Co-founder Norma Rist honored with the 2019 Judith A. Read Tribute Award at March 5 event
The Women’s Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation will welcome Marcella Kanfer Rolnick, executive chair of GOJO, as the featured speaker at its “For Women, Forever” annual dinner on March 5.
Kanfer Rolnick focuses on creating meaning and value every day through her diverse family enterprise – which is anchored by GOJO. GOJO serves as a global leader and inventor of skin health and hygiene solutions for away-from-home markets including products such as PURELL® Hand Sanitizer.
As Executive Chair of GOJO, she ensures that the preconditions are in place for the company’s long-term viability and vitality.
Kanfer Rolnick is active in the community and serves on a variety of boards, currently including P-Cure, Lake City Plating, Case Western Reserve University’s Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit, Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation and Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah.
She has received several distinguished recognitions such as being named by Jewish Women International as one of 10 “Women to Watch” and included in Crain’s Cleveland Business’ 2007 “Forty under Forty” [Who Make a Difference] list. She also received the “Woman of the Year” Award for Innovation by the Women’s History Project of the Akron Area and is a member of Leadership Akron’s Class 24. Kanfer Rolnick earned her MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs.
Following Kanfer Rolnick’s remarks, the event will culminate with the presentation of the fourth annual Judith A. Read Tribute Award for Service & Advocacy for Women. The award, which is named for one of Greater Akron’s most influential philanthropic leaders, was created in 2016 to honor Judy Read’s lifetime of service and extraordinary commitment to empowering women and girls in Summit County. It is presented annually to the individual or couple who best exemplifies Read’s service, advocacy, leadership and passion in the community.
This year’s recipient of the Judith A. Read Tribute Award is Norma Rist. Rist, who co-founded the Women’s Endowment Fund in 1993, is a celebrated champion of advocating for female leadership in Akron through business and nonprofit communities.
As president of Norma J. Rist CEO Consulting, Inc., Rist provides strategic growth and profitability solutions for business owners and entrepreneurs. Her work includes controlling and leading several multi-million-dollar operations, including manufacturing for Pepsi-Cola Bottlers of Akron, Inc.
Rist’s extensive volunteer work includes founding ATHENA Akron, Inc., an affiliate of ATHENA International, dedicated to connecting women leaders in Greater Akron. She has received several prestigious awards and honors including Leadership Akron’s Distinguished Leader Award, ATHENA International’s National Leadership Award, The Peter Bommarito Award for Outstanding Voluntary Community Service, and The University of Akron’s College of Business Administration Distinguished Alumni Award.
Rist was unanimously selected as the fourth Judith A. Read Tribute Award recipient by a committee of current and former Women’s Endowment Fund advisory board members and past award honorees.
“Norma is dedicated to strategically supporting female leadership, entrepreneurship and philanthropy in our community,” said Jackie McDermott, committee chair. “Her work, advocacy and overall community service for women exemplify the intent of this recognition. We’re honored to present Norma with this year’s Judith A. Read Tribute Award.”
Rist will receive her award during the “For Women, Forever” dinner in front of more than 500 guests at Goodyear Hall. The event begins with a 5:30 p.m. cocktail reception featuring the fund’s 2019 grant recipients, followed by dinner and the program at 6:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased until Friday, Feb. 22, at www.ForWomenForever.org.
The “For Women, Forever” event celebrates women’s philanthropy and benefits the Women’s Endowment Fund, which supports programs that improve the health, safety and economic empowerment of women and girls in Summit County.
Major sponsors for this year’s event include GOJO, The J.M. Smucker Company, Leppo Rents, State and Federal Communications, and The University of Akron.
For into, visit www.akroncf.org/WEFAnnualDinner or call 330-376-8522.