Women’s Hall of Fame
2020 marks 30 years of exceptional women being honored at our Women’s Hall of Fame! 186 Stark County women and remarkable teens have been honored for their contributions to their family, workplace and community and displayed a dedication to our mission.
Join us on Wednesday, May 2020 to celebrate this milestone Women’s Hall of Fame at the Kent State University at Stark Conference Center. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6 p.m.
Dr. Rosemarie Allen will be the Keynote Speaker at this year’s Women’s Hall of Fame, sponsored by PNC Financial Services Group. Dr. Allen’s life work is centered on ensuring children have access to high quality early childhood programs that are developmentally and culturally appropriate. She has served as a leader in early childhood education for nearly 40 years. Dr. Allen is also the President & CEO for the Institute for Racial Equity & Excellence.
To mark this celebratory 30th year, we will be introducing our Women of Empowerment- Lifetime Achievement Award. This award will honor two of our past inductees who were selected by our nominations panel for their compassion and leadership which set a standard for lifetime commitment by supporting the YWCA mission through their volunteerism or work and to the welfare of Stark County and its residents.
It is our honor and pleasure to announce our 2020 Women of Empowerment Lifetime Achievement Award recipients:
- *Diane Stevens Robinson, President/CEO of the Greater Stark County Urban League, Women’s Hall of Fame Class of 1993
- *Janet Weir Creighton, Board of Stark County Commissioner, Women’s Hall of Fame Class of 2007
Congratulations to our Class of 2020 Inductees!
- Linda DeHoff, President, DeHoff Realtors
- *Sr. Karen Lindenberger, Hispanic Minister, St. Anthony/All Saints Parish
- *Jennifer Meek Eells, Executive Director, Stark Tuscarawas Workforce Development Board
- *Patricia Hopkins Williams, Active Community Member, Retired from TimkenSteel
- *Lauren Winland, Teen Inductee
*Full bios below
2020 Women of Empowerment: Lifetime Achievement Award Winners
Diane Stevens Robinson
Diane Stevens Robinson, President/CEO of the Greater Stark County Urban League. As President and Chief Executive Officer Diane serves as the chief administrator and is responsible to manage and oversee the day-to-day operation of the non-profit social service agency. An affiliate of the National Urban League, the Greater Stark County Urban League seeks to improve the economic, educational, cultural, and social conditions affecting all citizens in the Stark County area. Diane, a former senior human resources generalist with Fortune 500 Company experience, held the position of HR Strategic Business Consultant, Operations Hoover Company and Corporate Diversity for the Maytag Corporation.
As HR Strategic Business Consultant of Operations Diane conducted research, led the strategic planning, developed strategy and directed the implementation of Human Resources projects and processes to meet the leadership, developmental and performance management needs of Operations; North Canton, Ohio, El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico. These strategic initiatives resulted in improved performance management, improved ability to effectively manage employees from diverse cultures and improved leadership development. Diane’s expertise includes working with Fortune 500 clients, as well as with universities, public and private schools, city government, and health care organizations. Diane is grounded in the cross organizational implications of achieving a diverse, high-performing workforce. She has developed actionable insights into how different worldviews can impact, health, learning, safety, and workplace performance and continues to achieve sustainable success delivering strategic and tactical recommendations to executive level stakeholders.
As Coordinator of Diversity Programs for the Canton City School District, Diane was responsible for Diversity and Inclusion Professional Development. The Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Educators Association recognized her work with Canton City Schools and the Canton Professional Educators Association in Culturally Relevant Pedagogy to which the Ohio Educators Association presented Diane with the Doris Allen Blue-Ribbon Award for her groundbreaking collaborative work in creating systems to develop and train educators regarding cultural competence. Diane serves as a Research Project Coordinator on Infant Mortality for Kent State University.
Diane holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Howard University, a Master of Arts degree in Psychology from Cleveland State University. Diane has been a community activist for many years and her volunteer service on a local, state and national level is extensive. She is a member of the Kent Area Chapter Links, Incorporated (past president) and the Malone University Business Advisory Board. Previous service includes: Boards of Trustees for Canton Country Day School, National Urban League (Executive Committee member), Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation and Stark State College (past chair), Canton Urban League (past chair). Member of Malone University Teacher Advisory Board, The University of Akron’s Center for Urban and Higher Education Advisory Board). Diane’s service also includes an appointment to the Ohio Commission on Education, State Chair for the Ohio Association of Community College Trustees, member of United Way of Central Stark County Board of Trustees.
