Architect, Warren teacher appointed directors of Wean Foundation


Paul Hagman of Youngstown and Janis Sanfrey of Warren have accepted positions on the board of directors of The Raymond John Wean Foundation. Both have served on the Foundation’s Neighborhood SUCCESS grant committees, and believe that the Foundation has a progressive vision for the Mahoning Valley.

Hagman, who holds a master’s degree in architecture, works as a volunteer with many area organizations. Sanfrey, a lifelong Warren resident, teaches in the Warren City Schools and has served as a volunteer with various community projects.

Gordon B. Wean, chairman of the The Raymond John Wean Foundation, said Hagman and Sanfrey were selected because of their passion for the Mahoning Valley and proven ability to

work for positive change. “We are gratified that Paul and Janis will be joining the Wean Foundation board, not only because they are thoughtful, engaged members of the community, but also because they come to the board having served on our Neighborhood SUCCESS committees.  It is our intention that residents who serve on these committees go on to other leadership positions in the area, and Paul and Janis are perfect examples of this expectation.”

Hagman said he appreciates that the Foundation seeks to have a diverse board that includes people of varying ages and backgrounds. “I hope that I can honor and represent the young professionals in the Valley who have made such huge strides in making the area a desirable place to raise a family and establish a career,” he said.

“I hope to bring new point of view to the table, one perhaps influenced by never having truly known the heyday of the Valley, and therefore, only seeing the improvements that have been occurring since the 1980s and 1990s and ramping up in the 2000s,” he said.

Hagman said he believes that the Mahoning Valley must work hard to foster collaborations. “The Wean Foundation has been able to initiate remarkable collaboration that has led to all boats being raised — the ideal outcome for all parties involved. It’s exciting to think that as we continue to see these relationships develop and strengthen throughout the Valley, we will continue to feel and see the impact they have on improving the lives of its residents,” he said.

Hagman also serves as a member of the board of directors of the Friends of Fellows Riverside Garden and the Boys and Girls Club of Youngstown. He sits on the Property Maintenance Appeals Board for the City of Youngstown and volunteers with the Mahoning Valley Young Professionals Club, the Young Leaders Advisory Board of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society and the Mahoning Valley 40 Under 40 Awards.

Hagman did his undergraduate work at Kent State University and his master’s work at Kent’s Florence, Italy campus and at the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative.


Sanfrey said she believes that her experiences as a teacher will help the Foundation continue to be responsive to the community’s educational and youth needs, and she looks forward to serving the Foundation because of its strong commitment to the Mahoning Valley. “To me, The Raymond John Wean Foundation demonstrates an incredible commitment to the grassroots, community-minded sustainability of the people and resources in the Mahoning Valley. Additionally, the Foundation’s continually growing presence through its supported organizations encourages and nurtures community involvement,” she said.

Sanfrey said the people of the Mahoning Valley have a strong allegiance to the community, and this is a strength that can be used to fuel ongoing improvement. “There is such a strong sense of belonging for so many people in the Mahoning Valley. It can be seen in our restaurants, our schools, our locally owned businesses and our arts community, and that is a huge strength,” she said.

Sanfrey also said she believes that some local residents suffer from an unwarranted negativity. “I see a large challenge in helping people to take ownership and pride in all that we have, instead of focusing on the negative,” she said.

Sanfrey, who earned her bachelor’s degree in English and French at Bethany College and two master’s degrees from Youngstown State University, has been a French teacher with the Warren schools since 2001. She has worked with numerous organizations, including the Warren schools’ Key Club as well its International Baccalaureate program.

She received the A+ Teacher award from the Tribune Chronicle and the 40 Under 40 Award from the Mahoning Valley Professional Club. She works with the Advanced Placement program at Warren City schools and also serves on the board of directors for the Warren City Schools’ Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame. She also served as a member of the Warren Sports Hall of Fame and as an assistant director and counselor with Camp Christian.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors meets quarterly during the year to direct initiatives and policy for the Foundation and to award funding for various Mahoning Valley organizations.

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