United Way of Hancock County is kicking off its 2016 campaign with laughter. “Dinner and a Comedy Show” will be held on Thursday, September 8 from 5 - 9 p.m. at the Marathon Center for Performing Arts. The event is open to the public. Table sponsorships are available for $300 and individual registration is $30. Cocktails will begin at 5 p.m., dinner will be served at 6 p.m. and comedian Will McDaniel will take the stage at 7 p.m. McDaniel is a seasoned comic bringing clean, family-friendly laughter and sleight of hand to audiences for more than 10 years. He has traveled all over the United States sharing his twist on everything ranging from family and friends to fun and faith. Audience interaction is key to his presentation. McDaniel wants to “share his comedy to build bridges and bring joy.” To register for the campaign kickoff “Dinner and a Comedy Show,” go to http://LiveUnitedHancockCounty.org. The event is sponsored by Ohio Logistics.
“We really wanted to put together an event that will inspire those in attendance. We can all use a bit more laughter in our lives and Dina and I have personally experienced Will’s ability to have the crowd rolling with his interactive approach,” said Chris Ostrander, one of this year’s campaign co-chairs. “We look forward to being entertained with some audience participation while also being inspired to support our community.” Ostrander is co-chairing the United Way fundraising effort with his wife, Dina Ostrander.
Ostrander, a West Point graduate and U.S. Army veteran, recently took over as the chief executive officer and advisory board chairman for the Family Office of Gardner & Sons. Their companies include Superior Trim, The Gathering, The Gathering Wine, The Anvil, and the family’s real estate business. Ostrander also owns CEO Consulting, LLC, focusing on advising senior executives, private equity companies, hedge funds, and other potential investors in the automotive aftermarket, and is a partner in Cornerstone Consulting, LLC, a veteran-owned company. In 2015, Chris served as the chief executive officer of AP Emissions Technologies in North Carolina before accepting his current role. From 2011 through 2013, he led Cooper Tire & Rubber Company as the president of North America Tire Operations. His responsibilities expanded in 2014 to include leadership of Latin America when he was appointed senior vice president and president of Americas Operations. Ostrander serves as the vice chairman on the board of directors for the University of Findlay, the board of Tour de Force, Inc, and is a member of the Mayor’s council of trusted advisors for the City of Findlay. Ostrander formerly held board positions with AP Exhaust Technologies, the Marathon Center for Performing Arts, the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association, and was chairman of the board for Cooper Tire’s joint venture manufacturing facility in Mexico. He was the corporate division chair for the 2014 United Way of Hancock County campaign. Ostrander also serves on the United States Military Academy Advisory Board for U.S. Congressman (Ohio) Bob Latta.
Dina Ostrander is a past volunteer with the Cuddle Care Program at Blanchard Valley Hospital. She also served on Findlay Family YMCA’s board and was a program committee member. Dina is also involved in multiple community activities and organizations such as the Mazza Museum, University of Findlay, and other causes.
Don Templin is this year’s corporate division chair. Templin is the president of MPLX and executive vice president of Marathon Petroleum Corporation. He served as the executive chairman of Marathon’s internal United Way campaign in 2012. Templin and his wife, Carrie, started the Halt Hunger Initiative Templin Challenge grant in 2013 which has raised over $210,000 to address food insecurity in Hancock County.
Chairing this year’s commercial division is Michael Needler Jr. Needler is the president and CEO of Fresh Encounter, Inc., a 33-store independent retailer located in Findlay, Ohio. Fresh Encounter stores operate under the Chief, Community Markets and Great Scot banners. Needler joined Fresh Encounter in August of 2009 after spending five years in banking and capital markets in Los Angeles, California. He attended the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business for his M.B.A. He completed the Executive Management Development program at Cornell University and received his B.A. from Hanover College in Indiana, majoring in economics and finance. Needler is actively involved in his community where he serves as the chairman of the Findlay Family YMCA Board of Directors, serves on University of Findlay’s Board of Counselors, coaches youth soccer and recently served as board member and annual campaign chairman for the United Way of Hancock County.
Heading this year’s education division is Dr. Marcia Sloan Latta. Latta is vice president for University Advancement at the University of Findlay where she provides leadership for fundraising, alumni and parent relations, and the Mazza Museum. Previously she served as vice president for advancement at DePauw University. She also served the Bowling Green State University Foundation as vice president and campaign director for their centennial campaign, raising nearly $150 million. Latta has prior experience in healthcare philanthropy and served as founding president of her local community foundation. She currently serves on the board of directors of the F&M State Bank, Toledo Zoo, and the Ohio Citizens for the Arts, and is a member of Findlay Rotary. She is former president of the Northwest Ohio Association of Fundraising Professionals which named her its outstanding fundraising professional in 2009. She has also been named a "Woman of Distinction" from the Western Ohio Girl Scouts. For several years, she served as a United Way volunteer at Bowling Green State University.
Mary Beth Hammond is this year’s finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) division chair. Hammond joined Fifth Third in 2001 and she has over 30 years of financial experience. She is currently a vice president and senior private banker at Fifth Third. She is a graduate of University of Northwestern Ohio and serves on multiple boards including Owen Community College board of trustees. She is a past president and still serves on the board for the Arts Partnership of Greater Hancock County, Handbags That Help and volunteers with several United Way Agencies. She chaired the inaugural Wall of Fame committee for the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts. She is a past president of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce.h
Chris Webb is serving as this year’s health division chair. He is the director of Occupational Health and Rehabilitation Services for Blanchard Valley Health System. Webb is a member of the Ohio Hospital Association’s Safety Council and serves as chairperson for the Occupational Health Advisory Board in collaboration with local employers. He currently serves on the Findlay Family YMCA’s board of directors and capital planning committee as well as chairing their membership committee, serves on the United Way board of directors, has volunteered for the Feed-A-Child program, Habitat for Humanity, Arthritis Foundation and just participated in his fifth Pan Ohio Hope Ride, cycling 328 miles to help the American Cancer Society raise over $900,000 for the fight against cancer.