Diane was awarded the United Way Gold Key Award for Outstanding Volunteers and was inducted into the YWCA Women’s Hall of Fame. Diane was also presented with the Founders Award by the Ohio Association of Community Colleges.
Diane is a member of Mt. Calvary 2nd Missionary Baptist Church. She and her husband Preston have 2 children, and 10 grandchildren.
Janet Weir Creighton
Janet Weir Creighton’s professional and community leadership began over 40 years ago. As a result, she has cultivated a diverse background in government and public affairs, graciously serving City, County, State and Country in the process.
Creighton’s journey started through advising and coaching young women in Canton City schools, and it continues today as she educates Ohio’s young women in the duties, privileges, rights, and responsibilities of good citizenship. This is appropriate considering Creighton’s own honorable citizenship throughout the years, evidenced by her numerous elected positions and appointments on countless advisory boards, commissions, associations, organizations, councils and committees. She has even had the great fortune of holding several appointments at the request of Governors, and by a United States President.
In 2004, she became the first female elected as Mayor of the City of Canton. In fact, Creighton’s entire career has involved leadership initiatives for women. She was a founding member of Women’s Impact which brings established women leaders together with emerging women leaders for mentoring purposes. One of her many honors received throughout the decades, was being named a co-recipient of the 1st Athena Award winner in Stark County. Proudly, she is also a member of the inaugural class of the 2015 Women in Government Leadership, for the Governing Institute. Creighton also brought her infectious excitement to the 35 years she spent as a volunteer for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. She served as General Chairperson of the Pro Football HOF Festival in the year 2000; a position in which, to this day, few women have held.
She has always been committed to identifying a need, making a difference, achieving goals and enhancing the quality of life for others in the community. Her valuable service has addressed education, arts and culture, healthcare, hunger, homelessness, safety and much, much more. It is the aforementioned experiences, and knowledge gained as a result, that became the driving force behind Creighton’s sense of duty to share it all through public speaking. Her robust time commitments dedicated to public speaking is her way of openly sharing her involvements, while her participation and leadership in governmental and voluntary positions; her mentoring and fundraising for community causes and non-profit organizations; and pride of being a loving mother, grandmother and wife, is her way of leading by example.
Janet Weir Creighton’s positive attitude, one-on-one accessibility and boundless energy helps boost morale, gives encouragement, and instills the importance of striving for excellence in whatever endeavor she embarks upon, no matter big or small.
Class of 2020
- United Way of Central Stark County
- Canton Art Museum
- Canton Junior League
- Prudential Real Estate National Board
- Arts in Stark
- Domestic Violence
- Kent State Advisory Board
- Stark State College Foundation
- National First Ladies Library
- Museum Guild
- North Canton Chamber of Commerce
Husband Bob and Linda’s Awards
- United Way Gold Key
- North East Ohio Philanthropist
- Jackson-Belden Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizens
- North Canton Chamber Citizens of the Year
- Canton Chamber Citizens Gold Key
- The Repository Citizens Moving Stark County Forward
- Wilderness Society Citizens of the Year
- Junior League Women of the Year
- Chairperson for the United Way Campaign Drive
- Chairperson for the United Arts Campaign
- Chairperson for the Taste of the NFL-Akron/Canton Food Bank
- Chairperson Aultman Hospital’s Angel Auction
- President of the of Jackson Township
Linda and her husband Bob have two children Molly and Dan and six grandchildren, Bill, Joe, Jackie, Miles, Drew and Claire and a famous Coonhound called “Jack”.
As a Franciscan nun for more than 50 years, Sister Karen Lindenberger has devoted her life to helping those in need. A member of the Sisters of St. Francis, Tiffin, Ohio, Sr. Karen, as Hispanic Pastoral Minister, serves as the coordinator of the Hispanic community at St. Anthony/ All Saints Parish in Canton, Ohio.
One of nine children, Sr. Karen grew up on a farm in northwest Ohio. As a young girl, she first encountered the Sisters of St. Francis at a small parish in Peru, Ohio. She felt an immediate connection to the nuns and followed her older sister Betty’s footsteps to attend the Sisters’ aspirant school for young people who felt called to religious life. After her high school graduation, Sr. Karen stayed on and eventually took her final vows in the Order.
