Who We Are


Founding Directors | Board of Directors

Affirmation Ministries is blessed to have a Board of Directors comprised of individuals with a diversity of life and work experiences, educational backgrounds, talents, abilities and gifts. The depth of their spirituality, their attitudes of open and seeking hearts and minds, along with their desire to give of their time, talents and treasure provides a strong foundation to the stability as well as ongoing development of this ministry.


Micky and Greg Wolf — Founding Directors

With the encouragement of mentors and spiritual advisors, Micky and Greg established Affirmation Ministries in 2003.

Micky [a convert to Catholicism in 1972] and Greg have been married 39 years and are the parents of two adult children.  Both have been active for a number of years in a variety of ministries at St. Paul Catholic Church, North Canton, Ohio.

 


Greg Wolf — Executive Director

Greg, a Process Metallurgist, has worked most of his life in the steel industry. He is a graduate of Walsh University, North Canton, Ohio.

Greg volunteers with “LifeTeen” [Catholic Youth Ministry], enjoys reading, movies, astronomy, digital photography, computers, classic era science-fiction, being near the ocean and spending time with his family.

In his words…”Several years ago a job reassignment required a lot of “doing”. More recently, God has given me a place ‘to be’ in my workplace, using the gifts and strengths bestowed upon me. In this manner ‘doing and being’ are not exclusive, but complement each other. The benefits are not just in the workplace, but are also expressed at home and elsewhere.  That is a good place ‘to be’. It is okay to ‘do’, but do it out of ‘being’.


Micky Wolf – Director, Programs and Services

Micky has been creating and developing programs and materials for the Ministry since its formation in 2003. She presently facilitates retreats, workshops and small group sessions on a variety of topics related to helping individuals discover their authentic mission and purpose. She was previously employed as a child and family advocate in the area of mental health services. She has also worked in radio broadcasting and direct mail advertising.

Micky, a Certified Spiritual Director, is a graduate of the Ignatian Spirituality Program at John Carroll University, Cleveland, Ohio. A published author, she writes and maintains a blog.

Micky enjoys being with family and friends, taking long walks at the ocean, reading, movies, listening to and encouraging others, good music, food and fellowship.

In her words...”Becoming a whole person is a life-long journey of personal discovery. The more we understand who we are as unique individuals made in the image and likeness of God, the better equipped we are to love and serve God and others.  Healthy self-awareness—noticing our thoughts and feelings—provides valuable insight for living in the moment and carrying out God’s desires for our life.”


Donna Shadle – Chair, Board of Directors

Many individuals, young and old, as well as families have been positively impacted by Donna. As a classroom teacher, building administrator and school principal, she served more than 40 years in educating children, primarily kindergarten through elementary education. At the high school level, she volunteered for years directing the Canton, Ohio, Central Catholic High School musical.

Donna holds an Education Specialist Master Degree, as well as a Masters in Early Childhood Education. She serves in a number of professional advisory capacities to local and regional education organizations. Active in a variety of local charitable and civic organizations and Boards, her organizational talents and gifts, hospitable and welcoming spirit, all serve to bless this ministry and our various activities. She enjoys being part of church ministry and continues to be a Eucharistic Minister at St. Paul Catholic Church, North Canton, Ohio.

Donna, now that she is retired, enjoys traveling and spending time with her family of four grown children and seven grandchildren.

In her words…”Being” is a life-long journey. I love helping people!  It is affirming and comforting to me when I have given myself to another in sharing time, giving information, or just listening. This helps me to practice “being who you really are”.

 

Judith Higgins – Treasurer, Board of Directors

A retired math teacher, she has served on the St. Paul Catholic Church Parish Council and is a Eucharistic Minister. She also volunteers at an area elementary school in their library and at a local medical center as part of their Reach Out and Read program.

Judy and her husband have been beloved friends of this Ministry for many years. Her compassionate spirit and wisdom is definitely a gift to those who have the opportunity to work with her.

