ELYRIA – It goes without saying that a person or a non-profit can be lauded as a difference maker in a community because they are generally the first one to step up and help, but for the first time Leadership Lorain County has named a for profit corporation as one of its 2014 Difference Makers.
PolyOne Corp., an Avon Lake-based producer of industrial polymers, is this year’s Excellence in Leadership Award recipient for an organization. They were nominated by United Way of Greater Lorain County Executive Director William Harper, who credits the company with being the lynchpin in the United Way's annual campaign for the past few years.
“They have really created a corporate culture of giving,” Harper has said.
In 2012, PolyOne raised $775,599 for United Way, which represented more than one-fourth of the total funds raised that year.
Earlier this year during the United Way’s annual wrap-up celebration for the 2012-2013 campaign, Harper singled out PolyOne executives Tom Kiedrowski and Steve Feliccia for their organization of an annual company-sponsored golf outing at Columbia Hills Country Club in ColumbiaTownship.
“It is the largest single-day golf outing in the state of Ohio,” which raised $400,000 for the 2012 campaign, Harper said.
Beyond United Way, PolyOne corporate leaders can be found on non-profits boards throughout LorainCounty including Neighborhood Alliance, LeadershipLorainCounty, Boys and Girls Clubs of Lorain County and Second Harvest Food Bank.
The Difference Markers Gala will be held Feb. 21 at the Spitzer Conference Center at Lorain County Community College.
Other honorees include:
Brian Frederick, president and CEO at Community Foundation of Lorain County, who is this year’s Eric Nord Award for Excellence in Leadership recipient. Frederick moved to LorainCounty in 1983 to become the associate director of the Lorain County Board of Mental Health until 1990, when he left to create a consulting firm. He became the leader of Community Foundation in 1998. Over the years, Frederick’s philanthropic involvement has lead him to serve on numerous boards including the Fund for Our Economic Future, TeamLorainCounty, the CivicCommons and the Oberlin Project.
Claudia Jones, retired associate director of fund development at Oberlin College, is this year’s Excellence in Leadership Award recipient, as is the four founding members of 100 Women Who Care About Lorain County – Susan Bowers, president of Mercy Allen Hospital, Marcia Miller, director of Investments at Oberlin College, Nancy Sullivan, associate professor and program chair at Tiffin University and Libby Thuning, vice president of U.S. Bank National Association.
Jones retired from OberlinCollege after 35 years and moved on to a second career, so to speak, in volunteerism. She is a lifelong Girl Scout and past board chair for the Girl Scouts of Erie Shores legacy council. This year, Jones added in the national search to recruits the unit’s new CEO and received the President’s Award for her volunteer leadership.
The women who started 100 Women Who Care met in a MBA program at Tiffin University. A discussion about how to help the community at an annual holiday gathering led to the creation of group. It was established in 2010. The group meets quarterly with member pledging $100 per quarter to the initiative. The group has since raised more than $100,000 for 12 non-profits across LorainCounty.