The WiBN has announced the 2017 Top 25 Women To Watch. This is the 9th year these awards have recognized women in the Miami Valley who are exceptional in their roles and respected fields and make an impression in their respective fields of influence. Each of these women were selected because they stand out in some special way- because of her leadership, service to the community and/or their professional accomplishments.
Their Nominees’ Answers To The Following Question:
Explain why you believe this woman should be considered to receive WiBN’s Top 25 Woman to Watch honor?
Executive Director and Co Founder
She is a shining example of if you see a need in your community it’s everyone’s responsibility to get involved and help find a solution. TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER!
Western Ohio Regional Liason
Office of Ohio Governor John R. Kasich
Sandra is dedicated to our community, dedicated to bringing individuals together for a common goal, a united effort, creating a better community for all. She is dedicated to the mission of WiBN, believing that women are to lift one another up, encourage each other and be a mentor to those who are in need of guidance and support. Being a WiBN Top 25 Woman to Watch is not a honor to be taken lightly and I believe Sandra will embrace this honor and be a woman the members of WiBN can look to with confidence.
Dayton Business Journal
I believe Carol is well respected in her field and community. She certainly has a great deal of influence in the community and in her own circle of influence. She steps up to lead where needed. She certainly is a woman to watch as she continues to inspire, motivate and lead with respect.
Christine M Soward
…There are not a lot of female leaders in our industry, but she is making a huge impact in it. Vendors and manufacturers seek us out to be a beta site for new equipment and materials. Trade publications and online trade websites have requested interviews…This year, DMS ink was named top winner of the Woman-Owned Business of the Year and also received a second place award in the category of Minority-Owned Business of the Year. Additionally, company owner and president, Christine Soward, took home a third place award in the category of Executive of the Year…DMS ink Named by USPAACC as Fast 100 Asian American Business for 2015 and 2016 and we expect to be again for 2017. Christine was also named a “Woman Who Rocks” by MBE Magazine and recognized with this prestigious award in 2015…We continue to grow at a feverish pace and right now, I don’t see a ceiling on how far we will go.
Mary E. Garman
Chief Opperating Officer
Premier Health- Good Samaritan Hospital
I believe Mary should be considered to receive this honor because I feel as though she exemplifies exactly what a woman in today’s society should be doing. During a time when our country seems to be more divided and lost than ever, it is people like Mary who give us hope. Even with her extremely busy schedule she goes out of her way to mentor young professionals in the healthcare field. She works to ensure a portion of the future of Dayton’s healthcare system is educated, confident and prepared to take over when their time comes. Her positive outlook brings reassurance when others are full of doubt. Our city needs role models like Mary to mentor and guide youth especially during such a confusing, uncertain time…Mary selflessly always has others in mind. She has a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone, which is why she should be one of the Top 25 Women to Watch.
City of Trotwood
I believe Mayor Mary McDonald should be considered to receive this honor because she is the hardest working Mayor I have ever seen. She puts in long hours every day and night as well as through the weekends to grow, expand and make Trotwood all that it can be. Mayor McDonald has committed herself to making a name for Trotwood again. She deserves this honor because of her ability to make things happen in our community. Mayor McDonald knew the community desired to have our Community Center open again and so she reached out to our State Representative and in turn received $250,000 toward the renovations to reopen the Trotwood Community & Cultural Arts Center. She added the Arts aspect to the community center to meet a need in the community. There are so many young people who need a space to express their creative side, but there are no outlets big enough in the city.
Vice President of Design and Operations
I have watched Natasha grow within her career in the community over the last decade and her commitment and enthusiasm for both never wane. It is exciting to think about all the bright things in her future and what she will be able to contribute to our community. She is truly an asset as a volunteer, businesswoman and friend!
I truly believe Beth is going to take this company to whole new levels in the coming year(s). She has a vision and is set to achieve greatness with her entire team’s support. Just this year we have won seven awards, one being the Business of the Year for the Manufacturing industry, showing just how dedicated to the company and its success she is. She is helping turn the face of the manufacturing industry from an old, dirty industry into an industry for smart engineering and talented production work. I am proud to be on the team that she is leading to greatness.
