A new group of 40 community leaders from across the business, government and nonprofit sectors has been selected to become Leadership Akron's Signature Class 36, the organization announced in a news release.

Classes spend a full day each month focused on a facet of the community, building connections with other decision-makers along the way to graduation from the yearlong program. 

Members of the new class and their associated community entities:

Bruce Alexander, Akron Public Schools board and Summit County Juvenile Court; Fred Berry, Humility Of Mary Housing; Vivek Bhalla, Summa Health Medical Group; Brian Bidlingmyer, Akron Area YMCA; Tami Bolder, CBIZ;

Megan Bush, Coleman Professional Services; the Rev. Dennis Butts Jr., the House of the Lord; Cynthia Duckworth, Choices A Community Social Center; Courtney Eaton; Meaden & Moore; Melissa Fashinpaur, EY;

Lashawrida Fellows, Summit County Human Resources; Laura Fink, Akron Community Foundation; Leighann Fink, Roetzel and Andress; Tamara Fynan, J.M. Smucker Co.; Brian Gage, Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority;

Mark Gerberich, International Soap Box Derby; Todd Guilliam, Wells Fargo Advisors; Annie Hanson, the University of Akron; Joseph Iacano, Summit Educational Service Center; John Jenkins, Bober Markey Fedorovich;

Laura King, Clifton Larson Allen; Arthur Klatt, PNC Bank; Stephanie Leonardi, Summit Lake Build Corps; Emma Lieberth Osborn, United Way of Summit County; Robert Lux, Bridgestone Americas;

Marquita Mitchell, Project LEARN of Summit County; Chrissy Myers, AUI; Jacinto Nunez, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease; Dr. J. Brent Pawlecki, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.; Melanie Pepe, Weathervane Playhouse;

Alex Shannon, Legacy Strategic Asset Management; Michael Steel, Brennan, Manna & Diamond; Vincent Taylor, Summit DD; Joseph Tucker, South Street Ministries; Adina Calhoun Walker, Stewart and Calhoun Funeral Home;

Christine Walker, FirstEnergy Corp.; Barbara White, Akron-Summit County Public Library; Michele Wilmoth, Akron Children's Hospital; Michael Wilson, Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank; and Steven Wood, Tallmadge  school district.

Leadership Akron has been involved in developing community-minded stewardship since 1984. In addition to its Signature Program, Leadership Akron also offers Junior Leadership Akron, Diversity on Board, NEXT and other community leadership institutes.