Nominations for INSPIRE Awards celebrating women leaders in Cleveland
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The roll call of INSPIRE Award winners is a distinguished one: publisher of the Cleveland Women’s Journal, CEO of Cardinal Credit Union, Senior Associate Dean of the Medical School at Case Western Reserve, Chief Operating Officer of Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, Executive Director of Senior Transportation Connection…

Now, who else deserves to be on this list?

  You can make nominations through March 31 for the 2018 INSPIRE Awards, which recognize women leaders whose passion and vision have taken their organizations to the next level. We’ve been honoring women with these awards annually since 2011 as part of the “Celebrating Women” event each fall that shares knowledge and tools women need to thrive in their businesses, families and personal growth. INSPIRE Awards celebrate inspiring women who are successfully driving innovation across Cleveland’s economic landscape: legal, medical, financial, academic, technology, housing, social services and more.


They’re women like…

• Jessica Cox, author of “Disarm Your Limits,” could have succumbed to the low expectations that ushered her into this world. In spite of them all she graduated from college, learned to swim, drive a car, surf, scuba dive, fly an airplane and live independently using her feet in ways others who take their hands for granted can only imagine. She holds the title of the first person without arms to get a black belt in ATA Martial Arts and the Guinness World Record for the first pilot to fly with her feet. Yet, her greatest triumph is her unrepentant regard for herself as a whole person, her high degree of self-acceptance that gives her the freedom and power to insist that society accept her as she is.

• Mary Jane Trapp, a leader in legal reform issues and past president of the Ohio State Bar Association, was elected to the Eleventh District Court of Appeals in November 2006. She later received “The Presidential Award” given to individuals, law firms or organizations that have made outstanding contributions to improving access to legal representation through pro bono or volunteer service to low-income Ohioans.

• Janice Taylor Heard, PhD, Dean of Academic Affairs at Cuyahoga Community College, Western Campus, has worked in higher education for 27 years. She states, “I espouse to the belief that higher education’s role is to create a ‘more informed citizenry’ and a better life for those who would otherwise be disenfranchised".

(L to R: Monica Robins-WKYC-emcee, Lee Ann O'Brien-Founder Celebrating Women, Roslyn Quarto-ESOP, Lisa Mencini-CWRU School of Medicine, Janet Lowder-Hickman & Lowder, Betty Kemper-Kemper Company, Barbara Daniel-Cleveland Women's Journal, Christine Blake- Cardinal Credit Union, with Ann Conn -McGregor)

Here’s a full list of past INSPIRE Award winners.

We’ll announce finalists for the 2018 INSPIRE Awards in June, after review by a selection committee of experienced, non-partial business professionals. Then we’ll give out the awards during this year’s “Celebrating Women” event Friday, Sept. 28 in the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center.                                               

The event theme is “Investing in Yourself! Knowing Your Value!” You can register now for the 2018 Celebrating Women conference.

“Celebrating Women” and the INSPIRE Awards were founded by Lee Ann O’Brien, Director of Community Relations at McGregor, a non-profit assisted living and retirement facility with a full continuum of care. The event stems from her vision: “Giving women the tools they need to be successful is one of our strongest commitments.”

Annually, “Celebrating Women” acknowledges some of Cleveland’s most deserving leaders and organizations with the INSPIRE Awards. These women have followed their passion with enthusiasm and courage to do better things and achieve more!

Nomination forms for the 2018 INSPIRE Awards should include a resume, biography and headshot along with detailed descriptions of the nominee’s achievements, community involvement, innovative strategies, extraordinary results and examples of their leadership in action.