December 2013

As the holiday season begins, the Leadership Institute has much for which to be thankful and much to celebrate.  We welcomed 24 talented and focused women to our 2013-14 Institute class.  They now have completed their first three meetings and survived the dreaded “you mean I have to give a speech” day with flying colors.  We had a very successful annual fundraising luncheon last month.  Dr. E. Gordon Gee, President Emeritus of OSU, was our guest speaker and we had the largest number of attendees with over 50 Institute members able to attend and an additional 225 Institute supporters and guests.  We are thankful for the continued financial support we receive from our supporters to help us continue the work of the Institute.  In addition, the annual Continuing Education meeting and dinner on November 21 had great attendance and the evaluations of the program were the best ever.  Thanks to all of you who were able to participate and to Bridget McAuliffe and Michael-lynn Evans for all of their hard work in planning the event.
I continue to be thankful for all of the amazing women who have been part of the Institute since our beginning in 2000.  You are accomplishing so much and are really dedicated to our mission of increasing the number of women who are serving in elective office, appointed office and service to their communities.  I sincerely hope you have wonderful holidays!

Jo Ann

A Belated Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!
It's been a busy time here at the Institute. We have just finished our annual Continuing Education event November 21.  We had an insightful presentation on the national political climate from Ed Goeas, a nationally known pollster for The Tarrance Group (and pollster to Governor Kasich), an engaging panel of sparkling political commentary from four political columnists/commentators.  We then were able to use our members to act as focus groups for our pollster, followed by an inspiring speech on leadership by one of our own:  former Congresswoman Deb Pryce.  Our evaluations told us that the presentations were a singular success.....particularly the rousing call to leadership by Congresswoman Pryce.  We followed this with a reception and dinner as our new class prepared for the dreaded "speech day" with Mark Weaver.  In short, we had a great time!  Thanks to all who could participate and for the others – we missed you!
In this time of thanksgiving, let me say to all of you that you have made my life richer for knowing you and being able to be part of your lives.  God bless.


Each newsletter we will hear from a Committee Chair.  This newsletter the column is from Bridget McAuliffe, Chair of the Members Committee:

As the Holidays approach, hopefully we will take the time to reflect over the past year and look ahead with hope to 2014. As I reflect over the past year, my experience with the Institute program was definitely a highlight. As Class Representative for the 2013 class and member of the board of the Institute, I have enjoyed working closely with the Board and the class of 2014. It has been an honor. At the class picnic in September, as we sat outside that evening, the temperature dropped. As usual, I was cold. Betty generously gave me a blanket and wrapped it around my shoulders. In that moment, I realized it was a metaphor for my experience with the entire program. It's been a source of comfort and support. I am eternally grateful.

As the Class Representative on the board, I have been able to work with former class representatives this year in helping to organize the Continuing Education program as well as to help update our class directory. As we look ahead to the new year, I will be working with my class members and my Committee to schedule more gatherings to give us a chance to get together and lend our support to one another. I hope your Holidays are filled with love and happiness, and I look forward to our time together in the coming year.



Need a new Institute nametag?  Contact Jill Gosnell at Ryder Engraving ( or 740-927-7193).

Cost is $10.00 for name tag and $2.50 for shipping.  Credit card payment is required at the time of order.


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Wednesday, December 11 - Jo Ann Davidson’s Portrait Unveiling, Statehouse Atrium, 5:30 pm (Public is welcome)

Wednesday, December 18
- Institute Board Meeting, Ohio Republican Party, 10 am

Friday,  January 24 - Institute Class, Ohio Chamber of Commerce
Friday, February 21 - Institute Class, Fifth Third Bank
Friday, March 21 - Institute Class, Barnes and Thornburg LLP
Friday, April 25 - Institute Class, State Auto Insurance Companies
Tuesday, May 13 to Thursday, May 15 - Institute Class, Washington, D.C


Linda Burke (Class of 2012), Lyn Bliss (Class of 2012)
Missy Mae Walters (Class of 2013)

Ohio Federation of Republican Women held their 2013 Fall Conference and elected the following Institute Members as officers for 2014 & 2015 - First Vice-President Linda Burke, President Lyn Bliss,  and Southwest Vice-President Missy Mae Walters.


Cara Dingus Brook (Class of 2004)
Cara Dingus Brook received the first-ever Emerging Ohio Philanthropist Award at the Philanthropy Ohio annual conference in Columbus.
view article

Ann Aquillo (Class of 2011)
Ann Aquillo was appointed to the Ohio State Dental Board by
Governor Kasich in September. She will serve a four year term as the member representing the general public.

Debborah Wallace (Class of 2006)
Debborah Wallace was elected Vice Mayor of Beavercreek, Ohio from January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2017.

Lacey Meeks (Class of 2011)
Lacey Meeks is now the Director of Political Education for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.
view article

Debbie Johnson (Class of 2011)
Debbie Johnson has been re-elected to another term on the Upper Arlington City Council.

Cheryl Grossman (Class of 2001)
Cheryl Grossman received the Legislator of the Year Award from the Ohio Governor's Council on People with Disabilities.
view article

Andrea Weaver (Class of 2014)
Andrea Weaver received the Distinguished Auditor award from the County Auditors' Association of Ohio for her  commitment to continuing education. Since taking office Andrea has earned well over the 100 required CEU hours, as well as earning an international designation, the AAS (Assessment Administration Specialist), issued by the IAAO, International Association of Assessing Officers, which is the primary organization for educational excellence in property assessment.  There are less than 250 people in the world that hold the AAS.

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