2016 Leadership Medina County Graduation

By Angela Huston

The Weymouth Country Club Grand Ballroom was the setting May 18 for the celebration of the 2016 Leadership Medina County graduation of the Silver Jubilee Class, also marking the 25th anniversary of LMC in Medina County.

The large group of guests gathered for a social hour and dinner; the invocation was delivered by Joe Race ’15. Following dinner, LMC Board President Joe McNeill, ’09, extended a welcome to everyone, and then turned over the microphone to the lovably zany and always entertaining Janie Parish, ’09, who proceeded to get the evening’s program underway.

In what can only be described as an Abbott and Costello type of routine, Parish introduced LMC Executive Director Colleen Rice, ’08, who began singing “In My Life,” the popular Beatles’ hit (Rice said she was filling in for Jimmy Fallon, who was unavailable).

Rice was almost immediately, and repeatedly, humorously interrupted by Parish, who used those breaks to introduce committee, board, and staff members, along with public officials, significant nonprofits, and event sponsors. Rice received a rousing round of applause when she was finally able to finish the song. She was accompanied by The Teabag Band.

It was an evening of fun and laughter, but it was also the time to seriously recognize important leaders of the community. McNeill pointed out LMC members continue to grow and be involved, and that dedication is what has kept the organization in existence and continually growing since it was incorporated May 22, 1991. With the graduation of this class, there are now 889 graduates

He invited retiring trustees Randy Meyer ’09, MTD Products, Greg Stafford ’08, The Philpott Solutions Group, Denise Testa ’09, The University of Akron MCUC, and Mike Warner ’05, INSYTE Technology to come to the podium. They have completed two terms on the Board and new trustees will soon take over, but all will remain actively involved in other ways.

Before the graduates were introduced, a very special surprise was unveiled, an exclusive piece of artwork created by Rich Doyle ’08, featuring historical Medina landmarks. The original will hang in the Medina Court House as a lasting legacy, but each graduate received a print to commemorate the occasion. Copies were also given to the guests.

Rice then introduced the Leadership Medina County Class of 2016:

Sarah Arend, Gelin Camp, Nicholas Capostosto, Ryan Carlson, Diane Cartwright, Tina Cassidy, Dallis Conrad, Kimberly Corrigan, Tob Coss, Larry G. Cray, Radiah Douglas, Scott Gnau, Ed Gonzales, Deborah Haumesser, Jeff Hicks, Pam Hunt, Janice Jokkel, Elena K’Meyer, Scott Kremer, Kelly Kroll, Sam Livingston, Brian Malloy, Dr. Tonjua McCullough, David McElhatten, Zigmond Novak, Carrie Park, Sean Parker, Benjamin Pfahl, Rick Poling, Mark Priebe, Patrick Quallich, Joanna Rini, Glen Rutherford, Kristine Schulze, Jocelyn Stefancin, Steven VanDette, Nancy Vice, Shannon Waller, Michele Wharton, and Chris Wollmann.

McNeill and President Elect Valerie Rapp ’03, presented each graduate with their packets and gifts.

The 2016 LMC class was divided into five groups, each working on separate projects: Feeding Medina County, Miracle League, United Way of Medina County, Friends of the Arts, and Leadership Medina County History. Class members worked with individuals from each organization by offering assistance in ways that would benefit them and their missions.

Corporate Sponsors were Automation Tool and Die, FirstMerit, INSYTE Consulting, RPM International, Westfield Bank, and Westfield Insurance. In addition, there were 82 Community Sponsors, plus 30 Graduation Sponsors, of which 13 were previous classes.

“Leadership Medina County has been a key player in developing dynamic leaders in Medina County since 1992. The mission of Leadership Medina County is to educate, connect, and involve community leaders.”


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