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Women's Endowment Fund Board

Advisory board members serve without pay to help the fund continue impacting the lives of Summit County’s women and girls.

The diversity of the board helps strengthen the fund's work in the community and provides a vast knowledge base. The following community leaders serve as board members. Click on their names for more information.

Sherry Neubert
President
Sherry Neubert

President
Vice President and Chief Information Officer, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Sherry Neubert is the chief information officer and vice president of the information technology and global project management functions at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Akron, where she has been employed since 2002.

Sherry has worked in operations and IT-related positions for 25 years. She began her career with Goodyear in the enterprise data warehouse leading the business intelligence team, and during her tenure she has held various positions in IT and project management.

Sherry earned her bachelor’s degree in management of information systems from the University of Akron, MBA from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, and master’s degree in operational excellence from The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Six Sigma Black Belt.

Sherry is a graduate of Leadership Akron Class XXVII and has received several awards and recognitions including Akron’s 30 for the Future Award, Frank L. Simonetti Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Akron College of Business, the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, and the Akron Athena Leadership Award.

Sherry’s community interests are focused in the areas of women, STEM, and education. She is involved on the boards of Leadership Akron, the LeBron James Family Foundation and the Corporate Visiting Committee for Case Western Reserve University. In addition, Sherry actively mentors and coaches women in the Akron community.

Kendra Williams
Vice President
Kendra Williams

Vice President 
CPA and Senior Manager, Meaden & Moore

Kendra Williams is a certified public accountant and senior manager for Meaden & Moore, where she specializes in nonprofit services. As a young professional, Kendra helps other young women get involved with the Women’s Endowment Fund and grow as philanthropists. She also serves on the boards of ATHENA Akron and Arts Now, is a member of Leadership Akron Class XXXIII, and is an alumna of Torchbearers. Kendra is a graduate of the University of Akron.

Laura DiCola
Secretary
Laura DiCola

Secretary and Grants Co-Chair
Early Childhood Strategy Leader, Summit Education Initiative 

Laura DiCola is the early childhood strategy leader at Summit Education Initiative, where she is responsible for developing collaborative efforts dedicated to increasing school readiness and elementary reading success for children throughout Summit County. She previously served as a partner at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP before retiring from her law career. Laura is a member of the Steering Committee of Groundwork Ohio, the state’s non-partisan early childhood advocacy organization, and a member of United Way’s education policy sub-committee. In addition to her professional affiliations, Laura is a dedicated community volunteer. She serves as board vice chair of Girls on the Run of Northeast Ohio and has been a member of the Ethics Committee of Akron Children’s Hospital since 2014. She was previously past president and a longtime board member of Ballet Excel Ohio, as well as a founding director of ATHENA Akron. Laura is a graduate of Leadership Akron Class 30 and Leadership Akron’s 2017 Civic Solutions Lab. She earned her Juris Doctor from The Ohio State University and holds a master’s degree in bioethics from Case Western Reserve University.

Pamela Kiltau
Treasurer
Pamela Kiltau

Treasurer and Development Chair
Vice President, Private Wealth Management, Robert W. Baird & Co.

Pamela Kiltau, CFP®, vice president of private wealth management with Robert W. Baird & Co., has been in the financial services industry for 40 years. She previously served as first vice president-wealth management, wealth management advisor at Merrill Lynch. She holds the CFP® certification awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Incorporated. In addition to providing traditional advice and guidance, she helps clients pursue their objectives by building and managing their own personalized or defined strategies. Outside of the office, Pam continues her involvement in the community with her mission to make a difference in the lives of others. Pam was one of two women who joined the Akron Rotary Club in 1987 as the first women of the club and continued on to serve as their first woman president in 1995. She is still an active member. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs. She is a graduate of Leadership Akron Class VIII and continues her involvement as a member of the Leadership Akron Alumni Association. She currently serves as a member of the Professional Advisor Council at Akron Community Foundation. She is actively involved with Athena Akron and is on the executive leadership team for the 2017 "Go Red for Women" campaign.