Judy enjoys sewing, knitting, reading murder mysteries, and gardening.

In her words…“I believe we must give in order to become the person God wants us to be.  The giving can take many forms including time, talents, prayers, even smiles.” 

 


Jeannie Smith – Secretary, Board of Directors

Jeannie Smith, Secretary of the Board of Directors of Affirmation Ministries, has been involved with the Ministry since 2004.  At that time, she was a member of the first group of individuals to go through the 7 Week Affirmation Series, “Becoming Who God Created You to Be”.  Upon completion of the series, she chose to continue her journey by volunteering to serve the Ministry.

A single mother, she currently resides in Massillon with her middle school aged son.  They are members of St. Joan of Arc Church in Canton. She serves as a helper with the Kindergarten through Grade Three Choir and also teaches Liturgy of the Word at Sunday Mass for children, Kindergarten through Grade Four. 

Jeannie recently returned to college with the intent to obtain a degree in business administration.

She is presently employed as a caregiver for infants at A Wonder World Learning Center located in North Canton, Ohio. 

In her words…”Life is never quite as we want it to be, but it’s how we handle those ups and downs that matter. Sidney J. Harris said: ‘It’s surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you're not comfortable within yourself, you can't be comfortable with others.’ No one has an easy life but our trials are what make us stronger and better people if we let them. If you learn to rely on God to get you through, life becomes so much easier.”

 


Henedine Aldana, M.D. – General Member, Board of Directors

Henedine, with her husband, Ben, are the parents of four children; the youngest two are in high school.  She works part time as an attending physician at Rainbow Babies and Children Pediatric Emergency Department, in Cleveland.

She has served as clinical instructor at the University of Illinois, the Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine and currently, at the Case Western University School of Medicine.  On her second year of study at the Ignatian Spirituality Institute, John Carroll University, she hopes to be certified as a Spiritual Director. 

Active within her church and community, Henedine has served on numerous civic boards and committees.   She gently and persistently spreads the word of Jesus’ love in every way she can.  Her wonderful enthusiasm and support for getting the word out about the transforming power of authentic affirmation is truly gift to this ministry and to those whose lives she touches.

Henedine enjoys reading, playing the piano, ballroom dancing, cooking, traveling, and meeting new people.

In her words…"Our gracious God never stops communicating with us in every way imaginable—through nature, through people we meet, through each and every experience and most of all, through our deepest and most authentic desires; our job is to listen."

 

 

Jackie Schatz - Chair, Intercessory Prayer Ministry
Jackie has been a faithful prayer warrior for this Ministry for some time, is a daily Mass communicant, and frequently participates in Adoration. She has been a resident of Florida since 1981, having been born and raised in Connecticut.

She has one sister also living in Florida, two nieces and a nephew. Jackie is presently active as a member of her parish Women’s Core Team, attends weekly prayer meetings, and lectors at San Isidro Church in Pompano Beach. She has also served as a member of various prayer teams, as well as being a leader for groups ministering to individuals who have experienced divorce and separation.

She has been employed at Florida Power and Light for 22 years. While her life is full, Jackie makes sure to find time to enjoy her family, go dancing, travel, take a stroll on the beach, or read a good book.



Sue Niehaus, Event Coordinator
Sue lights her surroundings with a smile and her gentle, loving presence. Widowed in 1998 after being married to Tom for 30 years, she is the mother of four children and definitely most proud as grandmother to nine! As a member of St. Paul Parish in North Canton for over 35 years, she has been involved in a variety of parish activities and ministries. She is quick to lend a helping hand, offer a word of encouragement, or share some freshbaked goodies. Sue’s gift of hospitality is a blessing to many, often in opening her home for a variety of gatherings and meetings. Her knack for combining colors, images, and textures is reflected in everything she does—from scrapbooking with her granddaughters to creating a warm and welcoming environment for any event, small or large.

Sue is presently employed with Adventures in Advertising as a sales associate, primarily in the area of corporate gifts and market specialties.