Meet 7 of Dayton’s ‘Most Influential Women’

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 8:52 AM

Here are YWCA Dayton 2018 Women of Influence. Video by Amelia Robinson


Influencing change most definitely has its rewards. 

The YWCA Dayton once again honored some of this community’s most influential women for making Dayton a better place. 

>> Meet Dayton’s ‘Top 10 African-American Men’ 

The 148-year-old organization that promotes the protection of women and girls from abuse and discrimination held its 2018 Women of Influence Luncheon on March 8 at the Dayton Convention Center, 22 E. Fifth St. in downtown Dayton. 

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Seven Dayton-area women were honored this year, including Pamela Morris, the founder and CEO of CareSource. She will be recognized as the 2018 Women of Influence Lifetime Achievement honoree

>> Meet the Ohioian who became the nation's first female presidential candidate

Below, find more information about this year’s Women of Influence.

Pamela Morris, founder and CEO, CareSource(Photo: courtesy of YWCA Dayton)

Pamela Morris, 2018 Women of Influence Lifetime Achievement

Founder and CEO, CareSource 

From her bio:

Pam Morris has more than 40 years of experience in managed health care and the public sector. As an entrepreneurial architect, she pioneered Ohio's first mandatory Medicaid managed care program and built Dayton Area Health Plan, funded with a half-million dollar grant from the State of Ohio and 38 employees (1989), to present-day CareSource, boasting a 2016 revenue of $7.2 billion and 3,100 employees. 

Nearly 30 years later, CareSource is one of the nation’s largest Medicaid Managed Care plans, serving more than 1.8 million members. The company was recently the only non-incumbent health plan selected to serve Medicaid members in both Indiana and Georgia, and will soon have members in five states. The plan has reinvested more than $13 million back into the communities it serves through the CareSource Foundation. As President and CEO of CareSource, Pam has been recognized for her leadership and commitment to improving the health and well-being of the members CareSource serves. 

She was named the 2007 National Entrepreneur of the Year, Healthcare Services by Ernst & Young. Pamela has also won several local awards, including the 2014 Maureen Patterson Regional Leader Award from the Dayton Development Coalition. Pamela is a former Chair of the Hospice of Dayton and the United Way of Greater Dayton Area Board of Directors, and is a past board member for Dayton Power & Light. She was recently elected to the America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Board of Directors.

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Sharon Rab, founder and chair, Dayton Literary Peace Prize(Photo: courtesy of YWCA Dayton)

Sharon Rab 

Founder and chair, Dayton Literary Peace Prize  

From her bio:

Inspired by the Dayton Peace Accords (which ended the war in Bosnia in 1995) and an enduring belief in the power of literature, Sharon Rab created a literary award to advance peace through literature. With her leadership, a dedicated group of community leaders launched the Dayton Literary Peace Prize: An International Award, the only literary prize honoring the power of literature to promote peace in the country.

Rab's work for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize caps a high school and university English teaching career dedicated to generations of students within and beyond the Dayton community. She served as the Education Director of the Muse Machine and the Executive Director of the national Muse Machine’s Creative Education Institute. Rab – who hosted the local cable show, Writer 2 Writer, for more than 20 years – received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Wright State University and was inducted into the Chester Roush Educational Hall of Fame and the Montgomery County Public Education Academy of Excellence. She is a past “Dayton Daily News” Top Ten Women awardee and was twice a finalist for Ohio Teacher of the Year. A writer herself, her manuscript “Paper, Scissors, Rock” was a finalist for the Pen Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.

>> 8 badass Dayton women who made history

Daria Dillard Stone, parent advocate and educational consultant(Photo: courtesy of YWCA Dayton)

Daria Dillard Stone

 Parent advocate and educational consultant 

From her bio:

Stone spent 15 years employed at the Dayton Urban League, first as executive secretary for CEO Willie F. Walker, then as an employment specialist and GED Preparation Coordinator (at Wesley Center). She was always helping people who experienced barriers – such as not having a high school diploma, having just been released from incarceration, helping teen parents gain confidence and hope, and serving those who needed employment preparation.