Wendy Bolas
Wendy Bolas

SHEro Campaign Co-Chair
Interim President, Leadership Akron

Wendy Bolas is the interim president of Leadership Akron. In her 31-year career with FirstMerit Bank, Wendy championed a variety of human resource and sales programs, process improvements, and risk solutions. Motivated by a desire to build stronger communities, Wendy has served on a variety of nonprofit boards and committees, including the United Way Public Policy Committee, Summa Healing Arts Council, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve, Leadership Akron Alumni Association and the Fire Truck Fund of Greater Akron. She received a master’s degree in business administration from Baldwin Wallace University and an associate degree in business management technology from the University of Akron. She was the 2014 recipient of the Barbara Mathews Woman Philanthropist of the Year Award presented by the United Way of Summit County and has been recognized by the YWCA with the Women of Professional Excellence Award.

Emily Browning
Emily Browning

Communications Chair
Patient Experience Analytics Coordinator, Akron Children’s Hospital

Emily Browning is the patient experience analytics coordinator at Akron Children’s Hospital, where she works with teams across the organization to effectively turn data into insights and improve the patient and family experience. In addition to her passion for the Women’s Endowment Fund, Emily serves on the marketing and event planning committees for Grace House Akron and was a 30 for the Future Award recipient in 2018. Emily earned her B.A. in economics from Miami University and is pursuing a master’s degree in survey research.

Lashawrida L. Fellows
Lashawrida L. Fellows

Forum Co-Chair
Deputy Director, Human Resources – County of Summit

Lashawrida Fellows is the deputy director of human resources for the County of Summit under County Executive Ilene Shapiro, where she manages a team of two and is responsible for providing total HR support while specializing in the areas of budgets, talent acquisition and performance management for four departments under the county executive and compliance officer for five Appointing Authorities. As a young professional, Lashawrida is very engaged within her community. She seeks to help connect, develop and encourage other young women to become more involved in their community and understand the importance of giving their time, talent and treasure. She also serves on the boards of the Akron American Automobile Association and Women’s Network of Northeast Ohio and is an alumna and past board member of Torchbearers. She also served as a past program director and board member of Jack and Jill of America Incorporated. Lashawrida earned a bachelor's degree from Kent State University and holds a master’s degree in human resource management from Capella University.

Laura Hnat
Laura Hnat

Major Gifts Chair
Chief Development Officer, Episcopal Diocese of Ohio

Laura Hnat is the chief development officer for the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio. Throughout her career as a fundraiser, Laura has helped raise more than $100 million for nonprofits. She is especially skilled at maximizing the talents and resources of other women. Laura is an alumna of Leadership Akron Class XXIX and is an active volunteer in the community. She serves on the Board of the Northern Ohio Charitable Gift Planners. Laura is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and did graduate studies at Wake Forest University.

Cindy Johnson
Cindy Johnson

Nominating Chair
Partner, Bober Markey Fedorovich

Cindy Johnson is a partner with Bober Markey Fedorovich, an accounting and business advisory firm. As a CPA, she specializes in business growth and wealth preservation. Cindy has held many nonprofit leadership roles, including chair of the American Red Cross of Summit, Portage and Medina Counties and chair of the Summit County Children’s Services board. As past chair of the PKF Women Into Leadership Taskforce, she encouraged member firms to mentor women in the workforce and give them tools to advance their careers. She was also a member of the inaugural class of Our Lady of the Elms Women’s Leadership Program. Cindy is a graduate of Kent State University and Leadership Akron.

Gizelle Jones
Gizelle Jones

Director of Behavioral Health, Vantage Aging

Gizelle Jones is the director of behavioral health at Vantage Aging, a local nonprofit organization that offers programs to support the needs of older adults wishing to age in place and live independently with dignity. As a licensed independent social worker, Gizelle has spent more than 30 years providing individual, family, marriage and group counseling. She specializes in women’s issues and has conducted numerous workshops on women’s self-esteem, depression, balancing work and family, and self-care. Gizelle is an active volunteer, currently serving on the boards of Goodwill Industries, Senior Independent Living Coalition, and the United Way Food and Shelter Board. She was also honored as one of the Akron Urban League’s “Magnificent Seven Women of Power” in 2014. Gizelle is a graduate of Bowling Green State University and the University of Michigan.

