropreneur’s Top New Startup of 2017.
Outside of his professional life, Derek is a passionate member of the social entrepreneurial and technology communities in Columbus. He co-organizes the Columbus Product Club to promote the Product Management discipline in Columbus and is a lead organizer for GiveBackHack, a weekend-long event to launch new social enterprises.
Director of Software Engineering
In a career spanning over 20 years in technology, Mark has had the opportunity to lead and participate in roles as diverse as engineering, sales, and management. At Microsoft, he owned development and release of two major products: Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 R2. Upon leaving Microsoft in 2010, Mark held a series of positions, including developing and leading the QA department at Grange Insurance, leading engineering and product management at Manta, and leading engineering for the Provider Vertical at CoverMyMeds to integrate with the leading EMR systems Epic, Cerner, and Allscripts, eventually ending in a $1.4B acquisition by McKesson. He has been with Fuse by Cardinal Health since late 2017, supporting teams responsible for on-site inventory management solutions.
Mark holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer and Information Science from The Ohio State University and a Master of Science degree with concentration in Computer Science from the University of Washington. In his spare time, Mark is active in the Columbus startup community, an avid cyclist, and 10-time Pelotonia participant
Director of Business Development
Jacquie brings over 14 years of experience in sales, customer service, and professional leadership. Jacquie currently leads Business Development for Improving’s Columbus based subsidiary. Since joining the Improving leadership team, revenues at Improving (Columbus) have more than doubled. In addition, the company was named to the Fast 50 in 2014, 2015 and 2016. In 2015 Jacquie was a recipient of The Stevie Award for Executive of the year for women in technical business. Jacquie is also passionate about learning and growth, she’s a certified instructor of FranklinCoveys “The Speed of Trust”
In the business community, Jacquie serves on the Membership Engagement Committee for the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, a member of WELD (Woman for Economic and Leadership Development). She serves on the Board of Directors for The Ohio Girl Scouts, a founding board member and Chair for Conscious Capitalism Columbus, and Board of Directors for New Directions Career Center. Jacquie was also a recipient of Columbus Business first 40/40 class of 2017.
Director of Community Investment
Jen Bowden is the Director of Community Investment for the IGS Family of Companies, where she works to carry forward the company’s purpose of building a meaningful energy future together. In this role, she’s responsible for investments into the communities where IGS does business including philanthropic investments, employee community engagement, community economic development and volunteerism. Additionally, she has responsibilities on IGS’s corporate innovation team.
Before joining IGS, she was the vice president of community relations for the Columbus Blue Jackets, Columbus’ professional hockey team. Jen has also held roles as the director of corporate and government relations and capital campaign manager for Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Prior to her time with the Foodbank, she spent several years in charitable fundraising in Washington, D.C. She received a degree in International Studies from The Ohio State University.
Jen actively serves the community through volunteerism and civic participation. In addition to her role on the Conscious Capitalism Columbus board, she serves as a board member of Deep Griha USA, chairs the HRC Columbus Gala, and annually serves as a roster judge on Election Day.
She lives in Upper Arlington with her partner, Josh Flynn, and daughter, Parker.