Leadership Stark County Announces 29th Signature Program Class

Forty-one area leaders have been selected for the 29th Signature Program Class of Leadership Stark County, a department of the Canton Regional Chamber. Selected from an exceptionally competitive field, the 29th Class will explore over the next 10 months Stark County’s current issues, assets, and local and regional resources. 

The group begins with a two-day retreat in September, then a one-day tour of Stark County in October, as well as one full day each month on some aspect of the community including economics, social services, government, education and justice, among others. Specific training towards non-profit board service and the opportunity to interview with non-profits for board positions leads class members directly to significant community involvement. A hands-on project designed to develop community assets completes the experience.
These community minded individuals have been charged to work together to make a lifelong commitment to Stark County. The class includes:
Lisa Aurand, Fraud Training Leader, Synchrony Financial

David Booth, Distribution Systems Supervisor, American Electric Power

Lindsay Bowman, VP, Relationship Manager, Private Bank, KeyBank

Andrew Brickley, Director of Sales, Mercy Medical Center

Tammy Brown, Civil Rights Manager, Stark Area Regional Transit Authority – SARTA

Harold Carter, College Pathways Coordinator, Canton City School District

Jonathan Crawford, Executive Director, The Timken Family LLC

Casey Davis, Associate Attorney, Buckingham Doolittle & Burroughs LLC

Julie Elkins, Executive Assistant & Grants Coordinator, North Canton Medical Foundation

Melanie Elliott, Marketing Manager, Hendrickson Trailer Commercial Vehicle Systems

Joseph Ellwood, Sales Executive, Huntington Insurance

Sarah Fearon, Missions Director, Faith Family Church

Collyn Floyd, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce

Lisa Frank, Owner, SOL Pie Pizza (Formerly Ermanno’s Legendary Pizza)

Stephanie Galbraith, Contract Billing/Flex Billing Admin, ComDoc

Katherine Gessner, Sales & Marketing Manager, MCTV

Chryssa Hartnett, Judge, Stark County Common Pleas Court

Richard Hawkins, VP Information Technology, Timken

Jonathan Heckert, Payroll Manager, The Will-Burt Company

Dana Heffner, Manager, External Affairs, FirstEnergy

Nicole Herrera, Assistant Professor, Stark State College

Donald Hester, Engineering Manager, Hendrickson

Jenifer Hill, Program Manager, Leadership Stark County

Alex Hoce, Firefighter/Paramedic, Jackson Township Fire Department

Michael Impagliozza, Director of Operations, V101 Management Services

Bernadine Jenkins Snell, President, Bernie Jenkins, Inc.

William Kusmits, Engineer, Marathon Petroleum

Jennifer Linn, Manager, Risk Management, FedEx Custom Critical

Darlyn McDermott, Sr Client Executive, Oswald Companies

Kimberly Nidy, Director of Instruction, North Canton City Schools

Darin Nissley, Executive Director, Lighthouse Ministries

Matthew Onest, Associate Attorney, Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co., L.P.A.

Emily Provance, Resource Development Coordinator, Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Stark County

Jason Rebucci, Purchasing Manager, Timken

Matthew Ritzert, Director, Cardiovascular Business Operations, Aultman Hospital

John Santora, President, C. R. Kurtz, Inc.

Scott Schrader, Engineering Manager, LuK LLC

Todd Shaffer, Operations Manager, Stark Parks

Maureen Tate, Assistant Director, Catholic Charities Serving Portage and Stark Counties

Donna Valentine, Vice President of Sales, GateHouse Ohio / The Repository

Whitney Willits, Attorney, Black McCuskey Souers & Arbaugh

The class represents 14 Stark County school districts, reside in 11 different towns and cities, and range in age from 26 to 58. They are almost equally split between men and women, and about one third of the class work for some type of non-profit, educational, or government entity.

For more information about this and other Leadership programs, visit LeadershipStarkCounty.org

Apply Now for Leadership Stark County’s Spotlight Program

Leadership Stark County, a department of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, is currently accepting applications for its Spotlight for Young Professionals program which begins September 28, 2015.

