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As United Way of Trumbull County celebrates 100 years of making an impact in our community, we are celebrating 100 local heroes who have stepped up and made a difference in the lives of our neighbors, friends, and families. If you choose, you may remain anonymous to the public and your nominee. A group of community volunteers will also be selecting individuals who LIVE UNITED in Trumbull County.

Every month beginning in March we will release hero highlights and share how they've made 

an impact in our community.  Nominees will be recognized on social media, in the Tribune, and in our Annual Report. Check back for new releases!


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Dodie Baritell

Dodie has dedicated her life to volunteer work, community programs and youth outreach. She worked at Delphi for 35 years during which time she was active with the Warren Junior Women's league, Goodwill, League of Women"s voters and currently on the board at Someplace Safe. Dodie is a staple in the community and an inspiration to those who meet her.


Here is a brief list of the projects Dotie been active in:  Scarves of Love, Goodwill Amblyopia screening, Trumbull County Childrens Services,  Operation Bundles of Love.


Fundraising includes: Bazetta/Cortland Optimist Club, WJWL Champaign lunch, Hannah's House of Warren, Warren Heritage Center Gala, Kinsman House Gala and Sip and Shop benefiting Downs Syndrome. Besides having an active life she remains active throughout the community.

Deryck Toles

Deryck founded the organization Inspiring Minds and is transformational for countless underserved youth in Warren, Youngstown, Philadelphia, New York CIty, and Raleigh-Durham. This organization gives kids hope, direction, a sense of belonging, and a strong foundation of skills for success. He is doing the real, hard work of building a better, more just and inclusive society where everyone can thrive. 

Linsey Gray

An Amazing Human Resource Manager, an amazing person as well as an amazing friend.

Fran Cunningham

Fran started Warren Junior Women's League in 1966. This non profit has volunteered over 875,000 vonunteer hours and over $1 million in donations. By far one of the most kindest persons you will ever know. Gives without expecting anything back. Never has a mean thought to say about anyone. 

Michael Engram

He runs Game Changers. Game Changers is a leadership organization dedicated to the development of character skills in high school student-athletes. Working to recognize and celebrate their commitment to academics and volunteerism with the end goal of them becoming mentors and help change the game of life!

John Grabowski

Superintendent of Champion Local Schools. Volunteers for SCOPE and Volunteer of the Year in 2020. National recognitions of excellence in education. Completed 'Portrait of a Champion' values a graduate or alumnus should accomplish based on skills and education received during their time at Champion Schools.

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Chase Ferguson

My hero is my son, he is a year old. He came into my life unexpectedly and has been a blessing since. Everything I do now is with a different thought process and everything I do and will continue to do is for Chase. He has changed me for the better and I couldn’t see life without him.

Lori Faust

Community Engagement Manager for the Warren-Trumbull County Public Library System. Knowledgeable on children's and young adult literature, committed to promoting reading and literacy among young readers, skilled at creating engaging programs and events that inspire and educate children and teens. Patient, friendly, and approachable, goes out of her way to make the library a welcoming and inclusive space for all. Dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of people, she works tirelessly, selfless and a dedicated leader, invests her time, resources, and expertise improving the lives of others. Understands the importance of building strong, collaborative relationships with other community members.Her efforts and unwavering commitment serve as a powerful example of what's possible when people come together to support a common cause.

Cheryl Bonini

Cheryl is a wonderful and caring individual that always lends a helping hand no matter what is asked. She gives of her time and is always an uplifting and inspirational person.

Ellie Platt

Ellie is an amazing person that built her business from the bottom up! Constantly makes charitable donations with out asking for anything in return. I am lucky to have her as a mentor. She took a chance on a chef, brought her into her business and has given me so many opportunities that no one has else had. the moment I met her she’s been amazing and continues everyday! She is my hero! If I could learn to be half the woman she is my life would be fulfilled.


Molly Halliday

This woman is always donating, organizing, sponsoring any and every occasion to help make a difference within Trumbull County. This community is near and dear to her heart and loves attending every fundraiser. Raising awareness for every cause.

