These awards recognize women in the Miami Valley who:
- Are exceptional in their roles and respected in their fields
- Are causing more than just a ripple in the public arena and in their communities
- “Light a spark” or make an impression of some sort
Each woman stands out in some special way – because of her leadership, her community service, her professional achievements – or all three.
Among the criteria for inclusion are:
- A woman’s recent professional achievements
- Her influence on the marketplace
- Her contributions to advancing women in business
By honoring the Top 25 Women to Watch each year, Women in Business Networking hopes to inspire them – and other women like them – to take their professional and personal lives to yet another level.
Here’s how watchables are chosen according to the WiBN website:
- Some candidates are nominated by presiding watchables
- Other candidates are chosen by WiBN’s Watch Committee
- Nominations are considered from all professions: finance, politics, law, the arts, education, science, entrepreneurs, nonprofits and community volunteers
For a look at the previous Women to Watch visit the WiBN website.
2015 Top 25 Women to Watch:
Kelley Alexander- Kruger is the owner of Kelley and Co. Her responsibilities include business development, administration and execution of her business. Kelley and Co. is a two year old business that specializes in social media content management, event services and virtual assistant services.
Kelley has grown her business literally from a box and a laptop to a well-known resource in the last two years. She is providing high caliber services to numerous businesses in the Miami Valley and beyond. Her primary focus is on social media management which helps businesses, small and large and non-profits to be visible on multiple internet platforms. She researches, plans, schedules and coordinates specific content designed to “market” individual businesses. Her virtual assistant services help busy business owners stay focused on what they do best. She does the rest.
Perhaps what people do not know about Kelley is her affinity with non-profit organizations, like Project Woman in Springfield, Ohio. For the last two years Kelley has assisted Project Woman in developing a premiere fund-raiser, Diva Night Out, which has grown to a much anticipated event by men and women alike. This project brings attention to the domestic violence services of Project Woman as well as their mission.
Passionate leader, problem solver and tireless champion of women are just a few ways to describe Lisa Allan. Lisa is the strategic sales & events manager at Cox Media Group, but she is so much more to the women of Dayton. In order to create an immediate impact in our community, Lisa is a member of 100+ Women Who Care Dayton. A local nonprofit, 100+ Women Who Care raises money for various charities and organizations within the Dayton area. Since its advent in 2006, 100+ Women has donated more than half a million dollars to local organizations.
Lisa is also on the board for the Dayton chapter of A Special Wish Foundation, an organization that grants the wish of a child or adolescent (birth through age 20) who has been diagnosed by a physician with a life-threatening disorder. Over the past 29 years, the Dayton chapter has granted more than 1,500 wishes to children living in its six county area.
Her day job has Lisa leading a team of top multi-media consultants, growing local businesses through the use of TV, radio, print and digital strategic marketing campaigns. But her greatest gift to the women of Dayton is her creation of The Dayton Women’s Fair. Lisa had the vision to see that a fun- filled weekend of shopping, taste testing and fashion shows was exactly what Dayton women wanted to kick off the fall season. In just a few short years, Dayton Women’s Fair has become a signature event for Cox Media Group and an event that women look forward to attending and enjoying each year.
Lisa graduated from Arizona State University in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in arts, communication and media studies. The entire Allan family has a passion for media communications, as Lisa’s husband, Mark, is a news anchor WDTN; her son, Corey, is a marketing specialist in Indianapolis; and her daughter, Caroline, is a public relations professional in Columbus.
Vice President for Multicultural Affairs and Community Engagement
Wright State University
Nominated by the WiBN Watch Committee
Dr. Kimberly Barrett currently serves as vice president for multicultural affairs and community engagement at Wright State University. Barrett has more than 20 years of experience providing services to students and working with faculty, governing boards, community members and others to promote learning, student development, social justice and diversity. In her position at Wright State, Dr. Barrett takes a hands-on role in continuing to promote and nourish diversity, multiculturalism and community engagement.
Prior to joining Wright State, Dr. Barrett served as Vice President for student affairs at the University of Montevallo (Alabama). She served as the chief student affairs officer providing services in support of student learning and personal development, which included supervising housing and residence life, disability support, multicultural affairs and other student life offices. Dr. Barrett also served as associate vice chancellor of student development and diversity at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; vice provost at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Canada; associate provost and dean of students at Southeast Missouri State University; and director of multicultural affairs at SUNY Potsdam (N.Y.) College. She was also the founding director of the Women’s Center at Murray State University in Kentucky.