For 14 years Daria served as the program manager for Parents Advancing Choice in Education(PACE)/Parents Network, traveling across the country to research, and then implement in Dayton, a plan that helped foster school choice for all parents, especially low-to-moderate income families. For her efforts, she received the first Virginia Walden Ford Parent Leadership Award given by Children First America. As a certified Family Development Specialist (certified by the National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice and University of Iowa School of Social Work), Daria is helping to meet parents where they are giving them the resources and/or mindset to be the primary educators of their children no matter what circumstances they are experiencing.

Since her career at PACE transitioned in 2014, Stone has served as the Parent Advocate Consultant for Dayton Public Schools, Senior Outreach Specialist for Preschool Promise and is currently the Parent Engagement Liaison for Dayton Metro Library. 

>> Socially Savvy: 9 badass Dayton women you NEED to know

Jacque Fisher, deputy of Sensors Division at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base(Photo: courtesy of YWCA Dayton)

Jacque Fisher

Deputy of the Sensors Division at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base 

From her bio: 

Jacque Fisher has dedicated 30 years to supporting the Warfighter and has worked her way from a clerk typist (GS -2) and achieved the senior leadership rank of GS- 15 (Colonel Equivalent). Says her nominators, Jacque’s honesty, forward-looking vision, competency, intelligence, and her ability to inspire everyone who knows her has made her an award-winning USAF leader that gets the job done. 

Fisher initiated a mentoring program in her 250-person organization in which she inspires and provides guidance to more than 25 hand-picked future U.S. Air Force leaders 15 of which are females. Of note, four of the women she has personally mentored and empowered have won USAF-level awards for rising leaders. This program has been recognized at the 4-star General level and is used as the benchmark for many other USAF programs. 

She also leads her organization in addressing attitudes that can disrupt its mission focus and harm the mental wellbeing of those in the unit. She enforces a zero tolerance policy of racism and sexual harassment and continuously hosts workshops and group sessions to prevent a toxic climate to her organization.

Kim Faris, Radio Host of Hot Country B94.5 and Mix 107.7 (I Heart Media/Dayton)(Photo: courtesy of YWCA Dayton)

Kim Faris

 Radio Host of Hot Country B94.5 and Mix 107.7 (I Heart Media/Dayton) 

From her bio:

In addition to being one of the strongest and most recognizable female voices on Dayton-area radio for nearly 40 years, Kim Faris has been a tireless advocate and enthusiastic spokeswoman for numerous issues affecting women's health and safety in our community. She has lent her time and talent to numerous nonprofit organizations in Dayton – with a specific focus on those that affect women and   families. 

Says her nominator, Kim’s voice is the one women in our community hear, urging them to get a mammogram, to pay attention to the risks of heart disease, to plan a healthy pregnancy, and more. Her leadership as a successful woman in the male-dominated world of radio as well as her outreach in promoting women's and family health issues have reached women of all ages, races and economic status in the greater Dayton area. 

Faris is a member of the Dayton Area Broadcasters Hall of Fame and has mentored numerous young professionals, both formally and informally. She was the first female broadcaster from the Dayton area inducted into the Radio/Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame of Ohio.

Mary Ann Bullen, community philanthropist and founder of Home Is The Foundation(Photo: courtesy of YWCA Dayton)

Mary Ann Bullen 

Community philanthropist and founder of Home Is The Foundation 

From her bio:

Dubbed by her nominator as THE woman of influence in Preble County, Mary Bullen’s love for her community is evident – her license plate even reads PREBLCO. ͞Influence is a perfect word to describe Mary, her nominator said. She makes things happen in her community and with people – and she’s very invested in people, of every background, every age, every race.” 

Bullen’s father founded Bullen Ultrasonics, a company she co-led to a national Great Places to Work Award. In addition, she founded Home is the Foundation, a not-for-profit organization formed to meet the critical shortage of affordable housing options in rural Preble County– which became a key partner when YWCA Dayton assumed operations of Preble County’s only domestic violence shelter in 2004. Bullen belongs to the Preble County Rotary Club, past board member and board president of the Preble County Council on Aging board, and board president for THE BISTRO at Eagles Point, a pay-it-forward restaurant concept in Eaton. Most recently, she was a key player in transforming the old Eaton High School building into the Eagles Point development, providing 40 units of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartment homes that include modern amenities you would expect to find in luxury units at affordable rental rates, THE BISTRO, future STAR Theatre and THE GYM at Eagles Point.

