Internal talent development and succession planning guide Bricker leadership transition, Shipley and Jester promotions

Firm News

Spotlighting the positive impact of the firm’s investment into its leadership development programs and preparations, Bricker & Eckler filled two executive-level positions with internal candidates. Sam Shipley, the firm’s most recent Chief Information Officer, has transitioned to the Chief Operating Officer role. Melissa Jester, former Application Development Manager, is now Bricker’s Information Technology Director, filling Shipley’s position as leader of the IT team. This personnel shift not only demonstrates strong in-house talent but also the firm’s success in developing internal leaders among existing employees.

Sam Shipley is a seasoned law firm executive with more than 25 years in the legal industry and a career that spans a variety of professional service firms. Prior to joining Bricker, Sam served in various operational roles including human resources, marketing and finance, in addition to technology-based positions. Sam possesses key competencies and demonstrates exceptional accomplishments in his field. Having led multiple organizations through several iterations of technology upgrade and growth, he has managed many aspects of a strategic plan – from enterprise project management and large scale deployment to vendor negotiations and customer service.

Melissa Jester, who has been with Bricker for over 25 years, has vast experience in managing projects and teams of IT professionals. Known for her exceptional service and skill in addressing technology needs, she has grown into a respected leader among Bricker’s IT group and local technology professionals, as well as among members of the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA). She has led several internal innovation projects and has a strong rapport with Bricker staff, attorneys and leaders. She was a member of the firm’s inaugural Gateway to Leadership Program in 2018 and is one of 50 participants who will be completing a Central Ohio IT Leadership program in 2020. 

The transition of Shipley and Jester’s roles comes on the heels of Kit Murphy’s recent retirement. Kit served as the firm’s Chief Operations Officer since 2013, and she played an instrumental role in the selection process of her successor. 

“We are elated, but not surprised, that such strong candidates existed inside our business, as we recognized the talent and future leadership capabilities of both Sam and MJ,” said Managing Partner Jim Flynn. “They are really good people with an exceptionally strong service orientation. These qualities coupled with their strong skills, energy and passion for our firm, make this an exciting transition for Bricker & Eckler.”

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