Awards from Mentor Chamber of Commerce
On Tuesday, November 17th, we attended the monthly luncheon for the Mentor Chamber of Commerce which was held at LaMalfa Party Center on Heisley Road. Before we sat down we talked to Ms. Judith A. Lester, President of Allied Door Systems, located in Bedford Heights, a prominent local business which has done work for such institutions as CSU and the Cleveland Clinic. Naturally Ms. Lester knew Ms. Margaret W. Wong and to us to give Ms. Wong her best.
We met Ms. Kristen Gillespie from Continuing Healthcare Solutions and gave her our contact information in case family members of a foreign born patient may need help obtaining visas. We have learned that such situations do occasionally occur.
Another person told us that he will certainly keep our card from Margaret W. Wong and Associates on file because a church school that he was involved with recently hired a teacher who had traveled to the United States from Kenya and had to go complete all sorts of paperwork before she could remain in this country and teach.
During lunch we shared a table (and visited with) Mr. Andrew Meinhold, President of Lake National Bank; Ms. Carolyn Tippie, Chief Financial Officer from Lake County YMCA; Ms. Karen McLeod, Executive Director of Extended Housing in Lake County; and Ms. Gail Stuehr, reporter with the "Lake County Tribune" who knew of Ms. Wong because she used to be Marketing Manager for United Way in Cleveland. Ms. Stuehr remembered that Ms. Wong was actively involved in United Way and believed her to be a very kind person.
The luncheon program centered around the presenting of annual awards for Business of the Year, Business Leader of the Year, and Citizen of the Year.
The award for Business of the Year went to Lake Health which has touched the lives of almost everyone in Lake County in a number of ways. We were pleased to hear that for the past 14 years it has been recognized as one of the Northcoast 99 best places to work in Northeast Ohio. The award was accepted by Ms. Cynthia Moore-Hardy, President/CEO of Lake Health, who acknowledged that Lake Health wouldn't be as good as it is without the dedication of all who work for it. She thanked luncheon attendees and the public officials present by saying, "Thank you for taking care of us so that we can take care of you!"
The award for Business Leader of the Year went to Mr.Harry Allen of Great Lakes Power which is a full-line distributor, manufacturer, and rebuilder of power transmission products and accessories. Mr. Allen talked about the circumstances that led him to establish his business there in Mentor in 1973. Among these reasons were that his business partner was in Cleveland, phone calls around Ohio were cheaper when made in the Mentor area at the time, freight deliveries could be made throughout the day, and his father had met his mother at a dance hall in Mentor. He thanked the city and county officials for being there to help him when his business was badly damaged by a fire in 1980. With some help, Mr. Allen managed to put it all back together again, however, and at this time Great Lakes Power operates in 14 locations in 9 states.
The award for Citizen of the Year went to Mr. James Hackenberg who moved to Ment or back in 1966 when Mentor had only been a city for three years. Mr. Hackenberg recalled all of the offices that he had held at various times over the years including being a member of both the planning commission and Mentor City County. The one that he will probably be remembered for was being the Law Director of Mentor for 30 years. Mr. Hackenberg was quite pleased when he said that Mentor has never had any problems regarding corruption in government since it was founded in the early 19 60's.
This is quite rare and we think that Mr. Hackenberg, the public officials of Mentor, and its citizenry deserve to be quite proud.