Category Archives: Awards

Meet the 167 Most Outstanding Women of Butler County

This year, instead of recognizing five or six(or more) local women for their community impact, the Hamilton YWCA is celebrating all of its past Outstanding Women of Achievement honorees.

All 167 of them.

“With time moving on, some of the ladies have passed away and we wanted to hold a reunion of sorts while we still have many of these wonderful women to treasure,” said event organizer Reva Evans.

The event will be 6 to 9 p.m. October 20 at the YWCA, 244 Dayton Street. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door. Tickets will be available on-line beginning September 14 at  See the invitation at the bottom of this post.

In their honor, we publish all 167 names, beginning with …

Women of the Year

Lunatic Fringe Salon 2014
AGLOW Ministry 2013
Dr. Lee Knisley Sanders 2012
Germaine Vonderhaar 2011
Sherry Armstead 2010
Zellene Miller 2009
Kay Wright 2008
Kathy Carmack 2007
Altrusa Club of Hamilton 2006
Jane Rose Green 2005
Joan Witt 2004
Barbara Toman 2003
Pat Irwin 2002
Ann Antenen 2001
Adeline Zoller 2000
Ercel Eaton 1999
Janet Clemmons 1998

Women of Outstanding Achievement 1986-2014


Muriel Allen Bertsch Sr. 1986
Mary Collette 1986
Patricia Hoard 1986
Irene Moore Lindsey 1986
Mary Ann Willis (Sanders) 1986
Eva D Lande 1987
Jackie Parrish 1987
Joan Witt 1987
Peggy Collins 1987
Avis W Cullen 1987
Mary Law 1988
Thelma West-Schraer 1988
Edna Stieg 1988
Lois S. Friedlander 1988
Cubie Lee Johnson 1988
Anne B. Carr 1989
Marge Stewart 1989
Esther Rudder Benzing 1989
Marilyn Bowling 1989
Evalie Koehler 1989
Katherine Rumph Butler 1990
Jolynn Hurwitz 1990
Betty Lou Nein 1990
Louella Thompson 1990
Estella Beckett 1990
Joyce B. Thall 1991
Shirley Rosmarin 1991
Adeline Zoller 1991
Jill Gaynor 1991
Luella Walker-Engel 1991
Patricia F. Burg 1992
Leslie Herndon Spillane 1992
Eva Kessler 1992
Lynn Oswald 1992
Barbara Condo 1992
Lisa Willbrand 1993
Tina Osso 1993
Virginia Ritan 1993
Mildred Probst 1993
Mildred Whitehead 1993
Jacklyn Flannery 1994
Jane S. Rose Green 1994
Barbara K. Eshbaugh 1994
Katherine J. Pollicita 1994
Rita E. Yokers 1994
Marcia G. Wehr 1995
Honi Cohen 1995
Rita I. Ringel 1995
Marcia R. Koenig 1995
Barbara E. Blair 1995
Kathy D. Carmack 1995
Clare A. Easton 1995
Polly Landers 1995
Antoinette Lipscomb 1995
Ursula Pridemore 1995
Fern A. Frost 1996
Joyce L. Sampsel 1996
Cherly A. Hilvert 1996
Betty J. Huffman 1996
Suzanne H. Summers 1996
Michele M. Gressel 1997
Brenda L. Frazier  1997
Patricia Schaefer 1997
Janet Clemmons 1997
Marva W. Sampson 1997
Lori Rehm 1998
Sr. N. Pascaline Colling 1998
Cordelia R. Millikin 1998
Katie McNeil 1998
Jane W. Myers 1998
Deloris Rome Hudson 1999
Gloria Gardner 1999
Linda Hartford 1999
Cleo Ketay 1999
Marilyn de Soucy 1999
Mary Pat Essman 2000
Zellene Miller 2000
Carole Schul 2000
Mary Lou McCormick 2000
Juanita Blakley 2000
Katherine Becker 2001
Patricia Oney 2001
Pamela Mortensen 2001
Jan Teets 2001
Janet Baker 2001
Janet Miller 2002
Gerry A. Hammond 2002
Maureen Noe 2002
Janie McCauley 2002
Jeannie W. Garretson 2002
Judith Dirksen 2003
Mary Reimer 2003
Patricia Ellis 2003
Frances Sack 2003
Beth Gully 2003
Nancy Wiley 2004
Trudy Marcum 2004
Cynthia Pinchback-Hines 2004
Joan Dee Markle 2004
Elizabeth Leslie Leshner 2004
Katherine Klink 2005
Regina Johnson-Phillips 2005
Cynthia Glaub Brown 2005
Joyce A. Campbell 2005
Gail Della Piana 2005
Celia Crutcher 2006
Heather Lewis 2006
Sarah Kaup 2006
Sally Braun 2006
Tavie Gunneson 2006
Julie M. Joyce-Smith 2007
Auria Bibelhausen 2007
Portia Hudson 2007
Teresa V. Durbin 2007
Sarah K. James 2007
Sally Fiehrer 2008
Karen Miller 2008
Daria Daniels 2008
Ginger Bruggerman 2008
Jacky Banks 2008
Carla Fiehrer 2009
Karen Underwood Kramer 2009
Margestine Smiley 2009
Lauren Marsh 2009
Nancy Belew Follmer 2009
Mae Prentice 2010
Linda Bonham 2010
Rev. Isophene Andrews 2010
Elaine Garver 2010
Donna Kramer 2010
Angela Howard 2011
Kelli Kurtz 2011
Celeste Didlick-Davis 2011
Kimberly Mack 2011
Conzetta Millillo 2011
Tari S. Tharp 2012
Linda Marchetti-Moorman 2012
Homa Yavar 2012
Lynette M. Heard M.Ed. 2012
Dr. Alana L. Van Gundy 2012
Sheree Young, RNC 2012
Angie Brown 2013
Heather Wells 2013
Helen Rogers 2013
Jamie Murphy 2013
Kristy Collins 2013
Phyllis Hitte 2013
Judith Boyko 2013
Doris Bergen 2014
Rachel King 2014
Kimberly McKinney 2014
Denise Taliaferro Baszile 2014
Whitney Womack Smith 2014
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HEY! Hamilton! Shop

