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Please Join Us for This Event!

Join us for the Women of Distinction Awards progam as we honor local women who are paving the way for girls. Network with other women, meet local Girl Scouts, and celebrate this year's honorees.

October 25, 2018
Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion

Questions? Want to sponsor? Contact Kelly Trame at 567.225.3541.

Call for Nominations

Nominate a special woman in your community to receive this prestigious award. The nomination deadline for the 2018 Women of Distiction is July 9, 2018.

Congratulations to the 2018 Women of Distinction Award Recipients!

This year's honorees are women who have made significant contributions in one or more key focus areas for success:

Diana Patton | Motivational Speaker & Author
Healthy Living

Diana Patton is a Speaker, Social Justice and Integrative Health Advocacy Coach, Author and Attorney. She conducts life coaching for individuals who are in the "helping profession", which includes school counselors and social workers, on how to go into life’s fire and not get burned (out). She speaks to and works with high schools, colleges and other "helping organizations," encouraging them to implement her newly developed RISE program. She also speaks to organizations on leadership, emotional intelligence, and diversity and inclusion topics. In December 2015, she completed her full-time work as the VP/COO/General Counsel for the Toledo Fair Housing Center. Prior to assuming her role at the Toledo Fair Housing Center, she worked on staff at CedarCreek Church and directed various ministry teams. Before her roles at CedarCreek, she was an inspirational speaker, certified health coach and co-business owner of health-based company, FITatudes, LLC. She was trained and certified as a health coach at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) in Manhattan, New York. Prior to becoming a health coach and speaker, Diana held a number of law firm and high-level corporate positions, including global director-level positions at Fortune 500 companies (including Dana Corporation and Owens Corning). She has worked in the areas of contract procurement, purchasing and negotiation, litigation assistance, supplier diversity, corporate training and strategic planning. She earned her bachelor and law degree at the University of Toledo. Diana serves on the University of Toledo College of Health and Human Services Board, to improve the human condition through meaningful community engagement, and also serves on the University of Toledo Paralegal Advisory Board. After completing a board position at the now closed Polly Fox Academy, a school for pregnant and parenting teens, she has begun working to develop an effective nationwide strategy for teen moms to complete their high school education, thrive, and be successful in life.

Barbara Petee | ProMedica

Barbara Petee is the Chief Advocacy and Government Relations Officer for ProMedica, a non-profit health system based in Toledo, Ohio serving northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan, and also serves as Executive Director of The Root Cause Coalition. With ProMedica’s specific interest and emphasis on community advocacy and economic development, Mrs. Petee is responsible for connecting organizations and agencies in collaborative work so that the mission of ProMedica – to ensure health and well-being for all–is achieved. With the system’s commitment to address the social determinants of health, Mrs. Petee’s work is currently focused on ensuring access to the most basic human needs for all individuals. ProMedica’s work in the social determinants of health has been used as a model within the industry and hailed among other NGOs as groundbreaking for health systems. In October of 2015, ProMedica and the AARP Foundation partnered to form The Root Cause Coalition, a national coalition focused on more broadly engaging the health care industry to work on the social determinants through advocacy, education and research. The Coalition now has nearly 60 members from across the nation. In her government relations role, Barbara works with lawmakers at the local, state and federal level, to ensure that ProMedica is consistently involved in helping to shape and provide input on key policy and legislative issues that affect the health system and the communities it serves. Mrs. Petee has held numerous roles in her 32-year tenure with ProMedica, including Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer. She serves on many local, regional and national boards and committees, including serving as a board member of the Alliance to End Hunger, an affiliate of Bread for the World, based in Washington D.C. as well as WGTE Public Media, a PBS affiliate serving northwest Ohio and the ComArtsSci Alumni Board of Michigan State University. A 1984 graduate of Michigan State University, Mrs. Petee has been married to her husband, Tim, for 28 years and they have two grown children, Madeline and Andrew.

