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Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro to Appoint Diane Miller-Dawson as New Director of Finance & Budget


Miller-Dawson to retire from City of Akron after decades of distinguished service

City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Ellen Lander Nischt
Published: 06-27-2019

Today, Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro and Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan jointly announced that Diane Miller-Dawson will retire as Director of Finance for the City of Akron, and join the County of Summit as the Executive’s Director of Finance & Budget in September. Miller-Dawson began her career with the City of Akron in 1978, and has served as Director of Finance since 2004.  At the County, she will succeed Brian Nelsen, who will be replacing Jason Dodson as Chief of Staff to Executive Shapiro in September.


“We are certainly excited to bring someone with Diane’s qualifications, knowledge and expertise in local government finances and budgeting to the County,” said County Executive Shapiro.  “Diane has been a leader both in government and the community for several decades, and we look forward to adding her leadership and wisdom to County government.  I am positive she will hit the ground running and work closely with our team to keep the County in a stable financial position, while we continue to develop innovative solutions to address the needs of our residents and businesses.” 


Miller-Dawson was born and raised in Akron and graduated from Buchtel High School in 1977. The following year, while pursuing her bachelor’s degree from the University of Akron, Diane joined the City of Akron as a part-time Recreation staffer.  Diane rose through the ranks in Recreation, and joined the Service Department in 1988 in accounting and operations. After earning her MBA in 1994 and briefly relocating to New York, Diane was appointed as Deputy Director of Finance for the City of Akron in 1997, and Director of Finance in 2004. 


During her career with the City, Miller-Dawson played a pivotal role in the creation of Joint Economic Development Districts (JEDDs), the $800 million effort to rebuild the City’s schools into Community Learning Centers, the agreements to retain major employers like Bridgestone and Goodyear, and the revitalization of Downtown. She has deep ties within the community, currently serving on the boards of the Cleveland Clinic-Akron General, Summit County Children’s Services, Summit Akron Solid Waste Management Authority, the Akron Public Schools Joint Board of Review, and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Akron Alumnae Chapter.  In 2017, Diane was inducted by the Akron Urban League into the Women in STEAM Leadership Academy.


“Few people I have encountered in my career have earned as much professional respect or personal admiration as Diane Miller-Dawson,” Mayor Horrigan said. “She has played a central role in ensuring financial stability and operational efficiency in this City through both good and challenging times. She has served as a trusted advisor to leadership, a role model to newer staff, and a stable representative to our financial stakeholders. On behalf of past and present administrations and staff, I want to thank Diane for devoting her significant professional talents to our City for many years.”  


“And while we are sad to see her leave the City, we are thrilled that she will continue to serve our community by joining Executive Shapiro’s administration, our close partner in economic development and quality of life initiatives,” Mayor Horrigan added.


Miller-Dawson will retire from the City at the end of August and join the County in September. As Director of Finance & Budget, she will oversee over a billion dollars in financial transactions and the budget allocations to every department, office and division of Summit County government.


“I want to thank Mayor Horrigan and my colleagues at the City of Akron for the opportunity to serve the community that I love,” Miller-Dawson said.  “I look forward to working with Executive Shapiro, the other County officeholders, and their respective staffs, all while serving our broader community from the regional and collaborative perspective that our County government prioritizes.”

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