Sharon D. Howard is always ready to whip out a pom-pom and cheer for the city of Dayton and its people.
This should be no surprise. The former University of Dayton cheerleader has been involved in the community for years.
She could even break out some of those cheerleading moves if need be.
“I have always been active in the community,” Sharon, now site manager of public and community relations at Premier Health’s Miami Valley Hospital, told Dayton.com. “I don’t get energy being stuffed up inside, but I do get energy getting involved in community and neighborhoods.”
The Roosevelt High School graduate and longtime executive director of community and public relations at WDTN-TV is credited with shining light on local artists during her time with the Ohio Arts Council.
She’s an active member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and The Big Hoopla Local Organizing Committee.
The nonprofit organizes all activities for the Dayton region related to the NCAA First Four and the Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The proud Flyer said the Big Hoopla works to make sure students, parents and spectators have a good experience while in Dayton.
“We always tell people that Dayton is the epicenter of college basketball,” she said. “The whole country is watching us.”
Sharon says that includes “tricking” out host hotels for team arrivals with everything from snacks for players to bagpipers.
“They will get a Dayton welcome like you wouldn’t believe,” she said.
The First Four is a big hoopla.
The tournament has had more than a $66 million impact on the Dayton region and Ohio since 2001, according to the Big Hoopla’s website.
“We want them (visitors) to go back and tell people “boy, did we have a great time in Dayton,” Sharon said.
Read what Sharon, our latest Daytonian of the Week, has to say about life in the Miami Valley.
(Photo Source: Sharon Howard)
What do you do?
I have the awesome opportunity to lead public and community relations at Premier Health’s Miami Valley Hospital, the region’s only Level 1 hospital and recently named by Healthgrades as one of “America’s Best 100 Hospitals.”
What superpower would you love to have?
The ability to wipe poverty off the face of the earth.
What do you love about life in Dayton?
Dayton offers something for everyone. Great arts and culture, a group of high-level thought leaders, people who want to help others, government leaders who put others ahead of themselves and a rich history of innovation. What’s not to love?
Photo Source: Sharon Howard
It is Women’s History Month. Who are the women who have inspired you professionally?
In my media/PR life, icons and history makers like Alyce Lucas and Retha Phillips, who stood up for all of us. But also women like Maureen Patterson, who continues to inspire me today with her kind spirit and ability to bring people together; Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, who is fearless; devoted friends Pat Meadows, Beverly Jenkins, Commissioners Debbie Lieberman and Judy Dodge just because they support me no matter what….LOVE THEM!
How hard or easy is it for women to navigate the business world in Dayton?
Of course it’s not easy, but so what? The women I know stand up and show out. They face obstacles like they do life. If a hurdle is in front of them, they LEAP.
What would you change about Dayton?
I would love to live long enough to see a community not separated and divided by a river.
What should people know about Dayton?
That we not only taught the world to fly, we also shared the likes of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar with the world; that we have world-class artists and arts organizations and we are the epicenter of college basketball in America.
What’s your favorite guilty pleasure in Dayton?
The 2nd Street Market and Esther Price chocolates.
What’s one word you think people would use to describe you?
What do you think Dayton will look like in 10-15 years?
I hope I’m around to see downtown and the waterfront district truly come to life in a HUGE way, and I hope I’m living right in the middle of the action.
Photo Source: Sharon Howard