The Spotlight Program is designed for dynamic young professionals (age 25-34) interested in their community. It offers six sessions that provide personal and professional leadership development along with networking and engaging community service projects.

In the Spotlight Stark County program participants will:

  • Strengthen their leadership effectiveness using the Gallup StrengthsFinder profile
  • Be introduced to key issues, leaders and places shaping our community
  • Tour non-profits and participate in a community service project
  • Engage with other YPs in networking sessions at area cafés and bistros  

Program details:

  • The Spotlight Program begins September 28
  • Classes are held from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at various locations
  • Tuition is $495, with partial scholarships available
  • Applications will be accepted until September 14 or when class is filled.
  • Companies may send a cohort of up to 10 employees to the Spotlight course
“Our Spotlight Program helps prepare Stark County’s next generation of leadership,” said Stephanie Snow Werren, director of Leadership Stark County. “But this program goes beyond just leadership development; it gives Spotlight graduates a richer sense of community stewardship, civic awareness, as well as camaraderie among the class members.”
Applications and more information are available online at LeadershipStarkCounty.org

Stephanie Snow Werren Named Director of Leadership Stark County

Stephanie 2014The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce has promoted Stephanie Snow Werren to director of Leadership Stark County (Leadership). Werren joined Leadership in 2005, and has served as assistant director for the past two years. She follows Fran Wells, who announced her departure in February.

As director, Werren will be responsible for annual fund raising, the sponsorship campaign, and the Signature program for experienced and emerging leaders, along with facilitating custom programs especially in the area of Strengths and Board Development.

“Stephanie has been essential to the success of Leadership Stark County, and she assumes the position of director at an important time for our organization,” said Denny Saunier, president and CEO of the Canton Regional Chamber. “She brings both a vision and experience that will not only benefit the Chamber as we implement our strategic plan, but help develop a core of motivated leaders in Stark County with a lifelong commitment to community trusteeship.”

“On behalf of the entire board of directors, I congratulate Stephanie on her appointment as Leadership’s next director,” said Darren Faye, vice president, Leonard Insurance Services, and current Leadership Chairman. “As Stephanie takes the reins as director, we are certain that she will continue to propel the Leadership name in our community, as well as help expand our programming.”

A Canton native, Werren holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Malone College and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science/international studies from Miami University. She resides in Canton with her husband Curt, a Canton Municipal Judge and Community Steward, and their 16-year-old triplets Jack, Hannah, and Grace who are sophomores at Glen Oak High School.

Werren is a 2008 ystark! Twenty under 40! recipient and was named the Malone University Graduate School Alumna of the Year in 2009. Her current community involvement includes North Canton Council Ward 3 Councilwoman, Plain Local Schools Foundation, Monticello Homeowners Association Committee Chair, Camp Wakonda Auction Committee Member, YWCA Holiday Breakfast Chairman, Plain Local Ski Club advisor, Soccer Booster Club At-large Member and a volunteer for the Glen Oak Booster Club.

May 11: Canton Regional Chamber Golf Classic Presented by Southwest Airlines

Golf Logo ColorThe Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, along with its Leadership Stark County (LSC) and ystark! departments, are joining forces to produce one exceptional outing and opportunity to golf at Brookside Country Club on  May 11.

This is the first year that the Chamber, LSC and ystark! have combined efforts to merge what in the past has been three separate outings.

The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce Golf Classic Presented by Southwest Airlines will give golfers a fantastic opportunity to network with Chamber members, business and community leaders and young professionals, all while enjoying their choice of a morning or afternoon of golf on Brookside’s prestigious private course.

Golfers can select their start time: 8:00 AM or 1:30 PM. Both the AM and PM groups include 18 holes on a signature course, greens fees, cart, golf course refreshments, contests and prizes, delicious lunch, and a “wow” gift from Southwest Airlines – all for $125 per golfer. Coffee and pastries will be provided prior to morning play; hors d’oeuvres will be available at the conclusion of afternoon play. Both groups of golfers are welcome to enjoy the afternoon hors d’oeuvres reception.

