Diane Neal | In My Own Words

As the child of an Austrian immigrant and growing up in eastern Ohio, I was very much aware of the struggles of my father and his family and the everyday difficulties experienced by the poor in the area. My father always said that I should not forget “where I come from,” so I always felt that helping others was important.

As the child of an Austrian immigrant and growing up in eastern Ohio, I was very much aware of the struggles of my father and his family and the everyday difficulties experienced by the poor in the area. My father always said that I should not forget “where I come from,” so I always felt that helping others was important.

I have been fortunate to receive a good education, serve as an assistant prosecutor in the Canton Law Department, teach as an associate professor at Kent State University, work as a corporate lawyer for several small local businesses and raise two healthy and talented sons. However, I also have made time to support charitable organizations and volunteer in community activities, particularly those involving animals.

My lack of aptitude in science derailed my childhood plans to become a veterinarian.

However, I am actively involved in the Stark County Humane Society and the Animal Protection Guild because of their focus on protecting and benefiting animals.

The Humane Society’s ongoing outreach programs include educational presentations in area schools, teaching students about being responsible pet owners and the importance of respecting the animals as living creatures, not just playthings. The society’s “Never Too Old To Be Loved” public awareness program was developed to educate the community about the advantages of adopting adult shelter animals.

The Animal Protection Guild’s spay-neuter subsidy program has been so successful that more than 68,000 dogs and cats have been spayed or neutered in the past 27 years by this all-volunteer organization. Also, fun fundraising projects, such as the Fashion Show with Pets, remind us all that our pets truly can enrich our lives.

ABOUT DIANE

WHO: Diane Neal

WHAT: Community volunteer, lawyer, wife, mother and animal lover

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Arts in political science from Ohio University; law degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law

COMMUNITY BOARDS/INVOLVEMENT: Stark County Humane Society board of directors since 1980, including service as board president for 10 years; legal adviser; chairwoman of various committees and projects; member/volunteer/legal adviser to the Animal Protection Guild since 1982; member and former chairwoman of various boards and committees at Community Christian Church in North Canton; volunteer, Refuge of Hope; member, Shared Blessings; member, Stark County Bar Association; member, Ohio State Bar Association.