AKRON -- Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro was sworn in to office Jan. 5, becoming the first female executive in the county's rich history.

Shapiro, the fifth Summit County executive since 1981, was sworn in by Summit County Court of Common Pleas Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer.

County Councilman Jerry Feeman (D-6) of Tallmadge said he feels Shapiro's staff is "on the right track."

"Their goal is going to be economic development," Feeman said. "A lot of the emphasis had been on the city of Akron, but they want to look at the county as a whole. I think Ilene will do a nice job. Russ put us on the right track. I think they are moving in the right direction."

Councilman Tim Crawford (D-7) said he would "like to see a continued effort in business development, [in] which I think she will be excellent."

"I look at County Council and excluding myself I don't know anyone who could have filled the vacancy of Russ Pry better than Ilene Shapiro," Crawford said. "I think she will do an excellent job."

Shapiro could not be reached for an interview by press time. Check www.twinsburgbulletin.com and next week's Twinsburg Bulletin for a followup story.

Shapiro, who will make $131,661 per year in the position, previously served for three years as president of Summit County Council. She took over the executive position this past summer upon the death of former County Executive Russ Pry in July. She won her Council seat in the November election, defeating Republican challenger Bill Roemer.

As well as serving on County Council for nearly 10 years, Shapiro serves on The University of Akron Research Foundation Board; the Northeast Ohio Four County Regional Planning and Development Organization; and is a member of the Greater Akron Area ATHENA PowerLink governing body, according to information provided by the county. She is an alumnus of both Leadership America and Leadership Akron and is a past President of the Women's Network.

She is a founder of the Women's Endowment Fund of the Akron Community Foundation and was formerly the chairperson of the Summit County Green Task Force.

According to information provided by the county, Shapiro was awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration Women's Business Advocate for the State of Ohio and the Judith A. Resnick Woman of the Year Award for Inspiration. In 2015, she received the Harold Stubbs Award for Government.

Ron Koehler (R-1), who was recently elected to County Council, said that he was "looking forward to working with Ms. Shapiro's administration in the new year."

John Schmidt (D-2) said he looked "forward to working with Ilene on bettering the life of Summit County citizens."

"I know she will do an excellent job in continuing the excellent stewardship that was the trademark of Russ Pry," Schmidt said.

Clair Dickinson (D-at large) said that Shapiro was the first county executive to have also served on County Council.

"I've enjoyed working with her so far, in the short time we've worked together," said Dickinson, who was appointed to Shapiro's Council seat when Shapiro went to the executive's office in August. "I look forward to working with her. I think she is well-qualified."

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