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Women's Endowment Fund to host annual dinner March 10



Event will feature FedEx Custom Critical President & CEO, Ramona Hood; Judith A. Read Tribute Award recipient, Jacqueline A. Silas-Butler, Esq.

For Women, Forever logo

The Women's Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation invites local residents and community leaders to save the date for its annual "For Women, Forever" dinner on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at Goodyear Hall at The East End.

The keynote address will be delivered by Ramona Hood, president and CEO of FedEx Custom Critical.

Ramona Hood oversees the FedEx Custom Critical executive leadership team and is responsible for the performance and strategic direction of the company. She started her FedEx career in 1991 through an entry-level position and has worked her way to hold various executive leadership positions at FedEx Custom Critical and FedEx Supply Chain. Her career path evolved through many areas of the company, including her most recent role as vice president of operations, strategy and planning.

Throughout her career, Hood has been recognized for her exemplary excellence in leadership, responsibility, and passion. She has received several awards and acknowledgments for her work, including Greater Akron Chamber's “30 for the Future” award (2010); Sales & Marketing Executives International's Distinguished Sales & Marketing Award (2013); Walsh University's Woman of Inspiration Award (2013); Crain's Cleveland Business' Women of Note Award; and many other prestigious honors. In 2010 and 2016, Hood earned the FedEx Five Star Award, which is the highest recognition an employee can receive.

Hood is actively involved in local civic affairs. She serves on executive boards and is involved with local organizations, including Jack and Jill of America, Akron Chapter; Kent Area Chapter of The Links; Summit Education Initiative; Transportation Intermediary Association; Walsh University; and the Welty Building Company. She earned a bachelor's degree from Walsh University and MBA from Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management.

During the event, the Women's Endowment Fund will also honor Jacqueline Silas-Butler, Esq., executive director of Project GRAD, with the 2021 Judith A. Read Tribute Award for Service & Advocacy for Women.

Since 2006, Jacqueline A. Silas-Butler, Esq. has served as executive director of the educational reform organization, Project GRAD. Under her leadership, the nonprofit has implemented several successful educational initiatives, including the Bridge to Kindergarten program; Achieving Dreams Celebration and March GRADness scholarship fundraising events; College and Career Central and GRAD mentoring programs; and many more.

A licensed attorney in the state of Ohio since 1984, Silas-Butler has always used her background and experiences to improve her community. She has served on leadership boards for organizations, including The University of Akron Law Alumni Association (president), Akron Barristers Association (four terms), Akron Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (two terms), Akron Roundtable, and the Young Adult Missionary Society of Wesley Temple AME Zion Church, just to name a few.

She has been recognized with numerous awards, including The University of Akron's Black Law Students Association's Community Service Alumni Award, Office of Multicultural Development's Distinguished Alumni Award, and Outstanding Law Alumni Award; ATHENA Akron Award; Akron Urban League's Woman of Power Award; the Women's Network's Woman of Achievement Award, YWCA's 100 Outstanding Women In Summit County award, and many more. In 2001, she was also featured in Inside Business Magazine for her outstanding leadership in the nonprofit community. She is an active member of the Akron Bar Association, Akron-Canton Barristers Association, Arlington Church of God, College & Career Academies of Akron Steering Committee, County of Summit Human Resources Commission, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and NAACP Akron.

Named for one of Greater Akron's most influential philanthropic leaders, the Judith A. Read Tribute Award was created in 2016 to honor Judy Read's lifetime of service and extraordinary commitment to empowering women and girls. It is presented annually to the individual or couple who best exemplifies Judy's service, advocacy, leadership and passion in the community. Last event's recipient was Sylvia Trundle.

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

"For our 2021 dinner, we are extremely honored to feature two extraordinary, local female leaders who have dedicated their lives to the advancement of women," said event chair Laura DiCola, director of strategic initiatives and policy, Summit Education Initiative. "Being a part of this event offers a unique opportunity for businesses to showcase their support for the women and girls in our community. Our 2020 event welcomed more than 700 virtual guests and raised $200,000 to ultimately support our grantmaking activities to uplift and empower females in our community."

Corporate and individual sponsorship opportunities for the Women's Endowment Fund's "For Women, Forever" dinner range from $2,500 to $25,000.

For more information about becoming a sponsor, visit or contact Laura DiCola at 330-535-8833 or

"For Women, Forever" celebrates women as philanthropists and benefits the Women's Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation. Tickets to the event will go on sale in January. To receive an invitation, register for the Women's Endowment Fund's e-news at Currently, the Women's Endowment Fund intends to host an in-person gathering. Due to recommendations to limit the spread of COVID-19, the in-person gathering is subject to reevaluation as an unforgettable virtual meeting to ensure the safety of our guests.

About the Women's Endowment Fund

The Women's Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation was established in 1993 as a permanent endowment committed to encouraging the advancement of women and girls in Summit County. To date, it has grown to more than $4 million and awarded more than $1.5 million in grants. Contributions of any amount are welcome and can be made online at or mailed to Women's Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation, 345 W. Cedar St., Akron, OH 44307. For more information, call 330-376-8522 or visit

About Akron Community Foundation

Celebrating 65 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. It is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $222.5 million with a growing family of more than 680 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation's funds have awarded more than $180 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit

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