This event also affords golfers a rare opportunity to enjoy: a signature course designed by the legendary Donald Ross; one of Golf Week Magazine’s Top 100 America’s Best Courses for 15 years in a row; Golf Digest’s “Best New Remodel” in 2006; and a course that has hosted the US Open Qualifiers, US Senior Open Qualifiers, Northern Ohio PGA Sectionals and more.

Interested golfers can register online at www.cantonchamber.org or by calling Monique Thompson at 330.458.2070. Sponsorship opportunities are also available; for more information, please contact Chris Gumpp at 330.458.2055.

Leadership Stark County Signature Program Applications Available for 2015-2016 Class

Applications are now available online at LeadershipStarkCounty.org for the 29th Class of Leadership Stark County’s (LSC) 10-month Signature Program. The Signature Program is an in-depth examination of Stark County’s assets and challenges, along with an introduction to effecting community change.

The Signature Program is ideal for business and community leaders. Each year, selected participants enhance their leadership skills and gain an understanding of local issues, assets, and resources.

Prospective candidates and employers are encouraged to attend an informational breakfast on Thursday, March 19, 8:00-9:00 AM at the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce.

At this free, no-obligation session applicants, prospective candidates will be offered an overview of LSC’s Signature program, an explanation of the application process, tuition assistance information and a question and answer segment. Reservations are requested by Tuesday, March 17. Make reservations online at LeadershipStarkCounty.org or call 330-458-2095.

Your leadership experience begins with an intense two-day Opening Retreat in September that will provide you with an in-depth personal leadership assessment and dynamic workshops. From there you’ll meet once per month to expand your capacity for leadership and service in our community.

Your Signature Class experience includes:

  • Examining social and economic issues through panel discussions with political and
    civic leaders.
  • Exploring the cultural, economic, and historic features of Stark County on a wide-ranging
    bus tour.
  • Delving into economic development with on-site tours and small-group interaction with
  • Taking a jail tour, meeting with local judges, and investigating the justice system on a
    cruiser ride with sheriff’s deputies and police.
  • Role-playing within a poverty simulation and visiting non-profits to understand their
    unique concerns.

Applications are online at LeadershipStarkCounty.org and are due Friday, April 2. Tuition is $2,650 and includes meals, lodging, and materials.  Tuition assistance is available for candidates from non-profit, education, and government organizations. Apply online.

For more information, please call the Leadership Stark County office at 330-458-2095.

Canton Regional Chamber Says Farewell to Two Senior Staff Members

The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce will say goodbye to two longtime senior staff members over the next few weeks: Steven J. Katz, senior vice president, and Fran Wells, director of Leadership Stark County. Katz is set to retire effective Jan. 30, while Wells will vacate the full time directorship on Feb. 17, remaining in a part-time capacity through the conclusion of Leadership’s 28th Signature Class Program in June.

Katz has served as senior vice president of the Canton Regional Chamber for 14 years. His primary responsibilities have included economic development, government affairs, human resources and management of internal operations alongside the president and CEO. His oversight has also included some aspects of events, finance and information systems. Katz joined the Chamber in 1982 as manager of Government Affairs and has also served as vice president of Economic Development and Government Affairs.

Katz graduated from Kent State University with a master’s degree in public administration. He recently served on the boards of Ohio Means Jobs, Canton Community Improvement Corporation, Stark County Minority Business Council, and the Stark Development Board Finance Corporation.

Katz is looking forward to spending more time with his family and pursuing personal interests.

“Steve’s leadership, strategy, guidance, and friendship will be greatly missed,” said Denny Saunier, president and CEO of the Canton Regional Chamber. “Steve has managed our economic development program, served as the Chamber ‘face’ for business and manufacturing, worked hand-in-hand with the City of Canton, and led our Mills Business Park efforts. His impact through the years is truly extraordinary.”

