In Youngstown: 201 E Commerce St., Suite 150 - Youngstown, OH 44503 • P: 330.743.5555 • F: 330.743.1802
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The Fund for Women and Girls

Guiding Circle

Several Guiding Circle members gathered for a photo with the 2018 Microfunding Event finalists

Jana Coffin is Co-President of the non-profit Project MKC, whose innovative programs—a diaper bank, a summer food program, the Best Foot Forward Boot distribution, Comfort Kits for children in foster care and Hope Totes for children diagnosed with cancer—help children at all stages of life.  She’s also currently First Vice President of the Boardman Lions Club.

Michelle Edison is a public health professional and exercise physiologist, Michelle is program manager for the Pathways Community HUB at the Mahoning County District Board of Health. She earned an MPH degree from YSU, later serving as adjunct professor in its Human Performance and Exercise Science Department.  Michelle’s 20 years of work in health and wellness includes bringing signature, evidence-based, chronic disease prevention programming to YWCA of Youngstown’s first Wellness Program.

Stephanie Gilchrist is the Executive Director of Inspiring Minds of Youngstown, a non-profit outreach organization that works with under-represented youth in our community.  She previously worked at the Youngstown Business Incubator as Project Coordinator for the $5.7 million Tech Block Building 5 project, and then as Director of the Women in Entrepreneurship Program.  During the past 20 years she has also, along with her husband, operated Ryan’s Chair Barber and Beauty Salon. Stephanie is Award Recipient of the Youngstown Business and Professional Women’s Club 2018 Business Woman of the Year.

Sarah Lowry served for nearly six years as US Senator Sherrod Brown’s representative in northeast Ohio. In early 2018, she became the Director of the Healthy Community Partnership at the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley. Sarah is active at her church, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown, and has volunteered over the years with several women’s organizations: the YWCA, the League of Women Voters, Planned Parenthood, and the Salon.

Pat Murphy has over 25 years of experience as a certified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and now works as a vocational rehabilitation consultant.  She also serves an independent expert for Social Security Disability hearings and as an advisor to KSU’s Rehab Counseling Program.  Pat is currently a Board officer for Compass Family & Community Services.

Barbara Orton began her career in Youngstown as Field Rep for the Fair Employment Practice Commission.  After working in Washington DC at Howard University and the Smithsonian Institution, she returned to Youngstown as YSU’s Director of Affirmative Action and Disability Specialist.  Barbara currently serves on the Inter Faith Home Maintenance Board and is a part-time mediator at Mahoning Valley Dispute Resolution Services.

Sharon Stringer earned her Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology.  She teaches courses in Lifespan Development, Child Development, Adolescent Psychology, and Careers in Psychology at YSU.  Her current research focuses on resiliency and its impact on identity development while coping with life stressors such as poverty or stigma.  She serves on the boards of Help Network for Northeast Ohio and the Bummer Fund.

Kathleen Vrable-Bryan is the District Administrator for the Mahoning Soil and Water Conservation District, whose mission is education and assistance to promote stewardship of natural resources for all generations.  Kathi’s career as a chemical engineer has also involved work in both the water quality and air pollution control divisions of Ohio EPA, presentations at environmental symposiums such as Pittsburgh’s River Watch, and a seat on the State Envirothon Board. Locally she volunteers with Jubilee Gardens, Grow Youngstown and the St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen.

Samie Winick retired from the Youngstown City School District in 2010 after a 30-year career teaching students identified as Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and those with multiple disabilities. She is active on the boards of Easter Seals, Compass Family & Community Services, the Jewish Community Relations Council, Hillel at KSU, and Congregation Rodef Sholom. She helps organize the annual Plant the Seed to Read Children’s Book Festival, a community-sponsored event at Fellows Riverside Gardens that draws hundreds of young children and their families.

Janet Yaniglos retired from the former Forum Health, having been part of its executive management team for nearly 20 years.  Her community involvement includes work as a founding member of the Southside Community Development Corporation, which created Oakhill Renaissance Place from the closed Southside Medical Center; volunteering for many years as a Hospice Patient Visitor; and serving nine years on the Friends of Fellows Riverside Gardens Board, three as President.