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Janice Allen, treasurer/chief financial officer of Trotwood-Madison City School District(Photo: YWCA Dayton)

Janice Allen

Treasurer/chief financial officer of Trotwood-Madison City School District

From her bio:

“Janice Allen was one of the first African-American triplets born in Dayton; was one of only 40 women selected from around the U.S. to participate in the University of Dayton’s re-entry engineering program for women with math and science degrees; was a member of the first graduating class of Chaminade-Julienne High School; and currently represents less than 1 percent of all African-Americans, and less than 25 percent of all women, school treasurers in the State of Ohio. You can say she got her start at YWCA Dayton; her mother, who is from Greenville, Miss., often told her stories of how YWCA helped her family find a place to stay when they migrated from the South in the 1950s.

Allen joined Trotwood-Madison City School District as treasurer/chief financial officer in November 2011; she is responsible for a $40 million budget that provides resources for 3,300 students and more than 350 employees. She began her career as a program analyst for NCR Corporation, and after receiving a National Science Foundation scholarship to study electrical engineering at UD, she took a job with Dayton Power & Light as a microwave engineer, responsible for the company’s telecommunications. Her love of numbers brought her to Dayton Public Schools for two decades, where she held several financial positions, the last being assistant treasurer.”

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RTA offers express shuttle service to Dayton Air Show

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 1:50 AM

The Greater Dayton RTA will provide transport to the Vectren Dayton Air Show this weekend.

Air conditioned buses will run an express shuttle service on a continuous loop from the U.S. Air Force Museum parking lot and Wright Stop Plaza directly to the air show's main gate. 

>>Dayton Air Show forecast

The park-and-ride service will run Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Shuttles will leave from each location approximately every 10 minutes. 

Cost for a round-trip ride is $3, children five and under are free. Cash is the only payment method accepted. 

The regular fare structure applies from the downtown Wright Stop Plaza location. 

For more information, call 937-425-8300 or visit

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Warren County seeks options for fairgrounds project funding

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 12:00 AM

This is an earlier aerial rendering of the Warren County Event Center, when it was to cover 18,000 square feet near the entrance to the county fairgrounds in Lebanon. Although reduced in size to 16,000 feet, the project has been stalled by high costs.
This is an earlier aerial rendering of the Warren County Event Center, when it was to cover 18,000 square feet near the entrance to the county fairgrounds in Lebanon. Although reduced in size to 16,000 feet, the project has been stalled by high costs.

Warren County officials are seeking options for financing a project to build an event center at the county fairgrounds, including possibly partnering with the City of Lebanon or turning to the county’s port authority.

Lebanon Mayor Amy Brewer said the city government was ready to consider collaborating with the county on redevelopment of the fairgrounds, located just north of the city’s downtown center.

“That’s something we as a city can take a look at,” Brewer said last week.

Previously, the city and county had disagreed about how to spend $3 million set aside for redevelopment of the fairgrounds and vicinity after the Lebanon Raceway’s operations moved off the fairgrounds to the Miami Valley Gaming racino.

In 2014, the disagreement prompted state officials to mediate an agreement, which said that the city and county would each get half of the money. A committee of members from the two governments, chaired by the city, would review projects submitted to spend those funds.

RELATED: State changes redevelopment rules in Lebanon, Warren County flap

Last week, Warren County commissioners approved Lebanon to spend the rest of its funds from that agreement on design of a downtown entertainment district.

At the same meeting, commissioners urged staff to encourage the city to help the county make up a deficit on a $3.8 million event center project at the fairgrounds.

“We should be collaborating on the redevelopment of the fairgrounds,” Commissioner Dave Young said at last Tuesday’s commission meeting.

Young pointed out the project should bring earnings taxes, as well as visitors, to Lebanon.

Commissioner Tom Grossmann noted the city used almost $900,000 of its $1.5 million in redevelopment funds on a private project, the $9.3 million LCNB bank building south of the fairgrounds on the edge of downtown Lebanon.

MORE: Construction starts on new LCNB bank

None of the city money went toward projects on the fairgrounds.

RELATED: Bank project receiving over half Lebanon’s share of state funds

“We have a need,” Grossmann said.

