The Medina County Women’s Journal will be hosting The Fourth Annual Women of Our Community and ATHENA Awards Dinner at Williams on the Lake
on October 5, 2016
In its thirteenth year of print, the mission of The Medina County Women’s Journal is to Educate, Energize, and Empower Women Through Knowledge. ATHENA International and our organization have such a similar mission that it was natural for us to bring the ATHENA Awards to Medina County in 2013 to acknowledge these remarkable women leaders.
The ATHENA International was founded in 1982 and the mission is to support, develop, and honor women leaders, and is reflective of a quote attributed to Plato, “What is honored in a country will be cultivated there.” This quote has inspired our program’s format, as we will be honoring ALL nominated women who are improving the quality of life for others in our community with an award of a “Women of Our Community.” We also present the ATHENA Young Professional to one young emerging leader. Following the dinner program, one woman will be honored with the ATHENA Leadership Award.
MEET THE WOMEN of OUR COMMUNITY…
Carrie Beegle is a lunch lady and she loves it! She is the food service director for Cloverleaf and Mapleton school districts and has been in school food service for 19 years. Her passion for giving our children healthy, nutritious and great tasting food has received national attention. Carrie was recently asked to be a guest speaker at a Congressional hearing in Washington DC and is a team leader for Congressman Tim Ryan’s “Salad Bars in Ohio Schools” initiative. She also assisted in a webinar series for the Institute of Child Nutrition for the University of Mississippi. Carrie was invited to host a series of lectures at the annual conferences for both the Ohio School Board Association and the Ohio Association for School Business Officials. She is a mentor, consultant and chef trainer for the Ohio Department of Education and the USDA. She consults on nutrition programs and mentors school food service directors, majority women, across the United States. Carrie’s motto is “We Fortify the Future” and believes she makes a difference one child at a time.
For most of her 77 years, “Sam” Boyer has worked for local newspapers. In 1959, she began working with the Leader Post, writing a column since 1964. She began volunteering when she moved to Brunswick. In 1965, she served on the Brunswick Sesquicentennial Committee and the Bicentennial committee in 2015. In 1972, she became a member of the Brunswick Jaycees. She was the producer of the local Miss America pageant for 20 years and was Brunswick Woman of the Year in 1972, Citizen of the Year in 2015 (Brunswick Summer Celebration), Brunswick-Medina Business and Professional Women Woman of the Year for 1985-86, and presented the “Friend of Education” award by the Brunswick Education Association. Sam was the first woman Brunswick Chamber of Commerce president in 1979-80 and inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2000. She served on the inaugural boards of the Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame and Brunswick High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame, the board of Leadership Medina County, and is now vice president of the Brunswick Area Historical Society.
As community investment leader of Westfield Insurance, Jani oversees Westfield Insurance Foundation, strategic philanthropy initiatives, and employee volunteerism. Working with a team, they align philanthropy with Westfield’s core values, distributing $3 million primarily supporting safety, disaster recovery, and family stability. Jani spent 15 years in leadership positions at the American Cancer Society and United Way of Medina County. She sought Westfield because of its commitment to corporate citizenship. She enjoys working on projects that involve collaborations and seeks to help those new to roles or the community. Dedicated to mentoring and actively taking strides to lead women within Westfield’s organization and outside, has truly had a profound impacted on Medina County. Jani serves on the boards of Fund for Our Economic Future, Habitat for Humanity of Ohio, and Medina County Police Activities League. She is past president of Leadership Medina County and past board member of Hospice of Medina County, Greater Medina Area Chamber of Commerce, and Medina Lacrosse Association.
Terri Hradek, director of Cuyahoga Community College’s Brunswick University Center (BUC), has been responsible for BUC’s administrative operations since its opening in January 2011. Terri seeks out the opportunity to mentor her students, as well as encourages community involvement and leadership development in her staff. Hradek serves as the chairperson for the newly merged Northern Medina County Chamber Alliance, sits on the “Business at the Barn Business Showcase” planning committee, and chairs the Community/Business/Schools Committee. She is also a member of the Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Medina County Economic Development Corporation and its newly formed Workforce Alliance Resource Committee, which plans the annual Made in Medina County and High School Manufacturing Road Shows. She has served on fundraising planning committees for the Medina County Red Cross and Medina County Community Fund. A 2013 graduate of the Mandel Leadership program and 2012 graduate of Leadership Medina County, she has served on the Education Day and Selection Committee for Leadership Medina County.
Jennifer Gill Frisby is owner of Anytime Fitness Wadsworth, a Certified and Licensed Athletic Trainer, who actively engages and mentors women in her gym to become their best offering instruction, education, and hope. She is an active member in Wadsworth with a dedicated commitment as President of Wadsworth Lions Club, Past Chairman of Wadsworth High School Alumni Association and current Board Member-at-Large, and a board member of First Christian Church and the FCC Women’s Ministry Team. Jennifer is a member of Chambers of Commerce in Wadsworth, Seville, and Rittman, a member of the Ohio University Alumni Association, and an inductee and board member of Wadsworth High School Sports Hall of Fame Committee. As Past President of Wadsworth Chapter of Working Women Connection, Jennifer supports her local women business leaders with community involvement and leadership. She supports non-profit organizations such as Ormaco, Feeding Medina County, Salvation Army, Medina Creative Housing, and Wadsworth Youth Football/Cheerleading. Jennifer and husband were awarded the 2016 Rosie Award as Entrepreneurs of the Year from Wadsworth Area Chamber of Commerce.
