By Gina Goings
Urban League of Southwestern Ohio
The Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio (ULGSO) hosted its 29th Annual Glorifying the Lions Awards, honoring community leaders who have reached age 65 and are committed to serving the community.
This year’s honorees are as follows:
Michael E. Dantley, Ed. D. bishop and senior pastor of the Christ Emmanuel Christian Fellowship
Stephen L. Hightower, president and CEO of Hightowers Petroleum and president of Hightower EV Solutions
Angelita M. Jones, president and CEO of Eastern Personnel Services, Inc.
Camille A. Jones, MD MPH, Retired Assistant Health Commissioner and Division Director, Community Health and Environmental Health Services, Cincinnati Health Department
Peg Moertl, principal of Grovedale Consulting
Rabbi Dr. Gary P. Zola, executive director of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives
The 2023 Lions were honored at a luncheon for their families and selected sponsors on April 6 at the Summit Hotel.
Viewers can also watch the ceremony on ULGSO’s YouTube channel.
“We’re excited to celebrate these six distinguished leaders who have changed the face of Southwestern Ohio by their words, actions and deeds,” says Christie Bryant Kuhns, president and CEO of ULGSO. “These living Lions have done so much to impact their community, and we could not be prouder to acknowledge their achievements.”
The title of the ULGSO Lions award was derived from an old proverb of the Ibo people of Nigeria. It states, “Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” The message is that no telling of history is complete until both sides are told.
Meet the Lions:
Michael E. Dantley, Ed. D. is the bishop and senior pastor of the Christ Emmanuel Christian Fellowship. He and his wife, co-pastor Carol Dantley, have shepherded this congregation for over 48 years. Rev. Dantley is also retired dean of the College of Education, Health and Society and professor emeritus of Educational Leadership at Miami University.
He received the Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award from the University Council for Educational Administration in November 2021. He currently serves on the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Community Advisory Board; and the Cincinnati, Hamilton County Library Foundation.
Stephen L. Hightower is a highly successful serial entrepreneur. He serves as the president and CEO of Hightowers Petroleum Company, a 67-year family-owned business and one of America’s premier marketers of gasoline and diesel fuels. Stephen is also the President of Hightower EV Solutions, LLC, specializing in turnkey services for EV charging infrastructure serving every state in the USA.
He received numerous awards, including NMSDC MBE of the Year and Rainbow PUSH’s Living Legend Award. He sits on the Board of the American Petroleum Institute, Cincinnati Business Committee, the National Minority Supplier Development Council. The Obama, Trump, and Biden Administrations appointed him to the National Petroleum Council and the National Park Foundation Boards.
Angelita M. Jones is president and CEO of Eastern Personnel, a full-service staffing firm. She has successfully guided Eastern’s growth by adding a Home Health Care Division, a Vending Machine Division, and a no-cost Training Division to assist individuals better to excel in their preferred fields.
She is chair of the Trustee Board for Union Baptist Church, treasurer of Top Ladies of Distinction, corresponding secretary of Advocates for Youth Education, board member of the Better Business Bureau, board member of the Port Authority, board member of the Union Foundation, and ambassador for the Freedom Center.
Camille A. Jones, MD MPH, retired as the Assistant Health Commissioner and Division Director Community Health and Environmental Health Services, Cincinnati Health Department, in late 2019 and is currently a public health consultant. Board-certified in internal and preventive medicine, Dr. Jones has dedicated her career to federal, state, and local public health.
Over the years, she led programs related to environmental health services, childhood lead poisoning prevention, health promotion and worksite wellness, vital records, and emerging programs such as health impact assessment, Health in All Policies, and healthy homes assessments. Current interests include the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change resiliency initiatives.
Peg Moertl is the principal of Grovedale Consulting, specializing in community and economic development. In the early 1990s, she co-chaired the City of Cincinnati Equal Business Opportunity Program steering committee. She is also the founding board chair of Strategies to End Homelessness and the first treasurer of the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education.
She was the ULGSO Board Chair when the State of Black Cincinnati was published. She assisted in developing Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Enterprise Council (ORV-WBE).
Rabbi Dr. Gary P. Zola is executive director of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives and the Edward M. Ackerman Family Distinguished Professor of the American Jewish Experience & Reform Jewish History at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
President Obama appointed Dr. Zola on three occasions (2011, 2014, and 2017) to serve as a member of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, an independent Federal government agency.
Viewers can watch the ceremony anytime on ULGSO’s YouTube channel.