Pam Kanfer
Pam Kanfer

Educational Therapist, The Lippman School

Pam Kanfer is an educational therapist at The Lippman School, where for more than 36 years she has held numerous lay and professional positions, including school director, general studies and Hebrew teacher, and board president. As a dyslexia specialist, she also maintains a private practice.  She is a former treasurer of the Northern Ohio Branch of the International Dyslexia Association and currently serves on their advisory board. She also serves on the Ohio Legislative Executive Committee, which was involved in the passing of Ohio laws to screen all incoming kindergartners to ensure at-risk students receive proper instruction, and to set up training programs to educate teachers in the field about dyslexia and how to meet these students’ needs in the classroom. Pam is also a member of the Ohio Board of Regents Task Force, which is working with the Ohio Department of Education to introduce new standards for teachers of reading at the university level. She was instrumental in implementing American Sign Language as an official language credit at Revere High School in Richfield, Ohio. Pam received her bachelor's degree in elementary education from Miami University, her master's degree in elementary administration from the University of Akron, and her Academic Language Therapy Certification from Southern Methodist University. She is presently a student in the Ph.D. program at the University of Akron.

Jackie McDermott
Jackie McDermott

Judith A. Read Tribute Award Committee Chair
Learning & Development Program Manager, Alcatel Lucent (Retired)

Jackie McDermott is a recently retired learning and development program manager for Alcatel-Lucent/Nokia, an international telecommunications technology company. Her 37+ year career in the telecommunications industry includes work in business development, technical sales support, project and program management, training and professional development for Ohio Bell and AT&T. Jackie is a 2015 graduate of Leadership Akron's NEXT Program and serves on the Leadership Akron NEXT Outreach Committee. She is a current board member of the Jesuit Retreat House in Parma and a past board member of Goodwill Industries, Walsh Jesuit High School and BVU-the Center for Nonprofit Excellence. Jackie serves as a liturgical minister at St. Hilary Church and a volunteer at OPEN-M. She is a member of ATHENA Akron and the Women’s Network of Northeast Ohio. She has been recognized for her service contributions with the Goodwill Community Service Award, the Great Trail Boy Scout Council Community Service Award and the Walsh Jesuit High School Manresa Award for Service. Jackie is a graduate of Marietta College.

Joy Malek Oldfield
Joy Malek Oldfield

Forum Co-Chair
Judge, Akron Municipal Court 

Joy Malek Oldfield is a judge on the Akron Municipal Court and presiding judge of the Akron Municipal Recovery Court. As a fellow of the Akron Bar Foundation and active member of the Akron Bar Association, Judge Oldfield has over 15 years of service to the local bar, including the Women in Law and Criminal Law sections. Organizations across the State of Ohio have recognized Judge Oldfield for her leadership abilities. In 2007, she received the Distinguished Service Award from the Ohio Association for Justice the state's largest victim rights advocacy group. In 2008, she was a 30 for the Future award recipient, a Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce recognition honoring young professionals who have made stellar contributions to impact their industries and the Greater Akron region. Judge Oldfield is an active member of the community and previously served on the board of Akron's Community Legal Aid Services and the Women's Network of Northeast Ohio. She is a current board member for Akron's Dapper Dan Charity and a member of the Summit County ADM Board's Opiate Task Force and the Oriana House Advisory Committee. Judge Oldfield also finds time to volunteer for many local organizations, including Akron Law Cares (which provides community service to AMHA seniors) and the Christ Child Society of Akron (which provides services and clothing to Akron area children in need). She graduated from John Carroll University achieving her bachelor’s degree in sociology and a concentration in criminology. She received her Juris Doctorate degree from The University of Akron School of Law.

Antha Poleondakis
Antha Poleondakis

Annual Dinner Co-Chair
Senior Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch

As an investment associate with the Merrill Lynch team of Huth, Kozer & Associates, Antha works with families to identify, implement and pursue their various financial goals. She received a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Akron, with concentrations in financial planning and real estate finance. She is a Certified Financial Planner(CFP®) and earned the Certified Investment Management Analyst® designation through the Wharton School of Business. In addition to her work with the Women's Endowment Fund, Antha is involved with a number of community organizations, including the Gay Community Endowment Fund, Victory Gallop, Women In Touch With Akron’s Needs (WITAN), the Akron Zoo and Portage Lakes Rowing Association. She is a member of Leadership Akron Class 34.

