Project Blueprint Prepares Emerging and Current Diverse, Volunteer Leaders for Policy-making Roles

(Carroll and Stark Counties, OH) February 16, 2021 –United Way of Greater Stark County’s Project Blueprint, a program for increasing ethnic diversity in volunteer leadership, begins April 8, 2021. It is designed to train and place diverse volunteer leaders into policy-making roles to enhance the effectiveness of nonprofit agencies. Limited seats are available, and applications will be accepted until March 18.

“We are excited to train more volunteer leaders to have a voice in the community. Project Blueprint’s goal is designed to give people of color – African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans and other racial minorities – a greater opportunity to serve the community. This program works to ensure that local volunteer leadership is representative of Carroll and Stark Counties, and that passionate, diverse perspectives become a greater voice in our community,” says Flo Ginanni, United Way of Greater Stark County’s Director of Project Blueprint. “We look forward to providing volunteers with the knowledge to serve effectively through skills, experiences, and confidence to essential to these roles.”

This online 9-week course will be conducted on Thursdays and broke into 90-minute training sessions. Training requires continuous learning, and a participant’s willingness to explore the unfamiliar and an openness to new experiences. The program’s activities introduce participants to the roles and responsibilities of a nonprofit board, while developing skills which help them become successful board and committee members.

Training will include session topics such as economics, board roles and responsibilities, parliamentary procedures and Roberts Rules, financial responsibilities, strategic planning, and boardsmanship. Presenters for this session include Renato Camacho, President & CEO, Akron-Canton Airport; Bob Fay, Owner/CEO, Robert F. Fay, CPA, PFS, CGMA; Ray Hexamer, CEO/President, Stark Development Board; Hector McDaniel, President Stark County NAACP; and Betty Smith, Executive Director, EN-RICH-MENT; and Shana Smith, CEO YWCA-Canton.

The program benefits include opportunities to sharpen leadership skills of employees, creates highly motivated and challenged employees who are prepared to go above and beyond their job responsibilities; enhances corporate image in the community and demonstrates community involvement; investment in employee development; opportunity to showcase organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion; and networking opportunities among companies in the community.

On Thursday, February 18, from 4:00 to 4:30 PM, Flo Ginanni, United Way of Greater Stark County’s Director of Project Blueprint will hold an online, informal Q&A session regarding the spring 2021 session. Pre-registration required. You can sign up HERE

In January 2020, the graduating class was representative of many workplaces, including The Timken Company, Williams and Hendrickson. Fourteen individuals graduated that month: Ma Soledad Alvarez, Rahul Chaudhari, Courtney T.K Chester, Lisa M. Cook, Arlene Franco, Rocio N. Hernández Segura, Monica Holt-Parish, Quincy Jones, Michele Patterson-Stokes, Iván Rosa, Clishawn Robinson, Preston W. Robinson, Onwar Shaheer, and Jaylon Amar Smith. Many of their bios can be found online at

The program cost is $200 per attendee and workplaces are encouraged to sponsor an employee. Attendees will be chosen by a committee. The project’s Advisory Committee is comprised of local community leaders and volunteers who have guided this program since its inception. Limited seats are available. Please submit your information at for consideration.

Any questions on this program can be directed to Flo Gianni, Director of Project Blueprint, 330-491-9984, [email protected]

About United Way of Greater Stark County
United Way of Greater Stark County fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. We win by living United. By forging unlikely partnerships. By finding new solutions to old problems. By mobilizing the best resources. And by inspiring individuals to join the fight against their community’s most daunting social crisis. Our mission is to improve the quality of life in our communities by leading in the development of solutions to critical social issues in the areas of health, education and financial stability. In order to live better, we must live United. For more information about United Way of Greater Stark County visit Offices are at 401 Market Avenue North, Suite 300, Canton, Ohio 44702. (330) 491-0445.