Symposium keynote speaker | Stark State College | North Canton, Ohio
student symposium

Symposium keynote speaker

Kathy Catazaro Perry

Kathy Catazaro PerryKathy Catazaro Perry is the executive director for Community Building Partnership. Kathy served as Mayor of Massillon from 2012-2023. Prior to serving as Mayor, Kathy served as the council representative for Massillon’s Third Ward for eight years.

Catazaro-Perry holds a master’s degree in business administration from Walsh University, a bachelor’s degree in business management from Malone University, and an associate degree in science, (RN) from Stark State College. Kathy is also a graduate of Leadership Stark County 23rd class, as well as the Leadership Stark County Local Government Academy.

Kathy is currently a board member of Whole Latta Love Café, and Stark Mental Health and Addiction Recovery. She is a member of Massillon Woman’s Club, Massillon Quota International, Stop Heroin from Killing Committee, Aultman’s Woman’s Board, Walsh University Women’s Committee, and board President of the Rolling Panthers. Mayor Catazaro Perry is past Chairperson of both the Community Health Foundation of Massillon, and the Stark County Library Foundation. She is a past member of the Stark Development Board of trustees, past member of Strengthening Stark Governance Board, past member of Massillon Homeless Task Force, as well as a past board member of the Massillon Boys & Girls Club. Mayor Catazaro-Perry is the past-vice president of the local board for the OneOhio Recovery Foundation, an Ohio non-profit corporation that governs the state and local government’s use of the allocation of Ohio’s share of the opioid settlement proceeds.

Kathy co-founded the Golden Key Center for Exceptional Children, where she also served as Executive Director for Operations and Medically Fragile Care. Kathy founded the American Elite “American Idols,” a special needs cheerleading team, where she also coaches.  Prior to founding the Golden Key Center, Kathy served as the Director of Weight Management at Aultman Hospital, and as the Director of the Wound Healing Center at the former Doctors Hospital.

Kathy has received numerous honors for her community and public service including, the Gaetano Mattioli Cecchini Humanitarian Award, the Ohio Public Image Award, which recognizes individuals who create positive public awareness for those with disabilities, Rotarian of the Year Mayor Catazaro-Perry was inducted into the Stark State University Alumni Hall of Fame and the YWCA Woman’s Hall of Fame in 2014 for Community Service.  She received the 2014 VFW Post 3124 Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. Special Recognition for Exceptional Service, the prestigious 2014 Athena Leadership Award, the 2014 Malone University Leadership Excellence Award, the 2022 NSME National Sales and Marketing Accent on Excellence award, the MDF Harold Bostic Award for 2022 from the Massillon WestStark Chamber of Commerce, the Rabbi John Spitzer Leadership Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities in 2023 for her long-time dedication and advocacy for people with special needs. Mayor Catazaro-Perry was recognized as the 2020 Person of the Year, About Magazine.

Under her leadership, Mayor Catazaro-Perry’s administration transformed the city’s deficit-laden budget into a surplus. She leveraged tax dollars to bring in millions of federal and state grants used to improve the city while easing the tax burden on residents. Her administration was primarily responsible for resurfacing ninety miles of roads, repairing, or replacing 2,147 catch basins, and replacing city vehicles such as snowplows, police cruisers, and other governmental vehicles. Using her honed leadership skills and inclusive leadership style, she spearheaded the revitalization of Massillon by ensuring the completion of the 2.4-million-dollar Streetscape project, and the 1.6-million-dollar Duncan Plaza Renaissance project. Each of these projects provides a safe and friendly place to gather. Grant dollars and private corporations funded many projects during her administration, including the ice-skating rink at Wampler Park which was funded exclusively by Fresh Mark.  Her strategy for strengthening the community and bolstering local businesses has surpassed expectations.  Design and funding were also secured for the Jake Memorial Splash Park to be built in 2024.

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