Miami Valley Urban League to honor 4 community leaders in June

Miami Valley Urban League will present four Pillars and IMPACT honorees at the 2023 Pillars Reception in June.

The 2023 Pillars Reception will be June 22 at The Steam Plant, located on 617 E. Third Street, Dayton, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

“The Urban League is honored to recognize these more than deserving individuals with our 2023 Pillar Award and KTownsend Consulting with our M/WBE IMPACT Award,” Nikol Miller, executive director of MVUL, said. “When the world shut down in 2020, they stood up to help navigate the community needs in the face of this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. We could not be prouder to acknowledge their achievements.”

The following honorees will be awarded:

Sharon D. White, the system director of community and government relations and site communications for Premier Health. White was on the frontline to inform the Dayton community about COVID protocols, testing and treatments.

Beginning her career in broadcast television, she has received numerous accolades for her work including Regional Communicator of the Year Award by the International Communications Training Institute, multiple national Communicator and Telly awards and induction into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame. White has also been involved in the Urban League movement in Dayton, having served and chaired the local board and the Dayton Urban League Gala, earning her recognition as Central Region Volunteer of the Year from the National Urban League.

Helen Jones-Kelley, the executive director of Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services. Kelley oversees efforts to provide treatment and supportive services to residents and their families facing mental health and substance use challenges. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she coordinated resources and service provider collaboration to ensure programs and treatment for people dealing with isolation and trauma.

Kelley has advocated for the children, families and individuals who needed their voices in places where they felt unheard or helpless. Her deep engagement with resolving equity for marginalized people is evidenced in the many community boards where she has been engaged, including the Dayton Foundation, Sinclair Community College and the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio.

J. Thomas Maultsby, the retired CEO and president of the United Way of the Greater Dayton Area, has convened people and opportunities to support and contribute to the betterment of their community, personally and professionally. For the first two years of the pandemic, Maultsby armed community leaders and stakeholders with the most current information about COVID-19 from the Dayton-Montgomery County Public Health leadership and local and federal government.

Kelley has trained hundreds of thousands of participants in various disciplines, including positive leadership, diversity, emotional intelligence, team building and strategic planning through his consulting practice Group One Development.

Kelley published two books, written numerous articles on business and leadership and co-authored diversity and emotional intelligence curricula as well.

Dr. Karen Townsend with KTownsend Consulting will receive the Minority/Woman Business Enterprise IMPACT Award. KTownsend Consulting is recognized as a local minority-owned business whose values align with the Urban League’s, and their impact in improving the community. Through her business Townsend offers expertise in leadership development and 21st-century diversity. She also has experience with corporate, government and non-profit clients and individuals committed to advancing their leadership skills.

Additionally, she has a long-standing commitment to the Urban League movement. She was a program assistant at the Columbus Urban League and ultimately served as a board member for the Dayton Urban League. Dr. Karen founded Sister to Sister — an annual women’s conference hosted in Dayton. It is celebrating its 30th anniversary, making the conference one of the longest-running women’s events in the country.

Tickets are available here.

For more information about the 2023 Pillars, contact Nikol Miller at 937-226-1513 or

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