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Front Row: Lynnette Jackson, Alicia Steele. Back Row: Laurie Muller-Girard, Marta Blase, Kelly Dillon.

Celebrating the women who are making a difference. Congratulations to Key’s 2016 Women of Professional Excellence. Each year the YWCA Greater Cleveland recognizes women for their professional accomplishments, dedication to their organizations, and commitment to the community. Five women from Key have been chosen this year. We are very proud to celebrate our honorees: Marta Blase, Kelly Dillon, Lynnette Jackson, Laurie Muller-Girard, and Alicia Steele. Each of them is making a difference at Key and in the lives of so many others. The example they set gives women the confidence to know they can accomplish more and be successful in their lives and careers.

Š2016 KeyCorp. KeyBank is Member FDIC. 160316-55860


Margaret A. Mitchell

Maureen Wood


YWCA Greater Cleveland is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities.


YWCA Greater Cleveland has been on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities for nearly 150 years. We have evolved and innovated: from our beginnings providing housing and support for women and girls, now to our commitment to end homelessness, support transition age foster youth, convene conversations about race, design high-quality programs for women’s leadership, and create system-wide change. We have been at the forefront of many of the last two centuries’ movements for a more equitable society.

Tri-C President Alex Johnson, open and honest table conversations about race, and concrete tools and strategies that attendees could use to continue the conversation after the event. • Continued growth in our Women’s Leadership Institute Workshops and a sharpened focus on quality in our Educational Series (Boot Camp, Quest, and Momentum). • A Place 4 Me, a collective impact strategy and multi-organization collaboration for system-wide change, released a powerful strategic plan for preventing and ending youth homelessness.

Over the past 40 years, women from a variety of backgrounds, professions, and walks of life have been honored for their achievements and impact on Northeast Ohio. Recognizing these trailblazers over the years has helped to heighten the profile of women leaders in our region. We must continue to showcase the successes of women in order to ensure that the next generation of women leaders will have a seat at the table. We are grateful that our two presenting sponsors, KeyBank and University Hospitals, have a long history of supporting this event. KeyBank, under its previous moniker Society National Bank, has championed this event from its inception. Our other longtime Women of Achievement sponsor, University Hospitals, has its own special celebration this year—150 years of serving the people of Northeast Ohio.

TODAY This year, we are shining the spotlight on eight transformational leaders—Micki Byrnes, Lee Friedman, Kit Jensen, Kym Sellers, Robyn Minter Smyers, Maryrose Sylvester, Nancy Tinsley, and Sue Tyler. We are proud to honor these innovators, mentors, and community change agents. This is also the first year of incorporating a full day of professional development into our day of honoring women. The Women’s Leadership Conference has now been expanded, and conference attendees are joining us for the Awards Luncheon. Now we can truly describe this day as a “power luncheon meets power conference.” We also have many current successes to celebrate, including: • Five years of providing housing for transition age youth—aiding them on the path to self-sufficiency—at Independence Place and through our Nurturing Independence and Aspirations (NIA) program. • One year in our new high-quality trauma-informed model for the Early Learning Center, specifically targeting homeless families and children. • The second annual It’s Time to Talk: Forum on Race, held in February 2016. The event featured a discussion with local businessman Bernie Moreno and

TOMORROW Our mission is certainly not an easy one, and it will take our entire region’s commitment to eliminate racism and empower women. As we look forward: • We are offering innovative and cutting-edge topics in the Women’s Leadership Conference and in our other programs as part of the Women’s Leadership Institute. • We are connecting young people aging out of foster care to a table of mentors through OpenTable, a partnership with numerous local agencies. • We will bring our racial justice programs—including It’s Time to Talk—into more workplaces and organizations across the region. • We will continue on our path to being a data and measurement-driven organization. • We envision an end to youth homelessness in Northeast Ohio, and are working toward that goal through A Place 4 Me and our NIA programs, including Independence Place. • We believe that the age of foster care services to be extended from 18 to 21, and we will champion this cause until it becomes a reality. Thank you for joining us at this celebration of remarkable women who have accomplished so much in their careers, in the community, and in service of YWCA’s mission. We embrace their courage to learn from yesterday, make a difference today, and create a bright tomorrow for Greater Cleveland.

Margaret A. Mitchell President and CEO YWCA Greater Cleveland

Maureen Wood Board Chair YWCA Greater Cleveland Executive Director, Ernst & Young


Welcome Letter


Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon and Conference Sponsors


40th Anniversary Spotlight


About the Women of Achievement Awards


Woman of Achievement

Micki Byrnes, President and General Manager, WKYC Channel 3 – Cleveland


Woman of Achievement

Lee Friedman, Chief Executive Officer, College Now Greater Cleveland


Woman of Achievement

Kathryn “Kit” Jensen, Chief Operating Officer, ideastream


Woman of Achievement

Kym Sellers, Founder, Kym Sellers Foundation; television & radio personality


Woman of Achievement

Robyn Minter Smyers, Partner-in-Charge, Thompson Hine LLP–Cleveland Office


Woman of Achievement

Maryrose Sylvester, President & Chief Executive Officer, Current Powered by GE


Woman of Achievement

Nancy Tinsley, President of Parma Medical Center, University Hospitals


Woman of Achievement

Sue Tyler, Executive Vice President & Chief Experience Officer, Medical Mutual of Ohio


Women of Achievement Alumnae and Academy Members


About YWCA Greater Cleveland


About the Women of Professional Excellence Awards


Women of Professional Excellence


Cleveland Women’s City Club Foundation YWCA Scholarship Fund Winner


The Dr. Jennie S. Hwang Award Winner


YWCA History


The Wage Gap: Gender Discrimination in the 21st Century


2014-2015 YWCA Greater Cleveland Financial Report, Leaders, and Donors


11th Annual Women’s Leadership Conference

Achieve Magazine is published annually © 2016, YWCA Greater Cleveland in partnership with Hotcards. YWCA Greater Cleveland, is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. Hotcards is a Cleveland based design and print company helping you to get your message out and BECOME KNOWN™. Additional copies or general content information about YWCA Greater Cleveland contact: or call 216.881.6878


CREDITS Publisher, Layout, Design, and Printing Nikki Machado, Hotcards Hotcards Editor and Contributing Writer Rebecca Calkin Contributing Writers Julianne Potter Malcolm Schmitz Heather Steranka-Petit


YWCA Staff Support Chantel Cabbell Erin Hall Twyla Turner Photography Rodney L. Brown Rebecca Calkin Valerie Jerome Jewelry Design and Styling – Cover Photo Dr. Maria Pujana, Marise Designs


Location – Cover Photo The Ames Family Atrium, The Cleveland Museum of Art Hair and Makeup Supervisor – 2016 Women of Achievement Dresden Buras Hair and Makeup Support Victoria Corrente


YWCA Greater Cleveland Executive Leadership Maureen Wood, Board Chair Margaret Mitchell, President and CEO Deborah Matese, Vice President of Administration Teresa Sanders, Vice President, Social Service Programs and Operations

American Greetings Corporation

Ernst & Young

College Now Greater Cleveland Inc.

The Lubrizol Corporation

CRU Solutions


Special Thanks Kelley Notaro, Cleveland Museum of Art Heidi Strickland, Cleveland Public Library Dr. Sadie Winlock Connect with YWCA: #WOA2016CLE Facebook, LinkedIn: YWCA Greater Cleveland Twitter: @YWCACleveland Instagram: @YWCACle E-Newsletter: Subscribe at YWCA Greater Cleveland 4019 Prospect Avenue Cleveland, Ohio 44103 Phone: 216-881-6878

A big thank you to the Cleveland Museum of Art for accommodating us for photo and video shoots. Like the Women of Achievement awards, the museum is celebrating a huge milestone this year. One hundred years ago the Cleveland Museum of Art opened its doors to the public with much fanfare and delight. For the 2016 centennial anniversary, the museum is excited to host a year-long series of exhibitions, programs, and celebrations that honor the past and look ahead to the future. Learn more at


Molina Healthcare of Ohio

Pricewaterhousecoopers LLP

Fairmount Santrol

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District Reminger Co., LPA

Grant Thornton LLP

PNC Bank

The Sherwin-Williams Company

The Huntington National Bank

Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP

Westfield Insurance

Advance Ohio

Cliffs Natural Resources



Current, powered by GE

Parker Hannifin Corporation

Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP

Dealer Tire

Tucker Ellis LLP

Cleveland Indians

Dollar Bank


Cleveland State University




From the minutes of the first annual meeting of WCA of Cleveland (now known as YWCA) in 1868: “In the bustle and activity of the age, women are following hard after men. Not satisfied with their quiet county homes, many of them press their way to the cities.”


The Women of Achievement Awards—previously known as the Career Women of Achievement (CWA) Awards and Cleveland Women of Achievement—marked a significant stand for YWCA Greater Cleveland in recognizing the accomplishments of professional women. During the time of the first awards in 1977, the community was recognizing far more men for their professional achievements and far fewer women held

allowing them to serve as role models. Even in 1977, YWCAs across the country had been working for women’s rights for over a century. YWCA had a history of providing housing for immigrant women and single mothers, advocating for working women, and championing the rights of people of color.

Over the past 40 years, YWCA Greater Cleveland is proud to have honored more than 225 of Northeast Ohio’s most successful and accomplished women. YWCA’s Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon hosts nearly 900 community members who join us in celebrating these transformational leaders.

In the year that this award was founded (1977), women were in the spotlight on the national stage.

Recognition at the Women of Achievement Luncheon is the highlight and culmination of all the programs and services we offer to achieve our mission. It represents how YWCA Greater Cleveland has remained steadfast in its goal of highlighting extraordinary women who have paved the way for others to come.

women, it increased the visibility of women in our community,

1993 We honored the first Lifetime Achievement Award winner and have since presented this honor to 6 women in total. 2006 The first Women’s Leadership Conference was held. This conference is now joined with the Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon. 2016 As part of the 40th Anniversary, all past Women of Achievement will now be listed as members of the Women of Achievement Academy of the Women’s Leadership Institute.

• The First National Women’s Conference was held in

Houston, Texas • Ohioans had been living under the Equal Rights Amendment since 1974 and in this year, Indiana became the 35th and final state to ratify the amendment • The world was celebrating the second year of the United Nations Decade for Women (1976-1985) • International Women’s Day was formalized as an annual event by the U.N. General Assembly Sources: Wikipedia,,

FROM YWCA GREATER CLEVELAND’S ARCHIVES: What were you doing in 1977? I was the Vice President of Food Services for The Stouffer Corporation. I was responsible for directing food services functions nation-wide, which included menus, test kitchens, quality control, recipes and systems. What was the atmosphere like for women when you first began your professional life? My experience was that if you could do the job, you got the job. You got recognized for your accomplishments. Oftentimes, though, I was the only woman in the room, as many of the committees were headed by and filled with men. What has the Woman of Achievement award meant to you? It gave me visibility. People heard about me and sought me out to work on various projects. For example, my freelance work and even a TV interview for a project I worked on a few years later. What impedes women’s climbs up the career ladder? You need know how to play the game. Take risks and take on projects that you may not think you are interested in, but will give you skills you need to make it to the top. An interview from the 30th Anniversary of Women of Achievement with one of our first honorees. JEAN KRIZMAN (1921-2008) 1977 Woman of Achievement Interview conducted in 2006


Established in 1977, the YWCA Women of Achievement Award is one of the most prestigious honors for women in Northeast Ohio. The award honors women who embody outstanding leadership qualities, are exceptionally committed to their careers and communities, and live the YWCA mission to eliminate racism and empower women. Among these Women of Achievement are business leaders, authors, judges, philanthropists, physicians, nonprofit executives, and many other distinguished women from our community. Women chosen to receive this award are role models and mentors. They have played a significant role in helping other women achieve their goals.

leadership positions. By pioneering this award for professional

Here are a few recent milestones of the Women of Achievement Awards.


What advice do you have for working women? Enjoy what you are doing. Learn how to teach yourself and have self-confidence. The most important thing is to learn how to learn. This skill will help you take initiative and get the job done. What are you doing now, in 2006? What do you look forward to in the future? I retired from Stouffers after 30 years in 1980. I did freelance work in recipe and menu development for 5-8 years. I never had to solicit the work. People knew of me and requested me for the job. In 1993, I published a cookbook. Leadership is addictive, so once I retired from my position with Stouffers I looked for other avenues where I could utilize my leadership and other skills. I am very involved with my volunteer work. I have done a great deal with the Friends of Slovenia. We opened the Slovenia National Home and raised thousands of dollars for the organization. In 2002, I was named Slovenian Woman of the Year.

We appreciate the support of our two presenting sponsors: KeyBank and University Hospitals. These companies are true champions of women in leadership in our region.

FACT In 1977, the first year of Women of Achievement, YWCA Greater Cleveland had 29,958 individual members, 12,203 of which were under 12 years old.

