2019 ATHENA NOMINEES

Laurie Beal
Laurie Beal is the director of Garage Ministry/ Wadsworth Youth for Christ, a safe and encouraging hangout for at-risk (or any!) teenagers…complete with skate ramps! She also leads their teen parent support group, free baby supply store, teen addiction recovery group, school supply and clothing room, the Friday night teen hangout, and their year-round Prom Boutique, which offers free dance attire to any teen! She was born to amazing teen parents and feels blessed to provide a support system she wishes they had. Laurie serves on various boards and advocates for homelessness, addiction, and foster kids (one of their 4 is adopted from foster care.) She best loves coming alongside people and cheering them forward. She’s currently teaching homeless friends to make goods to sell at their “maker shop” where they’ll receive ALL the money! Laurie’s husband, Jim, their kids and two grandkids often serve alongside her. A highlight memory is spending the night in a tent with her youngest son, Mason, nestled between homeless friends’ tents in the depths of Akron …in January.

Shannon Caperton
Shannon Caperton is the owner and clinical director at Shine Acupuncture and Wellness. The focus at Shine Acupuncture and Wellness is to provide effective, non-addictive, natural pain management and women’s health care to Medina, Rocky River, and the surrounding communities. Shannon works to empower women in the community by providing paid internships for anyone considering going into a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, massage, or any other holistic discipline. She has also worked very closely with the local Veterans Administration to provide care to any veteran at no out of pocket cost. She enjoys volunteering services including, education about non-pharmaceutical pain management and providing no cost mini treatments on location for groups who are assisting those who are working toward recovery from addictions to any substances.

Diane Dermody
Diane Dermody is the Manager of Highland Library, a branch of the Medina County District Library system, working with her staff to create a welcoming community resource. She is a key member of the library’s Customer Service Team and has been instrumental on multiple internal committees to help develop long term-plans, improve library practices and function, and enhance staff knowledge/professional development. Diane currently serves as Vice Chair of the Hinckley Township Zoning Commission. She is a member of the Hinckley Township Housing Council for Medina County Economic Development. Diane is a member of the Functional Needs Board, Medina Co. Health Department, which works with first responders on providing assistance and services to residents with physical or developmental disabilities during emergency situations and is a member of the Medical Reserve Corp, Medina County Health Department where she was named Volunteer of the Year in 2015. Additionally, Diane has served on the Kidney Foundation Board, as past president of the Hinckley Chamber of Commerce, and on the financial advisory panel for Highland School District.

Anna Guy-Leach
Anna Guy-Leach has been an active member of the Medina community since she moved here in 1996. Anna currently serves as Development Director for The Children’s Center of Medina County whose mission is to nurture abused and neglected children through collaboration, advocacy, treatment and prevention. Presently, she oversees the Capital Campaign for The Center’s new expanded facility. Prior to joining The Children’s Center, Anna was the Events and Development Manager for Hospice of Medina County for 17 years, supporting individuals and their families as they faced end of life care. In the past 20+ years, Anna has also served as a volunteer in the Medina City Schools system, on the Medina City Schools Foundation, and on the Medina County Women Helping Women Coalition, which hosts the Annual Wonderfully Outrageous Women (WOW) Event each year to support women and families through cancer screenings, awareness and education. Anna is a 2002 Leadership Medina County graduate and is active with events and outreach activities. Anna is also a current member of Women’s Network of Northeast Ohio and 100+Women Who Care Medina. In 2017, Anna served as an Honor Flight Guardian, chaperoning Medina Senior Veterans on a flight to Washington, DC to be honored for their service. Anna’s excels at developing new ideas and bringing the right people together to make a difference in our community.

Kristene Hawk
Kristene Hawk is the Diversity and Inclusion Leader at Westfield Insurance. Her role helps define, enable and advance an inclusive culture which values diversity of talent, backgrounds and ideas across the company. Kris is inspired by opportunities to work with so many people throughout her career. These relationships continue to reinforce her belief in the power of people to recognize the strengths that come from differences when working to achieve shared goals. She joined Westfield in 2003, and worked in Hospitality and in Westfield University, their corporate learning and development department. Prior to working at Westfield, Kristene worked in healthcare for 17 years in Ohio and Massachusetts. Her career focused on physician practice management, marketing, and business development. Kris is certified as a Prosci change management practitioner and diversity management professional. Growing up in northeast Ohio, Kris earned a BBA from the University of Toledo and Master of Arts from Cleveland State University. Kris is a mentor with College Now and is actively engaged in mentoring and developing coworkers. She lives in Westfield Center, Ohio with her husband, Rick and their son, Parker.