Kathy Ress
Kathy Ress

Forum Co-Chair
Mental Health Therapist, Private Practice

Kathy Ress is a mental health therapist who specializes in child and family therapy. She has worked in the mental health field for more than 30 years and continues to maintain a private practice after recently retiring from Akron Children’s Hospital’s Division of Pediatric Psychiatry and Psychology. Kathy is a lifelong advocate of both women and immigrants and is extensively involved in advocacy efforts here and around the globe. She recently helped found Akron Interfaith Immigrant Advocates, a group that advocates for undocumented families in the Akron area, and she is a founding member and co-chair of Women’s Interfaith Spiritual Heritage, which facilitates large-group discussions and programs that foster interfaith dialogue among women of different cultures and faiths. Kathy is also the vice president of the Akron Area Interfaith Council and serves on the Women’s Board of the International Institute of Akron. She has earned several awards for her work, including Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers and the 2015 John T. Looney Peace and Justice Award. Kathy has a master’s degree in social work from Saint Louis University and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Walsh College.

Diana Selzer
Diana Selzer

Vice President and Relationship Manager, Wells Fargo Wholesale Banking Group

Diana Selzer is a vice president and relationship manager at Wells Fargo Wholesale Banking Group. Her banking career started in 2010 at Huntington National Bank in Akron. Prior to banking, Diana served as a commercial real estate analyst with Pinnacle Financial Group in Cleveland. At a young age, Diana learned the importance of giving back to the community through her participation as a Girl Scout. Today, she is still committed to being a sister to every Girl Scout and making the world a better place. Diana is deeply involved in the community serving on several boards including the Akron Area YMCA, Akron Children's Hospital, Summit County Progress and Economic Development and the Women's Leadership Conference of Northeast Ohio. Diana is an Ohio native and currently lives in Stow with her husband and three children.

Debra Shifrin
Debra Shifrin

Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Shifrin Newman Smith Inc.

Debra Shifrin is a principal in Shifrin Newman Smith Inc., a law firm that limits its practice to representing the disabled before the Social Security Administration and Veterans Administration. She is involved in many legal and charitable organizations and was the co-recipient of the Ohio Legal Aid Association Fund’s Pro Bono Award. In addition to her pro bono work, Debra is a past president of both the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives and the Jewish Community Board of Akron. Debra is a fellow for the Akron Bar Association Foundation and a graduate of Case Western Reserve University Law School.

Pamela Valentine
Pamela Valentine

Annual Dinner Chair
Director of Community Development, Girl Scouts of North East Ohio

Pamela Valentine is the director of community development for the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, which builds girls of courage, confidence and character. Prior to joining the Girl Scouts, she worked as a senior accountant at Lockheed Martin, where she oversaw an annual budget of more than $1 billion and served on the company’s Diversity Council. An active member of the Wesley Temple A.M.E. Zion Church in Akron, Pamela served as the district president of the Women’s Home and Overseas Missionary Society, where she actively promoted health and women’s and children’s issues for 20 years. She previously served as board chair of the Western Reserve Girl Scout Council and as board president of the Young Women’s Christian Association of Summit County. Currently, Pamela serves on the boards for Project Grad Akron, the Minerva Fund of Akron, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals Northeast Ohio Chapter. She is dedicated to mentoring young professionals and has received numerous awards for her service, including the YWCA Black Woman of Excellence Award in the Business Category and the YWCA Women of Achievement Award. Pamela has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Akron.

Marcy Venarge
Marcy Venarge

Grants Chair
Community Volunteer

Marcy Venarge is a former accounting firm manager specializing in business valuation and litigation support. She is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and is an active community volunteer. Marcy serves on the boards of ACCESS and The Valentine Project and is a former board member of Greenleaf Family Center. She is also the past president of Green Middle School PTA and the treasurer of the Green Council of PTAs. She previously served on the Emerging Leaders Board of Akron Children’s Hospital and was an account executive for the United Way of Summit County. Marcy is a graduate of The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business.

Bernett L. Williams
Bernett L. Williams

Judith A. Read Tribute Award Committee Co-Chair
Vice President of External Affairs, Akron Children’s Hospital

Bernett L. Williams is the vice president of external affairs for Akron Children’s Hospital, where she leads the hospital’s community partnerships, government relations and community benefit strategies. She previously served as the president and CEO of the Akron Urban League for nearly 15 years. Bernett is a longtime community leader and currently serves on the boards of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, AxessPointe, Kent State University Alumni Association, Leadership Akron and the United Way of Summit County. She has been recognized with numerous awards, including the YWCA Women of Achievement Award and the Ohio Black Women’s Leadership Caucus Incredible Women Making a Difference Award. Bernett earned her bachelor’s degree at Kent State University and holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Akron.