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Keynote Speakers


1:30-2:30pm: Keynote, Ryan Stubenrauch, Partnership During Crisis


Ryan Stubenrauch has more than a dozen years of experience working as an attorney, communications strategist, and government affairs advisor to a wide range of clients.


Mr. Stubenrauch has worked with both government and private sector clients in 10 different states. He’s helped a wide variety of private sector clients—from small businesses to billion-dollar companies—deal with communications during a crisis. Stubenrauch has also worked with government—from local officials to statewide executives and members of Congress—on critical legal, political, and media relations issues.


Mr. Stubenrauch has been interviewed by many local, national, and international news outlets. He’s served as spokesperson and crisis communications advisor for many organizations during a difficult time. Earlier in his career, he served as an assistant attorney general for several years prosecuting complex criminal cases and organized crime. Mr. Stubenrauch also served as Mike DeWine’s Senior Policy Advisor.


He’s a noted speaker and instructor on Ohio public records laws, media relations, and crisis communications issues. He graduated from The Ohio State University and Capital University Law School.


Mr. Stubenrauch and his wife Josie live in Lewis Center, Ohio, where they are the proud parents of three children.

2:30pm-3:20pm: Keynote, Cynthia Calhoun, NASA Aerospace Engineer Supervisor


Cynthia Calhoun is an Aerospace Engineer Supervisor serving as Deputy Chief of the Program and Project Assurance Division at NASA John Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. She is responsible for assuring NASA systems are of high quality and operate safely, to ensure a successful mission for NASA programs and projects. This includes overseeing an annual budget of 14 million dollars and staff of 60 employees who evaluate the safety, reliability, and quality of aeronautics and space systems design and fabrication, and technology or research and development activities that could evolve into space systems. 

She has also received numerous awards throughout her career for her accomplishments, including the NASA Equal Employment Opportunity Medal for her STEM outreach efforts with underrepresented and underserved students. She was a founding member of the Greater Cleveland Indeed We Code (IWC) camp, which teaches African American girls coding, and also helped develop a partnership between the Ohio university Russ College of Engineering and the International Women's Air and Space Museum in Cleveland to create an engineering summer camp.


Ms. Calhoun has a Bachelor’s in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Ohio University and a Master’s in Management Information Systems from Duquesne University. She served on the OHIO Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2010 to 2016.,

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11:00am-12:00pm: Panel Discussion

Arundi Venkayya, Chief Communications Officer at the Ohio Department of Health; Jack Pepper, Athens City/County Health Department; Gillian Ice, Ohio University Health Liaison 

Arundi Venkayya is the Chief Communications Officer for the Ohio Department of Health. In this role, she leads the agency’s strategic communications response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She also manages the Office of Communications and works collaboratively with offices and bureaus in the agency to disseminate important public health information to internal and external stakeholders and the general public using print, electronic, social media, video, web communications and the news media.


Arundi has extensive strategic communications, public relations, and marketing communications experience in healthcare and the media. Before joining ODH, she served as a communications executive at Taylor Communications, where she managed a patient engagement blog and administered a national patient engagement award and marketing programs. She held several leadership positions at the Dayton Daily News, including Business Editor and Metro Editor, where she managed teams of reporters and freelance writers. Before joining the Dayton Daily News, she served as Public Relations Manager for The Children’s Medical Center in Dayton where she managed media relations and internal and community relations. She was a reporter and Assistant City Editor for the Palladium-Item newspaper in Richmond, Indiana, from 1996 to 2000.


Arundi was named one of “25 Women to Watch” by Women in Business Networking in 2013, and received a “40 Under 40” award from Dayton Business Journal in 2010. She has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and a bachelor’s degree from Miami University.

Jack Pepper is the Athens City-County Heath Department administrator, a position he has held since 2017. Prior to becoming the Administrator he served as the ACCHD Director of Environmental Health for 10 years. He is a member of the Association of Ohio Health Commissioner and just started his second term as the Southeast District Director; he is also a member of the Ohio Environmental Health Association where he served in leadership roles before becoming the department Administrator. Jack is a graduate of Ohio University and is a lifelong resident of Athens, Ohio.

Dr. Gillian Ice is the Special Assistant to the President for Public Health Operations at Ohio University. Dr. Ice’s research interests include human biology, aging, stress, long-term care and grandparenting. In addition to her field research, Ice is currently collaborating with the Baylor Botswana Center for Excellence and working with the National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA) to help them develop their research training program. Having signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Botswana’s Ministry of Health, she is also coordinating a nurse training project. Dr. Ice participates in the Ohio University Collaborative on Aging, which brings together researchers, educators, service providers and students with aging-related interests. The University-wide interdisciplinary network focuses on improving the lives of older adults and optimizing quality of life across the lifespan, especially in underserved populations.

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