FROM YWCA GREATER CLEVELAND’S ARCHIVES: What was the working environment like for women in the late 1970s? Women were entering the workforce in high numbers. Many companies started affirmative action plans to alter the makeup of the workforce. The 1970s and early 80s brought a big influx of women into various professions. However, women earned, on average, only 63% of what men earned, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Women held approximately 20% of managerial positions. They were also faced with blatant hostility. The 1970s saw the coining of the term “sexual harassment” and, finally, laws banning it. From the 2006 Women of Achievement program For information on the current state of women in the workplace, see page 46.

HONOREES YWCA Greater Cleveland has the great privilege of recognizing these 2016 Women of Achievement:

MICKI BYRNES President and General Manager, WKYC Channel 3 – Cleveland

ROBYN MINTER SMYERS Partner-in-Charge Thompson Hine LLP – Cleveland Office

LEE FRIEDMAN Chief Executive Officer College Now Greater Cleveland

MARYROSE SYLVESTER President and Chief Executive Officer Current Powered by GE

KATHRYN “KIT” JENSEN Chief Operating Officer ideastream

NANCY TINSLEY President of Parma Medical Center University Hospitals

KYM SELLERS Founder, Kym Sellers Foundation television and radio personality

SUE TYLER Executive Vice President and Chief Experience Officer Medical Mutual of Ohio




icki Byrnes’ energy and passion is infectious. After just a few seconds of conversation with her, it quickly becomes clear that she is an effective and decisive leader who cares deeply for her work and family.

news] to make a difference, to tell the stories that need to be told and make the connections that need to happen.”

Part of how she ensures success at WKYC is through creating diverse teams. “I try to have more voices around our table.” One Early on, Byrnes’ family motivated her to be a high achiever. “My key, according to Byrnes is, “hiring the right mix of folks. The parents always believed in us and always told us that you can do juxtaposition and balance of smart, technical, where-the-worldabsolutely anything. My mom was a brilliant chemist, married my is-going skills with market and life experience is the way to make dad, and as you did in those days, you had kids and you stayed it work.” home,” she remembers. “When I realized the sacrifice she had She emphasizes that the YWCA mission of eliminating racism made for my brothers and me, it made me want to prove that it and empowering women is perfectly in line with her hiring was worth it.” philosophy. “Even if you don’t believe in the moral imperative [of Byrnes values liberal arts education and hopes that young diversity in hiring], it just makes business sense. It’s been proven people will continue to explore a variety of ideas and courses over and over again that once a company promotes more female during their studies. “I’m a big believer in trying a lot of different executives, they improve profitability.” things,” she asserts. “Don’t focus too quickly on one track. Read, Though incredibly driven in her career, Byrnes also recognizes go to museums, experience as much as you can to get a sense of the value of family. “I chose family over work at key points in my where you can make an impact.” career,” she explains. “Looking back, I made the right call and I As Byrnes began pursuing a career in broadcasting, she found got what I wanted: a fulfilling, satisfying, exciting career and a that there were not a lot of female mentors or leaders from family that I love.” diverse backgrounds. One of her first mentors ended up being the man she married. “He’s a great, inspirational leader,” she says of her husband. Byrnes and her husband continued their MICKI’S ADVICE FOR EMERGING LEADERS broadcasting careers together for many years, raising two children along the way. “People would always ask, ‘How can you “Think more broadly, experience work with your husband?’ Trust me, the marriage part was a lot harder! Working together was actually wonderful. I saw how he more deeply, and enjoy engaged and motivated people and learned a lot from him.” Byrnes’ husband preceded her in the position before his retirement. However, she has her own distinct management style and a different vision for the station. “Things have changed dramatically in the business, so I need to be a different kind of leader to keep the station successful,” Byrnes says of her new role. “People consume content in so many new ways. It’s much faster paced, more creative and innovative, and there are many more difficult decisions to make. There’s still power [in local

the journey before you narrow your path.”





assionate and optimistic. That is how Lee Friedman feels about the future of the Greater Cleveland community. But, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still work to be done. “I honestly feel that the last piece is to make sure that every kid and adult in our town has an opportunity to live the life they want and have a fair shot at earning a living wage, feeling fulfilled, and a career.”

importance of mentors in her career, “When I got into the notfor-profit world, I had amazing female (and male) mentors who helped introduced me, coached me, and opened doors for me. My mentors always made sure that I was sitting at the table.”

Friedman has been fascinated with the public domain, politics, history, and government for as long as she can remember. While studying political science at Colgate University, she took an unconventional “semester abroad” to Washington D.C .to work for Senator Metzenbaum. “Working for the esteemed Senator, I rode the cause of social justice and equality. I got hooked.” This led Friedman to get her Masters in Public Administration; to work in the Carter White House on health, education, and welfare; and eventually back to Cleveland to work for Mayor Voinovich.

Friedman’s advises emerging leaders to be dependable. “Lead by hard work, succeeding, being positive, being collaborative, delivering, and making sure people can count on you.” Her commitment to those ideas helped propel her to leadership positions relatively early in her career. However, Friedman’s leadership style has shifted over the years. “When I first started leading organizations, I was much more hands-on. I wanted to be able to do every job,” she says. “Now I run a very big organization for a not-for-profit. I have to delegate. Now, I identify the very smartest, most driven, collaborative, and creative self-starters who I empower to do the work. I help set direction and let them go with it. It’s something you have to get used to.”

“Cleveland has one of the strongest civic fabrics of any city in the country (for its size),” says Friedman. “Strong philanthropy, civic institutions, leadership, arts, culture, education, everything.” Gradually, her work shifted to community development and nonprofits. She quotes Mayor Jackson, exclaiming, “You can’t be the best you can be without helping the least of us.”

Amidst her accomplishments, Lee Friedman is most proud of her successes as a mother. Both of her children have achieved career success, but she is most proud of passing on her passions to her kids. “Both kids are so right-minded as it relates to opportunity, equality, social justice, and women’s issues,” she beams. “They’re both civic minded and very involved.”

Friedman is dedicated and driven to her work as CEO of College Now Greater Cleveland. The organization’s work to bring college access services to those who need it most fits perfectly with her passion for social justice and equality. “It’s well documented that if you’re born in a community of poverty, if you’re born in a community where there’s not an education-focused culture, if your parents didn’t go to college, you don’t really have opportunity,” she explains. “You can’t figure out how to break out of it. So you really need to have someone to help lift you out to help break that cycle and provide the path.” One of College Now’s greatest successes is its mentoring program, which is working to help low-income, mostly firstgeneration students achieve an 80percent on-time college graduation rate. The national college graduation rate among low-income students is 15 percent. Friedman discusses the


“When you run a not-for-profit, it’s important to have a broad network because you have to bring the resources of the community together. If you don’t know the community, you can’t bring the resources together.”



KATHRYN P. JENSEN “RESPOND TO YOUR COMMUNITY’S NEEDS” H ow does an Anthropology Major become the Chief Operating Officer of an innovative public service multiplemedia organization? The answer even surprised Kit Jensen. “I ended up in a career that I never imagined,” she said. “’ I never intended to be in it for a very long time. I started in public television production, went on to public radio management, managed both radio and television, and ultimately was recruited to Cleveland. But I never thought I’d have anything to do with broadcasting.”

Jensen believes that other women may also find great success and professional happiness by taking an unconventional career path. “I encourage women to seek positions that they have not held before because it will give them leadership experience. I think sometimes women have a confidence crisis. We [as women] are collaborative, tactical, consensus-builders. But sometimes, women may shy away from new leadership positions. I say, ‘You can do it.’”

Jensen also credits a strong network of other women leaders as Jensen quickly found that her studies came in handy. “There are a key to achievement. “Along the way, I had to get used to be one strong commonalities between my degree in anthropology— of the first women in the room. One of the things I’d say is that which is studying people and how they’re organized and respond the friendships I built with the other women in the room have to environmental influences—and audience behaviors. In been a big part of my life. We supported each other. That has public broadcasting, you look for ways to use media for public been a very important form of co-mentorship.” service. So understanding a community and its needs, and To emerging leaders, she advises them to have grit, focus, and then responding with media, builds off of those skills, at least determination. “It’s all about perseverance,” Jensen says. “Being for me. Being able to create programming that is responsive to willing to put in the hard work, but have a long-term vision and community needs and aspirations is a great joy to me.” be very persistent about what you want to achieve.” Jensen was instrumental in the creation of ideastream, the first organization to combine public television and public broadcasting, plus many other valuable tools. “At the time, collaboration was not the norm, so [stakeholders] were a little surprised… Eventually, we have an organization that is broader and bigger than we had ever imagined, and gives an enormous range of tools. We can start with community engagement and we can create partners in the community, create multiple-media projects, hold town meetings, and put things on the radio, TV, streaming online, and in schools.” Her advice to other women in broadcasting and media? Use the same spirit of collaboration that has helped her succeed. “What I’ve learned to do is listen hard and find pathways that allow for mutuality and common success. That’s not something you’re taught in school, but it’s an important set of attributes to have in a small team setting or on a national scale.”


“Be prepared to work very hard. Make sure you have a goal. Don’t forget to have fun.”



KYM SELLERS “WE ALL HAVE A STORY” A ffectionately known as “Cleveland’s girlfriend,” Kym Sellers may be best known for hosting “The Quiet Storm,” a nightly love show on WZAK-FM, Radio One Cleveland. But Sellers has many chapters that make up her story. She is mother of four, a television and radio broadcaster, a daughter, and the founder of the Kym Sellers Foundation, created after she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). In her youth, Sellers knew that broadcasting was the career for her. “I used to, in middle school, work on the announcements. In high school, we had a station called WVLB…and I loved doing it,” Sellers said. “I’ve worked 25 years in the industry, and I feel like I’ve never worked a day in my life. I’ve truly enjoyed it…Seattle, Detroit, Lansing, Greenville SC, and then I came back to the area in 1994…When I’m on the air, I don’t see anybody. I imagine my listener, but I don’t feel like I’m in front of an audience. I love it!” Though she has worked across the country, there’s something special about Cleveland, says Sellers. “People in Cleveland are real; what you see is what you get. They are just honest. That’s what I love most—just the genuine people.” After just a few minutes with Sellers, one can tell that she is a people-person and a storyteller. “I just enjoy people. I enjoy communicating, getting along with fellow women, and developing different types of bonds.” As far as stories go, she believes, “…my story could be your story, and yours could be mine. The more we get to know each other, the more we understand where our stories could be leading us.” There are certainly challenges to working within a specific niche in the industry and community, which Kym Sellers knows all too well. “Working in urban radio, people put you into a little corner. I did the Quiet Storm for 16 years. Most people, that’s what they remember…so letting people know that I’m diverse and multifaceted [is a challenge].” This is not the only challenge that Kym Sellers has faced in recent years. Embracing her broadcasting and storytelling spirit, she has shared the journey of treating her MS on camera and through the creation of her foundation. “Living with an auto-immune disease, people sometimes put limitations on you that really shouldn’t be there…I have some physical challenges, but I’m. Still. Here.” Sellers continues, “Most recently, over the past 18 months, I’ve shared a lot about my stem cell treatment. Channel 8 did a

piece recently about it…I pray that people can see that there’s something amazing going on.” Kym Sellers’ mother, Daisy Alford Smith, was also named as a Woman of Achievement by YWCA Greater Cleveland in 2000. When asked how she feels about receiving the same honor as her mother, Kym expressed very deep emotion and gratitude. “My mother grew up in a very challenging life. She wasn’t supposed to make it. No one in her family pressed her about getting good grades, but there was this drive and fire that wouldn’t stop her…I don’t feel like I could ever measure up to her, but I think that’s why this award is so touching. Somebody sees at least something close to what she’s done, and I’m very thankful for that.”


“Get along with as many people as possible. Avoid placing blame.” “Don’t be afraid to change careers if you’re not where you’d like to be. It’s ok to change your mind.” “Understand what you’re good at and embrace it.”



ROBYN MINTER SMYERS “I’M KIND OF A CLEVELAND FANATIC” H er passion for the community was evident through the entire conversation, for example, as she describes her upbringing in Shaker Heights, “I’m a child of an interracial marriage, back when interracial marriage was controversial, but I was blessed to be raised in a community that embraces inclusion and embraces difference.

professionally, she insists it is simply “More of what I’m doing now.” Having been made Partner-in-Charge in November of 2014, she is still relatively new in her role. “I have a lot of learning and growing to do there. I love the work that I’m doing – professionally I’m in the most dynamic time of my career. And,” she laughs, “I have three children who keep me pretty busy.”

“My parents are very much community servants. They really were role models for making a difference in the community. I’ve worked very hard to be faithful to the values that I was raised with.” Now, Robyn encourages other young leaders to gain experience as her parents did, by getting involved in community organizations. “Community service provides opportunities for personal growth, enrichment, and leadership that sometimes your professional life may not provide until much later. By the time you have those opportunities in a professional setting, you’ll have some experience from another context.”

At this point in her career, Robyn says she “understands herself better,” and consequently, her leadership looks a little different. “Something about leadership that I’ve learned now, in a way that perhaps I didn’t earlier in my career, is the importance of listening and being patient as consensus develops.” This sometimes requires she temper her default leadership style to be less goal-oriented. “With more experience,” she explains, “I’m learning to moderate my natural leadership style to spend a little more time listening and building consensus.”

