Para M. Jones, Ph.D., President, Stark State College to Deliver Keynote Address at Goodwill Employee of Distinction Luncheon

AKRON, Ohio — Aug. 14, 2018 — Goodwill Industries serving Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland and Richland Counties is pleased to have Para M. Jones, Ph.D., president, Stark State College, present the keynote address at its 17th Annual Employee of Distinction Award Luncheon on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018. The speech is titled, “Stark State College Akron – aligning skilled, educated workers with in-demand careers.”  Tickets for the event are $30 each and reservations can be made at

Jones has been President of Stark State College since 2012. She also served as President of Spartanburg Community College in South Carolina. The majority of Dr. Jones’s 30-year community college career has been in Northeast Ohio and at Stark State, where she led advancement, marketing, legislative relations, fundraising, grants, student services, admissions, career development and institutional research and planning. She has taught online and on-the-ground business classes at Stark State and in Ashland University’s MBA program.

Prior to academe, she worked in corporate marketing and communications for Roadway Express and as a technical editor for Goodyear Aerospace.

Dr. Jones’s passion for the community college mission is driven by her belief that students are best served by affordable, quality education that leads to rewarding careers.

Dr. Jones holds a PhD from the University of Nebraska, an MBA with honors from Ashland University and a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from the University of Mount Union.

Among the many professional and community-based organizations she serves are the Presidents’ Council of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC), the Executive Board of the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce and several regional boards, including Akron Urban League, ABIA (Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron), Akron Growth Council, Cleveland Clinic/Akron General’s Community Advisory Council, ConxusNEO, MAGNET (Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network), Stark Economic Development Board, Stark Education Partnership and Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce. She is an ATHENA award recipient.

She also is a member of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Education Council in Washington, DC and TeamNEO’s Business Development Council.

Dr. Jones and her husband Greg live in Canton, where they raised their twin sons, Christopher, who practices law in Cincinnati; and Kyle, who works in investment banking in New York City. They are grandparents of twin girls.

Employee of Distinction Luncheon
The Employee of Distinction Luncheon is Goodwill’s signature employee recognition event.  All honorees are acknowledged at the event, listed in the commemorative program, and in the running to be named one of the top Employees of Distinction (chosen by a panel of independent judges).  In addition, all honorees will receive a commemorative gift.

Event Details
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018
Time:  11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location: Guy’s Party Center, 500 E. Waterloo Road, AkronCost: $30
Event Chairs: Todd Caruthers, vice president, sales & marketing, with Superior Staffing and Superior Search Group, and Kara Hanzie, executive director, Ohio Living Rockynol.

Event Sponsors
Thank you to the event sponsors – Platinum: Bridgestone Americas; and OMNOVA Solutions Foundation; Silver: Britton Gallagher; Eric & Nan McClenaghan; and PNC Financial Services Group; Bronze: A.J. Gallagher; Bober Markey Fedorovich; Fifth Third Bank; Navigator Management Partners; Roetzel & Andress; and Kim & Chas Schreckenberger; Copper: Crain, Langner & Co.; S.A. Comunale Co., Inc.; and SS&G Wealth Management; Table: ACRT Services; and Superior Staffing; Gold Program Partner: Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority; Ohio Living Rockynol; Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro’s Department of Job and Family Services; and Tri-County Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates;  Silver Program Partner: Akron Public Schools; Blick Center; Child Guidance & Family Solutions; Community Support Services; Summit County Children Services and VANTAGE Aging; Bronze Program Partner: Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank; and Project Learn of Summit County. Diamond Patron: Jennifer & Justin Bako; David & Kathleen Bucci; Bill & Mary Glaeser; Kimberly & Greg Morton and Tadd Schwarz; Platinum Patron: Traci & Rob Prohaska; Patron: Chip Clupper; Lynn & Bambi Miller; Mary Anne & C. Allen Nichols; and  Gary Rickel & Karen Krino; Media: akronlife and WAKR/WONE/WQMX/WNWV; In-Kind: Akron Civic Theatre; Akron RubberDucks; Akron Zoo; Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce; Neuvo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar; and Pizza Hut.

About Goodwill Industries Serving Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland & Richland Counties

The Goodwill Industries of Akron, Ohio, Inc., is a not-for-profit corporation that helps individuals prepare for, find and retain employment. Operating in the five-county region of Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland & Richland, the agency was established in 1927. It is a private, independent organization, operating as an affiliate member of Goodwill Industries International. Goodwill helps to directly strengthen the region’s workforce through its employment programs and indirectly through the net proceeds from its retail outlets and industrial services division. For more information about GIA, visit or call 800-989-8428.



Jennifer Bako
(330) 786-2519