An amazing array of speakers will inspire and enrich your leadership. Together we make an impact on women and men seeking jobs and economic independence.
2019 National Conference Speakers
Thursday Welcome: Ilene Shapiro, County Executive, Summit County, OH
Before becoming chief executive of Ohio’s fourth largest county, Ilene served as president of Summit County Council for 3 years and served a total of 10 years on County Council.
In addition to her experience in Summit County government, Ilene has also been a leader in the private sector, serving as Senior Executive at FirstMerit Bank and Director of Strategic Alliances at the Summa Foundation. She has also been a small-business owner as the founder and operator of two businesses: A-1 Beauty Supply and Shapiro Consulting.
Friday Keynote: J.R. Campbell, Executive Director for the Design Innovation Initiative, Kent State University
J.R. Campbell is helping to cultivate the Design Innovation Initiative at Kent State University to support design thinking, project-based learning, technology-infused maker communities and the curation of cross- disciplinary collaborative teams to tackle "wicked" problems.
Campbell has been a visiting scholar and conducted workshops at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology in China and the Auckland University of Technology's Textile Design Laboratory in New Zealand. Campbell came to Kent State University to start his position as professor and director of The Fashion School in July 2009. He stepped away from this role in July of 2018 to take on the role of Executive Director for the Design Innovation Initiative.
Campbell has been researching, designing and creating artwork with digital textile/imaging technologies for over twenty-five years. His art/design work has been shown in over eighty national or international exhibitions, receiving twenty awards, including the International Artist of the Year Award for the South Korean Fashion & Culture Association in 2010.
At Kent State University, Campbell launched his "TechStyleLAB” concept in the Fashion School in 2009. The TSLAB functions as a research, teaching and commercial environment to investigate the broadest range of digital textile and fashion design technologies and their implications for new product concepts, business development and sustainable practices. In 2014 he partnered with the KSU LaunchNET to pioneer the largest national-annual-college-based “Fashion/Tech Hackathon” that has hosted more than 150 students each year from 30+ universities in this competitive team-based event.
Saturday Keynote: Dr. Para M. Jones, President, Stark State University
Dr. Para M. Jones became Stark State College’s fourth president on February 1, 2012.
Prior to returning to Stark State, Dr. Jones was president of Spartanburg Community College in South Carolina, where she expanded enrollment and outreach, opened a new campus, added new academic programs, and spearheaded the planning and fundraising for a new downtown campus.
Before going to Spartanburg, Dr. Jones spent 22 years at Stark State, including several years as vice president overseeing donor relations, marketing and communications, grants administration and student services.
Dr. Jones’ passion for the community college mission is driven by her belief that students are best served by affordable, quality education that leads to rewarding careers. She received the 2013 Greater Stark County ATHENA Leadership Award honoring her for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women and men in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.
Dr. Jones emphasizes the importance of partnerships with local companies, knowing they rely on their local community college to provide skilled graduates.
Budgeting for Grants: Barb Greene, Owner, Common Good Consulting
Barb Greene is the owner and principal consultant with CommonGood Consulting, Inc., an organization that provides consulting, technical assistance and fund development services for nonprofit and public organizations. Prior to the start-up of CommonGood Consulting in 2002, Barb served as the first president and chief executive director for six years of Summit Education Initiative (SEI), a nonprofit started by community leaders in 1996 to facilitate school improvement initiatives. From 1991 to 1996, Barb served as the president and CEO of Direction Center, a unique partnership of two universities, two foundations and a United Way which provided services to strengthen the West Michigan nonprofit sector.
Authentic Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace: Suzanne T. Allen, Executive Director, Barberton Community Foundation
Suzanne Allen, Ph.D., joined Barberton Community Foundation as its leader and Executive Director, leaving her post as President and CEO of Philanthropy Ohio, on March 4th.
Dr. Allen has more than three decades of proven nonprofit leadership and has experience working with Community Foundations by engaging the entire community in decision-making.
Prior to her appointment with Philanthropy Ohio, Suzanne was Vice President for Development and Donor Services for the Akron Community Foundation. During her career Suzanne has held teaching, senior fundraising, and leadership positions with several universities, and has served as a private consultant helping clients in the nonprofit and academic sectors across the country.
