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April/May 2011

Rarely a day goes by that someone does not ask me about the Leadership Institute.  That illustrates that more people are aware how many talented and dedicated Republican women are seeking to learn how to be more involved in a wide range of public service opportunities.  Each time you report in on a new position, a recent promotion or honor, I am proud!  What is as important is that numerous people are reaching out to Betty and me when they are looking for an experienced woman to appoint to a position which shows they have confidence in those who have and are going through the leadership training.

We will be traveling to Washington, DC soon to celebrate graduation with the 2010-11 class of 25!  Think back on your trip to the US Capital and all the good experiences we had together and I hope you will have good memories of touring the Supreme Court, visiting the US Capitol and hearing from many of our elected officials, the fun of graduation night and the wonderful, moving comments each of you made about what the Institute meant to you.  I wish you were all going with us.  The continued interest and support you give the Institute makes it possible for us to provide this opportunity for many more Republican women.  Thank you!

Jo Ann

PS.  Good luck to those of you who are the May primary ballot!

Hello All!

It's hard to believe, but we are approaching the graduation of a new class from the Institute.  Our largest class by far--it has been a delight to see the class members' enthusiasm and the sincere desire to learn.  This, of course, means we need all of YOU to begin recruiting our next class.  THE DATE OF THE CLOSE OF APPLICATIONS FOR THE NEXT CLASS IS JUNE 30 AND WE NEED YOU TO GO OUT AND BRING US QUALITY CANDIDATES TO INTERVIEW AND SELECT FOR THE NEXT CLASS.  

We are preparing for our first Regional Mixer for current class members in southwest Ohio in our continued desire to keep our members socially and politically involved. This event will take place on June 2nd.  If this works, we will be doing these socials around the state.  Finally, please keep a look out for the annual summer picnic invitation.  The summer picnic will be held on July 28th. We hope to see many of you there. 

On another note, I cannot tell you how rewarding it has been to see so many of you try new things politically and professionally.  We have seen many of you secure new positions in state and local government as well as in the private sector.  Keep us posted as to your life changes--and be sure to update your contact information on the Institute website.  We want to brag about you--so let us know so we can put it in our enews.  You are the Institute. You are the role models.  Your successes help others know that YOU CAN REACH FOR THE STARS.  Your updates help pass that message on to others--and also allow them to contact you for advice and help. That's what this Institute is about. Keep up the good work and see you soon!


The 1st Regional Mixer for The Jo Ann Davidson Ohio Leadership Institute will be held on Thursday, June 2nd. This event will take place in the Dayton/Warren area to increase networking among graduates in Southwest Ohio and highlight the Institute for potential applicants. Contact Kimberly Gormley at GormleyK@ohiocan.org for more information.

Please let our board chair, Betty Mongomery, know if you are interested in serving on a committee this year.

If you have an appropriate photo of JADOLI members at an event, please tag Jo Ann Davidson in Facebook. Our webmaster will use some of these photos on our website from time to time.  Plus, it's great to share photos among our members.

We are looking for suggestions on topics for the Continuing Education meeting in November. Please email your ideas to Linda Dotson.

You will be receiving an email in the next week with your login and password information.  Please take a moment to log in to our online directory and update your information. This is a great resource to stay in touch with your fellow members. 

Are you interested in applying to be on a board or commission for the state of Ohio? If so, you can find the application here.

Please email Linda Dotson if you do apply for an appointment.

Barbara Lewis
will be teaching Honors Political Science at The Ohio State University and Campaign Politics this fall.

Elise Spriggs (2001 Class)
Elise Spriggs is the new Director of Government Affairs for the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation.

Angela Phelps-White (2001 Class)
Angela Phelps-White has been appointed as the Assistant Section Chief by Attorney General DeWine.  She is also running for Franklin County Municipal Clerk.

Randi Ostry (2002 Class)
Randi Ostry has been appointed by Attorney General DeWine as the Managing Attorney for the Cleveland regional office.

Lora Miller(2003 Class)
Lora Miller was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Ohio Retirement Study Council.

Anna Headley (2004 Class)
Anna Headley is the Creative Services Manager for LIVE! Technologies, a live event, staging and production company where she leads the Creative Services Department.  You have seen her work at the YWCA’s Women of Achievement luncheon, the Experience Columbus Annual Meeting, The Arnold Sports Festival and the Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year.

Belinda Kenley (2005 Class)
Belinda Kenley recently joined Energy Optimizers, USA as Vice President of Operations.  Energy Optimizers, USA works with K-12 schools and government agencies on implementing energy conservation measures.  She has also taken out petitions to run for her second term on Centerville City Council in November.  Belinda serves on the National League of Cities’ Community & Economic Development Steering Committee.  Finally, she was named as one of the “Top 25 Women to Watch” by Women in Business Networking and was appointed to the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Energy Project.

Trish Sanford-Speiser (2006 Class)
Trish Sanford-Speiser was elected State Finance Officer for the American Association of University Women serving the state organization July 2010 – July 2012.  The American Association of University Women is a national organization promoting equity and education for women since 1881. 

Julie Ehemann (2006 Class)
Julie Ehemann is the first woman Commissioner for Shelby County.

A member of the Institute's Class of 2009, Christina Hagan, was sworn in last month as the youngest member of the Ohio House of Representatives.

Rep. Hagan is no stranger to politics; her father is a former legislator who represented the same district for four terms. Christina has been interested in politics since that time-an interest that led her to serve as an intern for the Stark County Republican Party.  As a senior studying business administration at Malone University, Rep. Hagan plans to complete her college degree as she juggles her new responsibilities.

