Welcome!

Select an option to learn more about how we can help.

Individual

Private Foundation

Wealth Manager

Family

Nonprofit

Attorney

Company

Women's Endowment Fund Board

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 vice president and chief information officer of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Akron. Sherry is passionate about encouraging leadership in women and girls. She is a board member and active participant in Goodyear’s Women’s Initiatives in Leadership group, where she actively mentors female employees at Goodyear and throughout the Akron community. Sherry is a graduate of Leadership Akron and was a 30 for the Future Award winner in 2011. She is an alumna of the University of Akron, Case Western Reserve Weatherhead School of Management, and The Ohio State University.

Kendra Philon
Vice President
Kendra Philon

Vice President and Annual Dinner Chair
CPA and Senior Manager, Meaden & Moore

Kendra Philon 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
Early Childhood Education Strategy Leader, Summit Education Initiative 

Laura DiCola is the early childhood education 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. 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 is a member and founding director of ATHENA Akron. She also serves on the Ethics Committee of Akron Children’s Hospital and the board of GroundWorks DanceTheater. She was previously past president and a longtime board member of Ballet Excel Ohio. Laura is a graduate of Leadership Akron and a member of the Leadership Akron Alumni Association. 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.

Sandy Auburn
Sandy Auburn

Consultant

Sandy Auburn is a consultant in grant writing and fund development. Prior to her retirement, Sandy served as vice president of development at Akron Community Foundation and vice president of workforce development at the Greater Akron Chamber. She was also the founding executive director of the Summit Education Partnership Foundation, the predecessor of Summit Education Initiative. Sandy serves on the board of Akron-Summit County Public Library. She is a graduate of the University of Akron and The Ohio State University.

Kathy Booth
Kathy Booth

Nominating Chair
Community Volunteer

Kathy Booth honed her financial and leadership skills during her 40-year career in municipal government. She first worked for the City of Akron before moving to Illinois and spending 18 years as the finance director for Roselle and Bartlett. During that time, Kathy was active in the Illinois Government Finance Officers Association and served as its president in 2005. Kathy is a member of the Greater Akron Musical Association Board and volunteers with WEYE Seeing Eye Radio of Goodwill, Akron. She was a member of the charter class of Leadership Akron’s N.E.X.T. program and is a graduate of the College of Wooster and Loyola University in Chicago.

Barb Greene
Barb Greene

Owner, CommonGood Consulting Inc.

Barb Greene is the owner of CommonGood Consulting Inc., which specializes in consulting, technical assistance and fund development services for nonprofit organizations. She previously served as the founding CEO of Summit Education Initiative. Throughout her career, Barb has received numerous awards for her contributions to business and her service to the community at large. In addition to the Women’s Endowment Fund, Barb is an active volunteer with Victory Gallop, Project Ujima and Alchemy. She holds an M.A. in Business Administration from Central Michigan 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 20-year 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 has served on the boards of the Ohio Association of Healthcare Philanthropy and the Association of Fundraising Professionals, among others. Laura received her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and did graduate studies at Wake Forest University.

Cindy Johnson
Cindy Johnson

Nominating Co-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

Forum Chair
Executive Director, Jewish Family Service of Akron Ohio

Gizelle Jones is the executive director of Jewish Family Service of Akron, a local nonprofit organization that offers counseling, care management and education services for older adults. 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.

Margaret Jordan
Margaret Jordan

Communications Chair
Business Development Manager, BDO USA

Margaret Jordan is the business development manager for the Northeast Ohio offices of BDO, an international financial advisory and consulting organization. Throughout her career, Margaret has assisted a wide range of corporate and nonprofit organizations with business development, donor and client relations, project management, event planning and advertising. She is highly involved in the Greater Akron community, most recently serving as chair of the Akron Go Red for Women Open Your Heart Campaign. She is a graduate of Leadership Akron and also serves on the boards of Coleman Professional Services, Truly Reaching You Ministries and Goodwill Industries. Margaret is a graduate of the University of Akron School of Law.

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

Grants Co-Chair and Judith A. Read Award Selection Chair
Retired Learning & Development Program Manager, Alcatel Lucent

Jackie McDermott is a recently retired learning and development program manager for Alcatel-Lucent, an international telecommunications technology company. Her 30+ year career in the telecommunications industry includes work in business development, technical sales support, project and program management, and human resources/training and development for Ohio Bell and AT&T. Jackie is a 2015 graduate of Leadership Akron's NEXT Program. She currently serves on the board of the Jesuit Retreat House in Parma. Jackie is a past board member and an honorary board member of Goodwill Industries Akron, a volunteer and liturgical minister at St. Hilary Church, and a member of ATHENA Akron and Women’s Network of Northeast Ohio. She has had the honor to serve on the boards of Walsh Jesuit High School and BVU: The Center for Nonprofit Excellence. Jackie is a graduate of Marietta College.

Joy Malek Oldfield
Joy Malek Oldfield
Judge, Akron Municipal Court 

Joy Malek Oldfield is a judge on the Akron Municipal Court and presiding judge of the Akron Municipal Recovery Court. 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, the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce recognized her as one of its "30 for the Future," an award honoring young professionals whose stellar contributions 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. As 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 with a 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

SHEro Campaign Chair
Investment Associate, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management 

As an investment associate at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, 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 Victory Gallop, Women In Touch With Akron’s Needs (WITAN), the Akron Zoo and Portage Lakes Rowing Association. She is currently in the Leadership Akron Signature Program.

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.

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 Co-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 serves as the district president of the Women’s Home and Overseas Missionary Society, where she has actively promoted health, women’s and children’s issues for 15 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 Co-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 Williams
Bernett Williams

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.