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GSNEO honors distinctive women

11/14/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Girl Scouts of North East Ohio’s Women of Distinction awardees were honored Sept. 28.
Photo courtesy of Girl Scouts of North East Ohio
BEACHWOOD — Girl Scouts of North East Ohio (GSNEO) kicked off its National Volunteer Recruitment campaign, observed Sept. 29 through Oct. 5, by celebrating women who inspire, mentor and empower others.

The 15 nominees selected for this year’s Women of Distinction award were honored at a ceremony Sept. 28 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Beachwood.

Standing in for U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-District 11), Beverly Charles, a senior staffer and senior citizen liaison, delivered the keynote speech. (District 11 includes West Akron, Bath, Fairlawn and Richfield). Sarah Lowry, a Northeast Ohio representative from state Sen. Sherrod Brown’s (D-Ohio) office, also presented each honoree with a letter of congratulations and a certificate.

“The women selected for this honor embody all that we promise to live by as Girl Scouts: to be honest and fair, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and committed to making the world a better place,” said Erine Bodo, a Girl Scout troop leader, 2012 Women of Distinction recipient and chairperson for the 2013 Women of Distinction event. “Their passions, commitments and accomplishments make them positive role models who inspire girls to achieve their own goals and dreams.”

The honorees, with information provided on the local women by GSNEO, include:

  • Heather Day, of Akron, who recently died after a six-year battle with cancer. Day mentored Girl Scout volunteers and was a girl member of the Western Reserve Council and served on the staff at Camp Ledgewood. In 2007, GSNEO benefited from her experience in Girl Scouting by hiring her as a staff member. She took charge of the Adult Learning Experience, resulting in a strong and popular program for volunteers. She took the Key Women’s Leadership Academy from a theory on paper and transformed it into an interactive program for women. Though she performed many tasks without seeking praise or recognition, her actions did not go unnoticed. Day received her award among friends, co-workers and family at an intimate ceremony this summer. Those in attendance at the Sept. 28 ceremony joined in a moment of silence to reflect on her life and all that she stood for.
  • Kendra Preer, of Copley. Preer believes Girl Scouts had a positive impact on her life. Experiences such as camping, trips to COSI, and cookie sales helped her to become more outgoing and taught her professionalism, follow-through, entrepreneurial skills and responsibility — skills she passes on to girls and young women growing in their professionalism. One of the programs Preer developed in partnership with GSNEO was the Full STEM Ahead conference. Girls from several Stark County troops attended the one-day conference, participating in workshops and listening to various presenters. Professionally, Preer is the director of the Stark State College Upward Bound Math-Science Academy. She also serves as an adjunct communications instructor and is active in several professional and community organizations.

Also honored were Barbara Carlstrom, of University Heights; Jenn Cox, of Canton; K. Coleen Davis, of East Liverpool; Bridget DeMonica, of Westlake; Suzie Dills, of Avon Lake; Kate Holian, of North Ridgeville; Michelle Mader, of Cleveland; Kerri Kutz Salvino, of Massillon; Carole Lynn Stradtman, of Bay Village; Anna Tyrrell, of Mentor; Paula Warren, of Twinsburg, whose award was accepted by her daughter, Arshawna Warren; Melinda Weirich, of Concord; and Tricia Wineland, of Warren.

The 2013 Girl Scouts of North East Ohio Women of Distinction awards were sponsored by FirstEnergy, Nestlé USA, Huntington National Bank, Creekside Financial Advisors LLC and Weiss Movers and Storage.

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