“Prior to going to law school, I worked for a non-profit organization that helped build housing for homeless people, and I really saw how the built environment could change people’s lives. This is why I believe in Independence Place,” she adds, talking about YWCA Greater Cleveland’s permanent supportive housing for homeless young people, most of whom are aging out of foster care. “Stable, supportive housing changes people’s lives. And I decided if I was going to pursue some kind of transactional legal career, I wanted it to be focused on communities. I really wanted to be a part of building something.” Now the Partner-in-Charge of Thompson Hine’s Cleveland office, Robyn is passionately working on some of Cleveland’s most upand-coming projects. Of working on the redevelopment of Public Square and the Downtown Cleveland Hilton, she says “Those projects really mean a lot to me.” She is also ecstatic about the “world class place-making” she sees happening in Cleveland. “I think what’s happening in the Flats East Bank is incredibly exciting, and what’s happening in the Gateway District is exciting, and on East 9th, and in Playhouse Square. It feels uniquely our own, our own revitalization.” When asked about what is next for her, either personally or

Robyn says she will be downtown for the Republican National Convention in July of 2016, to face any operational challenges that may arise for Thompson Hine’s Cleveland Office. Given her involvement in a number of the most prominent projects set to open in time for the event, it is sure to be an exhilarating time for the self-described “hometown girl.” ROBYN’S ON HER CAREER

“I have a lot of learning and growing to do there. I love the work that I’m doing – professionally I’m in the most dynamic time of my career.”






aryrose Sylvester has forged a path that few women have cleared before her; after almost three decades of work for GE—beginning as an intern—she is now leading the company’s newest innovative energy business, Current, powered by GE. This latest endeavor comes after serving as President & CEO of GE Lighting at Nela Park in East Cleveland, a role she assumed in 2011, where she led the successful transformation of one of GE’s most iconic businesses. The self-described “unfamiliar path” she took through her career has been the result of “dedication, risk taking, and sweat equity.” Maryrose has held a variety of roles within GE to include Director Sourcing for GE Lighting in Budapest and CEO of GE Intelligent Platforms. She credits her moments of “greatest growth” to working through career experiences that may have been unnerving or anxiety-causing, and leveraging the lessons learned during those times to help her become a better leader. Of her strong foundations, she says, “I think education provides the foundation for any successful career. I earned my bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State in Ohio and my MBA from here in Cleveland at Cleveland State University, and it was that education that helped prepare me for the professional world.” In 1997, Maryrose helped found the GE Women’s Network, a professional development and leadership group for GE women that now has 150 hubs in 43 countries. “I am very proud to have been part of a small group of women that founded the GE Women’s Network. Its focus on leadership, advancement, and career-broadening opportunities is designed to help the women working at GE further their careers and the company’s business.” That passion for helping women excel at GE is a part of her vision for the future of the industry. “I am always happy to see women achieving leadership roles within the industry, and I want to see it take place more frequently. I think a big part of the journey starts early with education. There is obviously a degree of technical skill that the industry demands, and we need to encourage young students to pursue degrees and career paths in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to keep our industry vibrant and innovative.”

Here in Cleveland, she has already helped to establish programs that help shape the bright and diverse future she described. A partnership between GE and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District led to the creation of a charter school, MC2STEM, focusing on STEM curricula and activities. “MC2STEM was built through a public-private partnership among a number of organizations, with the intention of providing students with an integrated curriculum that is informed by real-world experiences.” Raising three young girls of her own, she hopes the next generation continues the “curiosity, confidence, and courage” needed to “change the world.” Championing YWCA Greater Cleveland’s mission, she says, only brings us closer to that goal. “Embracing different types of people, cultures and ways of thinking allows us to gain perspective… from those we work with, from those in our communities, and from those we seek to serve. Leveraging different perspectives and welcoming diversity only helps increase the chances of success in tackling any challenge we face.”


“Don’t be afraid to take risks, and don’t get discouraged when things don’t go your way. Use every experience as a chance to learn and grow.”







ancy has been using this innovative, achievementoriented style since she had her first paper route at only 10 years old. Then, the question was how to make sure she could afford to go to college. As a staff nurse working night shifts on a cardiology unit, she was the employee who brainstormed and adjusted to get the work done more efficiently. It makes sense that Critical Care was her favorite class as a nursing student; Nancy faces challenges and puzzles enthusiastically. Today, Nancy is the President of University Hospitals Parma Medical Center. The $600 million dollar hospital employs nearly 1,700 individuals. She has worked her way up through the University Hospitals system, innovating for better patient care and organizational effectiveness in every role. “Oftentimes,” she explains about her career path, “I have created my next job.” The most surprising part of her early career, she discovered while working those cardiology night shifts, was that teamwork—good communication, understanding wants and needs, and building plans—was not a standard human behavior; rather, it is learned. “That is a big part of what I’ve spent my career doing,” Nancy explains, “seeing where there is opportunity, how do we talk about it, how do we take the knowledge of everyone involved, where do we get new knowledge -- so we can say, how do we make this work for everyone?” She has a tough task ahead. Healthcare is one of the most rapidly advancing and growing fields. Nancy believes the future of the sector lies in creativity and ideas, and in building strong teams. Preparing as best she can to face an uncertain future, she relies on strategic skills to foresee risk and manage it in a “generative way.” As a woman leader who began her career in a position where the women outnumbered men, Nancy learned to intentionally support other women. “Women weren’t supporting other women in work like I thought I would see.” Nancy identified that as

another opportunity, to learn about her colleagues and their world. “Women carry the burden of a lot of things; they carry a lot of responsibility at work and outside the home. I found myself learning more about who these women are, how strong they are -- some of them are single moms, have multiple children, are taking care of their parents, and working as a nurse. You recognize that and support each other.” Nancy challenges emerging women leaders to consider themselves the CEO of their own career, and to build their “personal advisory council” of mentors and people who will challenge them, support them, and offer insight and perspective on both professional and personal goals. It’s important, she adds, for this team to offer honest feedback when you may be off base, but also for risk-taking to be a standard. “You get more good than bad out of it, and that’s where you get your differentiated success.”


“How do we make this work for everyone?”






requently, she says she found that the worst possible outcome was not so bad. Armed with that confidence, Sue has taken on a career spanning “just about every functional area of an organization,” including finance, marketing, and operations. Now the Executive Vice President and Chief Experience Officer at Medical Mutual of Ohio, she describes herself as having been fortunate enough to be pushed into the deep end, where she found she could swim and rather enjoyed it. “You find out just how capable you really are. I always dared to do things I wasn’t necessarily ready for.” In taking positions for which she insists she was not quite qualified, Sue learned that her greatest learning and growth experiences could come from failure. When asked, she now says she would encourage her younger self to think even bigger, and to not feel limited. A first generation college student, Sue is passionate about the paths and opportunities her education afforded her and her brothers. She believes her success, and the success of others, comes primarily from communication, strategic, and analytical skills rather than specific experiences. Strategic skills are also something she applies as she manages the balance between personal and professional time. Sue advocates for attending to things that are important, not just to things that are urgent. Prioritizing your time toward important, long-term goals -- the type she says “pull you forward” -- requires that we examine the opportunity cost of our daily tactical challenges as well as the strategic. Professionally, Sue has used these priorities to move away from the “What” and “How” of getting things done, and toward inspiring her employees to realize their highest potential. In her current role, Sue communicates this mission to her team. Believing leaders of the future will need to engage their employees around why what they are doing matters, Sue explains that she manages through setting appropriate visions of the desired end result. When she is away from work, Sue focuses

her time on her family. Her sons and their activities, and her father, are who she says she prioritizes in her personal time. Sue also says that the women’s organizations she is involved in leading are a valuable part of restoring her balance. She seizes the opportunity to be civically involved, a goal she says is supported by Medical Mutual of Ohio. As Board Chair of In Counsel with Women, and the 2016 co-chair of United Way Greater Cleveland’s Rock the Catwalk, Sue has found strength in building relationships with other “similarly situated women,” who understand the challenges of balancing work and personal life. After growing up with all brothers, and raising sons, Sue values the “power” of a women’s network. “It really is wonderful when you can be in a community of women, who energize me and say ‘You can do it all’ and ‘I’ll do it with you,’ and when you aren’t doing such a good job, to say ‘I’m here to laugh with you.’”


“I always dared to do things I wasn’t necessarily ready for.”



Class of

1970s Rena Blumberg June Kirk Jean Krizman Joan P. Lambros Beverly Pyle Alicia Alvarado Betty Del Duca Mary C. Guzman Joan Kriikku Sarah Marcus Lois McGuire Mary A. Mendelson Dorothy Chlad Joan Campbell Ranelle Gamble J. Helen Slough Pauline Smith Joyce Whitley

1977 1977 1977 1977 1977 1978 1978 1978 1978 1978 1978 1978 1979 1979 1979 1979 1979 1979

1980s Jeanette G. Brown Carole F. Hoover Eleanor B. Schwartz Barbara Brown-Daniels Mary Fabish Marie Wing Peggy Yohner Marjorie Hall-Ellis Grace C. Brown Lynne B. Alfred Martha Cathcart Ann Dunning V. Latrelle Hogg Martha Joseph Edith Paetow Mary M. Reinhard Beryl E. Rothschild June Vereeke-Hutt Betty Eschuk Carol Frankel


1980 1980 1980 1981 1981 1981 1981 1982 1985 1986 1986 1986 1986 1986 1986 1986 1986 1986 1987 1987

Alumnae Bernadine Healy Sandra Johnson Denise Knecht Miriam G. Lugo Patricia W. Nobili Eunice Podis Victoria Cargill Peggy Z. Fisher Gloria Pace King Anne McManamon Patricia Mead Lizabeth A. Moody Barbara S. Robinson Linda Rocker Jana Van Vliet Farah M. Walters Betsy Alexander Wilma Bergfeld Monica Crespo Donna L. Cummings Denise M. Fugo Dorothy Fuldheim Kathryn Karipides Janice Nelson-Neville Mary M. Smith Lynn Wolfram Stella Zannoni

Class of 1987 1987 1987 1987 1987 1987 1988 1988 1988 1988 1988 1988 1988 1988 1988 1988 1989 1989 1989 1989 1989 1989 1989 1989 1989 1989 1989

1990s Alexandria J. Boone Helen Brown Janice G. Douglas Sally Gries Sally K. Griswold Florence Hangach Mary Rose Oakar Mary Bill Mary Boyle Janet Bullard Margaret L. Murphy Billie K. Rawot Karen W. Spero

1990 1990 1990 1990 1990 1990 1990 1991 1991 1991 1991 1991 1991

Alumnae Rose Wong Barbara Galloway Catharine M. Lewis Marla Loehr Donna K. Rego Carol Rivchun Jane L. Campbell *Zelma Watson George Marguerite I. Harkness Magnolia Jackson Frances P. Taft Artha W. Blubaugh Gail Long Mary H. Ashbrook Carol A. Cartwright Sister Maureen Doyle O.S.U. Doris A. Evans Jean B. Gaede Adrienne Lash-Jones Rubie J. McCullough Chris Trepal Lesley B. Wells *Jacqueline F. Woods Deborah Benn Ione M. Biggs Mary G. Bounds Carolyn Buhl Cheryl Goggans Joan Lamson Yvonne Pointer Virginia G. Saha Roberta Steinbacher Jerry Sue Thornton Patricia A. Ackerman Margot J. Copeland Nancy S. Dye Alyson Y. Owens Onelida Santiago Patricia M. Sweet Pauline H. Tarver Mylion D. Waite Margaret W. Wong

Class of 1991 1992 1992 1992 1992 1992 1993 1993 1993 1993 1993 1994 1994 1995 1995 1995 1995 1995 1995 1995 1995 1995 1995 1996 1996 1996 1996 1996 1996 1996 1996 1996 1996 1997 1997 1997 1997 1997 1997 1997 1997 1997

Alumnae Carol DiLillo-Kenney Rocky Hwasta Dolores K. Minter Edwina H. Moss Myrtle I. Muntz Joan Salmon-Campbell Mary Lou V. Stricklin Ruby L. Terry Claire A. Van Ummersen Farah M. Walters Goldie K. Alvis Jo Ann Charleston E. P. Degenfelder Susan L. Eagan Mareyjoyce Green Laura K. Hong Lolita M. McDavid Madeline A. Sivak Wilma Smith Mary Verdi-Fletcher JoAnn White

Class of 1998 1998 1998 1998 1998 1998 1998 1998 1998 1998 1999 1999 1999 1999 1999 1999 1999 1999 1999 1999 1999

2000s Daisy Alford-Smith Katherine Brandt Jennie S. Hwang Inajo D. Chappell Nancy Cronin Heather R. Ettinger Phyllis Seltzer Barbara Byrd-Bennett Mary Ann Corrigan-Davis Marcia L. Fudge Janette M. Louard Nancy McCann Janet L. Miller *Farah M. Walters Lauren Wolf Lillian W. Burke Adele Malley Ellen S. Mavec Marilyn McGrath

2000 2000 2000 2001 2001 2001 2001 2002 2002 2002 2002 2002 2002 2002 2002 2003 2003 2003 2003

