Deb serves as the firm’s chief operating partner and concentrates her practice in the field of employee benefits and executive compensation.
Deb routinely counsels clients on ERISA and IRS compliance in all facets of their employee benefits offerings. Her experience working with clients’ qualified retirement plans and health and welfare benefits plans is all-encompassing—including the design, implementation, administration, amendment, compliance, correction and termination of such plans. She also counsels client with respect to nonqualified retirement plans with respect to compliance with Code Section 409A and employee stock ownership plans.
Viewed by clients as a trusted business advisor, Deb has successfully represented clients in front of government agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. She has navigated clients through investigations by each of these agencies, as well as various correction mechanisms through the IRS and Department of Labor.
Deb also has substantial experience advising clients on the employee benefit plan aspects of mergers and acquisitions for both public and private companies, including all aspects preceding and following a transaction from review and negotiation of the terms of purchase and sale agreements to advising on post-transaction benefit plan integration and transition. And in the area of health and welfare plans, she has assisted with compliance and design for medical, dental, vision, life and disability plans, as well as compliance with the Affordable Care Act.
In her role as chief operating partner, Deb oversees the firm’s day-to-day business activities and operations. She works closely with the firm’s managing partner, senior administrators, and her fellow partners and colleagues to ensure Porter Wright is in the best position possible to meet its long-term, strategic growth plans and its everyday mission to provide clients with exceptional legal services.
Prior to attending law school, Deb was a compensation and benefits consultant with both a national human resources consulting firm and a regional accounting and benefits consulting firm, specializing in employee health and welfare plans and qualified retirement plans. During law school, Deb served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Thomas J. Moyer former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio.
- The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law (J.D., with honors, 2004)
- Villanova University (B.A., magna cum laude, 1997)
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
- Columbus Bar Association
- Ohio State Bar Association
- American Bar Association
Honors & Awards
- Chambers USA, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, Ohio
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Phi Kappa Phi
- Strong Award for Appellate Advocacy, 2004
- John Maynard Keynes Medal for Excellence in Economics
- Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors, 2022-present
- Leadership Columbus, Class of 2019
- Girls on the Run of Central Ohio, Board of Directors
- Handshake America, Coach
- United Way of Central Ohio, Women’s Leadership Council, Young Professionals Group
- Youth Soccer Coach