Homepage | Archives | Calendar of Events | Exploring Akron | Lawn & Garden | Pets | Death Notices | People & Places | Faith & Worship | Get email news alerts | About Us
Community News

West Side News & Notes

5/1/2014 - West Side Leader
      permalink bookmark

By Staff Writer

City of Akron announces cabinet changes

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic announced April 25 that veteran cabinet member Bob Bowman is retiring by the end of the year.

Bowman, who has been serving as deputy mayor for economic development since 2004, is retiring due to the new Ohio Public Employee Retirement System changes that take effect this year, according to the city’s news release.

Under the previous law, public employees with 10 years of service are fully vested for health care purposes after retirement. However, the new law requires 20 years of service beginning January 2015 for that benefit. Certain employees with 10 years of service providing the mandatory 2014 retirement notice to their employers are not affected by the new requirement, according to city officials.

Bowman began his career with the city nearly 10 years ago after serving as senior vice president of economic development for the Greater Akron Chamber, previously the Akron Regional Development Board. He had held that position for 16 years.

“Bob has been a great asset to the city of Akron and has done a fantastic job of attracting companies and bringing jobs to our residents,” said Plusquellic. “He is a devoted, hard-working public servant who had the knowledge to run our Economic Development Department successfully and efficiently. I am losing a great employee and good friend.”

Moving into the position of deputy mayor for economic development is veteran Deputy Planning Director for Economic Development Sam DeShazior. DeShazior, who also came to Akron via the Greater Akron Chamber, has worked side-by-side with Bowman for 26 years.

Also making a move upward is Economic Development Manager Adele Roth. She will become a cabinet member when she moves into the position of deputy planning director for economic development, the position currently held by DeShazior.

Also, Plusquellic is renaming and filling the cabinet position deputy mayor for intergovernmental relations. The position will be named assistant to the mayor for education, health and families, and that position will be filled by Terry Albanese, currently Summa Health System’s manager of medical health.

In the press release, the mayor explained the name change as “just a different name that better reflects what the job entails, better explains its multifaceted responsibilities.”

Albanese will be the city’s liaison to many agencies and organizations, including the Akron Public Schools, Summit Education Initiative, Summit County Public Health, Summit County Job and Family Services, Community Support Services, Summit County Juvenile Court, Oriana House and many others.

Prior to serving as Summa’s manager of medical health, Albanese spent seven years conducting health services research at Summa and, before that, she taught in Community Health Sciences at Northeast Ohio Medical University. Albanese also represented Ward 6 as a councilperson from 2001 until 2009 and currently serves on the city’s Planning Commission, a position she will have to resign before assuming her new obligations.

Albanese will start at the city upon completing some projects at Summa, which should be in about a month, according to city officials.


Registration underway for Youth Employment Program

SUMMIT COUNTY — Registration has begun for the Summit County 2014 Summer Youth Employment Program, which kicks off in June and runs through August. Three agencies — Youth Employment for Success (YES), Jobs for Ohio Graduates and the Akron Urban League — are registering eligible participants based on the ZIP codes where the youths reside.

The program serves youths ages 16 to 24 living in households with a minor child and income that does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Both large and small employers in the private, public and nonprofit sectors will provide jobs ranging from clerical and office work to janitorial and maintenance work, as well as child care and other services, according to county officials.

Youths accepted into the program this year will be required to register with the Ohio Means Jobs System website. The system connects job seekers with employers in a variety of ways, including job postings, résumé postings and job search services.

“This program provides valuable work experience and job skills to youth in our communities,” said Summit County Executive Russ Pry. “This year’s new requirement that participants register with the Ohio Means Jobs website will enhance the ability of these teens and young adults to find permanent employment.”

Another new requirement this year is that participants will be required to complete the Work Readiness Program. The program provides training and instructions in “Soft Skills” required to be successful in the workplace.

Due to limited funding, there is no guarantee that all youths that register will be placed in the program. Eligible youths who register will be placed in the program on a first-come, first-served basis, according to county officials.

To register:

  • Youths residing in ZIP codes 44210, 44302, 44303, 44304, 44307, 44308, 44311, 44313, 44314, 44320, 44321, 44325 and 44333 should call 234-542-4176 to register with Akron Urban League.
  • Youths residing in ZIP codes 44224, 44250, 44260, 44262, 44264, 44278, 44301, 44305, 44306, 44310 and 44312 should call 330-374-9477 to register with Jobs for Ohio Graduates.
  • Youths residing in ZIP codes 44056, 44067, 44087, 44203, 44216, 44221, 44223, 44232, 44236, 44286, 44319, 44685 and 44720 should call 330-643-8014 to register with YES.


UA Alumni Association to honor distinguished alumni and friends

FAIRLAWN — The University of Akron (UA) Alumni Association will honor distinguished alumni and friends at the 2014 Alumni and Friends Gala May 15 in the ballroom at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn, 3180 W. Market St. The reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by the dinner and ceremony at 6 p.m.

Each year, the Alumni Honor Award is presented to alumni who have achieved distinction in their chosen fields or demonstrated loyal and active interest in their alma mater. Friends who have rendered valuable service to UA and/or community are elected to honorary membership.

This year, Alumni Honor Award recipients include Michele Campbell, Class of 2002; Dennis Gartman, Class of 1972; and Russell Pry, Class of 1984.

Campbell, of Tallmadge, is the chief operating officer of LRMR Management Co. and executive director of the LeBron James Family Foundation, which aims to improve the lives of children and young adults through education and co-curricular and educational initiatives, according to UA officials.

