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Woman’s club welcomes city manager

January 13, 2012
By JANICE R. KIASKI - Community editor ( , The Herald-Star

The GFWC/OFWC Woman's Club of Steubenville held its first meeting of 2012, welcoming Steubenville City Manager Cathy Davison as the guest speaker.

She gave members an update on the city, including its budget and its efforts to create greater efficiency in how things are done and services provided.

Although the city is operating in the black, it's been difficult in the midst of dealing with cuts from the state to the tune of $833,000.

Article Photos

Beth Rupert-Warren, left, membership chairman for the Woman’s Club of Steubenville, talks with Steubenville City Manager Cathy Davison, guest speaker, before the start of Monday’s meeting.

Davison, however, applauded how city departments have stepped up to the plate to meet the challenges brought about by a shrinking financial base.

On the beautiful sunny, mild day that Monday was when the club members gathered at the Steubenville Country Club, it was hard to think about snow or bad roads because we're tip-toeing through this winter basically unscathed. (At least until today a little bit.)

But Davison reminded everyone about the importance of being alert to moving vehicles off the streets when crews are trying to plow. It saves time, money and salt.

I'll gladly do my part here and move the Kiaskimobiles. I'll even do a no-snow dance to save Steubenville money since winter isn't my favorite time of year.

Davison, who was introduced by Judy Brancazio, club vice president and program chair, asked for a show of hands to see how many of the women in attendance have toured the new municipal building, and not many went up. Mine didn't either, but I keep telling myself I'll get through that building sooner or later. I have admired it from the outside, though.

Davison extended an invitation for the women to contact her and arrange for a field trip/tour.

The city, she added, is partnering with the Prime Time Office on Aging to provide free lunches to seniors 60 and over on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11 a.m., Davison informed the group, and there also is a short program and Body By You classes available in addition to bridge and bingo.

She also mentioned how she knew about Steubenville even before she ever came here for a job interview in hopes of becoming the city manager. As a kid, she passed through with her parents en route to visit relatives in the Pittsburgh area.

The importance of being a leader also was a subject touched on by Davison, who noted that she and her husband, Jim, just marked their eighth anniversary though they've known each other 13 years. She said being a leader is like being a spouse given it helps to admit when you're wrong and admit when you don't know something.

Other leader to-do's would include surrounding yourself with capable partners and/or find the strengths within your team; be positive and kind, two qualities people respond to; always be honest and tactful; and create a vision for yourself.

Davison, a native of Durand, Mich., said a vision statement she drafted in her first graduate leadership class in 2006 was to be a manager for a local government organization that would use her leadership and organizational skills, education and project management experience to offer exceptional service to the constituents of the community.

She also urged finding a balance in life and talked about how to do that. Some suggestions included: Get up 20 minutes earlier to take a walk or exercise; be in the moment; create daily rituals such as devotionals and quiet time; focus on tasks that are truly important; use your technology to liberate yourself, not imprison you; and don't sweat the small stuff.

The most important aspect of being a leader, she said, is being ethical.

Monday was one terrific looking day with plenty of sunshine and mild temperatures. (Today apparently is a different story with winter actually in the forecast.) We all might have expected to look out the window and see snow but instead we saw a bright sky and green grass.

With my table of lunch companions who included Eileen Krupinski, Donna Phillips, Karen Majoris-Garrison and Dolores Dooley, we talked about a variety of subjects, which always amazes me all the different topics that can surface in so short an amount of time. Our conversation ran the gamut from a nasty flu bug going around to books we're reading, the Steelers' loss and summer plans.

The meeting included the introduction of a guest, Naomi Young, who came with Julie Ellen.

Greeters were Jane Agresta and Carole Gaston.

Kathy Mills, president, presided at the business meeting and offered devotions and prayer.

In club business, officers were elected for a two-year term that begins in the fall of 2012. Kathy Mills will continue as president; Eileen Krupinski becomes vice president; Beverly Costello is recording secretary; Shirley Mitchell is treasurer; Marge Bedortha is corresponding secretary; and Eleanor Weiss is parliamentary advisor. These and other leaders will be installed at the May meeting.

The Feb. 6 noon meeting will feature state Sen. Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville, as speaker.

Greeters will be Ruth Cook and Helen LaRue with Eleanor Weiss and March Bedortha as hostesses.

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