XENIA — Tickets are still available for the Greene County Women’s Hall of Fame Recognition Day Luncheon, set for Sept. 24.
During the lunch — which will begin at 11:30 a.m. at Walnut Grove Country Club — five will be inducted into the hall: Marsha Bayless, Dr. Teresa Bondurant, Patricia Phillips, Jean Dungy Shoates, and Hope Taft
Reservations are $25 and must be paid in advance via mail to PO Box 703, Fairborn, Ohio, 45324 by Sept. 17. Menu options are trio salad (chicken/tuna/egg) or vegetarian salad. Mark menu preferences on your check, payable to the Greene County Women’s Hall of Fame.
Bayless, of Xenia, will be inducted for her endeavors in public education and government. As a proud lifelong resident of Xenia, Bayless has continually worked to make it stronger. An elementary principal in Xenia Community Schools, she was innovative in leading her building to become the first year-round school in the district and made significant contributions as a committed, compassionate and selfless advocate for her students. She traveled the state sharing ways to plan and implement improved educational methods. Bayless retired from education after 35 years of service. In 2010 she was elected for the first of two terms as mayor of Xenia — the first African-American woman to hold the position. She served as president of the region’s Mayors and City Managers Association and spearheaded many community improvement activities. As a board member at the Xenia YMCA, Bridges of Hope, Xenia Schools Foundation, member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and steward at her church, Bayless continues to faithfully serve her community. Bayless was previously inducted into Central State University’s Hall of Honor and awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters by Wilberforce University.
Bondurant, of Yellow Springs, will be inducted for her endeavors in community service. She is known throughout the village for her dedication and commitment to families, youth, and elders and is recognized as a remarkably humble woman who works extremely hard — often behind the scenes with little fanfare — but with immense positive impact on her community. As a woman who was a successful athlete in her high school/college days and a medical doctor, she has been active in supporting the youth of Yellow Springs through mentoring young girls and serving as a role model in leadership. The Central Chapel AME Church has been her lifelong church home where she has fulfilled many roles in support of the mission of the church. She began her work with the Yellow Springs Senior Center Homemaker program in 2009. In this role, she provided direct support to many seniors by helping them with daily tasks. Bondurant’s expertise in recognizing and enhancing each person’s dignity through personal interactions is one of her special abilities. In 2016, she was promoted to homemaker manager at that center, serving with kindness, competence, and respect. Her efforts have enabled many elders to remain safely in their homes. Bondurant’s significant contributions personally touch the lives of many in her community.
Phillips, of Beavercreek, will be inducted for her endeavors in community service. Patti, as she is known, has been an outstanding civic leader in Greene County for many years. Born at WPAFB, daughter of an Air Force father, she has spent a lifetime associated with the military primarily at Wright-Patterson. She has served in multiple capacities in the Miami Valley Military Affairs Association with much of her work focused on bridging the gap between local communities, their military, and veterans. The organization recognized her with the President’s Club of Dayton Volunteer of the Year Award. Phillips has a very robust history of volunteering and serving in leadership roles, including Greene County Family Violence Prevention Center Board, Fairborn/Beavercreek Victims Assistance program, the Beavercreek Community Fund, Beavercreek Chamber of Commerce, Friends of Greene County Children’s Service Committee, and the Beavercreek Women’s League. A staunch advocate of education, she has served 15 years as a substitute teacher in Beavercreek, nine years on the Clark State College Foundation Board, of which she is currently chair. She is a member of its scholarship committee and has spent four years as a mentor for is Champion City Scholars Program. Her concept of “giving back” makes her a priceless asset to Beavercreek and Greene County.
Dungy Shoates, of Xenia, will be inducted for her endeavors in mathematics and computer science. Dungy Shoates graduated from Central State University with a degree in mathematics in 1952 and a trend-setting, norm-breaking 39-year career with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base followed. She became a mathematician/computer scientist at what was to become the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC). At NASIC she was the first woman and African-American hired as a mathematician, and the very first computerprogrammer hired, man or woman. She remained the sole African-American woman in that role for 35 years. She advanced to a supervisory position (GS13) in 1966 to become the first African-American female in such a position, despite being told that no man would work for a woman. Her work required in-depth understanding of aircraft, missiles, and satellites. She has also served countless hours in her home community by volunteering at Greene Memorial Hospital and the American Cancer Society, while serving in various other capacities including treasurer for 45 years at her church, Zion Baptist Church in Xenia. Her professional accomplishments for her nation and her volunteer contributions to her local community and county are truly worth celebrating and applauding.
Taft, of Spring Valley, will be inducted for her endeavors in community service. Taft moved to Greene County in 2007 after serving eight busy years as Ohio’s first lady. Moving to a home along the Little Miami River and realizing that trash in the river was threatening the waterway, Taft organized a clean-up that drew 150 participants. That event grew into the Little Miami River Kleeners, which annually removes literally tons of trash from the watershed. In 2015, she convened a diverse group for a workshop which led to the founding of the Little Miami Watershed Network (LMWN) which collaborates with many governmental, civic, and non-profit organizations performing conservation, stewardship, and educational outreach. She speaks to civic groups and participates in community festivals to educate people of the watershed’s value to humans and wildlife. Taft has been continually active in numerous gardening organizations, and lobbies state and local officials and agencies on behalf of the river. She established the Ohio Heritage Garden at the Governor’s Residence during her husband’s administration and has continued to work and support that garden though successive administrations. She is a member of 100+ Women Making a Difference in Greene County, which has provided more than $500,000 to local non-profits. Taft has consistently proven herself to be an important asset to Greene County.
For more information about reservations, call Ann Byrd at 937-429-1805.