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Local attorney, volunteer named 2013 Distinguished Leader for success of $2 million Women’s Endowment Fund campaign

UPublish story by Lindsay Griffin

karen lefton
Karen Lefton, a 2007 graduate of Leadership Akron, is the recipient of the Distinguished Leader Award for her accomplishments with the Women's Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation.

Akron, OH – The Leadership Akron Alumni Association has named Karen Lefton this year’s recipient of its Distinguished Leader Award, recognizing her success as co-chair of the Women’s Endowment Fund’s yearlong fundraising campaign, which exceeded its $2.013 million goal. Each year, the Distinguished Leader Award recognizes a Leadership Akron graduate who has contributed in an extraordinary way in addressing a critical issue with the community.

Karen’s involvement with the Women’s Endowment Fund began in 1993 when she was among 106 founding donors, who each gave $1,000 to launch the fund. She is passionate about women’s issues, justice and literacy. During the recent “For Women, Forever” campaign, she created the Karen C. Lefton Fund for Survivors of Domestic Violence, earmarking her gift for programs that help get women and children out of violent situations and into a stable, safe and peaceful home.

Thanks to Karen’s leadership, the Women’s Endowment Fund will ensure a future of improving the lives of women and girls in the Akron area.

A graduate of Leadership Akron Class XXIII in 2007, Lefton is a partner at Brouse McDowell in Akron, Ohio, and a resident of Copley. She is on the board of Goodwill Industries of Akron and is vice president of Project Learn. Lefton is also a member of the Summit County Public Defender’s Commission and serves on the Akron Bar Foundation board of governors.

“Karen’s passion for helping women and girls has helped create a sustainable future for the Women’s Endowment Fund, enabling them to multiply their impact for those in need. By leading for the greater good of the community, Karen has exemplified the mission of Leadership Akron,” said Mark Scheffler, president of Leadership Akron.

Lefton will travel to the national conference of the Association of Leadership Programs in Arlington, Virginia in June 2013 to receive the award.

For 29 years, Leadership Akron has equipped participants for community involvement and leadership. This signature program offers intensive study of community issues and interaction with top decision-makers, empowering participants to expand their effectiveness as community leaders. For more information on Leadership Akron, go to

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