Female business leaders in the midstate

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.

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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

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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

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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.

Michael Sadowski

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