For more information, see Canton Repository articles about Christina:
Christina Hagan to replace Snitchler in 50th
Ohio House feels like home for Hagan

Melanie Wilt (2007 Class)
Clark County Candidates Successful with Help of 2007 JADOLI Grad 

Candidates for Clark County Commissioner and Clark County Auditor knocked off long-time incumbents in a county that had been dominated by Democrats for the last two decades thanks to consulting and direction by Wilt Public Relations of Springfield, Ohio. Col. Rick Lohnes was sworn in as Clark County Commissioner on Dec. 21, and John Federer was sworn in as Clark County Auditor on Jan. 10, 2011.

“We started with excellent candidates who were willing to work hard, think big and take on opponents who many said could not be beat,” said 2007 JADOLI Class member, Melanie Wilt, who managed strategic communications for both campaigns. “Then, we planned and created materials that spoke to the most important issues for voters, and we targeted the right voters with the right messages.”

Wilt PR has been in business since 2008.  Melanie was recently named one of the recipients of the 2011 Young Professional Achievement Award from The Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. For more information go to www.wiltpr.com or call Melanie at 937-688-3878.

Kathy Lowrey (2007 Class), Serena H. Dresbach (2005 Class), Debbie Johnson (2010 Class) - April 2011

Women’s Flight was arranged to educate employers and businesses as to the benefits for women in the guard, secure advocates for the National Guard members in the community, and expand awareness of the GuardPHENOMENAL DAY --- we went on re-fueling light , toured the Army national Guard operations at Rickenbacker, talked with uniformed personnel, and learned a lot!  Ask Debbie to share her experience at next JAD class.

Sara Walsh (2007 Class)
April 2011

Sara Walsh is the Salesperson of the Year Recipient for the Columbus Board of REALTORS®.The Salesperson of the Year Award recognizes one REALTOR® Broker annually for their exemplary business experience, conduct, civic activity and industry involvement.

Jeanne Porter (2007 Class)
Jeanne Porter, founder and president of Women in Business Networking (WiBN), has been named one of the Miami Valley YWCA’s Women of Influence for 2011.

Chris Schmenk (2007 Class)
Chris Schmenk was appointed as Chief Legal Counsel for the Ohio Department of Development.

Katie Chivington (2008 Class)
In January Katie Chivington was appointed as a member of the River Valley Board of Education—the largest county school in Marion County.
Click to view article in Marion Star.

Helen Hall (2008 Class)
Last October Helen Hall accepted a position as Public Relations Assistant for the Licking Memorial Health Systems.

Traci Saliba (2009 Class)
Traci Saliba was appointed as the Director of Special Counsel and External Vendors in the Ohio Attorney General’s Office of Collections Enforcement Section.

Linda Oda (2010 Class)
March 2011
Local Official Receives Diploma at Recent Conference

The Ohio Township Association awarded 15 Leadership Academy graduates with diplomas at this year’s annual Winter Conference, held in downtown Columbus, Feb. 9-12. Linda Oda, a fiscal officer from Clearcreek Township in Warren County, was one of those graduates.

The Leadership Academy was created in 2003 to provide education to elected officials, township staff, employees and appointed individuals. Through the joint efforts of the Ohio Township Association, OSUExtension: Office of Community Development, and Miami University’s Center for Public Management and Regional Affairs, the program offers courses designed to enhance the leadership and decision making skills of those involved in Ohio township government. In order to complete the Academy, all participants had to submit a registration form, attend the General Workshop, participate in six of 10 elective courses and take part in the National Association of Townsand Townships (NATaT) Annual Conference, held each year in September in Washington, D.C. All requirements must be met within three years of beginning the program.

The Ohio Township Association is a statewide organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of township government in Ohio. The Association was founded on June 28, 1928, and is organized in 87 Ohio counties. The Association has more than 5,200 active members, made up of trustees and fiscal officers from Ohio’s 1,308 townships, and more than 4,000 associate members.

Nicole Beckwith (2010 Class)
Nicole Beckwith has accepted a position in the State Auditor’s Office as the Dayton Regional Liaison.

Desiree Forbes (2010 Class)
Desiree Forbes has accepted the position of Deputy Chief Legal Counsel in the Auditor of State’s Office.

Amy Sabath (2010 Class)
Amy Sabath is the new Finance Director for Attorney General DeWine.

Leah Sellers (2010 Class)
Leah Sellers has rejoined the Columbus office of the Jones Day Law Firm as a business lawyer in the Mergers and Acquisitions area.

Jen Thrasher (2010 Class)
Jen Thrasher is Attorney General DeWine’s Central Ohio Regional Director.

Heather Harlow (2011 Class)
Heather Harlow was awarded the Taft/Schuler Award as Elected Official of the Year from the Hamilton County Republican Party.

Amy Searcy (2011 Class)
Amy Searcy was appointed to the Ohio Board of Voting Machine Examiners.

Kari Hertel (2011 Class)
Kari Hertel was appointed as Assistant Legal Counsel for the Ohio Department of Development.

Brittany Williams (2011 Class)
Brittany Williams has accepted a position with Treasurer Mandel’s Department of Economic Development as Administrator of GrowNOW, a linked deposit program that provides low-cost financing for Ohio’s small business.

Tuesday, May 10 - Thursday, May 12
- Washington DC Trip Thursday, June 2 - Southwest Ohio Regional Mixer (details to follow)

Thursday, July 28 - Summer Picnic (details to follow)

Thursday, September 22 - 2011/2012 First Class (tentative)
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The Jo Ann Davidson Ohio Leadership Institute • 37 West Broad Street, Suite 970, Columbus, Ohio 43215
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