TICKETS AVAILABLE: Celebrate YWCA Dayton’s 2022 Women of Influence

For the first time since 2019, YWCA Dayton’s Women of Influence will be able to be recognized in-person this week.

More than 170 Dayton area women have been recognized with a YWCA Dayton Woman of Influence Award since 1998. YWCA considers Woman of Influence honorees as “visionaries and thought leaders who have made a difference in the community through their dedication to the YWCA mission of empowering women, eliminating racism, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.”

The eight women of the WOI Class of 2022 will be honored during the awards luncheon on Thursday, March 10 at 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Dayton Convention Center in downtown Dayton. Tickets to the luncheon are still available for $150 per person. Registration is available at

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Average attendance of the annual luncheon is 800, making it the largest nonprofit luncheon in Dayton, according to the YWCA.

“We stand in awe of these women,” said Shannon Isom, president and CEO of YWCA Dayton on the organization’s website. “They are thought leaders, innovators, literal care givers. They make our community stronger by sharing those gifts to break down barriers and help the most vulnerable among us thrive. That is the mission work YWCA Dayton has done for 151 years, and we are honored to lift up these women in pursuit of that vision.”

Honorees in the Women of Influence Class of 2022 are:

  • Karen DeMasi, Vice-President of Community Development – CityWide
  • Renate Frydman, community advocate & educator
  • Jacqueline Gamblin, Founder & CEO – JYG Innovations
  • Mary McDonald, Mayor – City of Trotwood
  • Gina McFarlane-El, CEO – Five Rivers Health Centers
  • Christine Olinsky, OSU Extension Educator – Family and Consumer Sciences (retired)
  • Karen Dempsey Volke, communications & fundraising executive (retired)

Additionally, Rev. Vanessa Oliver Ward, a Woman of Influence honoree in 2006, will be honored with the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award. Ward retired as co-pastor of Omega Baptist Church and founder/past chair of the Board of the Omega School of Excellence. She currently serves as president of the Omega Community Development Corporation, according to YWCA.

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