Third Perk CoffeeHouse and WineBar/JM Enterprises, LLC
One might assume a “math teacher” or “CEO” would be a little cold, analytical, critical, calculating, literally. But, she is a bundle of joy that chooses to use her business savvy “powers” for good, mentoring & tutoring many of her students “off the clock” just because they need a little extra help; building & managing multiple businesses along with a family with budding adult children who still need mom’s guidance and TLC as they pursue their dreams; by thinking of ways to collaborate with or simply & unselfishly elevate another women’s brand/product/service/skills to the next level; by sharing her “dream” with the community earning it the title of “the people’s coffeehouse,” something she has done for me personally MULTIPLE times, expecting nothing in return, to help me spread awareness about brain tumors and more. She has literally created multiple businesses, streams of income and sources of joy in her life from “nothing!”…The community and women everywhere need a front row seat to watch her takeoff!…
Tina M. Patterson
Chief Executive Officer
From what I shared above, and now more than ever, I believe Tina is worthy of being recognized as a Top 25 Woman to Watch. I will simply encourage the anticipation and intrigue by asking everyone to stay tuned in 2017 and beyond as Tina leads Homefull along with our community and others to work together to end homelessness!
Gina Handy Minyard
Theatre Magnet Director
Stivers School for the Arts
Gina Handy Minyard should be considered to receive the WiBN’s Top 25 Woman To Watch honor because she is making a real difference in the Dayton community. By using her theatre company to support other women in the area to produce important stories, she is addressing the gender parity gap in the professional theatre. By volunteering her time and expertise to the Junior League of Dayton, Gina is giving back to the Dayton community by supporting the vital causes upon which the Junior League focuses. Finally, by leading the theatre magnet at Stivers School for the Arts, Gina is inspiring the next generation of performing artists, engaged community members, and world citizens Dayton will celebrate in the future. I can think of no better reason, though, than her selfless efforts to make Dayton the community we call home.
Angela Felice McMurry
Science Curriculum Coordinator (K-12)
Darke County Educational Service Center
Angela should be considered for this recognition because her efforts and compassion make every aspect of our communities better. She cultivates in our students the skills, curiosity and drive that are necessary to make our businesses and industry successful. She is also equally skilled in creating strategic partnerships with local business leaders to create an ecology of success for our community. It is respectfully submitted that there is no one more qualified for this recognition.
Often, those who are doing some of the most important work are the ones behind the scenes. Wherever Fowler goes, through professional or volunteer channels, she puts her passions, talents and commitment to use. Her love of communication is obvious, as is her compassion for and empathy in assisting those with different abilities. She has spent the last 11 years in nonprofit public relations because, as she puts it, “I want to give voice and recognition to people who are often overlooked.” Fowler is creative, insightful, and loves Dayton, purposefully choosing to live and work in the city. Fowler believes she has not hit her peak yet; she is always striving to improve, learn and grow. Her natural leadership and energy is contagious. She is highly respected and motivates everyone around her. I have no doubt that she will continue her advocacy for others in need and excel in her career…
Assistant Vice President for Advancement
Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine
With all of Angela’s past and current accomplishments in the community, she is just getting started. She is passionate about Dayton and uses her talents to improve organizations and enhance the community. I know I only have a short list of what she has cultivated, and with her dedication, there will be a lot more to come. I can hardly wait to see what the future unfolds, not only for Angela, but also for the greater Dayton community.
Special Events and Communications Manager
I have worked side by side with Audrey for several years on the executive board of Junior League of Dayton. The progress the League has made under Audrey’s guidance has been monumental. Specifically in terms of communications and brand awareness. In thinking back to the Kids in the Kitchen campaign, it was with her knowledge that we were able tie companion pieces to the PSAs into the website. Audrey is a true leader with innovative ideas. I am looking forward to the next League year as I have no doubt that under her guidance, Junior League is going to make a big impact in the community!
Dr. Patricia Abboud
Chair of Medicine
Dayton Children’s Hospital
We began as professional acquaintances, we became partners in finding a cure for cancer, then went on to become dear friends. When your plate is full, most say “no thank you”…or “next year”. Pat says…”how can I help?? What can we do to make this better?? How can we blow it out of the park to make a difference!?!” She deals with the sickest children at Dayton Children’s then shows up, often in her scrubs, not just to do her part…but to exceed all expectation. Her passion and commitment to making our community better has fueled my soul on many a tough day. Her credentials speak for themselves…and I am a better person in having Pat in my life!!!
