United Way recognizes division chairs

| March 25, 2015

COSHOCTON – As United Way votes to close another successful campaign having reached 99.3 percent of the $380,000 goal, the division chairs should be highlighted. These devoted Coshocton residents spend time passing out packets to their peers in the various divisions and then usually lead their own campaign within their businesses.

This past campaign, these 17 chairs lead the way:

Industrial Division

Winnie Ellis has been an executive secretary at RockTenn for the past 10 years. She has been a division chair for six or seven years and has donated to United Way for her entire adult life. She lives with her husband John and has two wonderful sons. When asked why she contributed through the United Way she said, “United Way makes giving back to your community so real. You would be hard-pressed to find someone in Coshocton who has not been touched by United Way at some time in their life.”

Joe Douglass has worked at Annin for 11.5 years and is a production scheduler. He has contributed to United Way for some 10 years. He and his wife Wendy have lived here for 20 years and have 12 children. “We have been blessed with 12 children. All of them have been touched by the United Way through playing ball, having books sent to them as young children or swimming with the Red Cross. We love to go fishing and camping! We also have a horse, goats and chickens and we are planning to plant a big garden this spring!” said Joe.

Kim McNany has worked for McWane Ductile for 10 years and is the human resource director. She has helped as a division chair for five years now and has been a donor for 25 years. She enjoys running, being a cheer coach at TVHS, community service volunteer and vacationing in the Outer Banks. She lives with her husband Tom and has two grown daughters. Kim said of the United Way, “I truly believe it is our duty to serve others. Helping with the United Way campaign is a great way to help raise money to fund important programs offered by the local agencies who serve so many people within the community. The time and effort spent on helping with the campaign is such a small way to give back to a community who gives so much to all of the people who live and work here. “

Schools Division

Shari Lonsberry has been the chair for the Coshocton City Schools for five years now. She has been teaching with Coshocton city for 13 years and has been contributing to the United Way campaign ever since.   “The most rewarding thing for me is when I see how generous our children are and how excited they get when they know they are helping their own community,” said Shari. She lives with her husband John and they have three children.

Wendy Croy just started as a school division chair but has been contributing to United Way for 15 years. She is no stranger to volunteering spending time on her son’s Cub Scout Committee, serving as President of Ridgewood Recreation; serving different capacities in her church as well as a member of the Central Ohio Spina Bifida. Wendy is a lifelong resident of Coshocton County and said, “I have learned many things about the United Way by being involved with Ridgewood Recreation. I realize all of the organizations that are served by the United Way and the good that the United Way does in our community.”

Janelle Davis has worked for River View schools for 21 years. She has been a long time donor to United Way because she believes in giving back to her community. She has served Union Recreation for many years as her children have grown up through the program. Janell and her husband live in Coshocton County and have two sons.

Public Employees Division

Tiffany Swigert is the safety coordinator for our county as well as the executive director for the Regional Planning Commission. She has been the division chair for the past four years and has been a wonderful cheerleader for United Way. “The community dollars raised help benefit programs that as a family we take advantage of! Our children play city rec ball, have taken swimming lessons through the Red Cross, and we enjoy our community parks and recreation! We want our children to understand the importance of not only utilizing community resources, but giving back to them. Clean- Up Coshocton is a day that as a family we really look forward to. We enjoy making Coshocton a bit more beautiful together!” Tiffany and her husband Gene have two sons, Briar and Camden.

Breanne Smith has worked for the treasurer’s office for four years and is the chief deputy. She and her husband, Brandon, just welcomed their first child born in November. Breanne has contributed to United Way for eight years and does so because, “The programs funded by the United Way are essential to the fiber of our community. They make our community a safe and pleasant place to live. I support the United Way campaign because I want my daughter to be able to utilize the same programs and enjoy the same activities that my husband and I have as residents of this community.”

Jackie Cushman is the tax administrator for the city of Coshocton. Although she has only been a division chair for one year, she has served as the campaign manager at past employers for many years. She has been a donor for 35 years now. Jackie is a life- long resident of Coshocton and has two grown daughters.

Lisa Scott works at Job and Family Services and has been a United Way donor for 13 years now. She has been the coordinator of their United Way day and plans all of their activities that help JFS to be a tremendous supporter of the United Way. She lives with her husband, Joe and they have two children. “Knowing that the money stays in the community and planning agency activities that bring our staff together for a good cause is the motivation I need to be a division chair,” said Lisa.

Agribusiness Division

Emily Adams has been the director of the Ohio State Extension office for three years now. She has served on the United Way board for several years and does so because she said she enjoys working together as a community to support the programs that serve people in need and that help our children learn new skills. Most recently, Emily has been facilitating the community conversations held by United Way. Emily has two children and also enjoys serving at Fresno Bible Church through music and children ministries

Special Gifts Division

Bee Lehner has been retired from the River View school district and served as principal. She has been a United Way donor for 20 plus years and has served as a division chair for five. “It has been an honor to have been raised in a community that cares about its residents the way Coshocton County folks care. Whether giving back or paying forward, the results are “positively” the same!” said Bee.

Judy Maxwell has been in education administration for 45 years. She also has been a loyal contributor for 20 years to United Way. Judy and her husband Larry have four sons, three daughters-in-law, 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Judy’s favorite hobby is reading and also enjoys participating in the Retired Teachers’ Association.

Retiree Division

Catherine Miller retired from teaching after 28 years, but she has not retired from giving to United Way. She has served as a division chair for eight years and has donated to United Way for her entire adult life because she feels that she receives more impact with the number of local agencies receiving support from the United Way. Catherine enjoys reading, playing bridge, sewing and traveling.

Ann Leppla is also a retired teacher having taught in the Coshocton City School system for many years.  Ann has helped with the United Way campaign for several years and has assisted in writing letters that have been sent to the retirees throughout Coshocton.

Professional Division

Doug Speicher just rotated off the United Way board after serving six years. He is a financial advisor with Edward Jones. “Knowing how many thousands of lives that the United Way touches just in Coshocton County, and knowing that I get to be a small part of that process – a part of the United Way team – makes me proud to live in Coshocton and to belong to this wonderful community of generous, hard-working people” said Doug. He lives in Coshocton with his wife Angie and they have two grown daughters.

Retail Division

Katie Hultz has been a United Way supporter for many years. “My children and I were recipients of services from United Way agencies many years ago. It was life changing for us. I vowed that when I got back on my feet I would always do what I could to help the United Way in whatever way I could.” Katie works at WTNS and lives with her husband Craig in Coshocton.

Debbie Chilcote has worked at Auer Ace Hardware for 22 years and has been a division chair for two years now. “I enjoy helping people and the community. Coshocton has lost a lot of manufacturing and retail businesses in the last few years but people in Coshocton always seem to step up to the plate and help when there’s a need,” said Debbie. She lives in Coshocton and has one son.


Jeannie Stokes is the newest of the division chairs and works at WTNS. She has lived here for 16 years with her husband Tim. They have three grown children between them.

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