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Alumna, entrepreneur to participate in campus conference

ATHENS, Ohio (May 3, 2007) -- Alumna Melanie Sabelhaus will be on the Athens Campus for the OHIO Women Making a Difference conference May 7-8 to share her experience as an entrepreneur and philanthropist with current students, faculty, staff and members of the community. 

As part of the "Pathfinder Series" of educational seminars and lectures, Sabelhaus will conduct a session titled "Entrepreneuring Women" on Tuesday, May 8, from 9:10 to 10 a.m. in Baker University Center. Sabelhaus also will participate in a panel discussion, "Pioneering OHIO Women in Philanthropy," from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. in Baker University Center Ballroom B. Both sessions are free and open to the public. The deadline to register for conference meals is Friday.

Sabelhaus, BSJ '70, was appointed by Sen. Elizabeth Dole to serve as chair of the Women's Majority Network for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. She also serves as the senior Republication adviser to Women Impacting Public Policy.

A former deputy administrator of the United States Small Business Association, she has more than 25 years of successful business and corporate experience. She founded and served as chief executive officer of Exclusive Interim Properties from 1986 to 1997. The company generated $10 plus million annually with its 650 furnished units. For 15 years prior to forming her own business, she served in a variety of management positions with IBM Corp. 

Before joining the SBA, Sabelhaus devoted three years to community fundraising and women's business issues. During her tenure as SBA deputy administrator, Sabelhaus served as second in command in managing the agency, which has more than 80 offices nationwide. She was responsible for overseeing policy development and program supervision. Since leaving the SBA in June 2005, Sabelhaus has continued to focus her energy on her passion for nonprofits. 

She serves on several national and local boards, including the National American Red Cross Board of Governors, the United Way and YWCA. Currently, she is the national chair of the American Red Cross Women's Initiative.

Sabelhaus is the 2007 recipient of the Lou Campanelli Award from the SCORE Foundation, the 2002 Outstanding Volunteer Fund-raiser Award from the Association of Fund-raising Professionals, the College of Notre Dame of Maryland's Pro Urbe Award, and the Ohio University's School of Business award for Achievement in Business. In 2004, she was the recipient of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland Distinguished Women's Award and she was named Euro-American Women's Council Leadership Celebration American Honoree. She has received the Circle of Excellence Award from Maryland's Top 100 Women in 1996, 2002 and 2004. 

The OHIO Women Making a Difference conference will feature a number of Ohio University alumni, friends, faculty and community members, including:

  • Paige Alost, executive director, Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Ruth Bradley, director, Athens International Film and Video Festival
  • Natalie Chieffe, associate professor of finance, Ohio University
  • Katherine A. Clark, BGS '77, DO '88, practicing DO
  • Patricia Conner Study, AB '48, philanthropist, retired real estate executive
  • Sharon Denham, BSN '86, professor of nursing, Ohio University
  • Charlotte Eufinger, Union County Probate Court Judge
  • Megan Kelly, BSH '95, attorney
  • Christina Lafferty, BSED '74, MA '76, professor of behavioral science, National Defense University
  • Chris Matter, director of development, Planned Parenthood of Southeast Ohio
  • Barbara Matthews, BSHE '71, director of event marketing, USA Today
  • Judy Millesen, associate professor of political science, Ohio University
  • Victoria Stone Moledor, BSJ '95, attorney
  • Cita Strauss, BFA '77, MPA '06, director, Athens County Habitat for Humanity
  • Diana Walters, BFA '68, MFA '70, voice teacher, Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts
  • Geraldine Urse, DO '93, practicing physician

For additional information, or to register, visit the conference Web site at: www.ohio.edu/development/women/conference.cfm.

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Written by: Jennifer Bowie, the university's director of development for communication.

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