This year’s mercantile division is chaired by Andrea Kramer. She is the president of City Apparel and founder of Go Grow Strategies. She has served as a board member for Governor John Kasich’s board of workforce transformation, a board member for Findlay Young Professionals, Findlay Rotary community projects chair, and as a University of Toledo Family Business Center member and moderator. She has also served as a board member for Associated Charities, American Cancer Society – Hancock County chapter, Findlay Area Hockey Association, Junior Achievement of Hancock County, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, U.S. Woman’s Chamber of Commerce and the Findlay – Hancock County Chamber of Commerce. She is a past communications committee member for United Way of Hancock County as well as a past board member and a Days of Caring volunteer. She served United Way in the same capacity as mercantile division chair in 2008 and 2009.
Heading this year’s professional division is Jamie Stall. Stall is a certified public accountant with Stall and Company CPAs, Inc. He was a campaign volunteer in 2008 and 2009. He is a board member and past president of Kiwanis. Currently, he serves as treasurer and board member for the Findlay Family YMCA.
Paul Schmelzer leads the public division. Schmelzer is a professional engineer and surveyor who currently serves in the role of safety service director for the City of Findlay. Schmelzer has served on technical advisory committees and the Ohio Research Initiative for Locals. He has served on the Open Arms Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services board, participated in local fund raising activities, and has been active in the planning and construction of the Miracle Field.
David Cassidy will chair the independent division. Cassidy has been a United Way campaign volunteer since 1990. He also served on the volunteer leadership council of the American Cancer Society and was a member of the Knights of Columbus as a past grand knight. He is retired from Chrysler. Cassidy was selected to receive United Way’s Jeri Bjorling Memorial Distinguished Volunteer Award in 2012.
Vaun Wickerham is leading the rural division for a second year. He has been the farm services director and a salesman at WFIN since 1990. Before joining WFIN, Wickerham spent five years at The Courier and five years as information and education specialist for the Hancock County Soil & Water Conservation District. He is a past president and board member for Findlay Youth Baseball as well as a member of the Hancock Leadership Alumni Association and Findlay Elks Lodge 75. He volunteers regularly for Flag City Honor Flight. He has also served on numerous community committees and projects including: OSU Extension Advisory Council, 4-H Key Leader, Findlay Youth Baseball, ACME and SAAB baseball coach and umpire, Family Resource Center board, Arts Festival physical arrangements chair and numerous school district levies, and local political campaigns.
Serving as this year’s Gaslight Society Membership co-chairs are Kerry Kirk and Christian Pedersen. Kirk is a certified health and nutrition counselor and is the owner and chief executive officer of Meaningful Wellness, a nutrition consulting firm in Findlay. She is active with a variety of charitable and business development organizations in the community, including: Camp Fire of Northwest Ohio, Hancock County; the past president for Findlay Young Professionals; Findlay Family YMCA; the Hancock County Humane Society; alumni of Findlay Service League and Junior Achievement and current board member for the Children’s Museum of Findlay.
Christian Pedersen serves as vice president and general counsel with the Kirk Family of Companies. Prior to relocating to Findlay in 2007, he spent just under 10 years in private practice in the greater Boston area. He remains an admitted member of the bar in two states and the District of Columbia. Pedersen’s involvement with the United Way of Hancock County began with his appointment to the board in 2010. Thereafter, he went on to serve as chair of the administrative advisory committee and ultimately, board chair. Pedersen also chaired the CEO search committee, was chair of the corporate division in the 2011 campaign and served on the resource development committee. Apart from his service to the United Way, Pedersen has also held board appointments with numerous other nonprofits within the community, including: The Arts Partnership of Greater Hancock County, The Humane Society & SPCA of Hancock County, The Humane Society Foundation of Hancock County, The Findlay-Hancock County Alliance, The Findlay-Hancock County Economic Development advisory board, and the Findlay Family YMCA.
Funds raised each year by the campaign cabinet team are used for grants to local nonprofit agencies that provide services to those in need in Hancock County. Funds are also used to support United Way’s Halt Hunger Initiative and other programs that improve people’s lives. Local companies are holding in-house campaigns, often offering payroll deduction as a convenient way to support the community through United Way of Hancock County. Local businesses or corporations interested in holding a fundraising campaign should contact Michael Momany, resource development director, at Momany@uwhancock.org or at the United Way office, 419-423-1432.
About United Way of Hancock County:
Although it is a global organization, each United Way is locally governed and focuses on improving lives in each individual community across the country and the world. The mission of United Way of Hancock County is to “measurably improve people’s lives in Hancock County.”
Since its inception in 1955, the organization has gone from doing fundraising for a handful of organizations to partnering with hundreds of programs and services through local nonprofit organizations. Overall, United Way of Hancock County has raised more than $79 million dollars for programs and services. Not only does the organization fundraise, but staff members and volunteers are deeply involved in many community committees, collaborative projects and are partnering with other community organizations to address the root causes of social issues in Hancock County.
Today, United Way of Hancock County continually works toward a community where all individuals and families achieve their human potential through education, income stability and healthy lives. The organization strives for a community that fosters hope and opportunity for everyone.
For more information about United Way of Hancock County, please visit http://LiveUnitedHancockCounty.org.