Commissioner Shannon Jones was a state senator involved in settling the dispute in 2014. At Tuesday’s meeting, she urged Young not to “re-litigate” the dispute and emphasized that the state left it up to Lebanon how it spent the money, provided it was for something within 1.5 miles of the fairgrounds.

She joined Young and Grossmann in pursuing a partnership with the city.

“I hope Lebanon will come to the table,” she said.

RELATED: Lebanon seeks $400,000 from state for entertainment district

MORE: State gives $500k for Warren County Drug Task Force building

The event center project is over budget in large part because of required improvements to the water system and stormwater management at the fairgrounds.

While not willing to set aside other plans for the redevelopment funds, Deputy Administrator Martin Russell told the commission that Lebanon City Manager Scott Brunka had also indicated willingness to discuss “other opportunities.”

Gene Steiner, president of the Warren County Agricultural Society, said last week that the county and fair board were still considering options such as looking to the city for financial assistance or turning the project over to the port authority.

The agricultural society — known as the fair board — operates the fairgrounds and puts on the annual fair in July.

A port authority intervention could result in the event center being owned by the port authority and leased to the fair board, avoiding sales tax on building materials.

RELATED:Event center, court projects stalled over construction costs, funding shortage

“From what we know, I have no reservations with that whatsoever,” Steiner said. “We’re still investigating the best opportunity for the project.”

Costs in a port authority-run project would also be decreased by avoiding prevailing wage laws required on public projects.

Steiner said a city-county collaboration on the fairgrounds would be “mutually beneficial.” They could cross-promote and share advertising on days both were staging festivities, he said.

“The more there is to do in an area, the more people we can bring in,” Steiner said.

The Lebanon mayor left open the door for discussion, perhaps involving the city providing in-kind services to help cut costs of the fairgrounds makeover.

“There’s always room for discussion,” she said.

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Dayton Air Show parking lots in good shape so far this year

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 10:23 PM

Dayton Air Show parking lots in good shape so far this year

The organizers of the 2018 Vectren Dayton Air Show say with all the rain this week, they do not want a repeat of the mess from years in the past.

All of the mud has caused problems in the past years, causing vehicles to get stuck and having to be pulled out of the muddy parking lot. 

Roger Doctor, the air show’s public safety director, admits he has underestimated the mud before, but this year he’ll actually be sending drivers to test out the ground in the morning before the show. If it’s too muddy, they have a back-up plan where drivers will park on the other side of the airport, which has room for 6,000 vehicles all on pavement.

RELATED: Dayton Air Show forecast

“I’m just sure we’re going to have a much smoother time than we did last year. We’ve got a great plan. It’s a thorough plan. And lots of buses, that’s the big thing. They have to be able to move a lot of people in a very short amount of time,” said Doctor. 

Additionally, electronic signs will reflect any changes to the Dayton Air Show, but so far the lots are in good shape.

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Storms to weaken, taper off tonight

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 3:34 AM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 11:00 PM

Some rain is expected at times this weekend in the Dayton area, which could have an impact on the Vectren Dayton Air Show.


  • Mild for the weekend 
  • Isolated flooding and damaging winds possible
  • Few showers and storms into the evening

>> LISTEN: Cloudy with a Chance of Podcast: A podcast for weather fans 


Tonight: While a few showers may linger overnight, for the most part the rain should taper off. More dry time is expected as temperatures drop into the middle 60s.

>> LIVE Doppler 7 Interactive HD Radar

5 Day Forecast with Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs

>> Moon and Jupiter expected to be close for the weekend

Saturday: Mostly cloudy, mild and still a little muggy with the chance of a few passing showers or isolated storm. A little bit of a breezy afternoon with temperatures in the upper 70s. Some breaks in the clouds Saturday night with temperatures dropping into the lower 60s.

>> WHIO Weather App

Sunday: Partly sunny and warm with the slight chance of a passing shower. Most of the area will remain dry with highs in the lower 80s.

>> County-by-County Weather 

Monday: Mostly sunny and comfortable. Temperatures rise into the lower 80s.

>> 5-Day Forecast

Tuesday: Partly cloudy and warmer. Highs in the middle 80s.

Wednesday: Partly sunny skies with showers and a few storms developing. A warm and muggy day with temperatures climbing into the upper 80s.

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