Agent of Change Award

Due to the pandemic, the Agent of Change recognition was not held in 2020. be watching for plans for 2023

Medina County Branch of the American Association of University Women has recognized outstanding women who have made significant contributions to our community and been “ Agents for Positive Change” in Medina County on behalf of women and/or children.


The recipient of this award will be a person who is or has been a resident of Medina County and who has:

  • Consistently and effectively used resources, talents and influence to help women and/or children to achieve their potential, or
  • Accomplished positive change for women and/or children locally, statewide or beyond, or
  • Been a community volunteer or a professional whose achievements went beyond the requirements of the position.

Candidates could include a long-time volunteer who has initiated programming to impact women/children, a member of a service organization or business, or an individual who has served on a state or national board and worked to accomplish change.

Download criteria and nomination form hereAgent of Change 2018

Nominations: To submit the name of a candidate for the award, the nominator should describe in 200 words or less how the person fulfills the above Agent of Change criteria. Names and contact information for at least two references for persons who have relevant knowledge of the nominee are also required.

On November 8, 2018, Medina Branch AAUW recognized the achievements of two outstanding community members at the 8th Biennial Agent of Change Awards luncheon and program at Rustic Hills Country Club.

Jan Householder

Jan Householder Is the founder and Executive Director of The Giving Doll Project which she established in 2006. The Giving Doll, Inc. is a non profit 501 (c) (3) volunteer program that gives faith, love, joy, hope and comfort to children who are seriously ill or experiencing trauma, through the construction and distribution of a handmade cloth doll. Over 40,000 dolls have been given to children around the globe–in the United States, Haiti, China, Kenya, Romania and Brazil.

AoC Photo

Thomas Sigel

In October 2010, Thomas Sigel founded Ohio Regional Music Arts and Cultural Outreach (ORMACO), a non-profit with the mission of making music, arts and culture accessible to all, with a focus on underserved, disadvantaged and rural populations. By 2018 the organization provided over 75 library, school and bus trip outreach programs connecting with about 10,000 participants. Some of the highlights include the World Tour of Music residencies, songwriting for at-risk youth, free violin, guitar and art lessons, as well as theatre workshops. Jazz and Opera under the Stars have become integral parts of professional music offerings in the summer, drawing large crowds to Medina’s Uptown Park.

“Both of the recipients started with nothing more than an original ‘idea’ and an ‘inspiration’ (followed by loads of hard work) which made them stand out as candidates for this award. They saw a need and acted upon it to create ongoing services benefitting others in our community.” —-Joyce Rynearson, Agent of Change committee member

Recipients of the 7th Biennial Agent of Change Awards were:

Patricia Geissman, Medina County Commissioner, and Rhonda Wurgler, Executive Director of the Children’s Center of Medina County, were named co-recipients of the 2016 distinction on November 10 at a breakfast program at Williams on the Lake.





       Rhonda Wurgler                           Patricia Geissman  

Previous recipients of the Agent of Change Award include:

Dianne Depasquale-Hagerty, Founder and Executive Director of Medina Creative Housing, 2012

Susan Rooy Haar, founder of the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, 2010

Karen Glass, founder of the Children’s Center and Suzanne LeSure, mental health counselor, co-recipients 2008

Katie Horn, Jane Lang and Gwen Rivers, co-founders of Medina County Women’s Endowment Fund and co-recipients in 2006

Michelle Powell, founder of “Let’s Make a Difference” program, 2004

Patricia Dempsey, for contributions in children’s theater and women’s health and welfare, 2002.