Dragonfly Co-Founders to Receive “Women of Influence” Awards


CINCINNATI – June 7, 2019 – The Dragonfly Foundation co-founders Christine Neitzke and Ria Davidson will each be honored during the 6th Annual Lead Tribune Media Group Women of Influence Awards luncheon Tuesday, June 11 at Manor House Banquet & Conference Center in Mason, Ohio from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The publisher of Venue Magazine, Greater Cincinnati’s lifestyle publication, and LEAD Magazine, the publication for technology and business executives, created the Women of Influence Awards to recognize those who have helped shape the success of their organization while demonstrating leadership, professional achievement and continuous contributions to the workplace and/or community. Award nominees are specifically evaluated on personal leadership, impact on a company/organization culture and successes championing change.    

Cincinnatians Davidson and Neitzke jointly formed The Dragonfly Foundation in 2010 as a 501c3 with a mission to help pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage and joy by providing emotional, relational, and practical support.

The Dragonfly Foundation fulfills its mission by supporting patients and families before, during and beyond treatment through relationships with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Dayton Children’s Hospital in addition to the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital and Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago, Ill. The Dragonfly Foundation also benefits from generous support from business, corporations, organizations and individuals that provide vital contributions to core operational activities, fundraising events and more.

“I cannot think of two more deserving recipients of the Women of Influence Award than Ria Davidson and Christine Neitzke. Ria and Christine are not only wonderfully compassionate individuals, but they are also passion-driven activators,” Dragonfly Foundation Board of Directors member Dr. Jennifer Chung of the Christ Hospital Health Network said.

“This powerhouse duo had a vision that was catalyzed out of personal experience with pediatric cancer: to create an organization that could provide reliable support, joy, and strength to the children in our community, along with their families and caretakers, who are battling cancer.

“They not only saw that goal to fruition, but also exceeded all initial expectations. Dragonfly is now the premier resource for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to provide immediate and long-term support for children and adults with cancer.

“Ria and Christine have changed the landscape of pediatric cancer in Cincinnati, and through Dragonfly, will continue to positively impact and change many lives in our community and beyond.”

“I can’t think of two more deserving leaders for this prestigious award.  Ria and Christine have built a world-class organization from the ground up that is entirely focused on improving the lives of children and families battling pediatric cancer,” said Brad Cates, Dragonfly Foundation Board of Directors member and Prosource CEO

“They have impacted lives and brought joy and hope to countless kids and families when it’s most needed.  They are a living example of servant leadership and an inspiration to all of us in the business community.”

Fellow 2019 Women of Influence honorees are:

Michele Bailes, The Broken Bus Ministry
Catie Doebler, 84.51 °
Erin Fries, MD,Bon Secours Mercy Health
Nancy Grayson, Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky
Debra Harris, Shankman & Associates, Inc.
Janelle Hocker, Step Higher Inc. – Nella’s Place
Mallory Isaack,SC Johnson & Son, Inc.
Carolyn Jones,Cincinnati Public Schools
Shannon Jones, Warren County Board of Commissioners & Groundwork, Ohio
D. Lynn Meyers,Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati
Krista Monnin,Procter & Gamble
Casey Moran, GE Digital
Melissa Newman, Ph.D., JDRF & University of Cincinnati
Diana O’Brien, Deloitte
Jillian Payne, 84.51°
Jacki Purcell, Northwestern Mutual
Kendra Ramirez,Kendra Ramirez Digital Agency
Mardia Shands, Partners for a Competitive Workforce – United Way of Greater Cincinnati
Kavitha Sivaraman, MD,Cincinnati Eye Institute/CEI Vision Partners
Kate Solomon, FC Cincinnati & FC Cincinnati Foundation
Amy Thompson, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
Barbara Turner,Ohio National Financial Services
Moira Weir,Hamilton County Job & Family Services
Julia Wesselkamper,The Julia Wesselkamper Group, Coldwell Banker West Shell
Michele Young, Philanthropist

The fight for excellence in pediatric cancer treatment is important, but no less important is the commitment The Dragonfly Foundation is making to support families striving for fulfilling and complete lives during and after treatment. Though treatment may end, and, illness be cured or managed, the long-term effects of internal group tension, familial isolation, post-traumatic stress, anxiety of recurrence as well as the emotional, physical and financial tolls on families often linger for years. While the importance of quality healthcare is a commonly shared value, The Dragonfly Foundation’s urgent, passionate mission is to offer families a holistic, uncompromising, fighting chance at well-being.