Alumnae Cynthia Moore-Hardy Karen Sweeney Rosalind Thompson Patricia A. Blackmon Kathleen B. Burke Olga Gonzalez-Sanabria Joy A. Jordan Helen R. Marter Sandra Pianalto Elizabeth K. Balraj Martha F. Brooks Sari Feldman Patricia Kennedy-Scott Cynthia V. Schulz Jeanne Hauer Deborah Z. Read Diana Stano Bang-Huei Yu Linda Abraham-Silver Caprice Bragg Tracey Lind Denise Reading Wendy Shiba Linda M. Kane Natalie A. Leek-Nelson Stephanie McHenry Beth E. Mooney Rita N. Singh Virginia Albanese Judith Feniger *Stephanie Tubbs Jones Gena C. Lovett Maria J. Pujana, M.D. Marcia J. Wexberg

Class of 2003 2003 2003 2004 2004 2004 2004 2004 2004 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005 2006 2006 2006 2006 2007 2007 2007 2007 2007 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009

2010s April M. Boise Tara Broderick Catherine M. Kilbane Janice G. Murphy Geralyn M. Presti Linda Bluso

2010 2010 2010 2010 2010 2011


Class of

Pamela B. Davis Carol Latham Ramona Robinson Eileen Saffran Nan Cohen *Barbara J. Danforth Diane M. Downing Lisa A. Rose Debra A. Simmons Sharon Sobol Jordan Virginia D. Benjamin Kim Bixenstine Constance Harper Lisa J. Oliver Clara T. Rankin Lauren Rich Fine Kristen B. Adams Jennifer M. Bell Jodi Berg Beth Wain Brandon *Jean Murrell Capers Sheryl King Benford Denise San Antonio Zeman Julie Boland Linda D. Bradley Trina Evans Sally Wertheim Sonali Bustamante Wilson Micki Byrnes Lee Friedman Kathryn P. Jensen Kym Sellers Robyn Minter Smyers Maryrose Sylvester Nancy Tinsley Sue Tyler

2011 2011 2011 2011 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2013 2013 2013 2013 2013 2013 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2016 2016 2016 2016 2016 2016 2016 2016

* Lifetime Achievement Award Winners We apologize for any inaccuracies or omissions.


ELIMINATING RACISM AND EMPOWERING WOMEN IS NOT AN EASY TASK, BUT WE AT YWCA GREATER CLEVELAND ARE UP TO THE CHALLENGE! GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR PROGRAMS AND SERVICES FOR WOMEN AND FAMILIES. NURTURING INDEPENDENCE AND ASPIRATIONS (NIA) Empowers children, youth, and families through education and a comprehensive support system. Empowering Children and Families Early Learning Center: YWCA has incorporated therapeutic and additional education services into its early learning center model to better serve children age three to five experiencing homelessness or similar adverse experiences. This innovative model will assess and identify the social and emotional needs of the children, work with families to create goals and case plans, prevent reoccurrence of homelessness, and empower families to achieve and maintain the highest level of self-sufficiency.

Empowering Youth We empower vulnerable young adults, many of whom are transitioning out of foster care, to successfully attain the highest level of self-sufficiency. Our services focus on six core areas: permanence, education, employment, housing,

• • • • •

Innovative - Only model of this type in this part of the country. Quality - All lead teachers are required to have a four-year degree to implement customized education plans, therapies. Supportive – Family engagement specialist ensures family members and/or guardians are equipped with resources to live a quality life. Therapautic – Early childhood mental health consultant focuses on social and emotional needs of the children. Goal – To prepare children for kindergarten and empower families to achieve and maitnian the highest level of self-sufficiency.




The Women’s Leadership Institute offers a comprehensive leadership development training curriculum and corresponding programs designed to build, train, recognize, and empower transformative leaders at all phases in their career.

YWCA Greater Cleveland has a vision of a culturally competent Northeast Ohio.

EDUCATIONAL SERIES Boot Camp, Quest, and Momentum. Cohort-based classes with top-notch facilitators, individualized training and follow-up, supervisor engagement, and networking. Classes run in 6-month cycles, starting in September and March. WORKSHOP SERIES Monthly lunch-and-learn leadership workshops on a variety of forward-thinking topics. Look for these in January-June of 2017. WOMEN OF ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS LUNCHEON AND CONFERENCE Annual awards luncheon recognizing top female leaders in Northeast Ohio paired with the region’s premier leadership development conference for women. Held in May.

IT’S TIME TO TALK Forum on Race is a yearly event which creates safe space to allow open and honest conversations about race and racism. Postevent, we support continued conversations using various tools to support individuals and organizations in identifying ways to improve cultural competency. It’s Time to Talk creates awareness and breaks down barriers so that individuals and employees can be empowered to eliminate racism and bias from the workplace and within their personal relationships. IT’S TIME TO TALK WORKSHOPS Monthly lunch-and-learn workshops to help attendees develop cultural competency.

THE CIRCLE / CIRCLE OF WOMEN BREAKFAST Bringing women and men together in leadership through philanthropy in support of YWCA Greater Cleveland’s NIA program. Held in September.

physical and mental health, and personal and community engagement. Independence Place: Since opening in 2011, Independence Place has been providing residents ages 18 to 24 with a safe and secure place to live and supportive services. 23 permanent-supportive housing units, 7 with additional rooms for children. Visit for our Independence Place 5 year report and for more information about NIA.

A Place 4 Me A Place 4 Me is not a place with halls and walls; it’s a strategy for collective impact. • At a system-level, working with other organizations to improve outcomes for youth who have aged out of foster care, with the goal of ending youth homelessness. • Giving youth a voice in their own futures through engagement in the decisionmaking process




WOMEN OF PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE YWCA Greater Cleveland provides organizations throughout Northeast Ohio with a unique opportunity to recognize the contributions of exceptional women within their organization through the Women of Professional Excellence award. Women receiving this award exemplify high

American Greetings Corporation Renita L. Jefferson Keesha Moore

BakerHostetler College Now Greater Cleveland

Ernst & Young LLP

personal growth; make significant contributions

Fairmount Santrol

to the effective, efficient operation of their

Sharon Van Zeeland

community. The Women of Professional Excellence are recognized at the YWCA Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon. This year, 46 women representing 30 companies are honored.

DID YOU KNOW? Previously called the Merit Award, the Women of Professional Excellence award is also celebrating 40 years! Since its inception in 1977, more than 1,500 women have received this honor.


Forest City



Marta Blase Kelly L. Dillon Lynnette Jackson Laurie Muller-Girard Alicia Luz Steele

FACT In 1940, the first black woman became a member of the Cleveland Board of Directors. She was a member of the YWCA staff.


Ami Cole

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District




Heather Scaglione Ginny Wilczak

Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP 31


Arlonda M. Stevens, Ph.D.



Jill G. Okun

Reminger Co., LPA


Bethanie R. Murray 31

The Sherwin-Williams Company


Lori Peterson 32

Thompson Hine, LLP


Alice A. Armstrong Erin C. Luke Barbara A. Lum

Claudine Daugirdas



Jennifer Collister Margaret Conroy Susan J. Edwards

PNC Bank

Carol Stelnicki

The Huntington National Bank

Medical Mutual

Sabrania W. Winkfield

Mary Adams Janice M. Camerato Linda Pavia

Grant Thornton LLP


Molina Healthcare of Ohio, Inc.

Ashlee Brand Amanda Hanley Julia O. Tryk, J.D.

Margaret A. Merritt Becky Truelson

mentor others; and make a positive impact on the


Michele Scott Taylor, Ed.D. Kittie D. Warshawsky

Cuyahoga Community College

The Lubrizol Corporation Alison Brunsdon Michelle Graf

Denise Kaston

professional standards and evidence of career and

organizations; display a willingness to support and


University Hospitals



Hiloni Bhavsar, M.D. Nicole Catherine Maronian, MD FACS Stacey Mazzurco, BSN RN Kim Shelnick Michele Catherine Walsh, M.D., MSE Charlotte Wray MSN, RN-C, MBA Joan M. Zoltanski, M.D.

Westfield Insurance


Lori Gabel

YWCA Greater Cleveland


Teresa A. Sanders



Authentic, inquisitive, and courageous are words that describe Renita L. Jefferson. In her role as Director of Talent Acquisition, Leadership Development and Diversity and Inclusion, her goal is to ensure the cultivation of a workforce that fully values and respects all people. Early in her career, she received some advice that she has found to be most useful “play to your strengths and be your authentic self.” She believes that as women, we must lead the charge to continue to break down barriers with knowledge, conversation, and sustained engagement. To that end, she is involved in several formal and informal mentoring programs. Whether she is working with an employee, colleague, or mentee, Renita consistently strives to be fully present, engaged, relevant, and honest. For Renita, joy and satisfaction come when she is helping others have breakthrough experiences that change the way they work, live, and contribute. Renita’s leadership extends well beyond any defined title or position. She is a charismatic thought leader who adds personal and professional value to those she encounters.

When Michele was a young woman, she accepted an opportunity to study abroad in France. Right before she left, she discovered that she was three weeks pregnant. She went anyway, and named her daughter Paris, after her experiences. This taught her that virtually anything is possible, and she strives to live by that credo. Michele ensures that College Now Greater Cleveland offers cutting-edge programs and services to help increase educational attainment in Northeast Ohio. Her primary professional goal is to help transform lives that look like hers did when she was younger. Dr. Taylor says that YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism has inspired her in her own work. “I have to help many more youth and adults pursue education beyond high school, because racism is based on ignorance and fear.”




// AMERICAN GREETINGS CORPORATION DIRECTOR OF TALENT ACQUISITION, LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, DIVERSITY & INCLUSION Keesha Moore used to strive for perfection and she put a lot of pressure on herself which led to stress and anxiety. One day, a professional coach challenged her to shift her focus from perfection to excellence, and that changed everything. Today, Keesha strives for excellence in all that she does—and she is succeeding. At American Greetings, she is responsible for the design and execution of the corporate college recruiting, social media, and employment branding strategy. She enjoys finding new and fresh ways to solve problems. Instead of focusing on problems, Keesha sees them as opportunities to learn something new, update a process, or make a change for the better. As a mentor and career coach, she works with College Now Greater Cleveland and supports the youth programs of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. As a graduate of Cleveland State’s Diversity Management Program (DMP15), she is passionate about creating opportunities for people to be seen and heard. Keesha feels that the work of eliminating racism and empowering women is very important because it creates the space for everyone to be their authentic self and when that occurs, we get to experience the beauty of humanity.



As the Chief External Affairs Officer of College Now Greater Cleveland, Kittie has a lot on her plate. She runs a strong development team to raise funds so that College Now can continue to provide college and career advising services—and financial aid counseling—to thousands of people across Northeast Ohio every year. She’s also raising two children who, like the individuals she serves, are working to graduate college without being crippled by student loan debt. Kittie loves working for such an incredible organization; she believes College Now is both helping people’s lives and raising awareness of just how important educational attainment can be. She’s also inspired by the work of YWCA Greater Cleveland, saying: “I love how YWCA’s mission and work overlaps with College Now’s and that we routinely partner with each other!”



Overcoming obstacles is nothing new for Denise Kaston. As a mentor and role model for others, she draws on her experiences as a non-traditional college student, taking classes on weekends, while working her way up from an entry-level position to a manager of human resources. She has had a few important mentors in her life and she acknowledges that they encouraged her to work hard, not to be afraid to try new things, and to learn from her mistakes. It is important for Denise to pay it forward and support others on their career paths. In her current role, she works hard to ensure that staff, facilities, and operational processes are working to provide a supportive, positive environment for firm management, attorneys, and staff. This work behind the scenes allows the organization to provide the best possible services to clients. Denise is passionate about her work. Some might say that she is stubborn, but when you need someone who will do the right thing and won’t give up, being stubborn is an asset.

As a professor, Ashlee guides students as they make choices and decisions that will frame the rest of their lives. She considers education to be her calling, and loves teaching so much that to her, it doesn’t feel like work at all. Her next goal is to pursue a doctorate in her chosen field. However, the best piece of advice Ashlee ever received didn’t come from a classroom or a book. When she began running and cycling, her instructor at Psycle always told her to say “I can and I will.” Ashlee has taken this to heart, and applies it to everything she does. “I can accomplish my goals,” she says, “even when they appear difficult and insurmountable.”





FACT From the minutes of the first annual meeting of YWCA Greater Cleveland (then called WCA) in 1868:

“Clothed in noble principles and sidewalk-sweeping skirts, virtuous Christian women assumed the responsibility of the venturesome working girl.” 28

As an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Cuyahoga Community College, Amanda Hanley is on the front lines of the classroom. She does her best to support students and guide them in their academic endeavors. Her professional goals are to continue to develop and refine the mathematical education experience for her students by routinely analyzing curriculum and exploring best practices in mathematics’ post-secondary education. Amanda knows that math skills are critical for success in many careers. She also finds that the study of mathematics cultivates quantitative and qualitative reasoning skills in a way that no other discipline can. Her colleagues at Cuyahoga Community College have observed that Amanda is a transformative educator. She brings grace, charm, and humor—as well as a brilliant mathematical mind—to the classroom.




