New community advisory board will help think through challenges

The Dayton Daily News has assembled an advisory board of key members in the community to assist the newspaper in tackling some of the region’s biggest problems.

The 16-member board includes a diverse mix of educators, health care executives, members of the law-enforcement community, entrepreneurs and other business representatives, military and religious leaders. Each has shown a commitment to making the community stronger.

Their role will not be to dictate coverage, but to assist editors and reporters of a new investigative team created by the newspaper to shine a spotlight on problems the region must overcome for it to thrive. The group will meet once a month, with new members coming on board each year.

RELATED: New team to investigate region’s biggest problems, search for solutions

The Dayton Daily News Investigates team has identified three initial areas for coverage: how the community changes its image as the center of the drug overdose crisis; how Dayton Public Schools can become more of a positive force for change in the region; and what needs to happen for the local and regional economy and workforce to be more prosperous. The stories will be packaged under the name The Path Forward.

“We want to bring the reach and power of our brands to bear on seeking solutions to some of the big issues facing our region,” Community Impact Editor Ron Rollins said. “But we know we can do that better with help. The members of this new advisory board bring a vast and diverse range of experience and knowledge to the conversation, and we’re really looking forward to working with them.”

Here are the members of the advisory board, presented in alphabetical order:

• Cassie Barlow, Chief Operating Officer at the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education.

• Raphael Carranza, Board Chair at UpDayton.

• Rusty Clifford, Director of Administration & Operations at the Montgomery County Educational Service Center.

• Rob Connelly, President and CEO of Henny Penny.

• Juanita Darden-Jones, Owner/Manager of the Third Perk Coffeehouse & Wine Bar and an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Sinclair Community College.

• Jill Dietrich, CEO at the Dayton VA Medical Center.

• Diane Ewing, Senior Vice President & Chief Communication Officer at Premier  Health.

• Doug Fecher, President/CEO at Wright Patt Credit Union.

• Deb Feldman, President and CEO at Dayton Children’s Hospital.

• Steve Haller, Greene County Prosecutor.

• Shannon Isom, CEO at Dayton YWCA.

• Jeff Kruithoff, Springboro Chief of Police.

• George Lewis, President at Kettering Physicians Network.

• Nick Ripplinger, Co-Founder & President at Battle Sight Technologies.

• Vanessa Ward, Co-Pastor at Omega Baptist Church.

• Kevin Weckesser, Director at Brixey & Meyer Inc.

THE PATH FORWARD: Can Dayton go from ‘overdose capital’ to a model for recovery?

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