South Side News & Notes
Meetings to feature fair housing findings
NORTHEAST OHIO — The Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC) is planning a series of public meetings throughout the region to release the preliminary findings of a study evaluating fair housing throughout 12 counties in Northeast Ohio.
The public meetings are a chance for residents to hear the preliminary findings of the study, the Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice, and provide input and share opinions about the fair housing choices available to residents, as well as ways that local communities and leaders can work to enhance fair housing choices.
Locally, meetings will take place March 11 at 9 a.m. in President’s Hall at the Akron Urban League, 440 Vernon Odom Blvd. in Akron; and March 15 at 9:30 a.m. at The Metropolitan Centre, 601 Cleveland Ave. N.W. in Canton.
NEOSCC is largely funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of the new federal Sustainable Communities Initiative. The Sustainable Communities Initiative is an interagency collaboration among HUD, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. NEOSCC is a three-year planning effort to revitalize the 12 counties that comprise Northeast Ohio. The effort includes 33 regional consortium members and more than 100 other organizations throughout the 12 counties.
For more information, go to www.vibrantneo.org.
InfoCision founder Gary Taylor dies at 59
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Gary,” said Steve Brubaker, InfoCision chief of staff. “We have all lost a great friend and leader. Gary made this company what it is today through hard work, dedication and a strong sense of integrity. His mark is indelibly stamped on the industry, as well as on our company and its culture. The InfoCision family will miss him more than anyone will ever know.”
A celebration of Taylor’s life took place yesterday, March 7, at 11 a.m. at the Billow Fairlawn Chapel, 85 N. Miller Road, with the Rev. Barry Creekmore officiating. Private interment followed at Greenlawn Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Taylor’s life can be made to the Gary L. and Karen S. Taylor Family Foundation at 325 Springside Drive, Akron, OH 44333, Attn: Lori Feist, foundation secretary.
A native of the Akron area, Taylor graduated from The University of Akron (UA) with a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 1975. He continued on to earn his master of business administration degree in 1977, and it was at UA that he met his wife of 34 years.
In 1982, Gary and Karen Taylor started InfoCision in the breezeway of their home. For the first three years, InfoCision operated as a consulting company that developed outbound telemarketing programs for clients, utilizing an independent telemarketing contractor. Today, InfoCision has grown into the second largest privately held teleservices company in the world, employing more than 4,000 people in Ohio, including its corporate headquarters in Bath and an office site in Green, as well as West Virginia and Pennsylvania, according to company officials.
Gary and Karen Taylor developed a succession plan that laid the foundation for their son, Craig, to take over the day-to-day management of the company. In October 2012, Craig was appointed to CEO and Steve Boyazis to president.
Taylor received many awards, including the American Teleservices Association’s Pioneer Hall of Fame Award. He has also been inducted into the Teleservices Hall of Fame and has received the Customer Inter@ction Solutions Lifetime Achievement Award. He was honored by the Direct Marketing Association with its Teleservice Excellence Award. From UA he received the Simonetti Distinguished Business Alumni Award and the Alumni Honor Award. Ernst and Young also recognized Taylor as an Entrepreneur of the Year award winner for the services industry and inducted him into the Entrepreneurs’ Hall of Fame.
The Taylors’ first major philanthropic initiative started with a $3.5 million donation to establish The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at UA. The Taylors also secured the capital for UA to develop and complete construction of InfoCision Stadium. In addition, InfoCision Field at Green High School Memorial Stadium was dedicated in 2008.
Gary Taylor also was the principal owner of Granite Golf Properties.
For additional obituary details, visit www.billowfuneralhomes.com.
Green Historical Society creating photo archive
GREEN — The Green Historical Society is asking for the public’s help in building its photography archive of city history.
The Historical Society will host a Community Photo Day March 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Council Chambers of the Green Central Administration Building, 1755 Town Park Blvd.
On that day, area residents are invited to share photos of people, places and things in the city. The Historical Society will electronically copy the old photos for its archive, and the original photos will be returned and a CD of them will be created for participants, according to Historical Society officials. There is a limit of 30 photos per participant.
For more information, call 330-705-9919.
Fundraiser planned for family of Jeff Thomas
GREEN — A scrapbooking fundraiser for the Jeff Thomas family will take place April 13 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Parkside Church, 4520 S. Arlington Road.
This second annual fundraiser will help the family with their mortgage payments, according to family friend and event organizer Sarah Smith.
Smith said Louisville residents Jeff Thomas, 39, his wife, Jennifer, and two of three daughters — Jade and Juliette — were in a serious car accident in June 2010. Jennifer Thomas and the girls suffered minor injuries, but Jeff Thomas was left with a traumatic brain injury and is unable to care for himself. The third daughter, Josie, was away at camp at the time of the accident.