Dr. Barrett has been active in a variety of community organizations in a number of states whose goals relate to achieving social and economic justice. Most recently in Alabama, she lead a group that started a Mental Health Court diversion program for Shelby County Alabama; served as chair of the Board for Shelby Emergency Assistance, an organization that assists people in financial crisis; and was a community columnist for the Shelby County Reporter.
Since 1992, Barrett has served as a diversity consultant, providing sensitivity programming for schools, businesses and community groups on race relations, sexual harassment, homophobia, prejudice reduction and other diversity related areas.
Dr. Barrett has made numerous presentations at regional, national and international conferences, discussing topics such as Diversity education and the public good and ten years of breaking glass: A Black feminist reflects on equity in higher education. She has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels and has published articles in newspapers and professional journals.
Barrett obtained her Ph.D. in higher education administration from Southern Illinois University- Carbondale, her master’s degree in clinical psychology from Murray State University and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pfeiffer College in Misenheimer, North Carolina.
Jasmine is co-owner of Delish Café. She is responsible for human resources, public relations and business communication. Some of Jasmine’s roles within the organization involve the training and development of new hires. She takes her business and pours her passion for people into it by showing love and concern to everyone. Yearly she feeds the homeless around Thanksgiving.
Jasmine has impacted the industry by thinking outside of the box with her marketing and public relations. She creates events that up build and uplift business owners.
Some of Jasmine’s achievements include Restaurant of the Year through the African American Chamber of Commerce 2012 and the Taste of the Miami Valley for Best Appetizer.
Cindy Burger, MS, RN, is the clinical project executive vice president for the patient and family experience at Dayton Children’s. Cindy has led the clinical design of the long-range master facility planning as the clinical project executive and has served as the director of the Dayton Children’s newborn intensive care unit (NICU), as well as provided leadership for the operations of the Southwest Ohio Neonatal Collaborative, the care alliance with Miami Valley Hospital.
Cindy is a great leader and has combined her clinical expertise with her business and leadership expertise to create significant accomplishments for Dayton Children’s. Under Cindy’s direction, Dayton Children’s is building a new patient care facility designed to revolutionize the patient and family experience and allow Dayton Children’s to improve patient care in the safest environment possible. This transformation in the hospital’s campus gives Dayton Children’s the opportunity to advance their role as a leader in children’s health.
Cindy brings a wealth of experience to this role with her knowledge of leading clinical building projects. Cindy led the hospital’s NICU redesign, the Wallace Critical Care Complex renovation and the Soin Pediatric Trauma and Emergency Department project. Her expertise in clinical evidence- based design and her ability to translate that effectively into operations led to two prestigious internally Environment of Care awards for the hospital.
Cindy has been with Dayton Children’s since 1988. She received her bachelor of science in nursing and her masters of science degree in nursing from Wright State University.
She has directed all critical care services since 2001, the emergency and trauma center since 2008 and the NICU since 1988. Her leadership resulted in national recognition for quality, safety and innovative programs, such as the Race to Results in the pediatric intensive care unit, the emergency outreach nurse program and the family-centered care model implemented in the NICU.
Cindy has also been very active in the community and currently serves on the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Dayton Board of Trustees and is an active volunteer in Beavercreek with youth sports.
Speedpro Imaging of Dayton
Independent Consultant for Doncaster Doncaster Fashions
Nominated by Jayne McDougall, McDougall Marketing Communications
Claudia is vice president of the SpeedPro Imaging Dayton franchise, a large format digital printer specializing in vehicle wraps, tradeshow display, banners, wall and window graphics, etc. She and her husband, Brian, are co-owners of this franchise. She also has experience as an independent business owner representing Doncaster Clothing Fashions. She has a keen eye for color and design that she utilizes in both positions.
Claudia has over 20 years as a wardrobe consultant for Doncaster Fashions, a North Carolina company selling an upscale line of clothing including casual, business attire, occasion and a full line of accessories. Services include expertise in fit, customer service and helping the client build a wardrobe. She likes to help women save time, offer them great service and make them look beautiful and professional.
Claudia is a lifelong resident of Vandalia and is very connected within the business community. She has been active in Rotary, Vandalia Arts Committee and Vandalia Sister Cities Organization. Claudia is the facilitator for Koffee Talk North and is an ambassador for WiBN. She was recognized as WiBN Ambassador of the Year in 2014. Speedpro Imaging of Dayton has also been recognized and won Addy (Hermes) Awards for their work through AAF Dayton (American Advertising Federation-Dayton Chapter.)
