Executive Board

To learn more about the work our executive board does, read our by-laws.

Our executive board is elected annually in June/July. If you are an active member who is interested in being on our executive board, please contact the Immediate Past President. If you are interested in getting involved in any of our committees, please contact the committee chair.  To learn more about our executive board members, view their biographies below.  




Demetrice Allen






Elizabeth E. Cary




Jackie Lewis





Maritza Nelson 


Shayla Favor





Beatrice Nokuri


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Employer: Bricker & Eckler
Law School: Capital
Admitted: 2012

Beatrice Nokuri is a member of Bricker & Eckler's Health Care group and graduated cum laude from Capital University Law School in May 2012. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Berea College in Kentucky and worked as a registered nurse for over nine years. During her tenure at Capital Law, she was a research assistant for Dean Richard Simpson and the Strategic Planning Committee; an extern with the Ohio Hospital Association; and a Class Captain for the Class of 2012 Students Giving Back to Students Campaign. Bea was the recipient of several scholarships, including the Dean’s Scholarship, Federal Bar Association Columbus Chapter Scholarship, David D. White Scholarship, John Mercer Langston Bar Association Scholarship, and Douglas J. Haynes Scholarship.


Demetrice Allen

 Employer: Ice Miller LLP
Law School: OSU Moritz
Admitted: 2016

Demetrice James Allen is an associate in Ice Miller's Labor and Employment Group. He represents and advises clients in labor and employment law matters, including federal and state litigation; wage and hour issues; administrative proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the National Labor Relations Board; collective bargaining; arbitrations; union organizing; and the development of employment policies and practices, including conducting extensive wage and hour audits. Demetrice graduated cum laude with his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2012. While at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Demetrice majored in Political Science and received a paralegal certificate. In 2015, Demetrice graduated from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. There he served as an extern for The Legal Aid Society of Columbus. Demetrice served on the Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution as a Symposium Editor. Demetrice also served as President of the Black Law Students Association. Demetrice worked as a summer associate at Ice Miller in both 2013 and 2014. He joined the firm as an associate in 2015. Demetrice was one of 25 Fellows selected nationally to join the 2016 National Employment Law Council Academy. He was chosen to participate in an advanced skills training program based on demonstrated excellence in the practice of management-side labor and employment law, where he demonstrated leadership potential, and stellar references.


Adam Bennett

Employer: Porter Wright Morris & Arthur
Law School: OSU Moritz

Adam is an associate in the firm’s Columbus office and practices in the Labor & Employment Department. He focuses his practice on employment discrimination and workplace safety. His experience includes drafting employer position statements in response to employee discrimination charges and ensuring that employers maintain compliance with federal, state and local laws regulating the employment relationship.

Prior to law school, Adam served as a Teach for America Corps member in Nashville, Tennessee where he taught 8th Grade U.S. History and coached middle school soccer.  During law school, Adam served as a staff editor on The Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law and spent his summers in the firm’s Columbus office as a summer associate.

Treasurer/Membership Committee Co-Chair

Sheila Craft-Morgan

Employer: Craft-Morgan Law
Law School: Capital
Admitted: 2010

Sheila Craft-Morgan currently serves as the Treasurer of the JMLBA. She graduated from Capital University Law School in 2010 and was admitted to the bar in November of that year. Sheila also holds a Master of Library Science from Kent State University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from The Ohio State University. In 2013, Sheila established Craft-Morgan Law LLC, where she practices in the area of juvenile law. In addition, she works as a Senior Resource Planning Analyst at Ohio State. Sheila also serves on the AALAA board of the Capital University Law School.