Smith said before the accident, Jeff Thomas worked as an engineer at Diebold in Green. The family attends The Chapel in Green.
The fundraiser will include representatives from Arbonne (skin and body care), Creative Memories (scrapbooking), Premier Designs (fashion jewelry), Stampin’ Up (scrapbooking), Thirty-One (purses and totes); Pampered Chef; Usborne Books; Mary Kay Cosmetics; Scentsy (scented candles) and ViSalus (weight loss/fitness). The consultants have agreed to donate their profits to the Thomas family, according to Smith.
In addition, raffle tickets costing $1 each or six for $5 will be sold for a variety of products. Participants and the public can purchase raffle tickets. The products include raffle baskets donated by vendors and gift certificates for: a campership to Camp Carl, A Thousand Words Photography, Ken Stewart’s Tre Belle, 440 Performance and Heather Pelko Photography. Other items in the raffle include: products from Smucker’s and the Goat Soap Lady, a knitted scarf and beaded bracelet from an instructor at My Sister’s Yarn Shop and more.
Raffle tickets are available through Chelsea Teeple at 330-620-7852 or Smith at 330-882-5150.
Attendees are invited to do some shopping and scrapbooking or other hobby activity, have dinner and try to win a raffle prize at the event. Profits from all the sales at the event will go to the Thomas family, according to Smith.
The event cost is $25, which includes a dinner of pizza and salad.
To register to attend, send a check made payable to the Jeff Thomas Benevolence Fund, with “Beyond Limits” written in the memo line, to Sarah Smith, 181 Deer Valley Drive, Clinton, OH 44216. Reservations are required by March 31 and space is limited.
Donations to help the family also are being accepted at www.supportjeff.com.
Red Cross honors heroes at Acts of Courage event
FAIRLAWN — Area heroes were honored for their bravery and heroism at the annual American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties Acts of Courage event yesterday, March 7, at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn.
The event honored local residents who responded heroically in an emergency to save the life of another.
This year’s recipients, with details provided by the Red Cross, are:
- Florence Wang, of Canfield, who was able to utilize her Chinese connections to arrange for a blood transfusion for a critically ill employee of Fairlawn-based OMNOVA Solutions who was working in China;
- Selena Turner, of Akron, a 13-year-old who alerted her grandmother when her neighbor, Dave Materna, collapsed. Selena followed her grandmother’s instructions and called 9-1-1. Paramedics arrived and treated Materna for a diabetic coma;
- Cuyahoga Falls Police Officer Eric Prange and Postal Service worker James Bowman, of Cuyahoga Falls, who responded when a car crashed into a house. Bowman called 9-1-1 and the two attended to the injured driver and occupant of the house until paramedics arrived;
- Keith Dobbins, of Barberton, who used a fire extinguisher to help pull two occupants of a mobile home to safety following an explosion;
- Summit County sheriff deputies Dora Evans and Rodney Tyson, who, while en route to Bedford, Pa., to process an extradition, came upon an overturned semi-truck and removed the unconscious driver from the cab when they noticed gasoline pooling around his body and smoke pouring out of the cab;
- Darrell Terry, of Bolivar, and Dale Palmer, of Akron, who assisted Bob Fisher when he came into contact with an undetected short in the cables he was inspecting during construction at Acme Plaza in Montrose. Terry tackled Fisher and separated him from the electrical current, and Palmer, an employee at Eddy’s Bike Shop, told a fellow employee to call 9-1-1 and began chest compressions with Terry’s assistance;
- Summit County sheriff’s deputies Mark McElroy, of Akron, and William McKinney, of Barberton, who performed CPR on a child who was pulled lifeless out of a hotel pool in Phoenix. The deputies continued their efforts for several minutes until the boy responded. He has since made a complete recovery;
- Heather Pariso, of Akron, and Lynne Trenkelbach, of Akron, nurses who attended to Tony Lindeman, who suffered sudden cardiac arrest and collapsed on the sidewalk while the three were running the Akron Marathon. They performed CPR while another runner stopped and called 9-1-1. Pariso helped the paramedics to deploy an automated external defibrillator, and Lindeman began to breathe again, and his pulse returned.
- Dr. Michael Passero, of Akron, who confronted an elderly man in a hospital room at Akron General Medical Center who was armed with a gun. The man had allegedly shot a critically ill patient in the hopes of ending her suffering; and
- Ron Halvorson, of Green, who pulled a driver to safety after a car crashed into a building, severing a natural gas line.
At the Acts of Courage event, the Red Cross also presented the H. Peter Burg Award to retired Akron Deputy Mayor Dave Lieberth.
Editor’s note: For more detailed descriptions of the honorees’ courageous acts, please visit www.akron.com/akron-ohio-community-news.asp?aID=18677.
Kathleen Folkerth, Stephanie Kist and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.
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