Keep your promises: Grossman to appear at annual speaker series at Kent

Keep your promises: Grossman to appear at annual speaker series at Kent
Teri Stein

​​​​​​​Dee Grossman stands near some of the decorative paintings of area attractions at the Tuscarawas County Convention and Visitors Bureau in New Philadelphia. Grossman has been director of the agency for 33 years.


Dee Grossman has attended almost every session of the Women’s Success Series, but the next session on Friday, Feb. 7 will be like no other because she will be the featured speaker.

“They want to know about you. That is the challenge in this series of presentations: talking about yourself while talking about your career but talking about the challenges of who you are as a person,” said Grossman, longtime executive director of the Tuscarawas County Convention and Visitors Bureau and Kent State University at Tuscarawas adjunct faculty. “That’s the key to the success of the program.”

Grossman said the one thing she is going to do is quote astronaut Dr. Cady Coleman, who recently spoke at the Performing Arts Center at Kent State Tuscarawas.

“Her presentation was exceptionally well done. I like that she spoke to the girls in the audience but she said to ‘be brave and be open,’” Grossman said. “It makes the speaker a little uncomfortable, talking about stuff that you normally don’t talk about.”

The series was designed to inspire women of all ages and all walks of life to succeed personally and professionally. The event will be held from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at Kent State Tuscarawas, 330 University Drive NE, New Philadelphia. The cost to attend is $15 when paid in advance and $20 if paid at the door and includes a continental breakfast.

The session also includes networking opportunities and a book discussion. The February 2020 book selection is "Brave Not Perfect" by Reshma Saujani and is available at any Tuscarawas County Public Library branch.

As part of her presentation, Grossman will cover some rules for success; she was willing to reveal the first one.

“If you say you are going to do something, do it,” Grossman said, adding she will many times ask for more information and then decide whether she wants to do something. “It’s amazing how many people make promises they don’t keep.”

In her own life Grossman’s mother was her biggest inspiration. “No matter what I did, she would say, ‘I’m so proud of you,'” she said of the late Louise Thomas of Wisconsin.

If Grossman did something her mother didn’t approve of, Thomas would comment on that too. “She was an equal hander-outer of discipline, and there were times when she double-named me,” she said.

People can inspire you in a number of ways, both positive and negative. Grossman revealed her biological father did not believe his daughters needed a college degree. That thinking motivated her to earn a degree. Later, because she wanted to teach at the college level, Grossman earned a master’s degree.

Grossman also is grateful for her friend, Tracy Stevens, who lends her support and doesn’t hide her feelings if she thinks Grossman should be going in a different direction.

Following a new passion is something Grossman became involved in at the Tuscarawas County Center of the Arts 11 years ago when she began taking pottery lessons.

Though she always liked the look of pottery, Grossman discovered the more she worked with the art that it was the ability to make something perfectly round that appealed to her the most.

“The first three years the pieces were horrible. I almost gave up,” Grossman said. “Then I bought my own wheel and sat there and said I’m going to get this right.”

Grossman went through 150 pounds of clay in the process. “Once you get it centered, then it's right. If you can’t get it centered, then nothing else goes right. They don’t have to be perfect, but they can’t be ugly anymore,” she said.

Grossman sells her pieces at Alley Cats Marketplace in New Philadelphia, the biannual Art on the Alley event in downtown New Philadelphia and the Tuscarawas Valley Farmers' Market at the Tuscarawas County Fairgrounds in Dover.

Grossman has taken on a labor of love, finishing the cross-stitching projects her mother left unfinished after her passing in 2018. “Once I finish them, my sister will quilt them. We will make them into something usable and keep them in the family,” she said, adding that because the directions to these projects are missing, it may take some extra work before they are finished.

Grossman’s other activities include reading mystery and science-fiction books. She teaches media, power and culture at Kent State University at Tuscarawas; pottery classes at the Tuscarawas County Center for the Arts; and American sign language at Buckeye Career Center.

Registrations are limited to the first 100 participants. To register and purchase tickets, visit and click on Events to register.

The registration deadline for the Feb. 7 session is Jan. 31. For more information call the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum at 740-922-6776 or email Visit the Facebook page at

The Women’s Success Series is sponsored by Dennison Railroad Depot Museum and Kent State Tuscarawas in collaboration with Carlene Farms, Tuscarawas County Public Library System and the Tuscarawas Economic Development Corporation.

Other organizations contributing to the Women’s Success Series are Claymont Health and Rehabilitation, Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital, Dominion Energy, First Federal Community Bank, First National Bank of Dennison, Rodriguez’s House of Stones, Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, Trinity Hospital Twin City, Tuscarawas County Chamber of Commerce, and What’s Cooking Café.

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