Claudia and Brian have 2 children and 2 grandchildren. Claudia enjoys traveling, dancing, movies and going to dinner with her husband. She is active in her Bunco group and church activities.
It’s Sew Amazing
Colleen offers custom sewing and alterations. She specialize in bridal wear and general women’s wear.
Colleen is the sole proprietor of It’s Sew Amazing. She strives to maintain a strong customer satisfaction policy by providing quality service in workmanship and customer relationship. As a seamstress I notice that sewing is a high demand service. Colleen finds it easy for me to make the commitment to offer my love of sewing to the general women who are in need of good fitting clothing. She specialize in bridal wear because of the creative outlet that she enjoys so much. Colleen offers custom sewing for those ladies that are looking for something that fits their fashion style.
Colleen is active with an organization known as Brides Against Breast Cancer. This is a national organization that offers discounted bridal gowns with the proceeds going to breast cancer programs. Education, nutrition, exercise, support and therapy are some of the many programs and services that Brides Against Breast Cancer can offer. All the programs are designed to helping the cancer patients, their families, and caregivers. Notable achievements within the past three years along with any educational and family information.
Colleen recreated her sewing business in 2011 after a closing of a bridal store in Centerville. Since then Colleen has grown her business reputation by offering quality customer service and workmanship. She recently moved from a small two room studio in Riverside into larger store front located in West Carrollton. The new location makes It’s Sew Amazing easier for her clientst o find and Colleen ample room to work in.
Colleen is a proud grandmother of four lovely granddaughters. The oldest is ten years old and is proving to be a natural seamstress. Colleen attributes a great deal of success of her recreating It’s Sew Amazing to the support of her husband.
Kate Evans, Founder and CEO of Your Social Status, LLC. She has built this business from the ground up, using her passion for social media and
Growing up in Miamisburg, Kate attended Alter High School and earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Wright State University. Her degree was Science in Organizational Leadership, but her minor in marketing sparked in interest in the social media field when working for Towne Properties after graduating. She noticed a lack of marketing in the social media aspect for the company, and began to spearhead this for all of their apartment communities.
Kate ran Your Social Status as a single consultant while also contracting with 3M and Aveda. After moving several times across the country for contracting jobs (including stints in Texas and Florida), Kate decided to open her own social media marketing business in her hometown.
This presented a challenge. The contract work would have to be dropped in order to make Your Social Status a full time career. Without any income from contracting on the side, she formed an LLC that she wanted to build to help local companies. Her client base has grown, and she had added several employees to her lineup in the past four years.
Your Social Status continues to grow, while Kate continues to host training courses for business owners locally and online, writing for magazines, and speaking at national conferences. She remains local, as she has married a fellow Alter graduate, Chris Evans, and is expecting her first baby boy.
Kate enjoys her membership with WiBN, and wants to be an example for young women who want to be in business. She keeps this in mind when she hires, mentors, and works with other professionals. She credits her Dad for mentoring her, and hold close her relationships with her and her husband’s families.
Real Estate Property Management Company
Nominated by Tammy Jackson
Mica has always had a keen eye for detail, organization and event planning. Whether it’s been during employment or most notably in being the “go to” amongst her friends in planning every aspect of an event from weddings to baby showers.
As partner of The Windamere, Mica Glaser will lead all sales and marketing functions of the business. In addition, she will be responsible for maximizing the schedule of events and handling the day-to- day operations at the venue. The Windamere building opens for business at the projected date of April 2015. During this time, Mica will also support her partners with building renovations and new construction to ensure quality work is completed.
The Windamere LLC is a local real estate property management company, owned by a talented team of professionals with a sincere desire to purchase and renovate the former Bank One building. The owning partners, Christopher Walden, Theron Jones, and Mica Glaser, formed the LLC in 2014 with the desire of purchasing a location in Middletown to operate as an acclaimed event venue and art gallery. The partners are excited about this particular location and their opportunity to contribute to Middletown’s ongoing vision to rejuvenate the historic downtown area.
Mica Glaser has over twenty years of experience handling event logistics in a variety of industries, including bridal, high-proof spirits and wine, art exhibits, and social events. In addition to Mica’s professional accolades, she is always lending her expertise to friends, business associates and other non-profits assisting with fundraisers or events that make a difference in the lives of people right here in the Miami Valley. Mica simply put is unstoppable. She is always taking on new challenges in both life and her career and conquering them with a smile and can-do attitude. She truly is a role model for professional women who are seeking to continuously improve their professional career and skills.