Julia was the first instructor in Cuyahoga Community College’s paralegal program, and she’s worked hard to grow the program into what it is today—from setting a curriculum, to teaching, to building relationships with sponsors. As a veteran educator, she’s mentored students by preparing them to find jobs and helping them maximize the benefits of their mandatory internships. She admires her CCC colleagues—especially Presidents Thornton and Johnson, and Mary Hovanec—as well as Barbara Jordan and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Her students also fill her with pride and joy. Julia is planning on retiring soon, but hopes to continue her work as an educator by writing or tutoring. She also hopes to travel once her schedule is more flexible— whether to New England or Belize and Peru.





Becky Truelson has a demanding career. In addition to providing financial statement assurance services to her audit clients, she also leads many of the firm’s community service initiatives. She feels very fortunate with the opportunities that she has worked for and received. Becky believes that when someone has been given opportunities, worked hard, and achieved success, they then have the ability and indeed the responsibility to give back to the community. She feels fortunate to be able to give back. Becky participates in various formal and informal mentoring programs, and she enjoys having opportunities to share her experiences and knowledge to help contribute to the success of others within the firm. Some of the best advice she was given early in her career was that sometimes you have to have the courage to speak up when you feel like your personal goals aren’t being met. Becky believes that it is important for women to understand that it is possible to be successful in a demanding career and it doesn’t have to come at the expense of your personal life. Success is about learning to balance and having the courage to step up and speak your truth.

Janice is the heart of the HR Department at Forest City Realty. On the day-to-day level, she coordinates events that support and give back to the community—while helping her employees build relationships with each other. Just as importantly, she takes the time to listen to others; she asks questions that guide them through their challenges, so they can come up with their own solutions. Her favorite part of her job is stepping back and watching her team come together to do something great. Because of this strong belief in the importance of interpersonal connection, Janice strongly believes in the value of YWCA. “I believe women are naturally powerful and talented,” she says. “YWCA provides an avenue to help them connect, learn, and find meaningful ways to develop and use their individual gifts in their work, families, and communities.”



Linda Pavia has always considered herself a team player. Throughout her career she has found professional fulfillment in the support she provides to others. She knows that her skills and years of experience assisting multiple executives have led to success for the organization. In all that Linda does, she leads by example. She is always mindful of the organization’s core values and models a strong work ethic when interacting with colleagues and clients. She does her best to be attentive to the people around her. Linda’s colleagues know that she is invested in their success and their needs; they see her as a passionate total team player who collaborates well and is dedicated to the organization and individuals with whom she works. In all that she does, Linda drives the overall strategies and objectives of her organization.




Sharon describes herself as a lifelong problem solver and opportunity seeker. True to her word, she plays a critical role in capturing and integrating new opportunities for Fairmont Santrol. She helped her company lead a successful IPO, participated on the Advisory Committee, and acquired several new businesses. Her colleagues call her “a vital member of the Fairmount Santrol Family.” Sharon says that she’s always enjoyed learning—“especially math and science”—and her current personal goal is to learn Mandarin, so that she can communicate more easily with her Chinese friends. “My daughter has been studying Mandarin,” she says. “I hope to engage her as my tutor!”






Margaret A. Merritt brings her intelligence, drive, and compassion to the work that she does for Ernst & Young LLP. Whether she is building relationships with clients or providing timely, relevant, and insightful service, she ensures that her actions consistently demonstrate a professional and thoughtful approach to business matters. Margaret strives to lead by example as well by providing coaching, mentoring, and active sponsorship to her team members. She learned from her father that to be successful, you need to treat others as you would like to be treated—and she lives this philosophy to this day. Margaret measures her professional success not only by her work with clients, but also by seeing members of her team working hard and achieving their career goals. She believes that we improve our society as a whole when we empower people and enable them to realize their full potential in life.


Early in her career, Mary’s supervisor told her that she needed to be the catalyst for change. If must be changed, he said, she shouldn’t wait for someone else to change it. Mary has worked to follow this advice ever since. She describes herself as a passionate leader and mentor, and she believes that successful mentorship requires dedicated feedback and coaching as opportunities arise. Mary also encourages others to set meaningful and achievable goals. Her personal goals include becoming a certified asset manager and traveling to Australia to visit the Great Barrier Reef.

Throughout her career, Carol Stelnicki has learned that sometimes good things can happen when you are willing to take risks, be uncomfortable, and learn to overcome your fears. As an integral part of the leadership and management of the organization, she has many roles including promoting the organization’s strategy, managing costs, and supporting revenue initiatives—as well as managing her team and workload as efficiently and effectively as possible. She values the time that she spends mentoring, coaching, and developing her team to be successful in their careers. Carol feels that staying positive and leading by leading by example are important characteristics of a leader and role model. She does her best to be available to assist and support members of the organization who are in the early stages of their careers. As the mother of two teenage daughters, Carol is hopeful for the future of women in the workplace. She is a positive, straightforward, and extremely motivated individual offering herself as a significant role model for other women.




Claudine says that she tries to think of others before herself. She lives this spirit in both her personal and professional life as she seeks to help other people. As the senior credit analyst of Huntington National Bank, she seeks to always be willing and amenable to help other people, and to become an expert in her field. According to her mentor, Diane Strojin, she’s well on her way: “She is always willing to take on additional responsibilities and provides coaching to new colleagues… I am proud of Claudine and all of her accomplishments.” In her personal life, Claudine is currently hosting a foreign exchange student, wants to volunteer at an animal shelter, and is going to participate in environmental disaster containment.

“Why bring anything less than our best selves to everything we do?” Laurie asks. In her work with KeyBank—as well as her work with the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center—she strives both to bring her best self to her work, and to help others discover their best selves. Mentorship is a key part of her work; she strives to help her employees and co-workers grow, while recognizing that everyone has a unique path to success. She especially tries to help young women, both at work and at the Crisis Center. “Laurie is a steadfast advocate for survivors,” Sondra Miller, her colleague, says. Laurie believes that new doors have always opened for her by doing excellent work in the present. In every part of her life, she works to make sure that others can do the same.



Marta Blase believes that authenticity and integrity are the foundation for strong relationships and successful collaboration. This has led to success in her position as Senior Vice President of Marketing for KeyBank. In this role, she is responsible for extending Key Corporate Bank’s brand and enabling its growth initiatives through strategic marketing. As a leader, she strives to nurture her team members’ professional and personal aspirations by applying a balance of supportive guidance and giving them sufficient space to let them succeed, try new things, and learn from their experiences. At the same time she recognizes that neither professional progress nor personal growth can occur without change and challenges. She believes that as professional women we have an obligation to support programs like those of YWCA Greater Cleveland, which create opportunities and foster positive change for women who experience injustice, racism and other social challenges. “When we come together and support other women to move beyond the barriers of violence, prejudice or a glass ceiling, it is a deeply enriching experience, and one we need to share and promote actively through our formal and informal networks.”




“We are ALWAYS a work in progress,” Alicia says—and she puts this into practice. She strives to meet every challenge with a positive attitude, and works hard for the benefit of her team and for KeyBank. She believes that every experience—both in her professional and private lives—makes her a little bit wiser, a little bit better, and a little bit stronger, and she works hard to apply the lessons she’s learned to her life. Alicia’s colleague, Richard Estremera, says that Alicia’s team has “benefited from her sincere desire to not only be involved but engaged in our activities.” Alicia describes herself as loyal—both to her family and to her team. “When something that I have worked on is used, in part, to make impactful, meaningful and constructive decisions that affect business processes, I define that as success.”


As the Global Director of Talent Development for the Lubrizol Corporation, Alison Brunsdon is focused on the power of teamwork. She is the leader of a global team that provides learning and development for Lubrizol associates all over the world. Alison believes that the organization’s success depends on developing and supporting teams of successful individuals. Whether she is coaching a member of her own team, or acting as a sounding board for another Lubrizol associate, Alison does her best to lead by example. For Alison, it’s not about getting credit for herself, she truly believes in the power of the team. She finds inspiration in a quote from Robert Yates, which states “It is amazing what can be accomplished when nobody cares about who gets the credit.” Alison works hard to be a positive, supportive and inspiring leader, and it shows. Her leadership and vision has resulted in a more strategic approach to development and engagement of employees, leaders, and teams within Lubrizol.

As a manager, much of Kelly Dillon’s work at KeyCorp requires strong communication skills. She regularly communicates with shareholders, investors, analysts and credit rating agencies about financial results, guidance, strategy and business operations to strengthen valuation of the company and related securities. When it comes to communicating with her team and associates, she considers it her duty to provide opportunities for others to grow and learn, just as she was given opportunities to do the same. Kelly believes that sharing knowledge, insight and resources is crucial in enabling any organization or community to grow. As a busy professional, she also sees the value in addressing issues from multiple perspectives. She knows that sometimes you need to focus on the details, and other times you may need to pause, and try to see the big picture perspective. In the organization, Kelly is recognized as a thoughtful, collaborative leader, who drives for results and provides valuable insights to KeyCorps’s analysts and investors.



When she was growing up, Lynnette Jackson’s father told her, “Life’s like a game of tennis. If you never serve, you never win.” She took that advice to heart and has brought that spirit of proactive leadership into her career. In her role as Relationship Manager for Key Private Bank, she strives to build relationships with her clients, bringing them peace of mind. “We are all collectively responsible to help each other,” she says. Lynnette has also spearheaded Key Private Bank’s “Women and Wealth” luncheon series. Beyond her career, she wants to travel to all seven continents—she has five left to go.





FACT From the first Women of Achievement program book in 1977. The event was called the Women Business Leader Luncheon, and the honorees were given the Career Women of Achievement Award. “The YWCA and Cleveland area businesses share in this tribute to the many women whose contributions are crucial to the success of their organizations…Participating companies hereby demonstrate their firm commitment to advancing women—to recognizing their success and to creating better and broader opportunities for them.”



When Michelle Graf talks about managing resources, people listen. Her group at the Lubrizol Corporation provides research and testing to support product development, fundamental knowledge, and problem solving. The goal of their work is to provide a competitive advantage for the organization. When it comes to the people on her team, she knows that having the right people in the right places with the tools they need is crucial to supporting the business. Her preferred style of leadership is to lead by example. Whether she is at work, at home, or in the community, she strives to model the behavior she would like to see in others. Michelle feels the most successful when she sees the impact of her work or the work of her team. This could be observing the professional growth of a team member as a result of her coaching and leadership. It could also be seeing the team’s work and results lead to a new product or increased sales for the organization. Part of her philosophy is to “carry as you climb”. She recognizes that others have supported her and helped her navigate her career path. Michelle wants to make sure that she is paying it forward by making herself available to others to help them on their journeys, while continually striving to find the right balance of work, family and community service.



Jennifer knows that building a strong team is the gateway to success. In her work as the chief underwriter at Medical Mutual Ohio, she works closely with the Chief Marketing Officer to make sure their products suit the needs and budgets of customers. She also informally mentors individuals from all divisions of her company. Putting together a cogent business case with a strong cross-functional team brings Jennifer professional fulfillment. And strength, she believes, comes from diversity. “I’ve seen how diversity of culture, background, age, gender, and experience allows a team to provide the best solution to any problem,” she says. “We are better together.” In her personal life, she also seeks to strengthen herself enough to compete in a Tough Mudder competition; or maybe—with luck and training—even American Ninja Warrior!



When Margaret is under pressure in her professional life, she looks back to the example of her mother. The sacrifices her mother made and the willingness she had to step outside her comfort zone have inspired Margaret to expand her knowledge and step out, taking a leadership role in all areas of her life. She loves to inspire and develop young minds in the workplace and share her knowledge with others. “I always try and encourage woman to reach outside their comfort zone and work in jobs or on projects that they didn’t believe they could aspire to,” she says. “Once they succeed, it’s exciting to watch them grow as leaders and gain more self-confidence.”



Susan’s motto is “do the right thing, even when no one is looking.” Living by those words gives her perspective and focus. As the Director of Human Resource Services at Medical Mutual, Susan works hard to find and recruit good talent, and to help employees grow in their careers. Finding the right people and helping them grow drives results for her company and their customers. She feels most fulfilled when she’s a vehicle for others’ success. “I enjoy seeing people get excited about their future and what they can achieve,” she says.




Ami Cole is responsible for the operational oversight of the Molina Healthcare of Ohio health plan which provides health insurance coverage for more than 330,000 Ohioans. For a job like this, she must have a strong team, and Ami has found that the key to a strong team is employee engagement. She believes that employee engagement must be a priority for a successful organization, and she works closely with her leadership team to foster an environment of continuous learning and professional development for her employees. Ami recognizes that as a leader, sometimes you have to take risks and do what you think is right to get the job done. Ami thrives when she is working within a team to design innovative programs that will make a tangible and positive impact to plan members. She says “I truly enjoy brainstorming ideas to solve a challenging problem, mapping out a plan, and seeing it launch successfully—knowing it will make an impact to the lives of the members we serve. It’s a rewarding process!”