April Caraway

Executive Director of the Mental Health and Recovery Board, works tirelessly to ensure that everyone who wants or needs them has access to services for mental health or substance use. A champion for many other causes including homelessness. Can be counted on to provide support to those in need, whether a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. There not only for friends and family but for the community doing her part to help ease the burden and lighten the load one person at a time.

Mike Moody

Mike Moody is a staple in Trumbull county when it comes to helping grow the next generations. He has been a coach for over 30 years in the county. He has impacted many lives with the way he coaches and took the time to coach these kids and step up as a father figure for some. He has a big heart and loves coaching in our community.

Tyrone (Ty) Hicks

The fastest runner of his time. Recruited by Woody Hayes to play football at Ohio State. Played in the Canadian Football League for Saskatchewan Roughriders. He sustained a knee injury and his life went downhill from there, including illegal activities and drug use. Ty authored a book "Taken Hostage by the Beast" and is a motivational public speaker. Peer Recovery Supporter, and Mental Health Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant. Works for Trumbull County Children's Services .

Amanda Colbert

As their coach, Amanda led the Lego League team from the Warren City School District to nationals for the very first time. They also won the “Core Values Award” at the district event at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland. The award recognizes teamwork, cooperation, discovery, and innovation. All values that Amanda instills in her students.

Brian Higgins

Divisional Director for F&CS and supervises the Community Based programs which includes: BBBS, S.C.O.P.E. Senior Services, multiple community centers located in three Northeast Ohio counties, Food pantries, Mobile Meals, AmeriCorps, VISTA, RSVP, Foster Grandparents and Senior Companion programs.

Dave Smith

Dave is an amazing but humble person who always thinks of others first.

Carter Lewis

Carter is a family man and successful busness man. His 3 daughters and grandchildren would agree in the term hero providing, and being there for them. Carter is very giving to the community- especially when it comes to NOAS- Northeast Ohio Adoption Services. He donates his time as well as profits to this organization to aid in the process of children. Carter makes all his employees feel like family, he’s a boss on another level. I am very grateful to be able to go to work there everyday.

Beverly Heberling

Beverley is a wonderful and caring individual that always lends a helping hand no matter what is asked.

Leah Merritt

She is passionate about the rights of all people, but especially women, and works tirelessly leading the YWCA of the Mahoning Valley to ensure the most vulnerable women and families are cared for and have the resources to become self-sufficient. A strong leader, always sees the positive side of situations, remaining hopeful even when it takes every ounce of strength she has to continue the fight. Leah is an advocate, strategist, and builder. I can't think of a more deserving person to be identified as a hero, and I am so proud to call her my friend and colleague!

Karen Segesto

Karen helps everyone she meets. She helped a lady get home to her ill mother on our way home from a trip to South Carolina. The lady was in a wheelchair and needed a ride to Pittsburgh. Karen drove her to her family. Karen gives to many charities and started her own, Sight for All United.

Ashlee Meardith

A County 4H Educator. In the 7 years she has served in this position, not only have the Clubs' membership grown and flourished, she has also brought a very successful STEM Days programs to the Extension office. Her outreach in the locals schools has also encouraged many young children to take an interest not just in agricultural pursuits, but in science in general. She truly has strived "To Make the Best Better" in Trumbull County.

Cheryl Tarantino

Cheryl Tarantino, Executive Director of NOAS, works tirelessly to make sure that children in Foster Care find homes and connections. NOAS also provides training to Foster and Adoptive parents. Under Cheryl's guidance, NOAS works to find mentors for Foster Children and provide guidance to those who are 18-21 and have aged out of Foster Care.

Andy Bednar

Andy is a person of integrity, decency, and commitment and when you meet Andy, you can’t help but respect him. He uses his many talents to give back to the community and the community is better for it.

Van Nelson

Employed at Trumbull Community Action Program for 42 years served the last seven years as Chief Executive Officer. Has Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management as well as a Masters Degree in Business Administration. Served on many boards including Warren/ Trumbull branch of NAACP, Youth Alternatives Academy, Camp of the Gideons, Urban League, Red Cross and incoming Chairman of the United Way of Trumbull County. Inspirational leader.