Community Liaison/Marketing Graceworks
Nominated by Teresa Napier, ACN
Renee is responsible for the promotion and community education of Graceworks at Home health care services, increasing referrals for Bethany rehabilitation center and the Bethany village retirement community. She is the key liaison between Bethany’s continuing care retirement community and key constituency groups such as physicians, employees, eldercare organizations and the community. Renee, cultivates key customer relationships to deliver exceptional results.
She is a entrepreneurial minded professional with business ownership experience. She finds great joy in working with individuals and organizations by educating them on how they can meet their goals in life through their appearance, dress, body language and communication.
Renee’s notable achievements include, Mentor for College Promise Program, Member of Centerville Noon Optimists Club, Member of e-women Network, Volunteer with Dayton Girl Scout, Volunteer with outreach programs at Church of Christ, conduct fundraising efforts for Mountain People.org Organization. This is a nonprofit group in Nepal that supports and empowers impoverished women/children.
Renee is married to John and they have two children Jennifer (19) and Jacob (15)
Kris Horlacher R.N. is a native Daytonian. She is an amazing woman who touches the lives of over 7,000 children a year with shoes. Shoes 4 the Shoeless, Inc. began in 2010 and is a local non-profit that provides new, correctly fitting gym shoes and socks to Dayton area children in desperate need.
Kris began Shoe 4The Shoeless (S4TS) while managing a mentoring program for homeless children she started in 2007. Kris is experienced in the development and execution of a variety of hospital and community based programs geared towards crisis care and health and wellness promotion. She holds Nursing degrees from The Miami Valley Hospital school of Nursing and Wright State University.
Kris has been recognized by the Ohio State Senate for her work with S4TS, and was awarded the “Dayton volunteer of the year award” in 2013. Under her leadership S4TS has received national, statewide and local recognition. As Executive Director of S4TS, Kris is responsible for steering the organization in the proper direction, community networking and education, coordinating the thousands of shoe/sock deliveries, and general oversight of the mission. These are easy tasks since she has surrounded herself with an extremely capable and passionate team.
She is closely associated with the Christian ministries of Young Life and is the board chairman of Dayton Urban Younglife. Kris and her husband Jim live in Oakwood with their 2 kids Jake and Holly.
Shannon is the chief executive officer of the YWCA Dayton and through her work there she is a tireless advocate for the empowerment of women, the elimination of racism and the overall betterment of our community. She joined the YWCA staff in December 2013. Before joining the staff, she served as a YWCA Dayton board member for four years, with the last year and half as Chair of the Board. Shannon is responsible for the executive and administrative leadership of the YWCA Dayton and oversees YWCA programs and services, gives executive leadership to the YWCA of Dayton and translates the YWCA’s complex and sensitive goals into high quality, successful programs and services that meet the needs of the local communities.
Shannon began her professional career working for the YWCA in Columbus as a program manager. With over 15 years in the health industry, she has worked for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Women’s Health Division, Miami Valley Hospital, Premier Health Partners and CareSource in areas of Sales, Business Development, Systems Integration and Business and Clinical Integration, respectively. Shannon holds a BS degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia and an anticipated MBA from Northeastern University in Boston, MA.
Kathy has a degree in commercial art and before she opened her business she worked for 18 years in the corporate world. She also is the director of finance & operations for the Rex Centre in Beavercreek. With the encouragement of her family and friends, Kathy created Unique Celebrations in 2004 as a home based business. In 2009, her daughter and business partner, Samantha, suggested she expand her business, so Kathy opened Unique Celebrations Tea Room & Gifts in the Centerville downtown historical area. With her art background and flair for creativity, she offers a quaint full service afternoon tea experience for all ages and occasions; and carries distinctive gifts with a personal touch.
Kathy has always been a very active volunteer in many organizations and in the community. She has volunteered in the Centerville City Schools for over 21 years and is a past PTO president at Centerville High School. She currently serves on the Heart of Centerville board, in which she has volunteered with many fundraisers including: For the Love of Children, Food 4 Summer, Hannah’s Treasure Chest
Kathy co-chairs the HOC beauty bash held in the spring and fall which has raised funds for organizations such as a “Special Wish”, “Crayons to Classroom”, and “Womanline.” In 2014 she was voted to serve on the 2015 City of Centerville Arts Commission. She is a member of the Centerville Noon Optimist. Kathy is the University of Dayton Optimist Club advisor. She volunteers for UD’s Women in Business mentoring program. Kathy has been a member of WiBN since 2011 and she is also in WiBN’s entrepreneur group for 2014-2015. In 2014 she was inspired to create her “Be Our Guest” program which allows Kathy to fulfill her personal motto to pay it forward as often as possible. This program is dedicated to hosting tea parties for under privileged women and children in the area.