Sandra Jenkins
Sandra Jenkins is the owner of Dog Gone Crazy, Inc. A Canine and Feline FUNhouse. She truly is Crazy both personally and professionally. Her passion for animals led her from a Career in Construction to where she is now. Dog Gone Crazy offers Boarding, grooming, and daycare for Dogs and Cats. Their capacity is 100 plus dogs. She is truly Crazy, ask anyone who knows her. She and her Husband Tom, plus two crazy dogs, live on the 6 1/2 acres where Dog Gone Crazy is located. It is a beautiful property. Her love of Community keeps her busy. Sandra is the current chair of the Northern Medina County Chamber Alliance As well as Chair of the board for Brunswick Hills Twp. Zoning Commission. She also attends Synergy Networking Group. She is a volunteer for Medina County SPCA as well as National Brittany Rescue. She loves to mentor all her employees and watch them blossom into tomorrows Leaders. Sandra believes everyone should ” Keep Breathing and be Happy that your heart is beating”

Patty Moutes
Patty Moutes is the Business Manager and Fiscal Officer for the Wadsworth Public Library where she supports the Library staff in its mission to center the community’s commitment to lifelong curiosity, learning and reading. Patty serves as a Director for the Wadsworth Rotary, an international service organization that strives to promote peace, support education and fight disease worldwide. Rotary’s local fundraising efforts are reinvested in the Wadsworth community through service projects and college scholarships. Patty also volunteers on the Board of Trustees for the Wadsworth Older Adults Foundation, serving as Treasurer. The Foundation actively raises funds to support programs and services offered to Wadsworth area senior citizens through the Soprema Senior Center. Throughout her career, Patty has been dedicated to creating educational, mentoring and networking opportunities for women. She is an active member of the OLC, GFOA and OAPT. She has served as President and Finance Director for BOMA Greater Akron and as Finance Director for both CREW Greater Akron and the Women’s Network of Northeast Ohio.

Diana Riley
Diana Riley is Manager of Community Affairs and Corporate Events for RPM International Inc., a holding company headquartered in Medina with subsidiaries that manufacture and market high-performance specialty coatings, sealants and building materials. Diana has had a life-long involvement in the community with her earliest volunteer work at Parmadale at age 15. Although she is a resident of Cuyahoga County, she spends more hours in Medina County between time in the office and community work. Diana is a graduate of Leadership Medina County Class of 2005 as well as a past member of the LMC board. She is also a past board member for the Medina County Community Fund and one of the founding board members of Bluecoats of Medina County. She is a current board member for Medina Creative Housing—in addition to chairing their annual benefit Raising the Roof—and represents RPM International on the Medina County Economic Development Corporation board. She recently joined the board of The Turn, located in North Olmsted. Past board positions in Cleveland include Dress For Success, City Year, Boy Scouts of Greater Cleveland and Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers. Her loves are her family and special friends, travel, music, wine, corny jokes, helping others and all of the Cleveland sports teams – win or lose!

Ann Salek
Ann Salek is an elder law attorney with the law firm of Critchfield, Critchfield & Johnston. She is certified as a Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law and is one of only 30 attorneys in the state to have attained certification as an elder law attorney (CELA) through the National Elder Law Foundation and the Ohio State Bar Association. Ann puts her legal knowledge to use in a multitude of ways for the benefit of Medina County’s seniors. From serving on the Board of the Medina County Estate Planning Council and Medina Hospital Foundation, to writing informative articles on elder law and estate planning in Helping Hands publication, and participating in the Brunswick Senior Center’s, “Ask the Lawyer” pro bono program, Ann works tirelessly to empower seniors, and those caring for them, with the knowledge to confidently navigate the many issues that arise as we age. Ann also strives to model and advise women on achieving a sustainable work-life balance. As an attorney who also happens to be a mother of five, Ann knows more than most the pressure faced by many women to be “everything to everyone.” Ann models and stays true to her belief that women can have everything, but that learning to integrate motherhood and career means having to accept that everything can’t always be had at once!

Susan Vlcek
Susan Vlcek believes the strength of a community is in the people that serve it. In more than 30 years as a Medina County resident she has lived that belief. Her personal investments include serving as both a volunteer and school board member for both Medina City Schools and the Medina County Career Center, in leadership positions at both the local and regional levels of the Presbyterian Church USA, and as Director of Junior Leadership Medina County, a countywide youth leadership development program. Under her leadership, county youth have developed and implemented nearly 50 service projects and community impact ventures designed to improve quality of life in Medina County. Additionally, Susan is a co-founder of the E4 Youth Summit, serves on the Community Impact Committee for United Way of Medina County, completed terms on the boards of the Medina County SPCA and Let’s Make A Difference, and is a member of the Community Excellence Council of the Medina County Juvenile Detention Center. Youth empowerment is her driving passion.

Rhonda Wurgler
Rhonda Wurgler believes that every child has a right to a happy childhood, especially a childhood without abuse. Throughout her career, Rhonda has been working to achieve that goal.  Her early career history includes working as a Deputy Sheriff and as a Volunteer Firefighter. Most recently, as Executive Director of the Children’s Center of Medina County Rhonda has been instrumental in launching and facilitating the Center to obtain status as a nationally accredited Child Advocacy Center and moving to a larger building allowing for more children and families to receive essential services to heal from abuse.  Rhonda is founder and convener of Medina County Coalition Against Human Trafficking and Co-Chair and founder of the Trauma Informed Care Consortium through Medina County Family First Council. Appointed by the Commissioners, Rhonda serves on the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund Northeast Ohio Regional Child Abuse Prevention Council. Rhonda is also involved with community organizations, including 100+ Women Who Care, Medina Evening Kiwanis, and Women’s Network of Northeast Ohio. 

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