The Kathy A. Krendl Distinguished Lecture Series connects prominent thought leaders with our campus and our community.

Kathy A. Krendl Distinguished Lecture Series

Honoring the legacy of Otterbein’s 20th president, the Kathy A. Krendl Distinguished Lecture Series hosts compelling and thought-provoking scholars, dignitaries, business visionaries, and others who impact the areas of innovation, leadership, and collaboration. The series welcomes diverse outlooks that prompt dialogue, advance opportunity and inclusion, spark innovation and foster the pace-setting initiatives that distinguish Otterbein’s past, present, and future.  

2022 Krendl Distinguished Lecture Series: “Working Together to Move Forward”

The Kathy A. Krendl Distinguished Lecture Series at Otterbein University is proud to present a panel of Ohio leaders speaking to the importance of “Working Together to Move Forward.” Our virtual panel of community leaders will consider how we can work across common “dividing lines” in society (race, gender, ideology, and others) to solve the issues that face us – including healthcare, education, and economic inequality. The 2022 event will align with the celebration of Otterbein’s 175th anniversary, as the University continues to work to keep the promise of our founders to stand for societal justice and equity. The panel will be moderated by Michelle Galligan, CEO and co-founder of Keep Financials.

When: 9 a.m. on Thursday March 17


Lilliana Cavanaugh

Lilleana Cavanaugh

Executive Director, Ohio Latino Affairs Commission

As executive director for the State of Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs, Lilleana Cavanaugh serves with the mandates to advise legislators and elected officials on matters related to Hispanics in Ohio, to connect the different Latino serving organizations across the state, and to build the capacity of Latino leaders and serving organizations.

She has been directly engaged with the Latino community in Ohio for the last 21 years; the last 10 serving in a statewide capacity with the Commission. Cavanaugh is a strong leader and a multicultural specialist who implements the knowledge and experience from working and living in Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the United States in her professional career. She is an expert on leadership development, community engagement, cultural competence, and global communications.

Angela Dawson

Angela Cornelius Dawson

Executive Director, Ohio Commission on Minority Health

Angela Cornelius Dawson leads the Ohio Commission on Minority Health — the nation’s first state office of minority health in response to the disparity in health status between the state’s minority and non- minority populations.

The Commission funds projects which are innovative, culturally sensitive, and specific in their approach toward reduction of the incidence and severity of those diseases or conditions which are responsible for excess morbidity and mortality in minority populations.

Prior to this selection, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland appointed Dawson as the director of the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ODADAS) March 2007. She served as its first African American director from March 2007-January 2011. Prior to her appointment to ODADAS, Dawson served as the executive director of Project Linden, Inc., a private non-profit outpatient alcohol and other drug treatment and prevention services center in Franklin County for 20 years.

Steve Stivers

Steve Stivers

President and CEO, Ohio Chamber of Commerce

Raised in Ripley, Ohio, Steve Stivers learned from his mother and father the importance of family, hard work, and public service, which have been the values he has carried with him throughout his life.

In May 2021, he was selected to lead the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the state’s leading business organization, whose mission it is to aggressively champion free enterprise, economic competitiveness and growth for the benefit of all Ohioans. In addition to his responsibilities as president and CEO, Stivers works with legislators, business leaders, and government officials on issues affecting Ohio Chamber member companies.

Prior to joining the Ohio Chamber, Stivers represented Ohio’s 15th Congressional District from 2011 until May 16, 2021. He served on the Financial Services Committee and was the ranking member on the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance.

In January 2003, he was appointed to the Ohio Senate and successfully ran for a full term in 2004. He was assigned to various committees and chaired the Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee. He served in the Ohio Senate until 2008.

A career soldier, Stivers has served over 30 years in the Ohio Army National Guard and holds the rank of Major General. He served overseas during Operation Iraqi Freedom in Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar, and Djibouti where he led 400 soldiers and contractors and is proud that each and every one returned home safely. Stivers received the Bronze Star for his leadership throughout the deployment.


Michelle Galligan

Michelle Galligan

Co-Founder and CEO, Keep Financials

Michelle Galligan is the CEO and co-founder of Keep Financials, a firm that runs the accounting function and provides CFO services for small businesses. Before becoming a serial entrepreneur, she started her career at Ernst & Young and held leadership roles in two Fortune 500 companies. She serves as a management consultant for several early-stage and rapidly growing entrepreneurial companies.

A passionate advocate of community service, Galligan serves as vice chair of the national board of A Kid Again; vice chair of the board of SECORE, an international coral restoration organization; board member of LEAP+, an LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship incubator; and president elect of the Columbus chapter of Entrepreneur’s Organization. She is the former board president of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Franklin County. She also serves on the Otterbein University Women’s Leadership Network Advisory Council.

She was awarded the Columbus Chamber of Commerce Young Professional Leadership award in 2011 and was named to the Columbus 40 Under 40 list in 2012, WELD Women You Should Know in 2014, and Make-A-Wish “Wish Woman” in 2016.

About Kathy A. Krendl, Ph.D. H'18

After nine landmark years at Otterbein University, President Kathy A. Krendl, Ph.D. H’18 retired in June 2018. President Krendl was a strong and humble servant leader and a fierce champion of the transformative opportunities of an Otterbein education. Kathy’s legacy reflects the ideals for which we stand as a community-opportunity, innovation, service and inclusiveness.

In honoring her legacy, the Otterbein Board of Trustees considered the hallmarks of her tenure-pace setting innovation, increased partnerships and programs, a commitment to women’s leadership and growth resulting in the most diverse and academically prepared classes in recent Otterbein history. Specifically, her tenure included strategic enrollment gains, the largest campaign in Otterbein’s history, the educational model of the 21st century realized at The Point, a tuition freeze for five of her nine years, new partnerships that positioned Otterbein as a national leader and a personal unwavering commitment to access and affordability for all. Because learning and opportunity are key to an initiative that would honor her impact, the decision was made to establish the Kathy A. Krendl Distinguished Lecture Series.

Towers Hall Behind Spring Leaves