Kathy grew up in the Cincinnati area and moved to Centerville in 1985 when she got married to her husband, Dave. Kathy has three daughters who look up to their mom for her work ethic, compassion and constant support.
Kathy has been instrumental in getting many people involved with WiBN, Centerville businesses and has become actively involved with working with the University of Dayton’s new WIB organization. She possesses positive and impactful energy, has a passion for people, a passion for problem solving, and for doing meaningful work. Her capacity for helping others, particularly women is apparent every day. Further, Kathy has always represented the community in meaningful ways and embodies the values of ethics and community.
Total Health & Wellness OBGYN LLC
Nominated by Valerie N. Jones, U-Learn Academy
Dr. Rosalind Jackson has practiced Obstetrics and Gynecology for 20 years. She helps women balance their hormones and balance their life with simple solutions to most Obstetrics and Gynecologic needs, from minimally invasive robotic surgery to inability to lose weight. Dr. Rosalind Jackson’s purpose in life has always centered on caring for others in the area of health and delivery of healthcare. A graduate of Wright State University, School of Medicine in 1995, Dr. Roz worked as an OBGYN at Sycamore Women’s Center with Kettering Health Network and Your Premier OBGYN, Premier Health Network before opening her own practice, Total Wellness & Health OBGYN LLC in 2013.
As a physician and the owner of Total Health & Wellness OBGYN LLC, Dr. Roz has built her business on the following premise: “As women age they continue to take care of their families needs as best they can while suffering with their own health issues and lack of energy. If women have the energy and vitality they need, not only do they do a better job of taking care of themselves but they do a better job at taking care of their family. We continue to nurture our kids even when they have kids. I recognize that women do not have time to be down with illness, recovering for long periods of time from surgery etc. I teach women simple solutions that work and that begins with good nutrition.” Her most recent interest is in Bioidentical Hormones. She says that she has found that all too often that women’s hormonal imbalance is not taken seriously and Bioidentical Hormones help her to individualize hormonal needs and replenishment. Dr. Roz is the author of a blog that discusses the ultimate preventative care of living a balanced life in regards to your mind, body and soul.
Dr. Roz has served as Board chair for Mary Scott Nursing Center, a non-profit, 100 bed free standing facility, since May 2010. Because of her interest in improving the healthcare disparity in third world countries, she is involved in physician mentoring and is a global medicine provider for the Just Like My Child Foundation, a San Diego-based 501(c)3 organization that works with women and children in rural Uganda and Senegal, with the goal of creating healthy, self-sustaining families who prosper without further aid. As a part of this organization, Dr. Roz has performed gynecologic surgery in Uganda Africa. In 2014 Dr. Roz received the National Conference for Community and Justice of Greater Dayton (NCCJ) Humanitarian Award.
Dr. Roz lives in Dayton and is the proud mother of two beautiful daughters.
Deborah L. Norris joined Sinclair Community College in September 2006 in the newly created position of vice president for Workforce Development & Corporate Services. In this role, Deb oversees a team that is responsible for understanding the workforce needs of employers and then developing a wide range of services to meet those needs. Services include consulting, assessments, and training and development engagements.
Deb is also responsible for the Advanced Integrated Manufacturing (AIM) Center; The Sinclair Conference Center (David H. Ponitz) and Continuing Education programs focused on industry recognized certifications for individuals. In her role, Deb also oversees many of Sinclair’s regional workforce initiatives including Ohio Skills Bank and the Regional Workforce Transformation Consortium housed at Sinclair.
Deb comes to Sinclair with over 25 years of extensive business experience including sales, marketing, and management in a variety of business environments including Fortune 500 companies, a technology startup, a business to business brand consulting agency, and a management consulting firm. These companies include Right Management Consultants, LexisNexis and AT&T.
Deb was appointed by Governor Ted Strickland to serve on the newly formed Governor’s Workforce Policy Advisory Board. In addition, she serves on the executive committee. Deb serves on the Governing Board and executive committee of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. In 2008, Deb was chosen to represent Sinclair on the National Composite Center (NCC). She is a member of Wright State University’s Raj Soin School of Business Management Department Advisory Board. Deb is an active member of the Dayton Rotary Club where she serves on the Membership Recruitment and Blue Ribbon committees. She is a member of the Miami valley Human Resources Association (MVHRA). She currently serves on the Daybreak Board and is the former chair of the March of Dimes Board and for many years served as president of the Clothes that Work! Board. In May 2008, Deb was one of 25 leaders in the community selected to serve as one of the 88th ABW Honorary Commanders at WPAFB.
