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Women's Endowment Fund annual dinner to feature Jill Penrose

Jill Penrose headshot
Jill Penrose, The J.M. Smucker Company


The Women's Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation will welcome Jill Penrose, chief people and administrative officer of The J.M. Smucker Company, as the featured speaker at its "For Women, Forever" annual dinner on March 11, 2020.

For the past 15 years, Jill Penrose has held numerous leadership positions within The J.M. Smucker Company, including roles in corporate strategy, human resources and communications. In her current role as the organization's chief people and administrative officer, she leads the evolution and continued integration of the company's administrative functions, including human resources, information services, corporate communications, government relations, corporate sustainability, charitable giving, and corporate services. This involves a passionate focus on fostering the company's people-centric culture.

In addition to her professional work, Penrose serves on the board of trustees for Old Trail School in Bath Township. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh and MBA from Washington University in St. Louis.

Following Penrose's remarks, the event will culminate with the presentation of the fifth annual Judith A. Read Tribute Award for Service & Advocacy for Women. The award, which is named for one of Akron's most influential philanthropic leaders, was created in 2016 to honor Judy Read's lifetime of service and extraordinary commitment to empowering women and girls in Summit County. It is presented annually to the individual or couple who best exemplifies Read's service, advocacy, leadership and passion in the community.

This year's recipient of the Judith A. Read Tribute Award is Sylvia Trundle. Trundle, former board member of the Women's Endowment Fund, is a committed community volunteer and retired civil servant who has dedicated her life to the betterment of Akron and its citizens.

Throughout her 35-year career, Trundle served in various law enforcement positions within Akron, including Akron Police Department's Captain of Patrol Subdivision, which was her final role before retirement. As a professional, she shattered ceilings of gender inequality by becoming the first full-time female police officer for Fairlawn Police Department and the first female spokesperson for Akron Police Department.

Trundle's extensive volunteer work includes serving on several community leadership boards and committees for organizations including Akron Community Foundation, Cleveland Clinic Akron General, Guardians Advocating for Safety and Protection (GASP), OPEN M, Oriana House, Leadership Akron, and more. For the past five years, she has also been a committed coach for Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio, a nonprofit organization where girls in grades three through eight develop essential skills to help them navigate their worlds and establish a lifetime appreciation for health and fitness.

Trundle is a graduate of Leadership Akron's Class 25 and a recipient of the Athena Leadership Award, Betty Dalton Community Service Award, and the Women's Network of Northeast Ohio's "Women of Achievement" Award, just to name a few. She is a certified law enforcement executive, and a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Police Executive Leadership College.

Trundle was unanimously selected as the fifth Judith A. Read Tribute Award recipient by a committee of current and former Women's Endowment Fund advisory board members and past award honorees.

"Sylvia has led an example for encouraging public service and philanthropy in Akron and she's known throughout the community for her selfless work," said Bernett L. Williams, Judith A. Read Tribute Award co-chair. "We're honored to have her accept this award which will add to her already tremendous list of well-deserved recognitions."

Trundle will receive her award during the "For Women, Forever" dinner in front of more than 500 guests at Goodyear Hall at The East End. The event begins with a 5:30 p.m. cocktail reception featuring the fund's 2020 grant recipients, followed by dinner and the program at 6:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased until Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 at

The "For Women, Forever" event celebrates women's philanthropy and benefits the Women's Endowment Fund, which supports programs that improve the health and wellness, safety and economic empowerment of women and girls in Summit County.

"For Women, Forever" is presented in partnership with The J.M. Smucker Company. Additional major sponsors for this year's event include GOJO; Leppo Rents; FirstEnergy Foundation; Cleveland Clinic Akron General; Ernst & Young; The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company; Myers Industries, Inc; PricewaterhouseCoopers; and The University of Akron.

For more information about the event, visit or call 330-376-8522.

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