Tim Petrey

The managing partner at HD Davis CPAs. I began working for him in September 2022 as his assistant. His inspiration makes him truly a leader that I inspire to be. An advocate of his family, community & employees not just the embodiment of the Mahoning valley entrepreneurial spirit, genuinely an amazing person. He's creating so many business opportunities for young hard working professionals and doing everything he can to put philanthropy at the forefront of our business. I am a better human for knowing him!

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Melissa Maki

The amount of volunteer work she does is another full time job and she will still give more time if asked!

Honeya Price

Hitting her rock bottom from a toxic relationship that ended when she was arrested, charged with a felony and lost her job, She learned that at the core, lack of self worth landed her there. Created SWAG Sisters- to empower women of all generations. Conducts etiquette trainings, retreats and so much more. She is truly a hero for her community (Warren). Works tirelessly to support the Warren community. I am proud to call her my friend.

Dale Janus

My dad has always been a positive influence on my life and has helped me to share this positivity with all those I encounter. He is also an amazing musician! I am so proud to be his daughter.

Anna Tickett

Anna is the payroll manager at Greenwood Chevrolet. I am nominating Anna for many reasons, but most importantly her dedication and commitment. Anna dedicated the last three years to her IVF journey. With all the craziness involved in IVF, Anna has still managed to not miss any work and be there for her family and friends. She has the most loving heart and she inspires me to be a better person. Although she’s had a rough road to being a mom, I’m hopeful for her!

Paul Hammond

Inspirational leader/mentor/and most importantly a friend.

William Strother

Assisted Warren City Health District with COVID clinics during the height of the Pandemic. At a time when he could have easily stayed home and stayed safe, he chose to help. He would  load up his truck, transport the needed items to the various clinic sites that were held thru out the city. He helped direct people to where they would receive the vaccines, and could be heard saying,"I need to see your shoulder." to those in line to get the vaccine. Always pleasant and assisted the health district in whatever capacity was asked of him. Strictly a volunteer and never received any pay or gas mileage  always willing to help and often anticipat showed heroism towards helping us meet the needs of the community at a time when help was needed most - during the height of the COVID - 19 pandemic! 

Mike Wilson

Senior Citizen Advocate, an Historical Actor and Coach.  Director of S. C. O. P. E. (Senior Citizens Opportunity for Personal Endeavor) ‘S. C. O. P. E.  Certified as an Association Executive.  CEO of the Home Builders Association (HBA), and Director of the Trumbull Soil & Water Conservation District. Formed  Emergency response team at the HBA which was activated for several tornado and flooding disasters as well as September 11th. Treasurer of the ‘Citizens for Trumbull County Seniors’. Coached youth sports for over 30 years, including his current position as an Assistant High School Football Coach and Director of Football Operations for Champion Schools.  Commissioner for the Northeast Ohio Youth Football League and a member of USA Football. Ohio Parks and Recreation Association  2012 ‘Youth Sports Coach of the Year’. Radio broadcaster for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers minor league baseball team.An extra in a 1988 movie “Everybody’s All American”. Named Ohio’s Outstanding Young Citizen in 1991 by the Ohio Junior Chamber of Commerce. Named Outstanding Citizen of Niles in 1994. Inducted into Dayton Area High School’s ‘Roll of Recognition’ as the Alumnus of the Year in 2002

Ralph Smith

Former Vice President of Trumbull Memorial Hospital. Hired by the board of directors of S.C.O.P.E. Inc. in 2012 as the Executive Director. Worked with the executives of Family & Community Services, Inc. (F&CS) based out of Ravenna to buy S.C.O.P.E. In October of 2013 that happened and the S.C.O.P.E. centers continue to thrive today.  Started a pilot program in 2015 "Traveling Pantry' which delivers free groceries every month to homebound seniors and disabled of Trumbull County. S.C.O.P.E.'s Traveling Pantry has grown to over over 24,000 deliveries and currently serve around 351 people a month. SCOPE was already delivering food and made it possible during the Covid19 pandemic to add almost 1000 people to our delivery routes during that year. A true 'Hero' for dedication to seniors and his visionary idea to deliver food to those in need.