Immediate Past President/Special Initiatives

 Lindsay Ford Ellis

 Employer: Central Ohio Transit Authority
Law School: Capital
Admitted: 2007

Lindsay Ford Ellis is an Associate Counsel in the Legal and Governmental Affairs at the Central Ohio Transit Authority. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Capital University Law School. Lindsay worked at Crabbe Brown & James and for the Honorable Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor of the Ohio Supreme Court. She has serves on the Boards of the John Mercer Langston Bar Association, Capital University Law School Alumni Association, and Law and Leadership Institute and is a member African American Leadership Academy, Cycle Six. Lindsay is the Immediate Past President of the Capital University Law School African American Law Alumni Association.


Communications Committee Chair

 Elizabeth E. Cary

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 Employer: Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
Law School: Emory University School of Law
Admitted: 2011 (NJ), 2013 (OH)

Elizabeth is a Commercial Litigation Associate at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP.  She began her legal career at Arent Fox LLP in New York City before moving to Columbus to join Ice Miller LLP as a litigation associate.  Prior to her current position, she clerked for Chief Judge R. Guy Cole, Jr. on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Elizabeth is licensed to practice law in four states and is a member of the United Way of Central Ohio Key Club and Malaika and Volunteer Services Advisory Boards of Franklin County Children Services, and a graduate of the African American Leadership Academy Cycle 10.  In 2014, Elizabeth served as co-chair for the JMLBA Aspiring Attorneys Conference.  Prior to law school, Elizabeth taught elementary school and worked as a college counselor at the Harlem Children’s Zone.  Elizabeth now lives in Gahanna with her husband Robert and son.

Fundraising Committee Co-Chair

 Candice L. Suffren

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 Employer: Ohio Attorney General’s Office
Law School: Capital
Admitted: 2007

Candice L. Christon is an Associate Assistant Attorney General in the Crime Victim Services Section at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.  Prior to that, she was a Senior Attorney with OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., responsible for providing legal support to OCLC’s business teams as well as partnering across the global enterprise on department priorities. Prior to joining OCLC, Candice served as the Staff Attorney for the Ohio School Boards Association. She has also served as an Assistant City Attorney for the Columbus City Attorney’s Office.

Candice graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. in English. She received her J.D. from Capital University Law School. She is also a member of the National Board for Women for Economic and Leadership Development as well as a Board of Trustee for the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education.

Membership/ Social Committee Co-Chair 

Shayla Favor


Employer: Columbus City Attorney
Law School: Capital
Admitted: 2013

Shayla Favor is currently an Assistant City Attorney with the Columbus City Attorney’s Office. In this position, Favor litigates environmental issues, renders legal advice to various local governmental agencies and serves as a liaison between the City Attorney’s Office and neighborhood associations to address issues affecting the quality of life of local residents. A graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and African-American and African studies, Favor also received her Juris Doctor, with a concentration in Child & Family Law, from Capital University Law School. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., volunteers with the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and Northside Food Pantry, and serves as a mentor through the Lawyer for a Day initiative.

Professional Development Committee Chair 

 Apps Akpofure

Employer: Kegler Brown Hill & Ritter
Law School: Capital
Admitted: 2015

Apps Akpofure is an associate at Kegler Brown Hill + Ritter who focuses his practice on corporate law, emerging businesses and real estate. He is a 2015 graduate of Capital University Law School, earning his Juris Doctor after nearly a decade of working with Ohio’s government. After majoring in Economics and Political Science at The Ohio State University, Apps worked for Ohio and U.S. senators, and the Ohio attorney general, overseeing staff, creating committees and implementing programs. Currently, Apps’ work focuses on advising businesses in the beginning stages of their development on matters such as tax structuring, economic incentives, and company and fundraising structuring, as well as helping established businesses with issues from licensing and distribution agreements to franchising or corporate governance. He also guides individual and corporate clients throughout the entire process of purchasing or selling affordable multifamily properties, providing counsel on all aspects of conventional, tax credit and HUD-insured financing and refinancing.