Rhonda Sewell | Toledo Lucas County Public Library
Community Responsibility

Rhonda B. Sewell is Manager, External and Governmental Affair at the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, where she initially served as the system’s Media Relations Coordinator and then as Governmental Affairs and Media Strategist. She joined the Toledo Library system after a noted 18-year career as a journalist at The Blade, the daily newspaper in Toledo, OH. Before joining The Blade, Rhonda worked for one year as a general assignment reporter at The Lansing State Journal, in Lansing, MI, while completing her senior year at Michigan State University (MSU). Rhonda received her B.A. in Journalism from Michigan State University in 1989. She was hired at age 21 at the Toledo daily newspaper after attending the City University of London (via Michigan State University’s Overseas Study Program) in 1988 where she completed graduate coursework in international journalism. Shortly after joining The Blade, Rhonda was requested to represent the company as an international correspondent and was sent to England, Italy, France, Belgium, Switzerland, and The Netherlands. Rhonda’s newspaper career was primarily in the Features department, where she served for a decade as The Blade’s Fashion Writer and frequently traveled to New York to cover major fashion events, awards ceremonies, and conduct designer interviews with the likes of Donna Karan, Kenneth Cole, Yves Saint Laurent, Anna Wintour, and Marc Jacobs. Rhonda also worked as the American Fashion Correspondent for CLEO Magazine, a former publication based in Cairo, Egypt. During her Blade career, Rhonda interviewed countless prominent figures such as author Maya Angelou, singer Usher, the late Dana Reeve, Yves Saint Laurent, and many others. In the 1990s, she also served as a part-time instructor at Bowling Green State University (BGSU), where she taught a self-designed course titled, “Ethnic Groups and Mass Media.” During her Blade career, Rhonda also served as a talk show host on Toledo’s PBS station, WGTE PBS Channel 30, where she now volunteers as a program moderator to help introduce important segments and documentaries. Rhonda frequently served as a cohost on “The Editors,” The Blade’s former political and community TV talk show, and as an emcee for many Blade events.

Renee Smith | Fostoria Economic Development Corporation
Financial Empowerment

Renee Smith has served as the President of the Fostoria Economic Development Corporation since August of 2014. She previously served as the Grants Administrator for the City of Fostoria and the Fostoria Economic Development Corporation. Renee has an extensive background in grants writing and the nonprofit sector. Her current role, as President of Fostoria Economic Development, has given Renee the opportunity to work with a variety of companies as well as local, state, and federal administrations. She is a fierce advocate for existing business and constantly striving to create additional economic development opportunities for the City of Fostoria and its citizens. Renee truly believes that through hard work and sheer determination, anything can be accomplished. In addition to her work at the Fostoria Economic Development Corporation, Renee also serves as Chairman of the Community Improvement Corporation of Fostoria, Ohio. She is actively involved on a variety of boards and committees within the Northwest Ohio region. Renee has a Bachelor’s Degree in American History and Political Science from the University of Findlay. She currently lives in Findlay, Ohio.

Adrienne Taylor | SSOE

Adrienne Taylor, PE is the Chemical Process Department Manager for SSOE Group, a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management firm headquartered in downtown Toledo. She serves as the primary point of contact for project planning, while monitoring progress and quality of team's deliverables. Frequently serving as a project manager and occasionally still doing chemical engineering tasks, Adrienne appreciates opportunities to work with experienced project teams and clients on industrial process projects. Adrienne holds a Bachelor in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton. In 2010, she successfully completed the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam and became a Licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Ohio. In 2012, Adrienne was named “Young Engineer of the Year” by Toledo Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE). In 2013, Adrienne was named “Young Engineer of the Year” by the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE). Adrienne is active as the publicity chair on the TSPE Engineers Week committee. This is her second year with the position, previously serving on the Engineer for a Day committee, E-week vice-chair as well as E-week overall Chair in 2014. Adrienne has volunteered for multiple organizations hosting events to bring engineering to school aged children, particularly girls in the Toledo area. She led workshops and was the keynote speaker at the Women in Science Day of Meeting (WISDOM) at the University of Toledo (UT), has served on industry panels and led activity tables at Imagination Station’s Girl Power Event and UT’s Introduce a Girl to Engineering event last winter.


Other Ways to Get Involved with the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio

Help girls find their spark and develop leadership skills by becoming a volunteer. Whether you give a few hours a month or a week, the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio make it flexible and fun.