The 2018 YWCA Women of Influence (top left to bottom): Janice Allen, Mary Ann Bullen, Jacque Fisher, Sharon Rab, Kim Faris, Daria Dillard Stone and Pamela Morris.
Photo: Photo: images courtesy of YWCA Dayton
Photo: Photo: images courtesy of YWCA Dayton

Meet 7 of Dayton’s ‘Most Influential Women’

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. 

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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

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

Pamela Morris, founder and CEO, CareSource
Photo: 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: 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.

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Daria Dillard Stone, parent advocate and educational consultant
Photo: 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. 

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Jacque Fisher, deputy of Sensors Division at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Photo: 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: 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: 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: 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.”