Each week, the #SpanningtheNeed podcast will present an “Inspirational Person of the Week’ and have a “Q & A” with one of its many gifted individuals and/or groups who are willing to go out of their own way to help others. This week’s featured is Mayor Catherine Cercone Miller from the City of Struthers.
Name: Catherine Cercone Miller
Organization: City of Struthers
Emerging from a long line of excellence, including a grandfather that served in WWII, Catherine Cercone Miller was born and raised in Struthers. Like her father before, who graduated in 1968 and played on Struthers’ 1967 undefeated football team, Catherine graduated from Struthers High School in 2001. During her time at Struthers High School, she served on many school organizations and committees including Class President.
Catherine attended Capital University where she continued her active participation in many school organizations. In 2005, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in both psychology and art therapy.
After spending six years in the Municipal Court’s Prosecutor’s office, Catherine was elected as both Struthers’ and Mahoning County’s first female mayor in 2020.
Alongside her mayoral duties, she currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Struthers School Foundation for Educational Excellence, as President for the Struthers Rotary Community Corps™, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Hope Foundation of Mahoning County™ as well as the Bonnie Beachy Legacy Scholarship™ Committee.
In addition, she also serves as Director for Taste of Struthers™ and is a member of the Mayor’s Association of Ohio™, the Mahoning River Corridor Mayor’s Association™, the Arbor Day Foundation™, the Mill Creek Metropark Citizens Advisory Committee™, the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber™, and has worked with both children and adults with autism in Hermitage, PA.
Among her many awards and recognitions, she was recently presented with the “SCRIPT National Conference™ Award for Innovation” as well as named a Rotary “Paul Harris Fellow™”. Catherine is also spearheading many new projects and initiatives for Struthers including the Mahoning Riverfront Project and having Struthers certified as a Tree City USA™ member.
Cat’s mom and wife duties take priority in her life so you can find her cheering on her and her husband’s two boys who are very active in sports when she’s not at City Hall.
What made you want to go into this field?
I’ve always wanted to be mayor since I was little. Knowing that I had the determination to force change for the better. I wanted to change the game to make it more of a public service job than a political job.
What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful?
My morals, How I was raised and the people I have around me.
What is the biggest professional mistake you made along the way?
I don’t consider them mistakes. They’re learning experiences
What is the hardest decision you ever had to make in this field??
Most decisions are easy as long as I know who I am and stand by my morals and ethics.
If you could start all over again, what would you do differently regarding your profession?
What inspires you to do good in our community?
Simple. My kids.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering in our community?
Spending time with the people and enforcing change and watching it happen
What song best describes you or is the soundtrack to your life?
Superwoman- Alicia Keys
What is your best accomplishment/experience in life?
My two boys, Bradley and Anthony
Who is your role model and Why?
I have a lot for different reasons, Number 1 is my husband Brad, Number 2&3 is my mom,Teri Cercone & Mark Cercone, Chrissy Bohl, Simon Arias, Jim Tressel, Mayor Mamula, Mayor Doug Franklin, Jenn Johnson, Yvonne Wilson, Joanie Jones, Joann Kalbasky, Janet Gerlach, Mary Ann Morell, Karen Edwards, Amber Bonilla, Jenn Pint, Kristin Fox, Tina White, Sandi Dibacco, Lisa Kalbasky, The Hirt’s, Cindy Jazinski, Coach K, Carol Righetti, All my Moms, Brandy Jackson, Single moms,Teachers.
If there was one person that you would like to meet, past or present and why?
I feel like I’ve met and will meet everyone I’m supposed to in life but I would love to talk to my dad and mom again.
A favorite quote that you live by?
“Keep Smiling”- Sam Cercone