Stephanie Byrd and Steve Shifman to be honored at 4C gala

Saturday, Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m., Hilton Netherland Plaza

Stephanie Byrd

Stephanie Byrd

Stephanie Byrd and Steve Shifman will be the honorees at the 11th annual Champions for Children gala, a 4C for Children fundraiser.

Byrd is executive director of United Way’s Success By 6 and is co-leading efforts to implement the Cincinnati Preschool Promise. Since leaving a 20-year-career in the health care industry for her current role, she has been an advocate for improving access to high-quality early learning programs and effective parent-engagement strategies. A member of several community boards, she has received numerous awards for her contributions to the community.

Shifman, president and CEO of Michelman, is a member of the Cincinnati Preschool Promise Steering Committee and the United Way Executive Committee. He is the Southwest Ohio board chair of Teach for America and chairs United Way Major Gifts with his wife, Julie. Among his many awards, he was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013.

“Both Stephanie and Steve personify what it means to serve as advocates for children and early childhood education in the Cincinnati community,” said Vanessa Freytag, president/CEO of 4C for Children.

Steve Shifman

Steve Shifman

She said Byrd’s leadership “has been instrumental in educating all corners of our community on the importance of the earliest years. …There is no one who brings a stronger combination of knowledge and passion to early childhood issues on behalf of children, families and child care providers.”

Shifman, who has served as co-chair of the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee Education Subcommittee for years, “is one of the most critical business leaders working on the Cincinnati Preschool Promise,” Freytag said. “As one of the early proponents of the initiative, he has helped open doors with corporate leaders, which has resulted in the formation of one of the strongest business/community partnerships in the country to further early childhood education.”

Co-chairs Tiffiny Dawson and Zamaris Geleszinski head the gala planning committee, which also includes Tori Ames, Katie Hayden, Veronica Sebald, Megan Stacey, Christy Stockton, Ann Williams and Nan Witten.

Tickets are $150.

This year’s event also will include the presentation of the Champions for Children: The Next Generation Award to a project involving local high school students taking action on behalf of children. The deadline for applications is Oct. 14.

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