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Annual Luncheon of The Community Foundation of Lorain County, Tour of The STERIS Corporation

On Wednesday, June 21st, we drove to the Lorain Community College to attend the annual luncheon of the Community Foundation of Lorain County.

According to its board chair Ms. Farnaz Ansari Berna, the foundation received more than $4 million in gifts and bequests in 2016 and distributed more than $5.8 million in grants and scholarships.

On this day, the keynote speaker was Dr. Suzanne T. Allen, Ph.D., President and CEO of "Philanthropy Ohio" who talked about current philanthropic trends and how even a small contribution can make an impact. Afterwards, we spoke to her for a moment and learned that one of her family members in an immigration attorney in Australia.

It was good seeing our old friend, Ms. Linda Ong Styer, Senior Program Officer for the foundation, who was kind enough to sit down with us a few months ago and advise us on doing outreach in the Lorain area. We also talked to Mr. Joel Arredondo, President of the Lorain City Council, about ICE has been in Lorain County as of late.

A highlight of the luncheon was when an annual award for outstanding community service was given to the "Steel Survivors and Steel Ladyz" a local motorcycle club who has gone out of its way to do all it can to assist the "Faith House" which is a local organization that "provides housing and supportive services to homeless, single-parent families with special needs."

Among the things that the "Steel Survivors and Steel Ladyz" have done for "Faith House" are to conduct holiday parties, food and clothing drives, formed good, productive relationships with those serviced there as well as, most importantly, just being there when something is needed. 


It was mentioned that the club was told to come to this event as they naturally were but even though they were dressed in what could be described as "biker garb"  (most of the attendees were clothed in business attire) the ambiance of their generosity and sense of commitment and dominated the proceedings. When Mr. Dave Morgan accepted the award on behalf of his friends/fellow club members, he seemed to speak for all of them when he said that he came from a rough background so giving back really meant a lot.

Later in the day on Wednesday, we drove to Mentor for a tour of the "STERIS Corporation" Manufacturing Center at 6100 Heisley Road which was organized by the Mentor Chamber of Commerce.

Once there the participants split into three groups and took tours conducted by Mr. Jeff Stitzel, Mr. John Horvath, and Mr. Tim Stull. All in all, facility at 6100 Heisley is 193,000 square feet and occupies 24 acres. It has approximately 250 employees and produces chemical packaging machined metal parts, machined plastics, sheet metal fabricated parts, welded fabricated parts, and wire components for various devices. To be sure, we learned that there are positions open for qualified machinists and welders and how important training programs for these jobs are.  

Before the tours started, Mr. Al DiFranco, President & CEO, of the Mentor Chamber spoke about how essential manufacturing was to the success of the Lake County area and Mr. Jerry Rice, STERIS' Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs, spoke about how cooperative the city government of Mentor has been to work with.

We were also given a brief address regarding the history of this facility, what goes on there and what "STERIS" does as a whole. 

As we know "STERIS" is "a global leader in infection prevention, decontamination, gastrointestinal, and surgical products and services."

Its mission statement reads, "At STERIS, we help our customers create a healthier and safer world by providing innovative healthcare and life science product and service solutions around the globe."

Regarding "around the globe",  we learned that people work there who have immigrated to the United States from many countries and it would be hard to pin down one in particular.  When we first arrived, we were greeted by Mr. Stephen Norton, Senior Director of Corporate Communications and Government Affairs, who smiled when we told him who we were because he has certainly heard of and admires the work of Ms. Margaret W. Wong and her office.



Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC