On December 5, a record-breaking number of more than 200 guests attended the Leadership Medina County Awards and Recognition Dinner at Blair Conference Center to celebrate those outstanding individuals receiving the Excellence in Leadership Awards.

Board President Claus Meyer/Raymond James and Associates, class of '05, started the evening by recognizing past and current Board members, and then invited the LMC staff to stand and be recognized: Executive Director Colleen Rice, class of '08; LMC Community Impact Director Terri Greene, class of '12; Junior LMC Director Carrie Park, class of '16; and Office Manager/Emerging Leaders Director Stephanie Zingaro, class of '17.

Green then recognized the 17 Lifetime Alumni members, and Board Vice President Steven Chrisman/MCCC Superintendent, class of '12, delivered the invocation before dinner.

Emcee Sharon Danko/retired, class of '05, introduced the Excellence in Business Leadership nominees: Amy Demlow/Attorney, Critchfield, Critchfield, and Johnston Ltd, class of '01, and Douglas Williams/President, Securitec One. Williams won.

Introduced next were the nominees for the Excellence in Education Leadership: Dr. Daryl Kubilus Jr./Superintendent, Cloverleaf Local Schools, and Dr. Kristine Quallich/Assistant Superintendent, Medina City Schools, class of '08. Quallich won.

Excellence in Emerging Leadership nominees were Elizabeth Bux/Partner-Attorney, Williams & Batchelder LLP, Dustin Fowkes/Benefits Analyst, DS Benefits Group, and Suzie Muniak/Branch Manager, Brunswick Library, all of the class of '15. Muniak won.

The Excellence in Health Care Leadership nominees were Christine Beiling-Sheerer/President, Medina Vision, Optometrist, class of '02, Charlene Bunner/Manager, Surgical Services and Community Health, Lodi Community Hospital, class of '18, and Krista Wasowski/Health Commissioner, Medina County Health Department, class of '14. Wasowski received the award.

The nominees for the Excellence in Public Service Leadership category were Jeffrey Holland/Attorney, Partner, Holland & Muirden, Attorneys at Law, class of '96, Sharon Holmes/Supervisor Manager, Medina County Job and Family Services, class of '09, and Rhonda Wurgler/Executive Director, The Children's Center of Medina County, class of '15. Holland was the winner.

For the Excellence in Medina County Leadership award, nominees were William Bittner/retired, class of '94, and Jani Groza/Corporate Responsibility Leader, Westfield, class of '93. Dr. Donald Bitter accepted the award on behalf of his father who was in the hospital.

Halfway through the presentation of awards Beverly Kreiner, Medina County Health Department, class of '12, paid a very moving and emotional tribute to Dr. Ron Ricci, who had been among the nominees but passed away at the end of October, 2018.

Upon graciously accepting their awards, all the winners expressed the same sentiment: leadership is a collaboration of all people working together. Dr. Bittner, speaking on behalf of his father, shared a message from his dad extending "praise for the people of Medina who make things happen, who do great things."

In her closing comments, LMC Executive Director Colleen Rice, class of '08, reminded the supportive audience of movers and shakers that leadership is a journey, one that needs more leaders like the 16 nominees, people who choose to be part of the solution, who are innovative and committed to a strong community.

The LMC awards committee was made up of Sharon Danko/retired, class of '05, Gail Houk/Alternative Paths, class of '98, and Victoria Nann/Toastmasters, class of '15. Retired Judge John Lohn, class of '05, was the in-house photographer.

Event Platinum Sponsors were Automation Tool and Die, Huntington Bank, Insyte Consulting Group LLC, RPM International Inc., Sandridge Food Corporation, Southwest Baptist Church, The University of Akron, Westfield Insurance, and Westfield Bank.

Gold Sponsors were Cavitch, Familo, and Durkin, and the Medina Gazette; Silver Sponsors were Blair Rubber Company, Critchfield, Critchfield and Johnston Ltd., DS Benefits Group, Barbara Dzur, Raymond James and Associates, Root Candles, and Catherine Woodcock. Also, there were 34 Bronze and Rising Star Sponsors.

Leadership Medina County, a nonprofit, educational and leadership development organization, "exists to build and maintain a countywide network of talented, responsible, and dynamic leaders who learn firsthand about issues facing Medina County and serve by assisting in addressing those issues."

To learn more about LMC, 6300 Technology Lane, Medina, Ohio, e-mail: or phone: 330-721-7188.