Sabriana has learned that it’s important to always handle situations promptly to be effective. “When you handle things promptly, the momentum is in your favor,“ she says. In her position as shift manager for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, she frequently deals with situations promptly. In her plant, she’s exposed to various hazards that she does not take for granted. Sabriana always encourages her team to be observant of these hazards so that everyone stays safe. Outside of her career, one of her main goals is to become a therapy dog handler and give comfort and affection to the people who need it most.



In today’s busy and complex online environment, customers want to know that their personal and banking information is safe and protected. PNC customers can rest assured knowing that Dr. Arlonda M. Stephens and her team are working hard to ensure that all of the customer information entrusted to the organization is safeguarded properly by systems and employees at all levels. Her philosophy and work ethic all goes back to some simple advice from her mother “be kind and treat people right.” She tries to live this advice every day. In the organization, Arlonda is respected for being kind, intelligent, and focused. To support the organization, she is involved in the African-American Employee Resource Group mentoring program to help aspiring leaders navigate their career paths. Arlonda also serves as a mentor to several people that are in the early stages of their careers and balancing work and family issues. She feels most successful when she can see projects through to a successful completion and know that she has accomplished her goals. Arlonda finds joy and satisfaction in seeing others with whom she has worked or mentored succeed.



Heather Scaglione wears a lot of hats. She’s grown a successful precolor business, built positive relationships with customers, and mentored young engineers and industrial designers. Her strongest passions, though, are helping others grow and sharing knowledge with them. She’s served as a role model for many interns, and she goes out of her way to help women and younger members of her company. In her own words, “If you empower women and give them both confidence and opportunities, your organization will be successful. Open doors and eliminate barriers, and success is guaranteed.” Heather’s passionate commitment to mentorship has helped many other women rise in their careers.




“‘Carry as you climb’ has always been a personal mantra for me,” Alice says. She started her career more than 40 years ago, in a very different climate for women in the workplace. One of the people she admires most is her first female supervisor, who helped carry her by leading by example and proving that it is possible to achieve a good work-life balance. Today, Alice reaches out to younger women, encouraging them and connecting them with opportunities that will strengthen their personal and professional lives. Looking back at her past work—and in looking forward to the future, seeing how much of her work will outlast her career—gives her great fulfillment. Alice has now truly learned the value of work-life balance— this modern-day Odysseus’ greatest personal goal is to sail the Aegean Sea, visiting as many of the Greek islands as possible.

As the HR Director of PolyOne, Ginny serves as a coach and mentor on a daily basis. She has a strong opendoor policy that allows her play this role. Because she strives to make herself approachable, her associates trust her confidentiality and open up regularly to her. This lets her get to know them, discover their strengths and weaknesses, and train them to excel. To Ginny, the mission of YWCA means that “each and every woman needs to serve as a role model to others by pushing themselves to their highest potential and showing that success comes in many forms.“ Strong words to live by.





As a lawyer, Jill has learned the virtues of intelligence, confidence, and perseverance. In her everyday work, she fosters her firm’s reputation for serving clients in complex matters with excellence and efficiency. Jill admires confident, intelligent women who can take the risks they must take to climb the corporate ladder, but who are self-aware and humble enough to know that others have ideas to offer. “This is the type of individual who can truly lead and carry others on their shoulders,” she says, and she strives to be that kind of individual. Every year, she mentors a new young attorney in the Cleveland area, giving them the legal and ethical grounding they need to succeed.

When Erin was choosing a college, she had a choice: go to a small local college that most of her friends were planning on attending or go to a larger out-of-state school that would give her more room to grow. Her mother encouraged her to go to the out-of-state school, even though it would be uncomfortable, because she’d have the chance to be a leader. Erin took that advice. Learning to stand out and take risks has served her well ever since. Erin has become a senior associate with Thompson Hine’s top-ranked construction group, and is actively involved in their women’s leadership initiatives. “I admire game changers,” she says. “Entrepreneurs, inventors, political figures, and others who have incredible bold new ideas, plus the vision and dedication to make them a reality.... People like that make life exciting and change the world.”





Barbara is passionate about both her work for Thompson Hine and her community outreach. In her day job, she strives to support her clients in any way she can–whether it’s through foreseeing risks and counselling her clients on the best ways to avoid them or by defending them against the claims brought against them. She works side-by-side with her clients to help them meet their goals efficiently. Outside of work, Barbara immerses herself in community and professional organizations that support and empower the people of Cleveland, such as the National Asian American Bar Association, the Asian American Bar Association of Ohio, the Cleveland Asian Festival, and the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland. “...I am appreciative of the organizations that push these women to do even better, dream even bigger, and lift others with them,” she says. “YWCA’s messages of promoting diversity, eliminating barriers to success, and empowering women resonate with me both personally and professionally.”

“How do you eat an elephant?” Bethanie’s father asked her when she was young. His answer was “One bite at a time.” In Bethanie’s high-powered, stressful profession, she finds it useful to remember this advice: instead of getting worried about things you can’t control, it’s much better to pick a task and just go with it! Bethanie strives to be thoughtful, balanced, and supportive as she works to solve her clients’ problems. As a defense lawyer, she must alleviate her clients’ stress so that they can focus on their jobs, families, and lives. And, she tries to use some of those methods in her own life—with a second child on the way, she’s working hard to keep her life in balance. One of Bethanie’s other goals is to help facilitate ways for her family to live closer to each other. She also wants to become a more skilled mixologist.



In her role as Director of Customer Support within Global Supply Chain, Lori Peterson works hard to balance the needs and demands of the business with consideration for what is best for the employees. She manages an organization that is required to provide exceptional service to all of customers. In her experience, Lori finds that excellent communication skills and the ability and willingness to provide open and honest feedback are extremely important. Whether she is providing technical support and product advice to a customer—or coaching a member of her team—she strives to make the work experience positive and successful for everyone. Lori recognizes that throughout her career she has learned a lot from some terrific managers and leaders. She credits them with helping her to define her leadership style and understanding the importance of developing people and creating opportunities for others.






“Success,” Hiloni says, “is a result of opportunity and preparation.” Both opportunity and preparation have helped her establish her career and give back to the community. She was born to immigrant parents, who sacrificed nearly everything to move to the United States and who taught her resilience. Hiloni’s career has primarily been at University Hospitals, which has given her the background and the opportunity to shape University Hospital’s future. She’s put her experience to good use—she’s led one of the institution’s largest patient safety initiatives on sepsis, communicating with doctors, nurses, and assistive personnel to standardize clinical care. “I work in a job that didn’t exist when I completed my training,” she says. “I want to become the kind of physician that sets a vision and then drives change in that direction.“




Nicole knows the value of strong mentorship. It started with her parents, who immigrated to the United States; they taught her the virtues of persistence, honesty, and compassion. When she was a resident, she had strong mentors who pushed her out of her comfort zone, and helped her accept projects she hesitated to try. This inspired her to pay it forward. Today, Nicole works with residents to help them meet their individual goals, both personal and professional, while staying dedicated to her surgical field. She says YWCA is at the forefront of women’s leadership, development, and mentorship. YWCA’s help “means that I, along with my female colleagues, will have a partner in our development every step of the way.”

As the senior leader and role model of the Elyria Medical Center, Charlotte works to make great things happen every day by inspiring every member of her team. Role modeling and mentoring are vastly important to her; she’s credits her growth to her role models over the years so she can’t help but pay it forward. “Char is exceptional at identifying strengths within an individual and providing them the guidance and opportunities to grow,” says Don Schiffbauer, her colleague. Charlotte also loves to drive change and advocate for those who need a stronger voice. “[It’s important] for all of us to have a seat at the table and a voice in the discussions,” she says. “Supporting women and families along their journey of self-discovery and personal and professional development is critical for stronger and healthier communities.”




Stacey says she was taught to “manage up, provide honest feedback, and let people make mistakes.” This is how advice she received while being mentored, and now she’s applying it to her mentorships. In her work as the Director of Clinical Trials at University Hospitals, she’s a constant advocate for both high-quality care and cutting-edge therapies. “Stacey always leads by example,” her manager, Robin Rowell, says. “She continually strives for excellence while leading others to do the same, and in doing so, she has been able to create a strong team that delivers superior outcomes.” Stacey strives to have a positive impact on every person or organization she touches, and feels that the opportunities laid out before her are exciting and endless.



As the Vice President of Talent Acquisition, Kim’s mission is to attract and support top talent to maintain the continued success of University Hospitals. She tries to first focus on building relationships—a former manager gave her this advice, and she’s found it’s helped her succeed and meet her goals. She runs a leadership program that assesses potential leaders, and helps support and develop these leaders professionally. One of Kim’s personal goals is the recruitment and development of underrepresented groups, making YWCA’s mission extremely personal for her.



When Michele began her career as an intern, her mother told her to find the most experienced nurse on the floor and do whatever she told Michele to do. She followed that advice, and learned a great deal from her new mentors. Michele has a persistent passion for excellence. She says that there is no better group to serve than the babies and children of northeast Ohio, and that seeing them survive and thrive gives her the most fulfillment anyone could ask for. Her goals for the future include becoming the Chair of Pediatrics and traveling to Machu Picchu.




Dr. Joan M. Zolanski believes that the success of the organization is built on the relationships with their patients. Her role is to ensure that all of the operations are working to strengthen these relationships. Throughout her career, she has worked with and learned from many great clinicians. From them she learned that the answers can always be found at the patient’s bedside. Drawing on this knowledge, Joan believes that just as your interaction with the patient should guide their medical care, the interactions with the patients should also drive the operations. Joan’s colleagues know that you can always count on her to remind them of the importance of the patient relationship when she asks “What is best for the patient?” She finds daily inspiration from people at all levels of the organization who tirelessly care for patients. This includes doctors, nurses, patient transporters, hospital valets, receptionists, administrators, food-service workers, volunteers, and many more. Her goal for the future is to continue to strive toward providing the highest level of medical care and service to all patients.



The best advice Lori ever received was from a former Westfield CEO, who told her, “Leaders cast long shadows.” It’s stuck with her because, as she’s become a leader herself, she’s reminded that her actions as a leader have far-reaching consequences. How she chooses to react makes all the difference. In her work as the Organization Development Leader at Westfield Insurance, she works to help people learn to react to change with grace, addressing both her employees’ hearts and minds. She works to dialogue with individuals and teams, asking them questions to help them find the answer they need inside themselves. Because of her specialty, Lori thinks YWCA’s mission is valuable. “To me,” she says, “the YWCA mission of eliminating racism and empowering women ultimately is about breaking down barriers to make it possible for everyone to be the best version of themselves in the world—both personally and professionally.“



Teresa Sanders is the Vice President of Programs and Operations at YWCA Greater Cleveland. She leads a diverse team that facilitates transformative programs in early childhood education and youth services for children, adolescents, young adults, and families. She is known to hold her team to high standards, and expects even more from herself. Teresa leads by example with her team and with her clients. Her first priority is always caring for the children, teens, and adults who come to YWCA Greater Cleveland, and she balances this care with great attention to detail and to administrative operations. Because of her deep subject matter expertise and extensive experience, Teresa is recognized as a thought leader on the issues of developing trauma-informed systems of care, racial equity, and the advancement of women. She finds fulfillment and success in seeing children learn and helping young people and families become selfsufficient and productive members of society.




CLEVELAND WOMEN’S CITY CLUB FOUNDATION YWCA SCHOLARSHIP FUND WINNER Since 1948, the Cleveland Women’s City Club Foundation has awarded more than $400,000 in grants to non-profit organizations and institutions in Greater Cleveland. Its mission has been to provide educational, cultural, and social projects and programs that benefit the general public. The CWCCF decided to terminate its operations in 2009. Wanting to continue the civic engagements that its members and donors had begun more than 60 years ago, it established two scholarship funds at The Cleveland Foundation. One is designated to YWCA Greater Cleveland to support scholarships for female high school graduates or GED recipients who are aging out of the foster-care system. The Cleveland Women’s City Club Foundation YWCA Scholarship Fund of the Cleveland Foundation continues to honor and perpetuate the name of the Women’s City Club Foundation. Contributions to the fund are being accepted by The Cleveland Foundation.


In 1875, civic minded ladies of YWCA Greater Cleveland (then called WCA) were taking increasing interest in public affairs.

DR. JENNIE S. HWANG AWA R D W I N N E R Allison Matia Allison Matia is a junior at Baldwin Wallace University with an impressive 3.8 GPA in her Neuroscience major and Psychology minor. When she isn’t conducting her own impressive research, Allison serves as a research assistant to faculty members, tutors students in upperlevel neuroscience courses, is President of STAND: for Human Rights, established BW’s first Fair Trade market, volunteers, and is a member of the BW Women’s Chorus. A member of six academic honors societies, Allison is hard at work on an undergraduate neuroscience thesis that builds off research she began in the summer of 2015; pursuing her interests in evolutionary psychology and our chemical senses, she examined taste perception differences in rats based on their sex. She has worked closely with women professors at Baldwin Wallace, and aspires to pursue her own Ph. D. in biomedical science. YWCA Greater Cleveland is thrilled to honor Allison with the Dr. Jennie S. Hwang Award, and wishes her the very best for her future plans.