Linda Loveless has been organizing and promoting professional craft shows and events for over 25 years. Starting as a simple PTA fundraiser developed into a successful business, which currently runs An Affair on the Square, Christmas Around the World, Mrs. Claus’ Closet, and the MC Home & Garden Show. Linda has long been involved with local non-profits and willingly takes on leadership roles. She has served on the Medina County Fair Board as Advertising Director, President of the Board for Medina YWCA, Board member and President of Medina City Schools Foundation, and Medina County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Linda served on the Board for Medina County Women’s Endowment Fund for nine years, president for three years. Linda is an active member and one of the founders of 100+ Women Who Care Medina, raising funds for local non-profits and promoting women as philanthropist, and also serves as secretary of the board for Medina County Arts Council. Recently, a founding board member of a new non-profit, First Impression, Inc. provides business appropriate apparel to disadvantaged women for job interviews.
Wendy Mirrotto is the Founder and Executive Director of Kitten Krazy, Inc. and Quick Fix Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic for cats and dogs in Medina. With 18 years of experience in animal rescue, she took her passion for cats and started a humble 20’x 8′ shelter in her garage. In the past five years, she has built two 4,000 square foot facilities in the City of Medina to house the ever-growing Kitten Krazy Cat Shelter and Quick Fix Clinic. Since May 2004, Kitten Krazy has placed over 4,200 fully vetted cats and kittens. Quick Fix opened on July 1, 2011 and has spayed/neutered over 32,200 cats and dogs. Quick Fix has also administered over 36,000 vaccines, 6,914 nail trims, 977 microchips, and 414 Medina County dog licenses, amongst other wellness services. Wendy has held the big vision since the beginning and continues to develop and coordinate all projects and programs. She is always mindful of addressing the growing community need for affordable care for both owned and shelter cats and dogs.
Rhonda McClelland has been a community leader and volunteer for Brunswick Youth for over a decade. For the past three years, Rhonda has been the Treasurer of the BHS Cheer Parent’s Club. Her commitment to the school and students went past the financials in 2012 when Rhonda created an annual community service project for the cheerleaders to provide hand-made blankets and other items in need to Akron Children’s Hospital. In addition to her volunteer time with the high school, Rhonda is a dedicated volunteer for Brunswick Youth Sports. For the past 11 years, Rhonda has been a dedicated softball coach and has looked out for our youngest female athletes as the Commissioner for the 7 and 8-year-old Girls Softball League. She provides support for over 1,400 Brunswick youth and their families as the BYS League Secretary. Rhonda McClelland’s leadership continues in her profession as a Lead Process Analyst with Progressive Insurance where she has been employed for 17 years.
Valerie Rapp graduated from BGSU with a BS in Education. Valerie met Rob (husband) while attending BGSU, married and relocated to Medina in 1975. She works at Homestead Insurance Agency in Brunswick. Valerie’s first volunteer work started as a board member for the Medina County YWCA, but expanded her interests in the Medina community after participating in Leadership Medina County in 2003. The class project was the development of the pilot program for Jr. LMC and in 2004 it was adopted permanently by Leadership. She serves as the program’s historian and photographer and supports the mission shaping the future of high school students by promoting teamwork, developing leadership skills, fostering self-confidence and personal growth, and respect for diversity. She encourages emerging leaders to become involved and persuaded others to take a leadership role in the community. In 2012, Valerie served as chairperson of Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce board, and presently serves as an ex-officio, participating on its Business Advocacy committee. In July 2016, she became president of Leadership Medina County’s board of trustees.
ATHENA Young Professional Award Recipient
Presently employed at the Medina County Health Department, Ashley is a team leader, member of the Quality Improvement Council and chair of the joint clerical staff involving nursing, dental and the billing staff. She recently completed Six Sigma LEAN training, which has led to leadership roles within the Health Department as well as becoming Vice President on The Board of Directors for Sister Circle and President and Founder of the youth organization, “So Now What?” Ashley strives to make a difference in the lives of others, especially young women and children. Ashley volunteers for AAUW, Sister 2 Sister Conference and Tech Savvy Conference as a workshop facilitator. She also works with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Medina County and is a Youth Director at Second Baptist Church in Medina. Ashley quickly earns the trust and respect of the girls she mentors. Her guidance and dedication has a lasting impact on both the youth and the community.
YP Award Sponsored by the Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce
ATHENA Young Professional Nominees
Chelsea Pozderac – Transitional Living Centers, Inc
Jaclyn Von Hoch – Westfield Insurance
Ashley Powell – Medina County Health Dept. / So Now What
Michelle Reese – Day Ketterer, Attorneys-at-Law, LTD
Kelly Harrison – Brunswick City Schools- Willetts Middle School
(Left to Right)
Community Supporters: Williams on the Lake | C&C Video Productions | Becky Photography | Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce | Armstrong Cable | A Cupcake A Day | Meaden & Moore | Skin Care Solutions | Working Women Connection