Stepping into Katz’s role is Mike Gill, who has been promoted to vice president for economic development. “I can’t think of a more qualified or capable person to follow Steve,” said Saunier. “This is an extension of the economic development work that Mike has been doing downtown for years.”

Wells, a graduate of Leadership Stark County’s 14th Signature class, has served as director since summer 2002. Under Wells’ direction, Leadership Stark County added the annual Local Government Leadership Academy for elected and aspiring officials, as well as a short-course for young professionals, Spotlight Stark County, in 2006. Most recently, Leadership Stark County has begun offering customized training for businesses and organizations.

An honors graduate from Indiana University’s School of Education, Wells taught at the elementary school level for five years. In 1979, Wells and her husband, Dr. P.J. Wells, moved to Canton when her husband established a Dentistry practice in the Canton South area. Prior to Leadership Stark County, Wells served as an instructor substitute for the Stark County Board of Mental Retardation for 12 years, followed by seven years as a Learning Resource Specialist at Canton Country Day School.  Wells is looking forward to spending more time with her family, including her young grandson.

“During Fran’s 12 years as director, she has elevated Leadership Stark County’s Signature class to a highly regarded program in our community and beyond,” said Saunier. “She has expanded Leadership’s brand and programming to include Spotlight Stark County, Government Academy, and custom leadership training. I wish her the best as begins a new chapter of life.”

Darren Faye, chairman of the board for Leadership Stark County, added, “Leadership programs around the country and locally have molded some of their programs to mirror what Fran has developed right here in Stark County.”

Saunier and Faye will be working together in coming weeks to secure Wells’ replacement.

2015 Leadership Stark County’s Government Academy Schedule Announced

Leadership Stark County is seeking applicants for its 10th Annual Government Leadership Academy. The Government Leadership Academy offers elected officials, appointed officials, aspiring candidates and civic minded citizens, leadership development skills and education about local and regional government.

The program will begin Tuesday, February 3, 2015.  The class takes place Tuesdays and Thursdays Feb. 5 through Mar. 5, meeting from 4 – 6 p.m. Cost is $395 per person and includes all materials. Classes meet at the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and at Stark County District Library branches. EARLY BIRD TUITION is $350 for applications received by December 31, 2014. Partial tuition assistance is available for selected candidates from government, education and non-profit sectors.

The Academy, offered with support from the Stark County District Library, is designed to increase the understanding of local government and how it functions. The class is facilitated by Leadership Stark County with assistance from Professor Chet Bowling, The Ohio State University Extension. Participants meet and work with community leaders, focus on regionalism, and assess personal leadership practices. The curriculum includes:

  • Leadership skills, styles, and effective decision making
  • Local and regional economic development trends
  • Ohio Ethics training
  • Communication: working with citizens and with  the media

Past participants include:

Keith Bennett, Stark County Engineer

Tom Bernabei, Stark County Commissioner

Janet Creighton, Stark County Commissioner

Richard Currie, Mayor, Village of Hartville

Candace Daniels, Manager, Customer Services, United States Postal Service

Branden Dickerson, Assistant Prosecutor, City of Canton – Law Department

Anthony Flex, Plain Township Fiscal Officer

Frank Forchione, Judge, Stark County Court of Common Pleas

Julie Jakmides, Alliance City Council

C. Todd Locke, President, CEO, WRL Advertising

Michael Lynch, Nimishillen Township Trustee

Nancy Marion, North Canton School Board

Steven Meeks, Director, Jackson Belden Chamber of Commerce

David Myers. Project Manager/P.E.,P.S, Dawood Engineering

Chris Smith, Canton City Council

Mary Strukel, Massillon City School Board

Steven Tharp, Council, Village of Brewster

Tena Wilson, Executive Director, Stark County District Library

Patrick Wyatt, Senior Investigator, Nationwide Insurance

Applications for the Government Leadership Academy are now being accepted. For more information, contact Fran Wells, director, Leadership Stark County, at (330) 458-2094. Applications and more information about the program are available at LeadershipStarkCounty.org.