TOP 25 WOMEN Be still, live in the moment
An eye for design, a love for history
t’s important to Julie Schumacher Cohen to be hopeful and to have an awareness of God’s presence. “When I read the psalm verse, ‘Be still and know that I am God,’ it helps remind me not to get overwhelmed by complex problems, but to look at what I can make an impact on today,” she says. As the director of community and government relations at The University of Scranton, she is the liaison with neighborhood and community groups, downtown businesses and local, state and federal government bodies. “My job has a lot of variety, from organizing fun events like the Downtown Scavenger Hunt, to finding ways to connect the university with community projects, to backing student aid proposals in Harrisburg. I have the opportunity to work with great colleagues, both on and off campus,” she says. Cohen sees every past thing she’s done leading to today. In high school, she trained as a pre-professional dancer with the School of American Ballet and learned the importance of hard work and persistence. In her first jobs in New York City, she gained understanding of the mechanics of community organizing, uniting varied groups and cross-cultural issues. In Washington, D.C. she was an advocate for faith groups on Middle East peace issues. “Conflict resolution, the importance of empathy and knowing how to
navigate the complexities of large institutions inform any problem I try to solve now,” she says. Cohen acknowledges strong women in her life, including her two sisters, mother and late grandmother, who always reminded her that when things are tough, “this too shall pass.” She added, I’m grateful for all of the support and encouragement I’ve received.” Her parents have always been her cheerleaders, and her husband and three children are her daily inspiration. Although she’s never been a morning person, Cohen says she now loves the early morning, “It’s a reminder of what’s most important. Whatever the mistakes or problems of yesterday, I’ve been given another chance at them today,” she says. She is a graduate of Gordon College with a degree in English literature and political studies. This spring she will graduate with a masters of public administration from Villanova University. Cohen was named Northeast Woman by the Scranton Times Tribune and Top 20 Under 40 by the Northeast PA Business Journal. She serves on the boards of Metro Action at the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, First Friday and Scranton Tomorrow. She is also the correspondence secretary of the William Prescott Elementary PTA.
onna Coleman always had an eye for design and color. She’s loved art since childhood. This keeps her focused on her work as vice president of the Endless Mountain Stone Co. when she’s creating or assisting with the right mix of stone textures in a building or landscape. She began painting interiors in college for income, branching out to helping owners decorate, keeping an eye on what they already had. “Before I knew it, I had customers, who wanted my help,” she says. Coleman, after an honorable discharge from the Navy, moved around the country in support to her first husband, while raising her young children. She learned different design and decorating styles along the way. She sought a flow from interior to the exterior in her design methods. She met her husband of 23 years, Robert Coleman, who ran small a Pennsylvania bluestone company and the magic began. The two have developed and grown their business together. “We also have many talented artisans with whom we have the pleasure of sharing our love of this trade,” she says. As vice-president, she is responsible for everything from social media to assisting with procurement of jobs and estimates to historic restorations — something this history buff relishes — and even hosting and developing conventions.
Her mentor is her husband, as well as many other stone company owners. “We learn from and support each other, our industry works together! The members of the Pa. Bluestone Association are a resource of shared industry support,” she says. Another mentor has been Robert Ranger of RW Funding, due to the decades of financial knowledge he has shared with her company. She also cites another woman in business, Jesse Hagan, vice president of Ridgestone Bank, who has an eye for hard working, good companies and who believed in Endless Mountain Stone and gave guidance and support. She believes the company’s success is a result of having a diverse line of architectural building stone products, including paving and veneers for interior and exterior stone applications. “We try to always have new products and strive for high quality, which keeps us very busy,” she says. “Quality remains, long after the price is forgotten.” Her favorite part of the day is at 4 a.m. when the world is still quiet and she can plow through enormous loads of prep work undisturbed! Endless Mountain Stone has received the Susquehanna County Business of the Year award; the Building Stone Institute’s Tucker award; and an assortment of show accolades and placings.
The University of Scranton Congratulates NEPA’s Top Women in Business Julie Schumacher Cohen Director of Community & Government Relations, The University of Scranton
Northeastern Pennsylvania’s most nationally recognized private university 28 NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA BUSINESS JOURNAL TS_CNG/NPBJ/PAGES [B28] | 02/25/15
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And our alumni Laura Ducceschi ’98 • Lisa Armetta ’96 • Donna Coleman ’95 Kimberly Duffy-Wylam ’90