Community Activism Committee Chair

Azure'D Metoyer

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Employer: Ohio Attorney General’s Office
Law School: Thurgood Marshall School of Law
Admitted: 2014

Azure'D Metoyer is an attorney in the Civil Rights section of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.  Prior to that, she was Consumer Educator in the agency. She is a Columbus native and attended Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio for undergrad. Azure'D received her J.D from Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, Texas. After becoming licensed in May 2014, she spent considerable time volunteering with the Legal Aid Society of Columbus. Azure'D is passionate about public service and working on policy change. She is also a member of the Ohio State Bar Association and the Columbus Bar Association.     

Fundraising Committee Co-Chair

Jacqueline Lewis

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Employer: Bricker & Eckler
Law School: OSU Moritz
Admitted: 2014

Jackie Lewis is an associate in Bricker & Eckler’s Public Finance group and practices in the areas of public finance and public law, emphasizing school and local government law. She assists with and advises on the documentation and issuance of general obligation and revenue bond transactions for municipalities, school districts, and other political subdivisions; and provides general counsel guidance to political subdivisions with respect to various issues of public law.

Jacquelin is the former Director of Public Affairs for the Ohio Association of Community Colleges. She has also served as a legislative aide in both chambers of the Ohio General Assembly and as legislative liaison to former Ohio Treasurer of State and former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray.

Small Firm/Solo Practitioner Committee Chair

Maritza Nelson

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Employer: Law Office of Maritza S. Nelson
Law School: University of Texas
Admitted: 2007

Maritza S. Nelson is a business attorney who helps entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profits minimize legal risks, resolve disputes, and plan for the future. In addition to running her own law firm, Law Office of Maritza S. Nelson, she also serves as Outside General Counsel for the Juvenile Justice Coalition and Community Shares of Mid-Ohio and is actively involved with the state and local bar associations. Prior to venturing out on her own, she spent seven years at two of the nation’s largest law firms as an associate in their respective litigation groups. She decided that practicing law could be about more than how many hours could be billed and now works almost exclusively on a flat fee basis. Her clients include businesses and non-profits from a wide variety of industries, such as transportation companies, franchises, home health care agencies, the food industry, consultants and marketing companies, real estate investors, software companies, youth advocacy programs, a dental practice, and retailers and wholesalers. Maritza is a proud graduate of Howard University, where she received her Bachelor or Arts in Political Science summa cum laude before going on to The University of Texas School of Law for her Juris Doctorate.

Mentoring Committee Chair

Janay Stevens

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Employer: Dinsmore & Shohl
Law School: OSU Moritz
Admitted: 2013

As a member of Dinsmore & Shohl’s Labor and Employment Department, Janay has experience counseling and guiding public and private employers in both employment and traditional labor law. She regularly assists employers to comply with the National Labor Relations Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and its Amendments, the Age Discrimination Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Ohio Civil Rights Act. She has also represented clients in both state and federal court, as well as before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and various state agencies.

Prior to joining Dinsmore, Janay served as a judicial extern to the Hon. Algenon Marbley with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. She is also a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, Columbus Bar Association, Columbus Urban League Young Professionals, graduate of the YWCA Chase GenY Leadership program, and has served as a community mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters for the past five years. She earned her J.D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and her B.A. in Criminal Justice from the University of Nevada.

At Large Board of Trustees

Sean Walton, Jr.

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Employer: Walton & Brown LLP
Law School: Capital
Admitted: 2011

Sean is an experienced attorney in the field of serious personal injury litigation.  Prior to opening Walton + Brown, LLP, he was an attorney with The Cochran Firm, the prestigious firm founded by legendary attorney Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr.  During this time he was also Of Counsel with an Ohio based law firm specializing in serious personal injury cases.  Attorney Walton has also worked for a Federal District Court Judge in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Sean is also a Certified Contract Advisor with the National Football League. He represents athletes through ELITE Sports and Entertainment Agency, LLC.  Sean is active in a number of community and professional organizations, including Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.;  100 Black Men of Central Ohio;  National Bar Association; American Association for Justice;  Ohio Association of Justice; Columbus Bar Association; John Mercer Langston Bar Association; and the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association.