Deb was honored in 2005 by being selected as one of Dayton’s Ten Top Women by the Dayton Daily News. Deb was also a 2008 recipient of the Women of Influence award given by the Dayton YWCA. Deb holds an MBA and BS in Business from the University of Dayton. She is a graduate of the Leadership Dayton Program and has also attended the executive education program at the University of Michigan’s Business School. Deb lives in Germantown with her husband, Craig and their eight dogs and one cat, all strays that they have rescued.
Lifestyles in Life
Nominated by Laima Rastikis, Rastikis Ink & Communications
Lil sincerely believes that the career path she is on chose her. First, she was a consumer, then she became an educator, and finally she became an advocate for change in the health care arena. Lil and her husband Ed,live in Dayton. They have been residents of this area for 35 years. Lil completed her B.S. in business administration from Miami University, Oxford.
She learned the ropes of wellness as a licensed wellness consultant, a role she held for 5 years. Her background also includes extensive training in holistic nutrition and managing lifestyle changes. Lil finds great joy in everything that she does . . . she finds it is very challenging, rewarding, and at times quite exhausting! Balancing her life for optimum wellness and health is a priority and part of what she teaches in her business. Lil earns this title of watchable as she continually sets high goals and expectations for herself and for her business to take it forward, but most importantly by educating others on how to lead long healthy lives.
Lil serves on the WiBN Leadership Team. In the past four years she has exercised her leadership qualities as director of education, After 5 Network and as an ambassador. She was the recipient of WiBN’s Outstanding Leadership Award in 2012. Lil has one adult daughter, Rachel.
Alison Schray is the owner and operations manager for Pillar To Post in Dayton. Pillar To Post has been assisting home buyers, home sellers, and real estate professionals with professional home inspections in the Miami Valley since 2000. She sets the bar high and ensures a quality home inspection, covering up to 1,600 items and components of a home. Her company makes sure that the inspection is thorough and professional and the communication with clients is always open and honest concerning the home condition. The company’s professional and honest attitude gives their clients peace of mind. The company has built a good reputation and loyal repeat customers in the industry. She received the Pillar to Post Franchise of the Year Award in 2009.
Alison graduated from Otterbein College with a degree in voice performance and a minor in music business. She was previously employed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra – May Festival, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and Wright State University Department of Music. Alison is a licensed radon tester for the State of Ohio and is the chair of the Affiliate Institutions Committee for the DABR.
She is involved with volunteer work with the Dayton Area Board of Realtors as a member or chair for different committees. She is the recipient of the 2012 Affiliate Member of the Year Award by Dayton Area Board of Realtors. She enjoys playing piano and flute, singing, and spending time with her family, Mike, Evie and Ruby.
Nominated by Laura Estandia, Bike Dayton
Natalie Skilliter is the vice president of Vella Inc., a local public relations firm. Natalie helps clients manage their reputations, promote their brand and create consistent messaging about their products and services. She is often tapped as a community resource for her creativity and ability to facilitate group discussions to find direction and purpose.
While Vella Inc. is her bread and butter, Natalie is following her dream with husband Chef Jack Skilliter with plans to open up a restaurant recently named Corner Kitchen in downtown Dayton’s Historic Oregon District. The restaurant is set to open later this year and will feature a “finer diner” experience with new takes on familiar classic dishes.
Natalie is a graduate of Ohio State University with degrees in English and business. Natalie dedicates her spare time volunteering at the Dayton Visual Arts Center (DVAC). She also serves as marketing chair and vice chair of the WYSO Resource Board.
Susan Solle is the person who inspires you to do more than you think you can. She’s tireless in advocating for some of the most vulnerable people in our community through making legal services accessible and effective for them. Susan stands for fairness, hard work and perseverance. And, she doesn’t take herself too seriously; she’s supportive, approachable and genuine.
Susan D. Solle is an attorney with Dinsmore & Shohl; Dinsmore is a 600-plus person law firm, headquartered in Cincinnati with offices throughout the US. Susan works in the Dayton office where her law practice is focused in the areas of civil litigation, meaning she is responsible for the preparation and trial of complex business, employment and other similar cases. Susan has been with Dinsmore for 11 years Susan spends time with clients counseling them in very difficult and often emotional times. She has a unique ability to understand her client’s issues and is excellent at assisting them in reaching favorable solutions.
