[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Professional Development Meeting

May 12 | 8:00 - 9:45 am

8:00 - 8:30 am ... Breakfast and welcome
8:30 - 9:45 am ... Program

Shaw Jewish Community Center,
750 White Pond Drive, Akron directions

$18 for members | $25 for not-yet members
Reservation/Cancellation Deadline:
May 9, 4:00 pm.

Approved for 1.25 CFRE credits; documentation




Maximizing Volunteer Board Leadership

Many nonprofits rely on the leadership of volunteer boards. But how do they maximize their strength, both as individuals and as a team? Join us for a conversation about selecting, motivating, and engaging effective board leadership.


bulletBill Choler, CPA, Assurance Services Partner, Bruner Cox LLP & Board Member,
United Disability Services

bulletDianne Newman, JD, (retired) & Board Member & Docent, Akron Art Museum

bulletJim Simon, Partner, Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC & Board Member,

bulletMargaret Medzie, VP of Development and Donor Services,
Akron Community Foundation (moderator)


About the Presenters:

Bill CholerBill Choler, CPA, joined Bruner Cox LLP in 1997. Bill has more than 30 years of accounting and consulting experience with manufacturing, wholesale-distribution and construction clients. His expertise includes financial accounting, cost accounting and rate analysis.

Bill serves as a Co-Director of the Firm’s Manufacturing and Wholesale-Distribution Services Group, for which he is responsible for managing internal and external communication of educational information related to the industry. Bill also handles internal training, client seminars and newsletter communication.

He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration.

Bill is a member of The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is involved in The Institute of Management Accountants, The American Production and Inventory Control Society, and The Manufacturing Services Association.

He is actively involved with his community through The Greater Akron Chamber and The Summit County United Way. He also volunteers his time for the Boy Scouts of Summit County Friends of Scouting Campaign. Bill is Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors for the United Disability Services and the treasurer for the St. Stephen Lutheran Church Endowment Committee. He is past treasurer for the Stow-Munroe Falls School Levy Committee and past president of the Stow-Munroe Falls Rotary.


Dianne NewmanDianne Newman, JD, president of the Akron Art Museum’s board of trustees and co-founder of Akron’s Shifrin Newman, Esq. Smith law firm compares herself to El Anatsui’s work with common objects. “That’s how I view myself: I’m a common object,” explains the 71-year-old. “But hopefully, I bring beauty to what I do.”

The Akron Art Museum is the most obvious example of Newman, Esq.’s works. She’s served on its board for more than a decade, a period that included the construction of a futuristic $35 million, 63,300-square-foot addition that opened in 2007 and, more recently, the retirement of longtime director Mitchell Kahan. But she has also helped raise millions for Akron’s nonprofit institutions, most notably co-chairing a successful $2 million campaign for the Women’s Endowment Fund of the Akron Community Foundation. And she’s volunteered on so many nonprofit boards and committees that she has a hard time remembering the dates of all her terms. At the same time, she managed to grow her practice into a nationally recognized authority in Social Security disability law. 

Newman, Esq. married her high school sweetheart, Herbert Newman, Esq., raised their four children, completed a history degree at Akron, and was active in organizations such as Hadassah, the Jewish Community Board of Akron and the Junior Board of Akron City Hospital.

Newman, Esq. graduated from the University of Akron Law School in 1979 and joined her husband’s former partners where she handled bankruptcies, many of which were filed by people who were too sick or badly injured to work. The experience sparked an interest in Social Security disability cases. Six years later, Newman, Esq. and partner Richard Sternberg left to form a law firm with a heart. By 1996, 60 to 70 percent of her practice was devoted to handling Social Security disability cases. Over the next two decades, the practice grew and was recognized and a supportive, female-friendly environment. 

In 1993, she and 100 other women established the Women’s Endowment Fund of the Akron Community Foundation. But it was the closing of a local YWCA location that prompted her increased involvement. She joined the board and gravitated to the development committee. Despite Newman, Esq.’s big, creative personality, she steps back and lets others achieve. She turned soliciting for the Women’s Endowment Fund into an empowering experience. 

But Newman, Esq.’s favorite nonprofit remains the Akron Art Museum. She expects her next project will be an endowment campaign to ensure the museum’s long-term stability — an effort that has just the tiniest hint of selfish motivation.

“I come into the art museum,” she says, “and I feel happy.” 


Jim SimonJim Simon is partner in the real estate, public law and business practice groups of Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC. Jim graduated from Bennington College with a B.A. in American Studies and The University of Akron School of Law with his JD.

Jim focuses his practice in representing individuals, businesses, tax-exempt organizations and government clients in real estate and business acquisitions, leasing transactions, public and low-income housing finance transactions, multiparty negotiations, and zoning and compliance matters.  Jim also represents clients before state and local executive agencies and elected officials with respect to transactional, public policy and regulatory matters.

Jim works to give back to the community in ways that reflect his values and commitments.

Jim has been a trustee of Bennington College for all but one year since he graduated Bennington in 1997, serving in a variety of leadership capacities on Bennington’s Board.  Jim currently chairs Bennington’s Finance Committee and previously chaired its Development Committee. 

Jim is deeply involved in the Episcopal Church, volunteering at his home parish, Church of Our Saviour, serving the Episcopal Church in Ohio in a variety of ways and serving the broader Episcopal Church as a member of the Church’s Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons and as a Deputy to the 2016 General Convention of the Episcopal Church.  Jim has chaired Church of Our Saviour’s Stewardship Committee since 2007 and recently co-chaired its first capital campaign in nearly 20 years.

Jim’s volunteer service currently includes serving on the board of ideastream and the governing board for Summit County’s Community Based Correctional Facility.  Jim has previously served on the board of Plexus, the Gay Community Endowment Fund, The Civic Commons, United Disability Services, the Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease Foundation, Inc. and the Autism Family Foundation of NE Ohio. Jim has also worked with a variety of local and statewide candidates for public office over the last 15 years.


Margaret MedzieIn her current role, Margaret Medzie connects and engages Summit County’s charitable individuals, companies and nonprofits for the good of the community; acts as a trusted advisor to our community’s philanthropic people and organizations who helps them maximize their personal charitable goals, whatever they may be.  She also directly oversees the development and implementation of short and long-term fundraising objectives and strategies of the foundation; works to engage and actively involve current and former board members in generating new funds, relationships and contributions, manages the comprehensive stewardship program; works with professional advisors and their clients to provide support through a comprehensive planned giving program focused on growing the foundation’s legacy society through bequests and other future gifts; works with area nonprofits to implement endowment building initiatives to ensure the future capacity.

Margaret began her career in fundraising as a board member of United Way, served 8 years and became very involved in organizations and recognized the importance of the Development staff. 

Margaret earned a Master degree in  Higher Education Administration from Kent State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology from Notre Dame College of Ohio.  She was a member of Leadership Medina (2010), Leadership Akron (Class XX) and Leadership Portage County (1993).

Her board activity includes:

  • Portage Community Bank – Founding Director, Current Chair of Holding Company
  • Archbishop Hoban High School – Chair - Advancement Committee
  • Area Agency on Aging Foundation – Chair – Distribution Committee

Margaret is interested in coaching, cooking, nutrition, gardening and traveling.  She resides in Ravenna with her husband Thomas Medzie and is the mother of two ‘launched’ sons - Mario and Gino Mascio.


[an error occurred while processing this directive]