Social Media and Marketing Strategies to Build your Brand: Shon Christy, President, Shon Christy Social Media
Shon Christy boasts almost 20 years of marketing experience and is the Founder and President of Shon Christy Social Media. In 2010 he opened Christy Creative, Ohio's first niche social media marketing firm and has founded and sold 2 firms since that time. He is the current President of Shon Christy Social Media where he focuses predominantly on social media strategy, training, and consulting. His work has been featured in Inside Business; Smart Business; the Akron Beacon Journal; Spirit of Philanthropy; The Young Professional Roadmap; and was featured in the book “Under the Rustbelt - Revealing Innovation in Northeast Ohio”. Christy also launched Beckett’s Buddies, a fundraising group to support those with Down syndrome, in honor of his nine-year-old son Beckett, that has raised nearly $100,000 for causes locally.
Recognition of his efforts include being honored with the 2015 Young Philanthropist Award by the United Way of Summit County, the 2016 Summit County Board of Developmental Disabilities Community Impact Award, and most recently the 2017 JOG Community Leader of the Year Award.
Engaging Your Board in Fundraising: David Holmes, Cleveland Lead for Foundation Center Midwest, a Service of Candid
David manages the day-to-day operations of Candid Midwest's office in Cleveland where he supervises library services, nonprofit trainings, local outreach, administration, and community partnerships. David holds a BA from the University of Pittsburgh, and an MA from Villanova University in English Literature; with an MLIS from Kent State University in Library Science. As Team Lead at the Foundation Center he responds to community queries and provides guidance and advice to grant-seekers and nonprofit managers with regard to their fundraising and board governance needs.
Attracting and Retaining Great Employees: Chrissy Myers, CEO & Director of Corporate Planning, Associated Underwriters Insurance
Chrissy was recently recognized by the Greater Akron Chamber as a 2018 recipient of it’s 30 for the Future award. She holds an MBA from the University of Akron in Business Administration. In addition to leading an award winning agency, Chrissy is very active in her community. She is a member of the Women’s Network, an alumni of Torchbearers of Akron, and a board member at Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates among her many efforts to give back to the community.
Governance vs. Management - Understanding the Roles of Board Membership: Toby Ann Weber, Non-Profit Management Consultant
After a long and successful career with the American Red Cross—working at the local, regional and national levels—Toby left the organization in 2012 to create an “encore” career in nonprofit consulting. She has always been inspired by helping nonprofit organizations and their leaders find ways to be better—as service providers, as community partners, as employers and as stewards of the gifts of time and money they are given by volunteers and donors.
Toby is now devoting her time to working with local nonprofit organizations that have a strong commitment to improving their effectiveness. She leads strategic planning initiatives, advises on governance and board development, and serves in interim leadership positions. An integral piece of her encore career has been working with Leadership Akron to prepare leaders for nonprofit board service and connecting program alumni with leadership volunteer opportunities.
Special Thanks To:
Ron Whitmer, Operations Director, Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates + 2019 National Conference Host and Co-Chair
Ron Whitmer, Operations Manager, Tri-County Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates- Ron has been employed by JOG for 20 years, the past eleven as Operations Manager. Current responsibilities include Event Planning and Management, Business Relations and Data Management. He has been recognized for Leadership and Service within his community by groups such as the Florida Recreation and Park Association, Goodwill of Akron, Port-Summit Rotary and Jobs for America’s Graduates. He is a sought-after speaker on the topics of communication, suicide prevention, career preparation and more. Previously Ron was a small business owner and was an Adult Sports Manager with the City of Fort Lauderdale Parks & Recreation Department. He holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Mount Union and a Certificate in Sports Management from North Carolina State University.
Patrycja Warda, Board Member, Alliance of Career Development Nonprofits + 2019 National Conference Co-Chair
Patrycja Warda is the Managing Director of Random Farms Kids’ Theater, a not-for-profit organization that puts young people center stage. Patrycja previously served as the Program Director of Bottomless Closet, a longstanding ACDN member.