Within Dinsmore, Susan has served on various committees, including the firm’s Work/Life Balance Committee and she sat on a panel working with and mentoring new Dinsmore attorneys to help them understand what to expect. She is well respected by partners, associates and support staff alike and is often handpicked for cases.
I asked a leader in the legal community what impact Susan has in the legal community. The response was, “I have known Susan for over 10 years as a lawyer and a community leader. She is one who strives to improve the legal profession by her leadership and example and she has a passion to make our legal system accessible and work for the less advantaged in our community. I highly recommend Susan for this award.” Barbara P. Gorman, Judge, Montgomery County Ohio Common Pleas Court.
Susan is noted for her achievements. Susan is currently the president of the Legal Aid Board (LAWOABLE); president of the Dayton Bar Association. Currently she is its 2nd vice president and will be inaugurated as president in 2016. Susan also works closely with Common Pleas Judge Mary K. Huffman in a new forum that will address issues that women attorneys face in the day-to-day practice of law.
Susan is a native of the greater Dayton region; she and her husband, Jeff, have been married for over 25 years and have two sons, Mitchell (14) and Jacob (20)
As a lawyer and partner at Taft Law, Suzanne Sumner focuses her practice on government contracts law and commercial litigation. She assists businesses and public buyers with issues related to their government contracts, from the pre-solicitation phase to contract close out. Suzanne is licensed to practice law in Ohio, Colorado, Alaska and the District of Columbia and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. She is a member of the Ohio State, Alaska, Colorado, District of Columbia and American Bar Associations. Suzanne received her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and her law degree from the University of Denver.
Suzanne is an active member of the Dayton Defense Educational Foundation (Trustee), Women in Defense (Member), Society of American Military Engineers (Member), Executive Women’s Golf Association (Member, Dayton Chapter). She is a mother to an active youth and dedicated wife. Her personality, warmth, and genuine nature united with her top-notch legal expertise marks her an outstanding professional woman in the Dayton community and one who will promote and benefit Women In Business Networking organization.
Suzanne serves as legal counsel and a local DoD industry speaker. She frequently provides government compliance information and legal updates to the contractor community through organizations such as; DaytonDefense and NDIA Women in Defense. In 2014, Suzanne covered current industry-specific topics directly relating to government contractors that include, Avoiding M&A Pitfalls, Aren’t We done Yet? More OFCCP Reporting Requirements on the Horizon, Are We Surprised? The Latest Executive Order Contains More Compliance Requirements for Federal Contractors, New CPARS Performance Evaluation, President Obama Signs Executive Order Prohibiting Federal Contractors from Retaliating for Disclosure of Compensation Information, and, Proposed Rule to Expand Regulation of Contractor Personal Conflicts of Interest.
She is also a trustee for the Dayton Defense Educational Foundation, and a member of Women In Defense, the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) and the Dayton Chapter of the Executive Women’s Golf Association.
Living Dayton Co-host and Contributor
WDTN-TV Channel 2
Nominated by WiBN Watch Committee
Sallie Taylor has won the most prestigious awards in the broadcast business! The Radio-Television News Directors Association honored her with National and Regional Edward R. Murrow awards for her Investigative Reporting. The Ohio Associated Press has given Sallie several awards including “Best Investigative Reporting”. She is also a 3 time Emmy Award winning Reporter.
Sallie is a Dayton native, who graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, with a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast News Journalism. Her first job offer was back home in Dayton, at WHIO-TV, in 1988. The award winning Reporter and Saturday morning Anchor left her job in 2007 to be a stay-at-home mom. Sallie started doing commercials for A-Abel and Troy Ford. In November of 2012, she returned to the broadcast business as a Guest Host for WDTN’s Living Dayton. She will also be hosting some of Living Dayton’s cooking segments. WDTN is not unfamiliar to Sallie. She interned at WDTN before graduating from SMU.
In 2011, the Dayton Leukemia Lymphoma Society named Sallie “Woman of the Year”. Sallie and her “Moms 4 Miracles” team raised $42,000 in honor of children with cancer. The team now has an annual golf outing. Last year, they raised $17,000 for young cancer patients at Dayton Children’s Medical Center, and a Springboro boy with cancer.
Sallie’s son Trent is eight years old, he loves all kinds of sports including ice hockey, football, soccer and golf. Sallie also loves to golf. Her husband Bill enjoys taking the family to Lake Erie during the summer where they have a boat.
Rogers and Greenberg, LLP
Nominated by Caitlin B. Krebs, CityWide Development
Michelle is an experienced attorney and partner with Rogers and Greenberg. Her practice area includes professional practice transitions, business planning and transactions, estate planning and estate and trust administration, and real estate. She is a graduate of Miami University and UD School of Law.
