Board of Directors

 Mary Andres Russell, Chair

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 19 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 effects 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 referrals have decreased dramatically.

We believe that “Character Matters”  and that “Character Begins with Me”.”

 Derrick Gentry, Treasurer

HR Manager, City of Cincinnati Park Board

“I am honored to be a part of the Character Council. Empowering our community to embody qualities like respect, compassion, generosity, trustworthiness, and forgiveness is essential to enhance and connect the lives in our community for generations to come. I believe there is kindness in everyone and the Character Council helps to make all of us respect each other regardless of our differences. I appreciate the opportunity to serve on the Board of this great organization.”


 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. 

 Gary Lee, Past Chair

Retired Captain, Cincinnati Police


 Dolores J. Lindsay

Founder & Retired CEO, The Healthcare Connection


 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. 

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