PRO-LIFE NEWS

Leadership

Mike Gonidakis, President

Mike was born in Akron and raised in Stow, Ohio. Mike graduated from The Ohio State University in 1995 with a BA in Political Science and a Minor in Sociology. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Akron, School of Law and was admitted to the practice in 1999.

Mike brings valuable insight and knowledge regarding regulatory affairs, public policy, federal and state politics, and grassroots organization. Mike’s professional career includes experience in both the private and public sector. Beginning his career with then State Auditor Jim Petro, he provided legal counsel regarding statutory compliance with federal and state laws to elected officials and political subdivisions. He then practiced law in Columbus at the law firm of Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter focusing in the areas of national and state government affairs, health care law and administrative law.  Mike served as the campaign manager for Pro-Life Justice Terrence O'Donnell and Pro-Life Justice Robert Cupp who both successfully were elected to the Ohio Supreme Court in 2006. 

Mike, his wife Amy and their adopted children, Olivia Grace and Isaac Charles, reside in Dublin with their chocolate Labrador Reagan and English Bulldog, Ruby.

Email: mgonidakis@ohiolife.org                  Phone: (614) 547-0099, ext. 301

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Kayla Smith, Director of Legislative Affairs 

Born in Huber Heights, Ohio, Kayla Smith grew up in the Southeastern portion of the nation, having spent most of her rearing years in metro-Atlanta. She grew up in the restaurant business until 2004 and has been working in the service industry ever since.

After graduating high school, Kayla ventured back to her home state, Ohio, and planted roots in Columbus studying political science and dance at Ohio State. She graduated from Ohio State in 2011 and began her work with the State. A Legislative Service Commission Fellow alumnus, Kayla has a variety of experiences in the legislature having been placed in the offices of State Representatives Johnson, Pelanda, and Uecker. In addition, she also served as campaign manager to State Representative Christina Hagan in the summer of 2012. 

She enjoys traveling the state of Ohio and the Eastern-half of the country to visit friends and family, staying active and spending time with loved ones in Columbus.

Email: ksmith@ohiolife.org            Phone: (614) 547-0099, ext. 303

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Laura Beth Kirsop, Director of Communications

Originally from Greenville, SC, Laura Beth received her BA in Dramatic Production from Bob Jones University in 2011 and recently earned her MA in Organizational Communication from her alma mater. As an undergraduate student, Laura Beth was actively involved in campus recruitment, Student Life, and many Fine Arts associations, where she served in several leadership roles.

As a graduate student, she served as a faculty assistant and taught several public speaking classes on the undergraduate level. In addition to her graduate coursework and teaching, Laura Beth took the opportunity to join herself with a local business-to-business marketing firm as a public relations and social media strategy intern.

Laura Beth resides in Hilliard, Ohio and enjoys spending time with friends, reading, traveling to visit family, attending theatrical productions and playing the cello.


Email: lkirsop@ohiolife.org                    Phone: (614) 547-0099 ext. 309

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Katie McCann, Public Relations Manager

A Columbus native, Katie graduated from Denison University in Granville, Ohio in 2013 with a BA in History and minors in English Literature and Political Science. During her time at Denison, she enjoyed tutoring elementary school children in Newark through Denison’s America Reads program and participating in weekly faith-based dialogues with her friends in the campus group Denison Religious Understanding. 

After completing an internship at the Federal District Court in the Southern District of Ohio, Katie joined Ohio Right to Life as an intern in June 2012. She has enjoyed learning not only about the pro-life movement, the law, and the ins and outs of the non-profit organization, but she has also thoroughly loved developing her writing ability and interests through ORTL’s blog and social media sites.

Katie enjoys spending as much time with her family and friends as she can. Outside of classes and work, she likes to read, craft, run and do Zumba. 

Email: katie@ohiolife.org                        Phone: (614) 547-0099 ext. 304

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Deb LaBarre, Accounting

Debby works part-time as the bookkeeper for Ohio Right to Life and also works part-time as the Secretary and Bookkeeper for a church in Dublin.

Debby LaBarre previously worked as the bookkeeper for the family-owned office furniture business. Her husband Richard has owned Business Equipment Electronics for over 16 years, and has worked in the business for nearly 40 years.

Debby has also been a licensed Realtor and fundraiser for Easter Seals of Central Ohio, where her daughter Andrea attended and was a past Easter Seals Child Representative.  Andrea currently attends the Alpha Workshops in Delaware County. Besides Andrea, Debby and Richard have two other adult children, Steve and Stacey.  Both graduated from Ohio State University, Steve with a degree in Art and Stacey a degree in business.

Debby resides in Powell with Richard and Andrea, and Kramer, the much adored Weimaraner. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Email: dlabarre@ohiolife.org                   Phone: (614) 547-0099 ext. 307

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