Francella Washington Inducted 2011 - Class of 1976
Francella or Frani as she was known to her friends at St. Ann’s Elementary School has always remained rooted to her old neighborhood on Fredonia Street off Toledo's Manhattan Boulevard. Her best friends at Woodward were Karen Brown, Sandra Roberts, Sheila Daniels, Lydia Webb, Sandra Clark and Sue Hodak. Francella still recalls the State Championship that carried her through the difficult times, and considers her four years at Woodward as a key touchstone for her dreams and aspirations.
Francella fondly reflects on her days at Woodward as filled with wonderful people who molded and shaped her teen years. Mrs. Sweet "taught me to believe in myself," Ms. Markopoulos "taught the value of enunciation and public speaking," and Mr. Tate "imparted the inherent beauty of people and communication," she recalls. Her overall impression of her Woodward years was wonderful people who touched her life and the caring teachers that resonated throughout her high school years and in her adult life.
The memories of playing on Woodward's first Girls' Basketball State Championship team in 1976 were never far away. That year, she was named Woodward's Most Valuable Player and Player of the Year in the City League. In addition, she was selected first team All-City and made the All-Tournament team at the state tournament. A well-rounded athlete, she also played volleyball and ran track at Woodward. Francella's hard work and determination were rewarded with a scholarship to The Ohio State University upon graduation. She was key player on the Buckeye's 1978 Big Ten championship team. The next year, she was named to the 1979 KODAK Women's All-American Team with an impressive 711 points, averaging 23.7 a game.
Francella earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and a minor in business from The University of Toledo. Her career in quality and food safety management has taken her to Interstate Brands, Kellogg Company, and currently Coca Cola Bottling Company Consolidated, in Roanoke, Virginia, where she is a business process design manager. Along with her management experience, Francella achieved a reputation as a problem solver and was recognized as such by her superiors. She also received national prominence for installing programs that would enable corporations to realize their stated corporate goals and objectives.
Francella was inducted into the Toledo City League Hall of Fame in 1995 for her athletic achievements. In 2010, she was named the 30th all-time most accomplished athlete from the Toledo area by a panel assembled by The Blade.
In every town that Francella has called home during her corporate career, she given generously of her time volunteering for organizations including the Boys and Girls Club, Youth for Tomorrow, and as a Thanksgiving server for the less fortunate.
In her spare time, Francella is an avid sports fan, and enjoys golf, reading, and attending charity events. She also likes to relax with Rico Leon Washington, her cocker spaniel retriever mix she fondly refers to as "My Boy."