She began her ministry in education where she served as a first grade teacher for 28 years. Later her service also included nine years serving the poor in a parish in Appalachia and several years as a missionary in Chiapas, Mexico, where she was first introduced to the Hispanic / Latino culture that would become the focus of her ministry today in Stark County.
At the age of 60, Sr. Karen followed her heart and made a commitment to devote her service to helping the Latino immigrant communities. In preparation, she traveled to San Antonio for a three-month intensive course in Spanish and returned to Chiapas to assist in the missionary work that continued there.
In 2005, she joined the St. Anthony/ All Saints Parish in Canton, Ohio, as a full-time Hispanic Minister, overseeing the outreach services, cultural events, faith formation classes for adults and children, summer school ESL sessions for 5-year-olds, and weekly Mass in Spanish. But Sr. Karen’s efforts go far beyond her official duties as she passionately advocates for the rights of others, rejoices in their personal achievements, and offers comfort and strength to those in need. Initiated by Fr. Thomas G. Bishop in 2001 and supported by grants from the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton, Catholic Home Missions, and Stark Summertime Kids, these programs also involve access to basic necessities, interpretation services, transportation, home visits, and, most importantly, a welcoming embrace to all who come.
Last year she went to the border in El Paso to volunteer for several weeks in one of the Refugee Houses. There she experienced first – hand the struggles and hardships of our immigrant brothers and sisters who are fleeing violence and gang activity, and who come asking for asylum but often are treated so unjustly.
In 2015, Sr. Karen was recognized as a Community Woman of Distinction by Soroptimist International of Canton/ Stark County, Ohio for her tireless work with the Hispanic Community, especially with the women and children she serves so faithfully and in 2016, Sr. Karen received the Distinguished Service Award from Walsh University.
• Master of Science in Counseling Studies from Capella University
– Graduated with Distinction
• Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration/Business Management from Walden University
– Graduated Magna Cum Laude
• Associate of Applied Science Degree in Human and Social Services from Stark State College
– Graduated with High Distinction
• Lisbon David Anderson High School Valedictorian Graduate
• 2013 Stark State College Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee
• Since November 2013, serves as Executive Director to the Stark Tuscarawas Workforce Development Board and oversees the operation of OhioMeansJobs one stop employment and training centers in Stark and Tuscarawas Counties in Ohio
• 7 years as Deputy Director with the Workforce Initiative Association (Workforce Development Board)
• 18 years with Stark County Job and Family Services as Program Administrator managing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) work activities and subsidized child care programs
• Served 3 years as a County Job and Family Services Representative on the State of Ohio Governor’s Child Care Advisory Board
• Taught Human Services core courses at Stark State College
• Taught American Management Association course at Kent State University – Salem, Ohio Campus
• National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) Member
• National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) Member
• U.S. Conference of Mayors Workforce Development Council (WDC) Member
• Ohio Workforce Association (OWA) Executive Team Member – President
• Comprehensive Case Management and Employment Program (CCMEP) State Stakeholders Group Member
• Stark County Human Resource Association (SCHRA) Member
• Past Tuscora Society for Human Resource Management Member
• United Way of Greater Stark County – Financial Stability Impact Council Member
• Tuscarawas County Job and Family Services Planning Committee Member
• Past Young People Matter Coalition Member – StarkMHAR
• 2012 Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health Participant – Emory University
• Stark State College Gas and Oil Advisory Council Member
• Retention and Expansion Committee Member – Tuscarawas County Chamber of Commerce
• Economic Development Committee Member – Alliance Chamber of Commerce
• Education Committee Member – Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce
• Employment Partner Committee Member – Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton
• Business Resource Network Leadership Team and Roundtable Member
• Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Board of Directors – 2nd Vice President
Jennifer is passionate about workforce issues and eager to help individuals become employed and businesses to find the employees they need.
Born in Camilla, GA, Patricia Hopkins Williams is the second child of Minnie and Eddie Hopkins Jr. Patricia graduated from Timken Vocational High School in Canton, Ohio in 1976. While working full-time and rearing two daughters, she completed her education at Stark State College and the University of Akron.
Patricia retired from Timken Steel after 40 years of working in accounting. She was first hired after high school to be a calculator operator and her career she became manager of operations accounting (formerly known as cost accounting). While at Timken Steel, Patricia was credited by the CFO at the time, for starting the multicultural affinity group for the company. It was the first affinity group to be established at Timken. The primary goal was to assist with on-boarding for new employees.
