Friday, November 17, 2017 Elyria 42°


LCADA, EMH CEO among honorees at Difference Makers Gala


Leadership Lorain County honored local luminaries Friday night during the 10th annual “Difference Makers Gala” at Lorain County Community College’s Spitzer Conference Center.

The award winners included Gail Stumphauzer, director of Margeau’s Free to Be Project; Dr. Donald Sheldon, president/CEO of EMH Healthcare; Michael and Dina Ferrer; and Lorain County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services.

“We have phenomenal recipients,” said president and CEO of Leadership Lorain County Beth Maiden.

Gail Stumphauzer

Stumphauzer received the Eric Nord Award for Excellence in Leadership.

Stumphauzer is the former chief executive officer of Leadership Lorain County and now devotes her time and energy to Margeau’s Free to Be Project, an organization founded in memory of her daughter, Margeau, who died in 2011 after a lifelong illness and struggle with feelings of inadequacy.

“The bookends of my life are my children. I lost my oldest (twins sons soon after birth) and my youngest, but I have three living children and three grandchildren,” Stumphauzer said. “We should walk this life with our eyes wide open, lending encouragement and a helping hand.”

Donald Sheldon

Known around Lorain County as “Doc,” Sheldon is the first physician to be named president and CEO of EMH Healthcare.

Sheldon, who received the Excellence in Leadership Award, graduated from Midview High School in 1970, and while his higher education took him outside of Lorain County for a few years, he knew one day he’d be back.

For 26 years, Sheldon has donated his time to Lorain County Free Clinic.

“I have a passion for not only the hospital, but for the community it serves,” Sheldon said. “I am so blessed to have a successful career in the community I love.”

Michael and Dina Ferrer

When Michael Ferrer first arrived in Lorain County, he knew working with at-risk youth would be his main focus.

What he hadn’t planned on was meeting his future wife — Dina Ferrer — who also shared his passion.

On Friday, they received the Excellence in Leadership Award for their determination in making Lorain County a better place to live.

By mentoring youth in South Lorain, Michael wanted his work photographed and Dina Ferrer was his photographer.

For nearly 17 years, they have combined their energies to help minorities and youth in underserved communities. They have also coordinated the annual Leadership Conferences for the Coalition for Hispanic Issues and Progress. The conference brings together more than 56 social services, nonprofits, state and local government agencies, civic and ethnic clubs, local schools and foundations.

“We have worked with the wealthiest and the poorest of the community,” Dina Ferrer said.

Lorain County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services

As Lorain County continues its fight against substance abuse and addiction, Thomas Stuber, president and CEO of Lorain County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, knows he can count on the leaders of the community to rally behind him and the organization close to his heart.

The organization, which received the Excellence in Leadership Award, has been serving Lorain County for 30 years by providing alcohol and drug services for adolescents, adults, family members and the handicapped.

“We have saved a lot of children and a lot of families and that’s what I’m proud of,” Stuber said.

Contact Melissa Linebrink at 329-7155 or


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