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Inspiring Minds Youngstown Names Gilchrist as Director

August 17, 2017

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Inspiring Minds Youngstown announces Stephanie Gilchrist, Mahoning Valley native and Youngstown resident, as the full-time executive director of the local youth organization.

Gilchrist’s role is effective immediately. She is a long-time community collaborator and Inspiring Minds partner. She was most recently the project coordinator at the Youngstown Business Incubator for Tech Block Building 5 and the director of the Women in Entrepreneurship program. In addition, Gilchrist, alongside her husband, own Ryan’s Chair Barber and Beauty Salon, which has been in the community for over 20 years.

“The first time I attended an Inspiring Minds event, I knew immediately that I needed to be a part of this life-changing organization,” said Gilchrist. “I began partnering with IM to offer entrepreneurship workshops and exposure opportunities for students, and became empowered to join the board for Inspiring Minds Youngstown in 2016.”

“Stephanie brings with her a true understanding of the students we are serving and the mission that we value,” Deryck Toles, Inspiring Minds founder and CEO, said in the announcement’s news release. “We feel honored to have someone so engrained in the city and the culture of Youngstown, and know our children will be well served.”

Gilchrist earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Youngstown State University. She also completed the Executive MBA program through Strayer University’s Jack Welch Management Institute.

“I have spent most of my life in this city, my husband and I have owned a business here for over 20 years, our children are products of Youngstown City Schools, and I believe in the power of Youngstown,” said Gilchrist.

Gilchrist has transitioned into her new position, working closely with the Inspiring Minds Youngstown team, lead by interim executive director, Lindsay Benton. Benton, who served as interim during the search for a full-time executive director, has accepted a position as assistant dance professor for Alabama State University.

Inspiring Minds is a nonprofit outreach organization that works with under-represented youth in the community and aims to engage, inspire and empower students through education and exposure to new experiences.

Inspiring Minds Youngstown launched in 2015 as an affiliate to the work happening with Inspiring Minds Warren, which has been operating since 2006.

Pictured: Stephanie Gilchrist, executive director of Inspiring Minds Youngstown.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.