We are happy to announce the Board of Director’s selection of Barbara Danforth as the new Chief Executive Officer of Summit Academy Management. She shares Summit’s passion for excellence in educating students with unique learning styles, and has demonstrated that passion through her personal and professional life. Welcome Barbara, we are excited for you to lead our network of schools and programs!
“This opportunity is the perfect intersection of my background and my very personal passion,” says Danforth. “It allows me to combine my professional experience of non-profit leadership and team building with Summit Academy’s dedicated educators and administrators in our shared commitment to support children and teens with unique learning styles. Together, we will become the gold standard for educating non-traditional learners.”
About Barbara Danforth
Prior to joining Summit Academy Management, Barbara served as Senior Vice President at Ratliff & Taylor, an executive search firm in Cleveland Ohio. During her tenure there, she focused on executive talent acquisition. Additionally, Barbara presented professional development seminars, and coaching for executives, emerging leaders, and retirement life planning.
Barbara has more than 20 years of executive and civic leadership experience in the non-profit and public sector markets. For 15 years, she served as President and CEO of the YWCA of Greater Cleveland, where she transformed a fragile agency into a vibrant organization that continues to serve women at all stages of their lives.
Her commitment to gender equality and leadership excellence fueled the creation of the prestigious YWCA Women’s Leadership Academy designed to enhance the career progression of female leaders. Also under her leadership, the YWCA developed services and housing for girls aging out of the foster care system.
Barbara’s early career journey includes the private and public sector practice of law as Assistant Attorney General for the State of Iowa and Chief Prosecutor for the City of Cleveland. She has held management positions in the insurance industry, specializing in medical malpractice. Barbara holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Michigan University.
Her civic commitments include Board positions with the City Club of Cleveland and In Counsel with Women. She is sought for her expertise in the area of diversity and inclusion, and lectures nationally and internationally on leadership. Barbara has been recognized for her accomplishments throughout her career and is the recipient of the YWCA Lifetime Achievement Award and an Athena Award recipient.
She was recognized as one of “The Influentials – 50 People Changing Northeast Ohio” by Cleveland Magazine and one of three “Women Who Give Back” by Kaleidoscope Magazine. Smart Business Magazine named her a “Master Innovator” and Inside Business Magazine named her “One of the 100 Most Powerful People”.