Professional Women of Akron, OH Explored Challenges of Working in Male-Dominated Industries at January NAPW Akron Chapter Event

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National Association of Professional Women Akron, OH Chapter hosted Suzanne Paouncic of First Energy Fossil Generations who spoke about the challenges/rewards women face working in non-traditional industries at January event.

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Suzanne was very inspiring and provided valuable insight regarding her profession and passions,

Members and guests of the NAPW Akron, OH Local Chapter gathered for a professional networking event at North Hill Library in Akron, OH on January 28th.

The group of professional women learned the career challenges – and rewards – faced by Suzanne Paouncic, Director of Major Projects at First Energy Fossil Generations, and other women who choose to work in male-dominated professions.

Attendees also networked and made future plans for the Chapter.

Dinner was provided and the women enjoyed a variety of foods and beverages while networking prior to the formal opening of the meeting.

After Akron Chapter member Linda Luttrell greeted members and guests, Chapter President Delphine Allen kicked off the first monthly networking event of 2013 by welcoming everyone and briefly speaking about the Akron Chapter.

“I am so happy to see all of you,” Delphine said to the crowd. “We have many exciting Chapter opportunities and events coming up!”

After reviewing information published on, Delphine asked the group of professional women to formally introduce themselves. The women spent time discussing their personal development. They were also asked who has contributed to their professional development, which led to a lively discussion.

The Chapter President then introduced the guest speaker.

Suzanne Paouncic, who has a degree in civil engineering, is the Director of Major Projects at First Energy Fossil Generations, a diversified energy company located in Akron that is dedicated to safety, reliability, and operational excellence. Ms. Paouncic gave an insightful presentation about the challenges and rewards women like she make when they choose to work in male-dominated professions.

Ms. Paouncic discussed her role as a woman leader in an organization responsible for the strategic development, approval, and execution of major capital projects and programs focused on the addition of new generation or major retrofits to existing assets for compliance with emergent environmental regulations.

She also discussed having responsibility for the project controls function for all capital projects in the FirstEnergy Fossil Generation Capital portfolio. The guest speaker also discussed her recent involvement with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and told the crowd that she will be participating in a Triathlon event in April.

“Suzanne was very inspiring and provided valuable insight regarding her profession and passions,” said Chapter President Delphine.

After the presentation, members tackled the new business. They discussed which charitable organizations they would support for the year. One suggestion entertained was to choose a different charity each quarter.

“We all agreed to support the following charities: the American Heart Association, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the Lupus Foundation,” said Delphine.

“In addition, the Akron Local Chapter is investigating some local charities to support.”

Chapter members were encouraged to complete an event survey for the Vice President of Social Media. When the results are compiled, the Chapter will host networking events in addition to the monthly meeting.

“Future plans for the Chapter include sponsoring an information fair for young women in high school to discuss career opportunities,” said the Chapter President.

Members discussed the upcoming National Association of Professional Women’s 2013 National Networking Conference to be held on Friday, April 26th in New York City. Chapter members were encouraged to attend.

The Chapter President welcomed new Chapter members Lisa Hay and Lisa Keller. Both received their member pins and notebooks. All members were encouraged to connect on Facebook to learn about upcoming events.

The group of professional women discussed the completion of the NAPW Akron Local Chapter Board of Directors. The following positions are still open: Vice President Finance and Vice President Membership Growth. Delphine closed the meeting by announcing the upcoming monthly meeting dates for the Chapter: March 28th, April 22nd, and May 30th.

Members who attended the February networking meeting included: Delphine Allen, Chapter President, DLA Empowerment Life Coaching; Andrea Allen, Unit Supervisor at Envision; Linda Lutrell, Jewelry Artist, Journey in Jewelry; Susanne Paouncic, Director, First Energy; and Roberta Rogers, Elementary School Teacher, Akron Public School System; plus new members Lisa Hay and Lisa Keller.

Lisa Hay is President of Ascend Financial LLC. She works to empower her clients with objective and unbiased financial coaching, consulting, education, and encouragement.

Lisa Keller is Founder of Design Your Health. Lisa is passionate about helping people navigate the healthcare system and to put them on the road to overall health and wellness.

The National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) is the largest and most recognized network of female professionals. NAPW provides a forum where women can interact, exchange ideas, educate, network, and empower. NAPW Local Chapters allow members to maximize their experience through meetings, networking opportunities, and professional events.

For additional information regarding the NAPW Akron, OH Local Chapter and/or NAPW, please visit

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Karen Slusser
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