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Women's Endowment Fund to host annual dinner March 11

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

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 11, 2020 at Goodyear Hall in Akron.

The keynote address will be delivered by Jill Penrose, senior vice president of human resources and corporate communications for The J.M. Smucker Company.

For the past 15 years, Jill has held numerous leadership positions within The J.M. Smucker Company, including roles in corporate strategy, human resources and communications. Now, as a member of the executive leadership team, she oversees human resource responsibilities for more than 7,000 J.M. Smucker employees. In this position, Jill is responsible for improving employee engagement and development as well as sharing The J.M. Smucker Company's story which includes a portfolio of more than 40 food, coffee and pet food brands.

During the event, the Women's Endowment Fund will also honor Sylvia Trundle with the 2020 Judith A. Read Tribute Award for Service & Advocacy for Women.

Throughout her 35-year career, Sylvia served in various law enforcement positions within Greater 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.

Since her retirement, Sylvia has been at the forefront of improving Akron's community, dedicating much of her efforts for the betterment of women and girls. She currently serves 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. She has also been a committed coach for Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio for the past five years. Sylvia 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. She is a certified law enforcement executive, and a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Police Executive Leadership College.

"Sylvia exemplifies what we look for in a Judith A. Read Tribute Award recipient," said Bernett Williams, Judith A. Read Tribute Award co-chair. "Her dedicated leadership to elevate our community deserves major recognition and celebration."

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 year's recipient was Norma Rist.

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.

"Our annual dinner offers a wonderful opportunity to learn more about local nonprofits serving women and girls and network with some of Greater Akron's most influential business leaders and philanthropists," said event chair Sherry Neubert, vice president & CIO, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. "Our last 'For Women, Forever' event garnered more than 500 guests and raised more than $80,000 to support our grantmaking efforts. This is an excellent evening to be a part of."

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 Sherry Neubert at 330-289-9560 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 November. To receive an invitation, register for the Women's Endowment Fund's e-news at

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