Meet the 2014 The Women of Our Community Award Recipients & ATHENA Award Nominees

The Medina County Women’s Journal is hosting The Women of Our Community Award and ATHENA Award Dinner program on October 1, 2014 at Williams on the Lake in Medina.

Visit for more information and to register.

Meet Meet the 2014 The Women of Our Community Award Recipients & ATHENA Award Nominees listed below:

Lynda Bowers has been Lafayette Township Trustee since 1998, has involved herself in many community organizations. Lynda strives to make a difference in the lives of families, women and children throughout Medina County. Her leadership roles have included organizations but not limited to: Leadership Medina County Founding Board Member, HANDS Foundation Board, Medina County Emergency Management Board, Medina County Foreclosure Prevention Task Force, JoAnn Davidson Leadership Institute for Women, Medina County Animal Rescue and Evacuation Team. She also has served on the Medina County Farmland preservation task force and was a trustee and advisory board member of the Medina County Land Conservancy. Lynda also works aggressively to increase the number of competent women in public and community service leadership roles by providing extensive training and support as they pursue their leadership goals through the JoAnn Davidson Leadership Institute for Women. Lynda has received the 2002 YWCA Women of Distinction Award.

Arlene Kay Bowman resided in Wadsworth, Ohio most of her life. Prior to her retirement, Kay was employed as Assistant Manager of Old Phoenix National Bank in Wadsworth. She is a widow, has two daughters and five grandsons, and is enjoying her retirement by increasing her involvement with civic programs at the local level. At present, Kay is actively involved in Wadsworth’s Bicentennial celebrations, including chairing a committee for the Bicentennial Ball. Serving on the “Tea Committee,” Kay has helped to plan five Teas to be held in historic homes in Wadsworth. Kay Bowman has served her community for many years. As the Vice President of the Wadsworth Chamber of Commerce in 1988, she was among the first women in the Chamber’s 33 year history to hold this position. She is an active member of the Bud and Bloom Garden Club, the Wadsworth Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, and the Wadsworth Lion’s Club where she holds the position of Lion Tamer. Kay also volunteers her time at First Christian Church and the Y in Wadsworth.

Bethany Dentler has served as the Executive Director of the Medina County Economic Development since 2008. As workforce is a serious issue for Medina County, Bethany has pulled together a team to research ways to increase the availability of skilled workers to fill the need of new businesses in the county. She has recruited representatives to MCEDC’s Workforce Development Education Committee who are proactive in addressing workforce needs. In addition to her professional endeavors, Bethany actively volunteers her time working with the Medina Church of the Nazarene, God’s Bible School & College, Leadership Medina County, Medina Salvation Army, and the Medina County Transportation Improvement District. She is the recipient of the 2010 YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, one of the top 3 finalists for the 2012 “Excellence in Economic Development Innovation” Award, the International Economic Development Council’s 2008 Category Winner in Business Retention and Expansion, and has been honored by the Mayor of Norwalk, Ohio by declairing November 13, 2008 “Bethany Dentler Day.”

Amy Demlow, attorney with Critchfield, Critchfield & Johnston, Ltd., has consistently been involved in the community providing legal and business perspectives to boards, committees, and special projects. Amy is selected for her expertise in guiding non-profits in the formation of new programs, tax-exempt applications, as well as guidance on numerous boards and committees. Amy has been appointed to and accepts the challenge of serving in a variety of leadership roles – both in the community and law firm. Her service in community organizations and initiatives include: Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce, Medina County Economic Development, Leadership Medina County Finance Committee, Main Street Medina, United Way of Medina County and Medina County Estate Planning Council. She was also chosen as the statewide Recipient for the Community Service Award for Lawyers 40 and Under. Amy serves as a mentor for new attorneys who join Critchfield. She is often sought after to speak on various topics and also speaks to Junior Leadership classes about career paths and regularly invites high school and college students considering the field of law to discuss various paths, opportunities and challenges they may face in their education choices.

Carole Kowell, Director of the Medina County District Library since 2008, has skillfully led this large public agency through cuts to State Budgets for Libraries, the consolidation of Library Branches and the creation of Friends of the Medina County District Library, and the rebuilding of the Lodi Library. Carole is a member of Leadership Medina County (LMC) Class of 2002, and she served two, three year terms as Trustee of the LMC Board. She has also served as trustee for the Main Street Medina Board, American Red Cross Board, and Brunswick Area Chamber Board. Carole is a member of Women’s Network of Northeast Ohio. As Library Director, Carole became the founding mother of Leadership U, an employee in house training program intended to nurture and develop library professionals with an eye on benefiting the library and the community. Carole has also supported five staff members going through a leadership experience with LMC, either in the signature program or the new Young Professionals program.

Pieri Levandofsky, owner of PC Computing, established the Lunch ‘n Learn Program offering one hour tech seminars with a local business to help empower consumers with technology issues. To assist women learn more about Windows 8 and iPad Tablets, Pieri organized a Women and Tech Seminar in March of 2014. Pieri was instrumental in bringing the federally funded grant “Every Citizen Online” to Medina County and helped to teach computer courses and create the curriculum to assist consumers about computers and the Internet. Additionally, as a member of the Medina County Chamber of Commerce, Pieri volunteered to hold several tech seminars for members. Pieri is a member of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), through which she has helped empower, support and educate women. Pieri is also a member/advisor to the American Association of University Women, the Medina County District Library, Medina SeniorNet, and Working Women Connection. Pieri Levandofsky is the recipient of the 2007 Volunteer of the Year Award, the Pathways to Excellence Award IAAP Medina in 2008-2014, and is currently a Library Ambassador.

