Board of Directors

 Mary Andres Russell, Chair

Retired Professional Development Director, Matthews Aurora Funeral Solutions

“A friend introduced me to the Character Council in 2001, just shortly after its founding.  I was instantly attracted to the 49 (at that time) character qualities.  The focus on character over the past years has been life-changing – so simple, never easy, and surprisingly powerful through its combination of ethics, excellence, and caring.  Now more than ever we need this focus on high character to illuminate our lives.”

 Don Larrick, Vice Chair

Retired Principal, Three Rivers Elementary School

“As a former Elementary School Principal, I have seen how Character affects our relationships with others and our own success. Nine years ago, we adopted the Character Council’s “Words of the Month” after an In-Service Program presented by Mary Russell.

We chose the nine words that we feel most impact our young students. As we have practiced these words (Kindness, Cooperation, Honesty, Respect, Compassion, Enthusiasm, Patience, Responsibility and Determination)  the climate of our school has changed. There is a sense of Cooperation, Caring, Friendliness, a TEAM spirit, and discipline, and referrals have decreased dramatically.

We believe that ‘Character Matters’  and that ‘Character Begins with Me’.”

 Doris Adotey, Secretary

Deputy Human Resources Director – City of Cincinnati

“As a public servant, I joined the Character Council to amplify opportunities for me to be involved in my community to make a meaningful impact. I appreciate the intentional approach to actually do good in the community and consciously promote good character and enhance and enrich the spirit of Cincinnati. 

 Dolores J. Lindsay

Founder & Retired CEO, The Healthcare Connection

Mrs. Lindsay has been called the “dean of community health centers in Ohio” and has been a mentor to hundreds of health care professionals, working at local, state, and federal levels to ensure quality health care for those who need it most. Her passion for serving diverse populations in our community has resulted in a model for health centers across the nation. She has been a champion for medical translation services.  She has led the Healthcare Connection since 1967 and recently mentored a culturally diverse staff of over 90 at three health centers, four primary care sites in mental health facilities, and three school-based health centers until her recent retirement. The key to her longevity is what the lifelong Catholic refers to as the ninth beatitude, “Blessed are the flexible,” she likes to say, “for they never shall get bent out of shape.”  As a character advocate, Mrs. Lindsay partnered with the Character Council to encourage character in the culture of health centers.

“It takes godly, strong, persevering women who are always serving other people,” said Lindsay.


 Kausha Mehta

Teacher, Heritage Hill Elementary

“A friend introduced me to the Character Council last year. As a third grade teacher at Heritage Hill Elementary in the Princeton City School District, Character Education has always been a priority in my curriculum. Instilling the importance of respecting and valuing each other, regardless of differences, is critical to the emotional development of every child. What I enjoy most about our organization is seeing the continuation and growth of what I teach in the classroom, to other parts of our community.”

 Diane Brueggemann

Retired – Public Safety, University of Cincinnati

I see the Character Council as the inspiration for a world where through good character each citizen is living the best version of themselves. I imagine a world full of these best versions displaying kindness, compassion, honesty, generosity, positivity, trustworthiness, and creativity. I am inspired and honored to be a part of an organization which is a catalyst for promoting a world encompassed and filled by good character. 

 Jill Tomey

Retired IT Professional

“I have been a volunteer with the organization almost since the beginning. Now that I am retired, I am excited to join the Board. I started my journey in the anti-bully area and quickly realized that we need to do more things to prevent bullying in the first place, and that’s when I discovered the Character Council and the solution. Through the years, I’ve watched Character Education grow from simple programs to the foundation for improving an organization’s culture. These can be as small as families or as large as corporations. I am eager to see where we take it next!”

 Susan Mitchell

Retired, Sales and Marketing Professional
Hillenbrand Industries

 “After serving as a volunteer on the committee for the Heroes of Character Celebration, I was immediately impressed with the mission of the organization and the message it instills within our community.

Today, we are faced with so many challenges and so much negativity that it takes a strong person to stand up and do the right thing when the easiest thing would be to turn and walk away.  The Character Council provides support through encouragement, educational programs, and materials to help stay focused on good character traits and positivity.

The annual Heroes of Character Celebration recognizes individual heroes within our communities and schools who have set an example for others by “doing the right thing.”  While the stories are unique, the common thread is setting an example by demonstrating good character traits.  ‘Character…it begins with me.’ 

I am looking forward to spreading our message to communities throughout the Tri-state area while leaving a legacy of caring.”


Michael P. Daly,
Emeritus Board Member

Character Council Founder
Owner, Estate Planning Institute

Michael is the owner and founder of the Estate Planning Institute and Founder of the Character Council.  Michael & his wife Pamela began the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky out of their driving passion to see lives improved through good character and a clear conscience.  Michael knows firsthand what it means to struggle with character issues, having worked for many years on improving his own character.  During his youth, he was what he now considers “an energy taker” and was expelled from several high schools.  Because of his own struggles, he brings a unique perspective to the Council and can reach out to the youth of this community to assist them in changing their lives and investing in their own character. 

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