Keynote Presentation Panel

(NOON - 1:15 PM)

Julie Brandle is the president and a founder of Metis Construction Services, a female-owned commercial general contractor located in Kent. Metis completes ground-up, renovation, and facilities maintenance projects throughout Ohio, along with projects currently in PA, IL, KY, MI, MO, DE and NY. With over 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, and public relations, Julie oversees these areas of expertise for Metis along with being an integral part of the management team that designs and manages the overall business strategy.


Julie is a committed community advocate and currently serves on the boards of Kent State University's Construction Management program, the Portage Development Board (economic development), Akron Civic Theatre, Akron Urban League, Greater Akron Chamber, ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors) Northeast Ohio, and the Rotary Club of Akron. Julie volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together, and the Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio. Julie is a Lifetime Gold Award Girl Scout and holds the adult honors of Women of Distinction and the Thanks Badge.


Julie is a graduate of Cuyahoga Falls High School, as well as Bowling Green State University where she earned a double major in Interpersonal and Public Communication and Soviet Studies and a travel grant scholarship to study in Kiev, Ukraine. She is a graduate of Goldman Sachs 10k Small Businesses, ScaleratorNEO, Leadership Portage County, and Leadership Akron's Class 37.


Julie and her husband Steven (Metis EVP of Construction Operations) reside in Brimfield Twp. Their daughter Kimberly is a BGSU '21 graduate of the College of Education and is an Intervention Specialist with Anthony Wayne Local Schools.




Metis is a women-owned and operated commercial general contractor located in Kent, Ohio and certified through NWBOC. We work throughout OH. We are also strategically working with existing clients expanding their footprint in MI, IL, KY, MO, PA, DE, and NY. Founded in 2009, we focus on ground-up and renovation projects that have included fire stations, retail, office, educational, restaurant, and retail banking branches.  We also have a fantastic facilities maintenance team that services the same market segments.  In addition to general contracting services, Metis has the capability to self-perform rough and finish carpentry, drywall, paint, and some flooring. Self-performance allows us control over tight time schedules and budgets.


Our experience as a company and the experience of our team members is vast, with excellent results on both renovation/addition and ground-up projects. n addition to construction services, we have a 4-person in-house architectural team of both licensed and unlicensed design professionals.

Joni Fitch is the director of community affairs & engagement for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, where she has been employed since 2015. She is responsible for establishing the strategic direction of Goodyear's corporate philanthropy, community engagement, and associate volunteerism programs. Her role includes ensuring these programs align with and support the company's business objectives, build Goodyear's reputation as a good corporate citizen and deliver positive outcomes. 

She directs the company’s charitable contributions program, including the Goodyear Foundation, and works collaboratively with global teams and community leaders to build strong relationships internally and externally, helping reinforce Goodyear’s commitment to volunteerism and building a better future for the communities where Goodyear operates globally.

Prior to Goodyear, Joni was with the Akron Children’s Hospital Foundation where she focused on grassroots fundraising and community development for the region-wide pediatric hospital. Earlier in her career, Joni worked with Jo-Ann Stores Inc. where she managed corporate and community events.

Joni volunteers with several organizations, she serves on the Akron Community Foundation’s Womens Endowment Fund Board of Directors, The University of Akron’s National Alumni Board, is the Great Lakes Region Co-Chair for the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals, sits on United Way’s Community Impact taskforce, the Akron Public Schools College & Career Academy Steering Committee and Akron Children’s Hospitals’ Corporate Alliance Task Force. She is a member of ATHENA Akron and the Crohns and Colitis Foundation. Joni is a Class 37 graduate of Leadership Akron’s Signature Program, a 2020 graduate of Heart to Heart Communications
Inclusive Leadership Series, an alumni of Torchbearers Akron and 2021 30 For the Future Award Recipient from the Greater Akron Chamber. She also proudly serves as an Elder in her church, First Christian Church of Stow.

Joni grew up in Wooster, Ohio and attended The University of Akron, where she earned a BA in business and organizational communications. She lives in Brimfield Township with her husband, Justin and dog, Cooper.

Susan Poe Flowers is a full-time volunteer and community advocate for the disadvantaged in Summit and Medina Counties. A recipient of the Salvation Army's highest honor, the William Booth Award, Susan's career includes being the co-owner and Vice President of Marketing for Cleveland Vicon from 1979-2018 and President of Weymouth Hills Construction Company from 1986-2011. She has served as a board member for the Salvation Army of Summit County, Child Guidance and Family Solutions, Our Lady of the Elms, Junior League of Akron, One of a Kind Pets, Akron Canton Regional Foodbank, BVU, Akron Snow Angels, and more.

Carrie Herman is the Director of Community Impact at Barberton Community Foundation.  She oversees all grantmaking and scholarship activity for that Foundation and another under its umbrella, Tuscora Park Health and Wellness Foundation.  Carrie has spent her career in nonprofit, first with Women’s Network for 13 years and then with United Disability Services for 20 years.  She has been on both sides of the grants coin, having written them and reviewed them. 

Carrie is one of the six founders of the Women’s Endowment Fund, which supports programs that benefit women and girls in Summit County.  She continues to serve on its grants advisory committee.

She has served on nonprofit boards including the Women’s Endowment Fund, YWCA, Legacy III and ATHENA Akron.  She is a graduate of Leadership Akron class VI.

Ebony Yeboah-Amankwah is a senior executive with expertise in a highly-regulated environment, and areas of corporate governance, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Ebony has nearly 20 years of experience specializing in areas of commercial finance, and leading a legal department to manage securities, merger and acquisitions, commercial litigation, labor and employment, real estate, tax, and state and federal energy law. She earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science and philosophy from Washington & Jefferson College and a law degree from Washington and Lee University. Ebony is a Northeast Ohio native and currently serves on the board of the United Way of Summit and Medina County, the Development Finance Authority of Summit County, and the Business Volunteers Unlimited. Currently, Ebony serves as the Vice President, Ethics, Compliance & Enterprise Risk Management at Signet Jewelers.


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