Patricia has always been an active community member in Stark County and beyond. Patricia is passionate about issues related to children, families, and diversity. Her community involvement includes mentoring children at Kent State University’s Upward Bound Program for several years. She has volunteered with Junior Achievement, volunteering at both Lehman and Crenshaw schools Pat is a member of the Canton Kiwanis Club which is an organization dedicated to helping children, one child at a time.
Pat currently serves as president of American Legion Auxiliary (Post 204), The Mary Church Terrell Club affiliated with the National Association of the Colored Women’s Club and Stark County Council of American Legion Auxiliary. She currently serves at the vice president of the Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery (StarkMHAR) board. Patricia serves as an application reviewer of the scholarship fund named after her late mother Minnie L. Hopkins, housed at the Stark County Foundation, and The O‘Jays Scholarship fund. She is also a sustaining life member of the NAACP.
Pat is a member of Community Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in North Canton. She has served as a Sunday school teacher, trustee, treasurer, deacon and elder. At the state level, she was instrumental in bringing the anti-racism committee to the Ohio region for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), serving as the first co-leader for this committee. She also co-lead the Reconciliation Ministry Commission for the Christian Church based in Indiana.
She has past board involvement with Canton Country Day School and Stark County United Way. She has served as the national treasurer of National Association of the Colored Women’s Club from 2010 to 2012. Pat raised over $6,000 in 2014 for the YWCA Canton and was Champion of the YWCA Night of Champions. Pat is a member of the Greater Stark County Urban League and has chaired their annual fundraiser, the Black and White Ball twice. Pat has also been second Vice President for the state of Ohio Association of Colored Women’s club.
Patricia is especially proud of her family. Her eldest daughter, Sheree has a doctorate from the University of Georgia and currently serves as the interim director of residence life at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She and her husband Marlon, along with her beautiful grandson, Adam Patrick, reside in Atlanta. Her youngest daughter, Danielle completed her law degree at the University of Akron and is currently a manager of underwriting at Nationwide Insurance Company in Columbus, OH. Her sister, Cynthia Hopkins, is also an active community member in Canton and a retired math teacher from Canton City School. Her brother, Jeffery Hopkins is the chief justice of the federal bankruptcy court for the southern district of Ohio. Her mother, the late Minnie L. Hopkins, was a principal for Canton City Schools and active community member for many years influencing people young and old. Her dad, Eddie Hopkins, retired from Ford Motor Company as an inspector.
Patricia lives by her mother’s creed, you volunteer to make your community a better place to live.
I would like to tell you about an amazing young woman who has overcome great odds to become a constructive member of the community with a promising future ahead of her. Lauren Winland endured a long history of abuse and abandonment but never gave up on believing in herself and believing that she could live a good life. She is currently a senior in high school where she is earning As and Bs. Lauren transferred to her current school at the beginning of the school year and quickly impressed the school teachers and staff. In September 2019, she was selected as her school’s student of the month. Lauren looks forward to starting college next fall and wants to pursue a career in a medical field. Throughout the fall she was busy visiting and applying to colleges and universities, and has already received acceptance letters from Walsh University and Bowling Green State University.
In addition to school, Lauren works part time at a local pizza restaurant and is active in community programs. She participates in a Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, mentoring younger students from a nearby school. She is an active member of her church, participating in youth group and bible study classes. Last summer she went to a church sponsored summer “camp” that focused on providing food and resources to underprivileged people.
It is hard not to be impressed with Lauren when you meet her. She is intelligent and resourceful. No doubt these are qualities she needed to develop to overcome the many challenges she has faced in life. She is optimistic. In the time I have known her I have never heard Lauren identify as a helpless victim. Instead she is always focused on moving forward, learning from experiences, and taking the next steps toward building a better future. She cares about others. Lauren knows what it is like to be hurt, lonely, scared. Because of these experiences she is able to have great empathy for others who are struggling or going through difficult times and is willing to lend a hand to help others out or to support or encourage them.