Megan Szalay

Megan Szalay or “Nurse Megan” as she’s known at Bristol local schools, is a local hero. She won’t admit to it, she does it all with compassion and generosity. She often supplies the clinic with bottles of water for students, food and snacks She even got clothes donations for the clinic. There are a few students who come in just for a quick hug or kind words, as they know she’s there rain or shine. Megan is always willing to lend a hand or kind words to those in need.

Howard and Ginny Shreve

They started ASECU out of their basement in 1959 and forever helped our community and people in it with their generosity. Both involved in Austintown school systems. They made an even bigger impact on my life. Taught me all of life’s important lessons. They will always be my hero’s.

Scott Taylor

I would like to nominate Mr. Scott Taylor for his commitment to Lakeview Local Schools. Principal at Lakeview Elementary. Spent the past 18 years serving teachers, staff, students, and families at Lakeview. Enriches the lives of students, leads an amazing team, truly the heart of Lakeview Elementary. His dedication, compassion, and kindness are evident to all those around him! Mr. Taylor is retiring at the end of the school year and this is a great time to celebrate his legacy as a Hometown Hero.

Melissa Kmetz

Melissa Kmetz of Lakeview Elementary was selected as Teacher of the Year in Ohio because she goes over and beyond to make every student feel special. She is a role model for her students and shares her passion for volunteering.

Dana Warren-Tolios

Dana is a passionate volunteer in arts and theater and United Way and Junior Achievement. She is a dance instructor and business owner. Her day job is as the branch manager of the Cortland branch of Middlefield Bank. Dana has touched many lives in many different ways!

William Crank

Army veteran fought in WWII, went through Europe, & Philippines landed in Australia. Honorably discharged being wounded, saved soldiers life awarded the Purple Heart & Bronze Star amongst several other. I'm proud to be his grandson. Thank you grandpa Crank for serving and making a difference!

Bonnie Wilson

The second woman to ever be President of a local Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) chapter in Trumbull County. Involved with the American Red Cross, Family & Community Services, Valley Counseling, Children's Services, Mental Health and Recovery Board, ASAP Coalition, Base Community Council, The Fairhaven Foundation, Trumbull County Probate Court, and the United Way of Trumbull County. Director at Someplace Safeccurrently serves as the Director of the Family & Children First Council of Trumbull County. She administers funding and support to many non profits, agencies, and businesses dealing with at risk children and families. Founded the GRANDS group for 'Grandparents Raising and Nurturing Granddaughters and Sons'. Assist grandparents and guardians who are raising children with respite and services. 

Diane Sauer


First female president of the Rotary Club of Warren, instrumental in establishing the Warren Riverwalk and the Community Amphitheater. Served as the chair of the United Way campaign and continues to support financially as with her time. Served as President of Trumbull 100. Lends her time and talents to numerous other boards. A speaker at many events including graduation at Kent State's Trumbull campus and programs promoting female youth in our area. I KNOW there is a lot I am forgetting (or perhaps am simply unaware of) but I also know that there is not a more genuine and committed community member than Diane.

Sue Smith

A former teacher, wonderful person, a passionate and tireless volunteer. A member of the GFWC Ohio Warren Junior Women's League and League of Women Voters.

Sarah Lowry

Sarah is always willing to work with others and share her own skills and talents to achieve what is best for the community.

Bob Griffin

Volunteer pilot Bob Griffin has flown 36 Young Eagles (aspiring pilots) because he wants to give back and inspire others to love flying. He uses his talent to pay it forward.

Kevin Bloom

He puts his community first. Regardless of how tired or ill he may feel. After working 24 or 48 hours he still comes home and makes sure he’s ready to go for the day with his family. True hero to us and the community.

Todd Johnson

Pastor Todd is a person of action whose gift is giving people hope.

Mark Frisone

Mark is a visionary with a penchant for doing good.

Karen Conklin

Karen has dedicated her life to making the lives of others better.

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