City employee named Economic Development star

Development Counsellors International recently honored Liz Hayden, 29, Business Development Specialist for the City of Hamilton, as a winner of its 40 Under 40 awards — the only award of its kind recognizing young talent in the economic development profession.

From the DCI website:

Since starting in 2012, Liz has worked aggressively to attract businesses and improve the image of Hamilton through public relations. She has also played a vital role in building relationships within the City of Hamilton. Because of her ability to collaborate with many different people, she chairs two of the City’s cross-departmental strategic goal teams and is involved in five other strategic goals teams. Her collaboration has significantly increased buy-in for economic development efforts from other departments.

In 2012, Liz developed the City of Hamilton’s Initiative Update brochure, a document that highlights all of the City’s major projects. This brochure won the 2013 Excellence in Economic Development Marketing Award from the Ohio Economic Development Association (OEDA) and won the 2013 Silver International Economic Development Council’s (IEDC) Special Purpose Brochure Award. It has been distributed to more than 9,000 people.

In 2014, Liz developed the Economic Development Department’s first Annual Report, an important marketing piece that combines the entire 2013 year into one story, showing how much Hamilton’s economy is growing. The 2013 Annual Report publication has been distributed to more than 3,500 people and won IEDC’s Gold 2014 Annual Report Award.

Economic development is not just a job for Liz; it’s a passion. Liz’s public relations efforts, dedication to urban core revitalization, and cross-departmental efforts to improve infrastructure and streamline business development aim to revitalize the Rust Belt and have significantly benefited Hamilton’s economy. In October 2014, she was recognized by the Ohio Economic Development Association as Rookie of the Year, an award that recognizes one who has met the challenges of providing economic development early on and who demonstrates the dedication to positively impacting the state’s economic growth.

What’s your passion for places?

Growing up in the city of St. Louis instilled in me a love for walkable urban communities. After living in Cincinnati for a few years, I developed an interest in preserving cities like Cincinnati and St. Louis and a desire to be part of their revitalization. I think Rust Belt cities have so much potential for rebirth and I am thrilled to be involved in these efforts through my position in the city of Hamilton, Ohio.

What have you learned so far in your career?

I have a lot more to learn! However, I have also learned that my inexperience can sometimes be beneficial to our economic development efforts. Without years of experience that can sometimes color the perception of a new project, my perspective can provide an opportunity to think outside the box and take risks. Therefore, I try not to be intimidated and make sure to ask questions, offer my opinion, and volunteer for all kinds of projects.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I love my job and I have more to learn here from the amazing people I work with, so I could definitely see myself as part of the economic development team here in five years. There is currently great energy in Hamilton and I’m so excited to see what we can build here.

AHA Distinguished Achievement Award Goes to Former Educator


Hamilton’s Jim Bischoff, former Superintendent of Ross Schools, has been awarded the American Heart Association’s Distinguished Achievement Award for his outstanding work in advocacy for the organization.