Dr. Rosemarie Allen
Rosemarie Allen has served as a leader in early childhood education for nearly 40 years. Her life’s work is centered on ensuring children have access to high quality early childhood programs that are developmentally and culturally appropriate. She is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Education at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her classes are focused on ensuring teachers are aware of how issues of equity, privilege, and power impact teaching practices. Rosemarie has served in directorship roles with the Colorado Department of Human Services where she was responsible for the State’s child care licensing program, the federal child care assistance program, the redesign of the State’s quality rating and improvement system, the implementation of the State’s professional development plan, and assisted in the creation of Colorado’s early learning guidelines. Rosemarie is a respected keynote speaker, and has the distinct honor of being appointed as a “Global Leader” to represent the United States at World Conferences across the globe.
Dr. Allen’s non-profit Institute for Racial Equity & Excellence (IREE) serves as the lead agency for ensuring equity in educational practices throughout the nation. IREE monitors and licenses child care centers using a model she created, “Culturally Responsive Community Based Licensing”. Rosemarie also served on President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” (MBK) initiative, Early Childhood Task Force. In that role, she was the national expert on implicit bias and culturally responsive practices, speaking at conferences across the country. She also serves as contractor for the National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations focusing on equity, implicit bias and culturally responsive practices in the Pyramid Model for Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children.
Rosemarie earned her B. A. from California State University, Master’s of Education from Lesley University and Doctorate Degree in Leadership for Equity in Education from the University of Colorado, Denver.
- Doors Open at 5:30 p.m.
- Dinner buffet opens at 6 p.m.
- Keynote Speaker, Dr. Rosemarie Allen, 6:45 p.m.
- Class of 2020 presented at 7:15 p.m.
- Women of Empowerment Lifetime Achievement Awards presented at 8 p.m.
Thank you to our sponsors and supporters:
Keynote Speaker Sponsor:
Dinner Celebration Sponsor:
The Canton Repository
2019 Award Recipients:
Mary Lynne Zahler
Teen, Christine Lawver
2018 Award Recipients:
Mandy Altimus Stahl
Teen, Sadie Owens
2017 Award Recipients:
Teen, Sarah Meade
2016 Award Recipients:
Judith Barnes Lancaster
Elaine Russell Reolfi
Corey Minor Smith
Teen, Kim Kettering
2015 Award Recipients:
Barbara Ewing Cockroft
Judge Chryssa Hartnett
Teen, Kaela Brown
2014 Award Recipients:
Cathy Catazaro Perry
Beth Anne Clark Thomas
A. Darlene Moss
Lucia M. Pileggi
Teen, Jenna Mari Humphries
2013 Award Recipients:
Teen, Megan Rush
2012 Award Recipients:
Judge Dixie Park
Teen, Madison Weber
2011 Award Recipients:
Teen, Bethany Dill
2010 Award Recipients:
Dr. Grace Hofsteter
2009 Award Recipients:
Dr. Martha Magoon
Teen, Alyson Sliman
2008 Award Recipients:
Teen, Elizabeth Burton-Jones
2007 Award Recipients:
Teen, Kaley Hanenkrat
2006 Award Recipients:
Teen, Melissa Cyperski
2005 Award Recipients:
Teen, Kellyn Moran
2004 Award Recipients:
Teen, Kristen Stryker
2003 Award Recipients:
Teen, Abbey Hodakievic
2002 Award Recipients:
Teen, Katie Magoon
2001 Award Recipients:
Dr. Marie Keener
Teen, Linda Nader
2000 Award Recipients:
Teen, Erin King
1999 Award Recipients:
Women’s Hall of Fame was not held this year
1998 Award Recipients:
Emma Brown Malone
Marilyn Thomas Jones
Dr. Willia Nwa
Teen, Ellen Giordano
Teen, Erin Kienzle
1997 Award Recipients:
Sally Reed, M.D.
Teen, Amanda Copeland
1996 Award Recipients:
Charee Francis- Vogelsang
Teen, Jill Lombardi
1995 Award Recipients:
Dr. Audrey A.P. Lavin
Teen, Cali Benson
1994 Award Recipients:
Teen, Kelly High
1993 Award Recipients:
Lynne S. Dragomier
Diane Stevens Robinson
Teen, Mary T. Meese
1992 Award Recipients:
Patricia Z. Parker
Teen, Martiza Sanchez
1991 Award Recipients:
Dr. Martha Cook
Dr. Patricia Long
1990 Award Recipients:
Nelle Frease Harris
Dr. Norma Marcere
Mrs. Levi Miller
Teen, Jodi Brewster