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Corporate and Healthcare Leaders To Headline Otterbein University’s Commencement Ceremonies

February 28, 2017
Otterbein University

Westerville, OH—Otterbein University has selected Jane Grote Abell, founding family member and chairwoman of the board of Donatos Pizza, as its undergraduate commencement speaker and David Blom, president and CEO of OhioHealth Corp., as its graduate commencement speaker for the 2017 commencement weekend, April 29-30.

“We are fortunate to have such industry pacesetters right here in central Ohio to share their leadership insight,” said Otterbein President Kathy Krendl. “Both Jane and David have much wisdom to share with our graduates as they embark on their journeys into the world.” 

Abell will address the class of 2017 at the University’s undergraduate commencement ceremony on Sunday, April 30, in the Rike Center on the Otterbein campus in Westerville.

Over the last four decades, Abell has held a variety of positions at both Donatos Pizza and Jane’s Dough Foods, Donatos’ food service commissary operations. In 1988, with a degree from The Ohio State University in organizational communications and a strong passion for people, she was promoted to chief people officer and served in this role during the acquisition by McDonald’s in 1999. During the four years with McDonald’s, Abell served as senior vice president of development and maintained her role as chief people officer. In these leadership positions, she helped steer the company’s business strategy. In 2003, Abell was a major catalyst behind the decision to purchase Donatos back from McDonald’s. Following the buyback, in December of 2006, Jane was promoted to president and chief operating officer.

Abell is a member of the American Heart Association Go Red for Women and the co-chair for the 2015-2016 Go Red Campaign. She is a founding member of the Ross Leadership Institute and serves on the Otterbein Women’s Leadership Advisory Council. She sits on the boards of directors for Reeb Avenue Center, Action for Children, Experience Columbus and I Know I Can. In 2014, Abell was named to the YWCA Columbus Academy of Women of Achievement, one of only 237 women so honored since 1986.

In 2014, Columbus CEO Magazine named her CEO of the Year and Franchise Update Magazine listed her as one of the Top 24 Women in Franchising. Abell was also featured in CBS’s hit series Undercover Boss where she went undercover in Donatos restaurants.

In 2015, Abell released her first book THE MISSING PIECE: Doing Business the Donatos Way. Her book is the story of a classic American family business. It is a warm, insightful account of her lifelong education in leadership, authenticity and running a values-based business. To learn more visit, www.JaneGroteAbell.com.

Blom will speak at the graduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, April 29, in the Rike Center on the Otterbein campus in Westerville.

Blom is president and chief executive officer of OhioHealth, a not-for-profit, faith-based, healthcare system in Columbus. With 28,000 associates, physicians and volunteers, 11 hospitals and a 12th on the way, and $3.5 billion in net revenue, OhioHealth is devoted to its mission of improving the health of those it serves.

Blom holds a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and master’s degree in healthcare administration from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

He joined the OhioHealth family of hospitals and health services in 1983 and since then has held progressive management positions.  

In March 2002, he was named president and CEO of the system and has been instrumental in the development and growth of the OhioHealth system.

Blom, a past chairman of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, maintains many professional and community affiliations, including Columbus 2020, the Columbus Partnership, Columbus Downtown Development Commission, and The Columbus Foundation.  

He was recognized as “CEO of the Year” by Columbus CEO magazine in 2011; as Business First’s Businessperson of the year in 2012; and was inducted into the Central Ohio Business Hall of Fame in 2009.  

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