2020 Workplace & Individual Award Winners to Be Recognized at Annual Celebration

(Canton, OH) February 26, 2020 – United Way of Greater Stark County will present the following workplace and volunteer awards at the Annual Celebration, March 26 at Kent State University at Stark Conference Center: Leading the Way, Rising Star, Partners in Excellence, Movers & Shakers, Gold Key Service and DeHoff Emerging Philanthropist.

“We are grateful to the workplaces and individuals that make a difference every day in the lives of their neighbors. These awards allow us to recognize community leaders and volunteers for the positive impact they make in our community,” says Maria Heege, President & CEO of United Way of Greater Stark County.

Workplace awards will be presented to local organizations that conducted a United Way fundraising campaign within the workplace. Leading the Way celebrates our top five workplace campaigns and their generosity: Aultman Health Foundation, Fresh Mark, Inc. Marathon Petroleum Company LP – Ohio Refining Division, Timken Company and TimkenSteel Corporation. Rising Star will be presented to Robertson Heating Supply Company, recognizing their exceptional campaign efforts and success. Partners in Excellence celebrates workplaces that hold an employee campaign and those achieving a remarkable 100% associate participation are recognized this year. The eleven workplaces that had 100% participation will receive awards: Alliance Ventures, Beacon Charitable Pharmacy, Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Community Legal Aid Services, Inc., Innis Maggiore, PolyOne Corporation, PPI Graphics, Salvation Army (Massillon), Stark Education Partnership, Inc., Visit Canton and YWCA Alliance. Movers & Shakers honors workplaces with the highest increase in campaign dollars. These campaigns increased by a minimum of 20% and at least $500. This recognition will be given to nine companies: Alliance for Children & Families, CliftonLarsonAllen (Canton), Innis Maggiore, Perry Local School District, Rice’s Landscaping Redefined, Solmet Technologies Inc., Stark State College, The Karcher Group and The Board of Stark County Commissioners. uwstark.org/workplace-awards

DeHoff Emerging Philanthropist Award was established in 2010 by Bob and Linda DeHoff to recognize a Stark County resident age 45 and under who impacts Stark County through direct service and volunteer work. The recipient receives $5,000 to be donated to a health and human service 501(c)(3) organization of choice.

DeHoff Emerging Philanthropist Award will be presented to Alex Nicholis Coon. Alex partners with the Soroptimist International of Canton/Stark County and chairs the Celebration of Women. Recently, she helped connect the Massillon Purse Project with Domestic Violence Project, Inc. and Soroptimist, and assisted with planning and executing the Clothing Swap in conjunction with Soroptimist and Partners Against Trafficking of Humans Stark (PATHS), to shed light on human trafficking in the clothing industry. Her awards/honors include Past Board President, Vice President, and Secretary and Ohio Museums; Cleveland Print Room Board Member; Board Trustee and Secretary of Visit Canton; Board Member of Lighthouse Visions; Soroptimist International: District IV Secretary of Midwestern Region and Past President of Canton/Stark County.

“Alex has always been committed to giving back,” says her nominator, Courtney Johnson-Benson. “She has been an advocate for the arts, education, women, and girls in Stark County for over a decade. Her work with the Massillon Museum in creating accessible education-based events and a sensory room for families has demonstrated her passion for making art accessible for all. Access for all drives Alex to further her reach in our community.”

Gold Key Service Award was established by United Way of Greater Stark County in 1961 to recognize individuals who have continually demonstrated the highest degree of personal dedication and service in a voluntary capacity. Their contribution of time and talent supports UWGSC’s Bold Goals 2020 in the areas of health, education and financial stability. There will be three recipients this year: Jackie DeGarmo, Amy Mast and Mike Patterson.

Jacqueline DeGarmo is the president and founder of Hilliard Jeane, an International Analyst at Intelligent Community Forum, a member of the governing Board of Stark County Educational Service Center, founder of First Promise, and director at both Aultman Health Foundation Board and Aultman Alliance Hospital Board. She is the former Superintendent of Plain Local Schools and a past president of the Rotary Club of Plain Township. She has also been involved in the following: Walsh University Intelligent Community Symposium, Stark County Broadband Task Team, BASA Legislative Committee, Herbert Hoover Foundation, Sarah Care Community Advisory Board. She specializes in community planning and visioning, collaborative leadership, team building, executive coaching. Jackie has advised and addressed the International Conference of the Sichuan Association for Science and Technology in Chengdu, China on the relationship between education and innovation. Past feature presentations include the Intelligent City Forum in Taichung, Taiwan, AIA’s national School Building Expo, the Association of School Business Officials national conference, and many state and national events. She has experience and training with National Summit on School Design, Harvard School of Design, and leading district team in the creation of a Richard Riley Award finalist community campus high school. 

“Jackie is a passionate leader with vision and relentless tenacity,” says her nominator, Sally Efremoff. “Her gift is that she can not only see potential that others are unable to see but can articulate a vision and future that inspires others to see possibilities. She is a magical mix of vision, passion and intellect that not only inspires but also creates change. Jackie inspires people and organizations to become better and can inculcate a vision of excellence, then works tirelessly to make sure the goal is reached without ever seeking credit.”

Amy Mast is highly involved in United Way’s Women United donor network group, chairing the Steering Committee and leading the Advocacy Committee. She also serves on the United Way Community Investment Committee, which oversees three Impact Councils. Amy has been actively involved over the years in several United Way programs which help prepare women and young ladies for higher-paying jobs: Family-Friendly Workplace Awards, Girl UP, Cars to Career, and Get Connected. She has organized educational training and workshops for lobby legislators and community leaders concerning Women United advocacy issues and spearheaded the Women United strategic planning initiative. Amy chaired the Leaders in Giving program in 2016 and has helped fundraise for Women United events: college scholarship fund, Chalkboard Classic and For the Love of Learning, Wine and Art. She and her husband, Michael, have been Leaders in Giving since 2005 and in 2019 became Alex de Tocqueville Society members.    

Amy’s nominator, Dianne Digianantonio, says “Amy is well-organized, enthusiastic and motivational, leads by example and gently persuades others to follow her to make a positive impact on Greater Stark County through the United Way. She is a creative problem-solver with a good sense of humor. Her professional careers as an executive director for nonprofits and developer of training programs for The University of Akron, Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and many local organizations enable Amy to build strong relationships between United Way of Greater Stark County and community organizations. Amy has the personal connections and know-how to make Women United impactful and innovative.”

Mike Patterson is the former editor at The Review and continues to be involved in the news through sharing community happenings and tips. He now volunteers full-time at Alliance Community Pantry and Allaince Kiwanis Club, helping to deliver crucial services in the Alliance area. Mike actively recruits volunteers to help him deliver these services.

“I am incredibly impressed by his willingness to get involved, roll up his sleeves and work to better his community,” says Laura Kessler, his nominator. “Mike is tireless in his efforts. Through Kiwanis, he has tremendous outreach to the Alliance and Marlington schools. He and his wife work with the town’s poorest to ensure they’re well-fed and cared for and help raise funds to feed and clothe the needy in the area. Mike has his hands in many other out-reach organizations, including church fundraisers at Union Avenue United Methodist Church and the annual Turkey Bowl, which raises money for the pantry.”

To purchase a ticket to attend Annual Celebration on Thursday, March 26, please visit uwstark.org/annualcelebration today.

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 lives by mobilizing the caring power of our communities in Greater Stark County. In order to live better, we must live United. For more information about United Way of Greater Stark County visit www.uwstark.org. Offices are at 401 Market Avenue North, Suite 300, Canton, Ohio 44702. (330) 491-0445.