Pamela Miller a graduate of Northwestern University, Pam and her husband have resided in Medina since 1976. Pam was on the Medina Board of Education for eight years and was a member of City Council for 13 years where she was a strong proponent of reaching out to surrounding communities and to the county believing that collaborative efforts make
a stronger community. As the owner of Gramercy Gallery since 1989, Pam has been involved with the historic preservation of downtown Medina and served on the Historic Preservation Board for 18 years. As a member of Main Street Medina since its inception in 2007, Pam has helped to promote the City’s uptown shopping and restaurant district. Pam has served on the Medina Hospital Board of Trustees since 1987, where she has dedicated her time and talent to elevate the level of medical care provided to the community. Her most important accomplishment was the role she played in securing a 2009 agreement with the Cleveland Clinic that would enhance medical services to the
community, bring substantial financial investment to Medina Hospital and to preserve the hospital’s local board.

Mary Jo Morse has been a member of the Ohio State Bar Association since 1983 and served on a joint committee of the Ohio Banker’s Association and the Ohio Bar Association in 1986 reviewing the Probate Statutes for the State of Ohio. In 1985, she joined the Trust Department of Old Phoenix/FirstMerit National Bank where she was a Trust Officer until 1995. Mary Jo joined the law firm of Palecek, McIlvaine, Paul & Hoffman Co., LPA as an associate attorney in 1995. She became a partner in 1998. Mary Jo has been a member of the Medina County Bar Association since l983, serving as Vice President in 1999 and President in 2000. She has served for 19 years on the Board of Trustees of Medina General Hospital, Medina Rape Crisis Center (2 years), United Way of Medina County (9 years), Leadership Medina County (7 years) and Hospice of Medina County (12 years). Mary Jo Morse was awarded the Medina Jaycee’s Distinguished Service Award in 1990 and the Medina County YWCA Women of Distinction Award in 1999. She is currently acting as an approved Mentor for two new lawyers under the Ohio Supreme Court Mentoring Program.

Janice Skeen ThD, Owner/Founder of the National Wholisticenter, where she provides alternative health options for clients looking to improve and achieve overall optimal health.   Dr. Skeen supports the at-risk children of Medina, Akron, Copley-Fairlawn and Barberton by providing back packs full of school supplies and by providing weekend snacks for children who rely on school lunches as their nutritional mainstay through the “Fortify our Children” Program. Dr. Skeen is an international speaker. She conducts “Empowering Women, You Can Have It All” workshops, which teaches women how to budget their time, money and work responsibilities.  Her books, workbooks and workshops are supported by major corporations such as Goodyear. She also holds classes to teach food preservation and nutrition. Dr. Skeen’s “Victory Gardens” have provided healthy food to many Medina County families in need. Finally, Dr. Skeen is the Pastor of the World of Truth Ministries.  She is a Provost of World of Truth Bible College and is a spiritual educator and counselor.

Carol Sterrett as an oncology nurse with Summa Health Center, Carol Sterrett exemplifies the Summa Health System’s mission of “providing the highest quality of compassionate care” and “contribute to a healthier community.”  Her breadth of experience and knowledge in healthcare and oncology nursing is widely lauded by her co-workers and viewed as admirable role model. She currently serves as the Medina representative on a Summa-wide policy and procedure board. Carol motivates those around her with a seemingly effortless and endless abundant energy. She has a unique quality of being forthright in such a way that encourages one to recognize one’s inner strength and seek possibilities without fear.  Carol goes beyond the call of her nursing duties to help and support her colleagues and patients.

Tami Smith and her partner opened in February, 2008 their Allstate Insurance Agency in Grafton, Ohio. Recently, the Agency opened a second office in LaGrange.  Smith & Schmidt is recognized as a Premier Agency with Allstate each year, qualifying for higher award recognition.  In developing a solid customer base, Tami and her partner created Working Women Connection, a networking group whose philosophy is to Inspire, Motivate and Celebrate women in business. This group provides an organized format for women to support one another through business referrals.  Between Allstate and Working Women Connection, Tami consistently immerges herself in the community by organizing and participating in community events, giving back to those in need.  Through the Allstate Agency Hands in the Community grants, Tami’s agency has made sizeable donations to the Grafton/Midview Library and to the Midview Endowment Fund.

Heather Taylor, Executive Director of the Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce, is focused on assisting small businesses succeed.  In 2009, she founded the Greater Akron Business for Breakfast (GABB) Group giving small business people in the area a great place to network.  This group thrives today with over 55 active, monthly participants.  To assist Chamber Members with changing ideas and technology, Heather created and conducts continuing professional development classes on specific topics.  Additionally, Heather formed the Weight is Over group in Wadsworth, whose weekly meetings assist members in reaching their weight loss goals.  Heather serves on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Network, volunteers at Stewart’s Caring Place, is on the Board of Directors for the Bloom Society, is in the 2014 class of Leadership Medina County, and runs the Weight is Over in Wadsworth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *