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Female business leaders in the midstate

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From left: Ruth Dietz, secretary/treasurer of J.P. Donmoyer Inc.; Pamela Gunter-Smith, president of York College; and Karen Scolforo, president of Central Penn College.
From left: Ruth Dietz, secretary/treasurer of J.P. Donmoyer Inc.; Pamela Gunter-Smith, president of York College; and Karen Scolforo, president of Central Penn College. - (Photo / Submitted)

Here are some more of Central Pennsylvania's leading women in the business world.

Ruth Dietz, secretary/treasurer of J.P. Donmoyer Inc.

For 43 years, Dietz has been in front of J.P. Donmoyer Inc., a 175-employee trucking company based in Ono, Lebanon County. Dietz began by taking over the business — which she knew nothing about — from her late husband, and she said she's still learning about the industry.

Now 88, she still goes into the office daily. She says it's been a challenge to succeed in such a male-dominated field, but she has made strides in being recognized as an asset to the industry. "I had to understand this was the world I was in," Dietz said. "This is what I was going to do, so I had to learn it and live with it. I just had to have people believe that I could manage what was put in front of me in a strictly male-oriented business."

Pamela Gunter-Smith, president of York College

The fourth president of York College has barely started her new position, and she's already breaking barriers. She became both the first woman and the first black president of the college when she started in July.

"Pressure comes from those who might see me as representative of all women and all women of color, which, of course, I am not," she said. "That said, I have been the 'first and only' many times in my professional career. This is not new to me. What I do feel is a tremendous responsibility to be a role model for other women and to assist them in achieving their own aspirations."

Gunter-Smith comes to York from Drew University in Madison, N.J., where she previously served as the provost and academic vice president. She was at Drew from 2006; from 1992 to 2006, she served as professor of physiology at her alma mater, Spelman College in Atlanta.

Karen Scolforo, president of Central Penn College

Scolforo becomes the school's third female president and the first since 1969. She has served in executive leadership in higher education for 14 years as both the former executive director of the Fortis Institute and at the Jacksonville, Fla., campus of Keiser University.

A native of Massachusetts, her move to the midstate represents a return to her Northeast roots and a move into a position she said she's always wanted.

She said her priorities are student-driven — such as making sure the 1,150 students are fully prepared for job interviews and real-world experiences — and is ready for her new role. "Especially in higher education, which is a key progression for women and for men, I think it's important to have strong women leaders," she said. "It's a responsibility I take very seriously."

Michael Sadowski

Michael Sadowski

Mike Sadowski covers Lebanon County, banking and finance, law and the legal community, and technology. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at michaels@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @MikeCPBJ. Circle Michael Sadowski on .

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