8 ‘influential’ Dayton women you really ought to know 

Dayton is filled with dazzling dames and you don’t have to dig deep to find them. 

YWCA Dayton is gearing up to honor eight such remarkable women during its annual Women of Influence lunch set for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 9 at the Dayton Convention Center,  22 E. Fifth St. in downtown Dayton.

Individual registration is $150 per person. 

Click the link for more information. 

Here is a look at the 2017 class, with excerpts from their profiles on the Women of Influence page:

CARMEN GOODEN, co-founder and executive director, Linda Vista Inc.

Carmen Gooden

“A survivor of abuse, she is passionate about helping women and their children who’ve shared similar experiences. Gooden is a strong advocate for providing time and resources for women to heal and linking them with critical supportive services.”

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JUDY COOK, former mayor, City of Oakwood

Judy Cook

Judy Cook is described by her nominator as a "trailblazer for women in government."

"She has held leadership and board positions with groups that tackle community development, human services, mental health, domestic violence, women’s and children’s health and more, helping them secure new funding sources and expanding their services for people in need."

 SANDY GUDORF, President, Downtown Dayton Partnership

Sandy Gudorf

“As president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership, she has helped raise millions of dollars for new initiatives – many of which have become the foundation for the renaissance of our center city, including RiverScape, Fifth Third Field, Link Dayton Ohio Bike Share, the Dayton Holiday Festival, The Square is Where, and the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan, among others.”

>> MORE: Downtown ‘renaissance’ helping drive answer to ‘Why Dayton?’

AMANDA WRIGHT LANE, International Aviation Advocate

Amanda Wright LaneInternational Aviation Advocate

As a spokesperson for the accomplishments of her Uncles Will and Orv, she travels worldwide upholding Dayton’s role in the invention of the aeroplane, promoting her hometown's rightful position as the birthplace of aviation. 

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Michelle Riley

“She grew up in East Dayton and she understands the dynamics that lead many into poverty, including the struggle to find stable work and the toll of mental health issues," says Riley’s nominator. "Michelle truly knows the struggle that poverty-stricken families face, and that has inspired her lifelong passion to help those in need."

>> MORE:  Daytonian of the Week: Michelle Riley

STACY THOMPSON SPEARE-HARDY, vice president & regional manager for Corporate Responsibility Banking, KeyBank

Stacy Thompson Speare-Hardy

“Perhaps Stacy’s best work on the (Dayton Board of Education), though, was her quiet support of the many students who came to her for guidance, networking and/or financial aid. She leveraged her network to help students get into collegiate programs, start saving for higher education or pay for extracurricular activities. She only asked one thing in return: For these students to promise that, when they had the resources, they would help someone else in need," says her nominator. "She is an unsung ‘she-ro’ in the Dayton community.’”

MAJ. WENDY STIVER, Dayton Police Department

Maj. Wendy Stiver

“A passionate advocate for her fallen comrades, she has ridden five times in the Police Unity Tour, a 230-mile bike ride from Richmond, Virginia, to Washington, D.C., and in 2014 participated in the Tour de Force, a 265-mile ride from the Boston Marathon finish line to Ground Zero in New York City, raising funds for families of fallen officers and to honor victims of 9/11.”

>> MORE: Daytonian of the Week: Wendy Stiver


Jeraldyne Blunden (1940-1999), founder, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company

Jeraldyne Blunden

“Blunden encouraged dancers who didn’t see themselves represented in the professional dance field to persevere. She mentored young women entrepreneurs and pushed them to move beyond their comfort zones. She gave a voice to young choreographers, resulting in DCDC’s acquisition of the world’s largest collection of classic African-American dance works.”

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