Michelle currently volunteers with the Women’s Board of Dayton Children’s Hospital, Junior League of Dayton, Inc., Girls on the Run of Dayton, Development Officer and Coach, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, Troop Leader Incarnation Catholic School and is a former member of the Planned Giving Committee of the Dayton Art Institute.
Michelle is married to another Dayton attorney, Andy Vollmar, and they have a school aged daughter. I’m nominating Michelle because of her willingness to mentor women in business in our community. She is generous in sharing her professional talents in in a number of volunteer capacities. She has been named several times as a “Rising Star” in Ohio Super Lawyers.
West End Naturals
Nominated by Karen Carter, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Janelle is owner of West End Naturals. A local business focusing on all natural, hand-made products. West End Naturals is committed to fundraising and the non-profit world. Products are available for
fundraising for any worthy cause. Fundraising efforts raise 45%-65% of all proceeds for the organization that is participating. West End Naturals and Janelle believe firmly in supporting local charities, women and local organizations in need of support.
Janelle is a licensed insurance agent in accident and health with the State of Ohio and works at Ferneding Insurance in Kettering Ohio.
In 2013 Janelle was named Woman of The Year for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Dayton Chapter. In 2014 Janelle served on the leadership committee for Man Woman of the Year and for 2015 is chairing the Auction Committee for the Finale.
Janelle is married to Lee West, she has 4 children, Anna, Miles, Max and Marshal. She is an avid gardener and cook, plays golf, shoots trap, participates in 3D archery and loves to travel.
U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio Federal Building
Nominated by Kelly Geers, District Director for Congressman Mike Turner
Stephanie is a law clerk for a federal magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio. Her work focuses on assisting the magistrate judge by researching various legal issues, drafting memoranda, and assisting the judge in making his reports.
Stephanie is a 1998 graduate of St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin where she majored in sociology. Stephanie worked for a year in the Green Bay area before returning to school to earn her Juris Doctorate from the University of Dayton Law School in 2002. In addition to her distinguished career, Stephanie makes a difference through a multitude of volunteer activities and commitments. She has served as a board member of I.C.U. (Inspire, Create, Unite), an organization that helps at- risk youth by promoting multi-generational mentoring, community involvement and cultural understanding; mentoring a pre-teen girl through Big Brothers Big Sisters; and a committee member of the Kerr-Drill Cemetery restoration project—the final resting place of pioneer individuals who were active in the Underground Railroad. For her efforts, she was awarded a Heritage and Recognition Award in 2007 by Dayton’s Mayor.
As a member of SICSA (Society for the Improvement of Conditions of Stray Animals) she volunteers at the shelter, helping with pet facilitated therapy programs, educating people on humane treatment of animals, bringing puppies and kittens to places such as nursing homes, event planning, fundraising, and helping with customer services and adoptions.
She also serves on the Executive Committee of the Junior League of Dayton. Her leadership in the League has been defined by her passion for the community and particularly towards developing the potential of women. In 2014 Stephanie led a team in organizing and executing the JLD’s first Girl POWER event which celebrates and encourages young ladies to follow their dreams and accomplish their goals.
In her free time, Stephanie can be found dancing with the Celtic Academy of Irish Dance and cheering on her Green Bay Packers.
Sarah assists clients with estate planning, trust, and probate matters, ranging from complex estate planning to basic Will preparation. She also advises clients regarding Powers of Attorney, Living Wills and Healthcare Powers of Attorney. She is experienced with the use of trust modification actions and private settlement agreements to resolve issues regarding a family member’s trust.
Sarah handles a variety of business planning matters, including the formation of corporations, limited liability companies, and family limited partnerships. She also assists business owners with their business succession planning.
Sarah is a 2003 graduate of the University of Dayton, and she received her law degree from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University in 2007. Sarah is admitted to the bars of the State of Ohio and the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. She is a member of the Miami County Bar Association, the Dayton Bar Association, and the Ohio State Bar Association.
Sarah is active in the community, serving as a member of the Children’s Hospital Planned Giving Advisory Committee, Professionals Helping Seniors, Tipp City Rotary Club, and Junior League of Dayton. She previously served on the Board of Directors for the Tipp City Chamber of Commerce (Networking and Training Committee Chairperson), the Tipp City Rotary Club (Membership Chairperson), and Junior Achievement of Dayton (Secretary).
In 2013, Sarah was honored by the Dayton Business Journal as one of the 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in the community.
Sarah and her husband, Randy, have one daughter.