Bischoff is a longtime volunteer with the American Heart Association, has participated in many state and federal lobby days, and regularly calls and meets with his lawmakers in-district on the association’s issues. Bischoff was selected to attend the White House briefing on Cardiovascular Health last February based on his leadership role with Ohio Advocacy and continual support of federal advocacy days.

He is a former American Heart Association affiliate board member and has served on his local board as well. Bischoff is personally a survivor of heart disease, which is what originally brought him to the American Heart Association in 1992. Since then his son-in-law experienced a stroke. Bischoff combines these personal stories with his knowledge of the political process to advance the association’s issues. It is his mission to assist the organization in making a difference in the lives and outcomes of others.

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Dedication set for Five Fathers Memorial

The City of Hamilton and the Lindenwald PROTOCOL Group announce the dedication of the new Griesmer Park “Five Fathers Memorial.”

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Henry S. George

The dedication ceremony will start at 11:00 AM on Saturday, June 20, at Griesmer Park located at the corner of River Road and St. Clair Ave in Lindenwald.

The “Five Fathers Memorial” honors five Lindenwald fathers who built a complete baseball park from an overgrown field so the neighborhood children could have a place to learn and play the game of baseball in the mid 1950’s.

Edward F. Tobergte
Edward F. Tobergte

The families of James J. Gentile, Henry S. George, Nicholas R. Hensler Sr.,  Arthur “Bud” Mahon and Henry S. George and Edward F. Tobergte worked with Frank Downie and PROTOCOL to finance the Memorial as phase one of a three-phase plan for Griesmer Park.

All are welcome. Ball Park hot dogs will be served.

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James Gentile
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Bud Mahon
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Nicholas R. Hensler Sr.


HEY! Hamilton! Shop

Local P.E.O. Chapter Awards Scholarships

Chapter ES of the Philanthropic Educational Organization has awarded the following scholarships:

  • Sarah Dunaway of New Miami High School has won at $2500 STAR scholarship from the International chapter, and $1120 from the State chapter.
  • Shelby Pruitt won $750 from the State chapter.
  • Elfege Avalos is receiving $600 for continuing her nursing school education.
  • Aleshia Sandoval is receiving $750 as she continues her studies as a Junior at Ursaline in Cleveland.

P.E.O. is a philanthrophic organization where women celebrate the advancement of women; educate women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans and the stewardship of their own college, (Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri) and motivate women to achieve their highest aspirations.

Photo: New Miami High School counselor and Chapter ES member Kristen Yancey (center) with scholarship winners Shelby Pruitt and Sarah Dunaway. The recent New Miami graduates will both be attending Miami University.

Students receive scholarships from Hamilton Community Foundation

This year, the Hamilton Community Foundation will award more than $1 million for higher education scholarships.

More than 142 college-bound students graduating from local high schools–including Hamilton, Stephen T. Badin, Ross and New Miami–received their share on May 20 at Hamilton High School,

Keynote speaker for the ceremony was Elizabeth Herzog, Big Blue alum and 2011 Foundation scholarship recipient,

Herzog, who recently graduated from Miami University with a degree in education, will soon begin her career as a third grade teacher,  had some words of advice for high school graduates headed to college.

“College is a time to find yourself; to live and learn without someone planning out your life or telling you exactly what to do,” she said. “Take full advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, step outside your comfort zone. Explore, but always be true to yourself.

“Once again, it’s time for an adjustment. Students, don’t be afraid of what‘s ahead, be excited, the best it yet to come.  This is your time to explore, meet new people, learn new things, be on your own…and find yourself,” she said.

John Guidugli, president/CEO of the Hamilton Community Foundation, said, “Through these scholarships, made possible by our donors, we strive to make college more accessible.”

Guidugli noted that since the Foundation’s start in 1951, approximately 3,000 individual scholarships have been granted.

Other scholarships the Foundation also offers are for to students currently in college and adults returning to pursue higher education. Guidelines and a list of available scholarships are on the Foundation’s website, and are due June 12, 2015.  Many of the Foundation’s scholarships are renewable.

