The Emerging Leaders, an advisory board dedicated to raising funds for Akron Children’s Hospital, will host the Dancing for the Kids event on Oct. 20. The event, presented by Northwestern Mutual, will benefit cancer research at the hospital’s Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders.
Each year, the fundraiser brings together local celebrities and dancers from The University of Akron to compete onstage at the Akron Civic Theatre.
Meet this year’s celebrity dancers:
Mike is the managing director of operations at FedEx Custom Critical® and oversees fleet support, safety, contractor relations and contractor sourcing. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Akron and also has a certificate of business leadership in Human Resources from Cornell University.
Mike resides in Cuyahoga Falls with his wife, Stephanie, and their 2 daughters, Rachel and Sarah.
Dr. Sarah Adams
Dr. Adams is a pediatrician with Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics in Hudson, Ohio. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Akron, her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati and completed her pediatric residency at Akron Children’s. Dr. Adams has been a pediatrician for 21 years and has earned the Outstanding Child Advocate Award in Hudson as well as the University of Akron Honors College Distinguished Alumni Award.
She resides in Hudson with her husband, John, her 2 boys, Gabriel and Benjamin, and her yellow lab, Buck.
Abbey is a student at the University of Akron studying Public Relations and is also a member of the Delta Gamma sorority. In 2012 she was diagnosed with a type of bone cancer known as osteosarcoma and underwent treatment at Akron Children’s Hospital. After fighting and beating cancer, she was faced with a staph infection 2 different times and decided in November 2016 to get her leg amputated. Abbey been cancer free for almost 5 years now and is back to walking and dancing.
Dr. Tsulee Chen
Dr. Chen joined the Akron Children’s Hospital family in 2012 as a pediatric neurosurgeon and became the department’s division director in 2014. She surgically treats congenital, acquired, or traumatic diseases involving the brain or spinal cord. Dr. Chen attended the University of Rochester for undergrad intending to major in aeronautical engineering, but transitioned to linguistics instead, only to then become a neurosurgeon.
Her time in Ohio has been blessed with meeting her husband John, a native of Hartville, Ohio, and she is now stepmother to 3 life enthusiasts.
Marti is the assistant treasurer for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and leads the global strategy and execution of Goodyear’s capital structure optimization, global insurance and risk mitigation, and pension investment management.
Marti enjoys long distance running and has completed 3 marathons. Through her running, she has raised $35,000 to support children’s charitable organizations. She also plays for an Akron-based United States Tennis Association team and donates her time by serving on several boards for educational-focused organizations.
Melissa grew up in Bath and attended Revere High School. She then went on to Miami University of Ohio where she received a bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems and Finance. After graduating, Melissa began her now 16-year career with Ernst and Young where she currently serves as a principal within the Advisory Services practice. She has also been involved in the Akron Children’s Museum since 2015 and serves as a board member and the Fund Development Committee Chair.
Melissa dedicates her spare time to her husband, Chris, and their 2 boys, Colin and Keaton.
Beth is a fiduciary advisor for PNC Wealth Management, specializing in trusts, estate plans and charitable and gifting strategies. She earned her Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of Akron. Beth is also a graduate of Northwestern University’s Graduate School of Trust School, Cannon Financial Institute’s Trust Audit and Compliance and the American Institute of Banking Trust Securities Skills Certification.
She is a member of the Northern Ohio Golf Charities Executive Committee and an active volunteer with the World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational. Beth is also a member of Leadership Akron’s Class of XXIII.
Sue has served on the Women’s Board of Akron Children’s Hospital for about 8 years. Through that experience, she learned about Akron Children’s Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center and, after hearing Dr. Sarah Friebert speak on the subject, Sue started a fund to support families with a child in palliative care. With the help of her friends, she has raised about $100,000 to support palliative care families who are struggling financially.
Sue and her husband, Kevin, live in Aurora, Ohio and have 2 children – Connor, an Ohio State University graduate who now lives in Denver, Colorado, and Sarah, a senior at Miami University.
Kevin was born in Akron and, with the exception of college and his time in the Navy, has spent his whole life in the area. He grew up in Fairlawn Heights, graduated from Firestone High School and then attended Miami University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and was a member of the Naval ROTC unit. Kevin returned to Akron in 2003, earned his MBA from the University of Akron in 2006 and is now a private banker with First National Bank.
Kevin is active in several local organizations including Leadership Akron, Dapper Dan, Portage Country Club and St. Hilary Parish. He and his wife, Jamie, live in Copley with their two children, Allison and Caleb.
Chris is a senior client development consultant in the legal division of Thomson Reuters. Hailing from Brooklyn, he is new to the Akron community and was introduced to “Dancing for the Kids” after attending last year’s event. That experience moved him to want to make a difference and so, with encouragement from friends and family, he’s taking the stage to impact the lives of patients at Akron Children’s.
Chris resides in Bath Township with his wife, Michele, and their two boys, Matteo and Roman. Having Sunday meals with “La Famiglia” (Italian for family), made up of both relatives and friends, is his passion.