ABOUT THE AWARD // Dr. Jennie S. Hwang The Dr. Jennie S. Hwang Award recognizes an outstanding female sophomore or junior student who is majoring in a science-, engineering- or technology-related discipline, including life sciences and pre-med. Full-time students are nominated by staff and faculty at their universities. Recipients must demonstrate overall academic performance and academic performance in: one of the designated majors; leadership experiences and on-campus activities; and off-campus volunteer and community service.

“It has been an arduous but edifying privilege of late to attend some meetings of city council.”

LaToya Hall LaToya was homeless and living in a shelter before she moved into YWCA Greater Cleveland’s Independence Place. Then, she couldn’t see a successful vision of the future for herself or her son. But that all changed—for the better. LaToya earned her GED through work with YWCA Greater Cleveland. And with dreams of a better life in reach, she didn’t stop there. She took classes at Cuyahoga Community College and then transferred to Kent State University. She moved out of Independence Place when she transferred in 2013, and now lives with her seven year-old son in a townhouse in Stow, just a few minutes down the road from Kent State, where she is a junior concentrating in Communication Studies and working on campus. She’s got plans to work in public relations, and says her favorite classes have been Ballet and Journalism. YWCA Greater Cleveland feels privileged to continue to support LaToya on the path to her very bright future.


The scholarship was created through the generosity of Dr. Hwang, a recipient of the 2000 YWCA Woman of Achievement Award. Dr. Hwang is a scientist, engineer, author, worldwide speaker, corporate executive, and entrepreneur who is internationally distinguished in business and technology arenas. Her career spans across corporate America and entrepreneurial businesses, having held senior executive positions with Lockheed Martin Corp., SCM Corp., and International Electronic Materials Corp. She is a prolific author and speaker on the issues of education, diversity, workforce, trade, and business. Dr. Hwang’s education includes the Harvard Business School Executive Program, Columbia Business Corporate Directors Program, a Ph.D in engineering, and two MS degrees in sciences. Among her many awards and honors, she is the only woman from Ohio to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering and the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame.


In 1988, YWCA Greater Cleveland presented two workshops at the YWCA National Convention, one on Domestic Violence and one on Racial Justice.


Y WC A HISTORY created to protect women traveling to cities alone.

1858 The first association in the U.S., Ladies Christian Association, was formed in New York City.



“YWCA” was first used in Boston.

**YWCA opened a Rest Cottage in Rocky River, where for $1.50 per week, a young woman could get comfortable home-like board. It became the pioneer girls camp in Cleveland. Mrs. Charles Long Cutter, grandmother of Charles A. Lindburgh, was chairman of the first camp committee.



The first boarding house for female students, teachers, and factory workers opened in New York City.


** YWCA was founded in Cleveland as Women’s Christian Association of Cleveland (WCA) on November 21, 1868. Cleveland—with a population of 43,000—was the seventh city to have a YWCA. Membership in the WCA cost one dollar.

1869 **WCA of Cleveland founded the Home for Erring & Unfortunate Girls to serve unmarried mothers and children and the Boarding Home for SelfSupporting Women for working women (later known as The Retreat).

1874 **WCA founded the first community laundry. The YWCA opened a low-cost summer “resort” for employed women in Philadelphia.

1876 **WCA Home for Aged Protestant women was built in University Circle to serve homeless, elderly women. The structure is known today as the Amasa Stone House.

1882 **Young Ladies Branch of WCA of Cleveland was formed to establish “day nurseries” of child care centers around the city. These led to free kindergarten, which eventually was adopted by public schools.

1888 **The Home for Incurable Invalids (Eliza Jennings Home) opened after Mrs. Eliza Jennings presented the Association with 7 ½ acres of land. This home became self-sufficient and independent of WCA of Cleveland in the early 1920s.

**YWCA built the first gymnasium in Cleveland for girls.

The United States of America, England, Sweden, and Norway together created the World YWCA, which today operates in over 125 countries. YWCA helped to establish Travelers’ Aid, a program



The Atlanta YWCA cafeteria opened to African Americans, becoming the city’s first integrated public dining facility.

**YWCA of Cleveland expanded the Central Building. A Brooklyn branch of YWCA of Cleveland formed, as well as Lakewood, East Side, and Northeast branches.

The YWCA National Board became a sponsoring agency in 1963 for the summer March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in Washington, D.C., where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.

**Independence Place (IP) opened in January. Our 23 permanent supportive housing apartments are specifically for people ages 18 – 24 who are coming from homelessness. IP was the first housing initiative in Northeast Ohio—and one of few nationally—that focused on homeless youth and homeless youth with a history of foster care.





The YWCA was the first organization to introduce the positive health concept and sex education in all health programming.

The YWCA encouraged members to speak out against lynching and mob violence, and for interracial cooperation and efforts to protect African Americans’ basic civil rights.

The National Board of the YWCA created the Office of Racial Justice to lead the civil rights efforts.

**YWCA of Cleveland officially becomes affiliated with the YWCA of the U.S.

1907 **The Central Building at 1710 Prospect Avenue was dedicated. The Cleveland Press reported it as “a monument to the pluck of Cleveland women.” YWCA of the USA was incorporated in New York City.

1908 The YWCA was the first industrial federation of clubs to train girls in self-government.

1910 **Y-Teens groups formed in Cleveland for girls in grades 7 & 8 to come after school.

1913 YWCA National Board created a commission on sex education.

1915 YWCA held the first interracial conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

1918 YWCA was the first organization to send professional workers overseas to provide administrative leadership and support to U.S. Armed Forces.

The first YWCA for Native American women opened at the Haworth Institute in Chilocco, Oklahoma.



Based on its work with women in industrial plants, the YWCA Convention voted to work for “an eighthour/day law, prohibition of night work, and the right of labor to organize.”



**More than 11,000 children are cared for by YWCA of Cleveland, Ohio.


**Committee on Factory work is established to protect the rights of working women in Cleveland.

The first African-American YWCA branch opened in Dayton, Ohio.

**WCA of Cleveland officially becomes YWCA of Cleveland, Ohio.

** indicates information unique to YWCA Greater Cleveland

**One of the first two women elected to Cleveland’s City Council, Marie Remington Wing, was Secretary of YWCA of Cleveland.



YWCA has been at the forefront of the most critical social movements for more than 150 years—from women’s empowerment and civil rights, to affordable housing and pay equity, to violence prevention and health care. This timeline illustrates the journey of YWCA USA and YWCA Greater Cleveland.

YWCA delegates supported birth control services and worked to make it more widely available to the general population.


YWCA’s program on social morality became the official Lecture Bureau of the Division of Social Hygiene of the War Department “to cultivate an attitude of honest, open, scientific interest in the subject of sex.” The YWCA held the International Conference of Women Physicians, the first gathering of medical women. YWCA of Cleveland sent a delegation to this conference.

1967 **YWCA of Cleveland participated in Project Grow (funded by the U.S. Department of Labor) to serve out-of-school, out-of-work young women—ages 16-19. The program taught women how to get a job, personal budgeting, and self-reliance.

The YWCA held the Interracial Seminar, marking the first intercollegiate, interracial, co-ed conference in the South.




The YWCA in Columbus, Ohio, established a desegregated dining facility and is cited by the Columbus Urban League “for a courageous step forward in human relations.”

1942 The YWCA extended its services to Japanese American women and girls incarcerated in World War II Relocation Centers. YWCA of Cleveland is among these associations.

1944 The National Board appeared at the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate hearings in support of permanent Fair Employment Practices Committee Legislation.

**YWCA of Cleveland reaches 15 centers and 46,501 members. The YWCA National Convention, held in Houston, adopted the One Imperative: “To thrust our collective power towards the elimination of racism, wherever it exists, by any means necessary.”

1970 YWCA convention voted to emphasize the importance of repealing laws restricting or prohibiting abortions performed by a duly licensed physician.

1973 The 26th National Convention held a silent march and sets up a defense fund to protest the treatment of American Indians at Wounded Knee Reservation.

Interracial Charter was adopted by the 17th National YWCA Convention, establishing that “wherever there is injustice on the basis of race, whether in the community, the nation, or the world, our protest must be clear and our labor for its removal, vigorous and steady.” The National Convention pledged that the YWCA will work for integration and full participation of minority groups in all phases of American life.

1951 **Hough Avenue Community Council asked YWCA of Cleveland and YMCA to develop a co-educational program for high school students.

1955 National Convention committed local associations and the National Board to review progress towards inclusiveness and decides on “concrete steps” to be taken.

The YWCA National Day of Commitment to Eliminate Racism began in response to the beating of Rodney King, an African American man, the acquittal of four white Los Angeles police officers accused of the crime, and the subsequent riots and unrest across the country.

1995 The YWCA Week Without Violence was created to united people against violence in communities. The annual observance is held the third week of October.

2001 **YWCA Greater Cleveland Women’s Center and Early Learning Center open. YWCA moves to its current location at 4019 Prospect Avenue.

2003 **YWCA Greater Cleveland discontinues all wellness and fitness programs and narrows its focus to fewer locations. **YWCA partners with Case Western Reserve University and Music & Performing Arts at Trinity Cathedral to offer tru 2 u to teens and parents.


2012 At the YWCA Annual Meeting in May 2012, a transition from the prior regional structure to a national federated structure was approved, followed by the adoption of new bylaws in November 2012.

2014 **The Early Learning Center shifts to a unique trauma-informed model, specifically serving children and families facing homelessness or other adverse conditions.

2015 YWCA USA develops a Mission Impact Framework and Theory of Change to focus and clarify our diverse body of work in racial justice and civil rights, women and girls’ health and safety, and women and girls’ empowerment and economic advancement. The corporate name changed from “Young Women’s Christian Association of the United States of America, Inc.” to “YWCA USA, Inc.”, effective December 15, 2015. **YWCA Greater Cleveland launches It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race, facilitating open and honest dialogue on race between community members from diverse backgrounds.


Igniting the collective power of the YWCA to eliminate racism, the YWCA USA’s Summit on Eliminating Racism, was held in Birmingham, Alabama.

YWCA launches the YWCA Is On A Mission brand awareness campaign to deepen YWCA’s impact in local communities and on the national scale.

**YWCA Greater Cleveland launches the Women’s Leadership Initiative (now known as the Women’s Leadership Institute) to help women develop skills to advance their careers.

Today over 2 million people participate in YWCA programs at more than 1,300 sites across the United States.

2005 YWCAs of Trenton and Princeton, New Jersey establish the “Stand Against Racism” campaign, which spreads to 39 states with over a quarter million participants.


1949 1918

**The YM-YW building fund campaign was launched and over $6 Million raised.


1977 **YWCA of Cleveland’s first Women of Achievement Awards were held, honoring female leaders in Northeast Ohio.

**YWCA Greater Cleveland launches Leadership Boot Camp in partnership with Corporate College to help women develop skills for executive-level leadership positions. This program later expands to include Quest and Momentum programs for mid-career and established leaders.


**YWCA of Cleveland started PACT (Peer Approach: Counseling by Teens), later adopted by YWCA USA.

**YWCA Greater Cleveland holds the first annual Women’s Leadership Conference.



The YWCA National Board urged Congress to support legislation that opposes the South African policy of apartheid.

YWCA celebrated its sesquicentennial anniversary, 150 years of service, with the launch of the “Own It” campaign. The campaign focused on igniting a new generation of 22 million young women aged 18 to 34, inspiring them to get involved with important issues facing women and the country today.



GENDER DISCRIMINATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY by Heather Steranka-Petit, YWCA Greater Cleveland Manager of Learning Programs, “It’s Time to Talk” Programs & Services


Women as Caregivers

Closing the Wage Gap According to the National Women’s Law Center, there are some common sense things that we need to do to shrink the wage gap:

This type of sex discrimination in employment was made illegal by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In fact, today it would be not only illegal but extremely rare to have an employer in in the United States say outright that they do not hire women. This does not mean that gender discrimination is only a thing of the past. In today’s society, discrimination still happens but is sometimes hard to recognize.

Another factor that affects the wage gap by gender is that women assume the role of caregiver throughout their working lives. Even in today’s modern families, women are still taking on the bulk of responsibilities in the area of child-raising. In addition, many women have caregiving responsibilities for aging parents or other family members. Studies continue to show that there is persistent discrimination against women workers with caregiving responsibilities. In a 2007 report, researchers Shelley Correll, Stephan Benard, and In Paik compared equally qualified women candidates, and found that women who were mothers were recommended for significantly lower starting salaries. In addition, the study found that mothers were perceived as less competent and therefore less likely to be recommended for hire than non-mothers.

The Wage Gap

Stalled Progress for Women in Leadership Roles

According to a 2014 study by the National Women’s Law Center, across the USA, women earned an average 79 cents for every dollar earned by men. The same study reports that for AfricanAmerican and Hispanic women the gender pay gap is even wider.

There is no question that women have made great strides in the workforce. From the 1970’s through the early 2000’s, the gender wage gap narrowed, sex segregation in most professions greatly declined, and the percentage of women climbing the management ranks steadily rose. According to a 2014 report by the Center for American Progress:

YWCA Greater Cleveland

n 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court. She broke down barriers for millions of American women. It is hard now to imagine that when she graduated third in her class from Stanford law school in 1952, she had trouble finding a job. In a 2013 interview, she describes how she contacted several law firms who simply refused to give her an interview because they told her “we don’t hire women.”

