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Ashland Chautauqua Committee

The Ashland Chautauqua Committee is made up of dedicated individuals from around Ashland County, representing the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Parks District, the Loudonville Theatre and Arts Committee, Ashland City Schools, Ashland University, and other local organizations.

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Laurie Beech is a graduate of the Mansfield City School System and is a Senior Designer at McCready Interiors/Norwalk Furniture in Mansfield. Laurie and her husband Tom reside in Lexington, Ohio. She enjoys spending time with her many nieces and nephews and their growing families. Her hobbies include gardening, cooking, baking, and yoga. Laurie and Tom have been supporters of Ashland's Guy C. Myers Memorial Band Shell for many years.

 
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Lori Byron is the Office Manager for the Institutional Advancement Office at Ashland University. She received her Master’s in Nonprofit Management from Regent University and has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 25 years, mainly in higher education. A resident since 2003, she loves the community of Ashland. Lori enjoys knitting, cooking, and especially bicycle riding or international travel with her husband John, a professor at Ashland Theological Seminary.

 
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Amy Daubenspeck graduated from Ashland University with a BA in English Literature and a minor in Philosophy. As Director of Operations for the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce and Explore Ashland, she works to grow and sustain a healthy business community and promotes the Ashland Area as a convention and tourist destination to regional, state, national and international visitors. Since 2019 she also serves as Interim Director of the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce. Amy has been both a member and officer in the Kiwanis Club, Ashland Public Library Board of Trustees, Mohican Wildlife Weekend Planning Committee, Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor Board, and Ashland Main Street. A longtime resident of Ashland County, she lives with her husband Russell and their son James.

 
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Starr Dobush graduated from Kent State University with a master’s in Special Education, is licensed as an Intervention Specialist, and has held many positions in the field of special education. She currently works in Columbus in the OCALI Lifespan Transition Center, where she works to inspire change for people with disabilities. She moved to the Ashland area in 2016. She was a committee chair for the Savannah Bicentennial Celebration in 2018. She and her husband Jim and their dog Petty enjoy going for runs. One of Starr’s passions is for improving the environment. She is always seeking ways to REDUCE waste, REUSE products, and attempt to upcycle before RECYCLING or sending waste to landfills. 

 
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Deleasa Randall-Griffiths is a founding member of the Ashland Chautauqua Committee. She wrote and directed three local history performances for Ashland Chautauqua and in 2015 was a featured scholar/performer as suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt. A Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and Director of the Online Communication Studies Program at Ashland University, she earned a Ph.D. in Speech Communication from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. In 2012 the Ohio Communication Association honored Deleasa with an Innovative Teacher Award. She has a supportive husband Tom and a delightful daughter Faith.

 
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Dorothy Stratton retired as a Professor of Social Work after teaching at Ashland University for 28 years. She earned her Master of Social Work at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She was part of the local group that established the Ashland Center for Nonviolence and was a founder of Ashland County Oral Health Services, which operated the 9th Street Dental Center, a safety-net clinic in Ashland until its merger with Third Street Family Health Services in 2020. She and her husband John were early and continuous supporters of Ashland Chautauqua. Her daughter's family has traveled from Washington, DC for several summers to attend all the Chautauqua events and to serve as volunteers at the events.

 
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Tricia Applegate is a founding member of the Ashland Chautauqua, a past committee member, and current consultant to the committee. She is a native of Ashland County and a firm believer in lifelong learning. She received her BA in music and business from Heidelberg College and attended the University of Akron for a master’s degree in Arts Administration. She continues to "build community through the arts" with arts programming and community participation as the Executive Director for the Firelands Symphony Orchestra in Huron, Ohio.

 
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Judy Webster served on the Ashland Chautauqua Committee for nearly 20 years. She is the coordinator for the City of Ashland's Guy C. Myers Memorial Band Shell and continues to coordinate Ashland Chautauqua’s Opening Acts each year. She is a founding member and past Chair of Loudonville Theatre & Arts Committee and continues as a Committee member.  She is the past President of the Mohican-Loudonville Convention and Visitors Bureau and was the Recreation Director for the Village of Loudonville from 1998 to 2010. Judy and her husband David have resided in the Loudonville area since 1972; they have two children and four grandchildren.