Announcing our 2022 Women of Influence

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Announcing our 2022 Women of Influence

Categories: Blog, News, Women & Girls Leadership, Women of Influence

YWCA Dayton will honor eight women during its 2022 Women of Influence awards luncheon on March 10, 2022, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Dayton Convention Center. This year marks the 24th anniversary of the award; with an average attendance of 800, it is known as the largest nonprofit luncheon in Dayton. 2022 will be the first time Women of Influence has been held in person since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since 1998, the YWCA Dayton WOI Awards have recognized and honored more than 170 influential women in the Dayton area, visionaries and thought leaders who have made a difference in our community through their dedication to the YWCA mission of empowering women, eliminating racism, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

Honorees in the Women of Influence Class of 2022 are:

  • Karen DeMasi, Vice-President of Community Development – CityWide
  • Renate Frydman, community advocate & educator
  • Jacqueline Gamblin, Founder & CEO – JYG Innovations
  • Mary McDonald, Mayor – City of Trotwood
  • Gina McFarlane-El, CEO – Five Rivers Health Centers
  • Christine Olinsky, OSU Extension Educator – Family and Consumer Sciences (retired)
  • Karen Dempsey Volke, communications & fundraising executive (retired)

Additionally, Rev. Vanessa Oliver Ward will be honored with the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award. Ward retired as co-pastor of Omega Baptist Church and founder/past chair of the Board of the Omega School of Excellence, and currently serves as president of the Omega Community Development Corporation. She was first honored as a Women of Influence honoree in 2006.

Honorees were selected from a pool of more than 60 nominations by YWCA leadership and the volunteer WOI Committee, led this year by Chair Diane Pleiman, president, Premier Health Physician Network, and Co-Chairs Lori and Chris Kershner. Lori is owner of LMK Advocacy and Chris is president and CEO of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Says Shannon Isom, president and CEO of YWCA Dayton:

“We stand in awe of these women. They are thought leaders, innovators, literal care givers. They make our community stronger by sharing those gifts to break down barriers and help the most vulnerable among us thrive. That is the mission work YWCA Dayton has done for 151 years, and we are honored to lift up these women in pursuit of that vision.

The Women of Influence luncheon serves as YWCA Dayton’s largest fundraiser. Sponsorship opportunities, program advertising, and table and ticket purchase information are available at See a list of past Honorees HERE.

You can follow the conversation on social media using hashtag #DaytonWOI.