The Hamilton Community Foundation is a public charity committed to improving the quality of life for the greater Hamilton, Ohio community and its residents. Founded in 1951 with one $5,000 fund, the Foundation now manages more than 600 charitable funds. For more information, call the Foundation at (513) 863-1717, or visit

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Fairfield High School graduating senior Gabriel Chester with the donors to the scholarship he received (the Athalene and Buddy Wallin Scholarship) along with Rachel Forsythe of Hamilton High School, another recipient of the Athalene and Buddy Wallin Scholarship. (from L to R: Gabriel Chester, Buddy Wallin, Athalene Wallin and Rachel Forsythe.)
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College bound Hamilton High School seniors Veda Morrision (right) talks with Judy Stitsinger (left). Morrison is this year’s recipient of the Hamilton Community Foundation’s David L. Stitsinger Memorial Merit Scholarship and will pursue a career in education.
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Lauryn Kollstedt will pursue a career in nursing, attending Miami University Hamilton this fall.  Last evening she received Hamilton Community Foundation’s Mr. and Mrs. W. Otis Briggs Scholarship and the John A. Shafer Memorial Nursing Scholarship.  Lauryn Kollstedt (left) talks with Virginia Briggs (right) at the scholarship reception May 20 at Hamilton High School.



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Miami Regionals Veterans Honored

Miami University Regional Campuses

Miami Regionals student veterans were honored for their academic achievements at a special ceremony held Thursday evening, May 14, at the Voice of America Learning Center.

The evening marked the first presentation of the Specialist Matthew Nichols Stephens Veterans Honor challenge coin, presented to Miami Regional student veterans who achieved a 3.5 GPA or higher.

The Honors coins, and Miami Regionals veterans challenge coins, were made possible by a gift from the Wetzel family, and were presented to the veterans by his mother Beverly Wetzel, wife of Miami Hamilton faculty member Richard Wetzel, and his son, Kailin Stephens.

Dean G. Michael Pratt presided over the ceremony, and he was joined by Ohio State Representative Tim Derickson as guest speaker. Derickson presented each with a special commendation for their academic achievements.

Members of the Hamilton High School Navy JROTC served as escorts for the evening, and the colors were presented by members of the Color Guard of West Chester VFW Post 7696.

Born in 1981, Stephens was a combat engineer with the 82nd Airborne Division and served with his unit in Afghanistan. Following his honorable discharge he joined the National Guard to continue his service until his passing in 2013.

The event was coordinated by J.P. Smith, Regional Coordinator of Veteran Services and a retired US Army First Sargeant, and members of the VOALC staff.

To learn more about opportunities and services for veterans at Miami’s regional campuses, contact Smith at

More photos from the event are available online at

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Hamilton economic development efforts receive international and state recognition

The City of Hamilton and The Hamilton Mill recently accepted awards for their economic development efforts from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and from the Ohio Economic Development Association (OEDA).

The City of Hamilton received the Gold Excellence in Economic Development award from IEDC for the 2013 Economic Development Annual Report in the Annual Report category for communities with a population between 25,000 to 200,000. The City utilizes the report as a marketing piece in its business retention and attractionefforts. View the 2013 Economic Development Annual Report here.

The City of Hamilton was runner-up in the Excellence in Economic Development Marketing category from OEDA for the Utilities Marketing Campaign. The Utilities Marketing Campaign is a partnership between the Economic Development Department and Hamilton Utilities. It is an effort to educate the Hamilton community about the City’s publicly-owned utilities and to market Hamilton’s utility advantages regionally and nationally to foster economic development.

Liz Hayden

Additionally, Liz Hayden, Business Development Specialist for the City of Hamilton, received the Rookie of the Year award from OEDA. The Rookie of the Year award recognizes one who has met the challenges of providing economic development early on and who demonstrates the dedication to positively impacting the state’s economic growth.

The Hamilton Mill received the Excellence in Economic Innovation award from OEDA. This award recognizes unique approaches to any aspect of economic development and recognizes a person or organization that has developed innovative practices and programs. The Hamilton Mill also received the Bronze Excellence in Economic Development award from IEDC in the Green/Sustainable Development category for communities with a population between 25,000 to 200,000. These awards recognize the efforts of The Hamilton Mill, the recently rebranded business incubator that specializes in advanced manufacturing, clean technology, and digital technology.

Rahul Bawa

Rahul Bawa, Chairman of The Hamilton Mill Board, was runner-up in the Excellence in Volunteerism from OEDA. This award recognizes exceptional volunteer individuals who have assisted in successful economic development efforts in Ohio.

The IEDC honors were presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, October 21, during the IEDC Annual Conference, which was held in Fort Worth, Texas. The OEDA honors were presented at an awards ceremony on Thursday, October 23, during the OEDA Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio.

“This is the second consecutive year the City has been recognized for its economic development initiatives by these two organizations and serves as validation that Hamilton’s economic development initiatives are heading in the right direction,” Hamilton City Manager Joshua Smith stated.

IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. These awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. The OEDA’s annual excellence awards program recognizes the achievements of individuals and organizations in Ohio in the areas of economic and workforce development.