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PRESIDENTS 1988-2014

CAROLYN HAST (1988-1990) OWI President as of June 30, 1988, an excellent administrator, inspired and motivated the Board so that much was accomplished during her two terms that ended July 14, 1990. Mary Egerton Miller was Vice-President during her first term and Joyce Garver Keller during the second term.

The OWI Brochure was updated. A telephone chain was devised for fast communication with Board members. It was decided to keep one copy of all OWI materials, by year, in the OWI files.

OWI’s history (1977-1988) was pulled together by Mary Anne Saucier and she was appointed Historian. She also put all the past board members on cards and it was decided to form an OWI Alumni Group with the proper changes made in the by-laws, dated April 15, 1989. There were fourteen charter members of the alumni group.

There was OWI participation in the Governor’s Interagency Council on Women’s Issues that had been started in June 1987.

OWI assistance was offered to the Women and Children’s Budget Coalition, sponsored by State Senator Linda J. Furney. In 1990, it published its Recommendations for the 1992-1993 State Biennial Budget that was “an effort to ensure the State Budget addresses and provides for the needs of Ohio’s women and children.”

Seven OWI Board members attended the National Women’s Agenda II in Kansas   City, January 6-8, 1989. Our Ohio Women’s Agenda was completed and endorsed by thirty-five women’s organizations. The Ohio Women’s Agenda was updated at regular intervals, widely distributed to state and local government and endorsing organizations that used it throughout the state.

The name of the Presidents’ Council that was sponsored by Ohio Women, Inc. was changed to Leadership Council. This Council met April 15, 1989, to discuss with Senator Linda Furney (Women’s Budget Commission), Diane Poulton (Women’s Information Center), and Marsha Miller (Women’s Division, Ohio Bureau of Employment Services) information about state legislation affecting women. The Council met January 24, 1990, to discuss a possible Ohio Commission on the Status of Women, the issues surrounding “choice”, and “gender balance on state boards and commissions.” And the Council met March 31, 1990 to hear candidates for state office respond to issues in the Ohio Women’s Agenda.

OWI pushed the sales of the Directory of Ohio Boards and Commissions as a continuing effort to achieve gender balance. Some were also distributed free of charge because of their importance in the issue of gender balance on boards and commissions.

OWI co-sponsored the Coalition for Change Conferences on March 11, 1989, and March 3, 1990. This coalition meets once a year and members include OWI, American Association of University Women, Business and Professional Women, DKG, Ohio Education Association Women Committee, Ohio League of Women Voters, Ohio National Organization for Women, Planned Parenthood, WEAL, and the YWCA.

The need for a state of Ohio Commission on the Status of Women surfaced in 1989 as more women recognized the need for “a permanent, statutory, funded and staffed entity assigned to institutionalize attention to women’s issues at the state government level.” The Leadership Council, with OWI, League of Women Voters, YWCA, and 100 Black Women spear heading the effort, helped write H.B. 825 that was introduced March 20, 1990 with much bi-partisan support by forty co-sponsors. The final commission, called The Women’s Policy and Research Commission, was signed into law by Governor Richard Celeste on June 26, 1990.

OWI set about planning how best to help the Commission fulfills its role. All members of the OWI Board were encouraged to submit necessary information for consideration of their appointment to the commission. OWI by-law changes were made to encourage and promote more leadership development within the Board. OWI committees were stream lined and continuity of leadership was established with the Vice-President being considered the President-elect and the immediate past president a voting member of the Executive Committee. Bylaw changes were made July 14, 1990.

JOYCE GARVER KELLER (1990-199?), former OWI Executive Director (1980-1982) and OWI Vice-President (1989-1990), became OWI President July 14, 1990 at the Annual Meeting that was held atInniswoodPark. Her vast knowledge, assurance, humor, and inclusiveness has made her ideally suited for this role, and she continues dynamic leadership with extensive Board involvement. Diane Studer is Vice-President.

OWI called a Leadership Council September 22, 1990 to discuss updating the Ohio Women’s Agenda, appointments to the new Women’s Policy and Research Commission, and the 1990 elections. Appointments to the Commission from OWI were Mariwyn Health (appointed by Governor Celeste) and Nancy Rose and Anne Maroukis (appointed by the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives). Donna Hart, past President of OWI, was appointed to the Commission by the President of the Ohio Senate.

At the Leadership Council on January 9, 1991, there was a report on the appointments to the new Women’s Policy and Research Commission, the second draft of updates to the Ohio Women’s Agenda was presented, and there was a report from the Women’s and Children Budget Coalition, with calls for action in needed areas. There was another Leadership Council on April 20, 1991 during which the African-American Women’s Agenda was presented and the Ohio Coalition of Nurses with Specialty Certification discussed issues that relate directly to advanced practice. There were also reports on the Ohio Women’s Agenda (and its final adoption), the Boards and Commissions Directory, Civil Rights Bills, the state budget, and the Women’s Policy and Research Commission, with corresponding calls to action.

Following the meeting, the updated Ohio Women’s Agenda was distributed to the Governor, the legislature, and all members of the Women’s Policy and Research Commission.

OWI co-sponsored the yearly Coalition for Change meeting, March 9, 1991. Dr. James Brazoli gave a presentation on teen pregnancy, and Kelly Gorey and Nancy Rose were speakers at a workshop on the Women’s Policy and Research Commission.

Plans for the coming year include: (1)For Women’s Equality Day, OWI will furnish an information packet regarding the most pressing issues women face today, as a means of raising awareness and assisting women’s organizations with press conferences for the day. And (2) there will be a concerted effort to update the Directory of Boards and Commissions, with $500 set aside for a student to do the necessary research.

Katie Dedtrick

Diane Studer

Carolyn Casper DuVall

Sally Debolt

Carolyn Casper DuVall

Susan M. Bader

Linda Hengst

Phylis Carlson Riehm (2012-present)

As we review these years, it seems like yesterday and yet a long time ago. So much as happened, so much still to be done, so much is the same, so much depends on us now. OWI is needed today as it was in 1977. We still do not have the Equal Rights Amendment and our reproductive freedom rights are threatened by State Government and federal courts.

Our Founders have done their best and they are still trying. Fortunately, feminists are especially long lived. They urge us on to do ever better. As was said on our Founding Day “ use us well, use us well!”


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