The 2011 Ten Top Women have initiated a variety of projects that affect our community. Here, they describe those they consider most meaningful:
Lecturer, Department of Communications, University of Dayton
I am founder of the Circle of Light Program at the University of Dayton and co-founder of Two Trees Inc. These organizations were dedicated to building long-term reciprocal relationships between cultures after the tragic death of Lakota Rose Madison, a 17-year-old Hunkpapa Lakota woman, who had a vision of bridging cultures and establishing safe places for at-risk-youth.
Executive associate dean, Boonshoft School of Medicine, president/CEO of WSU Physicians
Recently I have been working on a new building for our faculty practice plan — Wright State Physicians — which will be located on the university campus. The project is an exciting opportunity to improve our care of patients through our new sports medicine center as well as a new family medicine patient-centered medical home, to expand the teaching opportunities for medical and undergraduate students, and to enhance collaboration with our campus-based faculty colleagues.
Director, The Ohio Center of Excellence in Human-Centered Innovation, Wright State University
What is most meaningful for me is mentoring students when they have realized they would like to continue their education, particularly beyond the bachelor’s degree. I have the privilege of helping them and watching them as they continue to learn new concepts, learn how to learn, and become confident in what they do. Watching the transition over time and seeing them succeed in their future endeavors is an experience that everyone can enjoy by mentoring someone else in any area of life.
Former curator of the Experiencenter, Dayton Art Institute, community volunteer
Many of the most meaningful volunteer projects have related to my jobs as a museum educator and first curator of the Dayton Art Institute’s Experiencenter. These have included serving as acting director at the birth of the Dayton Visual Arts Center, a support organization for local artists; being an adviser to the Children’s Garden at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark, a place that connects children to nature and horticulture; and managing the U.S. tour of an educational exhibit from Reggio Emilia, Italy.
Vice president for advancement, Sinclair Community College
I’ve had the privilege of working on several projects that have changed the face of this community, one rooted in the past and the other facing the future. The first was the creation and early development of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. I worked with our local Congressional delegation to draft the legislation and lobby for its passage. At one point, I distinctly remember walking from the House side of the U.S. Capitol to the Senate side feeling like a personification of a Schoolhouse Rock character in “How a Bill Becomes a Law.” In my work with Sinclair College, I’ve worked with President Steve Johnson and his team on making Sinclair’s high quality college education accessible to more students through improvements at the Dayton campus and the development of centers in Englewood, Huber Heights, Mason and Eaton.
Director, Centerville-Washington Park District
The Centerville Rotary Club just completed its 11th annual Pancake Breakfast fundraiser. I have been co-chair of this event for the past 10 years, and since we started this event, we have raised more than $160,000 for local, national and international humanity projects.
Retired executive director, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
The Ride to Cure Diabetes is a life-changing journey. Each year individuals sign on to challenge their comfort boundaries by training to ride a century on a bike, 100 miles in one day, and raise thousands of dollars for the charity. Both of these tasks require a tremendous leap of faith. That jump is made easier by the hands of a teammate on the other side, ready to steady you on the hills. During the course of each season, individuals are empowered by each success, strengthened by each fall, but most rewarding of all is they find themselves forged from individuals into a team. The journey is both physical and spiritual.
Vice president, regional manager for community development in banking, Key Bank
The Super Refund Saturday (SRS) Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program is a collaborative initiative between KeyBank, the City of Dayton, Montgomery County Job Center and many, many community volunteers to provide free tax preparation services for low and moderate income residents in Montgomery County. In 2010, we completed more than 200 tax returns in a single day and returned (without charge) more than $400,000 back into the pockets of those who need it most. Until you’ve looked into the eyes of someone who desperately needs this tax credit refund to pay an overdue bill, save their house from delinquency, pay a child’s college tuition bill or any other pressing household need it is hard to understand the sense of fulfillment in knowing you have played a role in helping them get what they need and deserve.
Community volunteer, president of the Dayton Opera Guild
When the founder of my sorority died in 1970, many people sent a remembrance donation to our National Charity Fund. Realizing that this money should be used for a special project, and since she had dedicated her life to helping the handicapped, I proposed to establish a National Scholarship for handicapped college students. At that time Wright State was one of the few colleges who promoted the fact that they were well equipped for handicapped students, and with their help we established the scholarship criteria and a Wright State student was awarded the first scholarship. The invested money grew and all memorial gifts were added so that today we annually give six national scholarships to students around the country.
Partner, Sebaly, Shillito & Dyer
For Pampered Camper, on behalf of Buckeye Trails Girl Scouts Council, we brought in more than $75,000 to provide scholarships for disadvantaged girls. For My Fairy Godmother project, Clothes That Work partnered with another of my service organizations (Dayton Chapter of The Links Inc.) and we provided a retail experience for young ladies who could not otherwise afford to attend their proms. Last year, we distributed more than 600 gently used gowns, shoes and accessories.