Jennifer N. Heapy
Chief Executive Officer
Dayton Metro Housing Authority dba Greater Dayton Premier Management
Jennifer Heapy has a single focus, improving the lives of Montgomery County’s most vulnerable citizens. Her approach is full-circle as she has the power to create, motivate, nurture and transform. She’s seen as authentic and trustworthy because she is willing to take risks while inspiring the commitment of others, and helping her colleagues, staff and residents find a deeper meaning in the work they do. She’s accessible and conscience of her ability to empower others…Her relentless pursuit of opportunities for our community’s low-income residents has had a ripple effect across our area as her endeavors have brought millions of dollars of economic development to our community and have motivated others to participate in our community’s evolvement. And, this will only continue in the future as she’s continuously pursuing opportunities that will set-the housing authority and our community up for success for the long-term. But, what’s the most impressive thing about Ms. Heapy? She’s only getting started.
National Trail Parks and Recreation District
For me personally, Leann is a dear friend and someone whom I look up to professionally. She has a servant heart combined with a passionate determination to improve the quality of life in the Springfield community. My admiration for Leann can be summed up as follows: When the time came in Leann’s career to take on an executive leadership role, as a highly respected and experienced leader she had wide open doors to go anywhere. She chose to go to NTPRD. She chose to go there not for the esteem or the fantastic salary. Leann was born and raised in Springfield. She lives in and is raising her own family in Springfield. Though the unique challenges of her community can be trying, she chose NTPRD because in her words, “How can I drive past my own community to go somewhere else to make a difference? I want to do it here, in my own backyard. My own community.”
Think Paper & Maria Gossard Designs
Maria is an extremely honest and warm, yet strong, businesswoman and artist who strives to provide the highest quality end-product to her clients. In doing so, she develops enough of a personal relationship in a short period of time so that she can design and deliver something that reflects each one’s individual personality and tastes. Her unique products and services will make the Dayton area a destination spot for brides, business people and anyone looking for that special something in paper and printing. We have no one else like Maria Gossard in this type of business and nothing near the exceptional design she offers. Dayton can only win and grow as a result of Maria Gossard and other businesswomen like her. She supports and advances all, but especially women, in pursuing their career and vocational dreams.
President and Chief Nursing and Care Officer
Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton
Mary exemplifies what it means to be a nurse leader (and frankly, a leader in general). She is a servant, putting the needs of the patients and staff before her own. With every response to a question or a challenging situation, she teaches and helps our staff to become better. She challenges her teammates to continue learning and growing. She helped implement a policy that all Hospice of Dayton staff must be certified in hospice and palliative care within two years of employment or they will be terminated. She did this because she felt it was in the best interest of our patients and that it would be a source of pride for our staff and organization. Mary is willing to lend a helping hand in whatever needs done and her staff know and respect her for that! Lastly, she is always willing to celebrate and honor the accomplishments of those around her, another important attribute of a leader.
Welcome Dayton Program Coordinator
City of Dayton Human Relations Council
Melissa exhibits a quiet confidence, works to succeed in all her endeavors and continues to expand her skill sets and experiences. She is committed to diversity and has achieved a tremendous win in the leadership and implementation of the Welcome Dayton program. The success of the Welcome Dayton program should not be underestimated, as it appeared to take significant effort in strategic design, program implementation, public relations and ongoing operational effectiveness. Melissa is passionate about social justice and has a strong background in immigration issues.
Pratibha Phadke-Gupta, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Central State University
As an Indian woman, Pratibha has had to overcome many cultural challenges to obtain her degree, businesses and status. She has achieved so much on her own – by staying true to herself and working within her cultural beliefs. I believe Pratibha is an excellent example of how women can remain true to their WHOLE self and still succeed.
Allied Shipping & Packaging Supplies, Inc.
I believe Shelly should receive this honor for her dedication to “Rising Up” the women around her and her willingness to help everyone she can without concern of any benefit. She is very innovative and has patented a new product TempnToss available on Walmart.com through her new temperature division-Tempagenix. Shelly is a force to be reckoned with and is setting the standards for women in business and her continued outreach and support in the many facets of our community.
Director – Public Policy & Economic Development
Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce
The question isn’t “why,” the question is “why not?” Stephanie is a rising star in the Chamber and the Dayton area community. This is a professional woman that is already a catalyst for change and opportunity and I’m excited to see what more she will do in the future. Stephanie’s leadership at the Chamber and leadership in the community make her an ideal candidate for this honor.
Tanya Kirsty Williams
Windsor’s Place/Xenia Bouncy Castle
I want Tanya to be considered because she does not ask for the thank you’s or the kudos, she just works diligently to help others especially veterans. I want everyone to know what she has accomplished and ultimately make here dream of helping all veterans spread and expand.