Gartman is the editor and publisher of The Gartman Letter, L.C., and regularly appears on some TV shows to discuss commodities and the capital markets. He serves as an adviser to The UA Foundation Investment Committee. In 2010 he endowed a scholarship in honor of one of his UA professors, Sally Slocum.

Pry, who obtained his law degree from UA in 1984, was sworn in as Summit County Executive on July 13, 2007. He has been a law director for Boston Heights, counsel for Mogadore Local Schools, attorney to Green Local Firefighters, board member of the Summit County Board of Elections and member of the Akron-Summit County Library Board of Trustees.

This year’s Honorary Alumni Award Recipients are Salma Gibara, H. Reid Wagstaff and Susan Smucker Wagstaff.

Gibara was born in Cairo, Egypt, studied and worked in London, Paris and Morocco, and settled in Akron with her husband, Samir Gibara, in 1990, where she became a member of both the Board of Trustees of the Akron Symphony Orchestra and the Director’s Circle at the Akron Art Museum. The Gibaras established a study-abroad scholarship in UA’s Honors College to provide funds for students to use for international study and support E.J. Thomas Hall and UA arts.

Susan Smucker Wagstaff is the granddaughter of the J.M. Smucker Co. founder Jerome Smucker and currently serves as a family adviser to the company. Her father, Paul Smucker, was a co-founder of Wayne College. She is a director for The UA Foundation Board and, with her husband, H. Reid Wagstaff, supports student scholarship at The UA Wayne College in Orrville.

H. Reid Wagstaff joined the J.M. Smucker Co. in 1971 and was named its vice president of government and environmental affairs in 1994 and also served on various boards and committees. In recognition of the family’s support of student scholarships at Wayne College, the UA Board of Trustees will name the entrance to that campus “Wagstaff Way.”

The Alumni Association also will honor Board of Trustees’ outgoing member Nicholas York, CEO of Kaser Enterprises and longtime proponent of civic and community involvement in Avon Lake and abroad.

Tickets to the event are $60 and can be ordered by contacting Chris Franz in the Office of the Alumni Association at 330-972-7271.


NIHF STEM Community Day volunteers needed

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Students from the Akron Public Schools’ (APS) National Inventors Hall of Fame® STEM School (NIHF STEM) are calling on community members to help kick off a project for which they were awarded a $10,000 Kelleys Island Straight A grant. The grant will fund the creation of a STEM Outdoor Innovation Lab (SOIL).

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 17, community members are invited to volunteer their time alongside the NIHF STEM students and staff as they work on birdhouse wind chime construction, flower planting, wall and rock painting, hoop house assembly and creation of the “peaceful playground.” The school also will accept donations of tools during the week of May 12-16. Items needed include shovels, wheelbarrows, rakes, paintbrushes and hammers.

SOIL is a blend of STEM curriculum development, teacher professional development, student field experiences and the development of the 21st-century outdoor school, according to APS officials.

The project goals are to: build outdoor learning labs at strategic locations in Ohio schools; use the Kelleys Island Field Station and Outdoor Curriculum Prototyping Center at Lake Erie; use existing environmental programs to model processes and practices for teachers and students; and create transdisciplinary, problem-based-learning modules for use in the new outdoor labs to engage students and increase achievement.

SOIL draws its model from established programs and also draws on the expertise of community members to help develop the lab.

The Kelleys Island Field Station, the PAST Foundation and nine Ohio schools will launch the program with the goal of opening the new outdoor lab this fall. Twenty-two learners from the NIHF STEM School will go to Kelleys Island for one week this spring for an outdoor education experience and to work on details of their outdoor lab space that will be installed at their school.

For details, visit www.akronschools.com/school/NIHF+STEM+Middle+School or call 330-761-3195.


National MS Society presenting Dinner of Champions

Tim Ochsenhirt
DOWNTOWN AKRON — The National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society will present its seventh annual Akron Dinner of Champions May 20 at Quaker Station at The University of Akron, 130 E. Mill St. The evening will begin with a silent auction and cocktail reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and the program at 7:30 p.m.

The event also will include the presentation of the MS society’s most prestigious award to Tim Ochsenhirt, former chairman of Roetzel & Andress. Ochsenhirt will receive the Norman Cohn Hope Award for his outstanding commitment to philanthropy and exceptional level of volunteer leadership, according to MS Society officials.

Among the organizations that have benefited from Ochsenhirt’s generosity and time are the Akron Bar Foundation, Akron Civic Theatre, Akron Public Schools, Imagine.Akron:2025, Info Line, St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, Summit County Crime Stoppers, The University of Akron and United Disability Services, according to MS Society officials. Ochsenhirt also serves as the chairman of the Ohio Athletic Commission.

“We are so pleased to be honoring Tim Ochsenhirt,” said Janet Kramer, president of the Ohio Buckeye Chapter of the National MS Society. “He has dedicated himself to the community through philanthropy, volunteer leadership and fundraising for many charities, including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.”

Proceeds from the 2014 Dinner of Champions will be used to provide programs and services and to fund research to help find the cause and a cure for the chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system, according to MS Society officials. To date, more than $7 million has been raised through the Dinner of Champions to help 14,000 people with multiple sclerosis and their families in the Ohio Buckeye Chapter’s 64-county service area, officials added.

Individual reservations are $150 per person and table reservations start at $2,500.

For more information, contact Michelle Wohlfeiler at 216-503-4184 or visit www.MSohiobuckeye.org.


Ariel Hakim, Stephanie Kist and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

      permalink bookmark