Emily Martin, vice president and general counsel of the National Women’s Law Center, reports that while there are many reasons for the gender gap, one of the most stubborn reasons is discrimination. “There’s really disturbing social science studies out there that show that supervisors, male and female alike, without realizing it, will recommend lower salaries for women with equivalent qualifications to men,” she says. Pay Secrecy One factor in the gender wage gap is a lack of available information. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, workplace practices and policies which discourage or prohibit discussions about pay rates appear to contribute to the gender gap in earnings. A 2010 study revealed that approximately half of all workers (51% of women and 47% of men) report that the discussion of wage and salary information is either discouraged, prohibited, or could lead to punishment. This type of pay secrecy is even more common among single mothers: 63% say that they work for employers who discourage or prohibit discussion of wage and salary information.


• Women earn almost 60% of undergraduate degrees and 60% of all master’s degrees • Women earn 47% of all law degrees and 48% of all medical degrees • Women earn more than 44% of master’s degrees in business and management, including 37% of MBAs • Women make up 47% of the U.S. labor force and 59% of the college-educated, entry-level workforce However, even with these impressive statistics, the presence of women in top leadership positions, (e. g. equity law partners, medical school deans, and corporate executive officers) remains stuck between 10-20%. Even though women comprise more than 50% of the US population, the average proportion of their representation on corporate boards and in Congress is just 15%. The low percentages of women in these top leadership roles propagates the perception that women do not belong in those positions or professions. This leads to women being less likely to be recruited for these positions, or even self-selecting not to apply. This in turn can create a shortage of role models, mentors, and sponsors for women in these fields.

• Strengthen our equal pay laws so that women have the tools they need to fight back against pay discrimination • Build ladders to higher-wage jobs for women by removing barriers to entry into male-dominated fields • Lift up the wages of women in low-wage jobs by raising the minimum wage and the tipped minimum wage • Increase the availability of high-quality, affordable child care • Help prevent and remedy caregiver and pregnancy discrimination against women workers • Provide fair schedules, paid family leave, and paid sick days so that workers with caregiving responsibilities are not unfairly disadvantaged At YWCA Greater Cleveland, we are on a mission to eliminate racism and empower women. YWCA’s Women’s Leadership Institute offers a comprehensive leadership development training curriculum and corresponding programs designed to build, train, recognize, and empower transformative leaders at all phases of their careers. When you support YWCA Greater Cleveland, you are helping to support today’s women leaders and creating tomorrow’s role models, mentors, and sponsors for women and girls.

Sources Judith Warner, The Women’s Leadership Gap: Women’s leadership by the numbers, Center for American Progress, (March 2014), available at FAQ About the Wage Gap, National Women’s Law Center, (September 2015), available at . Shelley J. Correll, Stephan Benard, and In Paik, Getting a Job: Is There a Motherhood Penalty, American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 11 No. 5 (Mar. 2007), pp. 1297- 1339, available at Pay Secrecy and Wage Discrimination, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, (January 2014) available at ‘Out Of Order’ At The Court: O’Connor On Being The First Female Justice, Interview by Terri Gross. Fresh Air. WHYY, Philadelphia, PA, (March 2013), Radio. Transcript.


2014 - 2015 Financial Report


operating results for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015

Other Rental Income



% of total

Program Fees & Reimbursements Contribution & Grants United Way Special Events, Net Investment Income, Gains & Losses Rental Income Other

$910,394 $1,287,304 $145,480 $306,720 $220,728 $183,978 $140,667

28% 40% 5% 10% 7% 6% 4%

Total Revenue





% of total

Program Services Management & General Fund Development

$2,606,507 $482,184 $383,789

75% 14% 11%

Total Expenses



Decrease in unrestricted net assets


2016 YWCA Greater Cleveland Leadership BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Valeria Harper, MA Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County Donald Kimble KeyCorp Nichelle McCall BOLD Guidance

Maureen A. Wood Ernst & Young Board Chair

Janet L. Miller University Hospitals Michelle Paris

Ann M. Frangos AT&T Vice Chair, Chair Elect Jacqueline Kelly PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Treasurer

Michael M. Roecker The Lubrizol Corporation Christine Santoni Reminger Co., LPA

Investment Income, Gains & Losses Special Events, Net United Way Contribution & Grants Program Fees & Reimbursements

Fund Development Management & General Program Services

Stacy Gilbert FirstMerit Bank

$5,000 - $9,999

Suzanne Hamilton First Federal of Lakewood

Anonymous Cleveland Airport System CRU Solutions Cuyahoga Community College David and Inez Myers Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio Eleanor C. Kirby No. 1 Fund Ellen Garretson Wade Memorial Fund Ernst & Young Forest City The George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation Giving Back Gang The Huntington National Bank The Kent H. Smith Charitable Trust Lincoln Electric Nina and Norman Wain Family Foundation One Candle Foundation Parker Hannifin Corporation The Perkins Charitable Foundation

Jennifer M. Ellis Cuyahoga Community College - Metro Campus Deborah J. Feller McSteen & Associates, Inc. Rebecca Fischer Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP

Joan U. Allgood Joan U. Allgood Co. LPA

Tonya C. Suber Forest City

Gabrielle T. Kelly Brouse McDowell, LPA

Kristine Cerny Huntington National Bank

Cynthia D. Tomasch PolyOne

Jessica Kosiewicz Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Suzanne P. Davis McMaster-Carr

Claire M. Zangerle Visiting Nurse Association Healthcare Partners of Ohio

Michelle Pearson-Casey The J.M. Smucker Company


Hannah Prengler Cohen & Company CPA

Teri Agosta Hilton Cleveland Downtown

Amy Wain Garnitz The A.L. Wain Company

Tonnie Alliance Hattie Larlham Foundation

Gary M. Giller Katherine’s Collection

Tiffany Allison Sutter O’Connell Company

Jan Gusich Akhia

Jennifer Baus The NRP Group LLC

Suzanne K. Hanselman BakerHostetler


Anne-Marie E. Connors Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging

$10,000 - $24,999

Josephine Floyd Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP

Julie A. DiBaggio Lum, Esq. Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., LPA

Jeanette Saunders Presidents’ Council Business Chamber and Foundation

Patricia M. Gardner Parker Hannifin Corporation

Alcoa Anonymous Cleveland Foundation Peter and Mary Conway Cuyahoga County Universal Pre-Kindergarten Fenn No. 1 Charitable Trust Fund KeyBank Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation The Nord Family Foundation Julie and Peter Raskind Robert R. Rhodes R-Max Trust Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland Treu-Mart Fund TurtleCon Fund United Way of Greater Cleveland University Hospitals William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation

Anonymous Henry C. and Mary C. Doll Eaton Corporation The Eudalia H Benjamin Fund Higley Fund Leonard C. Horvitz The Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation The Lubrizol Corporation Medical Mutual of Ohio MetroHealth O.C.C.R.R.A. Old Stone Church Parker Hannifin Corporation Saint Luke’s Foundation of Cleveland, Ohio Walter C. and Lucy I. Astrup Fund No. 2

John M. Wirtshafter McDonald Hopkins LLC Secretary

Megan Featherston

$25,000 AND UP

Cassandra L. Johnson University Hospitals

Yadira Ramos-Colon Deloitte Carol Stelnicki Grant Thornton LLP Heidi R. Szeltner Cleveland State University Amy A. Whitacre First American Title Insurance Company

PolyOne Traci and Scot Rourke Sherwin Fund A-Max Thatcher Family Fund Farah M. Walters

$2,500 - $4,999 Advance Ohio Amy Wain Garnitz Anonymous BakerHostetler Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP Cleveland Clinic Cleveland Indians Cleveland Museum of Natural History Cleveland State University Cleveland Women’s City Club Foundation YWCA Scholarship Fund Connie Clore Creekside Financial Advisors, LLC Dix & Eaton Dollar Bank The Dorothea and Fletcher Gleason Family Foundation Fairmount Santrol Megan Featherston Lauren Rich Fine Patricia M. Gardner Christine A. Gattenio Patricia Gleason Mark & Jo Goren Grant Thornton LLP Jan Gusich Healthspan HW&Co. Jewish Federation of Cleveland Lake Health Carol Latham Latham Family Fund Miriam K. Laub McDonald Hopkins LLC Medical Mutual Janet L. Miller Molina Healthcare of Ohio Calvary Morris Murch Foundation New Community Bible Fellowship Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District One Source Technology PNC Bank Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Raymond Q. and Elizabeth Rieley Armington Fund Reminger Co., LPA Renaissance Cleveland Hotel Michael M. Roecker The Sherwin-Williams Company The S. Livingston Mather Charitable Trust Thompson Hine LLP

Tucker Ellis LLP Ulmer & Berne LLP Vitamix Vocon Westfield Insurance Maureen A. Wood

$1,000 - $2,4999 Joan U. Allgood Kate and Ric Asbeck Andrew J. Balazs GiGi Benjamin Elisabeth S. Buchan Florence L. Carter Dr. Carol A. Cartwright Center for NonProfits and Voting Kristine Cerny Gina M. Cheverine Christ the King Lutheran Church Cleveland Soup Nan Cohen and Daniel Abrams Mary Ann Corrigan-Davis Cuyahoga County Mayors’ Secretaries & Assistants Association Robin J. Davenport Suzanne P. Davis Giant Eagle Deborah J. Feller Ann and Lou Frangos Gary M. Giller Lauren Rich Fine & Gary Giller John and Christiane Guinness The Estate of Ruth S. Hill Dr. Jennie S. Hwang Jacqueline Kelly Donald Kimble Knights of Pythias, Owatonna Lodge no. 62 Charlotte Lees Tracy B. Lindberg Margaret M. Maritz The Martha B. Carlisle Memorial Fund Paula McLain Margaret A. Mitchell Michelle Paris Phyllis H. and William H. Evans Charitable Foundation Point to Point Deborah Z. Read Joni Roecker Lisa A. Rose Christine Santoni Donna Rae Smith Robyn M. Smyers Hilary R. Spittle Susan M. Tyler Nancy E. Uridil Wain Family Donor Advised Fund John M. Wirtshafter Dennis Wolcott Claire M. Zangerle

If we have inadvertently omitted your name from this list, please accpet our apologies and notify the Advancement Department at 218.881.6878 or





2 0 1 6 C O N F E R E N C E A G E N DA



Kick off the day with a captivating session with Raquel Eatmon.


DEVELOPING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE Presenter: Adele DiMarco Kious Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to connect with others using self-awareness and sensitivity to others’ feelings. • Higher EQ makes us more effective in life and in business. • EQ is suggested as a better predictor of success than IQ. • High EQ helps find common ground amidst significant disagreement. Develop skills that increase your EQ, helping you to become a more effective leader.


IF YOU DON’T PLAY, YOU CAN’T WIN: TAKING RISKS FOR GROWTH Presenter: Raquel Eatmon Many women who are successful in business take on risks from which that other would shy away. There is nothing in a woman’s nurturing that makes her less of a risk-taker. So why don’t we do it? Change the direction of your professional life by becoming an intentional risk taker.


Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon


DISSECTING CONFLICT AS AN OPPORTUNITY Presenter: Amanda Shaffer Gwen Moran writes “While some people plow through conflict to get their way, a 2010 study…found that 95% of employees have trouble voicing differences of opinion, which results in a loss of roughly $1,500 per eight-hour workday in lost productivity, doing unnecessary work, and engaging in active avoidance of co-workers.” Learn how to take advantage of conflict situations and turn them into opportunities for advancing an idea or a career.

Raquel Eatmon

Adele DiMarco Kious

Amanda Shaffer

TaKeysha Sheppard Cheney

PRESENTERS Raquel Eatmon:

CEO of Rising Media LLC, Speaker, Wellness Advocate, Author | @RaquelEatmon

Adele DiMarco Kious:

Owner, Lead Coach of Yinovate, LLC

Amanda Shaffer: Professional Coach to Nonprofit and Academic Leaders | @AmandaShaffer6 TaKeysha Sheppard Cheney: Director, Community Engagement for Molina Healthcare of Ohio, Inc.


NETWORK THINKING: THE MINDSET OF THE FUTURE LEADER Presenter: TaKeysha Cheney Networking is among the most powerful marketing tactics to accelerate and sustain success. Learn to: • Make connections and building powerful relationships. • Ensure you are meeting the right people to include in your personal network, expanding your range of influence. • Get the best possible results out of your time and energy spent networking.


Wrap up the day with a closing session and debrief. SPEED NETWORKING Speed through a reception and network with other conference attendees through fastbut-deep facilitated conversations on personal and professional topics.

Profile for YWCA Greater Cleveland

YWCA Greater Cleveland ACHIEVE Magazine 2016  

40th Anniversary commemorative issue of ACHIEVE magazine by YWCA Greater Cleveland for the 2016 Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon and Con...

YWCA Greater Cleveland ACHIEVE Magazine 2016  

40th Anniversary commemorative issue of ACHIEVE magazine by YWCA Greater Cleveland for the 2016 Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon and Con...